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Things to do in Luxembourg: Weekend City Getaway

With so many things to do in Luxembourg, it is now clear to me why tourists pick this fantastic country for a trip abroad. Bordered by Belgium, France and Germany, Luxembourg has some great cultural influences, including an amalgam of languages widely spoken throughout the country. What struck me most about Luxembourg is the sheer amount of greenery. All the way from the airport towards the hotel, the journey was through a surreal mass of trees, a rather unlikely landscape in a European city. Even in Luxembourg City itself, as opposed to being overwhelmed by a concrete jungle, seas of trees were predominant throughout the area.

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To enjoy a hassle free trip around Luxembourg, I recommend getting the Luxembourg Card. For a period of 1, 2 or 3 days you’ll enjoy free access to more than 60 museums and tourist attractions in Luxembourg. You can get yours from Visit Luxembourg here.

You Could Travel Luxembourg Things To Do

Things to do in Luxembourg

Amongst the best Luxembourg points of interest, the Grund (Luxembourgish: Gronn) was by far my favourite place.

The Grund is located in the valley below the centre of Luxembourg City on the banks of the Alzette River. This place really is a photographer’s dream as it can be photographed from above as well as from below once you get to explore its quirky streets. Not only this is a picturesque area but also a popular place to enjoy the Luxembourg nightlife at its best. We were lucky to meet up with my old friend from secondary school, who now lives in Luxembourg City. What more could I ask for, than a local guide who took us on a classy pub crawl? But more on that a bit later.

The second place I really enjoyed was the Grand Ducal Palace. Not only it had this intricate architectural decor, but we were lucky enough to visit Luxembourg during the National Day.

The National Day in Luxembourg was originally meant to celebrate the Grand-Dukes birthday, which started once with the birthday of Grand Duchess Charlotte, which is on January 23rd. As her birthday was in the winter, the celebrations were postponed until summer time, June 23rd to be precise. The National Day remained unchanged since. The festivities start on the evening of June 22nd. Luxembourg City starts the celebrations with a solemn changing of the guard at the Grand-Ducal Palace around 4:00 pm, then it continues with a massive street party with music, drinks and food. There are also fireworks which start at 11 pm. It’s a great time to visit Luxembourg and one of the best things to do in Luxembourg City.

If you are asking yourself what to do in Luxembourg, I suggest starting by renting a car. Luxembourg is relatively small and less than 2 hours away you will already find yourself at the Northern border. Make your way to the Clervaux Castle, located in the town of Clervaux. The castle dates back to the 12th century. Destroyed by fire in the Second World War during the Battle of the Bulge, the castle has now been fully rebuilt.

Clervaux Castle Luxembourg

Right next to the castle there is a great Luxembourg attraction called The Family of Man. The Family of Man is a photography exhibition curated by Esward Steichen. It was first shown in 1955 at the New York MOMA then toured the world for eight years. In 2003 the photographic collection became part of UNESCO’s Memory of World Register.

Family of Men Luxembourg

And since we are talking about great things to do in Luxembourg, please don’t forget to wander around Clervaux for a bit. It really is a lovely place for photography. If you too have a sweet tooth, there is a pretty little Bakery right at the corner from the Clervaux Castle. A lovely little place which sells wonderful cakes and drinks. Feel free to have a relaxing moment there.

We love soft adventure travel, so naturally, we wanted to drive a little more around Luxembourg and get to enjoy another castle. This one comes with a little hiking opportunity, which makes it one of the best things to do in Luxembourg.

I am talking about Vianden, of course, the magical fairy castle I now associate Luxembourg with.

You Could Travel Destinations - Luxembourg

Vianden is a town on the Our River, in Luxembourg’s Ardennes region. It is a beautiful little town, with narrow streets, quirky houses and lush forests. We started our adventure towards the Vianden castle by taking the cable car from the town all the way up to the hilltop. The cable car might not be for the faint-hearted as it will give you a bit of vertigo. If you are afraid of heights, maybe take someone with you to hold you tight, or hike to the castle instead.

From the top, follow the signs through the forest which will lead you right to the Vianden castle. The walk itself is mild and easy and perfect for everyone who loves the outdoors. We very much enjoyed it. Perhaps, we would have even liked to spend more time hiking the forests and taking a longer trail.

