Looking for a travel guide to Luxembourg – that tiny, multicultural country? I brought in a local to share all her best Luxemboury travel tips – what to do, where to go, and how to do it cheaply(ish)!
Nicknamed the “Gibraltar of the North”, Luxembourg is the only Grand-Duchy in the world, which gained its independence from the Netherlands in 1839. It is a multicultural little gem in the heart of Europe, home to some 530.000 people from 171 nationalities.
I’m Steffi and it has taken me seven years of living abroad to truly realize the beauty of my wonderful and unique home country. If you arrive by plan and then catch the bus into town, you will know what I mean – the view of the valley and the rock on which Luxembourg sits is truly breath-taking.
As lovely and charming Luxembourg City is, you need to venture beyond the borders of the Capital City. Catch a train to Clervaux in the North of the country where you can discover the Family of Man Photography Exhibition, which is housed in a medieval castle.
You can also get on a bus to Remich, in the South-East, where you can start the afternoon with a wine tasting session, followed by a boat trip on the Moselle, the river which divides Luxembourg from Germany.
For the hikers among you – do not miss out on the Mullerthal, which is also known as Little Switzerland.
Must do in Luxembourg
An absolute must do is a visit to the Casemates in the City Centre, which are fortified gun emplacements built nestle into Luxembourg’s city rock, and also a UNESCO World Heritage site. This is definitely a photography opportunity not to be missed.
Must eat in Luxembourg
These are potato fritters, served on food stalls during open-air public festivities such as the Christmas market, the Octave (the yearly pilgrimage to the Cathedral) and Schueberfouer (the annual fun fair). They are the perfect side dish for the Bouneschlupp, a traditional Luxembourgish bean-in-beef-broth.
For the more culinary adventurous among you, I would highly suggest you try some game meat (venison or boar) or horse meat, another Luxembourgish speciality.
This is a sausage served in a mustard sauce, accompanied with mashed potatoes and some vegetables.
Luxembourg is also very proud of its wine making region; so do it like the locals, order a glass of crémant (the name for the sparkling wine which is not from the Champagne region) as an aperitif and round off your main course with a glass of Rivaner or Elbling (the table wines) or Auxerrois or Pinot Gris (the more upmarket white wine).
Cultural tips for Traveling in Luxembourg
Luxembourg is a Catholic family-oriented country and as a result Sundays are considered as “holy”, which means that shops are usually closed (with a few exceptions). So go with the flow and enjoy a lazy Sunday, rather than getting annoyed that you cannot go shopping.
Apart from that, learn how to say “moien” (hello in Luxembourgish), Luxembourgers are very proud of their identity and their own language, and you will see that this little word will go a long way, and way further than “Bonjour” (the French word for hello).
Cheap travel tips for Luxembourg
Let’s be honest, Luxembourg is not a cheap place to visit, so be prepared.
Youth hostels are good-value for money and there are several in different places around the country. Airbnb is cheaper and more authentic than a hotel – here’s a private room for $44! If you’ve never used Airbnb before, here’s a $40 credit towards your first booking.
In terms of food, I highly recommend having your main meal at lunch time (that is what the Luxembourgers do); a lot of restaurants, cafés and bars cater for this and offer a “Plat du Jour” (Dish of the Day) for less than 10 Euros. A traditional Luxembourgish dinner is a few slices of bread with cheese and ham, which you can easily pick up in the supermarkets.
Believe it or not, there are things which are free in Luxembourg: in the summer the City of Luxembourg organises free open air cinema screenings and concerts, like the “Blues and Jazz Rallye” in July.
There are also a few parks around Luxembourg City, so grab a local beer from the supermarket, and soak up the sun.
In regards to transport – avoid taxis at all costs, they are unbelievably expensive. Public transport in contrast is very cheap, a day ticket, which provides you with unlimited travel on all buses and trains for the whole country, only costs 4 Euros.
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