And Why Luxembourg Should Be Your Next City Break Destination

View of clocktower through trees, Luxembourg

Think European city break and you think of Paris, right? Maybe Barcelona. Or even Estonia’s increasingly cool capital, Tallinn. Chances are Luxembourg has never crossed your mind.

I mean, where even is Luxembourg? Nestled between Germany, France and Belgium, this tiny country was one I knew very little about. Telling friends I was travelling to Luxembourg was met with blank faces and vaguely convincing comments of ‘that’ll be interesting’. Seriously, I’m pretty sure Luxembourg is the least touristy country in Europe. I mean there’s only one hostel (in the whole country!) so that tells you something. 

But that’s all the more reason for you to go. I tell you, friend, Luxembourg makes the perfect European city break destination. It’s compact size makes it ideal to explore in a couple of days, either by car or by the excellent transport links. Make your way to Luxembourg and you’ll discover a country that’s basically a cross between Genovia and Aldovia. Yes, the fairytale vibes are real. 

Ready to dive into all things Luxembourg, Princess Mia-style? Read on to see for yourself the top things to do in Luxembourg that’ll have you planning your next city break, stat. 

Day trip to Viandan Castle

For an epic day trip from Luxembourg City escape into the countryside to Viandan Castle. 

My castle standards are pretty high. In my travels I’ve witnessed an incredible sunset from Monsanto Castle, queued my way through the over-touristy Edinburgh Castle, and explored numerous castle ruins around Europe. I have to say, Viandan Castle is maybe the prettiest I’ve seen. 

While Viandan Castle is undoubtedly the highlight of any trip into the Luxembourg countryside, take time to check out the town while you’re there. With cobbled lanes, stately old buildings and the Our River running through the centre, Vianden is as picture-perfect as you could wish. 

To get to Viandan catch the train to Ettelbruck and then bus to Viandan. The return trip will cost you a cool €4. Tickets to the castle are €7, and an audio guide is an extra €2. 

Vianden Castle, Luxembourg
Pretty streets of Vianden, Luxembourg

Ride the Pfaffenthal Lift

Seriously? An elevator is on my list of things to do in Luxembourg?

This is no ordinary lift. Though it is used by Luxembourgian commuters, Pfaffenthal Lift is also one of Luxembourg’s top tourist attractions. I mean, when in Luxembourg right? 

The 71m high elevator connects Pescatore Park in the city centre to the Pfaffenthal area at the bottom of the valley. If you’re scared of heights the glass floor may not be for you, but the views of the Grund below are breathtaking. Pfaffenthal Lift is free to use. 

Admire the views from the most beautiful balcony in Europe

As well as having the coolest glass elevator, Luxembourg is also home to the most beautiful balcony in Europe; Chemin de la Corniche.

Ok, it’s not quite the same as a balcony you’d find at home. Still, this 600m long pedestrian promenade offers up some spectacular views. From the walkway you can see across to the fortifications of Wenceslas Wall and down to the Grund below. 

Pro tip; Chemin de la Corniche is one of the top photo spots in Luxembourg. (But you’ll have to avoid the odd tour group to get a good shot). 

Girl with pink umbrella stands at lookout point over Grund, Luxembourg

Afternoon tea at Chocolate House Nathalie Bonn


I mean, that’s all I need to say, right? Seriously though, no ‘Top Things to do in Luxembourg’ list would be complete without mentioning the Grandaddy (or Grand Duchy) of cake shops, Chocolate House Nathalie Bonn.

Located opposite the Palais Grand-Ducal, Chocolate House Nathalie Bonn makes for the perfect afternoon tea spot. Whether you’re gluten free, vegan, or just a general cake enthusiast, Nathalie Bonn has the cake for you.

Go underground at the Bock Casemates

As Luxembourg’s only Unesco World Heritage site, the Bock Casemates is undoubtedly one of the top things to do in Luxembourg.

The site was first established in 963 when Count Siegfried built his Castle of Lucilinburhuc in the town that would become Luxembourg. Centuries later, in the era of Spanish domination, the first underground tunnels were built to fortify the city. 

Though the fortress was dismantled in 1867, 17 kilometres of casemates were spared, some of which is open to the public. Tickets to the Bock Casemates are €7 (cash only). 

View the (outside of the) Palais Grand-Ducal

While visiting the Palais Grand-Ducal may be one of the top things to do in Luxembourg, you can actually only enter the palace between July-August. Still, even if you happen to visit Luxembourg outside of that weirdly short timeframe, the Palais Grand-Ducal is worth a visit.

The city residence of the Grand Ducal family, the palace is located right in the heart of the Old Town. (Right opposite Chocolate House Nathalie Bonn; handy tip for you friend). Admire the intricate facade of the grand old building and check out the ceremonial guard posted outside.

Girl stands holding pink umbrella outside Grand Palace, Luxembourg

Wander around the Grund

Want to discover the prettiest area in a country filled with beautiful parks, buildings and views? It’s time to head to the Grund, friend.

While the Grund admittedly doesn’t have the prettiest-sounding name, wandering around the Grund was one of my favourite things to do in Luxembourg. Located in the valley below the city centre on the banks of the Alzette River the Grund is one of the most historical areas in Luxembourg. Take a stroll along the ancient bridges and through the picturesque park, or time your visit with dinner. The grund is a popular nightlife precinct in Luxembourg, with numerous cool restaurants. 

View of cathedral by the river, the Grund

Grand Duke Jean Museum of Modern Art

While I’m not huge on museums, I do love a modern art gallery. I think it’s just a chance for me to flex my high school art history nerd muscles, ya know?

Seriously though, you wouldn’t necessarily think it but the Grand Duke Jean Museum of Modern Art is a surprisingly great art museum. While it’s worth going just to see the exterior of the museum (designed by the same guy who thought up the Louvre Pyramid), the inside is also worth spending an hour or two exploring. MUDAM houses works by over 200 works by artists such as Cindy Sherman (who I LOVE), Andy Warhol and Thomas Struth. 

Tickets to the Grand Duke Museum of Modern Art are €8. 

Notre Dam Cathedral, Luxembourg

Luxembourg surprised me. I mean, it’s hard to be surprised when you have no expectations, but I enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I would. With fairytale-pretty landscapes, clean, easy to navigate streets and a host of cool things to do, Luxembourg may well be your dream Europe city break destination.

Stay: If you’re travelling Luxembourg on a budget there’s only one place for you to stay; Luxembourg Youth Hostel. We paid €25 per night each for a bed in a female dorm. Though clean our hostel room was bare-bones, and didn’t even come with hand soap. On the plus side Luxembourg Youth Hostel offers free breakfast, and the downstairs restaurant also offers cheap meals for lunch and dinner. 

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Discover The Top Things To Do in Luxembourg
Discover The Top Things To Do in Luxembourg