Green, charming and historical Luxembourg (city) seems to work at a different time. People here are not in a rush, love to enjoy French inspired food with German proportions and once the sun shines the terraces and restaurants fill up giving the city its signature ‘bom vivant’ atmosphere. If you’re looking to run away from the daily hectic this Fall yet still want to enjoy a city with small town feel, Luxembourg city is a destination you can’t miss out on.
Many mistakingly associate Luxembourg with luxury and high end as the name itself contains the word ‘Lux’ and the numerous banks situated here have helped establish this image. But this topnotch destination is surprisingly cheap and prices are similar to the likes of Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Lille and Prague! A lot of the must-see places and events are free which is why I wanted to share 7 highlights you need to see or do in Luxembourg.
1. Enjoy the view at “the most beautiful balcony in the world”
For the best (free) view of the Old city stop at what is regarded as “the most beautiful balcony in the world”, one of UNESCO’s World Heritage sites. The balcony, also known as Corniche, runs along the Alzette valley on the ramparts from the Bock Promontory up to the lower part of the Holy Ghost Citadel, the so-called “Rondellen”. I could have easily spent a couple of hours here as looking down from every angle offered a gorgeous panoramic spectacle of the city. Let alone if you come here at sunrise or sunset.
2. Free Jazz performance at Brasserie Neumunster
Make sure you enjoy the delights of a free Jazz performance at Brasserie Neumunster, every Sunday starting 11h30. During the Summer and on warm days the Jazz beats will set the tone for a relaxing Sunday. With a lush green landscape and the beautiful historical buildings surrounding the Brasserie, sitting there proved to be a treat for all my senses. Brasserie Neumunster is also an ideal starting point for a walk towards the Corniche.
3. Go Biking at Kirchberg
While the centre of Luxembourg city narrates the history of the city and its heritage, the quarter in the north-eastern part, Kirchberg embodies modern Luxembourg and boasts design flair and contemporary buildings. As mainly companies are situated here and the AUCHAN Shopping Center which has all common shops such as H&M, Zara and Sephora the area doesn’t exude the ‘bom vivant’ atmosphere that depicts the centre of Luxembourg city. But since the design and architecture of this quarter is quite impressive I suggest you rent a bike and explore Kirchberg on wheels.
4. Rent a bike for 1 EUR!
You’ll find many Veloh (city bikes) pick-up points throughout Luxembourg city. The first 30 minutes are free and afterwards you’ll pay just 1 EUR for 7 days!! At the ticket machine you can rent the bike and insert a credit card just in case you use the bike more than 30 minutes. Luxembourg city is easy to navigate by bike and you’ll find many cycling lanes around the roads. Go explore the city centre and Kirchberg. Know that some areas are quite steep if you want to navigate it by bike so avoid them if you’re physical condition isn’t 100% like mine
5. Take the free elevator to Grund
Grund is the oldest part of Luxembourg city and definitely worth a visit. If you want to relax after a whole day of exploring the city there are restaurants (with typical Luxembourg food) and bars along the water-front where you can wind down. The easiest way to get from to Grund is through a free elevator (which also serves underground parking garages). It’s available to the general public between 06.30 and 20.30 and takes you from Place du Saint-Esprit down to Rue Munster in Grund.
6. Get a Luxembourg card
Usually I don’t see the benefit of getting a city card but given that free public transportation is also included I totally recommend getting a Luxembourg card. On top of this service you’ll get access to more than 60 museums and sights such as the Adventure park Indian forest in Vianden, Brasserie Bofferding (where the local beer is brewed), Escher Schwemm (indoor pool with sauna) and a guided boat tour in Insenborn among others. For 2 days you pay 19 € for 1 person and 48 € for 2-5 persons. 1 day and 3 days is also an option.
7. Go bar hopping at night
Seeing the streets come to life at night around the bars reminded me a tiny bit of Bairro Alto in Lisbon where the night scene mainly happens outside. You could go out to a club but you would be missing out on what’s happening on the streets and people watching is more fun this way! Make sure to stop at The Tube and Bananas. The Tube is an English pub with pop-rock music where you’ll find plenty of references to the English culture by midst of the decor, the crowd coming here and the sport events aired on occasion, quizz nights and themed parties (such as the Bad Taste party). Bananas is located in the center and in case you don’t want to spend your whole evening there it’s also a good place to have just one drink and continue to another bar. They play everything from popular r’n’b to glam rock hits from the 70′s and the drinks they serve big. If you want to grab a bite Bananas also serve bar food such as snacks, burgers, salads and pasta.
Thanks to Visit Luxembourg for making this trip possible!