I have visited Luxembourg many years ago as a child with my family. Since it was many years ago, sadly I don’t recall too much about my visit there.
I would love to visit Luxembourg again sometime soon and hopefully refresh some of the memories from my last visit there.
This time I plan on getting the full Luxembourg experience, so I have done my research beforehand and have compiled a list of popular places to visit, sites to see and things to do when I visit Luxembourg. This way I won’t miss out on any of them.
What is Luxembourg famous for? Luxembourg is popular for being one of the richest countries in the world. The official name of Luxembourg is the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. Also, Luxembourg is well-known for being one of the safest countries in the world, with only 2 prisons and 1300 policemen.
The culture of Luxembourg is a mix of their neighbors, the French and Germans, in fact, the 3 official languages of the country are Luxembourgish (the national language), French and German.
So if you know a bit of either of the latter two, you’ll find it much easier to navigate around Luxembourg.
For a vacationist, the allure of Luxembourg lies in its many, many historic sites and culture.
A lot of the sites can be found in the country’s capital Luxembourg City itself.
Like the Grand Ducal Palace, Cathédrale Notre-Dame, Grund, Fort Thüngen, Casemates du Bock, etc.
In addition to that, there are spectacular natural locations you can visit too, like the Schéissendëmpel Waterfall and the Mullerthal Trail.
And don’t forget the entertainment spots for children, Parc Merveilleux, and Escher Déierepark, etc.
Below I give a list of some of the most famous places in Luxembourg to visit and some interesting facts about them too.
Grand Ducal Palace, Luxembourg City
The Grand Ducal Palace in Luxembourg City has been the official residence of the Grand Duke of Luxembourg since 1890.
Before that, it was used for other purposes including serving as the City hall of Luxembourg and being used by the Nazis during WWII as a tavern and concert hall.
The palace is open for tours from July to September and each year thousands of people visit it. It is one of the buildings in Luxembourg that is most photographed by tourists.
The National Museum of History and Art, MNHA
Looking at just the building of The National Museum of History and Art in Luxembourg City, you would think it showcases modern artifacts.
But be prepared to be surprised as the MNHA offers a large collection of historical artifacts and works of art related to the history of Luxembourg that is going to marvel you.
Standing on a rocky headland, the dominating feature of the town of Vianden, the Vianden Castle has origins that date back to the 10th century. It was constructed on old Roman ruins.
It was originally built in the Romanesque style and later on Gothic and Renaissance components were added.
This majestic castle is open to visitors throughout the year so there won’t be any chance of you missing out on this.
This is the only cathedral in Luxembourg. Situated in the city of Luxembourg, Notre-Dame Cathedral is Roman Catholic.
This was originally built as a Jesuit church. The construction for the church had begun in 1613 and had finished in 1621.
Of course, later on, the church was expanded and modified.
It boasts late Gothic-style architecture but also has a lot of Renaissance components mixed in.
NOTE: The remains of the Grand Dukes and Duchess of Luxembourg are placed in the crypt of the cathedral.
If you are traveling with your kids, then this is definitely a place to take them to.
The Parc Merveilleux in Bettembourg is an amusement park that has a wide variety of attractions that will interest your kids.
One such attraction is the exotic animals and birds from 5 continents displayed in their natural habitats.
Some other fun activities offered are a miniature railway, adventure playgrounds, fairytale scenes, a pony ranch, children’s self-driven cars, etc.
Here you can find entertainment as well as get some peace and quiet.
NOTE: You can visit the park on any day from Easter to early October.
The Adolphe Bridge or the Nei Bréck (New Bridge) as the locals call it, with its splendid views from the top and the quiet park beneath it, is one of the most famous tourist attraction sites in Luxembourg City
It was built between 1900 – 1903 and is named after the Grand Duke Adolphe. Until 1905, this was the world’s biggest stone arch bridge.
The reason it is called the New Bridge despite being more than 100 years old, is because there was an older bridge at the time of the construction of the Adolphe Bridge.
Although not officially stated, it is considered a national symbol of Luxembourg.
Casemates du Bock
The casemates du Bock were actually built by the Spanish in 1644 during their reign over Luxembourg.
The casemates are an immense complex of underground tunnels and galleries.
This was built under the site of Count Siegfried’s mighty fort. Today this is the old historical district in Luxembourg.
