Described as a multidimensional township, Luxembourg City is the capital of the Grand Duchy, the industrial pole, and the largest town in the country. From UNESCO registered heritage sites to countless museums, galleries, and monumental structures; the entire town is a collective illustration of art and cultural stature. Luxury is found in the modern, and ancient, the infrastructure of the urbanscape, ladled with breathtaking residential architectures, fine diners, and fashionable art galleries.
Established in the southernmost part of the country, metropolitan is the gateway to other fascinating localities in Gutland valleys and further to highlands of Ardennes; hence numerous trekking trails start at the vicinity. To discover the best of Luxembourg City, here is a list of 15 must-visit spots in the capital of the Grand Duchy.
1. Castle of Luxembourg and Old Quarters
To get acquainted with Luxembourg’s history, it is only fair to start with its main castle; a true remark of the country’s very beginning. Noted for its strategic position, the chateau’s defensive success has earned the nickname Gibraltar of the North. Because of its engineering and positioning, the castle was virtually formidable. The side fortification, as the first defensive barricade, has been deteriorated after encountering several wars, in particular WWII; although the castle itself has retained its rustic charm. A section of the castle serves as a War Museum, with extensive collections of warfare material, strategic scriptures, and belongings of significant Luxembourgish personas.
The entire of Luxembourg’s old quarters are designated as UNESCO Heritage Site, including the bridges, castle and ramparts, and the urban apartments, dating from Middle Ages. Flanked by the monuments that have preserved the history in them, the old town presents the visitors with hearty accommodations, typical restaurants, and cafeterias. Walk on the placid stone-paved streets, fringed with gardens and small markets, and enjoy the golden view of the town on the sunset, atop the ancient bridges of Luxembourg.
2. Casemates du Bock
Cliff of Bock perches next to the ancient castle, in the northern part of the old town. During the Spanish rulings in the 16th century, the pre-existing natural network of caves, this hill was constructed into a 21 kilometer stretch of casement; an estimate shows that it housed over 35,000 prisoners at the time.
As an integral complex to jail and punish many captives, the chambers were designed as dungeons, jails, slaughterhouses, kitchen, workshops, and stables. You can visit the Bock’s casements on your own, or for a cultural immersion benefit from audio and tour guides to the uncanny details of this atmospheric cave’s past.
3. Pont du Château, Passerelle and Adolphe Bridges
The bridge that connected the Bock cliff to the old town is one of the most charming attractions of the town. The double-story bridge of Pont du Château was built years after the Spaniard casements by another foreign ruler, Emperor Joseph II of Austria. This bridge is visited for its historic merit, its passages that cross under the arches, and the outstanding view over the cityscape, river, and Black and White Ernz valleys.
Passerelle bridge lies closer to the focal points of the metropolitan, and yet, closer to contemporary history. It was constructed in the 19th century by a British Urban Construction Company- in Neo-classic design- and best known for its picturesque perspectives.
Another renowned bridge that lounges on the Pétrusse river is Pont Adolphe, dedicated to Luxembourg’s grand duke. It is perhaps, by all means, the most beautiful bridge in Luxembourg, with a double arch. Construction of the bridge began in the 20th century and it once was recognized as the longest stone masonry arch bridge, prior to construction of Rockville Bridge.
4. Grand Ducal Palace
Once resided by the Grand Duke of Luxembourg, the palace is aristocratic, artistic, and a source of architectural astonishment. On the exterior veneer, the mildly colored frescoes reflect the impressive 16th-century paintings by the Luxembourger artists, often belonging to Flemish school. The interior, however, glows with sharp colors and refined ornaments such as painted ceilings, renowned canvases that adorned multiple rooms and passages, chromatic designs, and combinations that have painted each room otherworldly.
Occasional artifacts inherited from the former royal residence, recall the magnitude of this historic structure. Right across the palace, cafes and rooftop restaurants permit the visitors to admire the facade of Palais while savoring the taste of typical delicacies.
