Did you know that the small country of Luxembourg (bordering Belgium, Germany and France) ranks 19/221 as the city with world’s best quality of living by 2012 Mercer Ranking? They must be doing something right!
After my short visit in 2014, Nick and I recently went back together to explore all the wonderful things to see, do and eat in Luxembourg and we’ve compiled a handy list of our 10 favourite places to visit in Luxembourg that will make you grow as a person (not just from eating too much, haha!)
Ready? Let’s have a look:
PLACES TO VISIT IN LUXEMBOURG FOR SELF-GROWTH
1. Explore The Bock Casemates
If you visit Luxembourg City, visiting the Bock Casemates is almost a MUST. These are a 23 kilometers (about 14 mile) long network of casemates (tunnels) that were built under the “Bock” fortified castle. They could not only shelter thousands of soldiers and their horses, but also housed workshops, kitchens, bakeries, slaughter-houses etc.
Nowadays, about 17 kilometers of the casemates remain (the part that would demolish part of the city if they would blow them up) and they are often on different levels. Tremendous stairways penetrate up to 40 metres inside the rock face. And you can visit them!
A part of the Casemates are used for theatre and music performances. Must be a unique experience! (And apparently very cold, too)
2. Overcome Your Fear of Heights
If you travel to push yourself to your limits, or want to overcome some fears, visiting the “Pfaffenthal Lift” in Luxembourg city might be the place for you. This panoramic viewpoint connects the Pescatore park located in the city centre to the Pfaffenthal area at the bottom of the Alzette valley.
If you start at the bottom, the ride in the glass elevator is exciting on its own, and at the top you can enjoy sweeping views from 71 meters high. And the scary part of this? When you walk all the way to the end, the bottom of this viewpoint is made out of glass! Would you dare stand on this bit and look down?
3. Go for a Spa Retreat
If you are looking for some quiet time in Luxembourg, you’re in the right place! Luxembourg hosts numerous spa retreats that offer saunas, hamams and diverse holistic wellness options. In the South of the country, you can find Luxembourg’s only thermal spa, called “Domaine Thermal de Mondorf”. The source water here is rich in minerals and promotes muscle relaxation.
Nick and I were lucky enough to spend a few hours here and while we didn’t take any of the massages or other treatments, we had a wonderful sunny day, so enjoyed our time around the 36°C pool, watching the locals go wild at aquarobics and enjoying ourselves with a book, some light swimming and a smoothie from the bar.
We stayed right next door of the spa at hotel “Beau-Séjour”. Their restaurant served us a very tasty traditional meal and we discovered later that the owner of the hotel was Dutch! Sure, we were the youngest people here and it would’t be a place we’d normally book our entire holiday (perhaps when we’re a bit older), but for a day, staying in this peaceful town was definitely nice and relaxing.
Website Spa: www.mondorf.lu
Website Hotel: www.beau-sejour.lu
4. Get Into Nature
Nick and I love a good hike to empty our heads, and in Luxembourg there is plenty opportunity for that.
From North to South, the landscape in Luxembourg varies from high plains with steep sloping valleys in the Ardennes; dotted by nature parks and bizarre rock formations in the Mullerthal to picturesque wine village set amid the Moselle region’s vineyards. In the previously overwhelmingly industrialized south of the country (referred to as “Land of the Red Rocks”), nature is all around. Luxembourg is simply perfect for hiking, biking and outdoor activities.
Don’t forget to enjoy the beautiful wildflowers you can find during your trip!
You can read more about our hiking trips in Luxembourg here.
5. Ride Horses into the Sunset
If you’re like me, you love to explore places on horseback! Luxembourg is a great destination for that, as they offer nearly everything you need when it comes to horse riding holiday from well-maintained horse trails to even horse friendly accommodations.
There are even talks of creating a horse track network throughout the entire country and connecting to the neighboring regions, especially those of Eifel and Saarland.
I had the experience of trying Icelandic horseback riding at camping Toodlermillen in the peaceful Sauer valley. Since 2006, Toodlermillen is also a Horse trekking station. This means they offer a place to sleep for both horse as rider and can help you out with breakfast, packed lunch and even luggage transport to the next stop.
