Good Morning all, I am super excited today because we have the very first guest post on Elle on Travel. Here, travel writer Alice @ Discoveny shares her top tips for a long weekend in Luxembourg, including how to get there by train, the easiest way to get around and her must-see sights in the Grand Duchy. So, pour yourself a coffee, scramble up your eggs, sit down on your comfiest chair and enjoy your morning read.
Where is Luxembourg?
Nestled between Belgium, France and Germany, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg is one of the smallest sovereign states in Europe. A charming country, its culture, people, and languages are highly intertwined with its neighbours – in fact, many Luxembourgers are highly multilingual, some growing up speaking four or five languages.
Although not touted as a popular European tourist destination, Luxembourg is beautiful, clean and easy to get around. The people are friendly, the food is a delicious blend of French and German Cuisine, and what’s more, it’s relatively easy to get to by train from London, making it the ideal weekend away from the busy UK capital.
This guide will cover everything you need to know to get to Luxembourg, how to get around the country and everything you can and should see with just two days to spend.
How to get to Luxembourg by Train
Travelling by train is easily the best way to get from A to B. Settling into your comfy seat for the next few hours, flicking through a book or simply gazing out of a window as the scenery flashes past you – there’s no better way to get to places than the train.
In addition to this, the train is a super sustainable way to travel. When trying to be a responsible traveller, switching from wings to wheels is a great way to lower your carbon footprint and do your bit for our planet. The train is such a relaxing way to travel, you’ll wonder why you didn’t make the switch sooner!
Getting to Luxembourg by train from London is easy. Eurostar high-speed trains link London with Brussels throughout the day, taking just 2 hours. Fast inter-city trains run hourly from Bruxelles Midi to Luxembourg City.
You can be strolling around Luxembourg city centre just 5 hours after leaving London, but with none of the stress of baggage checks, arriving 2 hours before check-in, and waiting around.
Top Tip: Set off early from St Pancras on Saturday Morning, arrive in Luxembourg by midday and return late Sunday evening to make the most of your time.
How to get around Luxembourg
Getting around Luxembourg was easy before, but it just got easier. As of March 2020, all public transport is free in the Grand Duchy. This means you can hop on and off trains, buses and trams to your heart’s content and really get to see the country.
What to see on a weekend in Luxembourg
Accessible, clean and easy to get around; a trip to Luxembourg should definitely be on the cards. But what should you do with the two days you’ve got?
One of the de facto capitals of the European Union, it is the seat of many important institutions and the grandeur of the main city shows this. Luxembourg, also known as Luxembourg City, is the capital of the Grand Duchy and lies at the heart of Western Europe, almost equidistant from Paris, Brussels and Cologne.
Luxembourg City is small, walkable and the main sights can easily be seen in a day. The Luxembourg Card gives free and discounted access to the must-see places throughout the country and is definitely worth the cost of 10 EUR/day.
Casemates du Bock
A fortified castle in the cradle of the city, Casemates du Bock is a must-see when visiting Luxembourg City. Built in 963 AD with 17 kilometres of tunnels over different levels, penetrating deep inside the rock face, Casemates du Bock is a fortification like no other.
Explore the museum before heading inside the tunnels to get lost. Take beautiful pictures of the old-town below and most importantly, use the caves as a way to cool off from the summer heat.
Chemin de la Corniche
More of a photo-op than an activity, the Chemin de la Corniche is hailed as Europe’s most beautiful balcony. This pedestrian promenade of 600m winds along the course of the 17th-century city walls with views over the Casemates du Bock and the sleepy old-town on the riverbank below.
Palais du Grand Ducal
The Palais du Grand Ducal, or Palace of the Grand Dukes, is the town residence of Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg. Equally stunning inside and out, you can visit this historical building by guided tour only from mid-July till end of August every year.
Of course, there’s a lot more to Luxembourg than Luxembourg City. Take advantage of the free public transport and explore further afield!
Chateau de Vianden
Vianden Castle is one of the largest fortified castles west of the Rhine and definitely worth a trip. Perched on a rocky promontory, the castle dominates the sleepy town of Vianden. The charming chateau contains an amazing museum detailing the history of Luxembourg and the surrounding area. Bonus, it looks and feels a bit like Hogwarts.
Vianden is home to the only chair lift in the Grand Duchy. Lean back and relax as you soar to 440 m and enjoy a gorgeous panorama over the romantic Our Valley. You can even see Germany. Adventurous types may wish to walk back down from the top, passing the stunning Chateau de Vianden on the way. Or for a more laid-back approach, admire the views over a coffee or beer from the restaurant on the hill before taking the chairlift back down. Warning: not for those scared of heights.
Getting there and Away: You can get to Vianden in under an hour by taking the train from Luxembourg Gare Central to Ettelbruck, then changing for the 570 Bus to Stolzembourg, getting off at Vianden.
Echternach Town and Echternach Lake
Just 30 minutes ride from the city of Luxembourg, you can find the beautiful little town of Echternach. Compact but beautiful, Echternach has a lovely lake with plenty of leisure activities including miniature golf and pedal boats. You can walk around the lake for the perfect peaceful escape.
Getting there and Away: You can get to Echternach in under 45 minutes by taking the 111 Bus from Luxembourg City Centre, Badanstalt.
Head over to Discoveny to read more of Alice’s work, including city guides, hiking guides and unique tips for sustainable travel.
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