How to get to Liechtenstein Sarah Latham Copyright

If you’re travelling Central Europe, it’s likely you’ll have realised there is a teeny tiny country sitting between Switzerland and Austria called Liechtenstein. One of a number of small European countries (like Luxembourg, Gibraltar and San Marino), Liechtenstein is a fun little country to tick off and is easy to do in a day trip. Read on to discover how to get to Liechtenstein as well as helpful information on how long you need in Liechtenstein and things to do in Liechtenstein.

Tell me about Liechtenstein

Liechtenstein is tiny – only 160km squared and is the sixth smallest independent nation in the world by area. The entire country of Liechtenstein has a population of 40,000 people and Liechtenstein’s capital is Vaduz. German is the main language spoken in Liechtenstein; however, you won’t struggle if you speak English to get around here. 

Where is Liechtenstein?

As mentioned above, Liechtenstein is a tiny European country tucked away between Switzerland and Austria. Its close proximity to these countries, particularly the Switzerland major city of Zurich, means it is easy to access Liechtenstein from its neighbouring countries. You can find Liechtenstein on Google Maps here.

Liechtenstein Google Maps

How to get to Liechtenstein – Flying 

Can I fly to Liechtenstein? 

There is no airport in Liechtenstein which means that flying directly into the country is not an option for those wanting to get to Liechtenstein. However, there are relatively easy ways to get close to Liechtenstein for those flying into or across Europe. 

How to get to Liechtenstein Sarah Latham Copyright 1

Where to fly into to get to Liechtenstein?

One of the easiest ways to get to Liechtenstein is to fly to Zurich in Switzerland. From here it is a relatively short journey to Liechtenstein. Zurich Airport services many destinations across Europe, the UK and the globe (including USA, UAE, South Africa, China and India) making it an easy airport to fly into (I flew from London to Zurich with Swiss). From the Zurich Airport you can catch a taxi or the S16 train into Zurich HB (Zurich’s main train station). When I visited train tickets from Zurich Airport to Zurich HB were 6.80 CHF (£6.15/ $11.80 AUD) per adult.

How to get to Liechtenstein

Once you’ve arrived in Zurich, the process to get to Liechtenstein is pretty straight forward although it does involve both a train and a bus to get you from Zurich, Switzerland to Vaduz, Liechtenstein (via Sargans). 

Zurich to Vaduz Google Maps

How to get to Liechtenstein Part 1: Zurich to Sargans train 

From Zurich HB you need to catch the train to a Switzerland town called Sargans. Sargans sits on the edge of the border between Switzerland and Liechtenstein. This train leaves fairly regularly and takes just over an hour to reach Sargans from Zurich (make sure you don’t choose the slower one that takes 2 hours). I went on a week day in November so it wasn’t peak season but the trains are large, meaning that there should be plenty of space. The views across Switzerland on this trip were also quite beautiful with a number of waterfalls cascading down the mountain side so I would recommend getting a window seat (ideally on the left side when travelling Zurich to Sargans). When I visited I bought a ‘supersaver’ train ticket that was non-exchangeable and non-refundable (aka. The cheapest) and it was £28.65 return. However, later I saw if I booked a one-way ticket on the day the one-way tickets were about £30 each way. There is more about timing your train journey below. 

Tip: Make sure you triple check what platform your train leaves from. When I was there, the train was advertised as leaving from platform 9, but the train at that platform was not heading to Sargans. I went back and the platform number had changed (not my mistake as I’d taken photos of the sign originally saying platform 9!). So just take extra care you’re getting on the right train.

How to get to Liechtenstein Sarah Latham Copyright

How to get to Liechtenstein Part 2: Sargans to Vaduz bus 

To get to Liechtenstein from Sargans, the process is very simple. Once you arrive at Sargans train station, head to the train station office (it’s beside the Coop) and ask for a return (or one-way if you don’t plan on returning to Switzerland) bus ticket to Vaduz (the capital of Liechtenstein). You can pay by card and you’ll receive a printed ticket. When I visited the bus was 12 CHF (£10.89 / $20.80 AUD) per adult.

How to get to Liechtenstein Sarah Latham Copyright

This ticket is for the Number 11 bus which is the direct bus from Sargans in Switzerland to Vaduz in Liechtenstein. And it’s also very easy to find – the bus stop is located just across the road and its vibrant colour makes it very easy to spot. You can ask at the train office or when I visited, this was the spot on Google Maps (in front of this cafe).

