Thank you to Rail Europe for providing me with their Swiss Travel Pass! As always, all opinions are my own. This post also contains affiliate links. You can read my full disclosure policy here.While on our amazing two-week trip to Switzerland, my friend discovered that our Swiss Travel Pass from Rail Europe covered travel into Liechtenstein and asked if I was interested in going. Well, of course, I was! I want to see as much of this world as I possibly can. So, we made a day trip to Liechtenstein from Zürich, Switzerland! I can’t wait to show you all we discovered as it was so picturesque!
We took the 9:30-9:40 am train from Zürich and we were in Balzers, Lichtenstein by 10:40 am. A one-hour train ride isn’t bad at all!
We were a little surprised to find that upon arriving in Balzers that morning, there was really no one around. With only a population of around 4,600, it is a quiet little town and it was a rather dreary morning. But, this made it easy for us to get all the photos we wanted and to see the town peacefully. We were able to go at our own pace and we spent most of our time here!
We headed straight for the Gutenberg Castle. Dating back to the medieval period of the 12th century, the castle is now a museum. It is one of five castles in the country, but since it doesn’t serve as a residence to the princely family of Liechtenstein, it is open to the public. Although we didn’t go in, we did go to the top for the views!
To get there, we would trek through these beautiful vineyards. But first…
I couldn’t help but notice the path leading to the cute red table and chairs in the distance. If you’re a coffee drinker, how about that for a morning spot!
The grapes looked good!
The view of the vineyards from the top just before we got to the castle…
and the view on the other side with the chapel. So quaint!
St Peter’s Chapel
This is the path we had to take from the castle down to the chapel. Not sure why, but thoughts of enchanted forests and Disney princess movies were coming to mind here!
At the end of the little “enchanted forest” path, we found the chapel. I particularly love the steeple clock!
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Be sure to go inside, it’s free…
and hopefully, someone will be playing the pipe organ! Its sound was amazing!
After we finished up in Balzers, we hopped on the bus and took a 20-minute ride into the capital city of Vaduz.
This is the Old Building of Parliament. Notice its very unique roof with the chevron pattern!
The building on the right with the upside-down V-shaped roof is the New Parliament Building. If you look at the top of the photo, you will see the back of Vaduz Castle. It is the palace and residence of The Prince of Liechtenstein. For this reason, you can’t go inside, but you can go up to get photos of the views of the city; however, we didn’t do this because it was unfortunately very cloudy at that time. Thank you to @kevinandamanda for this photo!
Lunch at New Castle
We had lunch at New Castle. You can look up from New Castle and also see Vaduz Castle!
They offered a daily choice of two menus that both included soup or salad…
and then an entree. Obviously, I went with the spaghetti! Both it and the soup were fantastic!
After we finished lunch, I grabbed the usual items I collect on my travels which include such things as Christmas ornaments (or things I can use as Christmas ornaments-see below for other interesting items). On the way, I passed these steps that lead to the New Parliament Building. I found them interesting because I feel like it’s one of those things where if you stare at it for 30 seconds or longer, you will see something else pop out! That could just be me though. 😉
After souvenir shopping, we caught the bus back to the train station and the train back to Zürich where we still had a few hours to explore before sunset!
Last Thing…or Things
- The Swiss Travel Pass from Rail Europe will cover travel into Liechtenstein.
- You don’t actually need your passport to travel between Switzerland and Liechtenstein because they are both Schengen states. Definitely bring it though because you will most likely need to present ID with your ticket once on the train.
- You don’t get a passport stamp when crossing from one Schengen state into another, but you can visit the Tourist Center in Vaduz and get a souvenir passport stamp for 3 Swiss Francs or 3 Euro. If you’re like me and you collect passport stamps, this is golden! You can also purchase postage stamps there too (another thing I collect).
This photo sums up how I felt about my day in Liechtenstein!
Day trips like this are easy and fun and I’m grateful to have had the chance because, if I’m being honest, I’m not sure when I would have otherwise gotten to see Liechtenstein!
Be sure to check out my other day trip from Zürich to Stein am Rhein and Rhine Falls!
‘Til next time…
Leave a Reply - I Love Comments!
Judy Howell says
Beautiful pictures and views!
Yvonne Brunger says
I would love to know more about where you found the information for the train travel. I am looking to go to lictchtenstein in November and would like some advice about travelling from Zurich.