Place Guillaume II
As the locals informally call it, the Knuedler (referring to the knot in the belt of the Franciscan friars) or the Place Guillaume II, is a medieval town square in Luxembourg City.
The square was initially the site of a Franciscan monastery, which is how it got its colloquial name Knuedler.
The square is named in honor of Grand Duke William II and also the eastern side of the square boasts a splendid 175-year-old equestrian statue of him.
Today it is a venue for open markets, the Town Hall, the Luxembourg tourist office, and also feasts and open-air concerts.
If you happen to be a bit more outdoorsy and prefer nature activities on your travels, the Mullerthal Trail is ideal for you.
It is a 112km(69.5 miles) trail that offers an experience of pastures, lush forests, breathtaking rock formations, and beautiful waterways.
This trail not only offers natural experiences but also cultural ones too. Such as the City of Echternach that is a part of the trail, is a prominent cultural and historical center of the region.
Beaufort Renaissance Castle and Distillery
Close to the site of the Renaissance Castle in Beaufort, Müllerthal, you can also visit the older Knights Castle. But our focus is the Renaissance Castle and its distillery.
Since its construction almost 360 years ago, the castle has remained mostly unchanged.
Its owner since 1928 Edmond Linckels opened the castle to the public.
He also invented a blackcurrant liqueur that is popular in Luxembourg called “Cassero” in 1930. Production of Cassero still continues in the castle’s cellars today and you can get a taste of it if you ever decide to visit the castle.
Even today the richly furnished interiors and prosperous gardens, distillery and stable are in the same conditions since its last owners, the Linckels, inhabited the castle.
Another impressive sight to behold in Mullerthal is this picturesque and humble little waterfall flowing under a beautiful stone bridge on the Black Ernz river.
The awe-inspiring rock formations and natural setting of the waterfall and its surroundings is a sight for sore eyes. You would definitely not want to miss this one!
This is certainly one of the most visited excursion sites in Mullerthal. This is also a part of the Mullerthal Trail Route 3.
This 12th-century castle lies in the center of the town of Clervaux.
Since its beginnings, more buildings were added to the original structure of the Clervaux Castle. Then during the WWII Battle of the Bulge, the castle was destroyed.
However, it was fully repaired transforming it into what it is today.
Today part of the castle houses the local administration and a part is made into a museum, an exhibition of models of castles in Luxembourg, and a photographic exhibition.
So sadly it’s a medieval castle only on the outside. But it is still a top tourist attraction spot in Luxembourg.
This is more of an experience that you will not forget.
This is the Panoramic Elevator of the Pfaffenthal.
This glass elevator ride takes you from the Pescatore park in the city center to the Pfaffenthal area at the bottom of the Alzette valley.
A ride in the elevator is free for everyone.
It takes you from the super modern to the ancient in just a few minutes, that is you can go from the modern Luxembourg town to the old town in just minutes. Call it a time machine if you will.
Do you want to get the feel of a calm, quaint countryside village, take a walk and savor the experience?
You can do just that in the picturesque Grund quarter.
Despite being walking distance from the city of Luxembourg, Grund still holds its small-village ambiance.
It is charming and is rich in history, from the medieval buildings to the 10th century cobbled streets.
NOTE: It is located on the banks of the Alzette river.
Admire hundreds of exotic butterflies in their natural habitat.
The Jardin des Papillons or Butterfly Garden of Grevenmacher in eastern Luxembourg has around 30 – 40 species of exotic butterflies that fly around freely.
The environment for them is made up of a wide diversity of plants and flowers.
The Bourscheid Castle stands grandly above the River Sûre. It is confined within a circular wall with 11 watchtowers.
Archaeological evidence found at the site of the castle have structures that date back to the Roman times.
You can visit the castle at any day of the year, it is open all year round.
Fort Thüngen and Musée Dräi Eechelen
Originally a vast fortification in Luxembourg City, Fort Thüngen today is a museum, the Musée Dräi Eechelen.
The museum exhibits some 600 artifacts that illustrate the country’s history from 1443 to 1903.
The interesting fact is that the exhibitions are held in underground chambers or castmates. So the building itself is an important part of the exhibition.
The acorn atop each of the three towers of the fort has given it the local name the Three Acorns, or Dräi Eechelen in Luxembourgish.
A majority of the original fort was destroyed after the Treaty of London in 1867. But during the 1990s it was rebuilt completely to what it is today.
