Zurich to Liechtenstein day trip: One day in Liechtenstein
Zurich to Liechtenstein day trip makes for an easy way to explore another European destination. To visit Liechtenstein, you have to arrive in a major city with an international airport and Zurich is perfect for that. In this post, we have included tips and sightseeing for one day in Liechtenstein.
We will show you how to make the most of your time in Zurich by taking this quick day trip and adding it to your Switzerland itinerary. If you are traveling to Vaduz Liechtenstein from another destination, skip to one day in Liechtenstein section.
Zurich to Liechtenstein day trip
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you click one of them, we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.
Where is Liechtenstein
Good question, Liechtenstein is the fourth-smallest country in Europe, doubly landlocked by Switzerland and Austria. Doubly landlocked because Switzerland and Austria are also landlocked countries. Liechtenstein is a monarchial state, and it is often referred to as a microstate. Its capital city is Vaduz.
Once again, Liechtenstein, officially the Principality of Liechtenstein is a COUNTRY, as recognized by the United Nations. It is also known as a micro-state because of its smaller size. The entire country is composed of 11 constituencies.
Is Liechtenstein worth visiting in a day?
Liechtenstein is a very small country, you can probably drive through the entire country in a day. Blessed with mountainous terrain, it is a paradise for outdoor lovers, and those activities can easily take 2+ days if not more. However, if you are a city dweller like us, a day is enough to explore Liechtenstein and the capital city of Vaduz.
Instead of planning a whole new travel itinerary, consider a day trip to Liechtenstein from Zurich.
We want to explore all of Europe – small and big countries alike. Liechtenstein was part of our bigger European itinerary and we did a lot of research to see what the country has in store and about transportation.
- Capital City: Vaduz.
- Largest City: Schans.
- Head of State: Monarchy.
- Travel Visa: Schengen Visa/zone visa-free for EU, United States & Canadian citizens (up to 90 days)
- Nearest airport: Altenrhein Switzerland (1 hour). The popular/convenient option is Zurich airport.
- Currency: Swiss Francs, euros accepted. Credit cards accepted.
- Known for: Shopping, a tax haven, outdoor activities (ski, hike)
Planning for Day trip to Liechtenstein from Zurich
Arriving into Liechtenstein is a bit tricky but in some ways easy for visa holders (same travel visa for Switzerland/Schengen zone). The country has no airports and the capital city of Vaduz has no railways. It follows the same tourist visa and customs rules like Switzerland. Hence another reason why a day trip is better.
Distance: The distance between Zürich and Liechtenstein is 80 km.
With no airports and train stations in Vaduz, there are only a few options to reach the heart of Liechtenstein.
Zurich to Liechtenstein by train: Combination of train and bus (1.50 – 2 hour)
You can take a train from Zurich to Sargans in Switzerland, and then travel to Vaduz in Liechtenstein. There are both direct trains and transfer routes available. It will take approximately 2 hours to arrive in Liechtenstein. Use Swiss Travel Pass to pay for train ticket.
Once you are in Sargans, you can take a bus to Vaduz (takes 30 minutes). From Sargans, there are bright yellow-colored buses available for Vaduz Post bus stop. Hop on Liechtenstein bus number 11 (direction Feldkirch) or 12E (direction Vaduz) to reach Vaduz.
- The cost of the train ticket is 40 – 80 francs one way.
- The cost of the bus ticket is 5 francs. one way.
- Total = 45 to 85 francs, one way
Zurich to Liechtenstein: Trains and taxi/bus (2 hours)
You can take a train from Zurich to Schans (Liechtenstein), and then travel to Vaduz. There are both direct trains and transfer routes available. It will take approximately 2 hours to arrive in Liechtenstein. Once you are at the Schans-Vaduz train station, you can take a bus or taxi to Vaduz (in 15-20 minutes).
Another option is to take a train to Buchs in St Gallen Switzerland, and then take a taxi to Vaduz (10 minutes). Don’t attempt to walk over, it will take you an hour!
If you are taking trains, you will have to make transfers and take a bus or taxi to get to the city center of Vaduz. Travel time is 4 hours (return trip) plus add extra time figuring out platforms and directions. You can use your Eurail Pass or Swiss Travel Pass if you have one. Check SBB train schedules here.
