Vaduz, the capital of the Principality of Liechtenstein, is often overshadowed by its bigger and brasher European neighbours. With a population of just over 5,000 people, this is one of the world’s smallest and least-known capital cities.
I took a day trip to Vaduz as part of an Interrail trip through Europe and discovered a friendly city of unique charm and a rich cultural heritage. Curious to find out more? In this article, I’ll take a deeper dive into why Vaduz is worth a visit.
Is Vaduz Worth Visiting?
Vaduz is worth visiting as a day trip from Austria or Switzerland if you are seeking an off-the-beaten-path European experience.
It may be diminutive in size, but it punches above its weight in terms of historical significance, cultural attractions and natural beauty. It is also a very safe destination for solo travellers.
Let’s take a closer look at why you should consider visiting Vaduz.
1. Vaduz has a rich and long history
Liechtenstein’s capital city has a heritage dating back to the Middle Ages.
The principality was formed from the unification of two former lordships (Schellenberg and Vaduz) in 1719. It remained part of the Holy Roman Empire and the German Confederation, gaining independence from the latter in 1866.
Perched on a hill overlooking the town, Vaduz Castle was built as a fortress in the 12th Century and has witnessed centuries of political and cultural changes in Liechtenstein. Visit the Liechtenstein National Museum for a comprehensive insight into the country’s history and cultural evolution.
2. It has a host of cultural attractions
For culture vultures, Vaduz offers a surprising array of attractions.
The Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein, an architectural gem, houses the remarkable state collection of modern and contemporary art. The museum’s sleek design is a testament to Liechtenstein’s commitment to the arts, and its diverse exhibitions feature works by both local and international artists.
The area around the main pedestrian drag of Städtle has been transformed into an open-air sculpture gallery. It features works by Fernando Botero and Nag Arnoldi amongst others.
Another cultural highlight is the Cathedral of St. Florin, an impressive neo-Gothic structure that has been the spiritual heart of Vaduz for centuries.
3. Vaduz is in a super scenic location
Beyond its historical and cultural offerings, Vaduz is surrounded by natural landscapes that add to its appeal.
The Rhine River flows through the principality and the nearby Alps provide a stunning backdrop. The Prince’s Way is a popular hiking trail, meandering through charming villages, lush forests and open meadows.
4. Liechtenstein wine is excellent
The Prince of Liechtenstein Winery in Vaduz produces excellent Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from the grapes grown in the Herawingert vineyards, one of the best grape-growing regions of the Rhine Valley.
But you don’t need to visit the Princely Cellars (Hofkellerei) to sample these wines. Many restaurants in Vaduz will pour a glass of local wine for you.
5. Vaduz is safe and easy to visit as a day trip
Thanks to efficient rail and road connections it’s easy to visit Vaduz as a day trip from Zurich or Feldkirch in Austria. As the number of its must-see attractions is modest, you won’t need more than a day to hit its highlights.
Vaduz is a diminutive capital city and a breeze to explore on foot. Furthermore, the absence of overwhelming crowds allows you to savour the city’s attractions at a leisurely pace.
Liechtenstein’s stellar safety record makes it an attractive destination for families and solo travellers alike.
How to Do a Day Trip to Vaduz, Liechtenstein
Vaduz is a rewarding day trip from Austria or Switzerland.
Feldkirch is the best jumping-off point in Austria. Many day-trippers from Switzerland use Zurich as their base.
Most public transport in Liechtenstein is operated by buses. It has one railway line connecting Switzerland to Austria which is not particularly useful.
FROM FELDKIRCH, AUSTRIA
I stayed in Feldkirch and caught bus #11 to Vaduz, a journey time of 50 minutes. The bus drops you off at Vaduz Poste, a two-minute walk to the Tourist Information Centre.
You can check the timetable here.
FROM ZURICH, SWITZERLAND
Liechtenstein is a 90 – 120 minute journey from Zurich in Switzerland.
The best way to get there is to catch a train to Sargans, just south of the Swiss-Liechtenstein border. From here, jump on bus #11 (direction Feldkirch) or the express bus #12E (direction Vaduz).
Bridget Coleman has been a passionate traveller for more than 30 years. She has visited 70+ countries, most as a solo traveller.
Articles on this site reflect her first-hand experiences.
To get in touch, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on social media.