Luxembourg: our country from the perspectives of travelers

Luxembourg: our country from the perspectives of travelers

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Oh you girls are from Luxembourg! Rich kids living in a financial paradise, huh?! For a moment, we thought that the lady was going to charge us double for our night in Brancion, just because we’re from Luxembourg!

 

To be honest, during our ten years of expat life abroad, we had heard every possible cliché about Luxembourg you could ever imagine! Ranked as the second richest country in the world, the only Grand Duchy on the globe is certainly a prominent financial center. When we were teenagers, we felt bad, even ashamed of being Luxembourgers. Wherever we traveled to, people would try to make us or our families buy or pay more. Tired of these misconceptions and tired of being Luxembourgers, we left our country as soon as we graduated from high school.

 

However, when we returned to our native country only a few years ago, we realized that Luxembourg has changed immensely within a decade. So we decided to rediscover and re-explore the Grand Duchy with a new mindset and new eyes.

 

Today, if we had to describe Luxembourg briefly, we’d say that it’s a huge cultural melting pot.

 

With a picturesque old town in the capital-city and its 17-km long underground tunnels. Cycling and hiking trails along impressive rock formations in the Mullerthal Region. Over 70 fairytale castles throughout the whole country, and much more. But what do other people think of Luxembourg? Do they just see it as a tiny rich country? Curious to know what foreigners think about our small country, we’ve decided to ask our fellow travelers who have visited Luxembourg to share their experience.

 

A Layover in Luxembourg City from Brussels

Danni from Live in 10 Countries

 

 

Looking at the pictures, Luxembourg feels a lot like a fairytale. In fact their national bank is so pretty that I took a photo of it, thinking it must be a castle – awkward! This country has a feeling of being hidden from the rest of the world, and yet it’s just a few short hours away by high-speed train from Brussels. This is definitely a country to get excited about. An ideal weekend break and somewhere that will stay with you long after you’ve left.

 

Luxembourg City was one of my favourite layovers and it really can’t be beaten for a day trip. I’ve only seen it in the spring, as I came for a day trip in May. But imagine those cobbled streets covered in snow. It’s a place to eat (excellent) Italian food and breeze through on foot. Although there are plenty of guided tours, I think you’re better off doing it at your own pace and just wandering. Exchanging a few words with the locals will get you into the right mindset.

 

Just keep in mind the big must-sees: you want your walk to end at the Grand Ducal Palace because that’s the biggest focal point. On the way you can grab stunning views of the Adolphe Bridge and get your camera out for some snaps. Dawdle, too, in the Place Guillaume II, the ice cream from vintage stands there is exquisite and there are always people chatting and making the place feel like a hive of activity.

 

Skydiving in Wiltz, Northern Luxembourg

Viktoria from Chronic Wanderlust

 

Skydiving in Wiltz, Luxembourg. Photo by Chronic Wanderlust
Skydiving in Wiltz, Luxembourg. Photo by Chronic Wanderlust

 

Wherever I go, I try to go scuba diving. But since that was a bit hard to come by in Luxembourg I opted for something else: skydiving!

 

So on my first trip to Luxembourg I signed up for my second jump near Wiltz in the North of the country. I loved the familiar feeling of the school there and really liked how I was instructed. Note: I’m afraid of heights, but really enjoy pushing my limits and just go for it. And because I’m always travelling with my traditional Austrian dress – the Dirndl – I decided this was the perfect opportunity for amazing photos! So I did jump in my Dirndl and I guess they must’ve seen many things before that since nobody paid much attention to it.

 

It was a rather short trip with a length of only five days, but nevertheless I got a good impression of the country ranging from the laid back and relaxed Luxembourg City, to the forests in Mullerthal and the adrenaline rush in Wiltz.

 

Christmas in Luxembourg City

Natasha & Cameron from The World Pursuit

 

 

On a mission to see every country in Europe, we made our way to the small country of Luxembourg this past winter. What we expected we did not know. But what we took away from the country was so much.

