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Vaduz is the capital of Liechtenstein and also the seat of the national parliament. The town, which is located along the Rhine River, has about 5,100 residents.Although Vaduz is the best-known town internationally in the principality, it is not the largest: neighbouring Schaan has a larger population.
|TIME ZONE :||CET (UTC+1) Summer: CEST (UTC+2)|
|LANGUAGE :||German (official)|
|RELIGION :||Roman Catholic 76.2%, Protestant 7%, unknown 10.6%, other 6.2%|
|AREA :||17.3 km2 (6.7 sq mi)|
|ELEVATION :||455 m (1,493 ft)|
|COORDINATES :||47.141°N 9.521°E|
|SEX RATIO :||• Male: |
|ETHNIC :||Liechtensteiner 65.6%, other 34.4%|
|AREA CODE :||7001|
|POSTAL CODE :||9490|
|DIALING CODE :|
Vaduz is home to the Prince's castle and his museums, and thus the main point of interest for visitors to this small country which is a shame because it is a rather disappointing hodge-podge of unattractive modern buildings, cranes and farmland. It may technically be a European capital but it is unlikely to interest a tourist for any length of time.
Vaduz is said to be mentioned in historic 12th-century manuscripts as Farduzes. It is, however, commonly believed to have been founded circa 1322 by the Counts of Werdenberg. In 1322 a mention of the castle is made, which was sacked by the Swiss in 1499 during the Swabian War. The entire town was also destroyed.
On January 23, 1719, after purchase had been duly made, Charles VI, Holy Roman Emperor, decreed Vaduz and Schellenberg were united, and raised to the dignity of Fürstentum (principality) with the name "Liechtenstein" in honour of his true servant, Anton Florian of Liechtenstein. It is on this date that Liechtenstein became a sovereign member state of the Holy Roman Empire. As a testament to the pure political expediency of the purchases, the Princes of Liechtenstein did not set foot in their new principality for over 120 years.
Vaduz features an oceanic climate with mild summers and cool winters.
The city experiences a noticeable increase in precipitation during the summer, but in general all twelve months see some precipitation. Vaduz receives, on average, approximately 900 mm (35.43 in) of precipitation per year.
Vaduz’s warmest month, July, sees average high temperatures reach 25 °C (77 °F) while average low temperatures are about 14 °C (57 °F).
The city’s coldest month, January, sees average highs of 3 °C (37 °F) and average lows of −3 °C (27 °F).
Climate data for Vaduz
|Average high °C (°F)||4.3|
|Daily mean °C (°F)||0.7|
|Average low °C (°F)||−2.8|
Vaduz has a lively tourist industry, despite being one of the very few capital cities in the world without an airport or railway station.
The closest railway station is Schaan–Vaduz located around 2 kilometres (1 mile) from the city centre in the town of Schaan. However, very few trains stop here except for a local service between Buchs in Switzerland and Feldkirch in Austria. There are extremely frequent bus connections between nearby mainline railway stations including Buchs, Sargans, and Feldkirch, operated by Liechtenstein Bus.
The nearest airport is Zürich Airport located around 120 km (75 mi) away from Vaduz. It could take 2 hours by train and 2.30 hours by car.
Prices in Vaduz
MARKET / SUPERMARKET
|Beer (domestic)||0.5 l||€1.80|
|Bottle of Wine||1 bottle||€11.00|
|Dinner (Low-range)||for 2||€50.00|
|Dinner (Mid-range)||for 2||€75.00|
|Dinner (High-range)||for 2||€|
|Mac Meal or similar||1 meal||€10.80|
|Beer (Imported)||0.33 l||€3.60|
|Beer (domestic)||0.5 l||€|
|Coctail drink||1 drink||€|
|Men’s Haircut||1 haircut||€|
|Mobile (prepaid)||1 min.||€|
|Pack of Marlboro||1 pack||€|
|Toilet paper||4 rolls||€|
CLOTHES / SHOES
|Jeans (Levis 501 or similar)||1||€95.00|
|Dress summer (Zara, H&M)||1||€55.00|
|Sport shoes (Nike, Adidas)||1||€130.00|
|Local Transport||1 ticket||€2.30|
Transportation - Get In
ÖBB, the Austrian federal railway company, runs a limited service from Buchs SG station in Switzerland, via Schaan-Vaduz station (near Schaan) to Feldkirch in Austria. Trains only run a few times a day, which makes buses generally more convenient.
Buses run every 15 minutes from the train station at Buchs (the main Swiss town on the Liechtenstein border) to Schaan and Vaduz. Tickets can be purchased on the bus for 3.40 CHF and it only takes about 10 minutes to Schaan and another 5 to Vaduz.
