What to do in Liechtenstein

Most tourist sights appear to be either in Vaduz or Malbun, unless you know where to look. The information on the various villages can give you a good idea of the many other sights that are available.

The Biedermann House in SchellenbergStarting in the north of the country, in the Unterland, Schellenberg offers a wealth of history, having been the capital of the Duchy of Schellenberg, one of the two countries that were joined to form the modern Liechtenstein. Why not visit the Biedermann House, reported to be the oldest house in Liechtenstein, and converted into a museum to show how Liechtensteiners lived in centuries gone by.

You could also visit the ruins of the fort in Schellenberg. This is where the Knights of Schellenberg ruled their country. Most of the walls still stand, and give a good impression of the layout of the fort.

Earlier remains exist in Nendeln, where the foundations of a Roman villa have been uncovered. Go up the hill to the primary school, where the foundations are free to view.

Eschen, Mauren and Bendern all have interesting centres with old historic buildings. All the villages in the Unterland also provide ideal starting points for walks, especially around the Eschnerberg which dominates the area.

Moving South, Schaan - the largest village has some great sporting facilities, and Dux, an area overlooking the village offers fantastic vistas and a peaceful location for many sports, and an ideal starting point for mountain walks.

The castle of Vaduz - icon of the countryVaduz is the most touristic village in Liechtenstein, so if you don't have much time in Liechtenstein, and want to be a tourist - Vaduz is the place to go. The castle dominates the village, and there is a path to walk up to the castle from village centre, though please note that the castle is not open to the public, and there are no facilities available at the castle.

Most of the country's museums are in Vaduz and are easy to visit as they are in a tight area in the centre. If you want to walk from Vaduz, there are paths into the mountain - for example past the castle and into Triesenberg, or to the older castle in Vaduz - The Wildschloss or wild castle, which is about two hours walk from Vaduz. For those people who are more adventurous, why not take a bus to other villages?

Triesen and Triesenberg offer visitors picturesque village centres and wonderful views. The centres are full of old houses and restaurants that are well worth visiting. Triesenberg also offers great access to the mountains, especially in its outlining villages of Gaflei, Masecha, Steg and, of course Malbun.

Malbun is a village that has grown for tourism, but it doesn't feel like an Alpine Costa-del-Sol, the development has been sympathetic to the area, even if it has taken off in previous years. Take a trip up the chairlift to Sareis, and if you are up to it, walk back down the track to the village centre (Sareis offers a chance to refresh yourself, or to get some Dutch courage).

In the south of the country, Balzers is dominated by its castle which is open to the public at certain times.

Monster concert - one of the highlights of Fasnacht celebrationIf you want to visit the country to enjoy a party, there are two main times each year that you won't go wrong. In February the country goes absolutely mad celebrating Fasnacht which is the beginning of Lent - ending on Shrove Tuesday. The final week is normally the wildest - bars and restaurants are normally heavily decorated and themed (there is usually a surcharge on the price of drinks to pay for this), and there are masquerade balls throughout the area. It is not unusual to see dishevelled costumed partygoers heading home on the early morning buses after the night before.

Another party in the country is the national holiday on the 15th August. Vaduz is transformed into a tressle-table city, with impromptu bars and food outlets setting up to service the party goers. Music is played on various stages around the village to entertain the public, and the whole event culminates in a giant firework display from the castle.