15 Best Things to Do in Luxembourg

Luxembourg skyline sunset
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Despite being one of the world’s smallest countries, Luxembourg still offers a variety of delights.

You’ll have plenty of fun stuff to do, such as visiting historic sites or touring the lovely countryside.

The city is also notably diverse, with over 67% of the population being foreigners.

Many cultural and international events held in the city highlight this diversity.

Formerly known as the “Gibraltar of the North” because of its impregnable fortresses and bulwarks, Luxembourg is now a UNESCO World Heritage site.

So, if you’re a world history buff, you’ll definitely enjoy the fortress city, which caught the eye of figures like Goethe, among others.

Likewise, the city hosts several gardens, parks, and playgrounds for everyone to enjoy.

Around the city also sit large forested areas—the “Bambesch,” “Grengewald,” and “Kockelscheuer”—which travelers can see.

Curious about everything Luxembourg has to offer? Check out the list below.

Marvel at the Cathedrale Notre-Dame

Cathedrale Notre-Dame
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Another historical attraction you can find in Luxembourg is its own “Notre-Dame” cathedral.

Built between 1613 and 1621 by the Jesuits, the church is now the National Library.

It has also been carefully preserved, which means you can still clearly see the semi-Renaissance and semi-Baroque architectural styles used in its construction.

Interior of Cathedrale Notre-Dame
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The cathedral has also housed the statue of the Consoler of the Afflicted since 1794.

Likewise, the cathedral also houses the crypt of the John the Blind, King of Bohemia, and Count of Luxembourg, and members of the Grand Ducal family.

The Cathedrale Notre-Dame is located at Rue Notre-Dame L-2240 Luxembourg City.

Revisit the 13th Century at the Holy Ghost Citadel

One of the oldest sites you’ll see in Luxembourg is the Holy Ghost Citadel, which was founded in 1234.

Its construction went on to the 14th century when the third ring was added and connected the plateau to the fortified part of the city.

The Citadel became a major part of city fortifications under Spanish rule, although the French gave it its final shape.

Holy Ghost Citadel
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Under the guidance of the military fortress builder Vauban the citadel expanded and saw its walls become bastions.

Today, Luxembourg’s “Cite judiciaire” makes its home in the citadel.

The Holy Ghost Citadel can be found at the Plateau du Saint-Esprit, L-1475 Luxembourg.

Get to Know the City at the Place d’Armes

Place d’Armes
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Yet another historic destination in Luxembourg is the Place d’Armes, which was finished in 1671.

Started by Utrecht’s Sebastian van Noyen, the plaza was completed under the rule of Governor Jean Charles de Landas.

The French king Louis XIV sent his troops to pave the square, plant lime trees around it, and use the square for parades.

Band performance at Place d’Armes
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Today, you can find the Christmas Market at the Place d’Armes and listen to live music at the many open-air concerts.

Likewise, the Place d’Armes hosts the City Palace, now called the Cercle Cite.

From 2006 to 2011, the palace underwent a significant transformation into a spacious convention and exhibition center.

Drop by the Place d’Armes, located at L-1136 Luxembourg.

Place d’Armes
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Admire Modern Art at the Grand Duke Jean Museum of Modern Art

If you’re in the mood for contemporary art, you should head over to the Grand Duke Jean Museum of Modern Art.

The place opened in 2006 at the Park Drai Eechelen, which overlooks the city of Luxembourg.

Through the years, the museum has showcased the work of the most stirring artists of the modern period.

Grand Duke Jean Museum of Modern Art
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Their works aim to make you think and ponder your place in the world.

Many renowned modern-day artists have seen their creations exhibited at the museum.

Visit the Grand Duke Jean Museum of Modern Art at 3, Park Drai Eechelen, L-1499 Luxembourg-Kirchberg.

Take Photos of the Monument of the Place de la Constitution

Place de la Constitution
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Through the “Gelle Fra” monument, which was built in 1923, the city of Luxembourg honors the memory of the Luxembourgers who fought and died in World War I.

