Our journey began in the southern part of Luxemburg, just behind the train station. We parked the car in a payment area, but the good news was that parking areas in Luxemburg are paid from 8:00 to 18:00. As it was 5 o’clock in the afternoon, we only had to pay for one hour. This is a website where you can see the availability of the different car parks throughout the city.
We went straight to the city centre thinking about seeing the city during the day. That meant that we had just one hour to see all we wanted to see.
Arriving from the south, the first thing we found was the Passerelle, also known as the Luxembourg Viaduct. The viaduct was built to connect the city centre with the suburbs across the Petrusse Valley.
The views from that bridge are amazing. If you look at both, east and west, you can see the river Petrusse which goes through the valley. You can also see all the houses that are built at the edges of the valley and the forest in it. Luxembourgers also call this bridge The Old Bridge, because it was built before the Adolph Bridge, which is the New Bridge.
Just after seeing the viaduct, we decided to visit the eastern part of the city because we wanted to see the sunset from the western part (that was the intention). In this part of the city you have a great view of the old town and the Old Bridge, but we can also see the Judicial City. It’s so interesting to see this small town inside Luxembourg because of the light and large buildings. Here there are all courthouses placed all around a big square.
Chemin de la Corniche
Keeping the route that we were following we found the “most beautiful balcony of Europe”. This is how the Luxembourgers call this beautiful place, but I think that the Head of the Committee who catalogs “The most beautiful places in Europe” was from Luxembourg. Despite that, I can assure that the views are amazing and you can judge them in the photo below.
From the path you can see the old district of Luxembourg (Grund). You may not appreciate it in the photo, so better go there and appreciate with your own eyes, it is worth it. This neighborhood is the oldest part of the city and is placed in a valley where the river Alzette runes through. You can see the whole Grund walking along the Chemin de la Corniche.
The Casemates du Bock
At the end of this nice walk you can find the Casemates du Bock. I had never heard about them but I can say that the views from there are amazing. You can see a really big contrast between the old city (Grund) and the big buildings in the new part of the city. We couldn’t get in there because the opening season is from the 1st of March to the 6th of November.
The Casemates du Bock were the old defenses of Luxembourg. They were built inside the rock where Luxembourg is located and have reached around 23km in length. They were used as a refuge in the two World Wars and in those days it could harbor about 35.000 people. IT has been given the name “North Gibraltar” and it’s an UNESCO world heritage.
If you want to visit it, the opening hours are from 10:00 to 17:00 from the 1st of March to the 31st of March and from the 1st of October to the 6th of November. It’s also opened from 10:00 to 20:00 from the 1st of April to the 30th of September. The ticket price for adults is 4€, for students 3€ and for groups and children 2€.
On this website you can download a document in several languages, with very useful information about Casemates.
Palace of the Grand Dukes (Palais grand ducale)
The sun was still rising when we finished seeing the eastern part of the city but it was going to be dark in a while and we also wanted to see he western part and the city centre. So we decided that just walk around would be the best way to visit the rest of the city. Luxembourg is not a really big city and you can see all important places by walking because they are all in the same area. That’s why you can just walk around and enjoy the city. The next building we saw was the Palace of the Gran Dukes, which is the official residence of the Grand Duke of Luxembourg. Once it was the City Hall.
You can visit the building from the inside with a guided tour but it’s only possible from the 13th of July to the 6th of September (but not on Wednesdays). The visit takes about 45 minutes. The street where the Palace is placed is full of shops and bars. Of course at 6 o’clock in the evening on a winter day all was closed, but I think it will be really nice on a summer sunny day.
One of the inconveniences of travelling in winter is that normally there aren’t many people and all shops close very early in the evening. Luckily, on the opposite site of the street there was a souvenir shop that hadn’t closed yet, so we went there to buy some souvenirs of the city, as we were typical tourists.
William Square (Knuedler)
At the end of the street where the souvenirs shop was (Rue de la Reine), is William Square. It was under construction and we couldn’t see the whole square very well, but is a huge and nice square with a statue in it of William II, who once was Duke of Luxembourg.
In the same square, on the left side you can see the City Hall, which was built in an old monastery. Here is also the Tourist Office, in which I recommend to go to ask for all the information you want to know about the city. You can also get a map not to miss any corner in the city.
FACT: The square is also called Knuedler, which in Luxembourg means “knot”, making reference to the knot belt that Franciscan friars wore.
On the right side of the City Hall there are stairs and if you go down you can reach the Notre Dame Cathedral. Instead of that, we went just to the opposite side from where the City Hall is located. In the right corner there are shops in a gallery which take you directly to the other side, where the Place d’Armes is. All around the square there are shops and restaurants and even on a cold February day there was atmosphere. Just when we arrived there it start raining, so we decided to wait until the rain was over. Then I realized that there was free Wifi throughout the square. There is also a McDonalds in one of the square’s corners with free Wifi.
