Luxembourg Travel Guide – Everything You Need to Know

Nestled in the heart of Western Europe, Luxembourg, despite its small size, offers a captivating blend of rich history, picturesque landscapes, and modern sophistication. Renowned for its fairy-tale-like castles, charming villages, and the cosmopolitan city of Luxembourg, the country beckons tourists with a unique charm. Visitors can explore medieval fortifications, stroll through enchanting vineyards along the Moselle River, and delve into the vibrant cultural scene. Luxembourg’s status as a European capital and its diverse culinary offerings further enhance the allure of this grand duchy, inviting travelers to discover its distinctive blend of tradition and modernity.

What’s the Best Time to Visit? 📅

The best time to visit Luxembourg as a tourist is during the late spring to early autumn, from May to September. This period offers mild and pleasant weather, making it ideal for exploring the country’s outdoor attractions and picturesque landscapes. During these months, temperatures range from 15 to 25 degrees Celsius (59 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit), creating comfortable conditions for sightseeing, hiking, and enjoying outdoor activities.

Spring (April to June) brings blooming flowers and greenery, providing a scenic backdrop for exploration. Summer (July to August) is the peak tourist season when Luxembourg experiences warmer temperatures and longer daylight hours. This period is perfect for outdoor festivals, cultural events, and taking advantage of the numerous parks and gardens.

While the summer months are popular, they can also be crowded, especially in tourist hotspots. If you prefer a quieter experience, late spring and early fall offer pleasant weather with fewer crowds. Additionally, Luxembourg’s festive holiday markets in December can be charming, providing a unique winter experience for those who enjoy colder temperatures and holiday celebrations.

What’s the Best Way to Get Around? 🚌

Luxembourg offers a well-connected and efficient transportation system, making it easy for tourists to explore the country. Here are some of the best ways to get around Luxembourg:

  1. Public Transportation:
    • Buses: Luxembourg has an extensive and reliable bus network that covers the entire country. Bus travel is a cost-effective way to reach various destinations, including cities, towns, and tourist attractions.
    • Trains: The train system connects major cities and towns. Luxembourg City serves as a central hub for train travel, and the scenic train journeys provide a comfortable way to explore the country.
  2. Car Rental:
    • Renting a car is a convenient option for exploring Luxembourg, especially if you plan to visit rural areas and picturesque landscapes. The road network is well-maintained, and driving in the country is relatively easy.
  3. Cycling:
    • Luxembourg has a network of cycling paths, and renting a bicycle is a popular and eco-friendly way to explore both urban and rural areas. Many cities, including Luxembourg City, are bike-friendly.
  4. Walking:
    • Luxembourg’s cities and towns are pedestrian-friendly, with well-maintained sidewalks and pedestrian zones. Exploring on foot allows you to appreciate the historic charm of places like Luxembourg City and other quaint villages.
  5. Taxis:
    • Taxis are available in urban areas and can be a convenient option, especially for shorter journeys or when traveling with luggage. Taxis can be found at designated stands or can be booked in advance.
  6. Hop-on Hop-off Tours:
    • In Luxembourg City, you can explore key attractions through hop-on hop-off bus tours. These guided tours provide a convenient way to see the main sights with the flexibility to disembark and explore at your own pace.
  7. Car-sharing and Ride-Sharing:
    • Car-sharing and ride-sharing services operate in Luxembourg, offering additional transportation options for tourists. Check local apps and services for availability.
  8. Airport Shuttle:
    • If you arrive by air, shuttle services operate between Luxembourg Airport and the city center. This is a convenient way to reach your accommodation upon arrival.

Choose the mode of transportation that best suits your itinerary and preferences. Luxembourg’s compact size makes it easy to navigate, and each mode of transport has its own advantages depending on the areas you plan to explore.

What’s the Official Language?

Luxembourg is a multilingual country with three official languages: Luxembourgish, French, and German. Here are some basic words and phrases in these languages that can be useful for tourists:

Luxembourgish:

  1. Hello – Moien
  2. Goodbye – Äddi
  3. Please – W.e.g. (Wann ech gelift)
  4. Thank you – Merci
  5. Yes – Jo
  6. No – Nee
  7. Excuse me – Verzeiung
  8. I don’t understand – Ech verstan dat net
  9. Do you speak English? – Schwätzt Dir Englesch?
  10. Where is…? – Wou ass…?

French:

  1. Hello – Bonjour
  2. Goodbye – Au revoir
  3. Please – S’il vous plaît
  4. Thank you – Merci
  5. Yes – Oui
  6. No – Non
  7. Excuse me – Excusez-moi
  8. I don’t understand – Je ne comprends pas
  9. Do you speak English? – Parlez-vous anglais?
  10. Where is…? – Où est…?