 

Our first night we went immediately to the festive Christmas markets as it was the middle of December. We had been to a few Christmas markets around Europe to celebrate the holidays, but never one as fun as in Luxembourg.

 

The city had Christmas markets on what seemed like every block. With live music playing at each one, delicious food, and of course Glühwein. What I loved the most were the market stalls selling their local Christmas products, and the Ferris wheel for the children to have fun on while the adults drank in festivities.

 

Having fun at the Christmas markets wasn’t the only thing we did this winter. The city has ice-skating and great shopping to enjoy.  We only stayed two days between trips, but it was a great two days indeed. It was our first time in the country but we definitely would not hesitate to go back!

 

A mix of adventure, culture and food in Luxembourg

Claudia from My Adventures across the World

 

 

Luxembourg is a country that takes visitors by surprise; so much it has to offer despite being so small. I visited for a few days in May 2017 and immediately understood that, despite being so small, there’s a lot to visit.

 

My trip was a fantastic mix of adventure – I hiked several trails in the Mullerthal region, and I also went mountain biking in the forest; culture – I enjoyed exploring the castles that are scattered around the country, as well as the lovely Luxembourg City and the small Echternach; and food – the restaurant and even the wine scene is fantastic.

 

More than anything, I enjoyed the easy-going, relaxed vibe and the multicultural atmosphere. Luxembourg is an incredible mix of cultures and languages, with everyone that lives there speaking at least 3 fluently. People are kind, welcoming and very friendly.

 

Walking across Luxembourg from North to South

Michael from Time Travel Turtle

 

 

Luxembourg may look like a small country. I can assure you that it feels really big when you’re attempting to walk across its entirety! I thought it would be an interesting way to see a country – to walk across it – and Luxembourg seemed like a good contender. So I worked out a route that went from north to south (longer than east to west) but stopped at interesting towns along the way, rather than just going direct.

 

In the end, the route I devised was about 140 kilometres long and I decided to do it over six days so there was time to explore each day as well as walk. I started in Knauf and finished just south of Dudelange. Along the way, I stayed at Clervaux, then Vianden, then Echternach, then Junglinster, and finally Luxembourg City. What was really helpful is that Luxembourg has an excellent hostel system that offered comfortable and affordable beds at regular intervals along the way.

 

Walking gives you time to look around and think about what you’re seeing. One of the main discoveries was how little there was along the way. The population is very spread out so, outside of the cities, it’s mainly just rural properties and small villages. But it also often felt a bit like walking through a fairy tale. The trees on dappled paths would clear to reveal a medieval castle on a hill, Romanesque churches would sit on small and tidy squares, and sometimes well-kept gardens would introduce grand Renaissance houses.

 

Luxembourg is a beautiful country and I feel that I was able to see so much of it by exploring on foot. The cities and main towns may be the highlights but everything in between just increased my appreciation.

 

A Day Trip to Luxembourg City from Paris

Rashmi & Chalukya from Go Beyond Bounds

 

 

We lived in Geneva, Switzerland for more than a year, and Geneva is well connected with Paris by TGV, which takes a little more than 3 hours. So we used to plan a lot of trips to Paris and plan day trips from there. And one such trip was to day-trip to Luxembourg City from Paris. We knew we wouldn’t be able to explore all the city’s major points of interest in one day. So we decided to stick to the city’s Old Town, which has a lot of historic buildings and monuments.

 

As soon as we exited the train station, we were awestruck by the magnificent buildings. It was very impressive, not something we had expected of Luxembourg. We decided to walk all the way to the Old Town exploring everything we could find on the way.

 

The two of our favorite and the most remarkable landmarks in Luxembourg City are the Petrusse Valley and the Bock Casemates. Exploring the Bock Casemates especially was so much fun with all the wonderful vistas it offered. The Chemin de La Corniche is the most stunning spot next to the Bock Casemates, the view it offers of the Old Quarters is awe-inspiring. We did miss a few key attractions and cannot wait to plan another trip to the amazing Luxembourg City.

