Indiguide: Luxembourg City

indigo guide to the world (resized)

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If you’re looking for crazy, bustling, metropolitan cities, then Luxembourg is probably not the place for you. Luxembourg City only has a population of 100,000 so be aware that it’s a small city located in a small country. However, it is still a really interesting city, and people often describe it as idyllic and say it reminds them of a fairy-tale town (think fictional Genovia from The Princess Diaries). It’s a fairly rich country and this means that the government heavily subsidizes lots of things so many tourist attractions and bus transport are usually pretty cheap. Luxembourg has three national languages (French, German and the local Luxembourgish) but with 40% of the population being foreign, English will work fine most of the time.

Luxembourg (6)

Get there

EasyJet flies directly to Luxembourg from London for about £40 if you book well in advance. Flights to Luxembourg from other UK cities usually involve a stopover in a major airport like Amsterdam or Paris and will be more expensive. There is a frequent bus directly from the airport into the city centre. Bus is also the easiest way of getting around Luxembourg City itself; there’s even an app (Mobiliteit.lu) that’ll tell you times and lines for both trains and buses from any stop or station within Luxembourg. High-speed trains from Paris, Brussels and other major European cities can easily reach Luxembourg.

Sleep

The youth hostel in Luxembourg City is actually really nice, if a little stereotypical. It’s located in the Grund, which isn’t technically the city centre, but the place is so small it’s still incredibly close (only a 10 minute walk/5 minute bus ride away). It’s about €24,65 per person per night including bed sheets, breakfast and Wi-Fi. If you want something a bit more active, there’s another nice hostel just outside the city which features a climbing wall, a ropes course and mountain biking. These hostels are all run by the same company and they have an easily navigable website in English. If you arrive by train there are several cheaper hotels in the area by the train station. This area can get a bit unsafe (prostitution and drug dealing) at night though, so you might not be comfortable wandering around there after a night out, but in the day time it’s absolutely no problem.

Eat

Because Luxembourg is one of the richest countries in the world be aware that food and drink can be quite expensive. Depending on when you decide to visit Luxembourg (end of August/beginning of September or around Christmas) you can try the local snack food, Gromperekichelcher, from a stall. Gromperekichelcher are basically fried potato cakes and they’re amazing. The rest of the local food is quite similar to French and German food – think bratwurst or steak and frites. Maybe Not Bob’s is a pub-style restaurant that does lovely burgers. If you’re opposite the palace and it’s cold out, definitely stop at the Chocolate House for incredible hot chocolate. Chi-Chi’s is an inexpensive Mexican restaurant that still serves good food and free margaritas – if you book a table online. There are loads of other restaurants on the main squares (Place d’Armes and Place Guillaume) so just have a wander. Luxembourg has the typical fast food places like McDonald’s and Pizza Hut, and if you’re feeling only halfway adventurous try Quick, the French version of McDonald’s. I recommend trying a glass of crémant in any restaurant; it’s Luxembourg’s own version of champagne – just as nice and much cheaper! If you’re interested in wine, check out restaurant Le Chiggeri, which has the largest wine list in the world.

Luxembourg (Mariam Hayat)

See

A quick sight to see is the Golden Lady, also known as the ‘Gele Fra’, an attractive war memorial with an amazing view over the Grund. You can then either take a gentle stroll down into the Grund, or head into town and take a lift. Either way, it’s definitely worth a visit and if weather permits, sit on a terrace near the river and have a few drinks! There are loads of restaurants and bars around, especially near the lift area. In town you might as well stop by the palace. It’s not huge but is still nice and you can take pictures with the guards outside it. The casemates are one of Luxembourg’s main tourist attractions and are currently on the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites. These are fortifications built into the natural rocky cliffs on which this city is located; they were used in the Middle Ages to protect the city and then during World War Two as bomb shelters.

Luxembourg (2)

Nightlife

Nightlife isn’t huge in Luxembourg, especially mid-week, although it can get busier around the weekend. The main nightlife areas are in the city centre or the Grund, specifically an area called Clausen. In the city you find White and Bypass as the two main clubs but they are quite expensive and a bit posh. For bars and pubs in the city, try Interview and Rocas. Interview is quite cheap and usually has a younger, more international crowd. Down in Clausen I would recommend the Pyg. It’s an Irish pub with a mostly British staff and expats often go here. Just across the bridge is where you’ll find a pedestrian strip of bars, clubs and restaurants. Here you’ll find a converted beer brewery where you can have dinner or drinks. You’ll also find a couple of other clubs, Verso and Ikki, here.

Cost

If done right, around £250 per person for 3 nights.

Photographs: Bregje de Vet, Illustrations:

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