Hi Yvonne, our train travel was the Swiss Travel Pass from Rail Europe. You can choose how many days you want or need. It includes buses, trains, boats, and some museums in Switzerland. It also included travel into Lichtenstein. We went into Balzers and Vaduz. Easy day trip from Zürich! 🙂
Pedro Henriques says
Very interesting article. I will be in Zurich in ealy December and could be a good opportunity to visit Vaduz. Thank you for the tips.
Thank you Pedro! I hope you get to go! It’s really easy to get to and such a cool, little town! Thanks for reading! 🙂
Hi Heather! I’m planning a Switzerland trip in May, and it looks like you visited a lot of the same destinations I’d like to see. Would you mind sharing your itinerary with us? I’d love to say how you spaced it out, and how much time you allotted for each place. Thanks!
Hi Sarah! Of course! I’d be more than happy to share! I will shoot you an email. Thanks for reading and asking! 🙂
Janet Hall says
Hi Heather – Would you mind sharing your itinerary with me too? We are planning our trip now for a week in Switzerland in late September. We’ll be following your lead for Liechtenstein.
Hi Janet, of course, I would be happy to share my itinerary with you! You will absolutely LOVE Switzerland!! Thanks for reading and reaching out! 🙂
Chris Beh says
I am planning on getting the Swiss Half Fare pass and would you have any idea if we can use this on SBB train to reach Liechtenstein from Zurich on a day trip and which station do we get off.
Enjoyed reading your blog and thanks
Hi Chris! I’m not sure if the Swiss Half Fare pass is valid for travel into Liechtenstein. What I’ve read suggests it is maybe only valid for buses in Liechtenstein. I know the Swiss Travel Pass is valid for train travel there. I’m going to email you a link to some information that will hopefully help. Thank you so much for reading, I appreciate it and I hope you have a great trip to Switzerland, it’s beautiful! 🙂
Patricia Hbayter says
Please can you send me too itinerary and the link that shows that transpo from switzerland to liechtenstein is included?
Hi Patricia-My itinerary is in this post with some further details in the comments above. Here is the network map and the first section in the legend is what’s included in the Swiss Travel Pass (the only type of pass I can vouch for as that’s what I used). The yellow line goes into Liechtenstein and is included, unlimited travel. Also this page speaks more to the validity of exceptions to other countries covered by the Swiss Travel Pass. Hope this helps! Thanks for reading! 🙂
Thanks for sharing your travels! Liechtenstein looks beautiful, and we’ve decided to make a stop there from Zurich. I have a global eurail pass, and have been unable to find the train tickets online. Did you go to the train station directly to book it? Thanks!
Hi Kimberly! Thank you for reading about my travels! 🙂 I’m so glad you’ve decided to go to Liechtenstein as it’s beautiful and such an easy trip from Zurich! We didn’t have to make reservations actually. With the Swiss Travel Pass, since it covered travel into Liechtenstein, we could just board the train and sit in any open seat. I don’t know much about the Global Eurail Pass, but that looks to also be from Rail Europe? If so, is Liechtenstein a country included on that pass? If it is, you might be able to do the same thing. Here is a link to the Rail Europe FAQ and look under the question “Can I have unlimited travel onboard trains in the countries that are on your Rail Pass”. In addition, see #2 on this link for seat reservations. Hopefully this helps, if not, I recommend emailing them! Thanks again for reading! 🙂
Thankyou for this brilliant write up.It is of great help to those who want to visit Liechtenstein. I will be travelling to Switzerland in June 2018. I wanted to know if it is possible to do a half day tour to Liechtenstein from Zurich. Which month did you travel in? We want to leave from Zurich at around 11.00am and be back by 5.00 pm. We have the Swill rail pass. Could you please suggest a half day itinerary from Zurich to Liechtenstein. How long was the trek to Gutenberg castle?
Hi Amn! It is possible to do a half day tour to Liechtenstein from Zurich depending on how much time you want to spend in Liechtenstein and if you want to see more than one city. We did two cities (Balzers and Vaduz) and were gone from 9:30ish to between 4-5pm I think. But like I said we did two cities, explored and had a sit-down lunch without hurry. Depending on your preferences, you could narrow it down to a half day or 4-5 hours maybe. If you are really tight on time, I would suggest picking 1 city (Balzers is closer and where the castle is) and returning to Zurich. That’s quite easily doable in your timeframe. As far as the Gutenberg, it wasn’t a far walk from the bus station. We wandered slowly, taking photos, etc. Even so, I want to say that it was maybe a 15 min walk? Somewhere in that ballpark. Oh and we went in the month of August! Hope this helps and thanks for reading! 🙂
Thankyou so much Heather ….
Appreciate your informative message.
