Have you ever thought of visiting Luxembourg? Most of the people I’ve talked to don’t really have Luxembourg in their bucket list, or at least not as a priority.
If we’re being completely honest, Luxembourg is definitely not among the most popular European destinations.
I got the opportunity to visit Luxembourg in the summer of 2019 and it quickly turned into one of my favorite places. The locals are some of the friendliest people I have ever met and most of them speak at least 3 languages fluently. And even though Luxembourg is quite small, there is still so much to see!
In this guide I will share with you a detailed itinerary of things to do in Luxembourg in one day, as well as some recommendations for other activities, in case you’re staying for 2 days or longer. And if you want to explore even more, there is a huge variety of day trips you can take from Luxembourg.
How to get to Luxembourg?
Getting to Luxembourg is much easier than most would imagine. The country is conveniently located between France, Germany and Belgium, and taking a bus or a train there is a breeze. The airport is also very well-connected and you can reach the Luxembourg City center within 20 minutes by bus.
Personally, I was previously in Regensburg (Germany), so I took an overnight Flixbus to Luxembourg City, which wasn’t too expensive.
What languages are spoken in Luxembourg?
The country has THREE official languages – French, German and Luxembourgish, and pretty much everyone speaks fluent English as well. Since there are so many immigrants from Portugal, about 20% of the population speaks Portuguese as well.
So one thing is for sure – you shouldn’t have a problem communicating with the locals whatsoever.
How expensive is Luxembourg?
Not gonna lie, Luxembourg is slightly more expensive than the rest of Western Europe. The cheapest accommodation I could find was around €25 for a single bed in a shared hostel room, and double rooms in budget hotels start at around €70.
A normal lunch portion would cost you anywhere between €10 – €20 and a small glass of beer – around €2.50-3.
When is the best time to visit Luxembourg?
I would always recommend the summer season for a trip to Luxembourg, the reason being that many of the attractions are only open during the warmer months. The temperatures remain quite moderate, reaching around 22 °C (could sometimes get hotter though), so don’t worry about it being too hot.
Winters in Luxembourg are also quite mild. The Christmas market and decorations create an amazing Christmas atmosphere, which makes this season a great option as well.
The peak of the tourist season is between May and September.
Things to do in Luxembourg City in one day
If you’re coming to Luxembourg just for one or two days, I certainly recommend spending most of your time in the capital, also known as Luxembourg city. Being an old city, the place has quite a bit to offer. Once you’ve seen the capital, you should definitely venture out for some day trips from Luxembourg – if you have the time, of course.
So here are the top attractions to see in one day in Luxembourg City.
Free walking tour
The free walking tour of Luxembourg takes place every day at 11 o’clock and takes about two hours. In this timeframe you will have the opportunity to discover some of the most important places to see in Luxembourg city with the help of a local guide.
As the name suggests, the tour is free of charge. You’re only asked to give a tip at the end, according to how much you enjoyed the tour.
I took the free walking tour from TwentyTour and the experience was very informative and interesting – I can only recommend it! They start every day at 11am at the Monument to Dicks et Lentz (Square Jan Palach). It is recommended to sign up online in advance.
Grand Ducal Palace
The Grand Ducal Palace is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful buildings in the city, as well as one of the most important ones – this is the official residence of the Grand Duke of Luxembourg. The palace was built in the 16th century in Flemish Renaissance style.
Visiting the Grand Ducal Palace inside is only possible through a group tour, which are being held exclusively during summer. The guided tours start in July and run until the end of August, so keep this in mind when planning your Luxembourg holiday, especially if visiting the palace is at the top of your list.
Notre Dame Cathedral
Another place you cannot miss if you have just one day in Luxembourg is certainly the Notre Dame – a Roman Catholic cathedral, which is also the only cathedral in all of Luxembourg. Its construction began in 1613 and continued until 1621, and it was originally a Jesuit church.