What to see in Luxembourg

Once we got to the castle itself, we really fell in love. We arrived about 30 minutes before closing time, which was ideal, as there were virtually no tourists around. We had the whole castle for ourselves. There were lots of picture opportunities all around, and plenty of spots which offer wonderful views of the nearby forests and town.

Vianden is a fantastic little place which must be explored on foot. There are cute pubs, bars and restaurants and the Vianden's Riverside is perfect for an afternoon promenade.

You Could Travel Vianden Castle Luxembourg

On our way back to Luxembourg City we stopped at a fantastic restaurant called Fabrik. Fabrik is located in Mersch about 30 minutes away from the city itself. The restaurant serves great food and some amazing pizzas. If you still have the energy, wait until Fabrik transforms from a restaurant into a dance club. There is an outdoor seating area with blankets which you can freely use whilst taking a break from the dance. We especially loved the ambience out there, perfect for a nice couple time.

Vianden Little Town What to do in Luxembourg

The Family of Man
31 Montée du Château, 9701 Clervaux, Luxembourg
Monday, Tuesday - Closed
Wednesday - Sunday 12–6PM

Entry Fee - FREE with your Luxembourg Card

Vianden Cable Car
39, rue du Sanatorium
L-9425 Vianden

Open from Easter to the 19 October from 10.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. (6.00p.m.)
Closed in October if bad weather conditions

Admission:
Adults return fare 4,80 € - one way 3,50 €
Children: Return fare 2,50 € - one way 2,00 €

FREE with your Luxembourg Card

Vianden Castle
Montée du Château, 9408 Vianden, Luxembourg
Mon - Sun 10AM - 6PM

Adults - 8,50 €
Kids - 2,00 €
Seniors - 7,00 €
FREE with your Luxembourg Card

What to do in Luxembourg City

I already mentioned Grund, but there are so many more things to do in Luxembourg City. I, for example, really enjoyed walking around the centre, doing a bit of shopping around. The shopping streets reminded me of London a little. Lots of shops as you can imagine, from small boutiques to luxurious brands. The city caters for a range of budgets. Amongst clothes stores, there were plenty of eateries which caught our eyes. We especially loved the bakeries. Since we chose to explore during the Luxembourg National Day, you can imagine that a lot of the cakes were decorated with the Luxembourgish flag, a rather nice decorative touch, which also tasted delicious.

What to do in Luxembourg City

Exploring the Grund also gives you the chance to visit several museums. We loved the Lëtzebuerg City Museum the most. It was modern looking and kept up to date. It was interactive enough which also made it fun. Curiosity drove us to check out the National Museum of Natural History which had a cat exhibition. A bit strange if you ask me, but very much enjoyed the info presented nonetheless. Again, a very interactive collection with plenty to read and lots to explore.

For soft adventure lovers like ourselves, we would strongly recommend hiking in Luxembourg City. In my opinion, these hikes are a great way to explore. They reminded me of Bristol and the Zen afternoons I used to have exploring the nearby forests.

Beautiful Luxembourg What to do

You can do The Vauban Circular Walk which was named after the French fortress builder Sébastien le Prestre de Vauban (1633-1707). This leads you through one part of the fortifications of the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries.

You can walk to the Bock Casemates. The Bock Casemates is a natural fortification which protected the city throughout the centuries. Its rocky cliffs stand on the bank of the river Alzette. There are complex underground tunnels in the Bock called Casemates. With the total length of 23km, they were used for protection and housed military personnel and supplies during the war. The first tunnels were created by the Spanish in 1644 and each occupier extended it until it was partially destroyed after 1875. The Casemates were added to the UNESCO's world heritage sites list in 1994. Today, the Casemates are open to the public from March to October. Don't forget to grab your Luxembourg Card to get free entry.

You can also do the Wenzel Tour which is a circuit walk and takes approximately 3 hours. You can do this without a guide. This Wenzel trail will enable you to gather information about the various natural and man-made environment in the city of Luxembourg. Grab your headphones and venture out for a peaceful walk.

