Luxembourg may be one of the smallest countries in Europe by land mass, but there are by no means any shortage of things to do. From wine festivals to swimming in heated mountain-top pools, we present you with a list of the 10 non-touristy things to do in Luxembourg.
Attend a local festival
One of the best ways to get a taste of local life in Luxembourg is by attending a village festival. There is no shortage of folk festivals to be enjoyed, from the “Buergbrennen” Bonfire Day (in which villagers celebrate the spring solstice by burning wood in the shape of a cross) to the “Oktavsmäertchen” or Octave Market (where villagers pay tribute to the Virgin Mary by hosting a market meant to symbolize a place for pilgrims to eat and take refuge). Don’t miss the celebration of the Grand Duke’s birthday called “National Day,” which takes place on June 23 each year and is marked by torch processions, fireworks, food stands, music, drinks, and dancing on the streets.
Luxembourg’s Rock um Knuedler is a festival that attracts over 15,000 people each year, but that’s not to say it’s an event for tourists alone! Luxembourgers frequent this eclectic musical event each year in July. And the best part about it – it’s absolutely free! If rock music wasn’t enough, Luxembourg also hosts the Echternach International Festival, MeYouZik, and the Blues ‘n Jazz Rallye. Each of these music festivals are held in the summer throughout various locations in the city center.
Explore an outdoor adventure center
If the Fun Fair wasn’t enough for you to get your thrills, visit one of Luxembourg’s many outdoor adventure centers. If rope courses, zip lines, aerial slides and giant swings sound like your kind of thing, Luxembourg offers five unique and exhilarating adventure centers for the monkey in you. One of the largest adventure centers is Indian Forest, located in Vianden, which has high rope courses and the longest zip line in Luxembourg at over 375 meters!
If you happen to be in Luxembourg in September, your visit cannot be complete without attending a wine festival. Not only will you taste the delicious wines made in Luxembourg, but you can try them paired with special Luxembourgish dishes that will complete the local experience. One of the largest, the Schwéidsbenger Wäifescht, invites revelers to their traditional wine fair where the wine is poured out of the village fountain. You read that right – the village wine fountain. Need we say more? In addition, the Moselle region hosts the Wine and Grape Festival and the Riesling Open, both of which are guaranteed to offer unique experiences for all.
Picnic at Lake Echternach
Fancy a relaxed Sunday afternoon in Luxembourg? Look no further than Lake Echternach. Not only can you enjoy a picnic and barbecue around the picturesque lake, you can rent a pedal boat, go fishing, play miniature golf, or go to Adventure Island adventure park! And with such a scenic backdrop, there’s not much left to do than to lay back and enjoy your surroundings.
Sunbathe at the Remerschen Lakes
Even in a landlocked country like Luxembourg, you can still escape the city and have a bout of sunbathing on a sandy beach. If you want to do summers like the locals, look no further than Remerschen Lakes. Located in the region of Moselle, these two lakes provide the perfect location for a day of R & R. While you’re there, explore the “Haff Réimech” nature reserve and participate in a wide range of water sports such as paddle boating and angling. Or if you’ve had enough excitement during your time in Luxembourg, take a moment to relax the way the locals do.
Join the locals every Wednesday and Saturday morning by shopping at the City Market. Located in Luxembourg City on Place Guillaume II, you will find an abundant selection of local fruits, vegetables, meats, cheeses, flowers, and spices. Not only will this be a true Luxembourgish experience, but you will undoubtedly walk away with products of superior quality compared to those found in supermarkets. Surrounding towns also host their very own fresh food markets so be sure to check out those in Diekirch, Kayl, Esch-sur-Alzette, and Dudelange.
Looking for some physical activity after indulging in one too many local delicacies? Visit the outdoor ice skating rink in Beaufort, open from October to mid-March. If ice skating isn’t your cup of tea, the facility also offers the possibility to enjoy a bout of ice hockey or ice karting as well. And while you’re in the area, don’t miss the opportunity to explore the natural beauty of the surroundings that have been dubbed Luxembourg’s “Little Switzerland.”
This event is so much more than a fair; it is one of the oldest and liveliest traditions in Luxembourg’s history. Things have changed a bit since it began in 1340, and now the “Schueberfouer” boasts nearly 50 rides, from roller coasters to ferris wheels for children and thrill-seekers alike. With endless stalls of local sweets and treats, the Fun Fair offers an escape for anyone who still maintains a bit of childlike spirit. The Schueberfouer runs from August 23 to September 11, 2018 at Place du Glacis in Luxembourg City.
While the castle itself is one of Luxembourg’s largest tourist attractions with thousands of visitors each year, the swimming pool on the adjacent hill is a little-known gem. Escape the hustle and bustle of tourists and relax in this lovely, heated open-air swimming pool all summer long.