Luxembourg: The ultimate travel guide to one of Europe's smallest countries
Updated: Sep 17, 2022
Not a lot of people know Luxembourg. But in spite of this, the country has deep historical roots and offers a lot of diversity. From the rocky gorges in the east to the river valleys in the north and the medieval towns and castles perched in between. We’ll highlight where Luxembourg is, everything you need to know before going there, where to stay, the best things to do, and recommended itineraries.
Check out our video about Luxembourg to see what the country is like!
Where is Luxembourg and how to get there?
The country of Luxembourg is situated in western Europe and borders Belgium, France, and Germany. With an area of 2,586 square kilometers (998 sq mi), Luxembourg is one of the smallest countries in all of Europe. You can get to Luxembourg by flying to its airport or to airports in neighboring countries such as Hahn Airport, Charleroi Airport, Cologne Airport, or Strasbourg Airport. You can also get there by train from the major cities of neighboring countries such as Belgium, Germany, and France. Luxembourg has a very good public transport network, which is free.
Important things to know before you go to Luxembourg
The best time to visit Luxembourg is from May to September. It has a mild summer climate, so the weather will be perfect for hiking and camping.
Luxembourg has 3 official languages: French, German, and Luxembourgish (which is very similar to German). English and Portuguese are also commonly spoken.
Luxembourg is very safe. The crime rate is very low and it is a very wealthy country. People are very friendly and easy-going. Even though Luxembourg city is home to all the big companies it has a relaxed atmosphere just as the rest of the country.
Where To Stay In Luxembourg
Luxembourg is a bit more expensive for things like restaurants and hotels than the neighboring countries. We're not big spenders ourselves, so we divided everything into budget, medium, and premium categories below so that there is something for everyone. If you really want to keep your expenses low and love being outdoors, then camping is a great option for you. Find campsites in Luxembourg here.
Where to stay in Luxembourg City
Where to stay in Echternach
Where to stay in Esch-Sur-Sûre
Where to stay in Bourscheid
Where to stay in Vianden
Best things to do in Luxembourg
Now, lets get into the top things to do in Luxembourg! This country has so much to offer and many places to visit, but for this article we chose to break down our top 7 favorite places in this beautiful country.
Echternach is located in the east of Luxembourg, right next to the German border. It's known as the oldest town in the country, dating back to the end of the 7th century when the Abbey of Echternach was established. Today, you can find a lovely open square, beautiful historical buildings (including the Abbey of Echternach, the adjoined Basilica of Saint Willibrord, the Roman Villa and the Orangery), and cute restaurants. This town makes for a great stop while exploring the countryside, or as a base to explore the unspoilt Mullerthal Region.
6. Mullerthal Region
The Mullerthal Region is probably the most unique area in Luxembourg. With an abundance of mysterious caves, small waterfalls, dense forests, and sandstone rock formations, this region is best explored on foot. Experienced hikers can tackle the challenging 112 km (70mi) Mullerthal Trail, which combines forests, rocky crevices, fields and villages. But if you just have a few hours or a day, we recommend hiking shorter trails to explore the highlights (i.e. Schiessentümpel waterfalls, Huel Lee Cave, Kallektuffquell).
Situated in a river valley in north-western Luxembourg, Esch-sur-Sûre is one of the tiniest villages in the country. Here, it seems as if time has stood still. You can see the remains of an old castle on the hill, with narrow streets surrounding it. For a long time, this town was isolated and difficult to visit because of its remote location. Luckily there are now two tunnels, which makes visiting the village a lot easier. In our opinion, Esch-sur-Sûre is an idyllic place that deserves a quick stop to take in the views. The best view is from the Die MutterGottes tower.
Located in northern Luxembourg, Clervaux is another countryside town that is worth a visit. Not only is it home to the beautiful Clervaux castle, but you can also walk here in the surrounding forests and hills or explore the small town center and nearby Abbey. Since it is such a small area, we recommend stopping through for only a few hours here.
Bourscheid is a small town in north-eastern Luxembourg, known for the country’s largest and most dramatic castle (Bourscheid Castle). But besides that, this village is located right next to the river and surrounded by rolling, green hills. Thus, it’s a great place for camping, swimming, and hiking. The long-distance Escapardenne Lee Trail runs through this area, and offers breathtaking views of the river valley (Gringlay View Point). If you camp at Camping du Moulin, then you can start from there and hike up to the Gringlee Viewpoint. From there, you will have great aerial views of the Bourscheid Castle. The hike to the viewpoint is steep, but short, and should only take about an hour to get to the top.
Vianden is our favorite town in all of Luxembourg. Located in a valley along the Our River, this village enjoys an idyllic setting. But its main attraction is undoubtedly the Vianden Castle, which has been beautifully restored since 1977 when it passed into state ownership. You can easily combine a visit to the castle with a stroll through the town or a scenic ride on the chairlift. To enter the castle there is a fee of €10 but if you have the Luxembourg card it's free.
1. Luxembourg City
Luxembourg City is the vibrant, cultural capital city of the country with an interesting layout. The city is divided into two sections: the High City (Ville Haute), which is the medieval town center situated on a cliff face, and the Low City (Ville Basse), which is located in the ravine that runs through the city. And while the low city is more peaceful to stroll around, the high city has most of the tourist attractions. Highlights include the Cathedral (Notre-Dame Cathedral), the palace (Palais Grand-Ducal), the Casemates, and the scenic Corniche. Book a guided walking tour and wine tasting to get to know more about this beautiful city.
Recommended itineraries for Luxembourg
If you have only 1 day, we recommend visiting Luxembourg City. It’s easily accessible via train from the neighboring countries. There are trains from Brussels, Paris, Trier, Cologne, and even Basel in Switzerland. The public transportation in Luxembourg is free so once you’re in the city, you can decide to bus or walk around!
If you have 2 days, we recommend combining Luxembourg City (Day 1) with Vianden, Mullerthal, and Echternach in the east (Day 2). For this itinerary, you will need a car. Book your car rental via the link in the description below.
To get a real taste of Luxembourg, it’s best to stay 3 to 7 days. In this way, you can combine the previously mentioned places with a visit to Clervaux, Bourscheid, and Esch-sur-Sûre. You can also spend a few more days in the Mullerthal region and do multiple day-hikes there.
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Other Top Luxembourg resources:
If you're looking for some other information on Luxembourg and the best things to do there, here are some great articles that will help you:
20 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Luxembourg by Planetware
Best Things To Do In Luxembourg by You Could Travel
10 Must-See Attractions in Luxembourg (and How to Visit Them!) by Megan and Aram
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