Luxembourg is a landlocked country in the heart of Europe, bordering Belgium, Germany and France. With a population of just over 645, 000, and a total land area of 2, 586 square metres, it’s among the smallest countries in the world.
It is, however, one of the richest countries on the planet, as well as is steeped in history and culture. Its capital, Luxembourg City, has been voted the European Capital of Culture not once but twice, so there must be something to it.
Luxembourgish language and culture are heavily influenced by French and German cultures, and it’s often considered a blend of the two. There are in fact three national languages: Luxembourgish, French, and German. Aside from being one of the safest countries in Europe, Luxembourg is famed for its unique cuisine, ancient castles, forests, and fine wines.
Let’s take a closer look at nine things to do when visiting this remarkable country.
Table of Contents
- 1. Visit The National Museum of History And Art
- 2. Explore The Old Quarter In Luxembourg City
- 3. Go Hiking In Berfdorf
- 4. Relax At Echternach Lake
- 5. Visit MUDAM Contemporary Art Museum
- 6. Enjoy One Of The Many Cafes In Luxembourg City
- 7. Visit Notre-Dame Cathedral
- 8. Get A Taste For Luxembourgish Cuisine
- 9. Go Wine Tasting In Moselle Valley
- Luxembourg: A Small Country With A Lot To Offer
1. Visit The National Museum of History And Art
For art enthusiasts, the National Museum of History and Art is well-worth a visit. Unlike the MUDAM, it exhibits artworks that stretch back to Neolithic times, as well as exhibiting modern artworks. If you want to get a feel for the history of art and its relationship with Luxembourg, and human history more broadly, this is a great place to start.
2. Explore The Old Quarter In Luxembourg City
The oldest part of Luxembourg City, aptly named the Old Quarter, is actually a UNESCO world heritage site. It sits right in the heart of the city and is known for its beautiful stone bridges, fortifications, cobbled streets and gardens. It’s the perfect way to spend an afternoon in the city. The best way to explore the Old Quarter is to organize a walking tour, or by segway or bicycle.
3. Go Hiking In Berfdorf
Berfdorf is a small town and area of natural beauty in the most eastern part of Luxembourg. It’s west of the town of Echternach and surrounded by sandstone rocks. It makes for an excellent base for hiking, climbing and cycling enthusiasts. There are loads of hiking trails, camping spots and cycling routes in the area, and it’s especially popular in the spring and summer months.
4. Relax At Echternach Lake
Echternach lake is an artificial lake in the north-eastern part of the country. The lake itself is south of the town of Echternach, which is next to the border with Germany. The lake is about 30 hectares in size and it’s the perfect location for sunbathing on a summer’s day, or as a starting point for an outdoor pursuit.
There’s a path running all the way around the edge of the lake while the wider area offers lots of opportunities for hiking, fishing, boat tours, cycling, inline skating, or simply enjoying the nature. There’s even a youth hostel and restaurant, and the lake serves as a venue for many music events and an open-air cinema in the warmer months. Surrounding the lake is an enormous 375-hectare forest, which is criss-crossed with hiking trails. It’s about 30km from Luxembourg City.
5. Visit MUDAM Contemporary Art Museum
If you didn’t get your fill at the National Museum, head over to the MUDAM Contemporary Art Museum, or simply MUDAM, which is located in the Dräi Eechelen Park in Luxembourg City. It occupies the site where the ancient Fort Thüngen used to stand. It displays modern and contemporary art in the genres of sculpture, video art and painting, and it’s a must for any contemporary art enthusiast visiting the city. As well as the exhibits, the building itself will please the aesthetically inclined. It was designed by Ieoh Ming Pei, a famous Chinese-American architect.
6. Enjoy One Of The Many Cafes In Luxembourg City
Luxembourg City is well-known for its bustling cafe culture throughout the year, but especially during the autumn, winter and early spring, when there’s a chill in the air. Whether you’re just relaxing with a speciality coffee or tea and a Luxembourgish pastry, or if you’re on the lookout for some delicious cocktails, the capital has many unique and cosy cafes from which to choose.
7. Visit Notre-Dame Cathedral
As Luxembourg’s only cathedral, it’s worth a visit if you’re interested in architecture, history and religion. The building itself is a blend of Rennaissance and Gothic architecture. It was constructed in the 17th Century by Jesuit priests and houses the tombs of members of the Luxembourg royal family.
8. Get A Taste For Luxembourgish Cuisine
Luxembourgish cuisine is one-of-a-kind thanks to its blend of French, German, Belgian, Portuguese and Italian influences. Many of the local dishes are inspired by ancient peasant fare. Meat is still popular in Luxembourg, but there are plenty of excellent vegan and vegetarian options, especially in Luxembourg city. The national dish is called Judd mat Gaardebounen, which is smoked and salted pork served with beans and boiled potatoes. Another popular dish is Huesenziwwi, a stew of marinated hare and a sauce made with cognac. It’s typically served with noodles.
9. Go Wine Tasting In Moselle Valley
Its neighbour France is a more well-known wine producer, but Luxembourg has its fair share of delicious wines. Moselle Valley, which runs alongside the border with Germany in the southeast, is the heart of wine country in Luxembourg. Grapes for wine have been cultivated in the region for thousands of years. Tours can easily be arranged, especially between late August and October during the grape harvest, where they’ll be lots of wine festivals in the smaller towns.
Luxembourg: A Small Country With A Lot To Offer
It’s easy to overlook such a small country, especially since it’s nestled between France and Germany, two popular tourist destinations. Visitors will be pleasantly surprised however by its unique blend of languages and cultures, and its rich history and natural beauty.