Top things to do in Luxembourg city in one day
What if you decide on a Thursday that you want to leave this Saturday for a weekend getaway to Luxembourg? Well… you just do it, right? That’s how I booked a last minute hotel, got into the car and spent a weekend in this tiny country. Although I’ve been to most places that are within driving distance of The Netherlands, I had never been to Luxembourg before (at least, not since I’ve stopped wearing diapers… which is about 3 or 4 years ;-)). We spent our first day in Luxembourg city, the second day in Vianden, that I will tell you more about later. Here are my tips for sightseeing in Luxembourg!
The biggest recommendation of this whole trip is the balcony of Luxembourg city: the Corniche. From here you’ll get the greatest view of the city. Because we were staying close to the train station this was one of the first places we passed anyway, which made me really happy: this way I got a good idea of the layout of the city.
The city center of Luxembourg is quite compact, which makes it perfect for a day trip. You don’t get stressed because there’s a hundred things you want to see, and you can get to the other side of the city in no time. I also found the old city center to be really charming. I didn’t like the modern part that much, and we encountered some dodgy looking people at night, but during the day it makes for a great shopping experience. The old center is full of beautiful winding streets and great restaurants.
Cathedral of Luxembourg
Like I’ve told you before: I never visit a city without paying a visit to its church or cathedral as well. I’m far from religious, but I really love the architecture, sometimes it’s like you go back in time to when the church got built. The cathedral (Cathédrale Notre-Dame) was built in the beginning of the 17th century, so as far as cathedrals in Europe goes, it’s actually not THAT old. Inside you’ll find beautiful stained glass, and we accidentally walked in on a service which took place in Luxembourgish, so I didn’t understand a word, haha.
In the higher located area you’ll find the Bockkazematten (casemates), an armored structure of corridors built out of rocks. This was part of the fortress on top of the rock. Inside of the casemates thousands of soldiers sought shelter back in the day, but you would also find bakeries, ateliers and butchers. I really wanted to visit this place, but you can only pay cash, and we didn’t have any cash on us. We then got the really useful advice to “bring spare change next time”. No sh*t Sherlock…
The lower area
Don’t forget to visit the lower area! Luxembourg consists of two different levels: the most important part of the center is located on the upper level, but the lower level is really charming. You can sit down for a drink or wander around the streets on your way to the former prison. There, you’ll find beautiful allotments, with the dramatic looking casemates in the background. Really pretty! To get there you can walk down from the casemates, or get on the free elevator at Place du St.-Esprit (at the Corniche).
I’m just gonna say it: Luxembourg is expensive. But since we were there for just one night, we decided to just enjoy it. We wanted to have some cocktails and looked around for some affordable ones. In the end we found a cocktail bar called Octans were they served cocktails for €15. That’s quite a ridiculous price, but the bar seemed really nice and luckily we both aren’t big drinkers. It turned out to be a great choice because my gosh, those cocktails were amazing! I think the best I’ve ever had. I chose the Copacabana, by the way :-).
Going out for dinner
If you feel like having a bite in a really cozy place, I can definitely recommend La Chiggeri. When the weather’s nice you even get a beautiful view of the business (European) district of Luxembourg, and the valley. I was feeling experimental and chose the Steak Tartare; Mr. chose a simple burger. Both were really tasty!
Where did we stay?
We stayed at Hotel Grey, an affordable hotel close to the train station. The rooms are really modern, and you have a view of the shower straight from the bed. I actually quite liked that. But it also means you can look someone straight in the eye while they’re sitting on the toilet, which is kind of awkward. The breakfast wasn’t great, but fine, and for what we paid it was a fine hotel in a central location.
What are your best tips for a day trip to Luxembourg?