Luxembourg Travel Guide
🗝️ Key Facts
💶Currency: Euro €
🕙Time Zone: +1 GMT
📞Phone Code: +352
🌐Language: Luxembourgish, French and German
✈️Best time to visit: May-Oct
🍴Eat: Tarte aux quetsches
🍷Drink: Diekirch (beer)
🗺️Don't miss: Casemates du Bock tunnels
🗺 Menu of Contents:
Located landlocked between Germany, France and Belgium. The small country of Luxembourg is important to European governmental institutions and official delegations which gather in the capital of the same name whenever there are official acts taking place. Luxembourg is mostly rural, with dense forests and nature parks especially in the north.
It's one of the smallest countries in Europe and is often overlooked when planning a tour of Europe. Luxembourg features as a country known for important banking institutions and European Union bureaucrats.
However, this little country is located at the crossroads of several major European highways, and if you have reason to travel through it, don't hesitate to stop awhile and probe behind the glass office blocks and official buildings to find a land of fascinating medieval fortresses, rolling woodlands, sun-drenched castles, and quaint villages.
The entire country is only 85 km long and 52 km wide, but there is a lot in this small package. The Ardennes region is hilly, densely forested and dotted with medieval castles, best known for being the site of the World War II Battle of the Bulge.
Luxembourg City has grown up around an ancient fortified citadel in a setting that's unique and strangely beautiful. Luxembourg's long history is concerned mainly with warding off and withstanding invasion, occupation and siege, which is perhaps why its people seem a little more conservative than their neighbours.
Nevertheless, a visit is fascinating, however long you decide to stay, enjoy this little country with so much to offer and surprise!
From nearby cities in France, Belgium and Germany it's possible to drive into Luxembourg, as well as going by bus or trains. When travelling from further away the country offers one international airport gateway which offers multiple destinations mainly from Europe.
The national airline is Luxair, which has an important presence at the airport, connecting most capitals in Europe and some leisure destinations with Luxembourg. It's also possible to reach Luxembourg via low cost airlines like Easyjet or Ryanair and other national airlines in Europe. If coming from further away it will be likely you need to make one stop transit with any European Airline flying into Luxembourg because there are no long haul destinations to fly direct.
Once in the country, it's easy to move around via trams, trains and busses connecting the major cities. However smaller towns only rely on bus connections due to the higher terrains.
Luxembourg has continental weather which makes it hot and dry during the Summer and cold, frosty and even snowy during the Winter. The best time to visit is during the late spring and and beginning of the Autumn for pleasant temperatures to walk around and avoid the peak crowds at the summer, with temperatures reaching an easy 30 °C.
If you wish to travel in the winter you will notably see less people but the scenery and the occasional snowfalls make the countryside very beautiful. Temperatures can fall below 0 °C and stronger winds with more precipitation are to be expected.
The cuisine is influenced with the combination of vast portion sizes that reflect German tradition and large appetites, with style, presentation and flamboyance that show more Franco-Belgian finesse. Local freshwater fish is popular in Luxembourg, as well as for pastries and cakes.
Specialities which can be found are: Judd mat gaardebounen, smoked neck of pork served with a stew of broad beans and potatoes sautéed with bacon). Bouchée à la reine, or paschtéitchen ,chicken and mushrooms in a béchamel sauce served in a puff pastry case. Weinzossis, a light sausage usually served with mashed potatoes and a mustard cream sauce. Cochon de lait en gelée, jellied suckling pig. Jambon d’Ardennes, famous smoked Ardennes ham, traditionally eaten cold and served with a light salad and French Fries. Tarte aux quetsches, quetsch plum tart. Friture de la Moselle, small river fish, deep fried and eaten whole. (similar to whitebait).
As for drinks, Luxembourg is also famous for it's wine and beers. The quality is excellent and is gaining an increasing international reputation. White sparkling wines, mostly classified as crémants. Red wines, mainly Pinot Noir, are a rarer find, but increasing in quality each year. Many small wineries that lack their own bottling facilities sell their produce via a large-scale cooperative. Domaines de Vinsmoselle, is the most commonly seen label in the country. Beer is another speciality and a traditional industry, but brewing traditions are not as great as in neighbouring Germany and Belgium. Popular beer names are Bofferding, Simon, Battin, Ourdaller, and Diekirch. Spirits found are, Eau de vie, mostly based on local fruits, particularly plums, for example quetsch and mirabelle, or pears.