You can read about my horse riding experience here.
6. Learn all about Flora & Fauna
On our last visit to Luxembourg, we visited the nature reserve “Haff Réimech”, which, on the bottom of the wine slopes between Schengen and Remich, is well known for its large diversity of birds and its flora and fauna.
Here, you can also find the nature reserve “Biodiversum”, which was created on an artificial island. The futuristic wooden building in itself is already worth checking out! While most of the information here is only in French, you can learn about the history of the nature reserve and the underwater world, illustrated with exhibits and information. On the first floor, you can explore the country’s other nature reserves and more about the topic of sustainability.
7. Enjoy the Local Wines
The mild climate of Luxembourg makes it perfect for producing wine and so it wouldn’t come as a surprise that the country is a must-visit for wine lovers! Especially the valley of the Moselle is perfect for this.
What we can recommend is to rent a bike from the tourist office in Schengen (free with your Luxembourg Card!) and cycle along the river to Remerschen, for example.
We visited the “Sunnen-Hoffmann” winery, where we were welcomed by not only the owner, but two beautiful dogs and got the chance to taste some of their wines. Especially their “Auxerrois” white wine, which isn’t even their most expensive “fancy” wine, tasted really good, so you cannot go wrong here! Their company was founded in 1872 and has since extended over several vineyards covering an area of 9.3 ha. What we liked most about this winery, was that they focus on producing organic wines.
8. Learn at About the Schengen Agreement
Luxembourg is a founding member of the EU and the ’Schengen Agreement’ (Borderless Treaty) derives its name from a small winemakers village by the name of Schengen on Luxembourg’s Moselle where the treaty was signed.
At the European Museum, which is free to enter, you can find an exhibition that retraces the development from a Europe of borders towards a more unified Europe with a common citizenship in a clear and interactive manner.
Besides the museum, you can find a pontoon on the River Moselle which houses the Tourist Information Centre, you can see it on the top right of the photo below:
9. Enjoy work of a local architect
When we entered the town of Schengen by bus, we started to see a couple of buildings that really stood out in the way they were designed. All with flowing lines and uniquely shaped windows, really quite interesting! Soon we found out that these are the works by renowned local architect François Valentiny, whose work features prominently in the region.
You have already seen two of his buildings: the “Biodiversum” and the Tourist Information Office in Schengen that we wrote about earlier. In the town of Remerschen, we also discovered an entire museum (called “the Valentiny Foundation”) dedicated to Valentiny, which showed some of his models, drawings and other artworks, such as paintings and sculptures. A great find!
10. Visit Museum Dräi Eechelen
In Luxembourg City, I can recommend to visit the “Dräi Eechelen”museum, housed in the restored keep of fort Thüngen. The permanent exhibition shows you a different era of the fortress in each of the Casemates, as well as its influence on the country’s history, it’s really quite interesting!
You begin in the Middle Ages with the capture of the city of Luxembourg by the Burgundians in 1443 and end with the construction of the Adolf Bridge in 1903. There are over 600 objects and original documents to see and besides the archaeological and arts-historical collection, there is also a section with historical photographs and an interactive database and audio-visual documentation in the multi-media room.
Which of the above experiences would you like to have when visiting Luxembourg? Let us know in the comments below!
- Public Transport – www.visitluxembourg.com/en/travelguide/transport-to-luxembourg
- Public Transport – www.mobiliteit.lu
- The Mullerthal – www.mullerthal.lu/en
- The Moselle – www.visitmoselle.lu/en
- Hiking in Luxembourg – www.visitluxembourg.com/en/what-to-do/nature-tours/hiking
- National Airline Luxair – iOS / Android
- Luxembourg Airport – iOS / Android
- Luxembourg Card – iOS / Android
- Public Transportation – iOS / Android
- Luxembourg City – iOS / Android
- iOS / Android (hiking trails, biking tracks, etc.) –
- Escapardenne Hiking Trails – iOS / Android
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Disclaimer: I was in Luxembourg on invitation of Visit Luxembourg during both occasions. All photos and opinions are, as always, 100% my own.