Brief History of Liechtenstein

Liechtenstein is a small, landlocked principality nestled between Austria and Switzerland. Its recorded history begins in the Holy Roman Empire. The Liechtenstein dynasty, from which the principality takes its name, originally hails from Lower Austria and purchased the lands now known as Liechtenstein in the 17th and 18th centuries. This was a strategic move to gain a seat in the Imperial Diet, the representative body of the Holy Roman Empire.

Liechtenstein became sovereign in 1806 when it joined the Confederation of the Rhine, a group of German states allied with Napoleon. Following Napoleon’s downfall, it joined the German Confederation under the protection of the Austrian Empire, where it remained until the Confederation’s dissolution in 1866.

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, economic difficulties forced Liechtenstein to enter a customs and monetary union with Austria. However, following the devastation of World War I and the collapse of Austria-Hungary, Liechtenstein revised its allegiances and established close ties with Switzerland, entering a customs union in 1924, a relationship that continues to this day.

During World War II, Liechtenstein remained neutral and also took in numerous refugees. Post-war, it has developed into a prosperous nation, largely due to its banking industry and low corporate taxes, which has attracted numerous companies to register in the country.

Liechtenstein’s political system is a constitutional monarchy, under the princely House of Liechtenstein. It is one of the world’s smallest nations, but also one of the richest per capita. Despite its size and relative obscurity, it has carved out a unique niche in European and global history.

About Liechtenstein

Country Code: +423.

Currency: Swiss franc although euros are accepted.

Electricity: Type C (2-pin round), Type J (3-pin round).

Language: German.

Latitude and Longitude: 47.1410° N, 9.529° E.

Population: 39,039 (2021).

Prime Minister: Daniel Risch.


Liechtenstein’s size and upscale orientation means there are fewer traditional hostels compared to neighboring countries, but there are still budget accommodations available, including hostels, guest houses, and affordable hotels.

Youth Hostel Schaan-Vaduz: Located in the town of Schaan, close to Vaduz, this is one of the few traditional hostels in Liechtenstein. It offers both dormitory and private rooms, and facilities include a communal lounge, kitchen, and free WiFi.

Hotel Oberland: While not technically a hostel, this hotel is known for offering relatively affordable accommodation and is situated in the beautiful mountainous region of Triesenberg. It’s an ideal base for hiking or skiing trips.

Hotel Restaurant Kulm: This is another affordable hotel located in Triesenberg. Rooms have balconies with panoramic mountain views, and the onsite restaurant serves traditional Liechtenstein cuisine.

Hotel Schatzmann: Situated in Triesen, it offers affordable, comfortable rooms and a peaceful garden. It also has an onsite restaurant serving regional specialties.

Additionally, neighboring countries like Switzerland and Austria have a more extensive range of budget accommodations, and given the close proximity, they can also be a viable option when visiting Liechtenstein.

National Parks

Liechtenstein does not have any official national parks in the traditional sense. This is understandable, considering the small size of the country, which is about 160 square kilometers.

However, it does possess an array of natural beauty and biodiverse regions, where you can find well-maintained hiking trails, mountains, and stunning alpine landscapes.

One of these areas is the Ruggeller Riet nature reserve in the northern part of the country, home to a diverse range of flora and fauna. Another significant natural area is the Liechtenstein Alps, which cover a substantial portion of the country’s terrain and offer incredible opportunities for hiking, skiing, and mountain climbing.

The Vaduz Castle and its surrounding areas provide beautiful scenic vistas as well.

Liechtenstein has also shown a commitment to conservation, such as being a part of the European Diploma of Protected Areas, a recognition awarded by the Council of Europe to natural or semi-natural areas of exceptional European importance.

Top Tourist Attractions

Liechtenstein, despite its small size, offers numerous attractions for tourists.

Vaduz Castle: Perched on a hilltop and overlooking the capital, Vaduz, this is the home of the ruling prince of Liechtenstein and as such is not open to the public. However, the view of the castle from the city, or from the hiking trails around it, is quite stunning.

Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein (Museum of Fine Arts): Located in Vaduz, this museum has a significant collection of modern and contemporary art. The museum’s building, with its minimalist design, is a striking piece of architecture in itself.

Liechtenstein National Museum: This museum houses a collection that tells the history and culture of Liechtenstein. It has more than 40 exhibit rooms showcasing archaeological, cultural, and art collections.

Cathedral of St. Florin: Also in Vaduz, this neo-Gothic church dates back to the 19th century and is one of the most recognizable landmarks in the country.

Gutenberg Castle: Situated in the village of Balzers in the southern part of the country, this beautifully preserved medieval castle offers a glimpse into the past.

Liechtenstein Alps: These mountains offer opportunities for outdoor activities such as hiking and skiing. The Malbun ski resort, in particular, is a popular destination.

Rhine River: The river forms a natural border between Liechtenstein and Switzerland, and there are beautiful trails along its banks for hiking and cycling.

Prince of Liechtenstein Winery: Located in the capital, Vaduz, this is where the Prince’s vineyards’ wines are produced. The wine cellars can be toured, and tastings are available.


Liechtenstein experiences a temperate, alpine climate with moderate rainfall throughout the year.

In the winter months, which generally span from December to March, temperatures often drop below freezing, and the country typically experiences snowy conditions, especially in the higher altitudes. Winter temperatures can range from -10°C to 2°C (14°F to 36°F). This makes it an ideal time for winter sports like skiing and snowboarding, especially in the mountain resort area of Malbun.

Spring, from April to June, brings milder temperatures, with highs usually in the mid-teens to low 20s in Celsius (mid-50s to low 70s in Fahrenheit). This is when the country’s flora starts to bloom, turning the landscape into vibrant shades of green.

The summer months, July and August, are the warmest, with temperatures often reaching up to the high 20s°C (around 80°F). These months are perfect for exploring the numerous hiking trails that crisscross the country’s alpine landscape.

Autumn, which runs from September to November, is generally mild to cool, with temperatures gradually dropping from the highs of summer to the lows of winter. The country’s forests turn into a mixture of stunning reds, oranges, and yellows, offering a picturesque setting for outdoor activities.