Welcome to Luxembourg City, where history meets modern charm! What to do in Luxembourg City? 22 essential tips for a fantastic city trip!
Luxembourg City: a short history
Luxembourg is an old city and was founded in 963. It is the capital of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, a small country located between Belgium, France, and Germany. In the sixteenth century, Luxembourg was one of the strongest fortresses in Europe and you can still see some of the remains of this fortress in the city. Luxembourg’s old city center has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1994.
Luxembourg is one of the most important cities for the European Union, as the European Court of Justice and the secretariat of the EU Parliament are located in Luxembourg. A city trip to Luxembourg is a great idea for lovers of culture, history, and nature.
Planning your trip to Luxemburg last minute? A quick overview!
🛩️How to get to Luxembourg: find the cheapest flights with WayAway, a flight aggregator that provides travelers with the best rates on airline tickets. Prefer traveling to Luxembourg by train? Check Rail Europe for train tickets.
🎡What to do in Luxembourg: Luxembourg Private Walking Tour With A Professional Guide (from €270 per group up to 15, high traveler rating), Luxembourg City walking and wine tasting tour (from €30, high traveler rating), Good Morning Luxembourg E-bike Private Tour (from €36).
💊Travel insurance: As for me, travel insurance is a necessary component of any trip, if you want to be calm in every unexpected event during your journey. So, I suggest you choose Insubuy. It is currently the largest provider of visitor insurance. Be sure: you will definitely find the most appropriate insurance plan for you!
What to do in Luxembourg City? 22 tips!
Get ready for an exhilarating adventure in the heart of Europe, as we unveil the list of 22 fun things to do in Luxembourg City!
Explore the Casemates
One of the most interesting attractions in Luxembourg are the casemates (bunkers). This is an underground tunnel system that is about 23 kilometers long. This was also a good hiding place for the Luxembourgers during the Second World War.
The casemates are the biggest tourist attraction in Luxembourg City. There are two systems that you can visit: the Pétrusse casemates and the Bock castmates.
The Cathédrale Notre-Dame, also known as Luxembourg Cathedral, is an impressive Gothic structure and one of the most important religious monuments in Luxembourg City.
Construction of the cathedral began in the early seventeenth century on the remains of an earlier Romanesque church. However, it reached several centuries before reaching its current form. The architectural style is believed to be Gothic, with beautiful features such as pointed arches, high vaulted ceilings, and colorful stained glass windows.
Luxembourg Cathedral also plays an important role in Luxembourg’s religious and cultural events. It is the site of important mutual celebrations, mutual weddings, and funerals of members of the Grand Ducal Court.
The cathedral is free to visit. Would you like to learn more about the history of the cathedral? Then it is a good idea to get this audio tour.
Grund is one of the oldest city districts in Luxembourg and is located on the banks of the Alzette River. Compared to the Oberstadt district (where many of the other sights are located), Grund is tens of meters lower. You get there by walking down steep streets, or by elevator.
Grund is a wonderful place to stroll around because of the narrow streets and the many walking paths along the river. And there are many cozy, small cafes and there are also some benches to rest on during your city trip.
Porte des troistours
The “Porte des trois tours” (Gate of the three towers) is a historic city gate and connects the old part of Luxembourg City with Grund. It is one of the most striking and well-preserved remains of the city’s medieval fortifications.
The gate takes its name from the three imposing towers that are part of its structure. It was built in the 17th century as part of the fortifications of Luxembourg City, which played a crucial role in defending the city during wars and sieges.
Grand Ducal Palace
Right in the center of Luxembourg City is the Grand Ducal Palace, or Palais Grand-Ducal. It was built in 1572 and has since been rebuilt and expanded several times. Formerly used as a town hall, it is now the residence of Henri of Luxembourg, the Grand Duke of Luxembourg.
The Grand Ducal Palace can be visited on a guided tour during the Summer months. Check this website for dates and to book a tour.
Extra tip! Behind the Grand Ducal Palace is a cool hidden street where you walk through a number of houses and shops.
Place Guillaume II
Place Guillaume II is a large square in the center of Luxembourg, near the Grand Ducal Palace. There is a large statue of William II (in addition to being King of The Netherlands, he was also Grand Duke in Luxembourg). In addition, the beautiful Hôtel de Ville (the town hall) also occupies a prominent place on the square.
On the square, you will also find the Luxembourg City Tourist Office and various restaurants with sunny terraces.
