Luxembourg Travel Guides for Backpackers

Luxembourg – a must-see destination in Europe

If you are planning a Europe tour, then I will recommend Luxembourg (the country and city), for your must-see list of destinations. To say the least, Luxembourg is like an unexplored but brilliant gem, hidden amongst its more famous neighbours: Belgium, France, and Germany. During my many years of work and stay in the Benelux region (Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg) I had the good fortune of visiting this scenic country, more than once. Otherwise, as a travel and tourism destination, Luxembourg often gets overlooked, by international tourists. But in recent years, Luxembourg or the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg (official title) is gaining increasing popularity amongst both international and European tourists. Below, I have shared my personal brief insight into the magic that is Luxembourg, to help you plan your travel to this rich and diverse tourist destination.   About Luxembourg Luxembourg is one of the smallest countries in the world and in the European Union. But every time I have visited this small-sized tourist destination, it has packed a punch in its rich and varied offerings. Purely based on distance, you can travel across the length and breadth of the entire country in a few hours. But then, if you indulge yourself in any one aspect of this awesome country, it will mesmerize you and keep you busy for days with its rich history, medieval castles, natural beauty, cultural appeal, monuments, fantastic cuisines and friendly people with their laid-back attitude. Luxembourg travel Travelling in Luxembourg My ideal travel duration for tourism in Luxembourg is somewhere between 3 to 7 days. The entire city centre of the Luxembourg city is now an enchanting and awe-inspiring, protected UNESCO World Heritage Site. My favourite way to enjoy travel in Luxembourg is driving along the picturesque roads, but you also have excellent alternatives in the form of trams, trains, and busses. Luxembourg is one of the first countries in the world that is aiming for ‘free public transport’, starting in early 2020. So, if you are planning your trip in 2020, that is something you may want to factor into your plans.   Top cities and places to visit in Luxembourg Though I have travelled multiple times, across the length and breadth of Luxembourg, three places have captured a permanent place on my mental landscape: Vianden, Echternach and Luxembourg city (not necessarily in that order). As a result, I have visited these cities time and again, over different seasons, and every time discovered a novel, undiscovered facet in them. Whether you plan a short visit or a slightly longer one, if you spread it over these three destinations, it will give you a fantastic insight and experience of this awesome land and culture that is Luxembourg. Vianden Luxembourg Vianden (Vianden Castle or Chateau de Vianden) As you turn the corner on the road, and the first views of Vianden town start appearing, you realise this town is straight out of a fairy tale book. This […]

Why Luxembourg should be on everyone's travel list

So that’s it – you decided that you want to travel to Europe and you are looking at destinations. There is Germany, France, Belgium and – right there in the middle of them – a tiny little sport called Luxembourg. 2586 km2. 82 x 57 km. Only Grand-Duchy in the world but with probably the most castles per inhabitant (Vianden castle – I’m looking at you).  Why should you visit this tiny little bit of land? What is there to do? Well read on – you will be surprised: Top 5 Reasons to visit Luxembourg UNESCO – World Heritage The city of Luxembourg is listed since 1994 on the Unesco World Heritage list because of the 17km of underground tunnels that were part of the military defenses of the city – dating back to the middle ages! Culinary heaven It is often joked that Luxembourg is one of the countries with the most Michelin stars per capita. Whether it is true or not – one thing is sure and that is that Luxembourg boasts an incredible number of delicious restaurants from the regular fast food joint to gourmet heaven. Multilingualism Luxembourg has 3 official languages: Luxembourgish, French, and German. So most Luxembourgers you will meet are three lingual and most speak at least some English too. To this adds the growing number of foreign population and you are sure to find your mother tongue somewhere in the country! Diversity of scenery The Grand Duchy is something like 6 countries in 1 – due to the incredible variety of landscapes you will find. There is the Moselle region with its wine growers, the Red Rock Region with its industrial past, the Ardennes region with its beautiful nature, the Guttland region with its castles, the Mullerthal with its hiking trails and the capital city of course. Easy to reach The country features an international airport with connections to loads of European capitals and some major transportation hubs like London and Frankfurt. It is located right in the heart of Europe. Plus, Paris is 2h by train. Top 5 Places in the City Kasematten Luxembourg City was built on a rock and as of the 17th century, the military carved 17km of tunnels out of the stone as part of the defense of the fortress. These tunnels can be visited but be sure to take a jacket even in summer, as it gets quite cold! Grund The Grund district is probably one of the most charming quarters of the city. Reachable via elevator from the Plateau Saint-Esprit, take a stroll through this beautiful little cobblestoned streets and visit Neumünster Abbey – formerly abbey and also a prison. Old Town Start your tour with a walk through the Grand Rue – the shopping street of the city, continuing on to the Roude Petz (fountain), and the streets leading towards the Letzebuerg City museum. Panoramic Elevator Pfaffenthal Be sure to have a ride in this elevator – 180° panoramic view of the city included. Grand […]