You can find this monument at the Place de la Constitution, built on top of the ancient Beck bastion.

The square also provides tourists with an unforgettable view of the Petrusse Valley and the Adolphe Bridge.

You can find the Place de la Constitution at the Boulevard Roosevelt.

Take in the View from the Le Chemin de la Corniche

 Le Chemin de la Corniche
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Dubbed “the most beautiful balcony in Europe,” Le Chemin de la Corniche is Luxembourg’s top attraction for a reason.

Both the Spaniards and the French built the structure in the 17thcentury.

 Le Chemin de la Corniche
Dennis Jarvis from Halifax, Canada, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Running across the city ramparts, the edifice also follows the Alzette valley.

The Corniche starts from the Bock Promontory and ends at the lower part of the Holy Ghost Citadel.

After the main fortress was dismantled, the Corniche revealed a majestic view of the entire Alzette valley, the Grund city district, and the Rham Plateau.

Relive a Millennia of History Through the Wenzel Circular Walk

A rich sense of history follows every step you take in Luxembourg, especially if you follow the Wenzel Circular Walk.

Join this guided tour, and you’ll venture into the city’s oldest quarters, as well as get a closer look at the fortress works.

You’ll see why the city was named as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1994.

Among the historical sites you’ll encounter on the walk are the Bock promontory, the city’s cradle, so to speak, and the Le Chemin de la Corniche, “the most beautiful balcony in Europe.”

Finally, you will also see the castle bridge, built in 1735.

The walk owes its name to the Duke of Luxembourg, Wenceslas II, who ruled the city from 1383 to 1419.

Under his reign, the third ring, or the Wenzel Wall, was added to the fortifications, protecting the people in the valley.

The tour begins from the Luxembourg City Tourist Office at Place Guillaume II.

Get Lost in the Splendor of Grund

Grund District
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Luxembourg’s Grund District is a historical and architectural wonder.

Named as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994, the district offers tourists a glimpse of what the old city looked like before modern times.

The Grund is now home to fewer than 1,000 inhabitants and boasts zero traffic.

Its cobbled streets have been preserved, many of which date back to the 10thcentury.

Likewise, many of the buildings reach back to the 14th century, emphasizing the quaint historic charm of the neighborhood.

While strolling along the district, you can also stop by several shops, as well as a two-star Michelin restaurant.

The district also hosts the National Museum of Natural History.

Remember History at the Luxembourg American Cemetery

Feeling pensive? You can visit the Luxembourg American Cemetery and pay tribute to the millions of soldiers who made the greatest sacrifice in the European theater of World War II.

Established in December 1944, the cemetery is the final resting place of 5,070 soldiers who fought in the Battle of the Bulge and the Rhine advance.

Luxembourg American Cemetery
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The United States’ famous General George S. Patton is also buried there since he had made Luxembourg the headquarters of the US Third Army.

When you enter the cemetery, you’ll find 17 acres of manicured lawn surrounded by 33.5 acres of woods.

You’ll also find the Memorial Chapel, marvelously designed to honor the men and women who rest there.

The Luxembourg American Cemetery is located at 50 Val du Scheid, 2517 Luxembourg, Luxembourg.

Go on a Photo Walk at the Adolphe Bridge

Adolphe Bridge
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The Adolphe Bridge is also one of Luxembourg’s many historical sites.

Erected between 1900 and 1903 under the reign of its namesake, the Grand Duke Adolphe, the bridge used to be the world’s most famous bridge.

This was because it had the world’s biggest stone arch at the time.

View from Adolphe Bridge
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Spanning over 85 meters, this double arch crosses the Petrusse valley.

The bridge itself stands at 42 meters high and is 153 meters long.

You can cross the Adolphe Bridge at Uewerstad L-116 Luxembourg.

