Tag Archive: zurich

This blog post is long overdue, about 6 months, but there are good reasons for it. One, I just got lazy since I had been blogging so much about our travels. Second, I was putting together preparations for our move across the pond. For those that don’t know, we relocated to Amsterdam back in October, and love it. We intend on using this new location to the fullest, and travel as much as we can since many new places are a lot closer. Weekend trips to new places is something that really intrigues us. Anyway, onto the last new country we visited, Liechtenstein!

This map shows you how large Vaduz is...or how small really!

Now, I’ll first say that about 90% of my friends had never even heard of this country, let alone be able to point out on a map where the hell it’s located! Being a geography freak myself, I always wanted to visit all the tiniest countries in the world. Europe has a handful, and we’ve seen a few: Vatican City and Luxembourg. We plan in 2011 to see Andorra, Monaco and San Marino….and maybe Malta….and Cyprus. Who knows, I’m known from time to time just to go somewhere because I’m bored.

The Royal Castle of Vaduz

This visit was easy, as we were staying in Z├╝rich, and it’s only about a 1.5 hour trek over to Vaduz by train and bus. The train ride scenery was spectacular, as it glides through Eastern Switzerland which is full of mountains, waterfalls and the clearest lakes you’ll ever see. Switzerland passed an ordinance way back that allows no sewage dumping in any lake. Some of the locals say the lake water is cleaner than the tap water. Not sure if that’s true, but it sure looked like it was. We took the train for about an hour until we got to Sargans. From there, you had to catch the “Liechtenstein Bus” that would take you into Vaduz. Now many people thought we were crazy for traveling over to Vaduz for what was about 3 hours, but I can tell you now after doing it, that’s what most people do. There isn’t a whole lot to see there, but it’s worth the day trip for sure.

Watching the match in town square...hot tub for kids??

The weather was pretty dismal that day, but that never stopped us before. Vaduz is quite small, with a nice town square, some restaurants, museums, etc. The royal castle is also in town, and sits overhead the town. It was pretty cloudy that day, so we didn’t get a great view of it, but I was told we didn’t miss much as tourists are not allowed inside, as they royals still use it as their personal residence. We realized there wasn’t much to do, so we grabbed a bite to eat in town, headed over to the store to get our country magnet, and then sat in the square as many were watching a world cup match on a big screen. I assumed if the weather was better the square would’ve been packed, but oh well. One other thing we did which is customary for tourists in Vaduz is to get your passport stamped with a “tourist” stamp. Liechtenstein is part of the Schengen Zone, and doesn’t have an airport, so officially you don’t need to be stamped when you visit. The country has taken advantage of this “tourist” stamp that they give people, just to show proof that you visited the country. Well, we had to get one, and 3 euro’s later, we both had one in our passports. I’ve already been asked where I got that and “where is that place” many times, so I guess it’s a conversation starter.


Always try out the local beer....this was good...and from Hell!!

All in all it was a quick trip to Vaduz, and I’m glad we went. It really is a nice little town, but unless you’ve got extreme wealth and are trying to escape taxes, or are naturally a resident of this tiny country, there aren’t too many reasons to visit….of course unless you want that illustrious stamp!

The tourist booth....really just the place to get your famous stamp!

The 2011 travel schedule is starting to take shape, with our travels kicking off in January with a trip to Istanbul, Turkey! I plan on getting us to more countries this year than ever before, with the goal being around 18 or so, with a trip to continent #5 in the works. My old goal of reaching 50 countries before we settled down I think is a goal of the past now, and now I want to hit 75! I think we can do it, just have to work a ton before we can do so. Cheers!


If you haven’t already figure about by reading this blog that we are travel obsessed, I’m not sure what you’re reading. How many people on a vacation would visit Luxembourg….and Liechtenstein? Half of my friends had never even heard of the latter country, so that made me think of course, “this place is going to be something special.” But we’ll get to that in a bit, because this leg of the crazy trip lands us in Zurich, Switzerland. I honestly was shocked after looking at our travels in Europe thus far that we had never been to Switzerland, but had traveled to every country surrounding it. I guess we just never had a reason to go. Then again, we didn’t have one now either, but we both like to see new things, so it seemed like a good stop. We hopped our train in Luxembourg, only to find out that our direct tickets to Zurich weren’t direct, and that we had to change in Basel…good thing someone told us…in Basel…after we sat on the train for 10 minutes wondering why it was not moving. But, we made the train connection, and an hour later we were in Zurich….where once again, it was pouring!! The weather on the start of the trip was definitely a 180 compared to the weather at the end of the trip, but that was fine. We headed off to the hotel, checked in, and crashed hard.

On the train to Zurich from Luxembourg

Now, we stayed at some sort of business hotel where they kind of treat you like you’re at a B&B, but there really is no staff or regular hotel services around. Yet our room was enormous, had a full kitchen, and a deck looking over the river that flows through Zurich. Mind you, Zurich is one of the most expensive cities in all of Europe, so this hotel was a relative bargain with location and size of the room being the top factors. Anyway, we at some breakfast and then set out on the city. Zurich is pretty nice, and very upscale. Pretty easy to get around too, as most of downtown is packed into a really tiny area. There really isn’t a whole to see in Zurich, it’s just a nice city to kick back in for a couple days, eat some overpriced food, drink some overpriced beers, and buy some overpriced chocolate, which by the way, Annemarie thought took a back seat to Belgian chocolate, but I wouldn’t know. I will say this though. The stores had this one chocolate treat called a Luxembourgli, which was pretty damn good, but very rich, and I could have a few. They come in a ton of different flavors, so I figured we’d try almost all of them. Then after I realized I was paying around 1 euro per chocolate, I kicked myself for buying them in the first place. When in Rome I guess.

Along the water in Zurich

We honestly didn’t know what to see in Zurich, so when all else fails, you take the HopOn/HopOff bus tour that the city has. Zurich might have the worst city tour I’ve ever been on, and for those that know about our Salzburg tour from 4 years back, this was even more boring. There’s really just not that much to see, and the stuff they do point out, does not have a “wow” factor. Again, one of my best memories of Zurich would be getting a pretzel bread sandwich….for 8 euros! This is the equivalent of their street meat, but they overcharge like crazy for it. Why? Because their taxes are ridiculous. We were told before even getting to Zurich to not make a dinner reservation, because you’d break the bank. That was then confirmed when we spoke with some locals and said no one eats out, everyone cooks, because it’s too expensive! One thing I do enjoy in expensive cities though: car spotting. I saw quite the lineup of high end cars, and probably didn’t see a car that more than 5 years old. So for any car lover out there, Zurich is a nice spot.

Luxembourgli's for days....about 15 flavors

All in all, I’m glad we visited Zurich, but I don’t think I’d put it on anyone’s “must hit list.” And there are many other cities in Switzerland I want to visit, like Basel, Interlocken and Zermatt. I assume I’ll be back for business one day, but pleasure, I think not.