(Prinicipality of Liechtenstein, Fürstentum Liechtenstein)
Location: Central Europe
Language(s): English, German
Total Area: 160 km2
Currency: Euro, Swiss Franc
In 1938, Prince Franz Josef transferred this tiny, landlocked country, from a virtually unknown region into a rich banking state. Impressive considering Liechtenstein is only slightly bigger than Manhattan and even then a mountain range takes up a lot of its terrain, which it shares with its neighbor Switzerland with whom it has strong ties. They have the same currency and like Switzerland, Liechtenstein sees no need to join the EU. Why should they? They are just about the richest country in Europe.
Tourists to Liechtenstein are famous for visiting the capital of Vaduz just to get there passport stamped- bizarrely Liechtenstein’s biggest tourist industry. While in such a tiny country there is not much more to see, it would be a shame if you didn’t wander further into the more mountainous regions and some of the smaller villages on the outskirts. Not everyone in Liechtenstein is a banker and you will find a lot of the locals devoutly Catholic but very friendly.
In both the lowlands and the Alpine regions, Liechtenstein has a number of hiking trails. The most popular trails include Matteltiwald and the Furstensteig trail. Matteltiwald takes one through a forest. On the way you will see signs describing all the shrubs and trees native to the country. The Furstensteig is perhaps the most popular. Climbing up steep passes, you will eventually arrive at a stunning view of the peaks of Garsellikopf and Drei Schwestern.
Liechtenstein does not have much of a national football team. It has won one game- a 4-0 win over Luxembourg and famously drew 2-2 against the might of Portugal. The team was also the subject of a fun book called Stamping Grounds: Liechtenstein’s Quest for the World Cup. They lost every game during the campaign, yet never without a sense of pride. Vaduz is Liechtenstein's one club team and they compete in the Swiss national league.
Malbun is Liechtenstein’s tiny and only ski resort. While it is hardly the best resort for thrill seekers, it has a cozy and traditional feel that makes it a pleasant and romantic getaway. In addition, it is close to the capital of Vaduz, so there is always the opportunity to travel into the center for a restaurant meal or one of the many bars the city has to offer.
Story By World By Shotglass
©2011 World By Shotglass. All Rights Reserved
Special thanks to our contributors:
Simon Arms (Berlin, Germany)