When it comes to choosing a destination, every traveler has a unique set of criteria they base their decision on, be it sightseeing opportunities, cultural events, or even just a particular dish or attraction that seems too good not to experience at least once in a lifetime.
However, while most of these requirements tend to vary widely from one person to another, there’s one criterion that maintains a major level of importance no matter who you ask — safety.
Travel, in its essence, is supposed to provide a sense of excitement and relaxation, none of which is possible if you’re somewhere where you have to look over your shoulder every two seconds.
So, for those looking to let go of their day-to-day worries this winter and go someplace that’s as gorgeous as it is peaceful, this often-overlooked European country would make the perfect destination.
A Safe Haven Nestled In Central Europe
Boasting an impressive safety index of 89/100, Liechtenstein has positioned itself among the safest countries on Earth, and for good reason.
The 160 km² (61.8 mi²) country has long lived in the shadows of its better-known neighbors, namely Switzerland and Austria, which is why so few get to experience the stunning sights and safe ambiance that radiates from the humbly-sized principality.
Be it the small population, high standard of living, or the rule-focused Western European culture, Liechtenstein proudly displays some of the lowest crime rates in the world, allowing visitors (even those traveling solo) to wander through its charming villages, hike along its scenic trails, or explore historic landmarks completely unbothered.
Potential Risks To Be Aware Of In Liechtenstein
With all that said, it’s important to clarify that there still are some potential risks you’ll want to be aware of during your travels to Liechtenstein.
For example, seeing as this is an alpine country, avalanches caused by unfavorable weather conditions are not all that uncommon, so keep an eye out for warnings or instructions from local authorities if you’re going somewhere snowy.
Moreover, Western Europe has periodically been a target of terrorist attacks, and while the chances of these offensives being directed at a country so small and secluded are not too high, it’s still a good idea to stay aware of your surroundings and avoid overcrowded spaces.
Other than that, though, the risk of your visit going awry is pretty slim.
For example, taxis are usually employed by reputable companies that track the vehicle’s location and hold responsibility for the drivers’ actions, so getting around Liechtenstein is pretty safe at all times of the day or night.
Similarly, pickpocketing, mugging, and scamming in the area are pretty uncommon, though it’s always a good idea to err on the side of safety and stay attentive to your belongings, the type of jewelry you wear out, and so on.
Lastly, I want to mention that women, whether alone or not, should feel safe in Liechtenstein since risks related exclusively to women are pretty rare here.
Still, it’s a good idea to take “common sense” measures, like staying away from dark, isolated streets at night or not letting people you encounter during your stay here know you’re traveling alone.
The Ultimate Alpine Retreat
While the importance of feeling safe in a new destination cannot be overstated, it’s still worth mentioning that Liechtenstein offers visitors more than just its peaceful atmosphere.
The micro-country is the ultimate winter escape for outdoor enthusiasts, offering hiking and skiing opportunities amidst breathtaking views of the Alps.
No matter your experience level, you can spend some of your days in Malbun, the only ski resort in the country, where trained professionals are ready to help you become a better skier.
The good thing about visiting such a compact-sized country is that you can go from the pistes to a sightseeing excursion in the nearby picturesque villages in a matter of hours (or even minutes).
From the medieval architecture of Vaduz, the capital, to the idyllic vineyards of the Rhine Valley, Liechtenstein is a patchwork of enchanting sights just waiting to be discovered.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com