It will be of great help to plan our trip. ☺
You’re so welcome! I’m glad I can help! 🙂
I checked the route and trains in SBB and we have decided to take the 11:37 am train from from Zurich.
The plan given in SBB is
11:37 am train from Zurich
HB platform 8 to Sargans platform 5.
Then take a bus from Sargans Bahnhof platform B to Balzers.
After enjoying Balzers if we have enough time we will take the bus to Vaduz(as suggested in your blog)
I wanted to know if this route and plan is correct?
Is the bus from Sargans to Balzers and then the bus from Balzers to Vaduz covered in the Swiss travel pass.
I am hoping that the two places in Sargans, where we get down from the train and from where we have to take the bus are nearby.
On our way back will follow the same.
Hi Amn, Your itinerary sounds like the one we took (or one similar since our times were earlier). I will be honest in that I don’t remember the different platforms names/numbers/letters, so I can’t swear by those. However, the flow of the route you listed does sound right. I would just check maybe at the train station or even possibly the concierge of your hotel. As to your question of if your Liechtenstein bus travel is covered by the Swiss Travel Pass, that answer is yes (unless something has changed recently)! Hope this helps and you have a great trip! 🙂
I haven’t got a ticket yet but i want to go from zurich to leichtenstein. Can you get one day tickets? And is that still only an hour travel time? Is it direct to a central location?
Hi Michelle, I can’t imagine not being able to get one-day tickets (I assume you mean buying them at the train station when you arrive to travel there), but since we had the Swiss Travel Pass and didn’t have to get one-day tickets, I can’t say for sure. Yes, travel time is around an hour, give or take. As far as direct to a central location, not exactly. Whether you are going to Balzers or Vaduz (the only two cities I can vouch for), there is bus travel involved. Not long or far at all though. I would suggest looking at the train schedules to get definite answers on the tickets. Hope this helps and thanks for reading! 🙂
Evon Mun says
Hi! From St. Peter Chapel to Vaduz bus can use Swiss Pass or need to buy another bus ticket? Many thanks:)
Hi Evon, at the time of our trip, the Swiss Travel Pass included bus travel to Vaduz. I have not heard differently, but you might want to double check to be sure! Thanks for reading! 🙂
Evon Mun says
Alright got it Heather 🙂 One more question, at the time you just hop in the train/bus no need any pre-book or seat reservation ?
Hi Evon, yes that is correct. At the time of our trip, we just hopped on the bus without prebooking reservations or seats as it was considered a local/regional train. I do believe it’s still the same as I just checked the FAQ page. You do need reservations for the highspeed trains, overnight trains or scenic trains though. Just to be sure I’m including the FAQ link to the Swiss Travel Pass here. Go to this link and scroll down to the questions “Must I make reservations even though I have a rail pass?” and “Which trains are covered by the Swiss Pass?” See what you think? 🙂
Symone Dolai says
Thanks for your blog. I have read many reviews about tours to Liechtenstein and unfortunately they all say that they only got 30-45 mins there with their tour and I’d like to see more at my own pace so I will plan to just go on my own by train and bus. Unfortunately I have already booked a guesthouse that only allows for check in after 3pm and since there is no actual receptionist and it’s all done by key this means I will have to bring my cabin roller bag with me. Do you know if there are any luggage lockers at the train station in Zurich that I can check in my bag and collect when I return to Zurich?
Hi Symone, I didn’t have the need for luggage storage so I don’t know a whole lot about it, but according to the Zurich train station website, they do have lockers. Hopefully, you can find out the info you need here. Glad you will have more time on your own to explore Liechtenstein. Thanks for reading! 🙂
Symone Dolai says
Sorry another question. Do you happen to know if I buy individual tickets for the trains and buses do I have to pay in cash for the buses or will they accept credit cards like the buses in London?
Hi Symone, no problem! 🙂 I had the Swiss Travel Pass since I was in Switzerland for 16 days, but I do think you can buy individual tickets. There are plenty of times people need to only go one way or one destination round-trip. I can’t imagine not being able to use major credit cards. I saw ticket machines and would think this would be the way it worked. However, I am not for certain since I didn’t have to do that. Hopefully the station website can help with this too! Thanks for reading! 🙂
Reza Abdul razik says
So glad to find your blog and sharing about Liechtenstein. Me and my wife are planning to visit Zurich in December, and I will absolutely add Liechtenstein to my list…but…I need your opinion… can we still get the beauty of Liechtenstein in winter? …would mind share your itinerary with us? Thanks Heather
Hi Reza-Thank you, I’m so glad you find it helpful. What is laid out in the post was my actual itinerary but it was in the month of August. As to how it looks in the winter, I’m not sure as I’ve never been other than the one time in August. I imagine if there’s no snow it will look somewhat the same as it was a gray day when we went. If there’s snow everywhere, then it will look different so you’ll have to think about if you like snowy/wintry scenes like that. I do but not everyone does. Hope that helps some anyway and thanks for reading! 🙂
Len Shefford says
Great blog (and the others).