 

Luxembourg from the perspective of a(nother) Luxembourger

Paulina On The Road

 

 

Yes I have visited Luxembourg and I am exploring and enjoying Luxembourg since 29 years now. I am born and raised in Luxembourg, but lived abroad for the last 5 years. After coming back to my native country, I am discovering Luxembourg with “new” eyes. Things that I judged being boring or simply “given” suddenly got a new value. I just had taken them for granted and was used to be surrounded by the all beauty and comfort of Luxembourg.

 

So what is it that makes Luxembourg so likeable? Well, for me it’s nature! A lush forest is never too far away, which means you can go for long runs surrounded by nature right after work. On weekends extensive hiking trails are awaiting you in every part of the country. In summer, the Upper Lakes of Esch-sur-Sure give you all the refreshment you need.

 

The international vibe in the capital of Luxembourg is yet another thing I appreciate a lot. As 60% of Luxembourg City’s population are foreigners, you can celebrate the festivities of each community. Don’t be surprised to find a “Day of the Romanian Blouse” or “Japanese Sewing Club” in your municipal agenda.

 

My favorite place in Luxembourg is still Echternach, the oldest town in the country. (That’s where I grew up, sorry for being biased). With its medieval town center, the market square and the imposing abbey which used to be one of the most important ones in entire Europe, the leisure activities at the lake including pedalo or Stand-Up-Paddling, it’s the perfect getaway for any weekend. You should particularly visit Echternach on Whit Tuesday, when the annual Dancing Procession is held. Declared UNESCO World Heritage, it is the only Dancing Procession in the world.

 

Exploring Luxembourg in 4 days with Vianden as a base

Daniela from Ipanema Travels

 

 

Luxembourg was my birthday present to me from me. I’ve treated my family (significant other, mother and brother) to a short trip to Luxembourg. It was easy to pick it up as a destination – the country is so close to the Netherlands, where I live currently, and I hadn’t yet been there.

 

I knew Luxembourg was cute, but I was overwhelmed by its charms – lovely small places, castles and beautiful nature and all this in such a tiny country. For our trip I’ve chosen Vianden as our base, where we stayed for 4 days. Each day we took a day trip to various places nearby. Vianden stole my heart with its beautiful castle and stunning views from the top of the hill. For the best views, take the chairlift to the top of the hill.

 

Besides Vianden, we also visited Luxembourg City, Echternach and Clerveaux. We enjoyed a lot walking around in the Upper Town and Grund in Luxembourg City. However, the place that most impressed me in Luxembourg was the exhibition The Family of Man in Clerveaux.

 

The Family of Man is a collection of 503 amazing photographs by 273 photographers, which show everyday life in 68 countries in the 1950-s. For me, this exhibition worked as a real time machine, taking me on a tour around the world and letting me share the life of locals.

 

I wish we could stay longer in Luxembourg, as four days were enough only to have a short glimpse of the country. The best part – I can always return to the Grand Duchy and further explore it, as now I live so close to it.

 

Hiking in Luxembourg

Julianna from The Discoveries Of

 

 

“Luxembourg? Is there much to do there?” That was pretty much the response I got every time I told people that I’d be travelling to Luxembourg for five days earlier this year. In all honesty, I wasn’t sure myself. My research had told me that there was plenty of good hiking, cycling and old towns away from the capital Luxembourg City (itself supposedly charming). But if you’d have pressed me on the details, I couldn’t have been sure.

 

What a difference five days can make. We spent most of the trip in the Mullerthal and Eislek regions, with a brief day in Luxembourg City. Early summer was the perfect time to visit and set out on the trails. The meadows were blooming, the air was fresh and the weather was perfect for hiking. I loved the contrast between the leafy cool woodland hikes and the charming old-world towns such as Echternach and Wiltz.

