Small but mighty, Luxembourg is a country that holds history, culture and beauty. Luxembourg is seen to be a rich, developed and culturally diverse country with more than half the population being immigrants, now working and providing the country with new possibilities. A country where nothing seems too far away and a country where you can drive from end to end within a day, truly opens up it’s arms to travellers and refugees.
Luxembourg is only an hour flight from London Stansted, making it a quick place to get too for a weekend getaway, and flights can get super, super cheap. This enchanting country can easily be discovered within a weekend, but keep in mind you will not be able to do every tourist attraction within one weekend (a second trip to Luxembourg perhaps?)
A Guide to Your Weekend in Luxembourg
Before you Arrive
There are four languages spoken throughout Luxembourg. These languages are Luxembourgish, French, German and English. Having a foundation for these languages can be beneficial incase you happen to come across an incident that may require you to communicate.
The basics of Luxembourgish:
Please: Wann ech glift
Thank you: Merci
How are you? Wi geet et?
Being such a small country, you’d think that transport was easy to navigate right? Well you are totally right. Transport in Luxembourg is super easy and cheap (for buses), and you can literally take public transport anywhere in the country. Buses run frequently and almost anywhere travelling to almost everywhere, there is no need to get taxis as buses are only 2 Euro for 2 hours of bus travel.
Driving around in the luxury of a car is always a plus, especially when you have the freedom to drive anywhere in the country you like. I had a car for one day and saw the country from end to end, it is worth it and I can guarantee your day will not be spent wasted. Car rentals are at the airport and within the city of Luxembourg.
Derived from French culture, Luxembourg has oodles of patisseries and bakeries, where you can enjoy morning or afternoon tea. Walk down any street in the city and you are bound to come across beautiful fresh croissants in one of Luxembourg’s many historical buildings.
The name itself is all that needs to be said. Opposite the Royal Palace, you will find a chocolate house, filled with chocolate, cakes, sweets and a beautiful selection of teas. Here you are able to try a traditional Luxembourgish hot chocolate. This is where there is a block of chocolate on the end of a wooden spoon in which you dip and allow for it to melt into your warm milk. Rich in flavour and the smell alone will win you over.
An Italian Restaurant at the foot of one of the most beautiful castles in all of Luxembourg (Vianden), serves delicate Italian cuisine and typical Italian pizza, which is of course, not cut into slices. Here you can enjoy the atmosphere of the locals, listening out to the French, German and Luxembourgish languages and conversations people have whilst their Golden Retriever sits patiently at their feet.
Things to See and Do
There are 130 castles in Luxembourg, each containing their own chapter in history and walls that hold a thousand secrets. Popular castles include: Bourglinsteer, Larochette and Vianden. Each castle has a magnificent view over the cities they stand above.
Luxembourg is home to beautiful chapels with stained glass windows which tell a story in striking colour. One of the most popular chapels in Luxembourg is located in a little town named Echternach, on the German/Luxembourg border. The Basilica of Saint Willibrord, which peaks out through the towns rooftops, has a large entrance attached to an abbey which is now a school for children.
Driving down South (or up North), you are able to drive down the coast of Germany and eventually you’ll find yourself in France. The border drive is a beautiful scenic drive, with all that’s between Luxembourg and Germany is a little river filled with swans and ducks. Along the drive there are several different stops where you can get an ice-cream, coffee or even a lunch break. Eventually driving along this border, you will reach the well know Schengen, where the Schengen agreement was signed between Germany, France and Luxembourg.
As for all cities, there is an abundance of Museums. Popular museums include: The National Museum of History and Art, Luxembourg City History Museum, National Museum of Natural History and Am Tunnel. Before heading out to one of the museums, make sure to check the museums opening hours, as the museums are not open everyday of the week.
When my friend, Kate, and I headed into the city on a Monday morning, it was similar to a ghost town. Only every third shop was open and an occasional person walked past. It wasn’t until around mid-day that the city started to get more lively, and by the afternoon it was crowded and were cafés buzzing. The city is easy to navigate and can take two hours to walk the perimeter, and you are guaranteed to see the most beautiful parts of the city. The highlight of the city is the historic part, as Luxembourg has two sides to it’s city, one being more modern and one being more historic.
Tip: The city bikes in Luxembourg are cheap to rent for a day, but you’ll need to put a 150 Euro deposit down per bike.
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