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Switzerland - Liechtenstein

Switzerland - Liechtenstein

Old Feb 13, 19, 4:46 am
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Switzerland - Liechtenstein

We are flying to Zurich in a few weeks and the plan is to rent a car and then, well, no plan. Simply renting a car and driving wherever we want for 10 days.
I have never been to Liechtenstein, and in all honesty I only want to go to check it off. I know crossing borders with a rental car is always a grey area depending on the countries. Can I take a rental car from Switzerland into Liechtenstein and then back to Switzerland with no problem? Or do I need any stickers/passes/etc.? (US citizen if it makes any difference)
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Old Feb 13, 19, 6:34 am
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Liechtenstein, like Switzerland is part of the Schengen area, so you can travel across "borders" without ever being controlled. Also applies to all countries that have a border with Switzerland.
Whilst you will need a Swiss vignette to travel on their motorways, you need no other special documentation.
Be careful about Liechtenstein though, as you may drive past it or through it without ever having realised!
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Old Feb 13, 19, 7:14 am
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The only real problem one faces when bringing a car into Lichtestein is finding a parking spot!
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Old Feb 13, 19, 3:59 pm
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In addition to the two observations from AlienInTheFatherland and KLouis, you need to check with the rental car company if it has any restrictions on taking the car outside Switzerland (unlikely in the case of Liechtenstein). But also be careful that you easily end up in Austria and if you do that you will need a separate "vignette" to drive on the autobahn there.
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Old Feb 13, 19, 7:02 pm
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Thanks for the insight!
Yeah as it's part of the Schengen I figured it would be fine, but I had read weird things about the Swiss vignette and it being very strict.
With that said, does the vignette come with the rental when I book it, or is it something that needs to be done separately?
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Old Feb 14, 19, 4:42 am
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I think that Liechtenstein counts as Switzerland to all intents and purposes, that the Swiss do not see going to Liechtenstein as going "abroad". The sad thing about Liechtenstein is that it is pretty bland and there is not that much of interest there. You could collect a passport stamp, though, in the tourist office. Don't know if those of us with EU passports have the right to do that though. Maybe us Brits after Brexit!
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Old Feb 14, 19, 6:16 am
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Originally Posted by pstm91 View Post
With that said, does the vignette come with the rental when I book it, or is it something that needs to be done separately?
Pot luck as far as the Swiss vignette is concerned. Your hire vehicle may already have one, may not. The later on in the calendar year you travel, the more likely it is that it already has one (Switzerland only have annual vignettes).

For Austria, as pointed out above you will also need a different vignette but here you can buy a ten-day one

Last edited by AlienInTheFatherland; Feb 14, 19 at 7:17 am
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Old Feb 14, 19, 4:28 pm
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Originally Posted by KLouis View Post
The only real problem one faces when bringing a car into Lichtestein is finding a parking spot!
First time there, I parked near the house of one of the members of the ruling family there. At first no one said anything about the parking of my car and my wandering around. However, once the cameras came out and I opened my mouth, it wasn't long before some guards showed up and said parking wasn't allowed where I had the car park.

Isn't there still some Zurich-originating/terminating train service that stops in Lichtenstein on the way to at least St Anton in Austria?
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Old Feb 14, 19, 4:32 pm
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Originally Posted by AlienInTheFatherland View Post
Pot luck as far as the Swiss vignette is concerned. Your hire vehicle may already have one, may not. The later on in the calendar year you travel, the more likely it is that it already has one (Switzerland only have annual vignettes).

For Austria, as pointed out above you will also need a different vignette but here you can buy a ten-day one
For Austria, they can be bought at the rest stops upon entering the country and at the start of the stretch of the covered highways. At least when coming in from the North, the West or Southwest.
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Old Feb 14, 19, 10:41 pm
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Originally Posted by Concerto View Post
You could collect a passport stamp, though, in the tourist office. Don't know if those of us with EU passports have the right to do that though. Maybe us Brits after Brexit!
Getting a Liechtenstein stamp is not a matter of "right", it is a service that anybody can purchase, which is considered by some countries as defacement of your passport (much the same as if you made up a stamp for the Concerto Confederation and stamped your passport).

When applying for visas or citizenship of another country, you may be requested to document your travel history. Most people don't know what Liechtenstein is (the Prince was once nearly denied entry to Hong Kong because they thought it was not a real country - at least that's what I recall from reading an interview with him in a Hong Kong newspaper, and I haven't googled it to confirm), thus having such a stamp could potentially cause a country to reject a visa application. In fact, Schengen countries have rejected Schengen visas for non-EU citizens (even if a Schengen visa was used to enter Liechtenstein) because they considered the passport defaced when it had such a stamp in it.

