Luxembourg City might not be at the top of your list to see, but I think it’s a seriously underrated travel stop. Here’s why.
The country of Luxembourg is heavily influenced by neighboring countries France, Belgium and Germany. According to BBC, “Many of its inhabitants are trilingual in French, German and Luxembourgish.”
The region discovered significant prosperity, due to a vast steel manufacturing industry, but now it focuses more on its investment management. It’s one of Europe’s most powerful investment management centers, per BBC.
It was ranked the country with the highest gross domestic product per capita in the world in 2021, the World Economic Outlook Database reported.
Luxembourg City is a fortress, meaning it hosts fascinating military architecture that remains because the city is composed of extensive fortifications. The city’s Old Quarters includes structures that remain from the 15th to 19th centuries that have been classified world heritage sites by UNESCO, per Luxembourg-City.
Although many of the medieval fortifications were dismantled in the 1800s to stimulate city growth, many reminders of the time period remain, such as gates and forts.
According to UNESCO, “The city also retains the layout of its streets and many public buildings, important testimony of its origins and its development since the 10th century.”
That’s why wandering the city is a spectacular experience. It contains “a charming combination of ancient and modern, local and global, simplicity and luxury,” Culture Trip reported. It’s fascinating.
Where to wander around Luxembourg City
If you arrive by train or at the airport, you will want to take a taxi into town for your day trip to get the most out of the best parts of the city on your walk.
Renting bikes is also an option, but there are some steep hills that I would not have survived on a bike, personally.
“The city is really two levels,” Earthtrekkers writes. “The upper level is the old town, a maze of pretty streets, restaurants, museums and great places to go shopping. In the lower part of the city you will find more restaurants and bars, houses, plus gardens and canals that are very picturesque.”
The Viaduc Bridge is a great place to start where you can get a spectacular view of the city.
Notre Dame Cathedral
Stop by the Notre Dame Cathedral, with its magnificent and towering columns that offer a window into the architecture of the 1600s, per Visit Luxembourg.
Old Town, Luxembourg City
In the Old Town, you can visit the Luxembourg City History Museum, as well as get some food or shopping in, if you like.
Close by is the Palais Grand-Ducal — the official residence of the grand ducal family and the original town hall, dating back to 1418.
From there, you can take the Pfaffenthal Lift — a glass bottom elevator that takes you to the upper level of the city without the extremely long walk. It also offers picturesque views of the city.
Casemates du Bock
Wandering at the top, you can find the Casemates du Bock, which is a castle and archaeological crypt. If you go on a weekday, you can also go inside and see the city from up high.
Chemin de la Corniche
After that, you can pass historic houses and whimsical gardens on your way to Chemin de la Corniche — “the most beautiful balcony of Europe.”
Watch the sunset near Gelle Fra
You can take an elevator back up to the old town near the intersection of Montee du Grund and Rue Munster. From there, you can head to Luxembourg’s Golden Lady, or Gëlle Fra. It’s a war memorial that commemorates Luxembourg soldiers who died in World War I, as well as victims who died during Nazi rule, according to Culture Trip.
The bridge near the statue also happens to be a stunning place to watch the sunset. Watch the golden light dance on the trees and ancient architecture to close out your day.