Liechtenstein tour from Zurich (8 hours full-day tour)
We found a day tour to Liechtenstein, as a good alternative to taking and changing multiple trains. Plus the added travel time trying to figure out schedules. Liechtenstein was our last leg of travel from Switzerland and Spain.
Taking a day tour to Liechtenstein is a great option for those who wish to explore the Swiss countryside and get a taste of Liechtenstein’s capital Vaduz. We had also taken this day tour to Liechtenstein, with stops that Rapperswil and Heidiland, which we thought was pretty cool. Tour was relaxing and we had ample time for sightseeing at Vaduz, and also drove by many sister towns.
- Rapperswil is located 40 minutes outside of Zurich. It is a historic town on the south end of Lake Zurich and is known for its Christmas markets in the old town and medieval castle with rose gardens.
- Heidiland Maienfeld Village is the setting of Johanna Spyri’s “Heidihaus” (Heidi’s house). Surrounded by rolling hills of Switzerland and pretty views and greenery, this village was a delightful stop along the way to Vaduz. Heidiland is closed during winter months from November to March. Instead of Heidiland, the tour takes you to the Swiss village of Werdenberg.
Although we took this tour, research is important so that you can hit the city highlights in a short period of time and decide what to explore and what to miss. Vaduz Liechtenstein is known for shopping and hiking, but we didn’t do any (other than souvenir shopping). As soon as we reached Vaduz, we were on our own, and we planned where to go and how we can access each attraction by walking. Hence why we could explore a lot in a short period of time. For the price of the tour, you are essentially paying for transport and sightseeing in Switzerland (Rapperswil and Heidiland) and drive to Liechtenstein. The cost of the tour is $90+ USD. You can book it here
If you plan on outdoor adventures, we do not recommend this tour. For that, you will need at least 2 days, and driving to Liechtenstein will be a good idea.
Driving from Zurich to Liechtenstein (1:50 to 2 hours)
It will take 1.50 to 2 hours to drive from Zurich to Liechtenstein. Along your drive, you can stop by Lake Zurich/Rapperswill and explore almost the entire country of Liechtenstein.
Traveling from Zurich is an easy option for a day trip, but you can also drive to Liechtenstein via Germany and Austria by road.
The drive from Zurich to Liechtenstein is pretty straight forward. Parking is not a huge problem in Vaduz. You can find many “parkplatz” or parking lots in the center.
One day in Liechtenstein: What to do in Liechtenstein in a day
Now that you are in Vaduz here are the amazing things you can do in one day in Liechtenstein. Feel free to pick a few spots for 3 – 8 hour visit in the city. Vaduz center is a car-free area, so you can walk about anywhere within the capital city’s main attractions.
The main street of Städtle, which also means ‘small town’— is the place to be. Use these ideas below, as a road map to make the most of your visit to Vaduz.
Welcome to Vaduz – Get a 3 passport stamp for 3 francs at the Liechtenstein Tourism Office
If you fancy collecting passport stamps and souvenirs, make your way to the Liechtenstein Tourism Office, where you can purchase a stamp for 3 francs. The Liechtenstein Tourism Office is filled with souvenirs and artsy items to take back home.
Hours: Monday to Friday: 09:00 am to 05:00 pm. Weekends: Closed
Take the City Train – Explore Vaduz in 30 minutes
If you are short on time, hop on this cute City Train and get a glimpse of Vaduz center including their vineyards. The train also stops at the iconic Red House and you will also travel past Vaduz Castle before continuing on into the beautiful Alpine countryside.
Hours: Everyday: 08:30 am to 05:00 pm. Costs: $12 USD/person.
Admire Vaduz Castle: Schloss Vaduz
Schloss Vaduz or the Vaduz Castle is the official residence of the Prince of Liechtenstein. The castle sits on top of a hill, at 120 meters above Vaduz. It is an iconic symbol of Liechtenstein.
The Vaduz Castle is closed to visitors, as it is a current residence. If the prince is in town, you will see the flag flying high (which was the case when we visited Liechtenstein). You can walk from the main street of Vaduz up to the castle along the Princess Gardens in 20 minutes. When we were in Vaduz, it was cloudy and rained for a bit so we didn’t do the hike. But we were told it is an amazing spot for photos, and of the castle itself.