 

The Mullerthal region, nicknamed Little Switzerland, was a particular treat. Echoey gorges, narrow paths chiselled through small chasms, clear brooks… I couldn’t believe I’d not heard of it before researching the trip and wished that I had more time to explore.

 

Though I only spent a short time in Luxembourg City, that too came as a nice surprise. Compact and offering the kind of panoramas that look like they’ve come straight from a fairytale. I enjoyed exploring the centre immensely and would love to go back. Overall, I had a fantastic time in Luxembourg and wish I’d had more time to explore. One thing is for sure though – I will definitely be back.

 

Castles and Nature in Luxembourg

Margherita from The Crowded Planet

 

 

I actually came back just today from my second visit to Luxembourg! So now I’ve been there twice, in 2015 and 2018, in July both times. My first visit was focused on discovering Luxembourg castles, especially the ones located in the Ardennes region. We visited five castles in one day – I bet there aren’t many places in the world where you can do that! We also spent some time exploring Luxembourg City, one of the most scenic cities I’ve ever been to. I fell in love with the view from the Corniche and the Bock Casemates, even though the weather wasn’t the greatest.

 

Then I returned two years later. This time with my husband, with the plan to visit the region near Echternach and hike sections of the Mullerthal Trail. This time the weather was so much better. And I was glad to get the chance to explore nature, my favourite thing to do! We also hired bikes one day and spent it cycling along the river Sure – I come from a country where there are few cycle trails, and spending the entire day on two wheels was a real treat.

 

I am glad I got the chance to visit Luxembourg again, because I discovered a whole new side of the country – that of small town, villages and nature. Now, I’m sure I’ll return to the country. I would love to visit the Moselle region to do some wine tasting and the south to discover the industrial heritage of the country.

 

How about you? Have you ever visited Luxembourg? What is your take on our small country?

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Luxembourg our small country from the perspectives of travelers © Travelwithmk.com

 

Luxembourg our small country from the perspectives of travelers © Travelwithmk.com

Follow Mei and Kerstin:

Travelers - Storytellers

Travelers at heart, Mei and Kerstin have been roaming the world together since 2002. Expats for over a decade, they used to live in Bordeaux, Paris, Athens, and San Francisco. They recently returned to their motherland to get married, and decided to stay to re-explore Luxembourg in depth. While they both have a full time job, they continue to feed their wanderlust by traveling the world whenever they can.

23 Responses

  1. Jean
    | Reply

    I love that you went out and explored your own home. So often people don’t do that. Though your photos make me sad that I didn’t spend more time exploring the grand duchy of Luxembourg

    • Mei and Kerstin
      | Reply

      Sometimes it’s good to explore one’s own backyard! 🙂 I hope our photos made you want to visit Luxembourg someday!

  2. Kirstie Saldo
    | Reply

    Your country is beautiful! I have not heard a lot about it but I started reading about it last month. It really seems to have a lot to offer!

    • Mei and Kerstin
      | Reply

      Thanks Kirstie! If you visit Europe next time, do spend a few days in Luxembourg. And let us know, so we can send you some tips! 🙂

  3. The Christmas market is something that I believe would greatly surprise me here in Luxembourg. I haven’t been to any Christmas markets in Europe so I’d definitely like to see this one! So misconceptions about people from Luxembourg are rich? Hah! Interesting, didn’t know about this tho but I know like for people from the Bavaria for instance are perceived as wealthy travelers.

    • Mei and Kerstin
      | Reply

      Oh really? Didn’t know that Bavarians are considered as wealthy travelers! haha.. Well, if you haven’t been to a Christmas market yet, then you have to visit Europe during the winter holidays someday! And come by Luxembourg too. 🙂

  4. Indrani
    | Reply

    Sky diving is a great alternative for scuba diving. Loved that pic filled with thrill. I spent a few hours there and loved the city a lot, especially the old parts. The Christmas markets sound so fascinating. Hope I get to visit again during winters.

