Luxembourg, Luxembourg!

Luxembourg, Luxembourg is a beautiful city in one of the smallest countries in Europe. The country of Luxembourg is bordered by France, Belgium and Germany and is only about 4/5 the size of the state of Rhode Island. That’s tiny! It boasts one of the most diverse groups of people in the region and a gorgeous capital city that is definitely worth visiting. It is the second richest country in the world, and is also among the safest. Almost half of the people who work in Luxembourg actually commute from nearby countries, and similarly, just under half of the inhabitants of Luxembourg were born elsewhere. That’s a lot of immigration!

Public transportation and public restrooms are free here (that is unusual for Europe), and the city is impeccably clean. The city itself is a UNESCO World Heritage site due to its historical significance. When visiting, you will notice the walls of the city, beautiful bridges and architecture. But did you know there are over 17 km (10.5 mi) of underground tunnels cut into the rock on the hillside under the city as part of their defense system? That’s amazing! This country (and capitol city in particular) is widely regarded as a capitol of culture in Europe. The following are areas of the city worth visiting!

Klouschtergaart bridge, pictured below near the entrances to the Bock Casements, is a lovely area to walk along the Alzette river known as le Chemin de la Corniche on the outside of the high city walls. There is a bridge to cross, gardens to view, and ruins up above. If you time it right you’ll hear the bells of Église Saint-Jean-du-Grund. There is a small parking lot and restrooms at the church, but you’ll have to arrive early to park there. I recommend it as a starting point in your city walk!

From the river you can walk up the path along the walls to the top (pictured above). From here the Monument of the Millennium (pictured below) can be seen or explored, and there is a great view from here down over the river. From the monument there is also a good view of Pont du Château, a lovely archway bridge constructed in the early 1700’s. Don’t miss the Casemates Memorial Point, where Luxembourg’s UNESCO World Heritage significance is explained and there is a great view over the northeast side of the city. Finally, as you walk into the city center from there you will pass the lovely Michaelskirche, with beautiful Sunday bells.

From there it is fun to just wander the streets and observe street artists, take note of restaurants you might want to hit up (we loved Charles Sandwiches!) and make your way to the Monument of Remembrance and the City Skyliner – a beautiful lookout over the southwest side of the city. Adophe Bridge and Parcs de la Pétrusse are visible from here.

Continue along the outskirts of the city until you reach the large and lovely Parc Edith Klein. It is expansive and covers 1/3 of the city on the west and northwest side. In the park you will see lovely gardens and fountains, the historic Lambert Redoubt (a fort from the 1600’s) with its green spirals, and a super fun playground for kids: Parc de Monterey. Our kids didn’t want to leave! They loved the water splash area.

We walked all the way through past Kinnekswiss Park, where there was a small carnival and outdoor yoga classes in session, to Parc Fondation Pescatore, where there are splash pads, sculptures, and a skywalk that leads to an awesome glassed in panoramic viewpoint of the city. I recommend walking across the bridge to get there, but it is also possible to take an elevator up to this point from the walls down below.

From there it is an easy walk straight back into the city center, and the main square Place d’Armes. There are free public restrooms on the side of the Cercle Cité, the big main centerpiece of the square. Rue du Cure is notable (pictured below), with its lampshades zigzagging above, and it leads straight back to where we started. Nearby is the Place Guillaume II, the largest square in Luxembourg. It is known for its outdoor music festivals during normal years.

When it was time for us to leave, we headed back to our parking spot by way of Cathédrale Notre-Dame (completed in 1621) to Palais de Justice Luxembourg. This is a pristine area with colorful art, a beautiful fountain (Fontaine aux Colombes) and government buildings that sit atop the Citadel. From here you can take an elevator down to the river level, where there are sweet little cafes and it is a quieter part of the city called the Old Quarter, where locals hang out. Here, on the river, we noticed a Michelin star restaurant we’d love to come back and splurge on: Restaurant Mosconi. Also (closed when we went) was a small Natural History Museum of Luxembourg that we might need to return to see, as the kids love seeing all the animals!

We were able to see all of these sights on foot in about six hours, with time to play at the playgrounds, explore, and eat lunch. It was a great day and we look forward to returning! Luxembourg has totally charmed us!

OTHER INFO:

Vehicles: Parking garages Le Royal and Parkeer Luxembourg might be the best bets, although the parking lots work as well if you arrive early enough to the city. Remember public transport is free, so it doesn’t hurt to park a bit outside and take a nice, clean bus into the center.

Cost: Luxembourg may have free restrooms and public transport, but everything else is pricey. Expect to pay A LOT for meals here, and plan accordingly. Bring snacks and water with you or stop at a market or grocery store to stock up if you want to save money. Nothing we saw had an entrance fee, though, so it doesn’t have to be an expensive visit!

General: Remember that most stores are closed on Sundays in Europe, and Luxembourg is no exception. Some restaurants are open, and street vendors may be out for tourists, but for the most part, Sundays are relaxed and sleepy. There are three official languages here: Luxembourgish, French and German. Most people speak English, though.

What Else: Next time we go we would like to visit Fort Thüngen, Malakoff Tower and the side of the city near the Philharmonic. The Skatepark Péitruss looks fun, and the Glacis square (Fouerplaatz) looks like it might be worth visiting, too. We hear the National Museum of History and Art is excellent to tour, and we might try touring the Bock Casements under the city as well. Don’t forget to keep an eye out for the Grand Duke of Luxembourg, Henri, at the Grand Ducal Palace!

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