German:

  1. Hello – Hallo
  2. Goodbye – Auf Wiedersehen
  3. Please – Bitte
  4. Thank you – Danke
  5. Yes – Ja
  6. No – Nein
  7. Excuse me – Entschuldigen Sie
  8. I don’t understand – Ich verstehe das nicht
  9. Do you speak English? – Sprechen Sie Englisch?
  10. Where is…? – Wo ist…?

While many Luxembourgers are multilingual and English is widely understood, making an effort to use a few words in the local languages is always appreciated and can enhance your cultural experience.

Where to Stay? 🏨

Luxembourg offers a range of accommodation options for tourists, catering to various preferences and budgets. Here are some areas to consider for your stay:

  1. Luxembourg City Centre:
    • The heart of Luxembourg City, the capital, is a popular choice for tourists. You’ll find a mix of luxury hotels, boutique accommodations, and budget-friendly options. Staying in the city center provides easy access to key attractions, shopping, dining, and vibrant nightlife.
  2. Kirchberg District:
    • Known as the city’s business district, Kirchberg is also home to European Union institutions. This area offers modern hotels and is well-connected by public transport. It’s a good choice for those attending conferences or wanting a quieter atmosphere.
  3. Grund District:
    • Located in the lower part of Luxembourg City, Grund is a historic district with cobbled streets and charming architecture. There are boutique hotels and guesthouses offering a more intimate setting. The area is known for its picturesque views and cozy atmosphere.
  4. Belair:
    • A residential area close to the city center, Belair offers a mix of accommodation options. It provides a quieter environment while still being within walking distance or a short bus ride from the city’s attractions.
  5. Gare District:
    • The Gare district, near the main train station, is a convenient location with various hotels. It’s a transportation hub, making it easy to explore not only Luxembourg City but also other parts of the country.
  6. Echternach:
    • For those interested in exploring beyond the capital, Echternach, located in eastern Luxembourg, is the country’s oldest town. It offers a mix of historic charm and natural beauty, with options ranging from hotels to guesthouses.
  7. Vianden:
    • Nestled in the Ardennes region, Vianden is known for its medieval castle and scenic surroundings. Consider staying in this picturesque town for a more tranquil experience.
  8. Esch-sur-Sûre:
    • If you prefer a rural setting, Esch-sur-Sûre, located in the Luxembourg Ardennes, provides a peaceful escape. This small town is known for its castle and beautiful lake.

When choosing accommodation, consider your travel itinerary, budget, and preferences. Luxembourg’s efficient public transportation system makes it easy to explore different regions, so you can choose a base that suits your interests and travel plans.

What to Eat? 🍽️

Luxembourg’s culinary scene reflects a blend of French, German, and Belgian influences, creating a unique gastronomic experience. Here are some must-try foods in Luxembourg for tourists:

  1. Judd mat Gaardebounen:
    • Smoked pork collar served with broad beans and potatoes. This dish is a hearty and traditional Luxembourgish specialty.
  2. Gromperekichelcher:
    • Deep-fried potato cakes, often flavored with onions, garlic, and parsley. They are a popular snack or side dish, especially during fairs and festivals.
  3. F’rell am Reis:
    • Trout served with rice, a common dish in Luxembourg due to its rivers and lakes teeming with fresh fish.
  4. Bouneschlupp:
    • A green bean soup, often containing potatoes, bacon, and other vegetables. It’s a comforting and flavorful dish enjoyed in Luxembourg.
  5. Kniddelen:
    • Luxembourgish dumplings, usually served with sauerkraut or bacon. They come in various forms, and you can find both savory and sweet versions.
  6. Rieslingspaschteit:
    • A puff pastry pie filled with a mixture of Riesling wine, pork, and sometimes other meats. It’s a savory delight enjoyed by locals and visitors alike.
  7. Quetschentaart:
    • A traditional plum tart made with ripe plums and a buttery crust. It’s a delicious dessert often enjoyed during the plum season.
  8. Gromperenzopp:
    • A comforting potato soup often flavored with leeks, bacon, and herbs. It’s a popular dish, especially in colder months.
  9. Huesenziwwi:
    • Rabbit cooked in a white wine and cream sauce, often with mustard. It’s a delicacy that showcases Luxembourg’s culinary diversity.
  10. Ardennes Ham:
    • Cured ham from the Ardennes region, known for its rich flavor and traditional preparation methods. It’s often served as part of a charcuterie platter.
  11. Kachkéis:
    • Luxembourgish melted cheese, typically served with bread or potatoes. It’s a delicious treat, especially for cheese enthusiasts.
  12. Riesling Wine:
    • Luxembourg is renowned for its quality Riesling wines. Don’t miss the opportunity to pair your meal with a local Riesling, known for its crisp and fruity character.

