The Top 20 Things to See and Do in Luxembourg City

Luxembourg City is brimming with old-world charm
Luxembourg City is brimming with old-world charm | © Hessian Mercenary / Getty Images
Christina Zoga

For a small capital, Luxembourg City is crammed with exciting things to see and do. Here’s what you can’t miss when in this beautiful city.

Luxembourg City is a charming combination of ancient and modern, local and global, simplicity and luxury. With many companies choosing Luxembourg to host their offices, the capital offers a real multicultural perspective, complete with an intriguing blend of history, culture, art and natural landscapes. These are the best things to see and do to capture the city’s character.

1. Luxembourg Old Town

Historical Landmark

Old town street in Ville Haute
© Stockinasia / Getty Images

The Old Town of Luxembourg is an amazing place to wander around, with its narrow, winding alleyways and historic buildings. It’s also a great area to enjoy spectacular views of its stone bridges across the river and the former fortress of Luxembourg’s original city walls. The old town features on the Luxembourg city walking tour.

2. Casemates du Bock

Archaeological site

Woman walking inside Bock Casemates in Luxembourg City.
© Alena Kravchenko / Getty Images

Casemates du Bock is a 17-kilometre-long (11-mile-long) tunnel, easily accessible beneath the former castle at Montée de Clausen. Initially carved out of the rock by the Spanish beginning in 1644, this underground tunnel acted as a shelter for more than 35,000 residents and thousands of soldiers during World War II. Comprising atmospheric passages, different levels and impressive rock stairways, the historic tunnel of Casemates is now a Unesco World Heritage site. The Bock Cliff features on the Luxembourg’s most Photogenic Spots with a Local tour.

3. Grand Ducal Palace


Grand Ducal Palace in the dusk, Luxembourg city
© Marcin Krzyzak/Shutterstock
The Grand Ducal Palace in Luxembourg City is a spectacular piece of architecture, built in the 16th century during the Flemish Renaissance. It’s the official residence of the Grand Duke and the royal family, and the palace’s interior design is an intriguing combination of styles – an interplay between Romantic and Medieval Gothic styles, with modern light designs by the German industrial designer, Ingo Maurer. The Palace features on the Luxembourg city walking and wine tasting tour.

4. Lëtzebuerg City Museum


Luxembourg City History Museum Nouvelle-exposition-permanente2-800x570
Courtesy of Luxembourg City History Museum
Housed within a group of four renovated 17th-century houses, the Lëtzebuerg City Museum (formerly the Luxembourg City History Museum) reflects upon not only the history of Luxembourg as a city and a nation but also the diversity and development of the area and its population since the 10th century. As well as a variety of interactive cultural programmes and events, the museum’s collection comprises photographs, postcards, ceramics, topographical models and pieces that show the progress of urban development, as well as a variety of special exhibits of items used in daily life.

5. Château de Vianden

Historical Landmark

Vianden, Luxembourg, Benelux
© Robert Harding
This castle is technically just outside the city of Luxembourg, in Vianden, but at less than an hour away, it’s a must-visit when you’re in the capital. Built between the 11th and 14th centuries, the magnificent Château de Vianden is among the largest remaining feudal residences of the Gothic period in Europe. The most impressive parts of the castle are the chapel and the large and small palaces that were constructed between the end of the 12th century and the first half of the 13th century. Restored in 1977, the Château de Vianden is a monument of great importance in Luxembourg.

6. Notre-Dame Cathedral

Cathedral, Church

Notre-Dame Cathedral, Luxembourg
© Valeri Potapova / Shutterstock

Built between 1613 and 1621 by the Jesuit religious order, Luxembourg’s Notre-Dame Cathedral is a must-see, with the most memorable part of this imposing building being the Baroque-inspired north gate. Inside, the cathedral is embellished with luxurious stained glass dating from the 19th and 20th centuries, modern sculptures and a tiny Madonna and Child statue above the altar. The graves of the royal family can be found in the crypt, safeguarded by two lions designed by Auguste Trémont.

