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The remains of the fortifications that can still be seen today are testament to Luxembourg’s turbulent history at the hands of its many neighbours. It is now known as a financial centre and for its European institutions, and although sometimes dismissed out of hand due to its size, the city in fact boasts a dynamic entertainment and cultural scene. The beauty of the Old Town with its winding cobbled streets was recognised by UNESCO in 1994 when it was added to the World Heritage List, and one of the joys of visiting the city is wandering through the streets, enjoying the green spaces and panoramic views, and mingling with the multilingual locals.
Our top five sights
Casemates du Bock
Explore these tunnels cut into the rock by the Austrians in the 18th century. There are great views from the loopholes. Closed in winter. Montée de Clausen, 222 809
This modern art museum, designed by Louvre architect I M Pei, is worth visiting for the building itself as much as for the art. 3 Park Dräi Eechelen, 453 7851
The Grand Duke may not actually live here, but the restored interior is stunning and accessible by guided tour during the summer. 17 rue du Marché-aux-Herbes, 474 8741
Musée National d'Histoire et d'Art
The further you travel through time in this history and art museum, the higher up you go. Art is displayed on the top floors.Marché-aux-Poissons, 479 3301
Place de la Constitution
The Gëlle Frau (Golden Lady) erected in the square is a symbol of national pride, and there are superb views from here over the Pétrusse Valley. als.
Our top five activities
The Moselle Valley is famous for its vineyards and is the place to taste Luxembourg wines, including Riesling, Pinot Gris and the delicious crémants (sparkling wines).
From Easter until September, journey along the Moselle River aboard the MS Princesse Marie-Astrid, whilst tucking into lunch or dinner as you drift past the vines. 758 275
One of the city’s most popular self-guided walking tours, the Wenzel Walk can be completed in less than two hours and takes you through 1,000 years of Luxembourg’s history.
Swimming and saunas
Badanstalt (12 rue des Bains, 4796 2550) pool in the city centre offers massages and saunas, or further afield is the Domaine Thermal de Mondorf spa (52 avenue des Bains, 2366 6666).
The 18-hole Grand Ducal Senningerberg is the nearest golf club to the city centre and visitors are welcome during the week. 1 route de Trèves, 340 0901
Our top five events
Food, crafts and antiques are for sale at this lively market near the Palais Grand-Ducal, but the real draw are the stalls with Peckvillercher, small, bird-shaped ceramic whistles.
June: National Day
The celebrations start the night before the Grand Duke’s ‘official’ birthday (23 June), with a huge firework display. There are free concerts throughout Luxembourg City.
June-September: Summer in the City
During the summer, there are outdoor concerts and cinema screenings, as well as exhibitions and plays. Many of the events are free, such as the jazz and blues marathon. June-September
For three weeks, this very popular funfair takes over the Glacis car park. There are rides, stalls, bars and traditional foods to be enjoyed.
November-December: Christmas market
The main Christmas market in Luxembourg City is the one on the Place d’Armes, where there are stalls selling crafts, local foods and glühwein, often accompanied by live music.
The Grand Rue is the place for luxury shops such as Cartier but it is also home to brands like Sephora, and smaller boutiques can be found in the surrounding streets. Branches of Namur or Oberweis are ubiquitous in Luxembourg; buy some chocolates to take home. Shopping complexes can be found outside the centre, for example Auchan in Kirchberg (437 7431) where there is a supermarket, high-end and high-street shops, and a number of restaurants. There is a farmer’s market on Wednesday and Saturday mornings on Place Guillaume II, and an antiques market on the Place d’Armes on the first and third Saturday of the month.
Food & Drink
From Michelin-starred fare to hole-in-the-wall takeaways, you are spoilt for choice and quality in Luxembourg City when it comes to eating out. At the top end, Clairefontaine (9 place de Clairefontaine, 462 211) serves creative French food, whilst Mosconi (13 rue Münster, 546 994) on the banks of the Alzette offers excellent Italian dishes. For local specialities like judd mat gaardebounen (smoked pork with broad beans) washed down with Luxembourg beer, try the atmospheric and busy Mousel’s Cantine (46 Montée de Clausen, 470 198). If you’d rather have something lighter, head to fashionable Ikki (Rue Emile Moussel, 496 940) for French fusion or sushi.
The area around Rue des Marché-aux-Herbes is popular, with bars such as Urban (2 rue de la Boucherie, 2647 8578) which also shows sport. In the Grund and Clausen, you’ll find places like Café des Artistes (22 Montée du Gründ, 461 327) with its piano player, and the trendy Rives de Clausen complex. The Philarmonie (1 place de l’Europe, 260 2271) is Luxembourg’s classical music venue, and for cinematic blockbusters try the Utopolis (45 avenue John F. Kennedy, 429 5111). If you like to gamble, Casino 2000 (5 rue Théodore Flammang, 2361 1213) is in Mondorf-les-Bains.
Accommodation in Luxembourg
Luxembourg City has a number of excellent hotels, many owned by international chains. On the Kirchberg Plateau, the Meliã (1 Park Dräi Eechelen, 273 331) is a good choice for its proximity to the MUDAM. In the city itself, the Sofitel Le Grand Ducal (40 boulevard d’Avranches, 248 771) offers modern rooms, some with breathtaking views of the Pétrusse Valley. If you’d rather be somewhere smaller at the heart of the action, the five-star Le Place d’Armes (18 place d’Armes, 274 737) boasts individual and elegant rooms in a labyrinthine property. There are also decent accommodation options if you want to stay near the airport or railway station.
Taxis in Luxembourg are expensive and although easy to find at the airport, another option is to take the number 16 bus, which leaves from outside the arrivals hall. Travelling via the Kirchberg Plateau, it stops in the city centre and at the central railway station.
Luxembourg Airport Information
CityJet Flight Routes
Amsterdam to London City
Amsterdam to Avignon
Amsterdam to Brive - Dordogne Valley
Amsterdam to Perpignan