Exploring Luxembourg’s culinary offerings allows you to savor the country’s unique flavors and appreciate its diverse culinary heritage. Whether you’re indulging in traditional dishes or enjoying local wines, Luxembourg has something to satisfy every palate.

What to See? 🔍

Luxembourg, despite its small size, boasts a rich history, stunning landscapes, and charming urban areas. Here are some must-see places for tourists in Luxembourg:

  1. Luxembourg City:
    • Explore the capital city’s historic Old Town (Ville Haute) with its medieval fortifications, including the Bock Casemates, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
    • Admire the Grand Ducal Palace and the neoclassical Cathedral of Notre Dame.
    • Stroll along the scenic Pétrusse and Alzette valleys.
  2. Vianden Castle:
    • Perched on a hill overlooking the town of Vianden, this medieval castle is one of the most well-preserved in Europe. The castle offers panoramic views of the surrounding countryside.
  3. Mullerthal Region – “Little Switzerland”:
    • Discover the picturesque landscapes of the Mullerthal Region, known as “Little Switzerland” for its dense forests, rocky formations, and hiking trails.
  4. Echternach:
    • Visit Luxembourg’s oldest town, Echternach, known for its charming medieval architecture, the Basilica of Saint Willibrord, and the picturesque Echternach Lake.
  5. Grund:
    • Wander through Grund, the lower part of Luxembourg City, with its historic houses along the Alzette River. Enjoy the vibrant atmosphere of this quaint district.
  6. Clervaux:
    • Explore the town of Clervaux, home to the impressive Clervaux Castle and the Family of Man photographic exhibition. The castle houses historical artifacts and showcases Luxembourg’s heritage.
  7. Dudelange:
    • Visit the industrial town of Dudelange, home to the National Museum of the Resistance, which explores Luxembourg’s role in World War II.
  8. Schengen:
    • Discover the village of Schengen, where the Schengen Agreement was signed. The European Museum, situated in the Schengen Castle, provides insights into the agreement’s significance.
  9. D’Coque National Sports and Cultural Centre:
    • If you’re interested in modern architecture, visit the D’Coque complex, which hosts sports events, concerts, and cultural activities.
  10. Luxembourg American Cemetery and Memorial:
    • Pay your respects at the Luxembourg American Cemetery in Hamm, honoring the American soldiers who fought in the Battle of the Bulge during World War II.
  11. National Museum of History and Art:
    • Located in Luxembourg City, this museum showcases Luxembourg’s cultural and historical heritage through its extensive collection of artifacts.
  12. Wenzel Circular Walk:
    • Follow the Wenzel Circular Walk in Luxembourg City to explore the city’s highlights, including its fortifications, squares, and historic sites.

These are just a few highlights, and Luxembourg’s compact size makes it easy to explore various regions in a relatively short time. Whether you’re interested in history, nature, or urban exploration, Luxembourg offers a diverse range of attractions for every traveler.

What to Do? 📸

Luxembourg, despite its small size, offers a variety of activities for tourists. Here are some must-do things when visiting Luxembourg:

  1. Explore Luxembourg City’s Old Town:
    • Wander through the charming streets of the Old Town (Ville Haute) in Luxembourg City. Visit historic sites like the Grand Ducal Palace and the Bock Casemates.
  2. Visit the Bock Casemates:
    • Descend into the Bock Casemates, a network of underground tunnels and chambers that played a crucial role in Luxembourg’s defense. The casemates offer a fascinating glimpse into the city’s military history.
  3. Take a Walk along the Chemin de la Corniche:
    • Known as Europe’s most beautiful balcony, the Chemin de la Corniche offers breathtaking views of the Alzette Valley and Luxembourg City. It’s a perfect spot for a leisurely stroll.
  4. Admire Vianden Castle:
    • Visit Vianden Castle, a well-preserved medieval fortress located on a hill overlooking the town of Vianden. Explore its historic rooms and enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding area.
  5. Hike in Mullerthal Region – “Little Switzerland”:
    • Explore the scenic trails of the Mullerthal Region, often referred to as “Little Switzerland.” Discover rock formations, dense forests, and charming villages.
  6. Cruise on the Moselle River:
    • Take a boat cruise on the Moselle River and enjoy the picturesque landscapes and vineyards along the way. Wine enthusiasts can also explore the region’s wineries.
  7. Visit Echternach Abbey:
    • Explore the Basilica of Saint Willibrord and the Echternach Abbey in the town of Echternach. The abbey is known for its Romanesque architecture and historical significance.
  8. Attend the Schueberfouer:
    • If visiting in late summer, attend the Schueberfouer, one of Europe’s oldest and largest funfairs. Enjoy rides, games, and traditional Luxembourgish foods.
  9. Discover Luxembourg’s Cuisine:
    • Indulge in Luxembourg’s culinary delights. Try local specialties such as Judd mat Gaardebounen (smoked pork collar with broad beans) and Gromperekichelcher (potato cakes).
  10. Explore the Mullerthal Trail:
    • Embark on the Mullerthal Trail, a well-marked hiking route that takes you through the region’s stunning landscapes, including forests, rock formations, and waterfalls.
  11. Visit Clervaux Castle:
    • Explore Clervaux Castle, home to The Family of Man exhibition. The castle also houses the UNESCO-listed Abbey of St. Maurice and St. Maur.
  12. Enjoy Outdoor Activities:
    • Luxembourg offers opportunities for outdoor activities such as cycling, kayaking, and rock climbing. The country’s diverse landscapes provide a playground for nature enthusiasts.
  13. Visit Luxembourg American Cemetery and Memorial:
    • Pay your respects at the Luxembourg American Cemetery, where American soldiers who fought in World War II are buried. The memorial provides a solemn reflection on Luxembourg’s wartime history.

