Day Trip to Luxembourg City – The Capital City of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg

(Last Updated On: September 28, 2017)

A downtown perched on the sheer cliffs surrounded by deep valleys carved by the meandering Alzette and Pétrusse rivers. And these same cliffs acting as the natural fortifications making the city impregnable for ages earning the city the historical epithet of the “Gibraltar of the North”. Yes, we are talking about ‘Luxembourg City’ the capital of Luxembourg or the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. This small city is sure to enchant you with its charm!

We were based out of Geneva in Switzerland and Paris was just a 3-hour train journey away. We would plan several trips to Paris to explore the best of France in and around Paris. And during one such trip, we planned a day trip to Luxembourg City the capital of one of the smallest and richest country. Luxembourg is a landlocked country nestled between France, Germany, and Belgium which makes a day trip from Paris, Berlin, and Brussels to Luxembourg much easier through the well-connected rail network.

The Luxembourg City center is compact and there is a lot to see and explore which can easily be done on a walking tour. We love exploring a city on foot in that way we get to explore much more than on our list and most of the times get to experience the city like a local. With a map of the city and major attractions listed down, we started walking down from the railway station to the Luxembourg city center.

Things to do in Luxembourg City, Luxembourg

Luxembourg City Railway Station

A two-hour train journey drove us through a beautiful landscape of rolling verdant hills and deep scenic valleys. The train station with its imposing clock tower built in Moselle Baroque Revival on a prominent thoroughfare lined by several public buildings exuding the architectural splendor of the city is the first time impression we get as soon as we step out of the station.

Things to do in Luxembourg City Luxembourg

Things to do in Luxembourg City Luxembourg

A pedestrian footpath led us to the 100 years old double arched Adolph bridge connecting to the Haute Ville (Medieval city center). The magnificent bridge rises 42 meters high from the Petrusse valley with incredible views over the valley.

Things to do in Luxembourg City Luxembourg

Petrusse Valley

The Petrusse River carved its path into the rock creating a large gorge that acted as natural fortifications up to 50 meters penetrating high into the sky. The ample green scape spread across the valley surrounded by peculiar rock formations and ruins of fortifications amidst the tranquil aura is great to saunter or just relax. The valley is dotted with many medieval buildings with a backdrop of towering skyscrapers an astounding amalgam of old and the new. There is a 14th century St. Quiren’s Chapel built into the rock which is one of the oldest Christian sanctuaries and is said to house several caves inside the chapel. There is also a golf course and a tiny steam train in the park.

Things to do in Luxembourg City Luxembourg

Walking further there is a small monument to the army with the statue of a lion carved on it next to the street. We took a right from here and walked further hoping for a better panoramic view of the valley below. We even found several sculptures and artworks lining this alley.

Things to do in Luxembourg City Luxembourg

When we walked back to the main street there was this green mini train waiting for the passengers. The driving past the historical sites of the old Fortress. The ‘Petrusse Express’ has been taking the tourists on a ride exploring the historical sites of the city of Luxembourg since 1987.  The round trip starts and ends at Montee de Clausen (near the Bock Casemates). Get more details here or reserve your seat here.

Notre-Dame Cathedral

Around 10 minutes walk from the bridge is the Notre-Dame Cathedral. The 17th-century gothic architecture cathedral with traces of Renaissance and Baroque elements has three imposing towers dominating the city skyline. The exquisitely carved statues and artwork of the entrance portal, the gorgeous interior flanked by white columns supporting the vaulted ceilings and remarkable stained-glass windows are sure to leave you in awe.

Things to do in Luxembourg City Luxembourg

Monument of Remembrance

Across the street is the striking Monument of Remembrance or Gelle Fra in Place de la Constitution. The gilded bronze figure of a woman holding a laurel stands on the focal of a 21-meter-high granite obelisk. It represents Nike, the goddess of victory and commemorates all those who sacrificed their lives in World War II.

Things to do in Luxembourg City Luxembourg

The Museum of the Bank of Luxembourg City as seen from the Place de la Constitution. A visit to the Bank Museum is a great way to discover the 140 years of banking tradition and its role in the growth of Luxembourg.