Pose at the Liechtenstein name sign
Most cities have a “welcome” sign. And we went looking for one in Vaduz. I mean, how many people get to visit Liechtenstein? If you are reading this, you will be there soon.
So located near the Liechtenstein National Museum is this name sign – we thought a photo is a must!
Note: There is a “Vaduz” welcome sign in the main city entrance parking lot.
Explore the Liechtenstein National Museum in Vaduz
Dating back to the 15th century, the Liechtenstein National Museum is home to the country’s history and cultural remnants. The entire museum is made up of 3 buildings, with 42 exhibit rooms. You can easily explore the museum in an hour or so. When we were there, there was no line-up either.
The Schatzkammer Liechtenstein or the Treasure Chamber of the museum showcases exhibits belonging to the princes of Liechtenstein.
Hours: Monday: Closed. Tuesday to Friday: 10:00 am to 05:00 pm. Wednesday closes at 08:00 pm. Costs: 10 CHF (separate entry fee of 8 CHF for the Treasure Chamber)
Postage Stamp Museum (Briefmarkenmuseum)
Postage Stamp Museum is a part of the Liechtenstein National Museum. The museum is filled with rare stamps, airmail letters, notes, and collectible items from across the world. Having worked in postal services once upon a time, I found this museum very unique. You can easily spend 20-30 minutes here.
Hours: Daily: 09:00 am to 05:00 pm. Costs: Free
Lunch (or snack) at Brasserie Burg
Brasserie Burg is located in the heart of Vaduz. The restaurant offers fresh salads, sandwiches and quick meals on the go. It has tons of seating space outside to relax over a cup of coffee.
Take photos at the City Hall
Vaduz Rathaus or City Hall is an administrative building of the city of Vaduz. Right in front of the city hall, you will find iron sculptures and a coat of arms emblems. The city hall is also home to outdoor cultural activities, and you might find musicians and artists performing here.
Explore the Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein Vaduz
Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein is a modern art museum, opened in the year 2000. It showcases modern and contemporary art via exhibitions.
It is also the national gallery of Liechtenstein. Spend 30-45 minutes here, if interested in art exhibitions. Entry fee applies.
Hours: Monday: Closed. Tuesday to Friday: 10:00 am to 05:00 pm. Thursday closes at 08:00 pm. Costs: 15 CHF
Reclining Woman Sculpture
One of the quirkiest things that I have seen is this sculpture of a naked reclining woman in the city center of Vaduz. Quirky because there are hills and greenery on one side, and on another posh store and pretty cafes and this!
The sculpture was created by a South American artist, Fernando Botero. The sculpture signifies a symbol of the sleeping soul in a figurative style.
Grab a coffee from American Bagel&Coffee Co or Demmel Kaffee
After sightseeing, if you wish to grab a snack or a cuppa coffee, head to the American Bagel & Coffee Co or Demmel Kaffee.
American Bagel & Coffee Co is located near the Reclining Woman Sculpture and makes for an easy spot to locate.
St Forin Cathedral or Vaduz Cathedral
St Forin Cathedral is a neo-gothic cathedral (recognized as a cathedral in 1997) in Liechtenstein. It is the center of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Vaduz.
The cathedral is located next to the Vaduz square, and from one of the connecting bridges (near the Kunstmuseum), you can take stunning shots of the cathedral as well as the Vaduz castle.
St Forin Cathedral will also greet you when you drive into the city. The interiors are beautiful with stained glass windows. If you have time on your hands, definitely go inside the church. Parking is available on site.
Cellars of Prince of Liechtenstein and Herawingert Winery in Vaduz
Whether you are driving or taking the CityTrain, you will get a glimpse of vineyards in Vaduz. Probably the best way to “see” what the city of Vaduz has in store. If you are into wine tasting and can take 30 to 45 minutes in your day trip, it is worth visiting the Cellar Door Tasting for 9 CHF per person.
Hours: Sunday: Closed. Monday to Friday: 8:00 am to 06:00 pm. Saturday: 09:00 am to 01:00 pm.
