Luxembourg tourism is a bit of a mystery for many people. As a recovering tax attorney, I knew Luxembourg mostly as a banking center. But, it’s a lovely city, with an interesting history. In this Luxembourg Travel Blog, I share our tips on how to visit this city, with a focus on food and drink.
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How To Visit Luxembourg City
Luxembourg is a fairytale city, where it’s possible to visit a Luxembourg castle in the morning, visit the wine country in the afternoon, and dine in a Michelin Star restaurant at night. We will share our advice on how to travel to Luxembourg as well as some of the must see Luxembourg tourist spots.
What you will learn in this Luxembourg Travel Guide:
- Where is Luxembourg and when is the best time to visit? We discuss Luxembourg weather and events.
- What are the best places to visit in Luxembourg? We discuss Luxembourg city and the wine region.
- What are the best hotels in Luxembourg? We offer recommended Luxembourg accommodations.
Where Is Luxembourg City
Officially known as the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, Luxembourg is one of the smallest, yet wealthiest countries in Europe. Located in western Europe, Luxembourg is a landlocked country bordered by France, Belgium, and Germany.
Several rivers run through Luxembourg including the Moselle River, which marks the border with Germany. Luxembourg is one of the three official capitals of the European Union. It is also home to many international financial institutions.
The country of Luxembourg is about the size of the state of Rhode Island. The capital is towards the south end of the country, closer to France. Many of the top Luxembourg tourist attractions are in the city center. There are also some great opportunities to explore the countryside as well, particularly for people who travel for wine.
Luxembourgish is the official language of Luxembourg. Both French and German are also official languages. Because of the international banking and finance industry, many people also speak English as well.
Best Time To Plan A Luxembourg Trip
Luxembourg is a country with four distinct seasons making it a year-round destination. May, June, and September are the best times to visit with mild temperatures and drier conditions.
Temperatures during these month average in the upper 50s to low 60s (about 15 Celsius) Winters are generally cold with snowfall not uncommon. Average low temperatures fall below freezing from December to February.
We visited in early spring and it was certainly colder than the weather where we live in Spain. During the last few days, though, the blue skies emerged and the weather was quite lovely.
Luxembourg Annual Events And Festivals
Luxembourg hosts a series of events and festivals throughout the year. Many of these festivals are influenced by both French and German traditions. Some of the more unique events include Bonfire Day in the Spring, just after Lent. It’s a pagan ritual celebrating the Spring Solstice, which is celebrated in villages across the country.
Another Lent-related celebration includes “Pretzel Sunday” when people break their Lent fast. There is a Pretzel Sunday procession and a Pretzel Queen is crowned. Another unique food-focused festival is the Veiner Nëssmoort market which is held in October each year to celebrate the walnut harvest. Look out for all sorts of nut products, including nut schnapps.
There are also a series of wine festivals held in the Moselle each year, most notable is Proufdag, or tasting day held each June. There is also Grevenmacher, which celebrates the Moselle harvest in September. During both festivals, the small villages along the Moselle host open celler days and tastings.
National Day In Luxembourg
On June 23 every year, Luxembourg celebrates its National Day, which celebrates the Grand Duchess Charlotte with fireworks, food stalls, music, and dancing. Schueberfouer is held in August each year.
Over eight days the city comes alive with a large fair, food stands, rides, and rollercoasters. This festival has been held annually for over 600 years. This is definitely one of the more fun things to do in Luxembourg but plan ahead for hotels.
What To Do In Luxembourg – Top Luxembourg Attractions
Home to the Grand Duke of Luxembourg, the Grand Ducal Palace was the first city hall of Luxembourg. The Palace dates back to the 16th Century and is where the Duke conducts his official duties. During the Second World War, the Nazis used the Palace as a concert hall and tavern, destroying most of the Palace’s furniture and art collection.
Notre Dame Cathedral is the final resting place for the Royal family of Luxembourg. Construction began in 1613, but the final additions to the cathedral weren’t completed until 1938. Originally a Jesuit church, Notre Dame Cathedral is the only cathedral found in Luxembourg. The cathedral is a strong example of late Gothic architecture, although other architectural elements are apparent.
