The Principality of Liechtenstein has an area of 160 square kilometers, which makes it one of the smallest states in Europe. The princely residence presides high above the little town of Vaduz, which is the capital of the principality and has about 5,000 inhabitants. The medieval castle was upgraded in the 16th and 17th centuries.
The people of Liechtenstein call their main town "Staedtle" or "LIttle Town" and their country "Laendle" or "Little Country". Considering the geographic size of the country, these diminutives are apt, but not at all so if one thinks of the history and importance of Vaduz as a financial center.
Vaduz Castle can be seen from far away. It dates back to the 13th century and is now the residence of the Princely Family. This is why the Castle is not open to visitors. From the Städtle, there is a paved trail up to the castle with explanatory historical notice boards. The "Känzile", a small viewing terrace at the start of the trail in Schlossstrasse, offers a splendid view over Vaduz.
In the Städtle, inviting street cafés in the pedestrian precinct are pleasant places in which to take a break. Numerous cultural attractions can be found here. A visit to the Art Museum, the National Museum, the Post Museum, the Engländerbau exhibition building and the small private galleries will give visitors an idea of the variety of the country.
With Goethe through Vaduz
The historical trail "With Goethe through Vaduz" provides a great deal of information about Vaduz and Liechtenstein. An audio guide to accompany the visitor on this tour comprising 17 stages is available from the Liechtenstein Tourist Office. The trail takes you across the Städtle, through the countryside and into the neighborhoods of Mitteldorf and Oberdorf. Its theme is an exciting journey of discovery through art, architecture, culture, history, gastronomy and wine.
Vaduz also has much to offer as regards sports. In addition to one of the largest open-air swimming-pools of the region, a tennis hall, a squash center, tennis courts in the midst of idyllic woodland scenery, a football stadium, a skate park and a mini-golf course, Vaduz has an attractive network of footpaths and cycle-ways. This provides access to the greenbelt recreation area of Haberfeld and other natural beauty spots around Vaduz.
Wine Trail in the Herawingert Vineyard
Winegrowing has a long tradition at the Residence. The wine information trail in the Herawingert vineyard describes the various tasks in the vineyard that have to be carried out in the course of a year. 12 information boards describe the production of wine from grapevine to wine press in word and picture. The illustrations come from the “Year of the Vintner” series of postage stamps by Martha Griebler. The wine information trail passes by Blauburgunder vines and ends in a variation garden of the Hofkellerei, the winery of the Prince of Liechtenstein. The matured wines can be tasted in the Hofkellerei from Monday to Saturday.
Exploring Vaduz with the City Train is recommended. The tour takes visitors through Mitteldorf, past beautifully renovated houses and small vineyards to the Red House, once owned by a monastery, from there along fields and meadows to the Rhein-Binnendamm embankment, the Rhine Park Stadium and back to the Städtle. During the tour, passengers can hear topical information about the country in 14 different languages.
The Ski Museum reviews a century of ski history from the beginnings to the present day. The ski and winter sports collection documents the development of winter sports in Europe. The Ski Museum is certified by the FIS and is located near the Liechtenstein University in the Spoerry area.
You can wander along the Vorgründerweg path and through our solar system on a scale of 1: 1 billion. The Planet Trail was conceived by geography pupils at Vaduz High-School. It starts at the Rhine Park Stadium and proceeds in a southerly direction to Triesen. The planets are presented true to scale on pillars and information boards tell you all about them.