An article dedicated to those who write, are entrepreneurs or just have a friend who’s always late. And who better to present the top 10 cafés with free wifi than author-in-residence, Matthew Olson-Roy?
If you’re like me, spending the day at home means doing anything but work, at least not the work I’d like to get done. Dishes? Sure, my two boys think of the dishwasher like the end of the rainbow—always just out of reach. Laundry? If dirty clothes were a source of clean energy, my family could save the planet. Filing? We have one room dedicated to the controlled chaos of thematically stacked piles. I should probably do something about that.
In order to get any of my other work done, I leave the house in search of caffeine and wifi signals. That used to be a challenge, but over the past few years Luxembourg has experienced a surge of cafés that cater to people in the mobile workplace. There’s also a new focus on creating a cozy atmosphere—either through the use of vintage materials or new, hip designs. It’s never been easier get out of the house and onto the web, and best of all, you’ll be in good company.
Here are a few of my favorite independent cafés with free wifi in Luxembourg.
A local favorite in Limpertsberg, Ready! is very popular (and packed) at lunchtime, but you can always find a place in the mornings and afternoons. Their food is delicious (we’ve already raved about it in our brunch article). The repurposed furniture creates a relaxed atmosphere to help you hunker down and get working. I have written an entire novel at Ready?! – need I say more?
The wifi password changes weekly, so ask for a printed receipt for the latest code.
Where: 35, avenue du Bois, 1251 Luxembourg (map)
When: Monday: closed; Tuesday to Friday: 07:00 – 18:00; Saturday: 09:00 – 16:00
Contact: email@example.com or best via their Facebook page.
Don’t let the name scare you. Bouneweger Stuff is a welcoming, hip local establishment in the heart of Bonnevoie. In one corner you’ll find stacks of books perched beside comfy couches and chairs, in case you need help procrastinating. Old-fashioned school desks line the main room, and one entire wall is a chalkboard dedicated to their extensive drink menu.
- Fun to know: Step through the dark velvet curtain hanging in front of the doorway, and you’ll also step into a bit of Luxembourgish film history. Bouneweger Stuff was the filming location for the RTL sitcom Comeback about three young friends who try to convince an old 80s singer to get Luxembourg back into the Eurovision Song Contest.
Downtown is a trendy but relaxed café with outdoor seating, couches and comfy chairs around coffee tables. They’re known for their bagel sandwiches at lunchtime, but if you have a morning sweet tooth, their muffin selection will also bring a smile to your face. It’s also a good place for people watching. A steady stream of shoppers and tourists pass by on the walking street between the Gëlle Fra and Place d’Armes.
Konrad Café & Bar
Konrad is a cozy café with quirky furniture tucked away on one of the old town’s cutest narrow cobblestoned streets. Once a month the cellar is transformed into a comedy club, but most days you’ll find Luxembourg’s expats making their way to Konrad for coffee or lunch in an old town atmosphere. Each day there’s a different Thai curry, but you’ll also find enormous slices of quiche, soup, sandwiches, meat pies, and American-style cookies.
Tucked away in a back corner of Place Guillaume between two of the walking tunnels, Beim Renert is a favorite with Luxembourgish locals. A recent renovation resulted in a small but beautifully designed space with extra tall shelves that require a library ladder to reach the loftiest libations. The extra high windows let in lots of light and offer a view over the bustling square. On warm days most people sit outside on the terrace.
The name of the café is a reference to the fox statue in front of the glass bridge at city hall, which is a tribute to Luxembourgish author Michel Rodange. Look carefully and you might find other references to the sly fox stashed away inside the café.
Café Littéraire le Bovary
Read our extensive review of Le Bovary, Luxembourg’s only literary café, then go there and write! The owner is an author herself, and her love for the written word shines through in every corner of the café—from the shelves of books to the literary quotes above the bar. Come to the café ready to write…leave with a healthy dose of inspiration.
Kaale Kaffi is a concept store that combines a small retail space for the sale of vintage clothing with a quaint, tiny café. If fashion forward for you means looking backward, you’ll love browsing their collection. The old-fashioned atmosphere feels almost like stepping back in time—except for your laptop, of course.
It looks incredibly small, but you have to venture up the stairs to find Coffee Lounge’s two floors of indoor seating. They have great breakfast food, including American pancakes, eggs, bacon, and bagels. Locals like to hang out on the ground floor around the espresso machine and talk to the owner, who is as pleasant to talk to as he is passionate about coffee.
Golden Bean is a coffee-centered café with two locations in Luxembourg—a small, narrow space in the city center and a new, lofty space in the up-and-coming Belval district of Esch-sur-Alzette. There are a lot of outlets available on the main floor of the Belval location to keep you charged while you work. If you visit Belval, take a stroll through the University of Luxembourg’s new main campus in an industrial site that has been reimagined as an academic, cultural, and community hub.
Kathy’s Deli & Cupcakery
Kathy’s is another great option if you like to work over breakfast, but watch out! Their portions are big…even for an American…and that’s saying something. You can opt for something smaller, like a bagel with cream cheese, or get a sugar rush on a delightfully decorated little cupcake. Just keep the crumbs out of your keyboard. The inside décor is modern, light, and airy, and the staff is very friendly. Indulge!
Sometimes it’s helpful to know you can find a familiar place to work wherever you may be. To that end, here’s a short list of local chains that offer free wifi.
Fischers/Bakes: Found throughout Luxembourg and known for its reasonably priced baked goods, Fischers (also called Bakes) now offers free wifi in most locations. You can create a single login for use on all Fischers/Bakes wifi services.
Exki: Fast and healthy food options are the mainstay of Exki, with locations throughout the Grand Region. Early birds can enjoy discounted coffee prices. The location in the Gare shares its space with a bookstore.
Coffee Fellows: The popular German coffee chain, which you may know from its Trier location, is coming to Luxembourg in the spring of 2016 (close to Place d’Armes).
Starbucks: Let’s start with the good news. There are now two Starbucks cafés in Luxembourg. The bad news will sting a little. The only locations are the airport and a rest stop off the freeway south of the city. If you find work motivation from an off-menu individualized coffee drink that only a professionally trained barista will understand, there’s at least a glimmer of hope.
Photo: Bench Accounting/Unsplash