Let’s admit it, children aren’t always that eager to visit historical sites and museums all the time, especially much younger ones.
Well if you are planning on visiting Luxembourg with your children, make a note of the Escher Déierepark in Esch-sur-Alzette.
It is a zoo that hosts a range of animals such as deer, goats, rabbits, etc.
Sure they aren’t rare or exotic animals but the fun is in feeding the animals and spending some time with them. Exotic or not doesn’t make much of a difference to children!
NOTE: It also has fun playgrounds for them to play in and places for you to relax in.
Minett Park Fond-de-Gras
The Minett Park Fond-de-Gras is an open-air museum.
The highlights of the park are the Fond-de-Gras and Lasauvage.
Fond-de-Gras was one of the most significant mining centers in Luxembourg in the past.
Today it consists of numerous historic buildings related to the mining activities that took place there, such as an electric power station, railway station and railway sheds, and an old grocery store, etc.
It also includes two historic trains.
The train 1900 which was formerly used to transport iron ore, today offers you a ride on the former Mining Line, between Pétange and Fond-de-Gras.
The Minièresbunn rides between Fond-de-Gras and Lasauvage. It’s one stunning experience when it takes you down to the bottom of the mine.
Then take a walk through the charming village of Lasauvage, which was one of the oldest steel facilities in Luxembourg. It was a forge built in 1625.
Many of the buildings of the village at the time of its glory still stands today, so this is another historical experience you will cherish.
By day a ruin by night a fairytale castle… well almost.
What was once a proud castle built in 927, today lies in ruins.
When it was first built, the Esch-sur-Sûre Castle only had the 8×8 meter square tower and some farm buildings. Later on, as times changed, more components were added such as extra defenses and the castle was expanded.
However, the troops of Louis XIV dismantled the castle in 1685, leaving out the outer wall as many of the houses at that time used it as their back wall. Some of these exist even today.
Currently, the site is open to the public. And it is illuminated in the evening contributing to its fairytale look.
The historically and culturally rich Ville Haute is home to prestigious monuments, buildings, and places.
It is the historical center of Luxembourg City and is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
In addition to having many ancient spots, Vill Haute also has many high-end shops, restaurants with fine food, bars, and other trendy spots.
It is a lively area with a fantastic nightlife.
Some of the famous sights in Ville Haute are Notre-Dame Cathedral, Place Guillaume II, Gëlle Fra war memorial, and the Grand Ducal Palace, etc.
The Passerelle also called the Luxembourg Viaduct, is the Old Bridge as referred to by the locals of Luxembourg City.
The new bridge is the Adolphe Bridge I mentioned earlier in this post.
The Passerelle was built to connect the city center with the new railway station of Luxembourg at that time. Construction took place between 1859 and 1861.
National Museum of Military History
Owning more than 3000 meters of square space, the National Museum of Military History in Diekirch gives you an insight into the tragic situations both the civilians and the soldiers were caught in during the war.
It exhibits a wide range of war artifacts such as military weaponry and vehicles, uniforms, all kinds of military equipment, maps and documents, etc.
It also showcases a photographic archive and lifesize dioramas that display soldiers in action.
Additionally, there are also numerous personal belongings of soldiers on display.
One of the highlights of the museum is its detailed mock-up of the units of the United States 5th Infantry Division, crossing the Sauer river at Diekirch on the night of January 18, 1945.
A second part of the museum is dedicated solely to the military of Luxembourg since the date Luxembourg became a state to the present day.
NOTE: There are special exhibits giving an insight into the daily military life too.
Gëlle Fra The Monument of Remembrance
Gëlle Fra is a war memorial in Luxembourg city that is dedicated to all Luxembourgers who volunteered their services to the armed forces of the Allied Powers during WWI, WWII and the Korean War.
It is situated in the Constitution Square, in the Ville Haute.
A gilded bronze statue of the goddess of victory, “Nike” holding a laurel wreath, stands atop the 21-meter tall granite obelisk centerpiece of the monument.
Last but not least, to take a break from the past, visit the Casino 2000.
It is a complex that houses gaming facilities, restaurants, accommodation facilities, concerts, gambling, shows and performances, dinner shows, and offers you a range of fun cultural activities to choose from.
It is only a distance of 18 minutes from Luxembourg City so don’t miss out on this one either.
Enjoy a night of fun, thrilling and exciting activities on your stay in Luxembourg.