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Thursday 30 May 2024

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Luxembourg City – a wealth of culture and charm at the heart of Western Europe


When spending time in, or touring, Western Europe, it’s almost too easy to overlook a visit to the small, landlocked country of Luxembourg, officially the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, in favour of Belgium, France, Germany or Holland.

The world’s only remaining grand duchy, Luxembourg has a great deal to offer the adventure-hungry traveller, although many guide books afford it little space.

If time is limited, we’d suggest spending a few days in Luxembourg City itself which, as the country’s capital, is also central to its culture and entertainment.

Essentially comprising four main regions, you’ll want to spend most of your time in the old town, or Vieille Ville, where you’ll find museum culture, grand architecture and café society collide in a gentle assault on the senses, and the river valleys, or Grund quarter, which can be reached by a scenic zigzag path or, for the more sedentary, a lift. Here you can spend leisurely hours meandering through quiet streets, stopping for a beer or coffee at one of the handful of excellent bars, before crossing the bridge which straddles the River Alzette, to pay a visit to the St-Jean Baptiste church and Neumünster Abbey.

Most of the city’s hotels are situated in the less desirable and rather crass station district, or modern quarter, but this is only a few minutes’ walk from all that is good. The fourth district is the Kirchberg, Luxembourg’s government and commerce hub – worth a short bus ride to witness the impressive architecture of the ultra modern Philharmonic Hall and the quietly majestic Fort Thüngen, a recently restored historic fortress which now forms part of the city’s Museum of Modern Art. This area is also abundantly populated with more than a dozen sculptures and statues, but finding them all in its expanse of three kilometres by one and a half is quite a laborious task on foot, with little else to turn the head.

Overall, the City of Luxembourg has much to offer the tourist and, for the completists among us, ticks the final box when completing the Benelux tour.

World Travel Blog especially recommends:

Café de Paris
While away a couple of hours on the pavement terrace, or enjoy delicious food and drinks inside the sumptuously modern interior…
Find out more

Oscar’s Bar
Adorned with Oscars from Wilde to Muppet, this excellent bar restaurant is one of Luxembourg Grund’s finest; deny yourself their burgers at your peril…
Find out more

Liquid Café
Anciently modern, relaxed and trendy, this superb live music venue snuggles up along the River Alzette, waiting to cosset you in its timeless charm…
Find out more

updown bar
Situated right at the foot of the elevator separating Vieille Ville from Grund, this friendly little bar is the perfect vantage point for a spot of people watching…
Find out more

La Boucherie
With mouthwatering steaks, cooked to perfection and well under 20€ with sauce, salad and fries, what’s not to like about this old town favourite..?
Find out more

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