The Luxembourg City History Museum details the nearly 1000 years of history of Luxembourg. Opened in 1996, the museum was built inside four restored Luxembourg houses dating back to the 17th Century. The centerpiece of the museum is its large glass elevator. Capable of holding up to 65 passengers, the glass elevator provides views of the rock foundations beneath Luxembourg City.
Luxembourg Travel Tips
City sightseeing in Luxembourg is easy once you arrive. The country is fairly central within Europe. In this part of our Luxembourg Travel Blog, we explain how to get to Luxembourg and how to get around the city.
Located only four miles (seven kilometers) from the centre of Luxembourg City, Luxembourg Airport is the main international airport for the country. It is also the only airport in Luxembourg with a paved runway. A dubious distinction when talking about a small country.
Home to national airline LuxAir, and a major airport for international air cargo, Luxembourg Airport offer passenger flights to several European cities as well as to the Middle East and North Africa. For North American destinations, it is necessary to connect within Europe.
How To Travel From Luxembourg Airport to City Centre
Luxembourg Airport is well connected to Luxembourg City Centre by bus and taxi service. Three bus lines (117, 16, and 29) are available to reach the city centre. Buses leave Luxembourg Airport approximately every 10-15 minutes. A one-way fare costs €2. Tickets are purchased from a kiosk at the bus stop outside the main airport terminal.
By taxi, it will cost approximately €20 to reach the central train station in the centre of Luxembourg City. Depending on traffic, the journey will take between 15-20 minutes. Taxis can be found immediately outside the main airport terminal.
How To Get To Luxembourg – Train And Bus
Thanks to Luxembourg’s proximity to France, Belgium, and Germany it is possible to train or bus from many cities across Europe. From Paris to Luxembourg is a two-and-a-half train journey.
Brussels is three and a half hours away and Frankfurt is about four and a half hours by train. Luxembourg’s Central Rail Station is located in the south of the city, approximately one mile (two kilometers) from the city centre.
By bus, passengers arrive at Luxembourg’s main bus station at the Central Rail Station. Bus travel times from cities such as Paris, Brussels, and Frankfurt are approximately the same if not slightly faster than the train.
Getting Around Luxembourg
Luxembourg City is a walkable city with an occasionally uphill climb. The city is well connected with bus service throughout the city. A two-hour pass will cost €2 with no limits on connections or line change. A full-day bus pass costs €4. Tickets can be purchased at machines located at bus stops around the city or directly from the driver.
To reach the Moselle wine region or to explore outside the city centre, it is best to rent a car. While bus service does extend to the wine region, the frequency of buses is limited.
Where many travel cards are good for just the city they represent, the Luxembourg Card can be used throughout the entire country of Luxembourg. Available for one, two, or three-day periods, the Luxembourg Card provides free access to over 60 tourist attractions and museums around the country.
Travelers can also use the card for free bus or rail transportation around Luxembourg. Prices range from €13 to €28 for individual adults. Family passes range from €28 to €68 and can cover families of two to five people.
While visiting Luxembourg we spent time in the Moselle wine region and stayed with friends who recently moved there. Within the city, we stayed at Hotel Simoncini, a contemporary art hotel in the center of the city. It was easy to explore everywhere and they offered a great breakfast. Rooms start at €160. Get the best rates here.
I would also recommend the Sofitel Luxembourg Gran Ducal, which is part of the Accor family of hotels. With rates from €210, they offer a little more luxury, with some rooms including a bathtub with a view over the city. For even more luxury, check out Le Place d’Armes Hotel, which is only 300 meters from the Cathedral. It has an elegant, old-world feel.
*Visit Luxembourg supported us during our stay in the country and helped us to explore the wine region, but all views are our own.
Check out our other Luxembourg travel posts:
FAQs – How To Visit Luxembourg City
Let’s just say that Luxembourg isn’t a cheap country to travel to. For the most part, the cost of food, drink, and accommodations in Luxembourg is slightly higher compared to other European destinations. That said, there is a wide range of food and accommodation options available to match nearly any budget.
Luxembourg is perfectly safe. Like any country or city, it does have crime. Tourists are targeted by scammers but not any more than in any other destination in the World. Overall, the city is very friendly and safe for both locals and visitors.
Luxembourg City is a city with something for everyone. It offers great food and drink. Its old quarter is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The city features stunning scenery both natural and man-made.