While originally planning our travels through Europe, Luxembourg was not one of the many places that came to our minds when figuring out where to go. But with a few days to spare in the Belgium area, we found that the micro country was just a four hour train ride away and would not cause too much of a detour. Half to tick off another country, and half out of curiosity, we decided to venture over for a few days. To our surprise, this little country has been one of the gems of our travels through the continent.
Cheaper Than You Think
Usually the only statistic that people know about Luxembourg is that it is annually near the top of the charts when it comes to GDP per Capita. While this may cause people to conclude that Luxembourg is only full of wealthy people and expensive, this is not the case at all. Prices for accommodation, food, and transportation are a pretty good deal when compared to other, more traveled to, European countries.
Transportation is the biggest bargain in the country. For just 4 euros a day, you can have unlimited travel throughout the country and Luxembourg city. This is good for ALL modes of transportation that are within Luxembourg’s borders. Having the all access pass also opens up the door for cheaper accommodation. With excellent infrastructure, it is very easy to find accommodation outside of Luxembourg city itself for a fraction of the price of what places inside the city offer. For under $50 per night, Claire and I were able to stay in a very nice private room with use of the kitchen through AirBnB. From the house it was just an 18 minute train ride into the center of Luxembourg City.
While food eatery prices can be high in Luxembourg, the people of this country want their fare share of cheap eats too! Your best bet for a quick bite is at one of the kebab places scattered throughout town. Claire and I had quick bites during the day and went back to cook for ourselves in the evenings.
Where City and Nature Blend Harmoniously
With its small size and vast gorge that encircles much of the city, Luxembourg is one of the rare places in the world where urbanization and nature come together to make something beautiful. It is here that city streets suddenly meet sheer cliffs that give way to a fairy tale like town below. Wandering from above and below gives you two completely different perspectives making for enjoyable strolls.
The most picturesque section of the gorge is near the Casemates Du Bock. Here the remnants of the ancient city fortifications remain along with the nicest collection of churches and houses down below. Claire and I spent over a half day in this area because it was simply breathtaking and a great place to relax for a while.
As for the center of the city, a few hours is enough to really see everything that you need to. With no major sites to write home about, Luxembourg is more of a place to simply be. The biggest landmarks in town are the Grand Ducal Palace (closed most of the year) and Notre Dame. Due to the lack of ticketed sites, this means that this city can mostly be enjoyed for free! Great news for backpackers. To get around, take a bus from the central train station and get off near the Casemates. From here, everything is within reasonable walking distance.
For history buffs, a trip to the American war cemetery is a must do. The cemetery is the final resting place of WWII General George S Patton Jr along with thousands of others who gave their lives in the Battle of the Bulge Campaign. If you want to visit where the fighting took place, use your day ticket to head up to Diekirch where there is a museum that displays what happened here in great detail.
Luxembourg: The Fairy Tale You Have Been Waiting For
One of the highlights of a trip to Luxembourg is to let the scenery sweep you off your feet into a world unknown. With its deep gorges, towering spires, neatly rowed houses, and a winding river reflecting the sky above, it is easy to fall into a mesmerized trance. The city looks straight out of a book you read as a child and is the main reason for visiting here. So what are you waiting for? Get over here and forget about the rest of the world in this dreamland city.