An Alpine Adventure describes a football trip to Liechtenstein and is written by Jack Gillies exclusively for Covert Football Trips.



The tiny Principality of Liechtenstein is like a factional land from a fairy tale book or Disney Princess epic with its stunning Alpine peaks, picturesque castles, classic villages, unspoiled meadows and a prince that opens his residence for a grand party once a year the little country nestled deep in the mountains certainly packs a lot in despite its small stature.

While their larger neighbours Austria and Switzerland are both European powerhouses in their own right both at club and international level the little principality hasn’t exactly been overly successful in the world of football. Liechtenstein’s national team ranks as one the worst in the world and the country only boasts 7 clubs (not including reserve and youth sides) only one of the 7 clubs is professional hailing from the capital of Vaduz FC Vaduz founded in 1932 have become one of Liechtenstein’s biggest PR drivers regularly flying the Liechtensteiner flag in European competition.


Fussball Club Vaduz


Liechtenstein and Swiss League

Now it is at this stage I should explain that with 7 registered football clubs the Liechtensteiner Fussballverband does organise a league making Liechtenstein the only UEFA member not to organise its only League system instead Liechtensteiner sides play as guests within the Swiss League system. FC Vaduz have come to benefit the most from this arrangement and while they now play in the Swiss 2nd tier (Swiss Challenge League) they have in the past played in the Swiss topflight.

The Liechtensteiner Fussballverband’s arrangement to have their side’s play as guests in Switzerland means that European qualification is only possible through the Liechtensteiner Cup a competition FC Vaduz have dominated given that the remaining 6 clubs in the country alongside the various reserve sides thrown in to make the numbers play their football in the lower reaches of the Swiss pyramid, the situation with the Liechtensteiner cup meant that FC Vaduz qualified for the Europa Conference League group stage upsetting Austrian giants Rapid Wien in the playoff round and becoming the first ever Liechtensteiner side to qualify for a European competition proper.

At this stage I’d like to throw in a fun fact that a Liechtensteiner side could only qualify for the Champions League by: Winning the Liechtensteiner Cup, qualifying for the Conference League, Winning the Conference League and then winning the Europa league the next season. This is due the guest status in the Swiss league system even if FC Vaduz for example were to come 2nd in the Swiss Pro League, they don’t get given a Champions League place as they are members of the Liechtensteiner Fussballverband and not the Swiss FA.


The Liechtensteiner Cup


About FC Vaduz

Now with the quirks of Liechtenstein’s football, coupled with FC Vaduz being the only professional club in a German speaking microstate it was only a matter of time before I ended in Vaduz catching a game and that is exactly what I did in April this year when I found a planned trip to Zurich matching up with FC Vaduz’s home game against FC Wil in the Swiss Challenge League.

Heading into the match FC Vaduz were to put it lightly not having the best season and looked in very real danger of getting relegated to the Swiss 3rd tier which would have been a disaster not just for the club but for Liechtensteiner football as whole however an unexpected win against FC Schaffhausen and a confident 5-0 thrashing of Balzers in the Liechtensteiner Cup Semi Final gave the men from the capital some confidence. FC Wil were heading into the clash in mixed form and had most recently come away frustrated after a 0-0 draw against a 10-man Stade Nyonnais side this match also turned out to be somewhat of a Regional Derby. With FC Vaduz having no real competition or rivalries with Liechtenstein itself just about every team in the neighbouring Swiss St Gallen Canton are considered rivals which led to some unflattering chanting but more on that later.

FC Vaduz play their football at the Rheinpark Stadion which is Liechtenstein’s biggest stadium and plays host to the men’s international side. The Rheinpark Stadion does a great job at showing off the very best of Liechtenstein’s famous Alpine scenery as the name might suggest the stadium is right on the banks of the Rhein on one side there are the Alps dramatically raising up into sky along the Swiss side of the river on the other Vaduz castle home of the Crown Prince watches over the stadium and at the south end the dramatic view of the Alpine valley stretching as far as the eye can see with the mountains as its backdrop it really is stunning. In terms of facilities the Rheinpark Stadion is quite compact with a capacity of 7,584 however after a 2007 renovation it is modern and sleek.




Pre match is actually quite a muted affair but there is a popup club shop that opens on match days which is well worth a visit to pick up a shirt and other goodies inside the stadium there is beer and food stands and a stadium restaurant under the North Stand which was also open to all I would highly recommend the Hauswurst which was delicious and came straight off the grill. It is important to bear in mind Liechtenstein is in a currency Union with Switzerland and as a result uses the Swiss Franc as their official currency (although Euros are accepted in some establishments if you ask) so in the stadium you do pay Swiss prices having said that the beers and Hauswurst were decently priced by Swiss standards.


Match Tickets

Getting a ticket to an FC Vaduz game is an easy affair while online tickets are available most FC Vaduz fans pay on the day there are dedicated ticket booths for match day sales located in the stadium car park make sure to arrive early as queues get quite long. For most games only three stands are open: The main stand, North stand and South stand which is for the visiting support. It is at this stage I would like to admit to a blunder made on my part (what good football trip wouldn’t be complete without a good old lack of paying attention) I had read the stadium plan wrong and accidentally bought tickets in the South Stand which of course is the away end I wasn’t aware of this fact until two very nice stewards pointed out the stadium plan to me again and explained that the blocks I had purchases tickets in were not in the North stand as I had thought (oh dear) faced with the prospect of having to stand with the FC Wil ultras with a Vaduz scarf on and a Vaduz shirt in a Vaduz branded bag I decided to go and rectify my mistake. After putting on my nicest most polite German and batting my eye lids I managed to get the tickets exchanged for tickets in the North stand (phew). The North stand is by far the best seat in the house with the Alps towering above the stadium and another other country literally just a stone’s throw away it is one of Europe’s most unique views for sure. The North Stand also hosts FC Vaduz’s ultras who were fantastic throughout the game even if some of the songs about FC Wil were a bit naughty it was really nice to see a big group of young fans supporting their local team even if Liechtenstein aren’t giants of Europe, they are certainly proud of their only professional cub and made a lot of noise throughout. A real massive shout out to the FC Vaduz ultras.


