One of the smallest countries in Europe, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg is often overlooked in favour of its larger neighbours – or considered simply a country to “tick off” on your European visit. But this little nation has a surprising amount to offer visitors, and the jewel in its crown is undoubtedly its capital, Luxembourg City.
The compact city centre can be explored in just a day, leaving you plenty of time to discover other parts of the country such as the beautiful Moselle River valley and the spectacular castles of the eastern towns of Beaumont, Vianden and Echternach.
Wondering what to do in Luxembourg City? Check out the highlights, and what you mustn’t miss on your visit to the Luxembourg capital city.
Must see Luxembourg
Check out the best things to do in Luxembourg City – perfect for a day trip or longer!
Luxembourg’s old town (known as the Ville Haute or Upper Town) is a compact district which is easy to explore on foot, and is the best starting point for your Luxembourg sightseeing. Discover buzzing bars, restaurants and the best of Luxembourg city shopping alongside some of the major landmarks of the city.
Notre Dame Cathedral
Best approached from the Boulevard F D Roosevelt for the most dramatic views of the building, Notre Dame Cathedral is the religious heart of the nation and one of the most popular places to see in Luxembourg. This Catholic house of worship is an intriguing blend of murals and tapestries, confessional boxes and incense; check out the soaring arches and vibrantly-decorated altar. Below the cathedral, the starker crypt has beautiful stained glass windows and some impressive statues. At the rear of the crypt, a shiny new chamber is the resting place of the former Grand Duke Jean, who passed away in April 2019 just prior to my visit.
Entrance to the cathedral is free. Although there is no strict dress code, visitors should avoid disrespectful clothing and keep noise to a minimum.
Grand Ducal Palace
One of the most elegant Luxembourg sights, the beautiful Grand Ducal Palace – complete with the obligatory marching sentries – is located in the heart of the old town, with the Luxembourg Parliament (Chambre des Députés) located in the southern wing of the building. It is possible to take short guided tours of the palace during the summer months (mid-July to mid-September).
Chemin de la Corniche
One of the most spectacular views in any European capital can be had by strolling the 600m-long Chemin de la Corniche, which winds its way along a bluff overlooking the river. The walk, which is one of the top things to do in Luxembourg City, overlooks the Grund district far below, with its green fields and church spires, offering beautiful views over this part of the city. The path is undulating but accessible to anyone with reasonable mobility. Start your walk at the Plateau de Saint-Esprit at the Chemin’s southern end and work your way north to the Bock Casemates.
Bock Casemates is the site of Luxembourg’s original defensive fortress, established by Siegfried, the Count of Ardenne, in the late 10th century. Standing at the top of the ruins and gazing down at the 270-degree views along the Alzette valley, it is obvious what made this such a great defensive position. Today the castle is one of the most unique Luxembourg tourist attractions. You can discover the clifftop ruins for free, or pay an entry fee to explore the casemates, the labyrinth of crypts and corridors below, all carved out of the rock face.
As of August 2019, entry to Bock Casemates cost €14 for adults and €7 for children.
Luxembourg City History Museum
Located to the east of the old city, close to the Grand Ducal Palace and the Saint-Esprit lift, the modern Luxembourg City History Museum covers the thousand-year history of Luxembourg City with a series of permanent and temporary exhibits. One of the best museums in the city, entry is a comparatively affordable €5 for adults and, significantly, is free of charge for anyone under 21 years of age, or under 26 years with a valid student card. Not young enough? Come on a Thursday evening from 6pm-8pm, when entry is free for everyone.
This signposted circular walk links many of the oldest Luxembourg City attractions as it takes you from the edge of the old town, along the Chemin de la Corniche and through the Grund district far below. Check out the old city fortifications as you discover the history of the city via the information boards along the route. If you fancy your own self-guided Luxembourg city tour, this is for you!
The full walk is 5km; allow 2.5 hours to fully appreciate it. For more information, download the flyer.
Nestled in the Alzette river valley below the rocky escarpments which are so unique to this city, the Grund district of Luxembourg City has an almost village-like atmosphere with its churches, fields and charming historic streets. Check out the Abbaye de Neumunster, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and the National Museum of Natural History. Or head to Grund in the evening for the lively nightlife, when the many bars and restaurants of the Luxembourg food scene come to life.
To get to Grund Luxembourg, take the Saint-Esprit life from the city centre or buses 20 or 23. Or you can brave the walk down the cobbled streets of the hillside – the choice is yours!
Parc de Ville
To the north of the old city, the Parc de Ville spreads out like a green blanket on a summer’s day. When the weather warms up, the park is one of the most relaxing places to visit in Luxembourg City; a summer’s afternoon finds the park full of locals and visitors alike, hanging out in the sunshine and enjoying the fresh air in the midst of the city.
Parc de Ville is also home to the city’s prime selfie spot: a huge ”I ♥️ Luxembourg” sign makes the perfect backdrop to prove you really were in one of the smallest countries in Europe!
French is the main language of communication, although English is widely spoken with German a little less so. The original language of Luxembourg is Luxembourgish; expect to see most signs written in both French and Luxembourgish as you travel around the city.
Central European Time (UTC+1)
115,000 (Luxembourg City)
Map of Luxembourg City
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