Vianden is a town on the Our River, in Luxembourg’s Ardennes region. It’s known for the centuries-old hilltop Vianden Castle. At first glance it’s hard to tell just what it is towering so grandly amid the mists and wooded hills above historic Vianden. In fact it’s a vast slate-roofed castle complex whose impregnable white stone walls glow golden in the evening’s floodlights, creating one of Luxembourg’s most photogenic scenes. On weekend afternoons in summer, Vianden can get overloaded with tourists and traffic. But get up early and you’ll have the whole town largely to yourself.
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 … Guarded by one of Europe’s most dazzling medieval castles, Vianden’s cobbled streets could charm the socks off even the most jaded travellers. Vianden, like the rest of Luxembourg, enjoys temperate summers that see little humidity and precipitation, and a temperature that doesn’t exceed 30 degrees Celsius most of the time. In any case, summer is the best time to visit.
Top Places to Visit in Vianden
1. Vianden Castle
This is the main attraction of the town. It is considered one of the biggest fort castles in Western Europe. This Romanesque castle is a beautiful mix of later additions from the Gothic and Renaissance editions. It has been fully restored. A chairlift brings visitors from the town below during the summer months. Open to the air, the ‘Byzantine Hall’ is a marvellous space, while the Gothic polygonal chapel is built around a central well. Plusher halls display fine Flanders tapestries, while photo galleries show the reconstruction process and snaps of famous visitors. There’s not much info in English, so grab an audio guide. The appealingly vaulted, barrel-strewn Keller bar opens occasionally for jazz concerts.
2. Musée Littéraire Victor Hugo
Across a historic bridge from Grand Rue is a replica Rodin bust of French writer Victor Hugo. In 1871 Hugo stayed for three months in the house facing this point, part of his 19-year exile from France. Those three months were long enough for him to get the Vianden castle architect fired for substandard reconstruction work. Even if you’re not excited by Victor Hugo’s manuscripts and sketches, the house’s windows offer some of the very best castle views available.
3. Museum in Vianden
This inspiring little museum is formed from two knocked together old Vianden houses. One maintains its full 19th-century decor, the other partly retains equipment from its 1950s incarnation as a bakery. Upstairs, historical and cultural exhibits are brought to life by human cut-out mannequins and push-button music. It’s all in German, but a well-presented English-language accompanying text is available on request at the ticket desk.
4. Grand Rue
Grand Rue’s most attractive section is around Place Victor Abens, where the town hall stands astride a small spring. There’s an attractive church.
5. Ancien Cinema Cafe Club
The Ancien Cinema Cafe Club is Vianden, Luxemburg is a very special tourist attraction. This is essentially a cafe with 1950’s theme decoration. The staff is polite here. With light music and good food, you are guaranteed to have a good time in here. The highlight of this place is an option to watch a film while having your meal. This is a cinema cafe.