The church is representative of the late Gothic architecture style, while it also incorporates some elements of the Renaissance. At the north gate you can also notice some semi-Baroque influences.
The cathedral was continuously enlarged and elements were added throughout the years, like the stained glasses from 19th and 20th century, for example.
There is a crypt inside, which is the resting place of John the Blind, King of Bohemia and Count of Luxembourg, as well as other members of the Grand Ducal family.
The Golden Lady (Gëlle Fra)
Just a few meters away from the cathedral of Notre Dame you will find the Monument of Remembrance, also known as the Gëlle Fra or the Golden Lady.
The Golden Lady is a war memorial in honour to all Luxembourgers who volunteered to serve in the armed forces of the Allied Powers during both World Wars and the Korean War.
The monument is situated in the Constitution Square and stands 21 meters tall. At the top you can see a gilded bronze statue of the goddess of victory – Nike, or the “Queen of Freedom”.
An interesting fact is that during World War II, when Luxembourg was occupied by Nazi forces, the bronze statue was taken from the Germans. It was not restored until 40 years later, in 1980, when the Golden Lady was found underneath the main stand of the national football stadium.
Chemin De La Corniche
Also named “the most beautiful balcony of Europe”, the Chemin de la Corniche offers one of the best views in Luxembourg city you can get.
The ramparts were built by the French and Spanish back in the 17th century, and the pedestrian promenade has turned into a picturesque walkway, overlooking the river valley and the old part of the city.
Following the cobbled streets, you can reach the very bottom and walk around the mesmerizing Grund district.
Bock Casemates – Casemates du Bock
At the top of Chemin de la Corniche you will find the entry to the Bock Casemates. The Bock is a promontory which is part of Luxembourg’s old city and castle was firstly built in 963 by Count Siegfried. The construction of the first underground tunnels, however, started in 1644 during the Spanish domination. Afterwards they were enlarged numerous times throughout the centuries.
The fortifications were sometimes called “The Gibraltar of the North” because of how strongly defensive they were. The subterranean defensive passages were constructed on different levels and the lowest ones reached down as far as 40 metres.
The casemates were 23km long and served as shelter for thousands of soldiers and their horses, as well as for a place to run workshops, kitchens etc.
After the declaration of neutrality in 1867, the military was withdrawn and the fortification was almost fully demolished during the following years. However, in order to blow everything up, part of the city was going to be demolished as well. In order to preserve the city, parts of the fortification are still standing and have been turned into an attraction for people to visit.
The casemates are only open during the summer months!
7,00 €: Adults
6,00 €: Students, seniors
3,50 € Children from 4 to 12 years
Free: for children under 4 years
The Neumunster Abbey is located in the Grund district of Luxembourg and was a place for public meetings and cultural events.
This is one of the most important historic sights in Luxembourg city but sadly the original abbey was destroyed in 1542. The new one was built in 1606 and after the French Revolution it served as a police station and prison. During World War II, the abbey was used by the Nazis as a prison for those who opposed their occupation of Luxembourg, one of which was Luxembourg’s best-known sculptor Lucien Wercollier.
The abbey had different roles throughout the years and since 1997 it has been housing the European Institute of Cultural Routes.
Since 2004 Neumünster abbey has been opened to the public and nowadays it houses many of Lucien Wercollier Cloister’s private collections.
Luxembourg City Museum
The city museum is a modern and interactive museum which provides a thorough overview of the history of Luxembourg, presented in an interesting way.
In true style of the city itself, the museum also combines ancient architecture with modern touches.
The lower floors house a permanent collection, showing the architectural and urban development of the city, while the top floors are reserved for temporary exhibitions.
The glass facades and the panoramic lift provide extensive views of all floors as well as the surrounding area.
5,00 €: Adults
Free entrance every Thursday from 6-8 p.m.
