If you’ve been reading my posts about Liechtenstein, you’ll already know I fell hard for this miniature country.
I loved it so much! Liechtenstein offers up excellent hiking, beautiful scenery, clean air, and a surprising amount of things to do for such a small place. Well, if you like being outside, that is.
I subsequently recommend making the effort to visit Liechtenstein and allocating at least a couple of days for exploring.
When don’t I recommend heading there? When you’re on a budget! This country is expensive. Which is what this blog post is all about. Today, I’m excited to be sharing how much it costs to travel in Liechtenstein, as well as how to save money while you’re there.
What’s Included in This Post
As always, this budget breakdown covers how much I spent on accommodation, transportation, activities, food, and other miscellaneous items while I was in the country.
I haven’t included my transportation into and out of Liechtenstein, as this will vary based on where you’ll be arriving from. There isn’t an airport to fly into so you’ll most likely be travelling in and out by bus from/to either Switzerland or Austria. I bought a return train+bus ticket between Zurich Airport and Vaduz and paid 90 CHF for the trip.
My expenses in this guide are listed in Swiss Francs (the local currency in Liechtenstein) and converted into Euros. For my American readers, CHF is pretty much 1:1 with the U.S. dollar at the moment.
I don’t accept comps or press trips, so everything listed in this post is something I paid for with my own money. This guide, therefore, does contain affiliate links. If you decide to make a purchase through one of the links in this article, I receive a commission at no additional cost to you. Your support is what keeps me on the road and Never Ending Footsteps sponsor-free.
Okay — let’s get started with these expenses.
The Cost of Accommodation in Liechtenstein
If you’re expecting Liechtenstein to be expensive, start wincing, because it’s probably going to be even more expensive than that.
If you’re going to be travelling on a budget, then, I’d recommend basing yourself elsewhere. There’s a youth hostel between Schaan and Vaduz that’s $95 a night for a twin room and $43 for a dorm, and that’s about the cheapest you’ll be able to find. There’s also around 1,000 Couchsurfing hosts in the country if you don’t mind sacrificing your privacy.
Another budget option is private rooms on Airbnb, where you’ll stay with the owner, rather than renting out the entire apartment. I opted to go down this route, as there was definitely a financial benefit to doing so in Liechtenstein. Our private room in Vaduz was $95 a night, and for that, we had some privacy, a friendly host to help out with travel advice, and a decent-enough place to spend a couple of days.
The cheapest private room in Vaduz on Airbnb is $37 a night (+ fees) and receives 5* reviews from guests.
What if you’re only heading to Liechtenstein for the hiking and don’t care about basing yourself in the capital?
In that case, you should be looking at accommodation in either Malbun or Triesenberg.
For the former, I’d opt to stay at the JUFA Hotel Malbun at $138 a night. It’s one of the cheapest and best-reviewed places in town, and the views look spectacular. Keep in mind that you have to take a chairlift to and from the hotel, which could be annoying/scary for some people. A good alternative is the cosy Walserhof for $134 a night.
If you’re keen to stay in Triesenberg, the best option is Hotel Oberland for just $98 a night — a bargain in Liechtenstein! Not only is it basically the cheapest hotel in the entire country, but it receives great reviews for the welcoming owners, pretty location, and delicious local dishes in the restaurant.
The Cost of Transportation in Liechtenstein
Transportation is one of the few areas where you can save money in Liechtenstein.
You’ll most likely opt to take the Liemobil buses within the country, as it’s one of the easiest ways to get around. The bus network is extensive and prices inexpensive relative to the cost of everything else in the country. We used the bus to get between Vaduz and Malbun, which was inexplicably free, and then into and out of the country via Sargans, in Switzerland.
Bus rides start from 2 CHF for a short single ride to 15 CHF for unlimited rides across the country for a full day.
Another option is to grab one of the free rental bikes that are scattered across the country. There are 100 kilometres of cycle paths in Liechtenstein for those of you who like to explore on two wheels.
If you like your tourist activities cheesy and bright red, and don’t like to walk, you could hop on the Vaduz City Train (10.50 CHF) to learn about the city’s main attractions.
Alternatively, a lot of people decide to hire a car and drive around Liechtenstein and its surrounding countries. To rent a car for a week from Zurich, you’ll be looking at around 25 CHF a day, and you’ll need to carry an International Driving Permit if you don’t have a license that’s in German. I usually head to Skyscanner to search for deals on car rentals.
The Cost of Food in Liechtenstein
Food was pretty pricey in Liechtenstein, and you’ll be looking at spending around 60-70 CHF a day if you plan on eating in restaurants.
