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Liechtenstein might be small, but it packs a punch. You can easily spend a few days in this tiny alpine nation without seeing everything.

We’ve already written a post about whether Liechtenstein is worth visiting, so now, we want to help you plan your trip. While the country has a lot to offer, we are aware that not everyone has the time or money to stay there for multiple days.

In that case, your best option is a day trip to Liechtenstein from Zurich.

There are no direct trains from Zurich to Liechtenstein, but the trains bring you right up to the border, and you can easily continue by bus from there. Altogether, it only takes around 90-120 minutes, which leaves you with plenty of time to explore the mountains.

Keep reading to figure out everything you need to know for your Liechtenstein day trip from Zurich!


Quick steps:

  • Take a train from Zurich to Sargans or Buchs.
  • From either Sargans or Buchs, take a bus to Vaduz in Liechtenstein. Google Maps has the bus schedule.

Are you in a rush and still need to book your trip? Then check out these useful resources.

Want to join a guided tour? This tour stops in Vaduz and explores parts of Switzerland as well.

Zurich to Liechtenstein day trip

Where is Liechtenstein

View of Liechtenstein from Triesenberg

When we talked about our trip to Liechtenstein to our friends and colleagues, their reaction was: “Where is Liechtenstein?” or “Is Liechtenstein a country? Really?”.

Yes, Liechtenstein is a country, and a pretty wealthy one, too. It’s wedged in between Switzerland and Austria, and only measures around 25 kilometres from north to south. From east to west, it’s even smaller.

The Rhine flows through Liechtenstein from south to north, forming a natural border with Switzerland, and most of the population lives in the Rhine Valley. To the east, the Alps rise up, where you can explore some villages nestled into the mountains.

Wooden hearts in the Walser Museum

Liechtenstein has close relations with Switzerland. They’re in a customs union, meaning that you can cross the border without any checkpoints. The currency of Liechtenstein is the Swiss Franc, which makes it extra convenient if you’re visiting from Zurich.

The country is so small that it doesn’t have an airport, so there are no flights to Liechtenstein. The closest big international airport is Zurich. To make up for it, Liechtenstein has an extensive bus network and excellent train connections from just across the border.

How to get to Liechtenstein from Zurich

Houses and church in Steg village

The distance from Zurich to Liechtenstein is only around 100 kilometres (80 kilometres by straight line, a bit more than 100 kilometres if you’re driving or taking a train).

You have multiple options for getting there.

The easiest and most flexible one is to rent a car. It only takes a bit more than an hour to reach Liechtenstein, and the car makes it easy to get around during the day. The downside is that you need to pay for a rental car and gas, which might be more expensive than the train.

Our preferred way of going would be to take a train from Zurich to Liechtenstein, or rather to Liechtenstein’s border.

Burg Gutenberg behind a house

You have two options: taking a train to Sargans or Buchs. Some people find Sargans easier. Others say that Buchs might be a bit better connected. It doesn’t really matter, and you can just base it on whatever connection works best for you.

From Sargans or Buchs, you can then take a bus to Liechtenstein.

We recommend using Google Maps. It has up-to-date information on bus lines and schedules, so it is helpful for planning your trip.

The last option is joining a Liechtenstein tour from Zurich. Your options are limited, but you could check out this tour. It leaves from Zurich and takes you to Vaduz and to Heidiland in Switzerland. Unfortunately, that means you won’t see some of the other amazing places in Liechtenstein, but you’ll at least get a short taste of the country.

What to do in Liechtenstein

#1 Explore Vaduz

Street in the city centre of Vaduz

The first stop on your day trip from Zurich to Liechtenstein will be Vaduz. Is Vaduz worth visiting?

Well, it’s the country’s transportation hub, and it has a few sights. That means you should spend a little bit of time there, so we personally believe that the most beautiful sights of Liechtenstein are to be found elsewhere.

One of the coolest places is the Red House. It’s an old house with a vineyard in front of it, which looks very cute.

In the centre of Vaduz, you can find a pedestrian zone. We spent some time walking from one end to another, and it’s a great place to grab an ice cream or a coffee. This is also where you can find most of the city’s museums, though if you only have one day in Liechtenstein, we recommend skipping them.

Front side of the Red House in Vaduz, surrounded by bushes

One museum that you could take a quick look at, if you want to, is the post museum. It’s an interesting place where you can see many different stamps from Liechtenstein. Plus, entrance is free, so it won’t feel like a waste if you leave again quickly.

If you want to get a better overview of Vaduz and have good timing, you might be able to catch the small train that drives through the city. It brings you past the main sights, and the audio commentary is great for learning about the country.

Don’t expect anything outstanding, and we’re still unsure whether the train is actually worth the money, but it’s a decent option if you’re short on time.


#2 Vaduz Castle

View of Vaduz from a viewpoint

The main attraction in Vaduz is Vaduz Castle, which towers above the town. Getting there is a bit of a hike, and you can’t go inside, but it’s a lovely sight.

