What makes Liechtenstein a unique country to travel to?
The Principality of Liechtenstein is a hereditary monarchy based on democratic and parliamentary foundations. The country lies between Austria and Switzerland on the eastern bank of the Rhine River, which forms the border with Switzerland.
Liechtenstein has a low rate of violent crime. However, crimes of all types which may include violence do occur. Pick-pocketing and purse snatching are the most common and frequently occur in the vicinity of train and bus stations, airports close to Liechtenstein and some public parks, especially during peak tourist periods (such as summer and Christmas). Take sensible precautions to protect your passport and money. Be especially vigilant in regional airports and railway stations, as these locations experience multiple incidents of petty theft almost every day.
You should be careful on trains, especially on overnight trains to neighboring countries. Thieves, who steal from passengers while they sleep, can enter even locked sleeping compartments. Thieves have been known to work in pairs to target train passengers; while one member of the pair creates a diversion at a train window or on a platform, the other steals items you have left briefly unattended.
In many countries around the world, counterfeit and pirated goods are widely available. Transactions involving such products may be illegal under local law. In addition, bringing them back to the United States may result in forfeitures and/or fines.
The local equivalent to “911” emergency line in Liechtenstein is “144.” Dial 112 for health emergencies, dial 117 for the police, dial 118 for fire /oil or chemical accidents.
While you are traveling in Liechtenstein, you are subject to its laws even if you are a U.S. citizen. Foreign laws and legal systems can be vastly different from our own. In some places you may be taken in for questioning if you do not have your passport with you. Driving under the influence of alcohol is a criminal offense; the legal tolerance for driving is 0.05% blood alcohol content (whereas the legal limit in the United States is 0.08%).
Engaging in sexual conduct with children or using or disseminating child pornography in a foreign country is a crime prosecutable in the United States. In Liechtenstein, this is a serious criminal offense, and offenders will be placed directly in police custody. If you break local laws in Liechtenstein, your U.S. passport will not help you avoid arrest or prosecution. It is very important to know what is legal and what is not, wherever you go.
Persons violating Liechtenstein laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. Penalties for possessing, using, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Liechtenstein are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines.
Arrest notifications in Liechtenstein: While some countries will automatically notify the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate if a U.S. citizen is detained or arrested in a foreign country, that might not always be the case. To ensure that the United States is aware of your circumstances, request that the police and prison officials notify the U.S. Embassy in Bern as soon as you are arrested or detained in Liechtenstein.
Medical Facilities and Health Information
Medical care in Liechtenstein is good. For serious illnesses or complicated bone fractures, patients are transferred to the appropriate specialized hospitals in Switzerland and Austria. Over-the-counter medicine is available at pharmacies, and a pharmacist is on call 24/7. Information regarding the pharmacy and pharmacist on duty is given over the medical emergency telephone line by dialing 144.
Safety and Security
Liechtenstein remains largely free of terrorist incidents; however, like other countries in the Schengen area, Liechtenstein’s open borders with Western Europe allow for the possibility of terrorist groups entering/exiting the country anonymously. You should remain vigilant with regard to your personal security and keep abreast with local events.
Traffic Safety and Road Conditions
While in Liechtenstein, you may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. Although many roads are mountainous and winding, Liechtenstein road-safety standards are high. Public transportation in Liechtenstein is excellent. There is an extensive bus network that connects the capital, Vaduz with the bus and railway stations in Sargans and Buchs (St. Gallen), Switzerland, and Feldkirch, Austria. In some mountain areas, vehicle snow chains are required in winter. Road travel can be more dangerous during summer, winter holidays, the Easter break, and Whitsunday weekend (late spring) because of increased traffic. If you plan to travel to Liechtenstein via the motorways in Switzerland and Austria, you must purchase and display a motorway sticker (“vignette”) or encounter large on-the-spot fines in these countries. Travel on expressways (indicated by green signs with a white expressway symbol) requires purchase of a vignette, which must be affixed to the car’s windshield.