Grund District – The Beautiful Lower Town of Luxembourg

On my recent trip to Europe, my family and I had planned to visit 5 countries, of which Luxembourg wasn’t in the picture at all. But its neighbors, Belgium and France were. So my Father decided that we should visit this country too, because it was just a 2 hour train ride away from France, and more the places you visit, the merrier, or so they say. And believe me or not, this place definitely captured our hearts and minds and undoubtedly stood out from the rest. No, I’m not talking about the entire country of Luxembourg because it definitely wouldn’t be possible to explore it fully in just one day, but Grund, the mesmerizing ‘Lower Town’ of Luxembourg city, surely did. Luxembourg is the smallest country of the European Union and is the second richest country in the world and also one of the safest. Located in western Europe, it is the only country that has a Grand Duke as its head making it the only remaining Grand Duchy in the world. Having more than a third of its area covered with dense forests, it is the least populated country of the EU. The country is typically trilingual with French, German and Luxembourgish being the most spoken languages. The “ Judd mat Gaardebounen”, a pork dish served with broad beans is considered to be the National and most traditional dish of the country. Known widely for its beautiful architecture and fortifications, the city of Luxembourg was named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO since 1994.   Grund is the lower fortified area of Luxembourg city, located on the banks of the river Alzette. Known as the Lower Town of Luxembourg, it is probably the most calm and cultured part of the city, surrounded with the best of restaurants serving the most delicious food along with musical energy all around. Known for its distinct architecture, the Grund district gives off the feel of a tight rural family rather than that of a regular tourist destination. Having little to no ‘traffic’ at all, this place has no schools or banks, only stoned buildings and beautiful bridges, surrounded all around with green trees and plants. How to get there: When we first entered the city of Luxembourg, we had no intention at all of visiting the Grund district. Yes, we did read about it as being one of the tourist attractions in the country, but it was only really considered based on the recommendation of the guy at the café where we enjoyed a delicious breakfast that morning. “You folks should go hang around the Grund area. I bet all 5 of you will enjoy it “, he said to us, and yes, we sure did. We then took a bus from the nearest bus stand and got off at the ‘Um Bock’ bus stop. FUN FACT: All buses in Luxembourg city are free of cost on all Saturdays. Walking: The best way to get to Grund from the top is by […]