Originally Posted by GUWonder View Post
Isn't there still some Zurich-originating/terminating train service that stops in Lichtenstein on the way to at least St Anton in Austria?
I don't think so. There is a local train from Buchs (SG, CH) to Feldkirch (AT) which runs about 8 times a day and stops at all the local stations en route including several in Liechtenstein. Other long-distance trains use the line but don't stop.
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Old Feb 15, 19, 3:19 am
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Originally Posted by :D! View Post
I don't think so. There is a local train from Buchs (SG, CH) to Feldkirch (AT) which runs about 8 times a day and stops at all the local stations en route including several in Liechtenstein. Other long-distance trains use theur line but don't stop.
I asked someone who just took a direct route from Zurich to Sankt Anton in Austria for a ski trip this week and some who did it for a meeting, and they said the train stopped in Lichtenstein for a few minutes in both directions. Nothing was mentioned about people getting on and off there, but it did stop there with some reporting that the stop was for several minutes -- although they said they weren't paying attention to the time since the trains there run very much on time.
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Old Feb 15, 19, 5:14 am
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Originally Posted by :D! View Post
Getting a Liechtenstein stamp is not a matter of "right", it is a service that anybody can purchase, which is considered by some countries as defacement of your passport (much the same as if you made up a stamp for the Concerto Confederation and stamped your passport).

When applying for visas or citizenship of another country, you may be requested to document your travel history. Most people don't know what Liechtenstein is (the Prince was once nearly denied entry to Hong Kong because they thought it was not a real country - at least that's what I recall from reading an interview with him in a Hong Kong newspaper, and I haven't googled it to confirm), thus having such a stamp could potentially cause a country to reject a visa application. In fact, Schengen countries have rejected Schengen visas for non-EU citizens (even if a Schengen visa was used to enter Liechtenstein) because they considered the passport defaced when it had such a stamp in it.

I don't think so. There is a local train from Buchs (SG, CH) to Feldkirch (AT) which runs about 8 times a day and stops at all the local stations en route including several in Liechtenstein. Other long-distance trains use the line but don't stop.
That is really interesting, thank you for this post. Way back in my university days, when stamps were potentially given (but not always) at European borders, I collected the stamps of all those weird countries nobody has heard of - like San Marino, Liechtenstein, etc. I never thought it might be considered a defacement of the passport and have never read a warning or travel advisory about it. Are you sure about this?

Yes, I did have a Concerto Confederation in the past!! I had many imaginary countries, which I created across the bleak landscape of North Scotland, one of which boasted a place I called The Point of Two Oceans from which both the North Sea and North Atlantic could be seen. But often the place names were derived or similar to place names in remote, off the beaten track, inaccessible places in Eastern Europe and Russia (a bit similar to the countries in the Tintin books). I did consider making up visa stamps and giving myself and others stamps. But fortunately I thought better of it. Was quite young at the time! All those places will still be there, with the mysterious standing stones and ruined villages that nobody knows the origins of, as well as secret ways down the cliffs to hidden beaches.

With all the money flapping around Liechtenstein, I am amazed that the Hong Kongese did not recognize the place. After all, they love money in Hong Kong. Just lastly, Liechtenstein vaguely reminds me of the imaginary countries and locations in the musical (and film) Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.
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Old Feb 15, 19, 5:56 am
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Originally Posted by GUWonder View Post
For Austria, they can be bought at the rest stops upon entering the country and at the start of the stretch of the covered highways. At least when coming in from the North, the West or Southwest.
pretty much all gas stations everywhere in the country will sell vignettes as well.
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Old Feb 15, 19, 6:37 am
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Originally Posted by pstm91 View Post
Thanks for the insight!
Yeah as it's part of the Schengen I figured it would be fine, but I had read weird things about the Swiss vignette and it being very strict.
With that said, does the vignette come with the rental when I book it, or is it something that needs to be done separately?
I rent cars from ZRH several times a year and my rental has always had a Swiss vignette already on the windshield.
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Old Feb 15, 19, 10:09 am
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Originally Posted by Concerto View Post
...{snip}... inaccessible places in Eastern Europe and Russia (a bit similar to the countries in the Tintin books)...{snip}...
What? Imaginary countries? I've been tens of times in both Syldavie and Bordurie (food is much better in the former) and once in San Theodoros but never in Nuevo Rico!
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