Apr 26th, 2012 | By | Category: Senior Travel

Tiny Lichtenstein–Big Senior Draw

I have been to small countries like Monaco and Andorra but never to Lichtenstein.  I discovered that it is the sixth smallest country in the world.  Any idea what the smallest one is? (see above) Senior visitors who come back from Liechtenstein say that …”If there is a paradise on the earth, it is Liechtenstein.” The smallest yet the richest (by measure of GDP), this German-speaking country is the only country to lie entirely within the Alps.

Liechtenstein, officially the Principality of Liechtenstein is bordered by Switzerland to the west and south and by Austria to the east. Its total area is just over 62 square miles with an estimated population of only 35,000. Its capital is Vaduz, the largest town is Schaan.

Liechtenstein has turned into one of the most attractive economic locations in Europe since the early 50s. As a modern hub of business, the country stands for innovation, development and stability. Tiny as it is, it has one of the highest standards of living in Europe and a highly educated workforce – what other country can boast that it imports Austrian, German and Swiss labour on a daily basis? You will see the influence the Alps and the Rhine River have on the country, the industry, sport, history and tourism of Liechtenstein and surrounding areas.

The culture of Liechtenstein shares many similarities with other surrounding German-speaking countries. Up to 33% of the population are from another country.  Liechtenstein has won more Olympic medals per capita than any other country, all being in Alpine Skiing. The area of Malbun (see cities below) is the only place for winter sports in the country, an activity in which many natives and tourists participate.

Liechtenstein Center is a great place for seniors to start a visit. It is also the official tourist office in Vaduz, where you can purchase the unique Liechtenstein stamps and exclusive Liechtenstein souvenirs. The simplest way to enter Liechtenstein is by car from Switzerland (the closest airport being Zürich). Another easy alternative is taking the number 12 bus from Sargans station in Switzerland, a few minutes’ train ride from Zürich. It’s a smooth journey, with connecting buses every 15 minutes, and the mountain views should keep you well entertained.

Seniors Look for Good Beds and Tempting Cuisine

TripAdvisor has three great B&Bs for seniors to check out. In addition you can choose from among 5 top-rated hotels and 19 recommended restaurants. Winter or summer, Liechtenstein is an ideal destination for seniors who love nature and scenic beauty, meeting people and encountering new customs and experiences. Liechtenstein is also a great place for lovers of world-class gastronomy – the restaurateurs in Liechtenstein are well-known and prepare a wide range of top quality foods, served with some delightful wines and beers.

Vaduz, the capital, could have been a quiet and pleasant Rhineside provincial town like Sargans on the Swiss bank opposite; instead, it labors under the unreasonable weight of being capital of an historical oddity; it is the last remnant of the Holy Roman Empire and is an independent state with very close ties to Switzerland. As mentioned above, it enjoys a very high standard of living and is home to some of the most incredibly beautiful mountain scenery in the world.

The economy is widely diversified with a large number of small businesses. Liechtenstein has a continental climate featuring cold, cloudy winters with frequent snow or rain, making the country a moderately popular ski destination. Summers are cool to moderately warm, also often cloudy and humid. Frommers and Fodors are always my trusty go to’s for great travel aids for seniors. Enjoy your vacation in tiny Liechtenstein.  jeb

Check out a few more cities prior to your arrival.

  • Balzers — this town is home to a very beautiful church and castle
  • Malbun — an area for skiing and snowboarding
  • Triesen — a small town south of Vaduz
  • Triesenberg — an alpine town high in Liechtenstein’s mountains
  • Ruggell — a town in northern Liechtenstein where there is a nature reserve of rare plants and animals
  • Bendern — where Liechtenstein was born in 1699
  • Nendeln — Where there are a ceramics works and Roman ruins
  • Schellenberg — a town with a museum of rural homes

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