When we first told people we were visiting Luxembourg for the weekend the most common responses we received were “Where’s Luxembourg?”, “Why would you go there?” and “What can you do there?”. All very valid questions and if we’re honest we would have said the same in previous years. However, after some research, we discovered Luxembourg is a perfect place for a European city break! Why? Continue reading…
Luxembourg is nestled in the middle of Germany, France and Belgium. Over the years it has become an increasingly popular destination due to its natural beauty, multiple castles and love of wine – Luxembourg consistently ranks in the world’s top three nations in wine consumption… thanks for the tip Lonely Planet – what place could be better for us!?
Plus, from Vianden Castle to Notre-Dame Cathedral, there is plenty to do to fill up your weekend without feeling the need to rush from place to place. You can relax and explore Luxembourg at a leisurely pace. Believe us when we say you won’t be fighting crowds of tourists or queuing for hours on end here. No, no Luxembourg has a very peaceful atmosphere.
We landed at Luxembourg Airport around 10pm on the Friday evening and caught the number 16 bus to Luxembourg Central Station. The bus costs €2 one-way and only takes 30 minutes – making it the easiest way to reach Luxembourg City.
From Luxembourg Central Station we then walked three-minutes to our hotel. During our trip we stayed at Hotel Carlton, the perfect place to catch trains to Vianden, a 30-minute walk to most popular tourist sites and a delicious continental breakfast. What more could you ask for?
On our first day in Luxembourg we were up early to grab to best seat at the buffet… and also to catch the train to Vianden. After stuffing ourselves with yogurt and granola, bread, cheese and ham, finished off with delicious pastries, we walked the short distance to Luxembourg Central Station to catch the train.
The journey from Luxembourg City to Vianden takes around an hour and 15 minutes. Jumping on the train to Ettelbruck for 28 minutes and from there catching the 570 bus to Vianden. It may seem like a long journey for your first morning, but the destination is 100% worth it… remember when we said Luxembourg is known for its natural beauty? We were talking about Vianden.
Once you reach Vianden your first destination should be Vianden Castle. Now, walking to the castle takes around 12-minutes from where the bus drops you off, however we opted for a much more exciting option… a chair lift! The chair lift takes you up into the hills, giving you a stunning view over Vianden below and drops you off at an even better view point.
From here you can walk 10-minutes down-hill to the castle through the trees, taking in the amazing views as you go. We also opted to sing along to The Greatest Showman… but we’ll let you choose your own soundtrack.
Vianden Castle is a hilltop fortress which now holds historical exhibits. Now, we have to admit we’re not ones who spend hours on end in museums when on trips. We much prefer to take in the surroundings and admire the architecture, which is exactly what we did at Vianden Castle. The rooms were huge, with incredibly high ceilings and the views were breathtaking. We’d recommend the castle to everyone, whether you’re a history buff or not!
After the castle we jumped back on the chairlift back down to Vianden. The town has quaint little houses down cobbled streets and, of course, a river running through the middle. We explored the town until we settled down at a restaurant by the river, coincidentally called The River, grabbed a table outside and dug into some delicious pizzas and refreshing wine. It was the perfect place to soak in the surroundings and enjoy the midday sun!
Two pizzas and four glasses of wine down we decided it was time to head back to Luxembourg City for a self-guided walking tour. We started at Grund, around a 15-minute walk from Luxembourg Central Station. The Grund quarter is located in the centre of Luxembourg City, from medieval artitecture to scenic views along the river, it is the perfect place to wander from street to street.
Next, we headed up to Corniche, a viewpoint which overlooks Grund and gives you a stunning view over the quaint streets below. Afterwards, we walked to Notre-Dame Cathedral, Adolphe Bridge and The Monument of Remembrance, more famously known for Luxembourg’s Golden Lady who stands on top. From here to can also see a stunning view over the park below and Plateau Bourbon across the way.
Top tip: If you visit The Monument of Remembrance at sunset the view is breathtaking!
After we’d watched the sunset we walked 30-minutes to Les Rives de Clausen, an area known for its bars, restaurants and nightlife. There are many options when it comes to finding somewhere for dinner or to grab a drink, but we opted for the Big Beer Company, the closest we would come to Oktoberfest this year.
We drank our beer from the biggest steins, ate our Schnitzel and danced the night away to classics including ‘Hey Baby’ by DJ Ötzi and ‘I’m Gonna Be’ by The Proclaimers. What more could you want from a European city break?
With the lyrics “I would walk 500 miles” still ringing in our heads we decided to spend our last morning in Luxembourg with a leisurely walk around the park. The breeze was refreshing, and the Autumn leaves were beginning to fall from the trees. It’s the perfect place if you want to spend some time in nature, have a picnic if visiting in the warmer months or like us, you want to clear your heads.
Next, we walked to Chocolate House Bonn for a mid-morning snack. Opposite the Grand Ducal palace, you can take in the view of the palace while eating the most delicious chocolate cake or drinking hot chocolate. We opted for a slice of the Red Velvet Cake and Chocolate Brownie, both were amazing, but be warned to portion sizes are huge! So, you may only want to order one to share.
After a relaxing morning walking around the park and eating too much cake at Chocolate House Bonn, we decided it was time to step up our game and visit one of Luxembourg City’s most popular sites, the Casemates du Bock. Around a 6-minute walk from the Grand Ducal palace.
The Casemates du Bock are a series of complex tunnels used as bomb shelters in WWII which you could spend hours exploring. From squeezing down some narrow tunnels to walking up some steep spiral staircases it’s a great place to get stuck in! The tunnels also often bring you to stunning viewpoints overlooking the Grund quarter below – have you figured out we love a good viewpoint yet?!
Once we’d made a quick dash back to the Corniche viewpoint, explored the art market in Grund and visited The Monument of Remembrance once more, it was time for our last meal in Luxembourg.
Now, when we mentioned we were visiting Luxembourg on Twitter, many people recommended Snooze Burgers as a great place to eat, and they weren’t wrong. If you think of anything you’d ever want on a burger then Snooze had it. From guacamole, to chilli mayonnaise and unlimited cheese, there wasn’t much missing. Topped off with some delicious curly fries we were in heaven! The perfect place to fill up before our journey back to England.
After a slow 20-minute walk back to Hotel Carlton to pick up our bags, we headed to Luxembourg Central Station to catch the number 16 bus to the airport. Plus, even better news… the city buses are all free in Luxembourg on a Sunday, meaning you won’t have to spend the whole weekend making sure you save those €2 for the journey back.
Thank you, Luxembourg, you’ve been a dream.