7. Luxembourg Philharmonic Orchestra

Concert Hall

Philharmonie Luxembourg
© Hans-Peter Merten / Getty Images

The concert hall of the Luxembourg Philharmonic Orchestra represents the multicultural character of the city; this outstanding piece of contemporary architecture hosts great conductors, soloists and orchestras from all over the world. The remarkable quality of its acoustics and close collaboration with significant musical personalities have made it one of the best concert halls in Europe.

8. Passerelle


Luxembourg, Luxembourg City, View from rue de Clausen Rocher du Bock to Passerelle bridge over Pfaffenthal valley and the district Kirchberg
© Westend61 / Getty Images

This historic Passerelle (the Luxembourg Viaduct) offers visitors picturesque, panoramic views of Luxembourg City. Built between 1859 and 1861 by the Waring Brothers (a British company), the Passarelle connected the city centre with the new railway station. Also known as the Old Bridge, the Passerelle is well worth a visit when you’re in the city – even if just for the fantastic photo opportunities.

9. Abbey Museum

Monastery, Museum

The basilica of Saint Willibrord at Echternach
© Arterra/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
The Abbey Museum is an hour’s drive outside Luxembourg City, making it the perfect day trip. Situated in the cellars of the former abbey of Echternach, the museum displays items related to the history of the Benedictine monastery in eastern Luxembourg, particularly the Echternach scriptorium (where illustrated manuscripts were made) and the life and work of St Willibrord. He was the founder of the abbey and is now the patron saint of Luxembourg. Visitors have the opportunity to admire the incredible manuscripts and atmospheric rooms where the monks would have worked, with history coming to life with interactive audiovisual presentations. The Abbey features on the Luxembourg private 1-day tour.

10. Kirchberg

Historical Landmark

© Loop Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
Kirchberg is the place to discover the modern side of Luxembourg. It’s home to magnificent structures of companies such as the European Investment Bank and the Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce, as well as the city’s modern art museum. Kirchberg is also home to bars, restaurants and chic shops, so stop here to enjoy an evening in Luxembourg’s diverse capital.

The Most Impressive Buildings in Luxembourg City

11. European Court of Justice


The European Court of Justice on Kirchberg Plateau, Luxembourg
© nitpicker / Shutterstock

The European Court of Justice is the highest court in the European Union and is located in the Kirchberg Plateau, just east of Luxembourg City. Originally constructed in 1973, the building has undergone a number of facelifts and additions. The architect of the fourth extension, Dominique Perrault, explained his thought process behind the use of such a striking gold colour on the twin towers: “I thought the sky over Luxembourg is often so sad that it would be nice, somehow, to catch the sun and bring it here”. Recommended by Lindsay Drake

12. Galeries Lafayette


One of Luxembourg’s most impressive buildings isn’t, like so many others, an official government building or financial headquarter, but an homage to the art of shopping: Foster + Partners’ Galeries Lafayette department store. Located in the centre of Luxembourg, at the end of Grand Rue and Rue Aldringen, it’s the first building in a major mixed-used development by the architects. The building is meant to be ‘timeless yet contemporary’, and its undulating glass facade is an attention-drawing addition to the city’s town centre. Luxembourg’s newest department store also features a sky garden, complete with rooftop restaurant and bar. Recommended by Lindsay Drake

13. Luxembourg City Hall


Luxembourg City Hall
© Phillip Minnis / Alamy Stock Photo

Luxembourg City Hall (Hôtel de Ville de Luxembourg) was built in the 1830s by French architect Justin Rémont and made using materials from a deconstructed 13th-century Franciscan monastery, which stood in its place centuries before. The City Hall, located on Place Guillaume II, now serves as the centre of local government and is used as the private office of the Mayor of Luxembourg City. Its Neoclassical style has aged well, and the elegant building is still a worthy symbol of political power in the Grand Duchy’s capital. Recommended by Lindsay Drake

14. Banque et Caisse d'Epargne de l’Etat


This state-owned savings bank is the most famous bank building of Luxembourg
© lexan / Shutterstock

