10 Best Places to Visit in Luxembourg City
Luxembourg is a small European country located west of Germany, sharing its borders with France, Germany and Belgium. Its capital, Luxembourg City, is well known for being one of the four institutional seats of the European Union and EU’s Court of Justice. Apart from these important offices, Luxembourg City is famed for its fortified medieval old town perched on sheer cliffs. It is a treasure trove of medieval architecture and natural beauty.
Recently, we made a two-day trip to Luxembourg City. It was a part of our three days weekend holiday, in which, on the 3rd day, we visited Trier- a small town in Germany located just 60km to the east of Luxembourg City. You can read about our Trier visit here and check out a lovely photo gallery of Trier, Germany here.
Before I move on to the best places to visit in Luxembourg, I shall inform my readers about travel, stay and public transport within Luxembourg City.
How we reached Luxembourg City?
Since we reside in Darmstadt, Germany, it was an easy 260 km drive, which required about 3 hours to reach. So, we started in the morning, around 9 a.m., and we were in Luxembourg around 12:00 p.m.
However, if you are travelling from any location in Germany and you don’t prefer driving, you can take the Deutsche Bahn (DB)- Germanys Railway network and book a train on their official website.
If you are yet to start driving in Germany, read my articles about 10 Reasons to get a driving licence in Germany and the Step-by-Step guide to getting a driving licence in Germany.
If you already have a driving licence but don’t own a car, you can consider a car rental from SIXT. I have a great personal experience renting a car from them and find the cars of excellent quality and the prices reasonable. I have also written about my experience of renting a car in Germany. Do check it out.
Accommodation in Luxembourg City:
We stayed at the Novotel Hotel (Kirchberg) in Luxembourg City. We usually prefer homestays for our holidays, but we booked a hotel room instead since this was a short visit. Luckily we got spacious accommodation with two double beds. Therefore, we could all ( 2 adults and 2 children) easily get accommodated and have a comfortable stay. The rooms were not too small, as with most hotel rooms. They had a sumptuous buffet breakfast spread, allowing us to have a meal before starting our day. Also, the breakfast was complimentary for children under 16. Therefore, the prices worked out well. There was plenty of car parking space (for which we were charged 19 Euros per day) so we didn’t have to look for a parking space. Also, the hotel was a 5-minute walk from the nearest tram stop, making it easy for us to reach places using public transport.
I recommend this hotel if you are looking for a comfortable stay in Luxembourg. You can book it using Booking.com.
If you are looking for other accommodation options, you can check them out here.
Travel within the city:
The great thing about Luxembourg City is that public transport is free. Car parking is difficult to find in the city, and it is expensive. So, even if you have arrived by car, it is best to keep it parked and use public transport to visit various places of interest.
Here are four ways in which you can explore the city:
- On your own. Read blogs like this one, gather information from the internet, and use this information to explore the city on your own.
- Start your visit with a walking tour and understand some basics about the city, its culture and history through a local.
- Take a train or e-bike tour through the city with an audio guide.
- Take the Hop on Hop Off Bus and explore the city.
Now, let’s talk about the places you can visit in Luxembourg City.
Top 10 Places to Visit in Luxembourg City
- Luxembourg City Center
It is best to start by first visiting the city centre. Alight at The tram stop called ‘Hamilius’. From there, walk up to the city centre. You will notice that the place is quite busy and crowded, and you will surely get the feel of a bustling city when you enter this area. There are plenty of shops, cafes, restaurants etc. Also, this place has many historical monuments and sites of interest. So, spend some time here, walking on the cobbled streets and soaking in the city’s vibes.
- Palais Grand Ducal (Grand Ducal Palace)
About 750 mts from the Hamilius Tram stop, you will find Palais Grand Ducal. It is the official residence and office of the Grand Duke of Luxembourg. You can either stop by to admire the lovely architecture of the building or witness a simple ceremony of changing the guard every half hour. Alternatively, you can explore the palace from the inside or even go for a guided tour. Check out their official website for tour schedules, opening times etc.
- Cathédrale Notre-Dame (Notre-Dame Cathedral)
Walking 300 mts from the Grand Ducal Palace, you will find Notre Dame Cathedral. This is 17th Century Roman Catholic Cathedral. The church is a noteworthy example of late Gothic architecture with many Renaissance elements and adornments. Entry to the cathedral is free, but do check their opening hours before your visit. You can use this link to do so.