Things to do in Luxembourg City Luxembourg

William Square or Place Guillaume II

We walked through the throng of tourists in the outdoor cafes and restaurants, souvenir shops along the street to the tourist office to collect the city route map. The tourist office is in William Square or Place Guillaume II. The square is dominated by an equestrian statue of former Grand Duke William II who gave the country its first parliamentary constitution.

Things to do in Luxembourg City Luxembourg

Luxembourg City Hall

Another prominent building in the square is the 19th century neo-classical Town Hall. The building entrance is flanked by two majestic bronze statues of Lions. The Town hall is the private office of the city’s mayor.

Things to do in Luxembourg City Luxembourg

Grand Ducal Palace

Just across the street of the square is the 16th century Grand Ducal Palace built in the Flemish Renaissance architectural style. It is the official residence of the Grand Duke of Luxembourg where he performs most of his duties as head of state of the Grand Duchy. The opulent interior and sumptuously decorated ceilings and walls are open to the public during summer with a 45 min guided tour. The tours provide an insight into the various aspects of the administrative workings and the staterooms. It also houses the Luxembourg Parliament in the left wing.

Things to do in Luxembourg City Luxembourg

Chocolate House

On the street opposite to the palace is the Chocolate house. The Chocolate House is must visit for it offers a wide assortment of homemade hot chocolate to select from more than 30 different types.

There is another interesting church on the way from the Duke’s palace to the Bock Casemates. The 14th century Eglise St. Michel or the Saint-Michel Church stands on the site of the castle chapel built in 987. The church features Romanesque and Baroque architectural styles and is a must visit for its remarkable intricate stained glass windows. The entrance to the church is free.

Le Chemin de La Corniche

The promenade along the old ramparts of the city overlooking the valley peppered with old quarters along the winding Alzette River is no less than a fantasyland. Le Chemin de La Corniche is called as Europe’s Most Beautiful Balcony. The well-preserved old quarters of Grund are a UNESCO World Heritage Site and exemplify the city’s rich cultural heritage. Grund has several cafes and medieval buildings tucked away into the narrow cobblestone alleys which are great for a leisure walk along the Alzette River while you take in the architecture and charm of the pastel-colored buildings. One can take an elevator at Place du St.-Esprit or just stroll down from the casemates.

Things to do in Luxembourg City Luxembourg

Things to do in Luxembourg City Luxembourg

Things to do in Luxembourg City Luxembourg

Bock Casemates

The Bock casemates are a maze of underground passages carved out of rocks which were the part of a castle built by Count Siegfried in 963  to protect his property. A network of 23 km of underground galleries and passages were built in the 18th century of which only 17 km remain today. The casemates or Bock Casemates could act as a refuge for thousands of soldiers and public during the wars and housed kitchens, bakeries, and slaughter-houses. An interesting part of the casemates is that it is multilevel they have staircases in the passages also carved out of rock to access the upper level.

Things to do in Luxembourg City Luxembourg

Things to do in Luxembourg City Luxembourg

Statue of Grand Duchess Charlotte

On our way back to the station in the square Place Clairefontaine behind the Notre dam was the statue of Grand Duchess Charlotte. During her reign, Grand Duchess Charlotte contributed towards improving the living standards of Luxembourg. She worked on rebuilding the country after World War II and helped boost the tourism.

Things to do in Luxembourg City Luxembourg

Luxembourg City today has emerged as one of the influential capital city but its history and culture remain intact amidst all the modernization.

As we had only one day in Luxembourg City we had to miss a couple of Luxembourg attractions which you may want to check it out:

Luxembourg American Cemetery and Memorial

The Luxembourg American Cemetery is the final resting place of 5,076 American military dead of the World war II similar to the Normandy American Cemetery in Bayeux. There is also a memorial to the 371 Americans whose remains were never recovered.The Sandweiler German war cemetery a mile away contains remains of the German soldiers of the same war. Bayeux was a touching experience and we wished to visit the one in Luxembourg too but couldn’t due to short of time.

Fort Thungen

Fort Thungen houses the Musee Drai Eechelen or the Three Acorns Museum which exhibits information on the history of the city and country of Luxembourg from 1443 to 1903 through multimedia, photographs and other artifacts.

