I feel vaguely guilty about liking this country. It’s got it far too good, in my opinion.
Liechtenstein is the richest part of the German-speaking world, with a part-time parliament that can be vetoed by a prince. The princely family owns vineyards that make fine wine, and the Liechtensteiners drink nearly all of it themselves. They have the highest GDP per capita in the world.
The country is surrounded by spectacular mountains with hiking and biking trails snaking all over them.
They even have decent coffee.
The prison population is eight, all male. The average annual road toll swings between two and zero. They have no army. That means effectively no crime, no traffic accidents and no wars.
Construction is booming. Unemployment is 1.5%. Seventeen thousand people cross the border to work here each day, swelling the population by nearly half. (There are 37,000 residents.)
Shame about the weather, at least on the days we spent there.
Getting there: Liechtenstein is just over an hour’s drive from Konstanz. There is no airport or direct train service, but bus connections can be made from Buchs, over the Swiss border.
Staying there: Residence Hotel in Vaduz has deluxe rooms from SFR260 a double. See: http://www.residence.li/EN/Default.asp
For more information on visiting Liechtenstein, see www.liechtenstein.li.
Oh, and for three Swiss francs (the currency of Liechtenstein) the tourist office will put a stamp in your passport to say you’ve visited another country.
The writer was the guest of Internationale Bodensee Tourismus.