5. Citadel of the Holy Spirit
Soaring on the craggy cliffs of Luxembourg City, La Citadelle du Saint-Esprit was formed by a notable military engineer in the 13th century. Thereafter, further extensions were added, and the citadel performed in strategical undertakings during the 16th century Spanish and 17th-century Franciscan monarchies. Noted for its breathtaking vistas, the fortress overlooks the horizons of a prominent topography with valleys, rivers, and castles.
One of the considerable buildings seen from the barricades of the citadel is the church of Saint Michael. Located at the center of the Ville Haute quarter, it is sided by medieval apartments and a fresh fish market, bustling with shoppers. As the metropolis’s oldest edifice of faith, this church has faced major destructions during national and world wars- however, restored to its former glory each time.
Because of the multiple renovations, the current appearance echoes a fusion of art from various eras; for instance, the gothic vaults and a rococo altar on the inside, and on the exterior beaming with a baroque tower.
6. Notre-Dame Cathedral
Formerly intended as a church, the Notre-Dame Cathedral was developed in the early 17th century. Later, the Benedictine statue of Our Lady of Luxembourg (Fatima) was granted to the church, followed by an increase of its popularity in the 19th century as a cathedral-church. In the year 1935, the recognition of the church as the city’s cathedral inspired expansive constructions, the addition of finely sculpted statues, frescoes, and other attractive embellishments.
Two sculpted lions, masterfully illustrated by Luxembourg’s famous artist Trémont, mark the entrance to the cathedral; the baroque-renaissance styled gate that leads the way to the crypt of the king John of Bohemia, members of Grand Ducal dynasty and Luxembourg’s renaissance Count.
7. National Museum of History and Art
Paces from the church of Saint Michael rises the modern structure of the National Museum of History and Art; a treasure trove of Luxembourg’s history and its ancestry. At the ancient archaeological section, artifacts, scriptures, and relicts, predominantly from the Gallo-roman era, are displayed.
A series of exceptional artifacts date back to the Old Stone Ages. The historic treaties, documents, valuable artifacts of several monarchs, and even casual artifacts from middle ages, exhibit the history of Luxembourg from the 11th to 18th centuries.
8. Modern Art Museum and Gallery
Mudam or Grand Duke Jean Museum of Modern Art, houses and cherishes different fields of art, and masterpieces from Luxembourger and foreign artists. From paintings, sculptures, to conceptual and even video art, the gallery comprises a comprehensive collection of contemporary art pieces. The exhibitions are held permanently.
For a richer experience of Luxembourg’s art, visit the Am Tunnel. a small staircase leads the way to the underground auditorium, embracing a wealth of modern art masterpieces by over 100 artists- right beneath the bustling surface.
9. Luxembourg’s Concert Hall
Luxembourg’s Philharmonic Orchestra is one of the most impressive modern concert halls throughout Europe, constructed by the renowned French architect Christian de Portzamparc. Three lavishly designed saloons, house the music events; all unique in size, audience capacity, and decorations.
Regular concerts take place throughout the year, while the composers’ list beam with the world-famous classical musicians such as Francesco Tristano Schlimé and Christoph Sietzen. Get in touch with your musical spirit and visit the town’s magnificent orchestra for a night of delight and music.
Previously a paddock neighboring the old town, Kirchberg pinpoints the modern quarters of the Grand Duchy, and one of the stylish destinations in Europe. Considering the lack of natural resources and limitations on agricultural lands, the country relies on commerce, mostly built on the bank treaties with Germany and the Netherlands.
European Investment Bank and the commerce department of Luxembourg are located in Kirchberg, along with sophisticated cafes and restaurants, alternative night clubs, and a few world-famous bars. Treat yourself to a fine dining experience at the country’s posh quarters, while enjoying the sight of the ingenious architecture of the modern buildings and skyscrapers.
11. le Chemin de la Corniche
One of the most ancient spots in the city lies within the Walls of the Corniche that once presented the settlement’s defensive ramparts. At vicinity, Gate of the Grund is an ancient neighborhood filled with archeological structures and domed with century-old trees. Other noteworthy structures are the Dominicans convent, Abbey of Neumünster, Hospice St.-Jean, dating from medieval to renaissance time periods.