Walk or cycle over the Old Bridge
The Old Bridge over the Rhine river is a popular bridge that connects the Vaduz and Sevelen. You will pass by this bridge, as you drive to Vaduz. You can rent cycles or walk, to explore the wooden roof that spans the entire bridge.
Burg Gutenberg Balzers
On the way into Vaduz or way out, you will see a pretty castle in the faraway distance. It is the Burg Gutenberg in Balzers. If you are driving to Liechtenstein, make a stop at Balzers to explore Burg Gutenberg.
Gutenberg Castle is a preserved castle in the town of Balzers, located 12 minutes outside of Vaduz. Burg Gutenberg is not a royal residence so you can visit the interiors and also rent for weddings. There is a museum on site.
For an extended trip to Liechtenstein, you can venture outside of the capital city of Vaduz and indulge in many outdoor adventures.
Cross country skiing in Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein is a popular destination for cross country skiing. The most popular ski resort is in Malbun, a ski-resort village located in the eastern exclave of the municipality of Triesenberg. It is surrounded by ski slopes and artificial snow canons.
During summers, visit Malbun for embarking on the Eagle Hike trail.
Three-hour Prince’s Way hike
The three-hour Prince’s Way hike is one of the most popular hiking routes in Liechtenstein. We are not into hiking, but if you fancy one – this is the place to head to. It features a vertical of 700 meters – a high altitude walking adventure (as their tourism website calls it).
Hotel and food options in Vaduz Liechtenstein
There is no dearth of food and drink options in Vaduz. In the city center, wherever you go, you will find cafes and restaurants, warmly inviting you. For the day’s visit, we only stopped by 2-3 places for a quick bite to eat and for coffee.
Hotels in Vaduz are not super cheap. It is very hard to find a mid-budget hotel for $100-125 USD/night. Nightly hotel rates start at $175 USD and go up to $350 USD. All the more reason to take a day trip.
We use HotelsCombined.com to quickly compare prices and check reviews online. Park Hotel Sonnenhof is a popular hotel to stay in Vaduz, according to travelers. Search for hotels in Vaduz.
Zurich Travel information
- Arriving in Zurich: Zurich airport is the most popular option to travel to Vaduz from Switzerland. The closest airport to Vaduz is located in Altenrhein Switzerland (1 hour away). Liechtenstein has no airport. Find what to do in Zurich
- Find exciting Zurich City tours including city guides, thermal spa experience, day tours and more here
- Options for day trips from Zurich: Rhine Valley, Bern, Mount Titlis, Lucerne
- Train travel pass for Switzerland: Buy Swiss Travel Pass
- For more travel resources on Europe, visit our Europe Travel blog
Have a safe trip to Europe! Happy travels.
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you click one of them, we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.
This looks amazing. I love Switzerland. Next time I am in Zurich I will have to take a day trip there. Great post!
That’s great! Thanks so much!
I have to admit I had not heard of Liechtenstein before, but it looks like an awesome, small country to visit. I’m a big nature person, so I think it would be perfect for me. I love the scenery.
Absolutely, you will love their landscape!
I definitely want to visit Liechtenstein! There is something intriguing about such a small country and it looks so beautiful. I love your detailed guide and all of your tips!
Thanks so much Nicole! Glad you liked it!
Thank you so much for sharing the highlights of your trip! Great tips and super details and input regarding traveling to and from and well as attraction open and closing times. Well done!
Thank you Stacey, glad you liked it!
your Liechtenstein city guide is excellent I will try to DIY trip instead of the one-day tour because I read horror stories from those who have taken the trip, and were complaining that they were in Liechtenstein for only 45 minutes.
Thank you, Annie. Glad you found the post useful!
That’s true, sometimes it could be a hit and miss. Definitely start early to make the most of your visit!
Can you provided me with a list of railway station names in Zurich and I can take the train to Leichtenstein – Vaduz? Thanks.
By the way, your post in this html provides a lot of detailed information that one can visit while in Vaduz.
Thank you kindly, we do try our best to put in all the information for trip planning.
For trains/railway station, we took it from the Zurich HB once (main train station). The tour also leaves from the same area, a few steps away (which we did as well, mainly for Heidiland).
The trains will be anywhere from 1.50 to 3+ hours one way, depending on your travel date.
We use OMIO for train and bus tickets.