My very strange day in Vaduz
I visited Liechtenstein as a day trip with my Canadian friend Rob whilst we were travelling through Switzerland. It is one of the smallest countries in the world and as we were in nearby Zurich we went to explore.
We had a rail pass for Switzerland so we got the train as far as we could but then we had to transfer to a bus. This is the first thing I thought was strange about Liechtenstein, that there was no train station in the capital city of Vaduz. We had to get a bus over the border. Once we arrived it was as if we were on the high street of a very small town. We went straight to the tourist office to find out what we could do and see here. You can also get a stamp in your passport at the tourist office. She gave us a map and told us it would take us between 2 to 3 hours to see the ‘city’.
Our first stop was a church. It was pretty. There were not really any other notable buildings to mention or even to photograph.
We stopped for lunch and wow food was expensive in Liechtenstein. I mean Switzerland was pricey but this was another level. The first restaurant we looked at was serving Wiener Schnitzel (no chips just the schnitzel for 40 Euros!) the second one we saw offered a schnitzel for 30 euros. The final restaurant (this is how small the high street was…) served one for 20 euros. Wiener Schnitzel seemed to be all you could get here.
After lunch we headed up the mountain side to see the main site of Vaduz; the royal castle! It was a nice castle. Very pretty, but you cannot go in as the royal family still resides there. We took quite a few photos there (as it was pretty much the only building worth taking a photo of…) and spent a while seeing who could throw a snowball the furthest. It was Rob of course. It was also nice to sit in the sun and admire the castle against the snowy, mountainous backdrop.
Then we walked back down, through the houses. Again it felt odd as for one of the richest countries on the planet there were no mansions or manors, just normal houses. Back on the high street we went to the post museum. This is free to enter and tells the history of post in Liechtenstein. It was quite a sweet little museum but I would have liked more general information about this strange country. Upstairs there was a modern Art Gallery. These random museums rounded up our odd visit perfectly
I wouldn’t say it’s boring but strange. There were not many things to do or see here. It seemed very strange that they didn’t even have a museum about their country and their history. I didn’t learn anything about this place. It was like a little Austrian/Swiss town that could be anywhere in the Alps and not like the capital city of a country.
Maybe I didn’t give it much of a chance after spending just a few hours there but there did not appear to be much to do. I bet there are some lovely hikes in the mountains but I don’t think I shall visit it again. Yet I am pleased I visited this random capital city with no train station! Plus I was able to tick off another country I have visited.
Have you ever visited somewhere which did not conform to your expectations? Let us know in the comments below.