The stunning views from Corniche have acquired the title of “Europe’s most beautiful balcony”; overlooking Ville Haute quarters, Pétrusse river, and endless horizons of the southern valleys.
Grund is presumably the most unique area in the country when it comes to the geographical density of heritage sites; spending a day in these quarters to gaze with admiration at many historical monuments, is complemented with characteristic restaurants that serve enticing Luxembourgish dishes.
12. Place Guillaume II
Every city has a gathering point where it pulsates with livelihood, and in Luxembourg, the get-together is at Place Guillaume. At the center of the square, rises the monument of Grand Duke of Luxembourg. This landmark connects numerous historic edifices, including the town hall and the old quarters.
While it represents a popular tourist point, the residents visit the square for the weekly markets of flowers, fish, cheese and fresh produce, and even grab a beer at the town’s classic cafes for a friendly chat.
13. Luxembourg City History Museum
Luxembourg City History Museum is the place that modernism meets the ancient foundation; a complex of medieval buildings and a series canopy of cellars shine a light on the past ten centuries of Luxembourg. Along with the permanent exhibitions of Luxembourg’s archeological past and architectural development, the museum also exhibits temporary displays with relevant themes.
The new-age facilities of the museum are; the floating glass surface, along with a glass elevator that provides multidimensional views of the museum’s floors and perspectives of the Grund quarter and Rham hills. To learn about Luxembourg’s past, recognize its glories and sympathize with its falls, stop by the history museum, and enjoy the complete detail with the available audio guides.
14. Fort Thüngen
In the quarters of Kirchberg, one of the most distinguished fortifications of the country is known as Fort Thüngen. The fortress lounges in Dräi Eechelen Park, covering a vast extension. The most notorious features of the fortress are the thick walls and its acorn-shaped towers that are labeled as “the Three Acorns“. Beneath the steadfast surface, temporary displays of art, and other cultural venues enchant the viewers.
To get to know about the current expositions at the fort, you can refer to their website for additional information. At the top, splendid viewpoints offer a panoramic vista of Pfaffenthal inhabitations and the old cavalry-barracks.
15. Merl-Belair and Parc Municipal
Luxembourgers, to find a refuge from traffic or just to jog around, often visit Merl-Belair or Municipal Park; two, and the largest, of the green oasis found in the metropolitan.
Merl-Belair is an ideal destination for families with several playground areas, a couple of cafes, and an outstanding landscape; splendid meadows, a magnificent pond with small artificial waterfalls, ancient trees, and well-curated paths for walkers and runners; and benches for a more relaxed experience. This romantic park is connected with a kilometer long thoroughfare to the Municipal park, verged with continental restaurants and a cinema.
Sitting closer to the rural epicenter, Parc Municipal is a neoclassical rural green zone and often frequented by the students who lay on the cropped grass lawns. This green zone hints to the English inspiration within its framework.
The city of Luxembourg is home to several museums on themes of banking and finance, warfare, textile, history, art, and many more. These museums are usually placed in peculiar buildings, often a vestige of Luxembourgish noble ancestry. Aside from the opulent cultural gravitations, the metropolitan’s gastronomy is sophisticated and cultured.
A combination of Mediterranean, German, French and Austrian, infused with the regional inherited recipes; the culinary recipes of Luxembourg City are unique and delicious. Only to name a few specialties of this canton; Cancoillotte spread cheese, Bouneschlupp soup, and Träipen sweet pudding.
Walferdange Castle was the Grand Ducal residence in the past and a popular touristic destination of the country. It is situated a few kilometers from the capital city. Along with magnificent rose gardens, the castle, and remains of Roman Villa, this charming village is inundated by spectacular nature. It extends to the valley of Alzette; a scenic landscape with woodlands, rivers, and hiking routes at the side of small waterfalls.
Another valley with such characteristics at the proximity of Luxembourg City is the valley of the White Erez. Larochette is the main touristic town in the white valley, acclaimed for its appealing medieval facade, fabric museum, and modern touristic amenities.