The decision to visit Luxembourg City was an impromptu one. I had recently purchased the Eurail Global Pass and was trying to figure out my next destination spontaneously. Luxembourg City seemed an interesting prospect. First, it was three hours away from Brussels by intercity train Bruxelles-Midi which had a service every hour. As a budget traveler, the fact that no reservation (extra charges) was required to board the train and availability of luggage lockers at the station, made it an exciting proposition for a day trip. For those who do not know, you need to buy reservations on certain trains/ routes even if you have the expensive Eurail pass.
As far as Luxembourg is concerned, my knowledge about this country was limited at that time. I knew that though it is one of the smallest countries (even smaller than the smallest Indian state Goa), it is also one of the world’s richest. For me, it meant it was an EXPENSIVE place. And that it is EU’s powerhouse – one of the EU’s official capitals and center of business and technology. Therefore, I was expecting to see a lot of concrete – institutional buildings and government houses and not much of culture and history.
However, when I got out of the train, I was taken by the pleasant surprise. The train station (Gare de Luxembourg) built in Moselle Baroque Revival style is a marvel in itself. From the Gare de Luxembourg, I could reach the old town in less than 10 minutes.The historic old quarter of the city of Luxembourg (Upper Town) is one of the World Heritage sites – it includes the beautiful Notre Dame Cathedral, Grand Ducal Palace, Corniche, Monument of Remembrance and Constitution Square. I was overwhelmed by the magnificence of this place.
More than anything I loved just walking around the city. The city is so tiny and compact that one does not need to hop on a car or bus. And then these spaces are so bewitchingly green. I found myself lost in the various shades of green. No doubt, Luxembourg is called the ‘Green Heart of Europe.’
So if you do visit Luxembourg some day, don’t visit it for sights, there are not many. The magic of Luxembourg is in the scenery and landscape. The city will surprise you with its charming side streets, gorgeous hidden parks, and spectacular views from the old fortification walls. And, the amazing diversity that city boasts of (people from over 150 nationalities live here), you will surely run into someone who will address you in your language.
So if you are planning to visit Luxembourg, here are some quick tips:
- There are no Free Walking Tours in Luxembourg City.
- You can get a free map and guided walking tour from the Tourist Information Office at the station. Tour in The English language starts at 2 PM.
- For those not fond of walking, a day ticket costs 4€ and is valid for an unlimited number of trips from obliteration until 8 a.m. the next day.
- The tourist pass – Luxembourg Card costs 13€ a day – includes free public transportation and access to more than 70 museums and tourist attractions.
- The city shuts itself at 6 PM, plan your dinner accordingly.
- There is not much of a nightlife. Most clubs require one to be well dressed.
- There are not many options for budget accommodation. There is just one hostel – Youth Hostel Luxembourg City. If you plan to stay overnight, book in advance.