Consider booking a private tour for a better exploration of Place Guillaume II and other beautiful places in the historic city center of Luxembourg. A private guided tour will help you not just see, but discover the destination you visit.
Contrary to what the name suggests, Casino Luxembourg is not a gambling palace. It is an important cultural institution and a leading center for contemporary art in Luxembourg City.
In addition to the permanent exhibition, there are also temporary exhibitions by contemporary artists, both national and international. The works on display can range from paintings and sculptures to photography, video art, and installations.
Check out the Adolf Bridge
The Adolphus Bridge is one of the most famous landmarks in Luxembourg City. It is a huge double-decked arch bridge (153 meters long) and it spans the ravine through which the river Pétrusse flows. The Adolf Bridge is the national symbol for Luxembourg and you should definitely see it during your city trip to Luxembourg.
Neumünster Abbey is located in Grund, on the banks of the Alzette River. It is a large complex from the seventeenth century and was actually only used as an abbey for a very short time. After the French Revolution and the Second World War, the building was mainly used as a prison.
Na de Franse revolutie en in de tweede wereldoorlog is het gebouw vooral als gevangenis gebruikt. Interesting fact: in 2005 Bulgaria and Romania signed the Treaty of Accession of the European Union in this building.
You can visit various exhibitions in Neumünster Abbey and often there are events. In addition, it is also a beautiful place to see and there are a few fun short trails around the abbey. Check the official website for the activity calendar.
Relax in Parcs de la Pétrusse
Luxembourg is a very green city, which is due to the differences in height and the large parks. Below the Adolfsburg, in the ravine, you will find one of the most beautiful parks in the city: Parcs de la Pétrusse. The river Pétrusse runs right through it and thanks to the many trees this is a wonderfully cool place on hot summer days.
Check out the view from Place de la Constitution
Place de la Constitution is a large square on the edge of a cliff and it offers a beautiful view of the Pétrusse Valley and the Adolphe Bridge.
The most notable feature of the Place de la Constitution is Gëlle Fra, a tall and striking war memorial commemorating the Luxembourgish soldiers who fought and died during the First World War.
Visit Musée d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean
There are several museums to visit in Luxembourg City and Musée d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean (MUDAM) is one of the most interesting. This is the Museum of modern art and is housed in a very special building. It’s a modern building, but it follows the old ramparts of the city, giving you a nice mix of old and new.
The museum presents itself as a place where both the artist and the visitor are central. In some areas, artists have been given carte blanche, making your museum visit a special experience.
TIP You can visit this museum for free on Wednesday evenings.
Musée d’Histoire de la Ville de Luxembourg
In the heart of the city, you will find another interesting museum: Musée d’Histoire de la Ville de Luxembourg, or the Luxembourg City History Museum. The exhibitions at the Musée d’Histoire de la Ville de Luxembourg offer a fascinating journey through the ancient history of the city.
The collection consists of a wide range of artifacts, photographs, documents, and audiovisual presentations that bring the story of Luxembourg and its inhabitants to life. For example, models of the casemates can be seen. A perfect place to visit if you want to learn more about the history of Luxembourg City.
Musée National d’history et d’art Luxembourg
The third museum I would like to mention in this list of the most beautiful places in Luxembourg City is the Musée National d’historie et d’art Luxembourg (National Museum of History and Art). The museum is located in the former Palais Marchal, a beautiful neo-Gothic building dating from the end of the nineteenth century.
The Musée National d’Histoire et d’Art aims to preserve, research, and present the history and art of Luxembourg to the public. It offers an extensive collection of artifacts and works of art that reflect the rich culture, traditions, and history of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. Nice to wander through.
Go hiking in Parc Dräi Eechelen and Parc des Trois Glands
The MUDAM is located next to a number of parks: Parc Dräi Eechelen and Parc des Trois Glands. These parks are located on a hill and are therefore very nice to explore. There are some great viewpoints in the parks to see different sights of the city.
In the parks, you can find a number of adventurous trails. There are some steep rock walls you hike between. There are also many remnants of fortresses and defenses, such as Fort Niedergrünewald in the photo above.
Fort Thüngen is one of the most striking structures in this area. The fortress was originally built in 1732 to protect Luxembourg City from raids. A good example of eighteenth-century military architecture, it consists of three casemate bastions and is surrounded by a fortress wall.
The fortress has been converted into a museum and houses the Dräi Eechelen Museum, which documents the history of Luxembourg and its fortifications. Visitors here can learn about the country’s military history, the city’s defenses, and its strategic significance. You can visit the museum for free.
