"A Wonderful Secret" Luxembourg by DueSer
Luxembourg Travel Guide: 1,520 reviews and 4,218 photos
What a delight this country is! I have always been fascinated by countries that are so small and completely surrounded by other, larger, nations and yet manage to hang on to their sovereignty So, when I had the chance to go to Luxembourg, I jumped at it.
Upon my arrival, I discovered that my hotel was a very long walk from the train station and it was, of course, pouring rain, but the rain didn't last long and when I dried off, I was able to go out and see this beautiful country. Dramatic valleys, winding cobblestone streets, and was I the only American here? It was bizarre but for some reason, Luxembourg gets ZERO attention in the US as a travel destination.
I'm torn because more attention would be deserving - there's so much to see and enjoy - and yet more attention would ruin a lot of this country's charm, I think. Tour buses and large groups parading behind a woman with a microphone...yeah, I don't think so.
So visit Luxembourg but don't tell anyone about it:-)
The coolest thing about getting out of the capital is to see countryside that looks straight out of a fairy tale. Down in a green valley, roads wind around dense forests with mist hanging between the trees. Smoke puffs out of a small house's chimney...it looks like Buttercup is waiting for Wesley to return any moment now, or a knight in shining armour riding his horse is going to come barreling out of those misty woods right in front of your car.
The car is really the only anomaly in the scene but unfortunately, there are a lot of areas in Luxembourg inaccessible except by car or foot. Rental cars are rather expensive (unless you can drive stick and get a cheaper model) but it's worth the cost to be able to venture out of the towns and into some of these hidden gems.
Don't worry about getting lost either. I had been told it was impossible in Luxembourg and it's true. I drove around all day in a rental car and even when I made a wrong turn, I realized it immediately and easily went back and got on the right road.
Luxembourg, the city, not the country, is an interesting place. The heart of the city rests on an outcropping of stone perched high above a river gorge so there are a lot of bridges. There's also some terrific views.
Winding streets are also plentiful as well as little alleyways allowing you to sneak between two shops and emerge into a large square that otherwise looks closed off. Needless to say, it's easy to get turned around here so carry a map. They have them for free at the tourist center in Place d'Armes.
Also important to know - most people (outside of the helpful people at the tourist center) don't speak English. I can't really blame them, they already have three languages swirling around in their brain. There is a national language unique to the country as well as French and German. So brush up on one of those before you visit.
It is surprisingly inexpensive in Luxembourg. They use the Euro but, for example, a 5 Euro phone card lasted about 5 seconds in Belgium but gave me more than an hour of talk time in Lux. I got a delicious strawberry tart at the Oberweis bakery for only 95c and had a delicious lunch for under 10Euros. Their food leans toward French and it is wonderful.
The only problem I saw was with tourism. They really aren't geared for it (again - a plus and a minus). All the postcards I saw looked like they'd been printed in the 70s and other tourist items were old-style as well - giant pencils, bottle openers, etc. So you need to make your own souvenirs - buy some wine or something in an antique shop that catches your eye. If you're a postcard collector - try Notre Dame. Just inside the church they have a quite nice selection of cards and they're not just of the church but the city as well.
- Pros:Castles, French food, gorgeous views, and very few tourists.
- Cons:I wish there was better access to some parts of the country.
- In a nutshell:Relatively easy to get there, don't miss Luxembourg.
This area, viewed from all along Avenue Marie-Therese and Boulevard F.D.R. is beautiful and historical. These stone... more travel advice
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DueSer's Related Pages
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