For a small place, Luxembourg offers a grand choice of attractions for your international visitors to see. Here are City Savvy’s top 10 sights to show off the best of Luxembourg.
Click on title for appropriate website, where available.
In 1890 this castle, built between the 11th and 14th centuries, became the property of Grand Duke Adolphe of the elder line of Nassau and remained in the hands of the Grand Ducal family until 1977 when it was transferred into state ownership and restored to its former glory. The castle now ranks as a monument of not only regional, but European importance. Inside and out this castle has plenty to see for all ages, and if you walk down into the village you can find somewhere to have coffee or a bite to eat in one of the lovely restaurants along the river. It is also possible to have a 3 hour guided tour of the city and castle by contacting the Guides Touristiques des Ardennes Luxembourgeoises (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Where: Vianden Castle, Montée du Château L-9422 Vianden (map)
When: Every day from 10am, with the exception of 2/11, 25/12 and 1/1
Cost: Adults €6, Children 6-12 years €2, Students 13-25 years €4.50. Group concessions also available at €4.50/adult for 15 people
- Top tip: There is a Medieval Festival from 29 July to 6 August 2017, an art exhibition featuring the works of Viktor Musi from August 19-September 10, 2017
Dating from the 16th century the palace was formerly home to the Grand Ducal family. These days it is used for business and entertaining, and during the summer months you can take a guided tour through the palace to hear about the history dating back from 1890.
Where: 17 Rue du Marché-aux-Herbes, L-1728 Luxembourg (map)
When: Guided tours available July 15-September 3 with English tours throughout the day, check exact times here
Cost: 12€ (adults); 6€ (children 4-12 years); You can reserve by email or purchase tickets at the City Tourist Office at 30 Place Guillaume II, L-1648 Luxembourg (map)
- Top tip: refuel with a hot or cold drink, including the delicious hotchocspoons, at the Chocolate House Café opposite the palace. On a nice day you can even sit outside and take in the splendour of the palace’s beautiful façade.
Walk the Petrusse Valley & find the chapel hidden in the rocks
Walking through the Petrusse Valley never fails to impress visitors and it offers a great alternative view of the historical city. The Petrusse combines steep slopes, strange rock formations and the ruins of fortifications with a breath-taking park. This walk from the Golden Lady, down into the Petrusse Valley to the Grund (where you can take the lift up!) is fun for all ages with plenty of interesting things to see and do on the way.
Starting at the Golden Lady on Place de la Constitution take time to take in the stunning view over the Petrusse Valley – look down as this is where you are headed! There are a number of steep rocky steps down into the Valley from here, but if you prefer a gentler incline or are pushing a pram then walk towards the bridge and you can follow the road into the valley going under the old bridge. Once in the valley follow the path by the stream towards the Grund. Make sure you look up at the skyline and into the rocks to spot the casemates. The path is nice and flat here which is great for kids on scooters or bikes. Along the way there is mini-golf, a free outdoor gym and a free little train that kids (and adults) can sit on for rides. Not to be missed and tricky to find is the Chapel of Saint-Quirin. This tiny chapel is carved well into the rocks, and dating back to 1355 it is Luxembourg’s oldest surviving church and definitely worth trying to find. Hidden behind leafy trees and set right into the rocks you can easily miss it (map) so keep your eyes peeled.
Where: Luxembourg city
When: all year!
- Top tip: when you get to the Grund pause for a cool or hot drink on the terrace at Scott’s Pub before taking the lift back up to the city centre.
Chapel of St Quirin/Raymond Zoller/flickr (Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0))
This scenic region has much to offer. You can head to the Esplanade in Remich for a stroll along the river where you will find a fenced children’s play area, mini golf and go-karts across the road from a wide range of places to have a drink or meal. Here you can also go on various boat trips up and down the Moselle. Navitours do a one hour trip (perfect length for kids – and you can have a glass of Moselle wine or cremant on board) and a four hour trip, or make a reservation for the passenger boat MS Princesse Marie-Astrid where you can have lunch on board. Or you might prefer to follow the road along the river-side in your car or by bike, stopping at any one of the many places you pass that takes your fancy for a bite to eat and some tasting of locally produced wines. The Moselle is also home to The Butterfly Garden, cremant tasting (Bernard Massard), the Wasserbillig Aquarium, and a variety of circular walks.
- Top tip: bring the bikes or scooters.
Both of these tours leave from Place de la Constitution in Luxembourg City, and are great for seeing a handful of sights if you’re short on time. You can get a ticket valid for 24 hours for the Hop On-Hop Off bus which allows you to get off the bus at the attractions you want to see, and stay as long as you like at each one. There are 8 different languages available with the on-board audio which describes the areas as you pass them. The Petrusse Express takes you through smaller roads over around 50 minutes as you follow the commentary in one of 6 languages on your headphones to discover the city’s history. You should bear in mind that there is no disembarking from the train throughout the tour, an important note if you are sightseeing with young children!
