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Zurich to Liechtenstein: 10 Great Things to Do in a Half Day

10 reasons to take a Zurich to Liechtenstein day trip. Learn why a day trip to Liechtenstein from Zurich is an ideal bleisure adventure.
A day trip from Zurich to Leichtenstein? Is it feasible? Those were the questions that jumped into my head when a colleague suggested that we go on an improbable adventure at the tail end of our business trip. 

I visit Switzerland a few times a year for work and even if I only have one day in Zurich to spare, I always make time for fun things to do when I'm there. 

I also like to carve out time for easy day trips from Zurich to places like Rapperswil or Rhine Falls. But, would it really be possible to travel to Liechtenstein from Zurich in a day? 

My friend suggested that we do something 'ridiculous' before heading back to Dublin which is what inspired me to do the research into a Zurich to Vaduz day trip. 

Zurich to Liechtenstein day trip: A Vineyard in Liechtenstein

In the end, we spent about three hours traveling to Liechtenstein from Zurich and back again by a combination of train and bus giving us about two hours to actually explore Vaduz and the surrounding countryside. 

The length of the trip was what seemed ridiculous, not the destination!. But hey, you only live once! 

Here are ten reasons to board the train and make the most of a day trip to Liechtenstein from Zurich.

About Liechtenstein

Where is Liechtenstein? Liechtenstein is a tiny microstate bordered by Switzerland and Austria. 

The official currency of Liechtenstein is the Swiss Franc which is one of the things that makes a Zurich to Vaduz day trip so appealing. 

Liechtenstein is Europe's fourth smallest country and is equivalent in size to a Swiss canton. 

Liechtenstein is a constitutional monarchy rather than a republic and is headed by the Prince of Liechtenstein. Vaduz Castle is the prince's official residence.

1. The Scenic Train Ride to Liechtenstein from Zurich Along the Zurichsee and Wallensee 

It's pretty straightforward to get to Liechtenstein from Zurich and getting there is half the fun. 

If you search for a Zurich to Vaduz train or a Zurich to Balzers train in Google Maps, you'll find that the train line ends at Sargans Switzerland right at the Liechtenstein border. 

The Liechtenstein public bus stops at Sargans just south of the Liechtenstein border and you can ride all day (hop on and hop off) with your train ticket (select Vaduz as the destination at the train station ticket machine in Zurich). 

The train ride from Zurich to Sargans takes about an hour and features stunning views of Zurichsee and Wallensee.

Zurich to Liechtenstein day trip: Views of Zurich See from the train to Liechtenstein

2. Have a Hills-Are-Alive-with-the-Sound-of-Music Moment in Liechtenstein

I find wikitravel to be a helpful resource particularly for less touristy destinations. I was looking for potential places to stop on the bus rather than just heading straight to Liechtenstein's capital of Vaduz. 

The wikitravel page for Liechtenstein tipped me off to Balzers. It takes about 15 minutes to get from Sargans to Balzers by bus. 

We got off the bus and climbed the hill toward the local castle. As I looked down on the valley below, I felt the urge to spin around Sound of Music style and start singing. 

Not wanting to spook my colleague with my off-key voice, I resigned myself to singing silently on the inside. It felt great to be on a day trip to Liechtenstein!
Zurich to Liechtenstein day trip: Views of Balzers, Liechtenstein

3. Liechtenstein's Charming Churches

Balzers also features a lovely church nestled between nearby peaks. I particularly liked the gold writing on the church reinforcing the fact that we were in Liechtenstein!
Zurich to Liechtenstein day trip: Church in Balzers, Liechtenstein

4. Have Liechtenstein's Castles All to Yourself

I found Liechtenstein in general and Balzers in particular to be very zen. We took our Zurich to Liechtenstein day trip on a Saturday morning and walked through the streets and up the hill to the castle. 

We saw just one man walking his dog. Otherwise, we had the Balzers to ourselves. From the castle perched on the hill, we admired the stunning views of Liechtenstein below.
Zurich to Liechtenstein day trip: Castle in Balzers, Liechtenstein

5. Liechtenstein's Sweeping Vineyards

Also in Balzers we were able to walk among sweeping vineyards. It turns out that Liechtenstein produces a respectable Pinot Noir (I grabbed a bottle to take home at a supermarket in the capital). 