Ride the Famous Pfaffenthal Lift

It may just be an elevator, but the Pfaffenthal Lift has become one of Luxembourg’s hottest attractions. Why?

When you take the elevator, you’ll be able to feast your eyes on an exquisite sweeping panorama of the entire city, from 71 meters high.

People at Pfaffenthal Lift
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The lift is also wide enough to fit pedestrians and cyclists.

The Pfaffenthal Lift takes passengers from the Pfaffenthal area at the Alzette valley up to the “Pescatore” park in the city center. Most importantly, the lift is also free to use.

You can find the Pfaffenthal Lift at 2 Rue de Pont, 2344 Luxembourg.

Learn Art and History at the National Museum of History and Art

What’s a historical tour without stopping by a museum?

If you plan to visit Luxembourg, make sure to put the National Museum of History and Art in your itinerary.

At the museum, you’ll see a bunch of artwork and historical artifacts like a mosaic, circa 240 AD, taken from the Roman villa at Vichten.

You’ll also find several Art Deco objects made by the porcelain manufacturer Villeroy & Boch.

The art rooms also display the works of the world-famous photographer Edward Steichen.

The museum also offers themed tours, so you can enjoy a richer experience.

The National Museum of Art and History can be found at Marche-aux-Poissons L-2345 Luxembourg City.

Feel Like a Royalty at the Grand Ducal Palace

Grand Ducal Palace
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Ever feel like being a duke or a duchess? Now you can live your royal dreams by visiting the Grand Ducal Palace in Luxembourg.

Since it is the residence of nobility, the Grand Ducal family, the palace sits in the heart of the Old Town.

The palace also used to be the site of Luxembourg’s first town hall until its destruction in 1554.

Twenty years later, the town hall was rebuilt.

During the 18th century, the building was extended for the former City Scales, while the Parliament became its annex in 1859.

The Grand Duke began living in the Palace officially in 1890.

During the summer, you can visit the Grand Ducal Palace at 17 Rue du Marche-aux-Herbes, L-1728 Luxembourg.

Learn City History at the Letzebuerg City Museum

Letzebuerg City Museum
Michael Kramer, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

If you want to learn more about the history of this tiny country, you should stop by the Letzebuerg City Museum.

This museum displays the permanent exhibit called “The Luxembourg Story,” which reveals the one-thousand-year history of the city through artifacts, multimedia projections, and models.

Four historic buildings also house the museum.

Built between the 17th and 19th centuries, these buildings attest to the historical significance of the museum itself.

Some of these buildings’ foundations still date back to the medieval period.

You can also ride the museum’s huge lift, able to carry up to 65 people as it makes its way along the museum’s ancient walls.

The Letzebuerg City Museum is located at 14, Rue du Saint-Esprit, L-2090 Luxembourg City.

Listen to Classical Music at the Philharmonie Luxembourg

Philharmonie Luxembourg
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Get a taste of European culture by going to a performance at the Philharmonie Luxembourg, which is also one of Europe’s finest concert halls.

Every year, 150,000 music-lovers from across the European Union visit the Philharmonie.

Since its opening in 2005, 1.5 million people have already attended the 3,500 events held at the hall.

The concert hall’s resident orchestra, the Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg, continues to play outstanding concerts during the annual season.

The orchestra is also known for its musical diversity and its dedication to artistic quality and integrity.

So, even if you’ve never seen an orchestra before, you’ll surely be amazed.

The Philharmonie Luxembourg is located at 1, Place de l’Europe, L-1499 Luxembourg City.

Final Thoughts

Luxembourg is a city steeped in history. You’ll see it in every building you come across and every cobbled street you traverse.

However, this doesn’t mean the city is a musty and dusty place only old people will like.

Whether a splendid view or a memorable attraction, Luxembourg has something for everyone.

When you finally go on your much-awaited European vacation, make sure to put down Luxembourg as one of your stops.

Your trip will be incomplete if you don’t!

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