Liechtenstein

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The Principality of Liechtenstein is a tiny, alpine, German-speaking country doubly landlocked by Switzerland and Austria (it is landlocked by landlocked countries). It is the last remnant of the Holy Roman Empire and is an independent state with very close ties to Switzerland. It enjoys a very high standard of living and is home to some incredibly beautiful mountain scenery. The principality's capital, Vaduz, is a major centre of commerce and international banking and mainly a modern city.

Population: 37,009 people
Area: 160 km2
Highest point: 2,599 m
Coastline: 0 km
Life expectancy: 81.59 years
GDP per capita: $89,400
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About Liechtenstein

History

The Principality of Liechtenstein was established within the Holy Roman Empire in 1719 and became a sovereign state in 1806. Until the end of World War I, it was closely tied to Austria, but the economic devastation caused by that conflict forced Liechtenstein to conclude a customs and monetary union with Switzerland. Since World War II (in which Liechtenstein remained neutral), the country's low taxes have spurred outstanding economic growth.

Shortcomings in banking regulatory oversight have resulted in concerns about the use of the financial institutions for money laundering and tax evasion. However, the days of bringing suitcases of money into banks for deposit without questions asked is over. Liechtensteiners are also very proud of the fact that their nation has never been physically involved in a battle or military confrontation with an "enemy state" and see their flag as a banner of peace.

Climate

Liechtenstein has a continental climate featuring cold, cloudy winters with frequent snow or rain, making the country a moderately popular ski destination. Summers are cool to moderately warm, also often cloudy and humid.

Geography

Liechtenstein is very mountainous and one of the world's two doubly-landlocked countries (along with Uzbekistan). Most of the country's population lives in the long and wide Rhine Valley in the western third. Roads are mainly laid out in a north-south pattern following the valley as well. To the north the main roads lead to the border with Austria, to the south they enter Switzerland, and to the west across the river the bridges also cross into Switzerland. Most of the eastern border with Austria is not passable and is only accessible by foot as it is very mountainous, though the north of the country is well connected by road to Feldkirch in Austria. The country's highest point is the Grauspitz, which stretches to 2,599 m. Liechtenstein is 2.5 time bigger than San Marino and it is 81 times bigger than Monaco.

Activities

Liechtenstein offers great hiking, road biking, and mountain biking terrain. Skiing and snowboarding are also offered at a reasonable price at the country's small resort, Malbun, in comparison to the expensive lift prices in neighbouring Switzerland or Austria.

Get up early one morning and drive up the mountains on the east side of the river. From here you have an incredible view over Vaduz & Switzerland that you can stand and admire.

Food

You will find a few restaurants in the larger cities of Liechtenstein. There is also a McDonald's restaurant (opened in 1996; serves wine), which is very popular and is widely publicised by road signs throughout the country.

The many small bakeries are a great place to get a warm, fresh roll or pastry.

Drinks

There is a small amount of wine that is produced in Liechtenstein that is available in supermarkets and tourist shops throughout the country. Expect to pay around CHF25 for an average bottle. The Prince even owns his own vineyard in Vaduz, off the main road. Beer is also available for purchase that is made with malt from Liechtenstein, although most of the beer itself is brewed in Switzerland. A variety of other European wines, beers, and soft drinks are also available. There is now a brewery in Liechtenstein that produces a variety of beers; lagers including Helles (blonde) and Hefe Weizen (unfiltered wheat) styles are brewed.

There is also a one-man distillery in Triesen who makes liquors and schnapps from fruits. Tours on Saturdays.

Shopping

Liechtenstein uses the Liechtenstein frank at par with, and freely interchangeable with the Swiss franc (CHF) as its currency. Many shops will also accept euros, but the exchange rate may not be very advantageous.

Costs

Costs in Liechtenstein are roughly equivalent to those in Switzerland and are therefore somewhat more expensive than other European countries.

This article is based on Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike 3.0 Licensed text from the article Liechtenstein on Wikivoyage.

Cities in Liechtenstein

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Vaduz is the capital city of Liechtenstein and has a population of 5,005.

Interesting places:

  • Liechtenstein Art Museum
  • Liechtenstein National Museum
  • Vaduz Castle
  • Rheinpark Stadium
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Vaduz is the capital city of Liechtenstein and has a population of 5,005.

Interesting places:

  • Malbun Ski Resort
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The Principality of Liechtenstein is a tiny, alpine, German-speaking country doubly landlocked by Switzerland and Austria (it is landlocked by landlocked countries). It is the last remnant of the Holy Roman Empire and is an independent state with very close ties to Switzerland. It enjoys a very high ... (read more)

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Schaan is a city in Liechtenstein.

panoramio Photos are copyrighted by their owners

Points of Interest in Liechtenstein

Liechtenstein boasts a number of attractions that are of interest to visitors.

Balzers - Home to a beautiful church and a spectacular gothic castle.

Vaduz - The capital is the main shopping area in the country, with many souvenir stores and assorted restaurants. The city is also home to a modest cathedral and the decade-old Liechtenstein Kunstmuseum. A ski museum is north of downtown.

Schloss Vaduz - This imposing and historic castle, home to the royal family, overlooks the city of Vaduz and is approachable on the main Vaduz-Triesenberg road (bus route 21). It is not open to the public, but it is possible to view it from quite close up.

It is entirely possible to encounter the royal family at the Kunstmuseum, coming in and out of Schloss Vaduz or skiing during winter time. This is one benefit of such a small country. They are recognizable in their cars, which use their birth year for their licence plate number.

Liechtenstein Art Museum - Vaduz

Malbun Ski Resort - Triesenberg

Liechtenstein National Museum - Vaduz

Vaduz Castle - Vaduz

Rheinpark Stadium - Vaduz

panoramio Photos are copyrighted by their owners
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