Youth < 21 years: free entry
Students < 26 years (with student cards)
Pfaffenthal Panoramic Elevator
The Pfaffenthal Elevator is a panoramic elevator which connects the river valley part of the city with the Ville Haute quarters – the historic center. This elevator is a must, even if you’re only spending one day in Luxembourg city – just trust me on this one.
The use of the elevator is free of charge and it offers a gorgeous view over the Alzette River valley.
Together with the Grund public elevator and the Pfaffenthal-Kirchberg funicular, they form the three cable transport modes, connecting the lower and the elevated part of Luxembourg.
What to see if you have 2 days in Luxembourg City
If you happen to be staying longer, here are a few more ideas for things to do in Luxembourg city.
Located in the north-eastern part of Luxembourg City, the Kirchberg district is an area where the majority of the European Union Institutions are based. This is why it is considered the central business district in Luxembourg.
Kirchberg looks nothing like the rest of the city – its tall and modern buildings make it stand out from miles away. Here you will find The European Court of Justice, the European Investment Bank, the European Court of Auditors and many more.
The Grand Duke Jean Museum of Modern Art, shortly named MUDAM, is a modern art museum, located very closely to the Kirchberg district.
MUDAM houses mostly temporary exhibitions, so it’s always a surprise what you’ll get to see. Thanks to the well-thought architecture and numerous windows and glass ceiling and exquisite internal design, the museum is an oasis of light and is strongly connected to the nature around it.
For many, the charm of MUDAM is not as much the exhibition, but the museum building and its internal arrangement themselves.
Once you’re done with roaming around this beautiful place, make sure you walk to the end of the hill and enjoy the gorgeous view of the city’s downtown.
Dräi Eechelen Museum
Right next to MUDAM you will find the Dräi Eechelen Museum – a museum, located in the fully restored 18th century Fort Thüringen. The museum is quite small, but it’s definitely worth checking out. Its permanent exhibition presents the history of Luxembourg from 1443 to 1903.
Even though only constructed in 2005 and quite new, the building of the Philharmonie is also worth seeing.
The architect of this masterpiece is Christian de Portzamparc and his initial idea was to mark the entrance into the world of music through a natural filter. This is why he decided to create 823 facade columns made of white steel, arranged in three or four rows. The very inner row of columns contain technical facilities, the second are supporting the windows, and the third ones being of a static nature.
Nowadays, the Philharmonie holds more than 400 performances per year and it has a capacity of 1,500 people.
Seasonal Things to do in Luxembourg City:
When I visited Luxembourg in August, I was lucky enough to experience the seasonal City Skyliner – the highest mobile observation tower of the world.
The tower is usually there between the end of June and the end of August and it offers a stunning panoramic view over Luxembourg.
7,00 €: Adults
Where to stay in Luxembourg?
If you happen to stay for a bit longer than one day in Luxembourg, here are some recommendations on where to stay.
Luxembourg City Hostel
During my trip to Luxembourg, I was looking for the cheapest and most convenient option there is. As a 20-something year old, affordability is at the top of my list.
In the end, I decided to stay at the only hostel in town – Youth Hostel (Luxembourg City Hostel).
The Youth Hostel is located in the lower part of the city, very close to the historic center and the old town. Getting to most tourist attractions didn’t take more than 10 minutes walking.
It’s important to note that this is not a typical party hostel for young or solo travellers only. Due to the wide variety of rooms, many of the guests were families with children, elderly people etc.
The good price, unbeatable location and included breakfast are just some of the perks of the Youth Hostel. In my opinion, it was also very clean!
AirBnbs are a great option for everyone who is on a budget, but still wants to stay in a nice private apartment. There are many options on their website, so look out for the ones that are close to the historic center.
Other options for budget hotels in Luxembourg are:
Ibis Budget Luxembourg Centre
I hope this guide on how to spend one day in Luxembourg (or longer) has helped you plan your trip the best way possible. Luxembourg is a gorgeous country which certainly deserves to be among the top destinations in Europe. I’d love to hear your impressions from there!
You may also enjoy: