Luxembourg


Overview

Luxembourg travel guide, including map of Luxembourg, travel tips, attractions, culture, health and safety, money and weather in Luxembourg

Luxembourg is relatively neglected by travellers but this small country (no more than 85 km long) has much to offer.

With its stunning valley location and Unesco-listed centre, the capital – Luxembourg City – is one of the most beautiful in Europe.

It’s great for a weekend escape in the summer, since room rates are actually at their lowest at this time (one of the quirks of the city usually being dominated by financiers and Eurocrats who return to their respective countries on weekends and in July and August).

And with the money saved on accommodation, you may be able to splash out on the city’s gaggle of Michelin-starred restaurants.

Outside of Luxembourg City, the craggy, forested hills and myriads streams which make up Luxembourg’s two large natural parks (the Upper Sûre on the north-west Belgium border and the Our on the north-east German border with Germany) are a spectacular setting for hikers, mountain-bikers and canoeists – not least because of the handsome chateaux that punctuate the landscape.

Of particular beauty is Müllerthal – the region known as little Switzerland – and its walled gateway town, Echternach.

Wanderlust recommends

  1. Head to the Chemin de la Corniche for the best views of the capital’s bastions.
  2. Hike through Müllerthal – Luxembourg’s “Little Switzerland” complete with enchanting forests, gentle streams and well-marked trails. 
  3. Cycle along the pretty Sûre river to Diekirch, where you can treat yourself to a well-earned beer from the local brewery.
  4. Ride a century-old steam train at Fond-de-Gras
  5. Wander Vianden’s cobbled streets and let you imagine run wild as you admire the medieval castle that inspired Victor Hugo.
  6. Unwind in the wineries of the Moselle Valley

Wanderlust tips

Unlike neighbouring Belgium where linguistic tensions are fraught, native-born Luxembourgers are brought up to be trilingual. As well as speaking French, German and Luxembourgish, many speak excellent English.

But you’ll make a Luxembourg shopkeeper or waiter’s day if you sprinkle your conversation with a few choice words of Luxembourgish such as “merci, äddi” (thank you, good bye) and wanneg gelift (please).

 

Further Reading

Travel in Luxembourg: vital statistics

 

  • Capital of Luxembourg: Luxembourg City
  • Population of Luxembourg: 502,202
  • Languages in Luxembourg: Flemish, French and German  
  • Time in Luxembourg: GMT +1 (GMT +2 from later March – late October)
  • International dialling code in Luxembourg: +32
  • Voltage in Luxembourg: 220 AC 50 Hz
  • Visas for Luxembourg: Luxembourg visas
  • Money in Luxembourg: Euro (EUR). Credit cards and travellers’ cheques are widely accepted.  A 10-15% tip is expected by taxi drivers and waiters in restaurants where a service charge has not already been added.
  • Luxembourg travel advice: Foreign and Commonwealth Office
  • Luxembourg tourist board: Luxembourg tourist board

     

    When to go to Luxembourg

     

    Climate and crowds in Luxembourg: The weather in Luxembourg is warm from May to September, although it is slightly wetter and busier in July and August. Outside of July and August, many museums and attractions close in the rural areas of the Ardennes but Luxembourg City is a year-round destination. Expect snow in the winter.

    Festivals in Luxembourg: Carnival is celebrated with gusto in February and Bonfire Day is held on the first Sunday after Carnival, with cross-shaped piles lit on the hillsides.

    Luxembourg celebrates its national day on 22-23 June with fireworks and torchlight parades. Hotels fill up in this period, so book ahead. The city also holds a series of outdoor concerts in summer.

    International airports

    Luxembourg (LUX) 8km from the city.

    Getting around in Luxembourg

    Luxembourg’s rail network is rather sparse and trains are particularly infrequent on Sundays. The principle route runs from Liege in the north through to Luxembourg city in the south.

    The train and buses services are integrated and it is worth buying a day’s travelcard which covers both networks. Buses will take you to all but the most remote of areas. For train and bus timetables see Mobiliteit.

    Luxembourg has a well-maintained road network. However, car hire can be expensive, fuel prices high and the cities’ one-way systems confusing.

    As you’d expect in a country where cycling is the national sport, Luxembourg’s biking and mountain-biking routes are extensive. It’s easy to hire bicycles from hotels and tourist offices but bear in mind, you can’t take bikes on the buses.

    Luxembourg accommodation

    In Luxembourg most hotels are in the mid-range to top-end bracket. Like Brussels, there are discounts to be had in Luxembourg City on the weekend and in summer when the Eurocrats go home.

    Unfortunately, Luxembourg does not have much in the way of B&Bs but across the countryside you’ll find gites full of character, from former farmhouses to converted stables and medieval watchtowers, which you can rent by the week.

    The Luxembourg tourist office publishes a good brochure entitled Holiday Apartments, Farm and Rural Holidays.

    Camping offers great value for money - Luxembourg has 90 official campsites.  

    Luxembourg food & drink

    Luxembourg has more Michelin-starred restaurants per head than anywhere else in the world.

    To eat well without breaking the bank, make the most of midweek lunch menus when à la carte dishes are served at a fraction of the price.

    Pork and game feature heavily in traditional Luxembourgish fare – the national dish is judd mat gaardebounen (smoked pork neck served with boiled broad beans, and potatoes). Most restaurants serve friture de la Moselle (fried freshwater fish).

    Vegetarians don’t get much choice outside of Luxembourg City and may have to develop a taste for goat’s cheese salad.

    Luxembourg produces some fine, well-priced wines on the banks of the Moselle and you’ll find a good choice of Belgian and local beers in most bars and restaurants.  

    Health & safety in Luxembourg

    Luxembourg has an excellent healthcare system. If you are an EU citizen, a European Health Insurance Card covers you for most medical care.

    No vaccinations are required, though it’s worth checking your tetanus jab is up to date. In some parts of the Ardennes there is a small risk of contracting tick-born encephalitis and Lyme disease – consider insect repellent.

    Tap water is safe to drink.

    Be aware of pickpockets in touristy areas and train stations. Make sure bikes are well locked up and never leave any valuables in a tent or car.