Liechtenstein: Small Country with a Big Heart

December 3, 2013

During our recent visit to Europe we visited a small country between Austria and Switzerland named Liechtenstein - a country of 160 square kilometre area and about 36,000 people living there. This small, green and beautiful country surrounded by snow clad Alphes on one side and gracefully flowing river Rhine on other side is one of the best tourist attractions. Though the country is small it is one of the richest with a high GDP rate and people say their heart is big and they welcome tourists with real big heart.

Everything here is impressive - the most beaufiful landscapes, vibrant culture, friendly locals, various entertainment centres and museums, charming villages, neat vineyards, attractive houses, historical forts and castles and unforgettable joyride trains along with comfortable and present climate - all these make a visit to this country a memorable one.

This small country consists of 11 muncipalities and one Princepality that is Government. Each one has it’s own speciality. The capital city is Vaduz always bustling with tourists. This country has been always a peace loving, non-violent one without any effect of wars. It was ruled by Royal families and has a history of more than seven centuries. A graceful Royal Castle seen from all corners of Vaduz is the symbol of dignity of the Royal ruler who stays there. The castle has a variety of princely Royal collections from various places of Europe and the world preserved carefully. The Government of Liechtstein is controlled by royal rule in a democratic way which is liked and appreciated by the citizens, with their participation. On 15th of August 2004 reigning Prince Hans-Adam II transferred his sovereign rights to his eldest son Prince Alois and appointed him as his representative. We were really surprised to know that August 15th is the national day of Liechtstein and celebrated with enthusiasm like we in India celebrate Independence Day on the same date. What a coincidence! Largest democracy in the world, India and a very small free country in Europe celebrating their joy of freedom on the same day!

Why this tiny country is so popular with tourists is to been seen and experienced. There are many museums, theatres, art galleries, many heritage buildings like the one called “Red House”, considered to be the oldest house in the world and maintained very neatly. Every season of the year there is some feastival, carnival, fair or some exihibitions going on. Residential areas are so attractive with beautifully maintained gardens with blossoming flowers.

For adventure lovers there are plenty of opportunities for skiing, trekking, river rafting, hiking and para gliding etc. Football is very popular here and the team from this country is doing very well in European tournaments.

Another important and interesting feature of this country which we noticed is the simplicity and concern by which the Royal Family and people of Liechtstein mingle. Many a time the Royal Prince comes out to the street and mixes with the citizens and exchanges and discusses matters/problems openly. No security or formalities. There are 25 parlimentarians elected to the Government for four years in a democratic method. All of them are from different sections of the community and common men.

Local transport is very well managed by bus, train and it is free. Secondary Education is free and there is an assured social security for the people.

A very interesting incident happened during our visit. While we were travelling on a city sight seeing tour by a joyride train, we found the train driver was very jolly and cordial, showing the city/country with pride. When I asked him what his profession was he said simply 'showing you my country' and that he was the driver/owner of the train! Later on he casually told me that he is also an elected parliamentarian and part of the Government. Further he would call my wife ‘Bhabhi’ and greet us with the Indian style ‘Namaste!’ with folded hands! My wife and I requested him to give us a pose for a photograph, which he obliged with cheer.

We were most delighted by this gentleman Daniel Real and wonder even to day that we can see such surprises and wonders in the world! During our tour we saw a few wonders of the worlds like Eifel Tower, Leaning Tower and Colossium in Rome but the real wonder in Europe as well as the world according to us is Mr Real of Vaduz, from Liechtstein indeed!

We could see Independence in India for over 60 years but we are more impressed by seeing a small country like Leichtstein which celebrates Independence on the same day, 15th August, with so much progress and concern for their own country and people as well as for those who visit them.

This country will be definitely remembered by us as the 'smallest country with the biggest heart in the world' for many reasons.

Travel tips

How to reach: Vaduz is located between Austria and Switzerland and conneted very well by Expressways, trains and air.

Weather is very comfortable through out the year. But springtime is best.

