For the perfect Europe day trip, look no further than the little Liechtenstein capital of Vaduz. Visit the 6th-smallest country in the world and escape the well-worn tourist path as you explore a range of Vaduz attractions. We’ve scoured the lovely Liechtenstein countryside to find the top Vaduz sightseeing options.
1. Vaduz Castle
It’s hard to miss Schloss Vaduz. Perched on a hillside overlooking Liechtenstein’s capital, this 700-year-old castle is a tale of towers and turrets, knights and legends. Built as a fortress in the 12th century, it is now the official residence of the Prince of Liechtenstein.
As a result, the castle is closed to visitors. However, walking tours of Vaduz give interesting insights into the history of the castle and a walk to the gates delivers beautiful views of its Alpine backdrop and surrounding countryside.
Those who are lucky enough to visit Vaduz in late summer might just find themselves inside the castle grounds. Each year, on the 15th of August – Liechtenstein’s National Day – the Prince opens his home for a public reception and a magnificent fireworks display.
2. The Cathedral of St. Florin
Designed by Austrian architect Friederich von Schmidt in the 1870s, this Roman Catholic, neo-Gothic cathedral is best known for its stained glass windows and stunning steeple. One of the most popular Vaduz sightseeing attractions, visitors can also look for the graves of Prince Franz Joseph II, the father of the present ruling Prince, and his wife, Countess Georgina von Wilczek. The cathedral is a beautiful, quiet and contemplative space and a special stop on any Vaduz sightseeing tour.
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3. Old Rhine Bridge
The rustic, wooden Alte Rheinbrücke crosses the Rhine River to link Lichtenstein and Switzerland. A 135-metre walk gets you across the bridge, and you’ll love the opportunity to stop halfway, planting one foot in Switzerland and the other in Liechtenstein!
Be sure to have a camera at hand, because the walk from the bridge back into Vaduz presents postcard-perfect views of Vaduz Castle and St. Florin Cathedral – iconic images of Liechtenstein.
4. Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein
This black, monolithic block houses the State Art Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Art. Its collection of 19th-century pieces, including sculptures and artwork from the Prince’s private collection, make it one of the most captivating Vaduz sightseeing attractions.
From the imposing exterior (which has river pebbles from the Rhine River Valley embedded in its façade) to the sleek, clean lines of the interior space, the museum is a beautiful canvas celebrating a carefully curated collection of art.
5. The Red House – Mitteldorf
To get a true sense of how Vaduz once looked, wander around the old neighbourhood of Mitteldorf – just northeast of the town centre. You’ll discover a huddle of traditional houses, flower boxes and cobblestone streets.
Particularly eye-catching and instantly recognisable is Mitteldorf’s 14th century Rotes Haus. With its deep red hue, pretty stone tower and attached vineyard, Red House is a must on your Vaduz sightseeing tour.
Unfortunately you can’t go inside the house (it’s been owned by the same family since 1807), but it’s a wonderful photo opportunity and an enduring memory of your time in this little country.
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6. Parliament Building
Another striking building in Vaduz is the Principality’s Parliament Building. Designed by Munich-based architect Hansjörg Göritz, it is situated on the main square. Little known fact? It was built using more than a million bricks! The building has housed Liechtenstein’s parliament, various government offices and the state archives since 2008.
7. Gutenberg Castle
Although not strictly in Vaduz, we’re including Burg Gutenberg as a must-see Vaduz attraction, as it is located just south of the capital, in Balzers. This castle, with its astonishing setting, is a sight to behold.
Dating back to the Bronze Age, the castle houses a museum, two chapels and a beautiful rose garden. Happily, Gutenberg Castle is not a royal residence, so it is open to the general public.
In addition, the castle’s inner courtyard hosts cultural presentations, theatre productions and concerts during the summer months, a wonderful way to get a deeper understanding of life in Liechtenstein.
More reasons to visit Vaduz
Need another excuse to visit Vaduz? Liechtenstein’s 17,3 km² capital has a few more secrets tucked up its sleeve:
- Vaduz’s Postage Stamp Museum will delight philatelists and historians alike.
- Spend some time in the main square, taking in the city’s ‘government quarter’, admiring the mountain views or hunting down a plate of Käsknöpfle, Liechtenstein’s national dish. This traditional cheese pasta is served with apple sauce and crispy onions – a surprisingly delicious combination.
- Vaduz’s miniature CityTrain is a fun way to explore the town and popular with kids of all ages.
- The Hofkellerei or Royal Winery is essentially the personal wine cellar of the Prince of Liechtenstein. Visitors can take a walk through the vineyards, learn a little more about winemaking in the Rhine Valley and sample some of the estate’s celebrated Pinot Noir or Chardonnay. Prost!
Finally, don’t forget to get your passport stamped at Vaduz’s tourist office. Although there are no guards or immigration officials at the border, you’ll want Fürstentum Liechtenstein (Principality of Liechtenstein) stamped in your passport. The tourist office is happy to oblige.
Have you visited Vaduz? Which Vaduz attractions are at the top of your sightseeing list? Let us know in the comments below ….