One of the perks of living in Switzerland is the fact that it is so easy to travel to a different country just for the day. This time, we went to Liechtenstein, a micro-state in Central Europe with an area of only 160 square kilometers (63 square miles) and a population of 35,000. It is bordered by Switzerland and Austria and is only 1 hour away from Zürich by car. It was a perfect sunny fall Saturday, and Alexis and I decided to go to Liechtenstein by motorcycle.
We left at 11am. The ride was fantastisch. A bit cold at the beginning while we drove through the mountains. It was also a little foggy, but after 30 minutes the sun came out. Driving through the Swiss mountains is an amazing experience and I don’t think I will ever get bored of enjoying the beautiful scenery of the Alps with the cows grazing and seeing the lakes which all seem to have the perfect shade of blue waters.
We were told the country of Liechtenstein was small. And that the city of Vaduz, where we were going to focus our visit, was VERY small. But once we arrived we were surprised to see indeed how small it is! It feels like it has only two roads, and we could walk the main loop in just 15 mins. It took us much longer though, because there is lots of sightseeing to do. Our first stop was the Visitor Center where we got our passports stamped for 3 euros per passport.
On Saturday they had a market along the street, with vendors selling all kind of goodies, from hand made hats to wool socks, candies, street food and souvenirs. Liechtenstein’s currency is the Swiss Franc (CHF), but I got the impression they don’t have any issues accepting Euros (€).
After strolling down in the market, eating roasted chestnuts and buying wool socks and children’s books in German (to practice our German reading skills), it was time for lunch. Unfortunately, 2 of the restaurants we wanted to eat were closed as they usually go on holidays in October, so we went with our third choice, Restaurant Residence. The food was OK. My pumpkin soup was actually delicious. But in my opinion the food is overpriced as they serve very small portions. We sat outside because the weather was nice and we enjoy people watching.
After lunch, we headed to the Wince Cellars of the Prince of Liechtenstein. It was our lucky day. They typically close at 1pm on Saturday, but they were expecting a big group of 45 people that day so they were open and we just walked in. They originally thought we were the group, but when they realized we were not they told us they couldn’t offer us wine tasting because the group would be arriving anytime soon. We asked them to recommend us some wine for us to buy. We wanted to buy local wine, grow and produced in Liechtenstein. The ladies were super nice and helpful and when they noticed we were buying a few bottles, they invited us for a quick tasting of their sparkling wine.
All the wines we’ve tasted were quite good. They all were fairly priced and were of good quality. Their sparkling wine is made with Riesling grapes and not with Chardonnay, which is commonly used for sparkling wines production. I can recommend their Vaduzer Federweiss (Rosé) Pinot Noir 2013, a very smooth and crispy wine, which goes perfectly with mild cheeses, a light fish or even strawberries with chocolate. I’m really excited about tasting the 2012 Herawingert Pinot Noir and the 2011 Bocker Pinot Noir.
Our last stop was Vaduz Castle. The Prince resides here with his family, so touring the castle is not possible. But the castle is located up in a hill, the perfect location to snap some great pictures.
Just a stone throw away from Zurich, Liechtenstein is a perfect day trip for a sunny autumn day