Luxembourg is a lovely city to explore on a short weekend trip, specially during the Spring or the Summer when the forests and their colours are at their best. It was a relaxing visit to walk around the city and wonder through it's alleys and narrow streets which resemble those like the medieval ages. The influences of Belgium, France and Germany are very noticeable as there's many tourists from these countries. However it's a very tranquil city where many cultures now live peacefully and you where you can feel safe on the streets.
Coming to visit is best when the markets and local celebrations are held, in order to enjoy the buzz and get to try some local cuisine as well. It's a pretty city which can't be missed in combination with some nature exploring.
Luxembourg City Tourism Information Guide
The capital of Luxembourg, of the same name, is famed for its fortified medieval old town perched on sheer cliffs. The old castle and city walls which surrounded the old town date back to the XIV century. It resembles an old medieval town with pretty alleyways and narrow streets, castle towers and a river which borders the city.
What's more, Luxembourg is located on a hill side which gives great views to the lands below which on a clear day is a great photography opportunity by the array of colours displayed. It's a truly enchanting city best to explore by foot and take in all the views and sights.
Luxembourg city has actually the same weather parameters as the country, by its small size. The city enjoys hot and dry Summers but cold, frosty and even snowy during the Winter time. The best time to visit is during the late spring and beginning of the Autumn for pleasant temperatures to walk around and avoid the peak crowds at the Summer, which temperatures can reach easily to 30°C or more.
If you wish to travel in the Winter you will notably see less people but the scenery and the occasional snowfalls make the countryside very beautiful. Temperatures can fall below 0°C and stronger winds with more precipitation are to be expected.
When arriving to the airport you can take bus 16 (Eurobus) which will take you to the city centre and reaches the main station. It operates frequently every 10 minutes though on Saturdays and Sundays it's every 20-30 minutes. The trip takes about 25 min to the city centre.
There are also other ways of reaching to/from the airport to/from nearby towns and cities:
- From France: Thionville, Maizières-les-Metz, Metz, Nancy. Frequency: On average every 2 hours. Ticket Prices from €5.
- From Belgium: Arlon, Bastogne, Marche-en-Famenne, Brussels Charleroi Airport. Frequency: On average every 2 hours. Ticket Prices from €5
- From Germany: Trier. Frequency: On average every 2 hours. Ticket Prices start from €5
To check timetables and book your bus tickets please refer to flibco.com/en/timetable
Once in the city, if you stay close to the centre, there's no need for using public transportation. However Luxembourg-city is linked to all national cities by an excellent public transport network. The bus/train combination tickets are valid throughout the country and are the best way to explore other regions. A day ticket costs 4€ and is valid for an unlimited rides from validation until 8 am. the next day. Moving around the city is easy with the busses, they offer comfortable and frequent journeys.
To see the maps and more information on the luxembourg city transport visit mobiliteit.lu
✔️Tip: If you are interested in visiting many attractions, cultural buildings and museums or galleries then consider getting the Luxembourg Card which also gives access to the transport. There are 1, 2 or 3 days passes. More information click on the link.
When visiting Luxembourg there are many reasons to come, either for culture and art,history and architecture, nature and parks or for just visiting friends or family, be assured there are plenty of things to keep you busy and enjoy your visit to this quaint, elegant city.
Some of the highlights of the city are listed below:
- The old city of Luxembourg: Just walking around the city centre, you will soon realise you have reached the old town. There are spectacular views of the old city with its stone bridges across the river and the former fortress. This lovely city offers an intriguing blend of history, culture, art and natural landscapes.
- Casemates du Bock: located beneath the former castle, Montée de Clausen. The Bock Casemates is a 17 km long tunnel, initially carved out of the rock by the Spanish between 1737 and 1746. Being a shelter for more than 35,000 locals and thousands of soldiers during the WWI and WWII. Consisting of atmospheric passages, different levels and impressive rock stairways, the historic tunnel of Casemates is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- Château de Vianden: located in the city of Vianden, it's characterised as one of the most breathtaking castles in Luxembourg. Built between the 11th and 14th centuries, this castle is one of the largest feudal residences of the Gothic periods in Europe. Restored in 1977, it is considered a monument of European importance.