These activities offer a mix of cultural exploration, outdoor adventures, and culinary delights, providing a well-rounded experience for tourists in Luxembourg.

Culture and Safety 🦺

Culture in Luxembourg:

  1. Multilingualism:
    • Luxembourg is a multilingual country with three official languages: Luxembourgish, French, and German. English is widely spoken, making communication relatively easy for tourists.
  2. Rich Heritage:
    • Luxembourg boasts a rich cultural heritage influenced by its history and diverse neighboring countries. Visitors can explore medieval castles, historic towns, and modern architecture.
  3. International Cuisine:
    • Luxembourg’s culinary scene reflects its multicultural identity, offering a diverse range of international cuisines alongside traditional dishes. Don’t miss the opportunity to savor local specialties.
  4. Festivals and Events:
    • Luxembourg hosts various cultural events and festivals throughout the year. These events showcase music, arts, and traditions, providing visitors with a vibrant cultural experience.

Safety in Luxembourg:

  1. Low Crime Rate:
    • Luxembourg is known for its low crime rate, making it one of the safest countries in Europe. Violent crimes are rare, and the overall safety levels for tourists are high.
  2. Public Transport Safety:
    • Public transportation in Luxembourg is efficient and safe. Buses and trains are well-maintained, and the country’s small size allows for easy navigation.
  3. Healthcare Standards:
    • Luxembourg has a high standard of healthcare, and medical facilities meet international standards. Emergency services are accessible, and it is recommended to have travel insurance for medical coverage.
  4. Clean and Well-Maintained Environment:
    • Luxembourg takes pride in its clean and well-maintained urban and natural environments. Tourists can explore the country confidently, knowing that public spaces are generally safe and clean.
  5. Traffic Safety:
    • Road safety is a priority in Luxembourg. Traffic regulations are strictly enforced, and the road infrastructure is well-maintained. Visitors should adhere to traffic rules and use designated pedestrian crossings.
  6. Political Stability:
    • Luxembourg is known for its political stability. The country has a well-established legal system, and the rule of law is upheld.
  7. Safe Outdoor Activities:
    • Luxembourg’s outdoor activities, such as hiking and cycling, are generally safe. The country’s landscapes are well-preserved, and safety measures are in place for various recreational activities.
  8. Emergency Services:
    • Luxembourg has reliable emergency services, including police, fire, and medical assistance. The emergency phone number is 112, and operators speak multiple languages.

While Luxembourg is considered a safe destination, it’s always advisable for travelers to exercise common-sense precautions. Be aware of your surroundings, take care of your belongings, and follow local regulations to ensure a safe and enjoyable visit.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Luxembourg offers a captivating blend of rich cultural heritage, stunning landscapes, and modern amenities for tourists. The country’s multicultural atmosphere, multilingual population, and diverse cuisine create a unique and welcoming experience. With its well-preserved historic sites, picturesque towns, and outdoor activities, Luxembourg provides a perfect destination for those seeking a harmonious balance between tradition and modernity. Coupled with a reputation for safety, efficient public services, and a welcoming environment, Luxembourg beckons travelers to explore its charm, whether through the cobbled streets of its Old Town, the picturesque landscapes of “Little Switzerland,” or the cultural events that punctuate its calendar. Whether you’re drawn to medieval castles, scenic hiking trails, or the culinary delights of a cosmopolitan city, Luxembourg offers a delightful journey that resonates with both history and contemporary allure.