Travel Information for your trip to Luxembourg
This small country southeast of Belgium, between France and Germany, is often overlooked when planning an overseas vacation. But the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, as it is officially known, is indeed worth a visit. Packed into its small territory of 2 586 sq km you will find
- natural scenery of green mountains, dense forests, wild rivers, and dark caves,
- a world famous wine region,
- many impressive medieval castles, churches, historic buildings, and artefacts dating back to the time of the Roman occupation,
- interesting towns and villages, as well as
- a most impressive capital, Luxembourg City.
INTRODUCTION to Luxembourg
Luxembourg is a hereditary constitutional monarchy with a system of parliamentary democracy. It enjoys an extraordinary high standard of living, with 100% literacy, ranked by consulting organizations as one of the world’s top for personal safety and security, and amongst the countries with the highest income per capita. No wonder that more than 120 000 foreign cross-border workers from its neighbours commute to Luxembourg daily or weekly. The life expectancy is 81.5 years (2012), the 12th highest in the world.
· By air: Only one international airport at Luxemburg City, namely the Findel, from which the national carrier, Luxair, connects with main European airports. But 13 other airlines open the country to the world.
· By train or bus: Daily and hourly international train services, like the TGV, runs through Luxembourg, so that the capital can be reached easily and speedily, e.g. 2½ hours from Brussels, or 4 hours from Paris. The same efficient service is rendered by different international bus transport companies, like Eurolines..
· By car: The extensive European transport system enables the motorist to travel to the country without hassle along main roads, such as the E411 from Brussels, or the A 4 from Paris. With fuel prices amongst the lowest in Europe, Luxembourg is the country in which to fill up.
WHEN TO GO to Luxembourg
Since Luxembourg has a temperate climate with cool summers and mild winters, the country can be visited throughout the year. The most popular times are from April/May to September/October. During spring-time flowers are in bloom, whilst festivals and outdoor activities take place during the summer. Autumn is the season for partaking in harvest festivals, such as in the Moselle wine region.
Travelling around in Luxembourg is a pure pleasure due to its most efficient transport system.
- From the airport: Al types of transport to the city is available: shuttle, train, bus, taxi, and since the airport is just about 6 km away, the duration is short..
- About every location in the country is connected by either train or bus services. And with the unique and inexpensive Luxembourg Card all destinations in the Grand Duchy can be reached free of any extra charge on the public transportation system. It also offers free access to many museums and tourist attractions, or discounts at others.
- All of its more than 5 000 km of roads are paved, so that driving by car or motorbike is easy. All major car rental companies have offices in Luxembourg.
- The country is cycle-friendly, with a network of well-marked long-distance cycle paths or lanes of hundreds of kilometers. Bicycles are transported free on trains.
TOP ATTRACTIONS – DON’T MISS these sights in Luxembourg
Since Luxembourg is such a small country, most of its sights can be visited within a few days. The following should be on the list:
- Obviously, Luxembourg City, with its many attractions will be the first, with emphasize on the Old City, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, up high on a promontory, with stunning views down to the winding green gorges of the Pétrusse River looping through the city. The sign-posted Wentzel Walk along the cliffs ensures amazing views of the city’s historic ramparts, especially from the promenade called the Chemin de la Corniche, aptly described by some as “Europe’s most beautiful balcony”, the Gothic Revival Cathedral of Notre Dame with its slender black spires rising up into the sky, the Bock Promontory, the Ulrich Church and the Castle Bridge.
- Other smaller cities and towns, such as Echternach, the country’s oldest, with its medieval abbey, or Mondorf-les-Bains famous for its Domain thermal spa, near the Mullerthal valley.
- The many castles, especially those in the smaller cities and towns, like
+ in Vianden, with the atmospheric fairy tale castle some 60 m above the river.
+ the Grand Castle with its extensive gardens in Ansembourg, or
+ at Clairvoux, showcasing the legendary exhibition of more than 500 photographs by nearly 300 photographers from 68 countries, named The Family of Man, included in the UNESCO Memory of the World register.
- The Moselle Valley, famous for its splendid vineyards, especially in the Mullerthal Valley.
TOP SLEEP & EAT SECRETS
- The five star Sofitel Luxembourg Le Grand Ducal: Near the railway station where the high-speed TGV stops, also within walking distance from the Old City, and with a unique view over the river valley below.
- The three star Hotel Empire: Opposite the railway station, within walking distance from the Old Town.
· The Villa Medici Apartments: Only five spacious and luxurious apartments, 4 minutes drive from the centre, near restaurants, bars and supermarkets.
Restaurants: Fine restaurants can be found all over Luxembourg, amongst them 13 Michelin-starred, many of them serving dishes with a mix of enticing local and European flavours. The following can be recommended in Luxembourg City:
· The Mosconi, with 2 stars from Michelin, and a Gault Millau rating of 18 out of 20.
· The Clairefontaine, with 1 Michelin star, and also 18/20 Gault Millau rating.
· The Chiggeri, with a formidable list of available varieties of wines, 1 746 in 2008, which was then recognised by Guiness as a world record.
MEETING THE REAL PEOPLE
An impressive array of religious and cultural festivals, processions and sporting events are presented throughout the year in Luxembourg City, as well in many of its towns and villages.
- The National Day, especially in Luxembourg City, held annually on 23 June, a national holiday, is a must. Commencing on the eve of the 22nd the city comes alive with thousands of people attending concerts or live performances in the streets, packing the bars and cafés until dawn, with fireworks illuminating the sky at midnight. On the 23rd patriotic celebrations and grand parades take place all over the city, such as the changing of the guards at the palace.
- During the winter the Winterlights Festival with free concerts, performances and exhibitions, as well as a Christmas market is presented for the weeks leading to Christmas Eve.
- The Hopping Procession taking place in Echternach on the Tuesday of Pentacost in June is registered by UNESCO on its Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. In honouring their patron saint singers recite litanies, large groups of dancers perform ritual dances, and the inhabitants hop and dance through the streets.