You may have heard of Liechtenstein but you might not be sure exactly where to find it in the world. You may not know which currency it uses either. If you guessed (correctly as it turns out) that Liechtenstein is in Europe, you might guess at the euro. You’d be wrong though – this little country uses the Swiss franc. Apart from Switzerland itself, Liechtenstein is one of only two other areas that uses this currency.
What coins and notes are available for this currency?
The Swiss franc can be split into 100 centimes. Unlike some other currencies, which no longer use their subunits due to inflation, the Swiss franc still uses the centime. In fact you can use the 5, 10 and 20 coins denominated as centimes. Aside from these there are another four coins that are in francs. There is a half-franc coin followed by a one franc coin, not to mention a two and a five franc coin.
There is quite a disparity between the smallest-valued banknote and the largest-valued banknote though. The smallest you can use is denominated in 10 francs. After this you can find the 20 and 50 franc notes, not to mention the 100 and 200 franc notes. There is then quite a leap before you get to the biggest note of all, which is the impressive 1,000 franc note.
From past to present – the history of the Liechtenstein Swiss franc
The Swiss franc has quite a history, going back as far as 1798. It is quite impressive to come across a currency that goes back over two hundred years, especially since the euro wiped out many other old currencies. The reason for its introduction was to get rid of all kinds of notes and coins that were being used in Switzerland up to this point.
However while Switzerland has used the currency for a very long time, the Swiss franc has not been in use for quite that long in Liechtenstein. As was the case across many other countries, Liechtenstein suffered greatly as a result of the First World War. The country found itself in economic trouble and this was the moment when it was decided a monetary union with Switzerland was in order. The country has used the Swiss franc ever since.
How to get hold of the Liechtenstein Swiss franc
As you probably realise, the Swiss franc is pretty easy to get before you actually go on holiday to Liechtenstein. You probably won’t even need to pre-order it since it is one of the more popular currencies you could ask for at any bureau de change counter. However this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t look for good deals online or at least at a variety of counters. You might be surprised at the difference in rates that is sometimes charged.
You shouldn’t have much trouble getting Swiss francs in Liechtenstein either. The capital is regarded as a hotspot for international banking so you shouldn’t have trouble finding the odd cash machine to use! You may find you can also pay in euros instead of using the Swiss franc, but this isn’t usually advisable unless you don’t have any francs on you at the time. The reason for this is that the rate of exchange won’t be to your advantage.
How to find out the latest exchange rate between your home currency and the Liechtenstein Swiss franc
The Swiss franc is a pretty well-known currency not just in Europe but across the world. Indeed it is one of the major currencies you will see on the currency converters, usually listed near the top with the other popular ones, so you shouldn’t have any issues finding it. If you use any other currency in your home country you’ll need to compare the exchange rate to the Swiss franc to see how many francs you can get for your cash. You can then use this as a ballpark figure to work from. Bureaux de change will never use this figure as they will offer an exchange rate that works for them. This means it is worth looking from one to another to find the best possible rate you can.
If you are thinking of travelling to Liechtenstein at any point you should find out whether there is anything you should be particularly aware of with regard to safety and travel advice. To this end you can pay a quick visit to the UK government’s website page for this country at https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/liechtenstein.
Travelling safely with the Liechtenstein Swiss franc
Liechtenstein is not a huge country and it does not have a huge problem with crime either. Indeed it would be very unlikely for you to become a victim of any crime while you are there. However as with any destination you have in mind it does make sense to ensure you are safe and to exercise reasonable caution wherever you are. For example your passport is valuable and should be treated as such. Protect your cards and cash and keep them safely out of sight. Don’t carry more cash than you really need to and if you can book into a hotel offering you a secure safe that is safely bolted down, do so.
These measures are really straightforward and should help keep you safe from the occasional petty crime that does take place here. On the whole though you shouldn’t have too much to worry about with regard to crime.
Where to spend your francs in Liechtenstein – and what to spend them on
Liechtenstein is actually a microstate rather than a country. It is also exceptionally rare in that it is double-landlocked. If a country is landlocked it means none of its borders face the sea or ocean. However in the case of Liechtenstein none of the countries that border it face water either. It faces Switzerland on the left and Austria on the right, and each of those countries share their borders with a variety of other countries too.
The capital of Liechtenstein is Vaduz. This is not a city though but a town, and a very pretty one at that. In fact you could do worse than to begin your exploration of Liechtenstein here. Perhaps one of the best things to do in Vaduz is to wander around to get your bearings and to explore the streets and soak up the sights. You can also see Vaduz Castle, high up on a hill that is next to the town itself. The castle dates from the 12th century and looks most dramatic on that hill.
Also in the capital is the Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein. This has exhibitions, and art museum and a collection of art that focuses on some very modern works. If you are at all interested in art it makes for a good day out. You can even visit the shop to take away a souvenir or two with you.
One of the great things (perhaps the best thing) about the country is its dramatic scenery. Small it may be, but this Alpine country does have some amazing scenery that brings some excellent opportunities for adventurers to make the most of it throughout the year. During the summer months hiking and hill walking are both great activities that are popular with many people. There are an impressive 400 kilometres (that’s around 248 miles) of hiking trails ready for visitors to explore, and they are all marked to ensure safety. This means you don’t have to worry about map reading – you can just set off on a trail and follow it to its conclusion.
If you’d rather hop on a bike and explore you can do that off-road too. Mountain biking was made for this country. There are some great tours you can take and there are lots of paths that are specially designed for mountain bikers to get to grips with. From mountain paths to those that run through valleys, there is something ideal for everyone here.
When winter comes Liechtenstein is all about skiing, snowboarding and cross-country skiing. Malbun is a very popular resort that is well-placed to provide everyone who visits with some sensational opportunities to enjoy getting to grips with the slopes. Whether you’re a novice or a more seasoned skier you can always find a slope that is right for you to tackle.
There may only be five other countries that are smaller than Liechtenstein, but what it lacks in size it certainly makes up for in style, character and drama. And it is drama of the best kind as well, as you will see when you visit.
You can certainly visit a country quite unlike any other when you visit Liechtenstein. This is a country packed with dramatic landscapes – lush greenery in the summer and pure white snow in the winter. From skiing to hiking and the opportunity to simply explore the towns as well, Liechtenstein perhaps has far more to offer than you might initially think. Small it may be but there is plenty to do here whatever you happen to have in mind.