How to get to Liechtenstein Sarah Latham Copyright

On the bus it took roughly 30 minutes to arrive in Vaduz and it was on this bus where you officially cross into Liechtenstein. However, it’s a very (very) uneventful border crossing. In fact, this is it:

Switzerland Liechtenstein border crossing
Liechtenstein border: It’s just a bridge!

There are a number of stops in Vaduz but the one you want to get off at is Vaduz Post. However, don’t panic if you don’t get off here – Vaduz is quite small and each stop is in walking distance to the next. 

How to get to Liechtenstein Sarah Latham Copyright
This is the Vaduz Post bus stop the bus will drop you at

How to return to Zurich from Liechtenstein

Just do the above in reverse! You’ll be able to see Number 11 bus stops along the main road in Vaduz (make sure you’re on the opposite side of the road from when you arrived) and the bus will take you back to Sargans, where you can then hop on your train back to Zurich. 

How to get to Liechtenstein Sarah Latham Copyright
Snapped this of the bus across the road while waiting for my bus to return back to Sargans. As I said before, you’re not going to miss the buses due to their vibrant colour!

Things to know before going to Liechtenstein on a day trip.

1. There’s not thaaaaat much to do – don’t overestimate your time here.

When I visited it was a weekday and the weather was pretty miserable (cold and raining most of the time), so this had an impact on how long I spent here; however, even without this, Vaduz is a small town and there’s not a whole lot to do here. I had given myself 6 hours between my Zurich to Sargans and return Sargans to Zurich train (allowing time for the bus journey and any delays along the way as well as time in Liechtenstein) and well , after 1.5 hours, I was pretty bored. You can definitely spend longer than 1.5 hours in Liechtenstein and if you have better weather than I did you’re definitely going to want to stay longer. Unfortunately, as mentioned above, I had booked the ‘supersaver’ train ticket which couldn’t be changed to an earlier time so I ended up waiting for about 3 hours inside a cafe – not a glamorous way to spend half my day!

2. The weather has an impact

May as well jump straight into the weather after the above point. I booked my trip to Liechtenstein almost a month in advance so was unable to account for the weather – but if you don’t need to book so far ahead, I’d definitely let the weather influence whether you come (or, at least, when you come). As mentioned above I had pretty poor weather (I mean I went in November it is my own fault) so as a result when I ran out of things to do I had to spend it sitting inside a cafe. Had it been a nice day I would’ve gone for a long walk or a hike and enjoyed the scenery considerably more instead. The weather will have a big impact on your enjoyment in Liechtenstein. 

3. It’s expensive

Just like its neighbour, Switzerland, I found Liechtenstein to be very expensive. In fact, I found it so much so that I just couldn’t justify eating out in Vaduz. Now this might be because it’s a tourist hot spot or just because that’s the pricing there, but 23 (£20.15/$38 AUD) for a Käsknöpfle (a native Liechtenstein dish), just wasn’t what I was willing to spend on an average looking restaurant. I ended up going to the Coop and getting a takeaway salad (you have to pay for cutlery though) which was tasty and easy.

4. The Schengen Zone 

Along with Switzerland, Liechtenstein is also in the Schengen Zone, which is why it’s so easy to travel between the two countries. However, something to keep in mind if you’re thinking of stopping by Liechtenstein for a night or so to add time to your Schengen Zone time limit, Liechtenstein is included in the 90 of 180 days rule. 

How much does it cost to visit Liechtenstein 

Not including my flights and stay in Zurich, a day trip to Liechtenstein doing it yourself cost me £51.38 ($98 AUD) including the return train, return bus, my takeaway lunch, paying for my passport to be stamped (can get this at the tourist centre) and buying a postcard. I saw online someone saying a day trip tour was better value for money by the time you pay for your trains but (and this could be due to the time of the year I went) as day trips are advertised online at about £85pp ($160AUD) not including lunch, I found that a day trip would be quite a bit more than going by myself. However, a day trip may be more interesting as you’d hopefully learn more about the about the area and see other areas of Switzerland as well. 

Liechtenstein passport stamp Sarah Latham Copyright
You can pay for a passport stamp in Liechtenstein

Overall thoughts on a Liechtenstein day trip

If you’re looking at how to get to Liechtenstein it’s likely you’ll be looking to spend a day in Liechtenstein. I would recommend it as long as you prepare for weather and make sure you estimate your time appropriately! And be sure to bring your camera as it is quite a beautiful place.

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