Second stop: Vaduz, Liechtenstein

Monday, August 6, 2012

Diaries of an explorer

After the visit to the beautiful natural arena, I got back to Flims to take my car and drive to Vaduz in Liechtenstein, always off the beaten tracks. 

In less than an hour I arrived to the hostel I booked, called Youth Hostel Schaan, where I would have slept that night. Once having done the check in and left my luggage, around 17 I decided to walk to the capital of this little state, that has just 30.000 of inhabitants.

30.000 of inhabitants??? yeah less than my hometown, Montebelluna, so I wondered to build the Principality of Montebelluna! :-)

Besides this, Schaan is a little town close to Vaduz: in just 20 minutes on walk you can reach the city centre, that has just 5.000 of inhabitants.

At the beginning I would have taken the City Train, but the last "train" had left at 17 and I was there 30 minutes later so I had to leave this idea.

So I decided to reach the castle upon hill, symbol of Vaduz and of Liechtenstein.

In fact, instead of following the classic touristic route, I walked through an alternative way, a trail in the middle of the wood that leads close to castle. Before walking along this trail, I saw the main building of the university, probably reconverted from an old factory.
Diaries of an explorer
Thanks to this nice path in the wood over Vaduz
Diaries of an explorer
I arrived in front of the Vaduz Castle (Schloss Vaduz), a medieval fortress modified in the 16th Century, that should be one of the castles to visit, but unfortunately it is the residence of the Princes and not open to public.
Diaries of an explorer
From the castle a little street called Handelweg, leads you to the city: an interesting little street that among some panoramic views shows signs that explain the story of Liechtestein, the politic system, economy and much more. This uphill street was really instructive as I learned something about this little country.

Along the way to the centre I found some building with interesting architectures and then I reached the main streetthe beautiful Stadtle, that displays most of the monuments of the city, bars, restaurants and the classic clock shops.

Unfortunately on a Monday around 18-18.30 in a Middle- European city you don't find many opened museums and in fact the Landesmuseum, the history museum, and the Postmuseum, the museum of stamps, were closed (sometimes they are opened until 20-21 on Tuesday or Wednesday). Altough this, the presence of several decorated stamps on the pavement of Stadtle was particularly nice:
Diaries of an explorer

Beyond the area of museums and shops at the end of the main street you can find two other important attractions: The Government House and the Cathedral built around the 18th Century with a neogothic style.
Diaries of an explorer

It was funny to see some curious statues in front of the Government House.

After a fast visit of the Cathedral, I came back to Stadtle to buy a cup that I collect of capitals and important cities and then I went to the Town Hall square ( Rathaus). Then I had a dinner in a terrace of an Italian ( ouch!) restaurant along the Stadtle, where a bratworst with bread, a nice Liechtestein beer and a tiramisu costed "just" 25 Euros.

In the city centre there was also a movie festival but because of the long travel and the fatigue I came back to the hostel, without having seen another landmark, the Rotes Haus
Diaries of an explorer
and without having taken this picture of the castle with the colours of the sunset.
Diaries of an explorer

Where to sleep:

  • Budget accomodation: if  you are a backpacker or have no problem to sleep in dorms, I recommend you the Youth Hotel Schaan Vaduz, located at just 2,2 km from the city centre. Prices per bed in a 4 dorms room around 40 Euros per night. 
  • If you prefer a private room and want a budget price, you must sleep outside of Vaduz, this time in Triesenberg, at just 3,1 km. I recommend you the Hotel Oberland, breakfast included, prices per night and double room around 120 Euros per night,
  • Medium budget: a nice place to stay is Landhaus am Giessen, located in the city centre of Vaduz, buffet breakfast included, swimming pool. Prices around 160 Euros per double room per night. If you want to spend a little bit more (240 Euros per night per double room), a good alternative is the Residence Hotel
  • Luxury accomodation: the Park-Hotel Sonnenhof is recommended for its panoramic view and its services such as a Michelin star restaurant, sauna, swimming pool and breakfast included. Prices per double room per night around 350 Euros.

Final considerations:

1) local people greet you, even if they see you have the typical tourist appearance, with map and digital camera in your hands. I would really love that people of big cities like Milan learned something from them.

2) Everything seemed to me perfect and new: sometimes similar to a movie scenography.

3) Local people are healthy @ in Stadtle people dressed nice and smart.

4) In 2-3 hours you can visit the city, but if you visit the museums you can take something more. My advice is to come there not later than in the early afternoon, as I would have loved to visit at last one museum.

5) Vaduz is worth a visit and I would have loved to visit also the other towns of Liechtestein to admire the walser architectures.

6) This is the off the beaten path Europe! :-)

The Exploration of Europe continues with...St. Gall and its convent!

4 commenti:

Lance said...

Great post! I'm thinking about a European road trip this summer (from Munich) and Liechtenstein is high on my list. Thanks for posting!

Diaries of an explorer said...

Thank you Lance! Vaduz is a nice place, in half a day you can visit it so it's great in a road trip as you don't need so much time to visit it. Well if you need some advices on your destinations please let me know! :-)

Cathy Lara said...

Thanks for this post and all these beautiful photographs. I really enjoyed reading it and will definitely visit Liechtenstein at some point.

Diaries of an explorer said...

Thanks a lot for your comment Cathy! Yeah it is a nice place to visit and you just need one day of your journey, or even an afternoon! :-)

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