The Wowcher Guide to Luxembourg

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When you’re planning a weekend getaway, Luxembourg might not be top of your list – but I’ll have you know that this little gem is a hidden wonder! A well-kept secret, sandwiched between the more popular city hotspots of Germany, France and Belgium, what this compact country lacks in size, it sure makes up for in scenery. With each mile of ground a glorious spread of tiny toy towns, medieval ruins and woodland, a weekend in the Grand Duchy will grant you a welcome green retreat.

Luxembourg city

1. City Sights

If you put your pedal to the metal, you can cover Luxembourg City in a day. Map a wise route around the winding streets and you’ll soak up all of the essential sights, from the stunning stained glass of the Notre-Dame Cathedral and the imposing stature of the Grand Palace, to the marvels of the Mudam Art Museum. Even the local retirement home is an ode to exquisite architecture!

Notre-Dame Cathedral view in Luxembourg

For an outdoor adventure, explore the Old Town, delving into the Casemates du Bock on your way. These eerie caves carved into the cliff-face mask a complex of underground tunnels and galleries that once served as World War II bomb shelters! Plus, you can view all of the city sights now from the glass platform of the panoramic lift of Pfaffenthal.

2. Village Visits

From the abbeys of Echternach to the valleys of Vianden, Luxembourg’s village life proffers picturesque pit stops a’plenty. Travel cross country by car or coach, each teeny town just an hour or two away from the city centre, many places such as Diekirch and Beaufort offering beautiful nature trails. But if it’s a full on hike you’re hankering for, head to the country’s northernmost region, thick with forestry, for a truly epic outdoor escape!

Medieval Castle of Vianden on top of the mountain in Luxembourg

3. Throne Games

Peppered with medieval castles, ancient fortresses and Romanesque strong holdings, you can play out your very own Game of Thrones fantasy as you take a historical tour across town. Beaufort boasts two impressive builds, the old knight’s castle set against the Renaissance chateau, the latter of which can only be accessed on a guided tour. You’ll be led through baroque living rooms and elaborate gardens before exploring the distillery that used to produce Luxembourg’s renowned blackcurrant liqueur (called Cassero). Still produced in the onsite cellars, you’ll be treated to a shot of the good stuff at the end of your visit! Vianden Castle’s sprawling set is one of the largest fortifications west of the River Rhine – there’s even a chairlift to take you up to the top – and all the while, Bourglinster, Larochette and Esch-sur-Sûre all boast their own fancy fortifications too!

Place Guillaume II in Luxembourg city

4. Shopaholic Central

Boasting a healthy economy thanks to its built-up banking district, Luxembourg sings with wealth, so if it’s a shopping spree you’re after on your downtime, head on over to the city’s Ville-Haute district where you can frequent designer boutiques, famous chains and trendy jewellery shops. Keep an eye out for the fanciful work of local craftsmen too, as well as the street markets and quiet squares, such as the Place Guillaume II, that intersperse the stretch of luxury brands. The developing area surrounding the Gare Centrale boasts its own fanfare too, pairing quality independent shops with small local brands and lush eateries. For more hot spots, swing by the Cityshopping Info Point at the Place d’Armes where you can pinpoint your favourite haunts.

mouth watering german Bratwurst in dish

5. ‘Wurst and Wine

Luxembourg offers a cacophony of different cuisines, from the beloved German bratwurst to fancy French fromage! Regional favourites include F’rell Am Rèisleck, a popular freshwater fish dish and Huesenziwwi which translates as hare stew, but for either high-end, hearty or health-conscious chow, some of the best restaurants, including Clairefontaine, TWO6TWO and the Green Art Café, can be found in Luxembourg City. For all those walks you can fill your boots with sumptuous finger food, from the decadent Quetschentaart (a popular plum pastry) to the humble Gromperekichelcher fried potato fritter, and to complete your culinary quest, why not pair these palate pleasers with a chilled glass of grape, sampling Luxembourg’s reasonably priced wine output as you bike your way through the Moselle valley vineyards! ‘Cuz who needs Italy anyway?