Best Things to do in Luxembourg

Lëtzebuerg City Museum
14, rue du Saint-Esprit
Monday: Closed
Tuesday - Sunday: 10AM - 6PM
Adults - 5,00 €
Free entrance every Thursday from 6 pm to 8 pm

Entry Fee - FREE with your Luxembourg Card

National Museum of Natural History "natur musée"
25, rue Münster
Monday: Closed
Tuesday - Sunday: 10AM - 6PM
Adults - 5,00 €
Entry Fee - FREE with your Luxembourg Card

Bock Casemates
Montée de Clausen
Adults - 6,00 €
Children - 3,00 €

Entry Fee - FREE with your Luxembourg Card

What to eat in Luxembourg

The short answer is everything. The food in Luxembourg is ridiculously good. We very much enjoyed the large portions. The food tasted very good and the service was impeccable.

I already mentioned about the cakes and pastries you can find in the Luxembourg bakeries. Eat brownies, eclairs (my favourite) and lots of pretzels. You can see why Luxembourg is so great, right? Even the food has French, German and Belgian influences. It’s like being in all three countries at once.

Here are the restaurants we tried:

Njord Mhna

Place Fish Market, L-2345 Luxembourg
We had a lunch menu for around 10 € per person which consisted of a choice of two dishes and a drink. I got a refreshing cucumber soup and a bagel with a glass of lemonade. G got two bagels, a cheesecake and a soda.

We would recommend this place, we very much enjoyed the food.

Cheesecake What to eat in Luxembourg

Brasserie Siegfried

41 Allée Scheffer, 2520 Luxembourg

This Brasserie has a bit of a pub feel to it, which was perfect for a hot summer evening like we experienced. We enjoyed the bruschetta as well as the steaks with peppercorn sauce. We also had two types of Gin and Tonic: Gin Mare and Monkey 47. The portions were incredibly generous. Although the drinks were super expensive, the meal itself was reasonably priced for about 20 € per person.

We would recommend this place, we very much enjoyed the food and the ambience.

Starters Dinner in Luxembourg

À La Soupe

9 Rue Chimay, 1333 Luxembourg

The menu is rather simple: get a soup of your choice with a sandwich and a drink. The portions are ridiculous! We struggled to finish the soup and kept the sandwiches for later. The total price for two lunch menus: 20 €.

We strongly recommend this for lunch!

Luxembourg Menu for Lunch

Ambrosia

10 Rue Notre Dame, 2240 Luxembourg

A Greek restaurant which serves brilliant food and epic starters. The ambience is nice and the service was very good. We ordered some olives with bits and bobs for starters and two steaks. Worry not, you can get a lot of Greek dishes, including lamb based meals. The total order came to 70 € for the two of us but we were extra full by the end.

We would recommend Ambrosia for dinner.

Ambrosia Luxembourg Food

Ca(fé)sino

41 Rue Notre-Dame, Luxembourg City 2240, Luxembourg

We had lunch as a group here and the opinions of the place were mixed. Some liked the food, whilst G and I really didn't. We ordered the burgers and asked them to be well done but received some raw mince which was awful. The chips were dry and the drinks were not tasty (we got some Pimm's but regretted every second of it). Although the decor was nice, we didn't appreciate the art written on the ceiling.

Better skip this one, we wouldn't recommend it.

Cafesino Burgers Luxembourg

Fabrik

33 Rue de la Gare, 7535 Mersch, Luxembourg

Not only the service was great, but the food was excellent too. We ordered some amazing pizza which looked and tasted fantastic. I would expect to pay about 20 € per person. Remember that drinks are quite expensive but these guys really know how to make a good Gin Tonic.

We strongly recommend this for dinner!

Fabrik Pizza Luxembourg

What to drink in Luxembourg

Luxembourg is not just about epic food, but about great drinks too. Unfortunately, like in many Western countries, drinks come with a price tag, and nowhere this was more obvious than in Luxembourg City. A glass of Gin Tonic was as expensive as 10 euro (ouch). I almost felt bad for ordering it.

Beers were epic but expensive too. Around 5-6 euros a pint which is even more expensive than some British pubs. On the bright side, I never thought there is a place in the world which serves more expensive beers than in the UK.