If you’re visiting in 2023, be prepared for disappointment. Due to extensive renovation work, the castle is hidden under scaffolding until at least December 2023. Don’t worry, though, there are lots of other things to do in Liechtenstein.

Along the way, you’ll come past a viewpoint from where you can take nice pictures of Vaduz. Check out the exact location on Google Maps to make sure you don’t miss it.

Once you’re done taking pictures of the castle and enjoying the view, continue your Liechtenstein day trip by heading back into the city centre.


#3 Triesenberg

Houses in Triesenberg

Triesenberg is one of my favourite places to visit in Liechtenstein. Its location higher up in the mountains offers great viewpoints from where you can see the whole Rhine Valley.

If you’ve got a car, it’s very easy to get here, but you might need to search a bit for parking. In case you’re coming by public transport, take bus number 21 from Vaduz.

Walking around and searching for the best view of the Rhine is one of the most fun activities in Triesenberg. You can also find some cafes and restaurants with a terrace and a nice view, where you can enjoy a drink or a piece of cake.

Another option is to visit the Walser Museum, where you can learn about the Walser people. This ethnic group originally came from the Wallis region of Switzerland and settled in Triesenberg in the 1300s.

Entry to the museum includes a short video about the Walser (also available in English) and an exhibition with items of daily use.


#4 Steg

View of a path nexto to Steg lake

The last stop on your Liechtenstein itinerary is Steg. Bus 21 goes here from Triesenberg, or you can easily drive if you have a car.

Steg is a cute alpine village with lots of meadows, cows, traditional houses, and mountain views. If you still have enough energy, you can go for a hike along the Gänglesee, a beautiful turquoise lake.

Or you can stay at the Stausee, another lake which is a bit closer to Steg, and head to a cafe afterwards.

Once you’re done exploring Steg, it’s time to make your way back to Vaduz, from where you can return to Zurich.

Don’t leave the country without trying Käsknöpfle, the national dish of Liechtenstein. It’s a dish similar to pasta, topped with cheese and fried onion and served with apple puree.


How to get to Zurich from Liechtenstein

Two houses on a field in Steg

Unfortunately, your Liechtenstein trip is already coming to an end. One day is not enough to explore the whole country, but we think that our itinerary at least covers the highlights you shouldn’t miss.

If you have more time, or if you’re going by car and want to make one last stop on your way home, consider stopping by Burg Gutenberg in Balzers.

Once again, this castle is mostly closed to visitors, but it’s very impressive from the outside and makes for a fun detour if you haven’t seen enough of Liechtenstein yet.

To get back to Zurich, you need to go back the exact same way you came. Either you drive for a bit more than an hour, or you take a bus to Buchs or Sargans in Switzerland and then catch a train to Zurich.

Practical information

Best time to visit Liechtenstein

View of Burg Gutenberg on top of a hill

While you can do a Liechtenstein day trip at any time of the year, we loved visiting the country in early summer.

The weather was great, the alpine meadows were full of flowers, and there weren’t too many tourists yet.

Summer, in general, is a good season, as you have the best chance of sunshine. July and August are also high season, so expect things to be a bit more expensive and to see crowds of tourists in Vaduz.

Late spring and early autumn, from mid-May to mid-June and throughout September, are also great. You will see fewer people, and you still have a chance of decent weather.

In winter, days are much shorter, so you won’t have as much time to explore. Plus, you can expect rainy days in the valley. On the bright side, you will likely experience snow as you head into the mountains, which can be very beautiful.

How to get around Liechtenstein

Mountains and hills in Liechtenstein

As we mentioned above, you can follow this itinerary if you have a rental car, but you can also use public transport.

Despite being small, Liechtenstein has an excellent bus network – much better than many cities and countries we have visited.

We found it easiest to use Google Maps to look up connections. Just enter your starting point and where you want to go, and you can see the best connections. You can also change the departure or arrival time if you want to plan ahead.

Another alternative is to look on the LieMobil website, where you can look up connections and get information on fares. You can buy your ticket from the driver when you hop on the bus.

If you go from Zurich to Liechtenstein by car, you will have no problems travelling around the country. The roads are in excellent condition, and driving in Liechtenstein is fairly straightforward.

Just like in Switzerland and the other Central European countries, locals drive on the right side of the road.

Is Liechtenstein worth visiting?

View of the entire Old Rhine Bridge

As you’re planning your trip to Liechtenstein, you might be wondering if the country is even worth visiting.

The quick answer to this is yes, as long as you keep in mind that it’s not a cheap destination. But then again, you’re already in Zurich, and we didn’t find Liechtenstein more expensive than Switzerland.

If you want to see the long answer, you should check out our posts about whether or not Liechtenstein is worth visiting.

We hope you now have a good overview of how to get to Liechtenstein and how best to spend the time on your day trip.

If you’ve already been, leave us a comment below to let us know what you loved most.

Also, while you’re here, you should check out our other posts about Liechtenstein and Switzerland that you will find helpful for planning your trip:

Until your next adventure!

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Ilona is a world traveller passionate about sharing her experiences and giving advice to fellow travellers. Having visited over 70 countries, she is always excited about her next trip.

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