You might think Luxembourg is too small to offer much, being one of Europe’s tiniest countries. However, it’s full of surprises, from ancient castles to modern wonders. Luxembourg seamlessly blends old and new in a unique way. There are some hidden gems you shouldn’t miss, particularly if you have an appreciation for nature and twisting pathways. These are the 10 must-see attractions in Luxembourg.
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- Visit Place d’Armes
- Enjoy scenic Views Over the Valley
- Cross the Passerelle Viaduc
- Enjoy Ville Basse (Lower Town)
- Explore the Pétrusse Valley
- Visit the National Museum of History and Art
- Discover the City Casements and Cannons
- Discover Authentic Treasures at Luxembourg House
- Explore Esch-sur-Alzette
- Explore the village of Berdorf
Visit Place d’Armes
Make your way to Ville Haute, Luxembourg’s historic Upper Town, and you’ll discover Place d’Armes, a square where tradition and modernity are combined. This name reflects its use as a military parade ground during the late 18th century. Not only the history is fascinating, but also the dynamic atmosphere with all its shops, cafés and restaurants. Within walking distance, you can get to significant landmarks like the City Hall and the Palace of the Grand Dukes of Luxembourg. A must visit-is “Le Vieux Bellevue”, a cute café hidden in the corner that provides not only great coffee but also a cozy ambiance.
Throughout the year, this square comes alive with cultural events, where you can find everything from art exhibitions to live music performances. In the center of the square, you can find Gëlle Fra Fountain, a common gathering point and a popular spot for good photos.
For those who seek unique souvenirs or local products, keep an eye out for the various markets like art and craft fairs that often pop up, offering handmade crafts, treats, and artisanal goods. As the markets are typically not held every weekend, it’s a good idea to check the local event calendar for specific dates and details.
Enjoy scenic Views Over the Valley
When you’re in Luxembourg Town, make sure to head to Ville Haute (Upper Town) for one of the most important experiences in the country: enjoying scenic views of Luxembourg City and the Alzette Valley. The best viewpoint is next to Gëlle Fra, the Golden Lady Monument. As you stand there, you’ll be surprised by a stunning view. Apart from the landscape, you can also see the architecture of the city like Notre-Dame Cathedral and Grand Ducal Place. The best time to go to this viewpoint is to see the sunset. In combination with all the nature in front of you, you will forget that you are in a city immediately and just concentrate on this special moment.
Cross the Passerelle Viaduc
Your Luxembourg adventure wouldn’t be complete without crossing Passerelle Viaduc, a striking bridge between two parts of the city. To start your journey, head to Ville Haute, where you can rent a bike. As you cycle across the bridge, you will see Pétrusse Valley, which offers a great perspective of the Alzette River below.
On the other side of the bridge, you will reach the Kirchberg Plateau, a modern district, where you will find many cultural attractions like exhibitions and theaters, as well as some European institutions like the European Parliament.
Enjoy Ville Basse (Lower Town)
Even if you can already see some parts of Ville Basse from the Upper Town, it’s still worth getting a better insight which you can do by walking down to it. One of the best places to visit there is Place Guillaume II, a central square with the equestrian statue of Grand Duke William II. As you stroll around the city, you will find Luxembourg Hall and the Adolphe Bridge, which spans the Pétrusse Valley, connecting both town levels. The Grund is a charming riverside neighborhood that you can access through the Grund Gate. The best place for capturing memorable photos.
Another great spot is Abbaye de Neumünster, which is a cultural and artistic center that dates back to the 17th century. It was initially a Benedictine convent before becoming a prison and then a cultural center. Don’t miss out on the gardens and the restaurants close by as you can enjoy some peaceful moments there.
Once you decide to go back to the Upper Town, a very convenient opportunity to do that is to take one of the elevators like “Ascenseur Panoramique”.
Explore the Pétrusse Valley
When it comes to hidden gems and offbeat adventures in Luxembourg City, a visit to the Pétrusse Valley is an absolute must. This is definitely one of the most recommendable things to do for free as it is very calm and you don’t hear any noise from the city coming through. As you ramble along one of the many walking trails, you might stumble upon some stone bridges, which make the place kind of unique.
But what really sets Pétrusse Valley apart is the Pétrusse skatepark that appears unexpectedly. Once you’re there, you should really take your time and sit down for a while to watch some of the talented skaters. What differentiates this skatepark from many others is that it’s designed for advanced skaters. So as long as you don’t feel comfortable don’t do it.
A great tip for exploring the Pétrusse Valley is to take a leisurely stroll along the Pétrusse Promenade, also known as “Chemins de la Corniche.” This is often referred to as one of Europe’s most beautiful balconies because of the stunning views it offers.
For a deeper dive into history, consider visiting the Musée Dräi Eechelen (Three Acorns Museum), which is located near the Pétrusse Valley. This museum is housed in restored fortifications and offers exhibitions on Luxembourg’s military history, including its role in both World Wars.
If you like being outdoors, Pétrusse Valley is a great spot for hiking and picnics. There are clear trails you can follow through the beautiful green scenery. It’s a chance to enjoy nature and explore Luxembourg’s history at the same time, all without the need for a long drive to reach a hiking spot.
