Located in the heart of Western Europe, Luxembourg is a fine tourist treat. Its position is great for those up for a Euro-trip, with major tourist cities and landmarks just a few hours away. Nestled in between France, Belgium, and Germany, it takes just a 2-hour ride via TGV to reach Paris, a 3-hour trip to Brussels, and a 2-hour flight to Berlin. Luxembourg is famous for its medieval castles (mostly located in the country’s north), its multicultural milieu (46% of the population is made by foreigners), world class food, and some of the globe’s finest wines and beers. It’s a home to the precious historical heritage protected by UNESCO, while its capital, Luxembourg City is the only one in the world that has been elected as the European Capital of Culture twice. The best time to visit is during the sunniest months, from May to August: here’s what you don’t want to miss out on your Luxembourg travel experience.
Making the Best of Your Luxembourg Travel Experience
Discover the fortifications of the “Gibraltar of the North”
Luxembourg City’s old quarter is its historic heart. The magnificent fortress was located here until its demolition in 1867. The rich history of the massive fortress walls is what gave the city a title of the Gibraltar of the North. Now the remains make a World Heritage Site and the lovely scenery you can stroll by. Enriched with picturesque gardens and alleys, it’s an exciting place to explore: ditch the map and soak in the city’s spirit by wandering through the cobbled streets. Go to the north-eastern corner of the historical quarter and you’ll reach the Bock, a prominent natural fortification. You can visit the remains of the Castle of Lucilinburhuc and also a highly popular tourist attraction: a 21-kilometer network of underground passages, the famous Casemates. Admission fee is €4 and although there typically aren’t any guided tours, you’ll get a brochure which helps you get to know the underground corridors filled with narrow pathways, spiral staircases, and caves.
Visit the most beautiful balcony in Europe
Walls of the Corniche in the Luxembourg City have been honored with a title of the most beautiful balcony in Europe. They tower over the city and the river, giving you some magical photo opportunities in your Luxembourg travel experience. Just a glance on the river and you’ll be thinking about how extraordinary it must be to get to know the city by a boat. Consider joining in the canal barges adventure and the incredible greenery and fortifications will take your breath away. Ask around and find out more about the cruises that go through the country or even are international. Visit the St. Michael’s church, located north of the walls. This charming church is the oldest religious compound in Luxembourg and if you’re lucky enough, you might stumble upon an organ concert (usually held on Saturdays).
Enjoy a vivid history lesson in the Grand-Ducal Palace
The Place Guillaume is the Luxembourg City’s widest open space, which makes it a lovely pedestrian zone you can discover to have a local Luxembourg travel experience. The most prominent building here is the City Hall with two lions on each side. Nearby is the Palace of the Grand Dukes which can be explored from the inside and through a guided tour, but only during the summer months. The tickets (€10) can be bought at the Tourist Office near the Place Guillaume and it is advisable to book them in advance to make the best of your Luxembourg travel experience: because this tour is not something you can enjoy all year round, it can get a bit crowded. On the 1-hour tour, you will learn more about the history of Luxembourg, but from the Royal family’s perspective. The architecture of the Palace of Grand Dukes is an exquisite sample of the Flemish Renaissance, dating all the way to the 16th century.
Soak in the mesmerizing nature in the Ardennes
Located in the north of Luxembourg, region of the Ardennes is known for its extensive forests and hilly landscape, making it a relaxing place for outdoor activities. There are many hiking routes you can choose from, whether you’re an enthusiast who wants to conquer the 60 km trail or someone who just enjoys strolling around and soaking in the views. The most charming town of this area is Wiltz, well known as the home to the open-air festival held in July. Don’t miss out on visiting the Battle of the Bulge Museum in the Wiltz Castle: it is a WWII museum with military vehicles and war relics on display. Another WWII themed museum is the Patton Museum dedicated to the war hero, General Patton.
Tour the castles around the country
Most of the castles in Luxembourg are accessible via public transport. There are over 100 castles across the country, so it’s impossible to visit them all, but here’s what you should keep your eye on. Vianden Castle is a fairytale-like medieval pearl, with its rich history and massive appearance. It’s also a home to various events, including the annually held Medieval Festival, where you can travel through time and enjoy seeing knights wander around, medieval tournaments, calligraphy demonstrations, and markets with crafted goods. Bourscheid Castle is specific in comparison to other castles, because of its position: it isn’t located on the outskirts of a village. This is why it produced everything on its own, from weapons to food. Clervaux Castle has been destroyed in the WWII, but also rebuilt with the respect for its previous structure. It’s a home of the permanent photography exhibition called “The Family of Man” by Edward Steichen with a strong artistic message: all people are bound by invisible strings and should have a respect for each other.
These are just some of the highlights of Luxembourg. It may not be as vivid as other European metropolises, but it has a distinctive charm you shouldn’t miss out on your Luxembourg travel experience.