Exploring Luxembourg in a Weekend

Seeing all of Luxembourg in a weekend is impossible, even though it’s one of the smallest countries in the world. The country is only 2 586 square kilometers yet has its own language- Luxembourgish. Everyone there typically speaks at least two if not all of the four languages including Luxembourgish, German, French, and English. Luxembourg has a mix of cultures, making it interesting and unique to travel to.   To explore the best of Luxembourg in one weekend, I’d recommend staying one day in Luxembourg City and one day on a roadtrip around the countryside.   Day 1 – Exploring Luxembourg City Luxembourg City is very easy to get around just by walking. The city has wi-fi available and plenty of clean and free public washrooms. We also took transit for part of our trip, it was just two euros for two hours of travel and relatively easy to figure out. It’s also quite popular for people to rent bikes in Luxembourg City, however since bicycle theft is a serious issue you will have to pay a 150$ deposit before renting. Because we went on a Monday, none of the museums or galleries were really open so we opted to just explore the city by foot. City Sights – Monument of Remembrance, Notre Dame, and Adolphe Bridge The Notre Dame Cathedral is grand and stands across from the Monument of Remembrance so we made this our destination and wandered through the city streets to get there, stopping halfway for a coffee and breakfast at a cafe. From the vantage point where the Monument of Remembrance stands with the old city walls, we walked across the Adolphe Bridge there for a great view of the city walls and forested valley below. The valley in the middle of the City is peaceful to walk through. Once we had made our way across the bridge and explored that half, we went back through the valley instead of across it. This takes quite a bit longer but it’s an escape from the city and allows visitors to get up close to the ancient city walls. If you follow the path through the valley and come back up near the Monument of Remembrance, you can continue on past the Monument of Grand-Duchess Charlotte. Within fifteen minutes from the old walls is the Place Guillame II and Palais Grand-Ducal. We saw the changing of the Guard at the Palais Grand-Ducal as locals walked by, if our travel bags and cameras didn’t make us stand out as tourists- that moment definitely did.   Right across the street was the afamous Chocolate House, and we stopped there for an authentic Luxembourg hot chocolate. They mount the hot chocolate flavoured cube onto a spoon and then you order a cup of hot milk and dip the flavoured hot chocolate spoon into it so it melts flavour into the mug of hot milk. There’s over twenty flavours of rich hot chocolate spoons on the Chocolate House wall. I’d recommend buying […]

LUXEMBOURG WITH KIDS. MANUAL. DAY 1

Well… Luxembourg. When I told my friends I’m moving to Luxembourg the most common reaction was “Is it somewhere in Belgium?” Well, the answer is no. Luxembourg is a separate country although it is rather small and borders with Belgium 🙂 I moved in last November, I’m not a tourist in Luxembourg, but since it is not my home town I had to get used to it. And to explore it. And to understand how to use it for good of my family (I moved with 2 kids, the third was born here). After almost a year spent in Ville de Luxembourg, the capital of Luxembourg I’m absolutely in love with the place and people I met here. So, I want to share some practical info with you, assuming you, as an advanced traveler, will find some time to visit this tiny piece of land just in the middle of Europe. Where to stay If you are travelling with kids, I’d advise not to stay in hotel but to rent out some of Airbnb places. Firstly, because of huge Luxembourgish prices for everything including hotels. So if you’re travelling with more than one co-traveler the hotel might cost you a fortune. And secondly as it is very practical while travelling with kids – you always need the kitchen to prepare some food or warm up the baby bottle, more than one room is also comfortable when your kids go in the bed early. The main problem you’ll definitely face if you’ll try to get an apartment outside of the touristic season is number of places available (I found only 6 in early February). More places are available in Christmas and in summer – some people rent out their own homes while going on vacation themselves. As for districts – I’d advise Belair, Limpertsberg, Grund, Clausen or maybe Merl. Grund and Clausen are so-called “ville-basse” the real historic city center, with small cafes, restaurants, sightseeing attractions and public parks. Belair and Limpertzberg are residential districts just around city center (I personally live in Belair and walk to the city center with kids). Merl is just after Belair, a little longer walk, but also a super-calm residential area with a lot of playgrounds for your kids. Most popular areas for younger travelers (Ville-haute or Center and Gare) are not good for families in my opinion – there is a lot of noise, streets are always crowded and there is a parking problem as well. Kirchberg, Cents or Bonnevoie are nice areas, but too far away from all attractions…   Belair in winter… …and in Spring Boulevard near the Limpertzberg Merl park Weather The weather is mostly wet – there is even funny video on youtube called “Luxembourgish weather”- but despite the rain, clouds and fog I adore the place and find super convenient for living and absolutely touristic-friendly. Most of Luxembourgers speak fluently 4 languages – […]
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