Wander around the Kirchberg district
The MUDAM is located in the Kirchberg district, a modern neighborhood on a hill. In addition to the remains of the defenses, you will find very interesting modern buildings here. The Philharmonie Luxembourg, for example, is an architectural masterpiece.
In addition, many buildings have some interesting artworks (especially along the Av. John F. Kennedy) and this makes this a really nice neighborhood to explore.
Attend a concert at Philharmonie Luxembourg
I just mentioned it, the Philharmonie Luxembourg. The building from 2015 is fantastic to see and is also known for its excellent acoustics. It is home to the Luxembourg Philharmonic orchestra and it is therefore great fun to attend a concert here. A great place for a night out!
Go shopping on Grand Rue
Would you like to go shopping during your Luxembourg city trip? Then the Grand Rue is the place to be! This shopping street runs right through the center of the city and you will find all the well-known shops and a number of nice boutique shops here. There are also two large shopping centers, Royal Hamilius and Galeries Lafayette Luxembourg.
Relax on a terrace on Place d’Armes
Would you like to chill during your city break and get a drink or a bite? Then you should definitely take a look at Place d’Armes, a cozy square in the center of the city. On the east side, you can see the Cercle Cité (a former palace that is now mainly used for exhibitions and events), and all around the square there are cafes with terraces. There is always a space available somewhere. Cheers!
Chemin de la Corniche: walk the city wall
Of course, the Chemin de la Corniche cannot be missed on this list of fun things to do in Luxembourg: from the old city wall, you have the best views over the city. You can really enjoy yourself here for hours and find the best views. Don’t forget to bring your camera!
Panoramic lift over the Pfaffenthal
Luxembourg is of course a city with many height differences, and as a result, there are several beautiful viewpoints. Check out the Panoramic lift over the Pfaffenthal (Ascenseur panoramique du Pfaffenthal) for one of the best views. You can use this lift for free and from the top you have an amazing view of the city. Highly recommended!
Extra tips for a Luxembourg vacation
What do you need to know about a holiday to Luxembourg? A few additional tips and things you should know before your trip:
What language do they speak in Luxembourg?
They speak multiple languages in Luxembourg. The main languages are Luxembourgish, French, and German. In addition, almost everyone speaks English and sometimes even Dutch.
Free public transport
You read that right: public transport in Luxembourg is free and that is very convenient! You can also get to many places by public transport, even to the smallest hamlets a bus or train runs every hour (or more often). Check CFL.lu or Google Maps to plan your trip.
You don’t have to buy a ticket or anything, you just get on. Please note: if you travel by train, only second-class travel is free. You do need a ticket to travel first class.
Best places to stay in Luxembourg
There are many places to stay in Luxembourg City, it’s filled with hotels and short-term rentals. Some of the best hotels in Luxembourg are:
- € Youth Hostel Luxembourg City – Do you have a limited budget? Then the only hostel in Luxembourg City is highly recommended. It is located just outside the center, near the beautiful Grund.
- €€ JJ32 – A fun three-star hotel a few minutes walk from the central station. There are many restaurants in the area and you can walk to the center in 15-20 minutes.
- €€€ Sofitel Luxembourg Europe – Modern 5-star hotel in the Kirchberg district with very nice rooms. Near the tram stop and within walking distance of the Philharmonie and Musée d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean.
TIP During the week, most fancy hotels are occupied by businessmen. That’s why fancy hotels in Luxembourg tend to be a lot cheaper during the weekend compared to weekdays. So if you fancy an affordable luxury hotel room, book one during the weekend.
More Luxembourg Travel Tips
Unfortunately, there are no recent travel guides for Luxembourg City, but the city is of course described in detail in other travel guides. Here are a few great travel guides to prepare for a holiday in Luxembourg:
Luxembourg (Bradt Travel Guide)
You can also read more about Luxembourg on this website. Check out these articles as well:
- The Lee Trail: a beautiful 3-day hike in the heart of Luxembourg
- Explore Esch-sur-Sûre: the most beautiful village in Luxembourg
- 14 awesome Luxembourg attractions (the country)
Subscribe to my newsletter for great travel stories and tips on the most beautiful destinations.
This article was published in August 2021. Last update with more exciting activities: August 2023.
Hi, and how nice of you to read this disclaimer! As you may understand, maintaining a website like this is not free. Therefore, I would love it if you use the links in this article for booking or buying something you like. This way, I’ll get a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you! Support this website.