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10 Interesting Facts About Liechtenstein

10 Interesting Facts About Liechtenstein

Quick facts about Liechtenstein:

  • Location: Nestled in the heart of Europe, Liechtenstein is a landlocked microstate, bordered by Switzerland to the west and south and Austria to the east.
  • Capital: Vaduz.
  • Official Language: German.
  • Currency: Swiss Franc (CHF).
  • Population: Approximately 39,000.
  • Size: Spanning just over 160 square kilometers, Liechtenstein is a small yet charming principality known for its Alpine beauty and economic prosperity.

Fact 1: Liechtenstein is the only country that is entirely in the Alps

Liechtenstein, a tiny European principality, is distinctively characterized by its location entirely within the Alps mountain range. The entire land area of Liechtenstein is embraced by the Alpine region, offering stunning and rugged mountainous landscapes throughout the country. This geographical feature not only contributes to the nation’s scenic beauty but also influences its climate, outdoor activities, and the overall Alpine cultural ambiance experienced by residents and visitors alike.

JNMCC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Fact 2: Liechtenstein has no army of its own

Liechtenstein is one of the few countries in the world without its own standing army. The principality has chosen to maintain a neutral stance and relies on Switzerland for defense. Under a defense agreement with Switzerland, the Swiss Armed Forces are responsible for protecting Liechtenstein. Despite its lack of a military force, Liechtenstein remains committed to its policy of neutrality and has not been involved in any military conflicts. Instead, the country focuses on diplomatic and economic relations to ensure its security and well-being.

Fact 3: You’re not coming here by train or airplane

Liechtenstein is a country without its own airport or train station. Travelers typically reach Liechtenstein by car or bus, with the nearest international airports and train stations located in Switzerland and Austria. Bicycles are a popular mode of transportation among the locals, contributing to the country’s emphasis on sustainability and environmental consciousness. The absence of an extensive public transportation system aligns with Liechtenstein’s modest size and the availability of alternative means of getting around, reflecting a lifestyle that prioritizes simplicity and eco-friendliness.

Note: Before visiting the country, check if you need an International Driver’s License in Liechtenstein to drive.

spong129Spong129 at de.wikipediaCC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Common

Fact 4: Liechtenstein’s GDP per capita is one of the largest in the world

Liechtenstein has one of the highest GDP per capita figures globally. The country’s small population, coupled with its robust and diversified economy, contributes to this high GDP per capita. Liechtenstein’s economy is known for its focus on financial services, industry, and manufacturing. Additionally, its favorable business environment and low tax rates have attracted businesses and investors, further bolstering its economic prosperity. This has resulted in a high standard of living for the residents of Liechtenstein, reflected in the impressive GDP per capita figures.

Fact 5: All players on the national soccer team are amateurs

Historically, Liechtenstein has had a team largely comprised of amateur players, some of whom have regular day jobs or pursue education alongside their football commitments. The lack of a fully professional league within Liechtenstein and the limited pool of players contribute to the team’s reliance on amateur or semi-professional individuals.

SteindyCC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Fact 6: There is almost no crime in the country

Liechtenstein is known for having relatively low crime rates, and it is often considered one of the safest countries in the world. The principality’s small population, strong community ties, and effective law enforcement contribute to the overall sense of safety and security. While crime can occur anywhere, Liechtenstein benefits from its size, well-functioning legal system, and the socio-economic conditions that help maintain a generally low crime rate. It’s important to note that the perception of safety can vary among individuals, but Liechtenstein’s reputation as a safe country is widely acknowledged.

Fact 7: There are more companies than people in Liechtenstein

Liechtenstein has more registered companies than it has residents. The principality has a highly developed and diversified economy, with a business-friendly environment that attracts companies from various industries. The low corporate tax rates and favorable regulatory framework contribute to Liechtenstein’s appeal as a business hub.

The exact ratio of companies to residents may vary, but the small population of Liechtenstein, which is around 39,000 people, is significantly surpassed by the number of registered businesses. This unique characteristic highlights the principality’s status as a financial and business center, with a concentration of companies ranging from financial services to manufacturing.

cdschockCC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Fact 8: Liechtenstein is not a member of the European Union or NATO

Liechtenstein, while not a member of the European Union (EU) or NATO, is part of the Schengen Area. The Schengen Agreement allows for passport-free travel and the elimination of internal border controls between participating European countries. Liechtenstein’s inclusion in the Schengen Zone enhances the ease of movement for both its residents and visitors within the broader European context, despite not being a full member of the EU. This participation in the Schengen Area contributes to Liechtenstein’s integration into regional economic and travel frameworks.

Fact 9: Liechtenstein has a rich collection of paintings by contemporary artists

Liechtenstein boasts a notable collection of contemporary art. The country’s commitment to the arts is reflected in institutions like the Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein, an art museum located in the capital, Vaduz. The museum focuses on modern and contemporary art, showcasing works by both national and international artists.

Liechtenstein’s royal family, the Princely Family of Liechtenstein, is known for its private art collection, which includes significant pieces from different periods, including contemporary art. The family’s art collection is occasionally exhibited at the Liechtenstein National Museum.

Diego DelsoCC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Fact 10: The country has no foreign debt

Liechtenstein is known for having a strong and stable economy, and it has been reported that the country does not have any significant foreign debt. The principality’s financial stability is supported by factors such as a well-developed financial sector, low unemployment rates, and a favorable business environment.

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