On to Vaduz, Liechtenstein's capital city!

Zurich to Liechtenstein day trip: Vineyards in Balzers, Liechtenstein

6. Follow the 'Yellow Brick Road' in Vaduz

We rode the public bus from Balzers to Vaduz (about a 20 minute ride) and were deposited at the bus depot in the center of town. We soon learned that Vaduz has its very own yellow brick road. 

Again I had to resist the urge to start singing we're off to see the Wizard...the wonderful Wizard of Oz! 

The good thing about Vaduz is that it's super easy to get around and if you follow the yellow brick road, it will take you to the heart of Liechtenstein's small capital city (less than 10 minutes walking end to end).
Zurich to Liectenstein: The yellow brick road through Vaduz, Liechtenstein

7. Explore the Largest Open Air Art Exhibit in Europe in Liechtenstein

As we walked down the yellow brick road (I was mentally skipping of course...), we soon noticed all sorts of intriguing sculpture around us. 

It turns out that Liechtenstein is home to the largest open air art exhibit in Europe. Who knew? I love fun and visually stimulating surprises like these on my bleisure day trips.
Zurich to Liechtenstein day trip: Open air sculpture exhibit in Vaduz, Liechtenstein

8. Eat Liechtenstein's Comfort Food

We had just enough time for a walk around Vaduz and a quick lunch before heading back to the bus for the return journey to Zurich (I told you this was a whirlwind day trip!). 

The cuisine in Liechtenstein is similar to Swiss food - definitely hearty fare. I tried cheesy spaetzle with fried onions on top.  It was comforting and delicious on a chilly Spring day in the mountains.
A day trip to Liechtenstein from Zurich: Cheese Spaetzle in Vaduz, Liechtenstein

9. Send the Ultimate Postcard from Liechtenstein

I'll level with you. One of the main reasons I wanted to make the journey from Zurich to Liechtenstein was the excuse to send an envy-inducing postcard to friends and family :-) 

We were definitely able to do this in style. The shops in Liechtenstein selling postcards also sold picturesque local stamps to match. 

In fact, Vaduz features a postage stamp museum that my friend really wanted to see. Sadly, it didn't open on Saturdays until the afternoon when we were scheduled to travel back to Zurich to catch our flight. 

Make sure to allow yourself a full day in Liechtenstein if you want to see all the sights. 

Zurich to Liechtenstein day trip: Mailing postcards in Vaduz, Liechtenstein

10. Check Another Country Off Your List

I'll level with you again. Another reason we decided to embark on this Zurich to Liechtenstein day trip was so that we could tick another country off our bucket list.  

Why not...you only live once and I certainly want to see as much of the world as I possibly can.
Swiss rail train in Sargans station on a Zurich to Liechtenstein day trip

And with that, I raise a virtual glass of Liechtenstein Pinot Noir and offer a toast: Here's to a successful (and only slightly ridiculous!) 'bleisure' day trip adventure in Liechtenstein.

Getting to Liechtenstein from Zurich

To catch a Zurich to Liechtenstein train, buy your ticket from the SBB kiosk at the Hauptbahnhof in Zurich with Vaduz as the destination. 

As mentioned above, you'll need to take the train from Zurich to Sargans and then take the bus (included with your train ticket) into Liechtenstein. 

If you have more time, it's possible to take the bus to the train station in Buchs at the northern end of Liechtenstein and return to Zurich from here to avoid backtracking. Zurich to Buchs takes a little over an hour by train.

SIDEWALK SAFARI SPOTLIGHT: Liechtenstein is one of the tiniest countries in Europe. Like to visit small, manageable places? Check out Luxembourg City and various day trips around Luxembourg. Spend 3 days in Malta or take the bus from Nice to Monaco

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10 Reasons to take a day trip from Zurich to Liechtenstein10 Reasons to take a day trip from Zurich to Liechtenstein

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Sidewalk Safari | Part-time Travel Blog: Zurich to Liechtenstein: 10 Great Things to Do in a Half Day
Zurich to Liechtenstein: 10 Great Things to Do in a Half Day
10 reasons to take a Zurich to Liechtenstein day trip. Learn why a day trip to Liechtenstein from Zurich is an ideal bleisure adventure.
Sidewalk Safari | Part-time Travel Blog