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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.