Luxembourg City is the capital of Luxembourg.The capital is a dramatically beautiful UNESCO World Heritage site packed with over a thousand years of history and culture. The city rewards visitors over and over again with stunning vistas overlooking sheer-sided gorges and deep valleys, Michelin-starred restaurants, state-of-the-art museums, chic boutiques and atmospheric old neighborhoods. If you are pressed for time, the small city can be explored in a day, but it really should be savored. You will want to stay longer to explore the old cobbled streets, romantic parks, inviting public squares and terrace cafes.
Best Time to Visit
You can visit Luxembourg at any time, but bear in mind that the availability of services in some regions varies with the seasons. May, June and September are usually very pleasant months, as the weather is often at its most benign during late spring and late summer.
Top Places to Visit in Luxembourg City
1. The Old Quarter
There’s no better place to begin exploring beautiful Luxembourg City than in its historic Old Quarter. Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994, the city’s ancient fortifications made it one of the most important of Europe’s cities. The fortress was so impregnable it was dubbed the “Gibraltar of the North,” and although the original fortress was dismantled between 1867-1883, its impact upon the Old Quarter is evident everywhere. Today, the old fortifications have given way to beautifully laid out parks and gardens, while it’s cobbled streets are lined with charming old homes and buildings. It’s a great place to spend a few hours exploring as you cross its many bridges and traverse its many alleyways, preferably without a map.
2. The Walls of the Corniche
The spectacular Walls of the Corniche in Luxembourg City have been called “the most beautiful balcony in Europe,” towering as they do over the old city in the river valley below. It’s here, you’ll find the big Gate of the Grund dating from 1632. Its ramparts reveal several aristocratic houses and refuges, as well as the ancient convent of the Dominicans and St. Michael’s church (AD 987). In the suburb of Grund itself is a large cluster of buildings with the church and ancient Abbey of Neumünster with a 17th-century cloister of Limoges, an organ dating from 1720, and a 14th-century “black virgin.” The adjacent buildings are part of the ancient Hospice St.-Jean, founded by Emperor Henri VII, Count of Luxembourg, in 1309.
3. The Luxembourg Ardennes
Standing in stark contrast to the rather flat landscape around Luxembourg City, the Ardennes is where you’ll find high forested plateaus, sheer cliffs, wooded hills, and hidden valleys, as well as countless impressive views. The area – famous as the place where Hitler staged his last great campaign of WWII – boasts numerous castles, fortresses, and fortified farms rising out of the hilltops. One of the prettiest towns, Wiltz, consists of an upper and lower town and is famous for its open-air theater and music festival.
4. Notre Dame Cathedral
The city’s most magnificent architectural wonder is the Notre Dame Cathedral. Although smaller than its famous Parisian counterpart, Luxembourg’s cathedral is no less impressive or stunning. The cornerstone was laid in 1613, and the late Gothic style also contains many beautiful adornments and elements of the Renaissance era. The underground crypt is also worth a visit to pay respects to the remains of the Count of Luxembourg, killed by the French during the Hundred Years’ War.
5. Palais Grand-Ducal
Dating from the 16th century, the palace reveals a distinctly Spanish-Moorish influence in its elaborate facade. Once the residence of the Grand Ducal family, the palace now plays host to official receptions for foreign envoys in the Hall of Kings. The extensive art collection was threatened by World War II but has since returned to the palace and is available for viewing by visitors.
6. The Bock and the City Casements
Luxembourg’s Bock cliff, with its fortifications and cannon-loopholes, is where you’ll find the entrance to the famous Casemates, a 21-kilometer network of underground passages hewn from solid rock. Capable of sheltering thousands of defenders as well as equipment, horses, workshops, kitchens, and slaughterhouses, the Casements cover an impressive 40,000 square meters. Today, much of these remarkable fortifications can be explored on foot. On the Bock plateau itself are the remains of the old castle, discovered in 1963. There are beautiful views of the suburb of Grund and the Rham Plateau, the old 19th-century barracks, and the big towers and remains of the Wenceslas wall dating from 1390.
The small capital has a huge variety of nightlife options, including world-class theaters, sophisticated musical venues and rollicking bars and nightclubs. If you are indecisive, head to the Rives de Clausen district, where many bars and clubs sit snugly next to another. Do as the locals do, sampling the drinks and dancing at each bar until the early hours.