- Luxembourg City History Museum: the building itself it located within four renovated 17th Century houses. The museum reflects upon not only the history of Luxembourg as a city and a nation, but also the architectural diversity and development of the city and its population since the 10th century. As well as a variety of interactive cultural programs and events, the collection at the History Museum consists of photographs, postcards and ceramics to urban development, as well as a variety of special exhibits used in daily life. Located at 14 Rue du St-Esprit.
- The Philharmonic of Luxembourg: it's the concert hall of the Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg. This outstanding piece of contemporary architecture hosts great conductors, soloists and orchestras from all over the world. The remarkable quality of its acoustics are one of the reasons for the design of the building. Located at 1, place de L’Europe. Nearby this building you will also find the MUDAM Luxembourg (Museum of modern art) and the Fortress Museum, both worth a visit.
- Palais Grand Ducal: As the original residence of the Grand Duke and the royal family, it's a spectacular piece of architecture, built in the 16th Century during the Flemish Renaissance. The palace’s interior is variety of styles; a delicate interplay between romantic and medieval-Gothic styles and industrial light designs. Located at 17 Rue du Marché-aux-Herbes.
- The cathedral Notre Dame: built in the 17th Century, between 1613 and 1621, by the Jesuits. The baroque-inspired north gate of the cathedral seems to be the most memorable part of this imposing building which is embellished with luxurious details of attractive stained glass from the 19th and 20th centuries. Located at Rue Notre-Dame.
- Passerelle Viaduc: The historic bridge, definitely offers visitors with good picturesque and panoramic views of Luxembourg City. Built between 1859 and 1861 by the British company Waring Brothers, the bridge connected the city centre with the new railway station. Known also as the Old Bridge. Located at 5 Av. de la Gare.
- Kirchberg district: located 15 min from Luxembourg city, it's the place for modernity and contemporary art in the city. It's home to the European Institutions, the European Investment Bank, the Court of Justice of the European Union ,the Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce, as well as sports centres and parks in Luxembourg.
Visitors to Luxembourg City can enjoy a variety of evening entertainment from theatre performances, classical music concerts, opera and ballet, to nightclubs, cinemas and bars. There is also a wide range of top restaurants to suit all tastes. The largest cinema complex in the country is the Utopolis, an 11-screen multiplex, located beside Auchan Mall on Plateau du Kirchberg.
Among younger and the more affluent, Rives de Clausen has become the focal point of the capital’s nightlife in recent years, since it opened in 2008 on the site of a former brewery in the lower town district of Clausen. There are more than a dozen bars and clubs here that play music into the early hours.
Due to the small size of most other Luxembourg towns and villages, there are fewer theatres, cinemas and nightclubs elsewhere in the country. Esch-sur-Alzette, the second city, has the most options, including the Ciné Belval multiplex cinema, and the Rockhal, the country’s largest and most important rock music venue. The latter attracts top global acts.
Luxembourg is the shopping paradise for many who love shopping, but it is true that being a smaller city, it will provide a more relaxing and unique experience. Special purchases include beautiful porcelain and crystal. Another regional speciality is earthenware pottery from Nospelt, where in August there is a fortnight-long exhibition of local work. They are also sold at the Emaischen pottery market, held on Easter Monday in Luxembourg City.
For upmarket fashion goods and accessories, Grand Rue in central Luxembourg City has a number of internationally renowned designer label stores. The largest shopping mall in the city is the Auchan Mall on Plateau du Kirchberg, with more than 60 shops selling the full range of goods. (Belval Plaza in Esch-sur-Alzette, Luxembourg’s second-largest city, is another very large shopping mall).
Luxembourg might seem not the most popular place to go at a first glance, but the cost of Hotels tell otherwise, as prices per room can be on average from €70 in the city centre. However it's the amount of conferences, meetings and businesses which are based in the city which push the prices up. Also being HQ's to many European institutions has an effect which for tourists, will see Hotels charging high prices, specially when there are official acts taking place. Therefore it's a good idea to compare dates and travel within the lower season (October to March). If you're on a budget, check for Hostels in the city centre and other options like Airbnb for private accommodation.
The city can be seen comfortably within 2 days, specially if you are staying close to the city centre. However there are some trips you might want to make to nearby towns for their nature beauty. Another option is combining Luxembourg with other trips in the region or countries nearby, which is popular for many tourists who stay only 1 night before continuing their journey.