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Luxembourg City the most underrated in Europe?

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Updated: 25th August 2015

When I told my friends I was planning to visit Luxembourg City, they all had a similar response. None one seemed very excited for me.

I can understand why. When we talk about ‘tax havens’ and ‘business cities, ‘ you can’t help but conjure up the image of a sterile, modern suit-covered land. Thankfully, it turned out this was certainly not the case.

Luxembourg City

It seemed a great idea for a weekend getaway. Given the size of the country, I thought I would have the city mastered in a few hours. Nestled in between Belgium, France and Germany, I was planning on heading out of town for a weekend dose of nature, but instead, I found one of the most underrated cities in Europe.

The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg may have just turned 200, but its history goes way further back than that. You can quickly see why, over twenty years ago, Luxembourg City became a UNESCO world heritage site.

Soak up the History

Ok, so it’s both a city and a country, but nevertheless, a visit to Luxembourg is a great weekend trip.

The Medieval Ramparts are the star of the show here. The various levels of the old part of the city make for a great few hours wandering around and enjoying the view.

The incredible 23km casemates tunnels and bunkers are well worth exploring, although access to much of them is closed off.

The bridges, ah man, I love a good bridge. It always makes me feel like I am actually in Harry Potter.

The 16th-century Grand Ducal Palace may not be as grand as others, but it is a visual treat from the outside. If you visit during the summer months, you can see the grand interior as well.

Luxemboug Aerial Views

Essentially, there might not be heaps to do here, but there certainly is heaps to see. That said, there are more than enough museums to visit, as well as a brilliant market served up on Saturday mornings.

Especially given this is one of the smallest countries in Europe, you’ll be surprised with how many museums Luxembourg lauds. The National Museum of History and Art stands out for its collection of Luxembourgish paintings, some of which could be rivals to the Flemish. Casino Luxembourg is an excellent spot for viewing contemporary art. Then, of course, there is The Bank Museum – I mean, would you expect anything less?

And it is not just the old that is mighty impressive, the Luxembourg Concert hall is one of many cool and futuristic buildings in the city.

Luxemboug City Views

Eat, Eat, EAT

Being landlocked between three mighty fine countries means the food offerings here are incredible! From Parisian-perfect pastries for breakfast right through to Michelin-star restaurants, you are spoilt for choice.

The national dish of Luxembourg is smoked pork collar and broad beans. It might not be to everyone’s taste but fear not; you have plenty of other excellent options.

A short stroll from the centre is the beautiful Restaurant La Sud, where I dined for Valentine’s Day with an extensive and beautifully arranged menu. I also found it really great value given how expensive much of the city is, the lunch fixed price menu is practically a steal! There are plenty of cool bars located nearby for a post-dinner drink. They were actually surprisingly packed; I had never had this city down as a place to party!

If you really want to splurge, head out of town to the grand castle setting of Chateau de Bourglinster, which has two restaurants, including the famed and starred La Distillerie. People with a bit more dosh than myself can’t stop praising it!

Visit Luxembourg
Luxembourg City

Where to Stay

I’ve visited this tiny nation twice and enjoyed it at both ends of the spectrum…

If you are feeling like splashing out, then the Sofitel, with its stunning views looking out on the spire-tipped, multi-levelled beauty of the forted part of the city, is a winner. With the usual impeccable service you would expect, spacious rooms and a great restaurant and bar with equally great views of the city, you can’t go wrong here.

However, the YHA hostel, which is set within the historical centre of Luxembourg City, offers clean, slick dorms (as you would expect from the stereotype) for a relatively good price in this otherwise pricey destination.

Further Afield

There are heaps of places to visit beyond the city itself. On my ‘hit list’ for my next visit is the quaint, wine-producing town of Schengen, as well as the stunning city of Vianden in the northeast, which boasts a rather impressive castle. On top of this, you have nature parks, hiking and stunning green wine regions all waiting to be discovered. Head over to Visit Luxembourg for some inspiration.

6 replies
  1. Walky Talky says:

    Very nice coverage!
    We use to say that Luxembourg is the city where past meets present as your post highlights.
    Allow me please to advertise our free and private tours of Luxembourg city. We are the only ones to cover both the old city (upper Town) and the area of Kirchberg (down to Pfaffendal) and other areas of the country.
    Search for “walky talky tour Luxembourg” to find us and join our tours!

  2. Lisa says:

    I was keen to visit Luxembourg city but it was suggested to me that we should take a rain check given the renovations and construction in the city. We have been to Vianden though and simply loved visiting the town and the fort overlooking the area!

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