At the end of May, I took a trip to Luxembourg. I knew I wanted to go away somewhere to celebrate the end of my exam period, but I just didn’t know where. I ended up looking on Expedia and choosing the cheapest place in Europe to fly to, which was Luxembourg City. My return flights only cost £68 and the hostel that I stayed in was a bargain at £52. I flew from Stansted with Ryanair – the outward journey was fine but getting back was a nightmare. I was delayed for 32 hours, which you can read about here. Despite this, I still had a wonderful time in Luxembourg and would definitely recommend it.
The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg
The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg is a landlocked country which borders France, Belgium and Germany. Despite being so small, it’s very important as it is one of the three official capitals of the European Union. Although it is one of the smallest sovereign states in Europe, it has one of the highest GDPs. There’s only one airport in the country which is located just outside of the capital, Luxembourg City.
There are three official languages in Luxembourg – French, German and Luxembourgish. Luckily, I got on okay as I know quite a bit of French and enough German to get by. Most of the people I encountered spoke English as well. I only found it difficult when I had to initiate a conversation, as I didn’t know which language to use!
If you’re going to be visiting Luxembourg then I definitely recommend you pick up a Luxembourg Card. The Luxembourg Card is available for 1, 2 or 3 days and gives you free entry to over 70 attractions over the country and also allows you to travel on all public transport. The card starts at 13€ for one person for one day but if you’re not travelling alone as I was, then you can also get a family card.
The Grand Ducal Palace
Henri, the Grand Duke of Luxembourg has been on the throne since 2000 and resides in the Grand Ducal Palace with his wife Maria Teresa. The Grand Ducal Palace is located in the centre of Luxembourg City and unlike Buckingham Palace, you are able to go right up to the building. It is also open to the public at certain times of the year. I enjoyed watching the guards outside – there were only two which again, is a lot different to Buckingham Palace. One was always standing outside what I presume is the entrance, while the other one was marching up and down.
Haydy had visited Luxembourg the week before I went and she told me that I needed to visit Chocolate House by Nathalie Bonn. Located directly opposite The Grand Ducal Palace, this chocolate shop and cafe sells what is believed to be the best hot chocolates in Luxembourg City. I’m not usually a fan of hot drinks when the weather is so warm, but I knew that I couldn’t leave without trying one of the famous hot chocolates. There’s such a large variety of the hot chocolate spoons, but I eventually settled on the rose chocolate. I also opted for the almond milk instead of regular cows milk. This was a lot cheaper than I expected it to be at around 5€ and it came with cream and marshmallows too.
Grund is one of the 24 quarters located within the city and is one of the oldest parts of the capital. Located just below the capital city, Grund is accessible by foot or via a lift. The cobbled streets and medieval architecture make it the perfect place to have a walk around and you can get the most picturesque shots too. I especially enjoyed seeing the reflections of the quaint little buildings in the river. While I was there, it was quite quiet however I have been told that this is the place to be on an evening if you’re wanting to go out for drinks. This is definitely the best place to go if you want to take some beautiful photos of the city.
Musée national d’histoire naturelle
As I had the Luxembourg Card, I was able to get free entry into the Museum of Natural History located in Grund. If you’ve ever been to the Natural History Museum in London, this is similar but on a much smaller scale. There are eight different sections and many are filled with taxidermy, which I loved looking at. None of the displays were in English, just French and German but I did my best to work out what they were saying. There’s also a metal slide which goes from between two floors – I must admit I did go down it! As the museum is so small, I was in and out within an hour and that includes stopping at the cafe for a coffee and a croissant. It’s definitely worth a visit though, especially if you have a Luxembourg card.
Luxembourg City’s cathedral was built between 1613 and 1621. It is the only cathedral in the country. You’re able to visit the cathedral free of charge, although they would prefer a donation. Although I’m not religious, I always like to visit churches and cathedrals. I loved the architecture and the stained glass windows and I always enjoy the relaxed atmosphere of places of worship. There were a few people sat in there praying, but it was mostly tourists admiring the architecture like I was.
Even though I spent four days in Luxembourg, I didn’t manage to cover everything in the city. There’s still a couple if museums that I would like to visit if I ever go back again. While I was in Luxembourg, I also took a trip out to Vianden for the day which has its own separate post.
Have you ever been to Luxembourg? Would you like to go?