Thinking about spending a weekend in one of Europe’s smallest countries but not sure what to expect or what to do once you get there? Check out this ‘Must Do Luxembourg’ to start exploring the Grand Duchy.
1. Casemates du Bock.
Explore the underground tunnels of the Casemates du Bock, a UNESCO World Heritage site in the heart of the city. Built in 1644, the fortifications stood to protect the city during the era of the Spanish domination. Often referred to as the ‘Gibraltar of the North,’ the subterranean passages have been open to the public since 1933 and currently cost €6 to enter and explore for as long as you like, worth it if only for the sweeping views over the Alzette.
2. Wine & Dine by the river along the Rue Münster.
With culinary options ranging in style and in price (including a Michelin starred restaurant!), this area is home to several places ideal for stopping for a drink or an evening meal. Many of the cafes and restaurants along the Rue Münster have their own courtyards backing onto the river making it a popular spot when the sun is shining. Alternatively, head to the UpDown Bar’s underground bar for a great place to have a drink and enjoy the atmosphere on a Friday or Saturday night.
3. Walk, Ride or Run through the Vallée de la Pétrusse.
A lovely spot in the early morning or late evening to exercise or simply stroll through whilst enjoying the shade of the trees and the stunning steep slopes leading to the bastions perched on the city’s edge high above. This park is particularly nice for a romantic walk along one of the streams leading to the larger Alzette river. The park also consists of a state of the art skate park, outdoor gym facilities and a mini golf course – something for everyone!
4. Watch the sun set over the city from Fort Obergrünewald.
Now this is a must in my personal opinion. Whenever I travel to new places, I always seek to find a spot that provides sweeping views of the city, be it from a man-made building or from a natural landscape. After a steep, stepped climb to the top, this former Fort is a great place to sit and watch the sun go down over the city. The best thing about the steep climb is not just the rewarding view but also the fact that it means it isn’t crowded; quite the opposite in fact, you may well find yourself admiring Luxembourg on your own.
5. Buy fresh, local produce from the Market.
With a fresh produce market in the centre of the city every Saturday, you simply can’t go past without smelling or tasting something. From cheeses and hams to fresh flowers and garlic, all the produce is locally sourced, if not from Luxembourg itself then from neighbouring France, Germany or the Netherlands – one of the many benefits of being landlocked by surrounding European countries. I would suggest picking up a few items to enjoy a lunchtime picnic.
6. Picnic in one of the city’s endless riverside spots.
A picnic along the Alzette is a must do in this city as I feel like this really was a memorable moment on my first trip to Luxembourg. After sourcing some local delicacies such as a Bretzel or Luxembourg’s damson plum tart, a Quetschentaart, follow the winding gravel pathways along the river until you find a nice spot to stop. My personal favourite is by the gardens below the Casemates du Bock.
7. Pfaffenthal Lift.
A free-standing platform and lift from the valley below to the edge of the city centre above, provides yet more stunning views of this underrated European city, whilst also serving as a convenient means of transportation without having to scale the numerous staircases. The viewing platform and lift are both completely free and I can definitely recommend taking the quick ride in the lift from the top to the bottom (and back again!).