If you are looking for somewhere to spend a long weekend in Europe then look no further than lovely Luxembourg.
Here is a guide for getting into and around this tiny city, and some ideas of activities you can do to make the most of your time there.
Recommended time here
2 days for Luxembourg City.
4 days or more for Luxembourg City and the wider country.
Getting into Luxembourg City
The airport is teeny tiny and you will have no problems getting into the main city. Ditch the taxi and jump on a bus directly outside the airport. If you need to arrive right in the city centre then be sure to jump off at Hamilus. The bus costs between €2 and €4.
How to get around
Many cities claim to be “walking cities” and many are lying to you. Luxembourg City truly is a walking city. You will be surprised how easily you can walk around the entire city without feeling ridiculously tired and over-walked.
The hop on hop off buses here, in my opinion, tend not to be value for money comparative to other larger cities that are navigable by road. As the majority of the city centre, and therefore many of the main attractions, are inaccessible by road this really is a city best seen by foot.
If you are branching out to see Kirchberg (just outside the main city) you should however jump on a bus to save time.
Heading further north, south, east, or west? Many buses can be caught from most of the main roads surrounding the city centre which will take you to the train station.
Choosing your hotel in Luxembourg
Something I learnt very quickly was that the map of Luxembourg City makes the city look a lot bigger than it really is. This should aid you in choosing the most cost effective accommodation.
Any hotel listed as being in a ‘good location within the main city’ will be within walking distance of all the main attractions, so you may want to save some cash and opt for the cheaper ‘inner city hotel’ option available.
Staying in a hotel right near the centre is a good idea for those with one and a half, or two days here.
Staying for more than 2 days?
If you are staying in the city for more than 2 days I recommend staying a little outside the of the centre. This is not only a little cheaper, but will also provide you with a little ‘escape’ from the busy tourist scene as you wander back to the hotel in the evening.
We stayed in a hotel to the north of Parc Municipal which gave us the nice 15 minute walk to and from the centre via the park each day.
Attractions in the city
History, science, and art museums are easily found here with many offering free admission for international students.
In Kirchberg, Fort Thüngen has been converted into an art museum, and whilst art museums aren’t my idea of a holiday activity, seeing an old fort certainly is.
Luxembourg City History Museum was our favourite museum due to it’s variety of topics covered – despite there being no information provided in English. The funfair exhibit on the top floor was nothing less than random, especially when we couldn’t translate the supporting information.
The Science centre/ museum is also a great way to spend a few hours with workshops taking place throughout the day.
Visiting with children
The capital city of Luxembourg, aptly named Luxembourg City, makes for a wonderful weekend trip whether you’re on your own, with friends, in a couple, or with the family.
If you are travelling with children, you can expect to spend hours at the huge pirate park in Parc Municipal playing with water and sand, sliding down the huge slide, and swinging from mini ropes.
Aside from the incredible pirate ship park, the science museum, and local history museum offer plenty of opportunities for your children to get involved and learn a little about Luxembourg along the way.
The city is very family friendly and during the summer months you can expect the community to run events and mini shows for children to get stuck in to.
Do you speak Ger-Fren-glish?
The perplexing mix of germanic/french languages can be confusing and sure kept us on our toes. Many of the restaurant staff spoke French as we entered but switched to English when they realised how poor our French was.
Strangely, despite everyone approaching us in French, most of the writing that we saw on shop windows and on numerous menus was in German… Google Translate app at the ready!
Other activities in Luxembourg City
Bok Casemates – With the weather forecast not looking so good for our second day, we saved our visit to the Bok Casemates for the second day. As the Casemates are at the edge of the city, you can grab a bus here, or a taxi for a reasonable amount.
The Casemates are interesting but sparse on information. As you enter you should take a flyer (not available in English) and attempt to learn a little about why they are there.
The Grund and Neumunster – This UNESCO Heritage site can be seen on foot, or better yet from above. We took a walk through the Court of Justice of the European Union, past the fountain there until we reached some benches where we sat and admired the Grund and Neumunster in it’s entirety.
From the Casemates you will inevitably find yourself walking down and up the walls of the Corniche where you can grab some incredible panoramic views over the Grund atop of “Europe’s most beautiful balcony.”
Cathédrale Notre-Dame – This is only in France right? Wrong! The cathedral is huge and beautiful on the inside and out. Whether you are religious or not you are sure to find the underground crypt interesting.
St Michaels Church – As the oldest church in Luxembourg, this beautiful piece of architecture should not be overlooked. Take the look at the stain glass windows and admire the interior for a while before heading to the next place of interest.
Grand Duchal Palace – Why not spend time visiting the home of the world’s only Grand Duchy. This building, despite having “grand” in the title, is easily missed as it blends into its surroundings (especially on days where the guards aren’t stationed outside!).
One last thing
Enjoy your time here and make sure you make the most if your days in the city. We found that we visited all of the main sites and more within a day and a half. Considering we were leaving the hotel at around 11am, stopping for a good hour for lunch, and longer for dinner, it’s safe to say that if you are in Luxembourg for longer a day trip out of the city may be the best option for you.
Have a fabulous trip!