Updated: Jan 16
Last weekend we were invited to discover Liechtenstein. We loved it for so many reasons!
Since we have never visited Liechtenstein we were really excited to be working with the Office of Tourism who planned our amazing trip, and even more so when we received the itinerary!
On the day we arrived, we were lucky to have beautiful warm, sunny weather and we easily navigated our way to one of the many car parks around Vaduz which was the first stop on our trip.
The capital of the country, this is where the Prince and his family live, and from many points around the town, you can look up and see the magnificent castle perched on the mountainside.
We met with Jessica who had done a wonderful job of organising our schedule and headed to a busy ice cream parlour on the main street. Alba was excited to try the unicorn ice cream and my yoghurt and cherries was possibly one of the best ice creams I have ever tried. Jessica told us it’s an exciting time in Liechtenstein as they were preparing to celebrate the National Day of the country on 15th August with huge celebrations.
At 3pm we met with Elisabeth who was to give us a tour of the town. We really loved her! She is passionate about her beautiful country and extremely knowledgeable. We started with a stroll to a local park so that the children could play and we could chat in relative peace.
Considering the park was so close to the main street, it was a real oasis in the middle of town and we the only ones there. We discussed a bit of the history of the country and Elisabeth told us about a couple of local foods we should try.
From there we took a nice stroll through the town. Vaduz has a wonderfully safe, genteel feeling. It’s clean and all the buildings seemed quite modern. Elisabeth explained that this is because up until the 1950’s, the country had been a farming region and so it was relatively recently that the modern town was created, but that we can still see older architecture further up the mountains.
We were lucky enough to catch a volleyball tournament in progress on a temporary beach in the town centre so there was a nice bustle about the place as we strolled past beautiful boutique shops, impressive museum buildings and this water fountain which Alba used to cool down.
Our time with Elisabeth past really quickly and before we knew it, it was time to climb aboard the little tourist train for a tour of the town and surroundings. We were sad to say goodbye to Elisabeth and Alba was still blowing kisses to her as the train pulled away.
The train is really nice and trundled through the town up hill to admire some of the beautiful buildings, including the oldest building in Liechtenstein, and better views of the princely castle above. The children really enjoy these little trains and it gave us the perfect opportunity to really appreciate the beauty of the country, seen at it's best on a sunny day.
Back in the car and we drove up to Malbun to check into our hotel.
Jessica has organised for us to stay at the Gorfion resort which is really modern, large and extremely family friendly. We checked into our family room which had absolutely everything we could need including bunk beds for Jude and Alba, a baby bed for Elio, mini bath robes, baby bath, potty, a children’s toilet seat etc. We unpacked a bit then went to explore the play ground we had seen when we arrived so that the children could stretch their legs.
(Pictures Credits : Gorfion - Das Familienhotel)
The receptionist had given us a welcome pack for the children including baseball caps and soft toys so they were happy. We ordered drinks and the children enjoyed the play area complete with sand pit and plenty of things to climb on, slide down and ride.
We then had just enough time to get ourselves cleaned up a bit before we headed out for dinner which was a nice friendly restaurant called the Galina in Malbun. Here we tried some delicious local charcuteries and wine which was really good.
We all slept well (including Elio) and woke early to prepare for the day ahead when we were scheduled to explore the mountains.
It was pretty hard to sell a day's hiking to Jude as the weather had changed dramatically overnight and it was raining, foggy and a bit chilly when we woke up. He eventually came around when he saw the green Explorers backpack we were given (on loan) at the hotel which would help us with the treasure hunt along the trail above Malbun. Jessica told us this was a stroller-friendly walk so we borrowed one of the special all-terrain pushchairs which were available at the hotel (along with Deuter baby carriers and prams for small babies). We installed Elio who was well wrapped up and put on our waterproofs and off we went.
The walk is indeed stroller-friendly but it was still largely uphill on the way there so Jean was in charge of managing Elio while I walked along with the other two. The sign at the start it the walk were only in German but we grasped that we had to use the tools in the bag to help us examine the things we found on the trail. We won’t spoil it but the thing we loved the most was that there was so much to see, along with plenty of things to try and discover which made it much more interesting for the children. Although it was a pretty wet walk, we actually found this added a sort of other-worldly quality to the experience which we loved. Towards the top and the fog started to lift and we were amazed at just how green it all was. It reminded us a bit of the landscape in the Hobbit with grassy knolls, wild flowers and beautiful trees.
