Travel Diaries: Luxembourg 2018

So it’s been a while since I wrote about travelling – as a matter of fact, it had been a while since I’d traveled at all, it feels like. But this last Easter break, me and the bf figured we deserved a bit of a break, so we booked ourselves a weekend in Luxembourg. Now, I’d been there once before – but I was, like, 9 at the time. Save to say: I didn’t remember too much from that trip. So our main goal? To just take in as many sights as we possibly could!

The Practical

First things first: we stayed at the Hotel Leger, which is about a 15 minutes’ drive from Luxembourg centre. The best thing about that was that our nights were absolutely calm. And certainly after the second day? We needed some peace and quiet.

A second advantage to our hotel? The food there was delicious. The breakfast buffet, had 4 different sections – sweet and cold, sweet and warm, savory and cold, savory and warm. From smoked salmon and eggs to fresh pancakes to approximately 20 types of grains and seeds to put together your own granola? I don’t think we felt hungry once while we were in Luxembourg.

We actually opted to have our day 2-dinner there as well and, just… It was amazing. The bf had the creme of foie gras for a starter, while I took the carpaccio and we’re still not certain whose was better. While my ravioli for main was delicious, though (that truffel sauce!) the bf’s steak was cooked so tender… It basically melted in your mouth. Oh, and if you’re like me, and also look forward to the sides? Well, the gratin dauphinois was absolutely divine. No exaggeration.

Said gratin dauphinois and steak

We went to Luxembourg by car, so we opted to just park at the outskirts of Luxemburg City (see map), but there’s actually a pretty good public transport system – there was a bus stop just a couple of meters away from the hotel which took you straight to the centre as well!

Day 1: an evening walk

View from down in the park

On the first evening, we actually only arrived in the hotel around 5pm, so just about everything was closed already. Our solution: go for a walk around a nice little park I’d come across on Google Maps. And, you know, it was nice, and it was a park… But it was by no means little. I think we spent about 2h just walking through the park, taking those steps, walking back around the park… Seriously – if you get the chance, this is a pretty amazing place to spend a couple of hours, get some movement in, …

Also, the view from up on the Monument du Souvenir? Worth the walk even on its own.

Day 2: sight seeing and history

One of the fun things about Luxembourg is how tiny it is. That means you can basically get a bit of everything in one day.

Nature and beautiful fountains? Check

Historical buildings? Check

Slightly creepy hydrant? Check

Incredibly talented street artist working with sand? Check

Gorgeous everything everywhere?

Check

Double check

And triple check

We even found the time to visit a couple of book shops! (And what do you know: Luxembourg even has an English language bookshop that I really enjoyed, the Ernster bookstore.)

And all of that is just what we did in the morning. An added advantage for us? It was a gorgeous day – I’m talking around 25°C (77°F) which is pretty high for early April!

In the afternoon, we wanted to do one of the things I’d been looking forward to most: the Vauban fortifications. Luxembourg is, like Belgium, one of those places that kept being part of different countries. It was conquered by Spain, France and Austria to just name a few. Vauban was a French general that basically made his career out of fortifying different cities in the territories that France conquered. This typical shape?

Source: Acomar

That’s Vauban.

In Luxembourg, you have the advantage that you can leave Luxembourg City and be surrounded by nature and history in about half a minute. It’s kind of amazing, actually. So we just walked out of the city, saw a monastery (?), some ruins, a gorgeous forest and then spent about an hour reading on top of the Vauban fortifications.

The one downside to that entire day? We were planning on taking the panoramic lift (as you can see, Luxembourg involves quite a bit of walking up and down)… Only the lift was down for maintenance, which wasn’t really announced anywhere… Other than at the actual lift itself. I mean, it would have been handy to know, especially for the family that discovered it along us. The family that also had 3 very tired, very cranky kids that had been promised they would “just take the lift and be right back at the car”. We ended up just taking a little path that went almost straight up (with a lot of twists and turns, naturally) and it was gorgeous…

Day 3: the city museum

On the last day, we figured we’d just spend the morning in Luxembourg, and then slowly make our way back home. The plan for that morning: the city museum. And quite frankly? This was 100% the best way to spend our last moments in Luxembourg.

Not only did we get to walk through a (very calm) Luxembourg one last time – it was Sunday morning, so I’m assuming most people were still in bed by the time we arrived :p

Now, not only did this museum have the biggest elevator I’ve ever seen (seriously, I think my dorm room was smaller than that elevator!), it offered an amazing overview of the history of the town.

From maquettes to parts of the old town (which actually lie quite a bit below the current street level), from a focus on toys and transport, to an overview of photos taken by and on Luxembourgers? The Luxembourg City Museum was probably one of the best set-up and thought-out museums I’ve ever visited. (And for what it’s worth: I’ve visited quite a few museums)

By the way – while I loved the entire museum? Those photos were probably my favorite. There’s something about pictures taken in the 50s, the 60s, whatever time period a while back that just makes me want to move to that time…

To resume: my absolute must sees in Luxembourg?

  • The Luxembourg City Museum
  • The Vauban-fortifications (and included in this: Fort Thüngen)
  • The parks (specifically: Parc des Trois Glands and Parc de la Pétrusse)

Be sure to let me know below if you’ve ever been to Luxembourg and – if so – what your favourite thing to do there was!

-Saar