This beautiful building, designed by architect Jean-Pierre Koenig and constructed in 1913, serves as the headquarters of the Luxembourg Savings Bank BCEE (Spuerkeess). The original building was too small, so an annex was added, followed by a second mounting in 1933. This impressive structure is located on Place de Metz and overlooks the famous Adolphe Bridge. Though it was built in the 20th century, the Savings Bank was designed in the Neo-Renaissance style that evokes the Renaissance period. Recommended by Lindsay Drake

15. European Investment Bank


European Investment Bank, Luxembourg
© Christian Mueller / Shutterstock

In 2002, the European Investment Bank held an anonymous international competition for architects and designers who pitched their ideas for the bank’s east building. The competition was won by German architect Christoph Ingenhoven, whose design encompassed EIB’s philosophy of transparency and environmental stewardship. It was the first building in continental Europe, and one of the first in the world, to be awarded the UK’s BREEAM Bespoke ‘high environmental quality’ certification with a ‘very good’ rating. Recommended by Lindsay Drake

16. Grand Duke Jean Museum of Modern Art


Fort Thuengen and Museum for Modern Art, Luxembourg
© Christian Mueller / Shutterstock

Located in the Kirchberg district, this impressive structure was erected in 2006 atop the ruins of an abandoned fortress and beside another. The museum, also known as MUDAM, was designed by Ieoh Ming Pei, the Chinese-American architect behind the glass pyramid at the Louvre. The building caused a great deal of controversy and strife within the Grand Duchy, due to its strikingly modern appearance. Although it is called a modern art museum, the budget did not allow for acquiring a modernist collection. Instead, MUDAM is home to contemporary art pieces by 100 artists, including Andy Warhol, Bruce Nauman and Julian Schnabel. Recommended by Lindsay Drake

The Best Historic Monuments to See in Luxembourg City

17. The Monument of Remembrance


© Tilemahos Efthimiadis/Flickr
The Monument of Remembrance, also known as Gëlle Fra, was opened in 1923 as a memorial dedicated to all the citizens who volunteered during World War I. Situated in Constitution Square, it stands as a 21 meter-tall obelisk, and features a bronze statue of the Greek goddess of victory, Nike, dramatically holding out a wreath. Two other figures at the foot of the obelisk represent the soldiers of Luxembourg; one is dead, and the other is mourning his compatriot. This statue strongly conveys the sense of sadness and loss felt by the people of Luxembourg during the war, whilst still representing the freedom which rises up through the misery and pain. It is an enthralling and thought-provoking monument to visit whilst in the city. Recommended by Nicola Simonetti

18. Equestrian Statue of William II


This bronze statue, the Equestrian Statue of William II, is located in the main square of Luxembourg City, erected as a tribute to the Grand Duke William II of Nassau-Orange. The riding figure of William II is the work of the French sculptor Antonin Mercié, and the statue of the horse is by Victor Peter. The pedestal of the monument displays the coat of arms of the House of Orange-Nassau and of Luxembourg, and the structure is ideally placed near to the tourist office and a bustling local market. As you are walking through Place Guillaume II, take a minute to pause at this large landmark, a majestic statue which you can’t miss. Recommended by Nicola Simonetti

19. Goethe Memorial


© motograf/Flickr
A memorial to the German poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, this monument is a must-see in Luxembourg city, whether you’re a fan of Goethe’s literary works or are simply a seeker of great architecture in a stunning setting. Erected in 1935, the structure was designed in honor of Goethe’s brief period of residence in the region, and boasts a design featuring an intricate locket as well as an ornate inscription, both of which are creations of the Luxembourgish sculptor Albert Kratzenberg. It is situated on the Bock promontory in the Montée de Clausen, and offers spectacular views of the surrounding area. Recommended by Nicola Simonetti

20. Lambert Redoubt


The Lambert Redoubt is one of the few remaining defensive structures of the original Luxembourg City fortifications. Built in 1685, its used to be part of a much larger fort, and is pentagonal in form, featuring two floors and casemates. Renovated from 1835-36, Lambert Redoubt’s significant archeological finds have been multiplied during recent excavations, with the remnants of old minefields being uncovered; it is now elevated as one of the most important sites of its kind in Europe. Recommended by Nicola Simonetti

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