- Gëlle Fra (Monument of Remembrance)
About 300 mts from the Notre Dame Cathedral, you will find Gëlle Fra ( Monument of Remembrance). It is a war memorial dedicated to the thousands of Luxembourgers who volunteered for service in the armed forces of the Allied Powers during both World Wars and the Korean War. A series of steps from the monument takes you to a lovely park. You can visit it too if you like.
- Panoramic Elevator of the Pfaffenthal (Panorama-Aufzug Pfaffenthal)
A Kilometer walk from Gëlle Fra brings you to the Panoramic Elevator of the Pfaffenthal. This public elevator connects the Ville Haute- the historical city centre, with Pfaffenthal in the Alzette valley below. It offers its passengers panoramic views of the Alzette River valley. Access to the elevator is free. You can either take the elevator and go down to Pfaffenthal or return and enter the city centre again.
- Bock Casemates
Once you come out of the Panoramic Elevator, you can walk ( about 1.6 km) or take public transport to reach Bock Casemates- a defence system and a vast complex of underground tunnels & galleries constructed in 1644 & used as WWII bomb shelters. You can walk in the passageways and get lovely views of the valley from these high balconies. You can buy tickets for your visit on their official website.
- Chemin de la Corniche
After seeing the Bock casemates, head to Chemin de la Corniche. Also called “the most beautiful balcony of Europe”, it runs along the Alzette valley on the ramparts – built by the Spaniards and the French in the 17th century. Take a walk along the walls and enjoy the lovely views. Every other spot provides a different view of the valley, and each is more beautiful than the other. When you have explored the upper part, take the steps, come down, and walk along the river.
Located about 2 km from the city centre is Grande-Duchesse Joséphine-Charlotte, also known as Philharmonie Luxembourg. It is a huge concert hall that hosts more than 400 shows every year. It had a grand auditorium that can seat more than 1500 listeners, a Chamber Music hall that boasts of its beautiful acoustics and a Discovery Space used for experimental and electronic music, projects in the fields of film, art or video, workshops, and a large number of concerts and performances for children and young people. You can check their official website for shows and guided tours.
- Fort Thüngen
Four hundred mts away ( 5 min walk) from Philharmonie is Fort Thüngen. Fort Thüngen is an 18th-century fort that houses a museum. More than 600 artefacts, a wide variety of collections, maps, photos, and paintings in the permanent exhibition illustrate the history of Luxembourg. The underground galleries and passageways offer a unique experience. Access to the museum is free. You can check their official website for information about opening hours, etc.
- Fort Obergrünewald and hike in the forest
About 700 mts from Fort Thüngen is Fort Obergrünewald. These are ruins of an old fortification. The highlight of this place is the lovely views that you get from the adjoining garden. After exploring the fort, you can hike in the adjacent forest, which is covered with t trees and thick bushes but has a clear hiking path. The end of the hiking track brings you near a youth hostel, from where you can easily take public transport.
How to plan sightseeing in Luxembourg City:
The city has a lower part and an upper part. The two are connected by steps as well as by elevators. So, people with mobility issues can use these public lifts (free of cost), and others can use the steps. The lower part allows you to walk along the river and explore the valley, while in the upper part, you can walk along the rampart of the old fortifications.
The city centre, the Grand Ducal Palace, Notre-Dame Cathedral, the Monument of Remembrance and the Panoramic Elevator of the Pfaffenthal are close to each other. Hence these places can be grouped.
Similarly, Philharmonie, Fort Thüngen and Fort Obergrünewald are close to each other and can be clubbed together.
Chemin de la Corniche is the most interesting and requires time too. If you casually walk along the walls, exploring everything that comes your way and then come down and walk along the river and combine it with Bock Casemates, you need about 3 hours.
So, consider all these things and plan sightseeing in Luxembourg City.
Apart from these places, you could also include places like The National Museum of History and Art, Neumünster Abbey, Luxembourg American Cemetery, Villa Vauban, Casino Luxembourg ( Entry free), City Museum, Natural History Museum and the contemporary art museum. If you are a museum fan, you can check this website of Museum Days Luxembourg, where, for two days, entry to many participating museums is free and special programs are held.
Check out my Photo Gallery, where I have uploaded many more pictures taken during our visit.
To read about other holiday destinations, check out my Travel and Holidays Page.
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