Where: Both depart from Place de la Constitution, Luxembourg City (map)
When: Both run daily from April 1st until October 31st. Please check the website for detailed timetables.
Cost: Full price list here for children, adult, student, senior, family and group prices.
- Top tip: this is a good activity for those not able to walk far; the young, the old or the ones that just like to put their feet up!
For a wonderful mix of old and new you might like to make Mudam one of your first stops when hosting visitors. Dedicated to contemporary art in Luxembourg, you will find a programme that reflects current artistic trends with an appreciation of the emergence of new artistic practices on both a national and international scale.
Where: 3 Park Dräi Eechelen, L-1499 Luxembourg-Kirchberg (map)
When: Wednesday to Friday11:00 – 20:00, Saturday to Monday 11:00 – 18:00, Closed on Tuesdays
Cost: Adults €5, Guided Group Tours available
- Top tip: Gilly, living in Luxembourg, recommends the house platter at the café, the great walks outside with views of the old town and visiting the nearby Philharmonie for out of this world acoustics and inspiring design.
First created in 1644 in the era of the Spanish domination this complex defense system of underground tunnels (casemates) beneath Luxembourg City was opened to the public in 1933. The Casemates served not only defensive purposes but were also used for storage and as a place of refuge when the city was under attack. They have housed everything from bakeries, kitchens, slaughterhouses and troop barracks. Many of the tunnels open out to panoramic views of the city, and the casemates were made a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1994. Be aware that there are some steep and narrow stairways, and pushchairs must be left outside.
Where: Montée de Clausen, Luxembourg (map)
When: Daily from 1 March until 8 November between 10:00-17:00
Cost: Adults €4, Children €2.
- Top tip: ditch the map and get lost in the maze of corridors, and don’t forget to peek through the holes in the rock for amazing views of the Old Town.
Mullerthal, often referred to as the Little Switzerland of Luxembourg – so named because of its hilly landscape reminiscent to that of Switzerland – boats the Mullerthal Trail which was given the label of “Leading Quality Trails – Best of Europe” by the European Federation of Ramblers in January 2014. Valid for three years this certificate guarantees a high hiking-quality experience making it an excellent place to go with your outdoorsy visitors. Experienced hikers will enjoy 112 km of valley trails, passing rock formations, canyons, fields and forests. You can also find on offer in the region a network of pleasant walks offering breathtaking panoramas. For the kids there are all sorts of interesting things to discover in this region (see here) including hiking trails for children, Adventure Island, and mini golf.
- Top tip: Echternach has lots of cafes selling crepes, waffles and ice creams for pre or post hike treat. Many open on a Sunday too!
Being Luxembourg’s only cathedral, this striking Roman Catholic Cathedral is well worth a visit. The cornerstone was laid in 1613, but it was expanded and enlarged between 1935 and 1938 when the east and central towers were added. It is an interesting mix of Gothic and Renaissance elements, Baroque and modern – this mix may not suit all tastes! Inside you can see beautiful gothic arches as well as art deco columns each one displaying a different pattern so make sure you look closely at all the detail. The crypt (not open to the public) is the resting place of John the Blind, King of Bohemia and Count of Luxembourg, as well as deceased members of the Grand Ducal family.
- Top tip: nice place to stop, reflect and rest awhile
This beautiful and lovingly looked after American Military Cemetry is the resting place of 5,070 American soldiers who fell during the Second World, including General George S. Patton Jr. Two flagpoles overlook the graves area. Situated between the two flagpoles lies the grave of General Patton. Most of the interred died during the Battle of the Bulge which was fought nearby in winter 1944/1945.
It is well worth also visiting the German War Cemetry in nearby Sandweiler where 10,913 German soldiers fallen in the same Battle of the Bulge are buried. It is striking to observe the sombre difference between the design of the German tombstones which are dark stone crosses, compared to the white tombstones of the American cemetery.
- Top tip: General Patton’s grave is situated between the two flag poles.
Photo: Calflier001/flickr (Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)) photo has been cropped
For access to more than 60 museums and tourist attractions throughout Luxembourg over 1, 2 or 3 days then pick up a Luxembourg Card from one of the many points of sale or order online. Including free public transport you can opt for individual or family (2-5 people) cards to make your next sightseeing experience a winner.
Where: Covers attractions across the whole country
When: 1, 2 or 3 day cards available. You validate the card the day you use it.
Cost: From €13-€28 for an individual card, and €28-€68 for a family card.
Featured photo: Pier-Luc Bergeron/flickr (Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0))