Grund Luxembourg City

Beyond the crazy price tag, beers are good. Like, incredibly good. The variety is quite astonishing, ranging from craft beers, IPAs, ales and bitters.

I do love a good pint, but this was a great time to ask my friend, Stefan, to show us around and lead us on a successful pub crawl.

So what happened?

We started off in Grund, in the Liquid Bar. Let’s bear in mind that we met on the 22nd of June, the night of epic celebrations for the Luxembourg National Day. So we knew the city was going to get pretty crowded.

Liquid was a great little bar, located on 15 Rue Münster, 2160. We asked what type of beer to try and we got overwhelmed by a board full of tiny written titles. We ordered a light beer which tasted incredible. Two beers later, we were ready to make a move and change sceneries.

That’s when we stopped at Scott's, a cool pub, pretty crowded by the time we got there. People were already listening to music on the streets, freely drinking and partying. No weird stuff though. We expected to see something out of London during the New Years, but the Luxembourgish kept themselves to themselves. No trouble, no people dressed in Mankinis, no women squatting on the street. It actually made me want to recommend the Luxembourg nightlife.

Things to do in Luxembourg

It was getting pretty late, so we left Scott's and headed to the elevators so we can check out the fireworks. As you can imagine, the skies were an explosion of colours. Truly magical. Everyone was cheering, the atmosphere was really great. Like a summer NYE, just better. Stefan took us on some off the beaten path streets, towards the North of the city. After a fun walk during the night, we finally made our way back to the hotel. We crossed the Adolphe Bridge on foot, which offered fantastic views over the city and the valley below. Something I truly recommend as a great thing to do in Luxembourg.

Beyond all the Luxembourg tourist attractions, I honestly believe you can explore Luxembourg City at your own pace and simply wander with a camera in your hand. Although relatively small, it’s a great place for a weekend away with your friends or you partner. We loved walking around hand in hand and very much enjoyed how safe we felt in Luxembourg.

What to see National Celebration Luxembourg

Luxembourg Survival Guide

Luxembourg: Officially called the Grand Dutchy of Luxembourg

Luxembourg Motto: "We want to remain what we are"

Official Languages: Luxembourgish, French and German. Although most people also speak English.

Nationality: 55.5% Luxembourgers, 16.4% Portuguese, 6.6% French, 21.5% Other

Currency: EURO

Time zone: CET

Drives on the: Right

Emergency number: 112

Accommodation: Visit booking.com

Safety in Luxembourg: Luxembourg is relatively safe. Foreign visitors can be targeted by scam artists and these can cause great financial loss. Always stay vigilant. Violent crime isn’t common in Luxembourg. Pickpockets operate on buses and in train stations, particularly the Hammilus (main bus station) and the Luxembourg Gare (main train station) Be aware of your immediate surroundings, keep your bags within sight, and avoid displaying high-value items.

Driving in Luxembourg: Minimum age for driving a car is 18. The driver must have a valid licence. You must use headlights on full-beam outside towns and cities at night and in times of low visibility. Drink-drive laws are strictly enforced. You can be arrested for having a blood alcohol content of 0.05%.

Local Laws: The minimum legal drinking age is 16 years old, but being drunk and disorderly in public is a criminal offence that can result in arrest for a night and a heavy fine.

Couple Travel in Luxembourg: Luxembourg is a great place for couples. Same-sex marriage became legal in Luxembourg on 1 January 2015. The current Prime Minister, Bettel, is open about being gay. Same-sex couples are safe to exercise public display of affection in Luxembourg, on the streets, bars and restaurant.

We would like to thank the official Luxembourg Tourism Board, Visit Luxembourg, for inviting us to their beautiful country. We loved the experience, had lots of fun, great food and can't wait to return to Luxembourg.

Did I miss something? Have something to add? Please let me know in the comments section bellow.

Beautiful Luxembourg City

Responses

D
D Hatrang
10 Apr 2018

These photos are amazing and really make me want to go back to Luxembourg – such a pretty and interesting city!

M
Mickey
15 Jul 2018

Found this guide on Pinterest and I’m happy I clicked through. I’m visiting Luxembourg for the second time this summer, and I was looking for something more than the usual recommendations. I really enjoyed reading about your experience and I made some notes for things to do. The food guide is also much appreciated.