We averaged around 18 CHF for breakfast, 20 CHF for lunch, and 25 CHF for dinner. We didn’t drink alcohol while we were in Liechtenstein either, so that’ll add another 7 CHF (beer) or 25 CHF (bottle of wine) on top of that.
Keep in mind that breakfast is typically included with a hotel stay, so if you’re planning on staying in an Airbnb apartment, you’ll be spending more money on food.
For a cheap and decent breakfast, I recommend Brasserie Burg in Vaduz. We paid 16 CHF for a large baguette and coffee. In Malbun, we opted for Schlucher-Treff Cafe and I paid 21 CHF for a spinach, goats cheese, and walnut crepe with a coffee.
We really liked New Castle Restaurant in Vaduz, and ate there two nights in a row because we enjoyed the buzzy atmosphere so much. I paid 30 CHF for a sparkling water, cured meat board, and a bowl of fries.
Keep in mind that there are few supermarkets outside of Vaduz, so if you’re going to be heading out on a hike in Malbun, as we did, stock up on food in advance. We waited until we arrived in Malbun, and there was just one touristy food shop, where we could only buy fruit and packets of souvenir jerky.
As I mentioned in my post about what it’s like to travel in Liechtenstein, it’s hard to find anywhere that’s open on Sundays, so keep that in mind. If you’re going to be in the country on Sunday, stock up on food the day before in case you can’t find anywhere that’s open.
The Cost of Activities in Liechtenstein
In a country as mountainous as Liechtenstein, there are plenty of free ways to fill your days, primarily by hiking. We checked out the Malbun to Schonberg hike and loved it — there are around 30 hikes listed on the Liechtenstein tourism board’s website if you’re looking for inspiration.
Additionally, there are plenty of free attractions to hit up. I dragged Dave into the Liechtenstein Postage Stamp museum, which was free to enter, and it was fine. It was about as interesting as it sounds. Some other free activities include:
- Admiring the view from Vaduz Castle
- Putting one foot in Liechtenstein and one in Switzerland on the Alte Rheinbrücke (Old Rhine Bridge) that passes over the border of the two countries
- Wandering around Gutenberg Castle in Balzers
- Going plant and animal spotting at Ruggeller Riet Nature Reserve
- Visiting the famous red house of Vaduz, pictured at the top of the transportation section
- Checking out the ruined castles in Schellenberg
And these are the entrance fees and activity costs for the most popular attractions across the country:
- Liechtenstein National Museum: 10 CHF
- Liechtenstein Adventure Pass (admission to 30 sites and activities): 25 CHF
- Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein: 15 CHF
- Llama and alpaca day trek: 75 CHF
- Wine tasting at the Prince of Liechtenstein Winery: 9 CHF
- A tour of Heidiland and Liechtenstein from Zurich: 85 CHF
Cost of Miscellaneous Items
A Liechtenstein passport stamp: Such a cool souvenir! Liechtenstein has open borders, so you won’t receive a passport stamp when you cross over from Switzerland or Austria. If you love having a colourful passport, though, you can head on over to the Liechtenstein Tourist Information Centre in Vaduz to get a souvenir stamp. It costs €3.
Travel insurance: If you’ve read any other posts on Never Ending Footsteps, you’ll know that I’m a great believer in travelling with travel insurance. I’ve seen far too many Go Fund Me campaigns from destitute backpackers that are unexpectedly stranded in a foreign country after a scooter accident/being attacked/breaking a leg with no way of getting home or paying for their healthcare. In short, if you can’t afford travel insurance, you can’t afford to travel.
Travel insurance will cover you if your flight is cancelled and you need to book a new one, if your luggage gets lost and you need to replace your belongings, if you suddenly get struck down by kidney stones and have to be hospitalised, have your camera stolen and need to buy a replacement, or discover a family member has died while you’re overseas and now you need to get home immediately. If you fall seriously ill, your insurance will cover the costs to fly you home to receive medical treatment.
I’ve used World Nomads as my travel insurance provider since 2012 and have nothing but wonderful things to say about them.
How Much I Spent During Three Days in Liechtenstein
As always with these budget breakdowns, I like to end by sharing the exact amount I spent in a country as a daily average. In Liechtenstein, my expenses were as follows (in USD):
Accommodation: $47.50 per day
Transportation: $0 per day
Food: $63.40 per day
Activities/Entrance Fees: $0 per day
Travel insurance: $2.82 per day
My average spend in Liechtenstein therefore came to: $113.72 per day!
And for all of my solo travellers out there, if I had been travelling alone and therefore not split the cost of my accommodation, I would have averaged $161.22 per day.