    • Mei and Kerstin
      | Reply

      We didn’t even know that one can do skydiving in Wiltz, until Viktoria from Chronic Wanderlust told us about it. 😀 If you come to Luxembourg again, make sure to visit the castles and small towns outside of the capital, you’ll love it!

  5. Elaine Masters
    | Reply

    So cool to read these different insights. I love the idea of walking across the region and taking it at a slow pace. Five castles in a day too!! So fun. So fairy tale.

    • Mei and Kerstin
      | Reply

      It’s actually impressive how Michael from Time Travel Turtle walked across the country! We’ve never done that, but can imagine that it was nice to explore Luxembourg like this and at a slow pace.

  6. Ann
    | Reply

    I really enjoyed your post! It’s always interesting (and sometimes appalling) to hear what people believe about your home — either city or country. I have been all AROUND Luxembourg, but have never visited it. Your ideas about different things to do are great, and your photographs really make me want to change that. I particularly loved your photograph in the snow.

    • Mei and Kerstin
      | Reply

      Thank you Ann! The photo of the “Little Switzerland” waterfall in the snow was taken by Nat and Cameron from The World Pursuit. We love that pic too! You can view more of their awesome photos on their Instagram account. 😉

  7. Sara
    | Reply

    Luxembourg sounds an enchanting country to visit. 17km of underground tunnels is a lot of underground tunnels! They would be so fun to explore. And a land filled with fairytale castles, 70! Wow!!

    The Christmas markets sound incredible. I’ve always wanted to spend Christmas in Europe, maybe this is the place.

    • Mei and Kerstin
      | Reply

      Christmas markets in Luxembourg are less crowded than those in other European cities. So if you’re in Europe for winter holidays, you might want to come visit Luxembourg. When it snows, the castles look even more fairytale-like! 😉

  8. Andi
    | Reply

    I LOVE the opening paragraph, grabbed my attention. I feel for you. I used to work in Switzerland and it was the same thing – people always thought everyone in Switzerland was rich! I didn’t know much about Luxembourg but I can see that there is lots to do!

    • Mei and Kerstin
      | Reply

      Haha! And your Swiss friends certainly keep explaining to people too that not all them are rich. If you get a chance, do come visit Luxembourg someday! 😉

  9. Jenn and Ed Coleman
    | Reply

    I haven’t been to Luxembourg but it’s so the list. It’s higher on the list after reading this article :). The idea of walking across an entire country has always intrigued me. Starting with Luxembourg seems very doable. Knowing that there are fairy tail towns and castles along the way makes it all seem worthwhile.

    • Mei and Kerstin
      | Reply

      We’re glad this article made you move up Luxembourg on your bucket list! Most of the “fairytale towns” are in the north and east of the country, so make sure to visit the Mullerthal and Ardennes regions too after exploring the capital. 🙂

  10. Linda and David
    | Reply

    We were very sorry to have missed Luxembourg on our recent visit to Austria and Switzerland. We would love to explore the old towns and castles. It does indeed look like a fairy tale. It was interesting to see your home country through the eyes of other visitors. It was nice to see the mix of old history and adventurous nature. Luxembourg will definitely be a place to visit on our next trip to that area.

    • Mei and Kerstin
      | Reply

      Yes, seeing our home country through other travelers’ eyes made us realize even more how interesting Luxembourg actually is! It might be small, but there’s a lot to do and see here. So if you visit Europe again, make sure to spend a few days exploring Luxembourg! 🙂

  11. Yay we were so excited to read this because someday we hope to make Luxembourg our home base for Europe travels. Christmas markets and winter there sounds lovely.Visiting 5 castles in one day sounds incredible as well. Loved this!

  12. Timothy
    | Reply

    Is there a pride in Luxembourg?

    • Mei and Kerstin
      | Reply

      Yes! Next Saturday (July 14). It will start at 2pm in Esch/Alzette, a city in southern Luxembourg.

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