“You’re going to Luxembourg? Why?!” was a question I received a lot in the weeks leading up to my weekend away in the tiny city-state. While I’d like to say it was on some kind of highly lucrative tax-dodging business, in fact I was drawn there by my Kiwi friend Gabrielle, who now lives and works there. However, when we drew the blinds and saw this perfect day in front of us, I couldn’t wait to get out and explore. Here’s a taster of what you can see and do in a weekend in Luxembourg.
Wander the medieval walls
The Romans spotted the significance of Luxembourg’s location early on, with a tower guarding the crossing of two Roman roads at the site of the city. There were fortifications from as early as 983, although the most famous are those constructed in the 17th and 18th centuries, which were so strong and impregnable that they earned Luxembourg the title of “Gibraltar of the North”. It’s not surprising the Luxembourgers felt the need for strong walls, given it was conquered at various stages by the Burgundians, Spanish, French, Austrians and Prussians!
Most of the fortifications have now been torn down, as part of a deal brokered to stop France and Prussia battling over the city. However, you can still see the old gates, towers and walls, and also visit the tunnels!
Visit the markets
Luxembourg has a fairly large number of weekly and monthly markets for its size. We visited the Place Guillaume II market, which takes place on Wednesdays and Saturdays, to stock up on ginger cake and other delicious nibbles!
Explore the Grund
The Grund was one of my favourite areas of the city. In it, the Pétrusse River runs along the foot of the cliffs of the city and has a beautiful park that embraces it. I’ve written a separate post on the park as it was a beautiful walk, but I can’t say enough that it’s a must-do on a visit here. The colours of the autumn leaves really made it for me, and on both days it was a popular spot for runners and strollers alike.
Reflect at the Gëlle Fra
Formally known as the Monument of Remembrance but informally known by Luxembourgers as the Golden Lady, this elegant statute is dedicated to the thousands of Luxembourgers who volunteered to serve for the Allies in World War I.
Relax in a park
Luxembourg is a beautifully green city and on a sunny day there’s many places to relax and take in some Vitamin D. As well as the park by the Pétrusse we spent some time in the Edmund Klein park to the west of the centre – and rediscovered our inner kiddies on the swings!
Grab a drink or bite to eat by the river
The original site of the Old City, the part of the Grund at the base of the walls is a great place to imbibe, with lots of restaurants and bars. I was fascinated to see the mix of French and German in the menus and cuisines… and of course the language of Luxembourgish*!
* Yep, it’s really called Luxembourgish! Amazing…
Soak up a beautiful sunset
Time it just right and you might get these incredible colours on the autumn leaves, or perhaps the silhouette of the sunset over the city – magic!
We had a lovely relaxing weekend in Luxembourg, and I just could not get over the amazing autumn colours. It was a fantastic destination for a city-break – compact, pretty and peaceful. Are you tempted to go yourself now?