Stay: Good economy hotels in Liechtstein and nearby Austria.

Language: German
Currency: Swiss Francs and Euro

We travelled through Thomas Cook India and enjoyed this tour to the fullest.


Ramadas Acharya Archives:



By Ramadas Acharya
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Comment on this article

  • John DSouza, Mangalore

    Fri, Dec 06 2013

    In fact, we also have a very big heart but it is polluted due to the size and situation of our country. If we try to clean the air around us, we can have a beautiful and healthy heart to welcome the world.

  • Ramadas Acharya, Udupi/Pune

    Thu, Dec 05 2013

    Dear Kurt,Thank you very much for your kind compliments.Travelling is a real thrill and fun.To be with nature and people all over the world is a great experience.Sharing one's experience with others gives more satisfaction than just visiting the place.
    Thank you very much.

  • kurt, waschnig

    Wed, Dec 04 2013

    What a wonderful article! I visited Liechtenstein 5times in my life, my last visit was 15 years ago. Staying in Liechtenstein was always a pleasure, a small country, well organised and managed, green and clean environment, friendly and nice people, a stable democracy. Liechtenstein seems to be the forgotten corner of Europe tucked in between Switzerland and Austria., this beautiful country is often overlooked, despite being more than a fair match for its neighbors. I visited Liechtenstein during summer and met hikers and cyclists who traversed the stunning mountain ranges or valleys, while in winter these same areas offer skiing, ice skating and sledging.
    Pretty villages with quaint chapels dot the land, while the capital Vaduz, with its stunning hilltop castle has plenty of history, and shops, to explore. And one shall not forget, with its intrinsic links to Switzerland and low tax, Liechtenstein´s population is one of the most prosperous in the world. One can visit the Postage Stamp Museum, the National Library, the Ski Museum and the National Museum and the Liechtenstein Art Museum contain works by Rembrandt, Rubens and Van Dyck. All that can be visited in the capital Vaduz.
    And the nature and the landscape are beautiful. It is a great experience to cycle in the valleys and lower-lying areas there are 56miles of cycling trails on both sides of the River Rhine.
    Liechtenstein is a beautiful and wonderful democracy with cultivated and educated people, very friendly and hospitable.
    Dear Ramadas Acharya, you made me smile and dreamy. Thank you!

    Best regards

    Kurt Waschnig Oldenburg/Germany


  • Jacob Mendonsa, Bangalore

    Wed, Dec 04 2013

    Dear DW readers,
    I have visited these countries,including France,Germany & Italy 25 years ago. We have traveled through one of the best lit longest Tunnel of Austria.The writer mentioned that Royal Prince of Austria is mixing with locals to discuss the problems. Dear Readers,How many of our MLAs & MPs mix with us & discuss the problems we face? Once they r elected, they think that they r GOD.Plenty of Security behind them to waste our Country's imported fuel.Once in Mangalore one of our MP came to the reception to one of my friend's wedding in Kinnigoli.I wanted to meet him after the function as he was sitting in the front row.To my surprise this MP disappeared within 10 minutes after the function just started.They r least bothered about our problems.Shame on our Corrupt Politicians,who have ruined our Country.Probably they have looted more than the Britishers, for the last 66 years.

  • clvie, Kuwait

    Wed, Dec 04 2013

    Thank you Sir for sharing your article with all DW readers. Very informative.

  • avani, mlore

    Tue, Dec 03 2013

    Few more facts : 1.It is the country without any military of its own on any of its borders!!
    2. In spite of being so small, per capita income is one of the highest in the world. (Lot of European industries have HO here as it is very corporate friendly with least taxes).

  • R.Bhandarkar, M'lore

    Tue, Dec 03 2013

    Everything mind blowing. Nicely written including Travel Tips..but most important question, many
    like me would want to ask...
    How do you 'Tip' Thomas Cook India?
    Baab Josephaa...
    Devu Zaalo...
    Kurlo Zaalo...
    Sachin Zaalo...
    Acharya 'Ailo' Re!!

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