We had a bit of a surprise about halfway along the walk where there had been a rock slide which blocked the path. We managed to pick our was across with Elio in the stroller but bear it in mind.
After about 30-40 minutes of walking, we reached the top where there was a pretty little lake and the chance to take a picture of ourselves on the throne. This area at the top was lovely and included a store of wood to use on a bbq which was installed there. We thought that was pretty cool. From there we began the journey back and were able to really appreciate the beauty of the scenery and the views stretching out below us.
After a break for lunch and a quick nap for the children, we were back out again and this time we took our adventure passes and took the chairlift up to Sareis which is above Malbun. We had planned to use the special LIstory app do a walk around the Malbun area but it was still rather rainy and foggy and Jude was grumbling a bit so we decided to walk the route back down to Malbun instead which was indicated as taking about 45minutes. The app is really great as it gives you lots of ideas for trails around the country including lots of information about the area and the historical highlights along the way.
We were really above the clouds up there and it was so beautiful with wide open views all around us. As we descended, we met up with the fog which we all found pretty exciting but we could still make out marmottes around us. I had never seen one in real life so this was an exciting moment and we were impressed at how high they can climb as we saw one perched on a rock pretty high up. Alba decided she would try and communicate with them and kept murmuring “marmotte” and attempting to chat to them in her own special language.
The path is (obviously) all downhill and with Alba on my back I was glad to have taken the sturdy baby carrier but it did make me realise that I need to invest in some new walking shoes!
Back in Malbun and we had promised Jude and Alba they could get their faces painted in the kids club so we dropped them off there and went for a quick drink with Elio at the hotel's bar with a nice fire and cosy chairs. We imagined this place would be wonderful in the winter too.
That night we were booked in to eat at the Hotel Turna. Some evenings you just get a feeling it’s going to be complicated with the children before you even leave the house and this was one of those times. Elio was tired and hungry and screamed a lot, Jude was a bit annoyed because we said he couldn’t bring ALL his Lego with him and Alba was far too excited and couldn’t keep her hands to herself. The restaurant is really nice with a great menu and friendly service and the cherry on the cake was when they said we could put Alba and Jude in the kids club while we finished our meals. We were so grateful!!
On Sunday, after another good sleep we set off for the part of the trip the children had been most excited about which was brunch on a farm called Bangshof. It wasn't far from where we were staying in Malbun and we arrived at their opening time as Jessica had advised us that it gets rather busy. We were able to park very close to the eating area which was great as we later saw that cars parked quite far up the road.
I am not sure what I had expected but this was a truly magnificent experience. It was beautifully organised with colourful tables laid out everywhere, beautiful flowers and plenty of entertainment for the children including lots of toy tractors and tricycles for them to scoot about on. The real star however was the incredible array of food. From hot eggs with bacon and omelettes to delicious cheeses and yoghurts, cold meats, home made jams and cakes to more substantial dishes, there was something for everyone. I was lured by the incredible bread table which was really a sight to behold!
Jude and Alba rather gulped back their brunch in their hurry to get over to the play area which meant Jean and I could eat in peace with Elio while they played just next to us. We all thoroughly enjoyed our brunch here and would wholeheartedly recommend it if you are visiting the area. It was a real challenge to drag the children away when it was time to leave.
Our last stop was an outdoor leisure area called Grossabuent. This is such a lovely place and the perfect spot to relax on a sunny day with an outdoor swimming pool, shady pavillion area, adventure playground for children and lots of different sporting activities including tennis courts, football pitches etc. We had a long journey home ahead of us so we didn't stay here too long but we really enjoyed this fantastic spot which was ideal for families.
We have had a great time in Liechtenstein. From the beautiful Vaduz and impressive castle above the city, to the glorious and very family friendly Malbun, we could not have hoped for more from this weekend and we strongly encourage you to pay a visit to Liechtenstein if you can. We will be back!
Liechtenstein Center Städtle 39 9490 Vaduz Liechtenstein
Top-12 activities in Liechtenstein
Gorfion - Das Familienhotel
T +423 265 90 00