FC Vaduz


FC Vaduz v FC Wil

The game itself got off to a slow start but soon picked up when in the 20th minute Djokic put Vaduz 1-0 up while I didn’t witness the opening goal as nature called (buying a ticket in the away end by mistake and missing a goal two ground hopping sins committed at one game) I certainly heard the roar from the Vaduz fans and after that the Liechtensteiners were certainly in the ascendancy however, that wasn’t to last as FC Wil got a controversial penalty on the edge of half time with no VAR in the Swiss Challenge League Wil got away with one big time and managed to net from the spot to end the first half on level terms.

At half time I got chatting with the president of the 1.FC Köln Liechtenstein supporters club who despite being German born and bred follows FC Vaduz and the Liechtenstein national team home and away while I sadly never caught his name as I had to run for the bus back to Sargans after full time it is truly amazing the people you getting talking to in a bear line at a football match.

Back to the game and the 2nd half provided a lot of entertainment as Vaduz put Wil to the sword while it ended 3-1 it could have easily been a lot more with Vaduz getting chance after chance they certainly didn’t look like a side battling against relegation. FC Vaduz’s last 2 goals came late on as Wieser calmly tapped the ball home in the 84th minute before Cavegn ended the game as a contest in injury time giving Vaduz a well earned and much needed win. The FC Vaduz fans were in full party mood afterwards and had I not needed to be back in Zurich for an early start the next day I would have joined them it is really great to see such vocal and enthusiastic support in such a small country I really hope they keep giving it all they have got because that is really what football is all about easily one of the best atmospheres I have experienced and I have seen a lot of great games over the years.


Rheinpark Stadion


FC Vaduz Summary

Overall FC Vaduz are a club that don’t just represent a town they represent an entire country. If you ever in Switzerland, Austria or Southern Germany Liechtenstein and the Rheinpark Stadion aren’t far away get yourself down there experience a game meet the locals and explore and I promise you will not be disappointed this is what football is really all about never mind the size of the country or how good the team is it is all about the support the passion. I am also pleased to report FC Vaduz also turned their season around and ended up finishing 3rd in the Swiss Challenge League! Congratulations are also in order as they also won the Liechtensteiner Cup which means we will be seeing them in Europe again next season.


Cost of this trip:

A match day ticket at FC Vaduz varies by stand my seat in the North Stand behind the goal costs 15 CHF which for the views alone is great value for money! With each ticket you also get a free match day pamphlet which in the absence of a matchday program was a great memento is very well put together considering it is a free publication. A scarf and away shirt came to a combined price of 85,50 CHF which is again not bad. Food and drink at the stadium while at Swiss prices was also pretty fairly priced.


Getting to the stadium:

Now this is the fun part as you actually have to get to Vaduz and Liechtenstein first, due to Liechtenstein’s size and Geography the country does not have an airport and instead has a heliport which is only open for private charter flights and mountain rescue making  the only ways in and out of Liechtenstein for most people road and rail which are both easy and fairly cheap as well.

If you are staying in Austria you will need to get yourself to Feldkirch station and catch the REX 1 heading towards Buchs SG Vaduz does not have its own railway station but instead shares a station with Schaan (Liechtenstein’s largest town) you can either change onto a bus here or if you are feeling fit you can walk which will take just under an hour. Several Liechtenstein and Austrian buses also connect Feldkirch to Vaduz but from the Austrian side the train is slightly quicker.

If you are heading into Liechtenstein from Switzerland then there are two options you can either catch the REX 1 train from Buchs SG going in the opposite direction and follow the same steps once you have arrived in Schaan or if you are staying in Zurich like I was you can catch just about any train to Sargans which sits right on the border and has great connections with the rest of Switzerland from there you can catch a bus from Sargans bus station opposite the train station a wide range of buses leave for Vaduz from Sargans however, the fastest is the number 11 which takes just over half an hour to reach Vaduz Post bus station which more or less takes you door to door. A day ticket on Liechtenstein’s bus network costs 12,00 CHF which is amazing value considering the wide coverage Liechtenstein buses offer not only in Liechtenstein but in the neighbouring areas of Switzerland and Austria as well.

Once you are in Vaduz the stadium is a very pleasant 10-15 minute walk from the town centre I would fully recommend taking the walk as there are some stunning views especially of the mountains and Vaduz castle. If the weather is poor or you don’t feel like walking then the number 24 bus connects the stadium to central Vaduz and other parts of the country.

If you are heading through for a match I would fully recommend giving yourself plenty of time to explore Vaduz it really is a beautiful town with so many friendly people and a great range of museums, shops and restaurants. A personal recommendation would be the Restaurant Engel which offers a fusion of Liechtenstein/Swiss and Asian dishes the Schnitzel is some of the best I’ve had and was washed down very nicely with a local beer. I would also recommend giving yourself time to see the parliament and government building, Vaduz castle and the Old Rhein Bridge an old covered bridge the connects Vaduz with Sevelen in Switzerland.

Written by Jack Gillies for Covert Football Trips.


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