Quiet charms of a pocket country

160 square kilometers.

The size of a whole country. Yes, a country, the sixth smallest country in the world to be exact. Coming from Slovenia, another small country, I know great things can come in small packages.

Liechtenstein is mountainous principality snuggles between Switzerland and Austria. Despite the pocket size (Only 25km long by 12km wide), country has a fairytale like landscape. It is embedded deep in the Alps, crowned by castles. While passing the country, make a stop in Vaduz. A tiny, cozy capital has a relaxed atmosphere and gives magnificent views of the mountains and Rhine Valley.

The Liechtenstein family has been ruling the country since 1719. They live in a castle on a hill in Vaduz – the most photographed image in the principality. You can see the Vaduz castle already from far away while approaching the capital. Perched atop a steep hill it rules the realm. Since “Schloss Vaduz” is a private residence, you cannot visit the inside of the castle, it is still worth a trip up the hill. You’ll enjoy the views of the Rhine Valley on the way up.

Burg Gutenberg is another must-see attraction. The Gutenberg castle dates back to the Bronze Age, it is located just south of Vaduz.

Yes, we’ve only spent a night in Liechtenstein, as a short stop before driving to Switzerland. Adding another pin on my world map had a little something to do with visiting Liechtenstein. (Luka would argue that was the main reason for me). However, it was worth it. The views of the surrounding Alps amazed me. Vaduz certainly isn’t a bustling city, but a place to enjoy peace and quiet for a day or two. If you want to explore the mountain trails, I would recommend staying longer.

Near capital one can actually walk to Switzerland across many bridges on the river Rhine. The most famous has to be a wooden Old bridge (Alte Rheinbrücke) in Vaduz. Measuring 135 meters in length, the rustic bridge it was completed in 1901 and is the only remaining wooden bridge connecting the two countries.

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