We have 3 spare days in Zurich in July and after reading your blog the idea of a trip to Balzers and Vaduz in Liechtenstein really appeals.
I note you say the trip up to the Gutenberg Castle wasn’t far from the bus stop but I wonder how steep it is (we are in mid seventies and not real fit). If necessary, is there a road up to the top where we could catch a cab and then stroll back down the path you mention from the castle to the chapel?
I read somewhere that going through Sargans is also a convenient way of getting from Vaduz to Zurich. Do you think there would there be any problems with the Swiss Travel Pass going via Balzers on the way there, and through Sargans on the way back?
Thanks for your insights
Hi Len-First, thank you so much for your kind words. They are very much appreciated! Second, to try to answer your questions. 1) If I remember correctly, you can’t drive all the way up there. We walked from the bus stop, but I think there is a small base parking lot that is closer, but it still involves a walk up. How far or steep that part of the walk is, I don’t recall. I don’t remember any of it being overly tiring (and I was 54 pounds heavier and out of shape then), but I don’t want to misrepresent it either. 2) As far as the Swiss Travel Pass, yes it should cover those routes. It covers travel in Switzerland and Liechtenstein (buses there too). Just for peace of mind, I would check this against the Rail Europe website for the Swiss Travel Pass. I think that is a fabulous way to spend one of your extra days. They are both charming, little towns! Hope this helps at least give you an idea and thanks for reading! 🙂
Paul Lim says
I I arrive on 5th November morning in Zurich ETA 7:30
1. is it possible to join the day trip with my luggage?
2. Can I get off a Dornbirn instead of going back to Zurich?
Hi Paul-If you are arriving at 7:30 in the morning you should be okay to do a day trip (especially on your own) to Liechtenstein. You might get leave to return later than we did, but that’s okay. As far as Dornbirn…are you talking about Austria? I haven’t been to Dornbirn and only returned to Zurich on that trip. Judging from the map, it looks to be around the same distance as Zurich (in the opposite direction) but if you are using the Swiss Travel Pass (which will work in Liechtenstein)…that won’t be valid in Austria and therefore transportation info and tips in my post isn’t going to apply on your way out. I hope that makes sense and helps some even though I haven’t been to Dornbirn. Thanks for reading! 🙂
Joanne Mizzi says
I will be staying in Switzerland for 5 days in December, and will have a rented car. Is it possible to travel and cross the border from Switzerland to Leichtenstein?
Are there any border checks and if yes what do you need to have apart from passport. I am an EU citizen Malta .
Thank you so much for your helpful tips
Hi Joanne-I have only taken the train from Zürich, Switzerland to Liechtenstein so I can’t honestly answer the car question. I can’t imagine not being able to drive over the border, but I just don’t know for that reason and because I don’t know what cities in Switzerland and Liechtenstein you are coming from and heading to. I imagine you only need your passport since you are an EU citizen, but I would recommend checking the requirements for your country online. If you do want to take the train as a day trip, the Swiss Travel Pass covers travel into Liechtenstein and the details are above in this post. Let me know if you have any other questions and thanks for reading! 🙂
What a great idea for a day trip. It looks like a FAIRY TALE! We would love to do this someday. Thanks for the idea!
Hi Mikkel-It is a really cool day trip and definitely fairytale-like with the castles! Hope you get to go one day and thanks for reading! 🙂
Love your post and it has got me excited about visiting Liechtenstein… Btw what month of the year you visited ? I am planning a trip in late April so wondering what the weather will look like. Also I would like to hear your thoughts on visiting Wengen, Murren, Grindelwald and Gimmelwald in Late April . I am hoping to get some beautiful scenery, meadows and just tranquil trip.
Hi Bhavi-I’m so glad you liked the post. Liechtenstein is a gorgeous, small hidden gem that makes a fantastic day trip from Switzerland for sure. I went in the month of August and would love to go back in winter. As far as those places you mentioned, I actually haven’t been to any of them so I can’t vouch but I also can’t imagine going to any part of Switzerland at any time of year and not having beautiful scenery, meadows, and tranquility. Please check all the places I’ve been to in Switzerland to help guide you if you visit any of them. Thanks so much for reading! 🙂