If you're coming by rail from Switzerland, it may be quicker and cheaper to take the train as far as Sargans (rather than Buchs), from where it's possible to catch a bus (see below) straight to Vaduz. Consult the SBB timetable to find out what'll be quickest when you're travelling. There are lockers at the Sargans station so you can leave your luggage there. This link provides a plan of the station showing the lockers and where to catch the bus from.
The Liechtenstein Buses number 12 service runs from Sargans railway station to Buchs railway station via central Vaduz and Schaan railway station. It leaves from outside each station approximately every 20 minutes. The buses are yellow-green in colour. A fare to Vaduz is 5.80 CHF from Sargens and 3.40 CHF from Buchs. Consider getting a whole network day pass (12 CHF) or week pass (24 CHF) if you are making many journeys on Liechtenstein Buses, though two single fares (e.g. from Sargens or Buchs to Vaduz and Vaduz onward to Feldkirch) cost less than a day pass.
From Feldkirch railway station in Austria, look for the distinctive off-yellow Liechtenstein Buses. Numbers 11 and 14 head straight to Vaduz and number 13 goes to Buchs railway station, by-passing Vaduz, so you'll have to change at the Schaan railway station interchange.
You can also drive into the town - it's well signposted. There is plenty of parking.
Transportation - Get Around
Vaduz is very small and walking around the city and the areas around it will not take very long.
The best way to move around Liechtenstein is by car. It takes little more than half an hour to drive from one end to the other.
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The main shops in Vaduz sell tourist trinkets all branded in Liechtensteinian and Swiss colours. There are plenty of flags, t-shirts and cuckoo clocks available. People who enjoy collecting passport stamps are able to get an official Liechtenstein Tourist Office stamp at the Tourist Information office. The cost was 2 Swiss Franc (CHF) or €3 in September 2009. This is especially unique as there are no border crossings at either of Liechtensteins frontiers. Postal Stamps and postcards can be bought at the post office opposite the tourist office as well as most other shops.
There is also a small retail village between Vaduz and Balzers. This is home to a McDonalds, and a sports clothes shop among other things.
The main square is behind the bus station in the middle of Vaduz. There are a number of cafes and restaurants offering hearty Liechtensteinian / Swiss / Austrian fare at reasonable prices.
- Old Castle Inn, Aeulestrasse 22, . In the centre of Vaduz. It is impossible to miss and offers authentic food at a reasonable price and with a pleasant atmosphere.
Liechtenstein isn't a cheap place to eat. If you want something budget and have a car, drive to Feldkirch just across the Austrian border.
Sights & Landmarks
Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein (Liechtenstein Museum of Fine Arts). Has an interesting collection on the ground floor and in the style of Tate Modern has a changing modern exhibition on the first floor.
The National Museum 'LandesMuseum' has events and exhibits of history, natural history, and stamps. Website (German)
The Prince's Wine Collection is available to view by a vineyard on the Northern edge of Vaduz. This is a 5 minute walk from the central square.
Vaduz Castle. The official residence of the Prince of Liechtenstein. Excellent views of the surrounding area can be gained by taking the short walk up to the Castle which hangs above Vaduz. The walk is gentle and goes up the side of the hill and through the woods and emerges at the side entrance to the Castle. It is not posible to enter the grounds of the castle, but walking around the perimiter is fine. In winter it can be very slippery, so if visiting at this time it is best to wear suitable footwear to avoid accidents.
A short walk towards the river will offer visitors the chance to experience some great views of the mountains surrounding the city. The old covered bridge which spans the Rhine river provides an interesting way to cross the border between Liechtenstein and Switzerland. The unpainted, weathered wooden bridge is rustic in appearance. It accommodates foot or bicycle traffic only, cars are prevented from approaching. Drives may find it tricky to pull-off. Cars on this road are headed to the Swiss Autobahn, a few hundred meters across the river directly west of the bridge. Please use care, these motorists may not tolerate the casual traveller on a busy road. There is no means to access the bridge from the west by car. The road that would appear to lead to the western end of the bridge is the aforementioned Swiss Autobahn.
From the centre of Vaduz follow Zollstrasse (towards the football stadium) until you reach the river. There are no border checks.
Museums & Galleries
The National Art Gallery as well as the National Museum are located in Vaduz. The art gallery (Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein) is a museum of modern and contemporary art, also showing displays from the private princely Liechtenstein Collection, the main public display of which is in Vienna. The building is an architectural landmark built by the Swiss architects Morger, Degelo and Kerez. It was completed in November 2000 and forms a “black box” of tinted concrete and black basalt stone. The museum collection is also the national art collection of Liechtenstein. The Liechtenstein National Museum is showing a permanent exhibition on the cultural and natural history of Liechtenstein as well as special exhibitions. There are also the Postage Stamp Museum and a Ski Museum.