In this article, Musement shares 10 things to see and do in Luxembourg: from ancient cities to castles and beautiful valleys.
Nestled between Belgium, Germany and France, Luxembourg often gets overlooked as a tourist destination in favour of its bigger neighbours. A country full of surprising contrasts, here you will find lush nature, ancient castles and picturesque towns mixed with modern buildings, award-winning gastronomy and a multicultural cosmopolitan vibe. This small, but fascinating country is crammed with exciting things to see and do:
1. Luxembourg city
We start with the eponymous capital of the country. Luxembourg‘s old town has been on the UNESCO World Heritage List in its entirety since 1994. An amazing place for a wander, you will find historic churches, museums, winding alleyways and impressive bridges connecting different neighbourhoods with contrasting contemporary and modern architecture. A city with just over 100,000 inhabitants, foreign residents make up over 70% of the total city population, giving it a multicultural feel. Well worth a visit for a weekend city break!
Whilst in the city, visit the charming Grund district. One of the oldest parts of the city, it has a totally different atmosphere to the more modern districts. Once a popular area for craftsmen and artists to live and sell their works, it has preserved its artistic atmosphere. Known for its distinct architecture, take a stroll along the banks of the Alzette river and admire the colourful houses. Looking for a place to stop for some food? Then this is the neighbourhood to be! The Grund district boasts some of the finest restaurants, pubs and bars, and is also one of the main areas for nightlife in the city.
3. Bock Casemates
The Bock Casemates, a defence system made up of kilometres of underground tunnels, is one of the most important attractions in the city. The first tunnels were built in the 17th century and have been occupied by various parties over the centuries. Demolished in the late 19th century, the Bock Casemates (Casemates du Bock) are the only surviving casemates and are considered an excellent example of military architecture. Initially, the casemates served as defence, but were also used as a bomb shelter during the world wars. Today, visitors can stroll through the passages and learn about their interesting history.
4. Musée d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean (MUDAM)
Luxembourg city is the ideal location for any art lover. This modern art museum, known as the Mudam, is located on the Kirchberg between the city centre and the European district. The building is a combination of old defensive walls and a new structure designed by award-winning architect Ieoh Ming Pei (known for the Louvre pyramid). The Mudam is famous for its collections of contemporary art, and its permanent exhibitions include works by Andy Warhol, Bruce Nauman, Daniel Buren, among others.
5. Vianden Castle
Vianden is a small town in the north of Luxembourg, on the border with Germany. A stroll in this historic town, with its cobbled streets and old houses, will make you feel like you’ve gone back to the Middle Ages. The pinnacle of Vianden, however, is its castle that sits on top of the hill. The castle, built in Romanesque and Gothic style, is very well preserved and is one of the most beautiful noble residences in Europe. Don’t miss the stunning view of the city and the surrounding area from the top!
Echternach, on the River Sauer, is another place not to be missed during your trip to the country. This is the oldest town in Luxembourg and dates back to 698. Unfortunately, a large part of the city was destroyed during the Second World War but has been thoroughly restored. The basilica, the city wall and the Gothic-style town hall are some of the most visited sights. Whilst in the area, it’s also easy to visit the nearby town of Beaufort and its famous Roman-Gothic castle, which dates back to the 11th century.
Time for a bit of nature. If you are a hiking or nature lover, the Mullerthal Region is a must during your visit to Luxembourg. This region in the east of the country is known as Little Switzerland (Petite Suisse Luxembourgeoise) and for good reason. Reminiscent of the landscape in Switzerland, the region boasts caves, valleys, unusual rock formations, dense forests and waterfalls. With plenty of trails for both beginners and the more experienced, it’s a hiker’s paradise.
This quaint market town is located in a narrow rocky valley surrounded by forests. Despite its small scale, it still has two castles. The first, Larochette Castle, is ruins of a former castle, that dates back from the 12th century and is found in the town itself. Two kilometres south of Larochette, you will find Meysembourg Castle overlooking Lake Manzebaach. This castle is privately owned and is unfortunately not open to visitors, so can only be viewed from a distance.
9. Moselle Valley
When you think of wine tourism, you might not think of Luxembourg, but the Moselle Valley, and its vineyards, forms one of the most famous tourist spots in the country. The Moselle River runs through, and along the borders of Luxembourg, France and Germany. The surrounding valley is a well-known quality wine producing region. When you are there, don’t just admire the natural beauty of the surroundings, but make sure to taste the local produce at one of the wineries.
10. Schiessentümpel Waterfall
Last on the list is one of the most famous natural sights of Luxembourg. The Schiessentümpel waterfall, close to the town of Mullerthal, consists of three small waterfalls on the Black Ernz River. Found in a wooded area with lush green surroundings, a picturesque bridge also runs over the waterfall.