Luxembourg, officially the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, is a small country in the middle of Western Europe with an important history and a wealthy economy.
Due to its position and size, it is ideal to visit in few days in combination with nearby regions.
It can be reached comfortably by any means of transport. Luxembourg International Airport is just 10 km’s out of the capital, plus buses and trains can take you there in a couple of hours from Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam or Frankfurt.
We traveled by train from Brussels to Luxembourg City during our recent Interrail trip through Europe, and spent 3 days in the country.
Let’s see the perfect itinerary for a 3-day trip to Luxembourg.
First of all it’s important to make things clear. Many mistakenly associate the whole nation to its capital city of the same name, however there is more to Luxembourg than just Luxembourg City.
The capital has about 100,000 inhabitants, whilst the overall population of Luxembourg reaches 600,000. The country is divided into 12 cantons, and other main cities include Esch, Differdange and Dudelange.
DAY 1 – LUXEMBOURG OLD TOWN
Get to know the morphology of Luxembourg City by walking around.
You will immediately notice the contrast between old and new town, and appreciate how the city has been developed on different levels through the centuries. Luxembourg City in fact spreads over two adjoining valleys.
The best way to move from the upper city to the major Alzette Valley below is by taking the Pfaffenthal Panoramic Elevator. A 70-meter-high lift with both practical and leisure features.
Enjoy the views from the footbridge at the top of the lift and from the elevator see through glasses.
The main neighbourhood situated in the Alzette Valley is called Grund, one of the oldest parts of Luxembourg City. It offers picturesque views both by day and by night, when lights mirror into the Alzette river.
Strolling around in the evening is a pleasant activity too. Night time is when the medieval side of Luxembourg City is even more evident. Suffused lighting often paired with the mist descending into the valleys provide unique sights.
Explore Ville Haute or Grund areas for dinner options.
Luxembourg has an interesting cuisine that reflects its position on the border among three countries. We tasted some excellent game meat during our stay.
DAY 2 – NEW CITY AND MUSEUMS
We dedicate the following morning to the new city.
Kirchberg plateau is the highest part of Luxembourg City where EU institutions are located. Here are also some remarkable buildings as the Philarmonie Luxembourg and the MUDAM (Museum of Modern Arts).
The first one is a prestigious concert hall whilst the second is a design edifice created by I.M.Pei, known for designing the Louvre Pyramids in Paris.
Next to the MUDAM, the Musée Drei Echelen hosted within Fort Thungen is another worthy attraction. These indoor activities are also a good alternative when the rain falls, not a rarity up here.
A DAY TRIP TO…
A full or half day trip to a countryside destination is totally possible when staying in Luxembourg, after all it doesn’t take more than 90 minutes to cross the whole nation!
Having frequently been a region under attack through the centuries, Luxembourg is scattered with dozens of castles and defensive fortresses that took advantage of the hilly geographic shape perfectly. Some optimistic lists include over 100 ruins, more than half of them are still standing and can be visited nowadays.
Many Luxembourgish towns were developed around a castle, and Clervaux Castle is arguably the most beautiful in the country.
We reached Clervaux by train in just 1 hour from Luxembourg City (travelling on national public means of transport is free when getting a Luxembourg Card, a tool we much recommend when in Luxembourg. Access to museums and this castle is included too!).
The main reason for travelling to Clervaux is certainly its magnificent castle. As if the looks of it were not beautiful enough, it has even increased its virtue since 1994, when the prestigious photographic exhibition “The Family of Man” by Edward Steichen found its permanent venue within its premises.
The Family of Man is a collection of 503 photographs taken by some of the best photographers in the world, representing people from any race, skin colour, social class, and focusing on what makes human beings bind and come together.
The exhibition praises the enrollment in the Unesco Memory of World and has been touring the world for decades, being hosted at the MOMA in New York too.
In addition to Clervaux, other activities and destinations around Luxembourg include natural excursions, hiking and cycling, visiting production centres and tasting local specialties like wine, beer, cheese and sausages.
Mullerthal, also known as Little Switzerland, is a beautiful region where to spend time outdoors in the nature.
DAY 3 – UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITES
Once back in Luxembourg City, another Unesco site is up for grabs. Indeed Unesco also recognized Luxembourg City’s fortifications as a World Heritage Site.
Chemin de la Corniche is a scenic city walk right on top of such fortifications, allowing beautiful views over the Alzette Valley and the Grund.
In the same area you will find Casemates du Bock, a system of underground tunnels running for over 20 kilometres beneath Luxembourg fortress.
If you have more time before leaving Luxembourg on your last day, there are different trails and circular walks to enjoy on a nice weather’s day. You can take a stroll around the parks and green areas within the city valleys, and admire the various sights from a different point of view.
If you have questions or feedback about the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, don’t hesitate to let us know in the comment section below.
Thanks for reading and enjoy Luxembourg!
WHERE TO STAY IN LUXEMBOURG?
- Hostellerie du Grünewald: a recently renewed hotel in Luxembourg City. Excellent breakfasts and location, 2-min-walk from the train station.
- Le Clervaux Boutique Hotel: the best view over the castle, located right in Clervaux central square. Cozy design rooms, spa service, and on site restaurant.
- Browse other hotel options in Luxembourg here.
HOW TO GET AROUND?
- Luxembourg Card: not a standard city card, but a proper pass to the whole country! Includes free access to all transports in Luxembourg City, trains and buses country-wide, and admission to 60+ attractions in Luxembourg. Check prices here.
- Train: there are 2 train stations in Luxembourg City: Gare Centrale and Pfaffenthal-Kirchberg. Trains to Clervaux leave every hour and take approximately 55 minutes.
- Trams: brand new trams connect quickly the old to the new town in Luxembourg City.
DO I NEED TRAVEL INSURANCE?
- Yes you do. Never leave home without a reliable travel insurance. Even if you trust yourself, you can’t always trust others. Better safe than sorry! Get your quote here.