On the east side of the square is the Cercle-Cité, which is the City Palace. It is worth to walk around the square, even have a drink or food if the weather is good. There is a kiosk in the square and there are concerts in summer and the Christmas market in winter.
Monument du Souvenir
If you look at the palace, just to your right side there is a street called Rue Chimay. At the end of this street you will see the Monument du Souvenir, also called Gëlle Fra, which means “golden women” in Luxemborug. It’s a monument that reminds Luxembourgers volunteers soldiers of the two World Wars. It’s a 12-meters high giant obelisk and at the very top you can see the goddess of victory holding a laurel wreath. When we reached the monument, the sun had long gone and we couldn’t see the monument with light day, even that I think that is very huge monument and because it lit up at night it looks more imposing.
The Monument du Souvenir is located in a square called Constitution Square which is also a great viewpoint. If you stand looking at the valley, on your right side you can see the Adolph Bridge. Previous to go to Luxembourg I looked for the important places that we had to visit and this bridge was one of the most important and impressive places to see. What was our surprise when we got there? That the bridge was being restored and there was a large white canvas covering the entire bridge, so we couldn’t enjoy it. Even so, the views from there were amazing. Even it was at night and we couldn’t see the valley because of the darkness, the lights from the buildings in front of us made everything look very nice.
From the same square where the Monument du Souvenir is located, now on the left side you can see the Petrusse Casemates. This place was also a fortifications and defensive bastion created by Spanish people. We couldn’t go into this bastion and we thought it was because it was so late, but the fact is that they are temporally closed. On this website you can also download a document with other information about these Casemates.
The Cathedral of the Blessed Virgin (Cathedrale Notre Dame)
On the same side of the square where the Casemates are, there are stairs by which you can do down to the valley and see from another perspective the city and the bridges. Because it was at night, I thought that the perspective would be really dark so we decided to continue our tour to the next stop: The Cathedral of the Blessed Virgin or Notre Dame. It is a Catholic Cathedral and it’s also the main church in the city. It’s a really uncommon church because of the two spires that it has on the top. Then you can see it from many different places around the city. Because it was at night, the church was also lit up and it looked like that:
Just behind the Cathedral of the Blessed Virgin there was the last stop we made in our one-day city tour: The Place Clairefontaine. It’s one of the many squares that Luxembourg has, but this one is surrounded by different offices of the government. It’s a very big square and in the middle of it there is a statue of the Grand Duchess Charlotte. At night everything looks very different, so I think I’ll have to go back during the day to this wonderful city.
This was our small tour through the capital of a small little-known country. We tried to visit all we could in just one day (in fact, just few hours), but we didn’t see other many things. I think that if you really want to see and enjoy the entire city you must stay there two days at least. Then you can go into all the important buildings, you can do the visit guide from the Casemates, you can also visit other areas in the city and walk around, even though the valley. Likewise, I don’t recommend going in winter because it gets dark at 6pm. It’s also cold and most of the time it’s raining. Moreover it’s hard to take advantage of a city that closes every shop at 6pm.
I think that Luxembourg is a city that not many people have heard about or would never think about going there for holiday, just because it is not well known. But the fact is that I just spend few hours in this city and I can say that it is really well worth. Not just because it’s a beautiful city but because it’s very different to other European cities. It’s built next to a valley with many bridges, that makes the city seem to be built on high and that makes it a unique city.
As you can see we visited just few of the most important places in the city, but there are some more to be discovered. Here you have a list of other important places in the city. Although I can’t give you my opinion about them, I think they could be also interesting to visit if you have enough time. I let them also in the map below.
- Bourbon Plateau (High Authority of the European Coal and Steel Community)
- Central Railway Station. This is the website to know the prices and destinations from the central railway station of Luxembourg.
- Centre Aldringen. This is the central bus station in the city centre of Luxembourg.
- Former Headquarters of Arcelor Mittal.
- Fort Thüngen
- Grand Duchess Charlotte-Bridge
- National Archives
- National Library
- The Place de Paris
- Rham Plateau
- Lambert Redoubt
- Monument of Robert Schuman
- Three towers
- American Military Cemetery
Right now, this is all I have to say about Luxembourg, this small city that not many people have heard of, and that has a lot to show to us. I hope that now you feel encouraged to visit it. This is the official website where you can find lot of information about the city.
Check how to save the map.
If you know more nice and interesting places in Luxembourg, let us know with a comment!!