Grund District - The Beautiful Lower Town of Luxembourg
January 21, 2019
by Marise Barbosa Noronha
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.
The best way to get to Grund from the top is by walking down the winding roads which are surrounded by thick bricked walls. This route usually takes about 15-20 minutes if you don’t keep stopping on the way down. This was the route we chose. From the bus stop we walked down slowly and leisurely to the lower town of the city. The walk was very calming and not at all tiring, if I’m being honest. In fact, we got to witness the beautiful top view of the district from different stages of walking down. And my sister and I captured very ‘Instagram worthy’ pictures too, so we were quite delighted.
This is the route people usually take due to medical reasons such as vertigo and the like. It is also taken by those that don’t want to waste time walking down to the town and those that have any physical limitations.
There are 2 elevators that can take you to the Grund district. They are both free of cost and very efficiently used. The newer one, called the “Pfaffenthal Lift” is made of glass and gives a simply magnificent view of the entire city. Truly beautiful.
Things to do:
One of the biggest reasons the Grund district is popular among tourists as well as the locals, is because it is a place that can be enjoyed by people of all ages. Whether you are a child, a teenager, an adult, or a senior citizen, you are going to love this place. And it’s probably the reason why we decided to visit it as a family.
Enjoy some peace and quiet:
This preserved part of Luxembourg city is the perfect place to enjoy a peaceful evening. Take a stroll by the riverside, read a book, or even just walk around the beautiful buildings and bridges and you will never want to leave.
Take beautiful pictures and videos:
Being a film enthusiast myself, I found this place very photogenic and beautiful to get some good pictures and shots for my travel video. Every building and corner, along with the pretty trees and the riverside will give you some really good instagram and profile pictures. Haha.
Eat good food and drink good drinks:
The restaurant “Chiggeri” in Luxembourg city holds the Guinness World Record of most varieties of wine served commercially. So the district of Grund is definitely bound to be home to some of the best bars and restaurants. Some of the bars in the area include Updown Bar, Liquid Bar, Café des Artistes, Brasserie Bosso, Vins Fins, The Pyg Irish bar. Scott’s Pub seems to be a favorite amongst tourists due to its very friendly staff and the terrace which has a breathtaking view of the beautiful river.
Enjoy the music:
The Grund district is the musical heart of Luxembourg city. It is the home to many music concerts such as the Jazz Festival and others, most of which are free of charge. Many singer- songwriters come forward to showcase their musical talents and the locals here too are very musical at heart.