Visit the National Museum of History and Art
Since Luxembourg is one of the most expensive countries in Europe, it’s great to know that there are some free activities to enjoy, like visiting the National Museum of History and Art. Here, you can explore a vast collection of Luxembourg’s contemporary art without spending a dime. The museum is divided into different floors, each dedicated to a different historical period and featuring various exhibitions. Occasionally, one of the floors hosts a paid exhibition or event that changes over time.
If you’re an art enthusiast or simply looking to escape rainy weather for a while, you can explore all the floors on your own. However, for a deeper understanding of the museum’s extensive collection and its historical context, consider joining a guided tour, which may sometimes be offered for free.
What’s remarkable about this museum is its diverse range of offerings, catering to various interests, whether you prefer paintings, sculptures, or historical artifacts. You can easily navigate to the specific floor that aligns with your interests or explore a particular exhibition that captures your curiosity. It’s an enriching experience that suits every visitor’s taste.
Discover the City Casements and Cannons
Are you up for exploring something out of the ordinary? Then Luxembourg’s City Casements and Cannons should be at the top of your must-see list. The old quarters and fortifications of Luxembourg is a UNESCO World Heritage site. It’s a place that will captivate you, especially if you have an interest in history, and architecture, or simply enjoy discovering unique spots.
Your first visit to these underground wonders can be quite overwhelming, especially when you think about their significance in the city’s military history. Extending about 40 meters beneath Luxembourg’s cobblestone streets, these casements and fortified tunnels form a fascinating labyrinth. For safety reasons, it’s highly recommended to explore them with a tour guide.
Curious about the historical purpose of these underground systems? Let’s dive into the past for a moment. Luxembourg City had, at one time, one of the most impressive fortifications in Europe. The construction of these casemates began in the 17th century during the Spanish period, and they served a range of functions. These included providing shelter for soldiers and storage for essential supplies. Luxembourg’s defenses were smartly placed on cliffs and by the Alzette River to keep its soldiers safe. Over time, these casemates evolved into a complex network of tunnels and chambers, extending for kilometers beneath the city.
And here’s the bonus: If you climb up to the cannons, you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking panoramic views of the Pétrusse Valley. It’s a journey that definitely pays off. Once you reach the cannons, you’ll discover that these locations offer some of the city’s most remarkable hidden gems.
Discover Authentic Treasures at Luxembourg House
Luxembourg House is a unique shop in the capital city that’s like a treasure chest filled with the history and culture of Luxembourg.
When you step inside, you’ll discover a fantastic collection of handmade items that showcase the best of Luxembourg. There are beautiful crafts, traditional fabrics, stunning jewelry, and even some delicious local treats like wines and chocolates. Whether you’re into delicate lace from Clervaux, timeless pottery from Nospelt, or local goodies, you’ll find something special here.
What sets Luxembourg House apart is its support for local artists and craftspeople. Everything in the shop has a story and a connection to Luxembourg’s traditions. So, if you’re looking for a unique gift or want to skip the usual chain stores, this is a place you shouldn’t miss.
And it’s not just a shop; it’s an experience. Feel free to chat with the friendly staff about the products – they’ll gladly share stories about the talented people behind them. It’s a great way to connect with the locals and make your shopping more meaningful. So, next time you’re in Luxembourg, consider a visit to Luxembourg House and discover the heart of the country.
Esch-sur-Alzette is a must-visit during your time in Luxembourg. While it’s not a typical tourist destination, it offers more budget-friendly accommodation options compared to the capital. What’s more, it’s pleasantly quiet, even during the peak summer season.
In the second-largest city of this country, you’re in for a treat. Alongside its rich heritage, you can enjoy the local specialty “Judd mat Gaardebounen” – smoked pork neck with broad beans.
The best part is that everything you need is easily accessible, with a cozy culinary scene and essential shops just a stone’s thrown away.
A spot you absolutely shouldn’t miss is the Belval district. What makes it unique among the surrounding areas is its industrial atmosphere, characterized by the presence of old factories that lend it a somewhat eerie ambiance. For those who prefer to avoid the typical tourist attractions, Belval offers a distinctive experience, as some of these industrial buildings remain abandoned, creating the perfect backdrop for some captivating and perhaps even spooky photographs.
Explore the village of Berdorf
If you’re a nature enthusiast or simply love to go hiking, Berdorf, also called “Little Switzerland”, is a place you should consider visiting for sure. Located in eastern Luxembourg and around half an hour’s drive, the village is perfect to do a day trip. Known for its striking sandstone rock formations, lush forests, and winding trails this place looks very unreal or like a fairytale. Be sure to visit “Heringer Millen”, an old water mill placed directly in nature.
For hikers of all levels, Berdorf has something to offer. Whether you’re an experienced trekker seeking challenging climbs or a casual stroller looking for easy forest walks, you will find various offers in the Mullerthal region. The “Schiessentümpel” is a must-see, surrounded by a waterfall and within 45 minutes reach if you want to take it slow. If you decide to take it all in, you should head to “Predigtstuhl” for sure, which will take you a bit more than an hour. From there, you will have an epic viewpoint where all your hiking will pay off for sure.
In short, Luxembourg may be small, but it offers a mix of history, culture, and natural beauty. Whether you’re exploring historic sites, enjoying scenic views, or discovering hidden valleys, Luxembourg has something for everyone. And with free public transport, it’s easy to explore. So, don’t miss out on this charming destination on your European journey.