Wenzel Circular Walk

The trail is a tour exploring the gems of the city of Luxembourg connecting the upper and lower town through the famous Bock casemates offering a wonderful panoramic vista of the city through several vantage points. The Luxembourg tourism office offers guided tours every Wednesday and Saturdays. It is good to be informed that some parts of the trail may not be accessible by strollers or wheelchairs. Get more details here. Though we did not do this tour we believe we had covered everything on this trail by ourselves.

Luxembourg Card

The Luxembourg card is a tourist pass that offers free access to more than 60 museums and Luxembourg tourist attractions of the city of Luxembourg. The card can be availed for a validity of 1, 2 or 3 days. The card also offers free access second-class access to the trains and buses on the public transport. Get more details or buy online here.

Have you been to Luxembourg City? Which was your favorite part of sightseeing? Do share with us in comments

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28 thoughts on “Day Trip to Luxembourg City – The Capital City of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg

  • October 5, 2016 at 12:56 pm
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    I have not been to this city or to this country for that part but, I do plan to go now. We are beginning a new 18 month swing through Europe and N. Africa beginning this month or in December. We have an option for a photo shoot in Thailand and may take that before the trip to Europe. The city was immaculate and I can see why you liked it so much. Thanks for another great post with useful information.

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    • mm
      October 7, 2016 at 5:02 am
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      Thank you Jhon .. Have a great trip ahead 🙂

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  • October 5, 2016 at 12:59 pm
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    Your pictures look so great. I will definitely add this to my bucket list. I want to go to that Chocolate house there. I hope to see more pictures from your trip! 🙂

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    • mm
      October 7, 2016 at 4:57 am
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      Thank you Bianca ..

      Reply
  • October 5, 2016 at 1:19 pm
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    I love that everything is just a walking distance from the station and very near to each other. I love pedestrian-friendly cities and I think it’s the case for most of Europe. Do you think it’s enough to have only a day tour there? Or would you have stayed longer if you had the time?

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    • mm
      October 7, 2016 at 4:56 am
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      Yes Noemi we would .. It’s a perfect weekend destination ..

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  • October 5, 2016 at 1:21 pm
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    I have been near this city several times over the years but have not had a chance to stop. It looks like I’m really missing out! What a lovely spot. It is not high on the list of places I want to see! That tiny red train looks like fun for the kiddos, too!

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    • mm
      October 7, 2016 at 4:55 am
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      You should plan a visit to this City .. We are sure you will like it 🙂

      Reply
  • October 5, 2016 at 2:01 pm
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    Sometimes I wish I lived in Europe. It sounds so glamorous to be able to say you just popped into Luxembourg for a day trip. It looks like stylish and charming place with wonderful historic buildings. Beautiful!

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    • mm
      October 7, 2016 at 4:54 am
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      Yes Christina .. We spent 18 months in Europe and it is really a great place to live.

      Reply
  • October 5, 2016 at 3:21 pm
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    This seems like the perfect guide to Luxeumbroug City for a first timer. I especially like your photo of Le Chemin de La Corniche – what a beautiful view of the city. I would really like to walk through the underground galleries, though it may feel a little eerie. Hope I get to visit Luxembourg City one day 🙂

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    • mm
      October 7, 2016 at 4:52 am
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      Thank you Diana ..

      Reply
  • October 5, 2016 at 5:46 pm
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    I have always been curious about Luxembourg! I didn’t know it was so easy to get there from Paris. I definitely should achieve that soon! Loved the pictures!

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    • mm
      October 7, 2016 at 4:51 am
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      Thanks Brenda ..

      Reply
  • October 5, 2016 at 10:13 pm
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    Until reading this Luxemburg was not even on my radar. I have been to Paris twice and had no clue it was possible to do in a day trip. Will definitely be on my list when I next make it to Europe!

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    • mm
      October 7, 2016 at 4:51 am
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      Yes Allison its worth a visit 🙂

      Reply
  • October 6, 2016 at 9:50 am
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    Luxembourg looks like a mix between Paris and Brussels actually. i have a few friends from their but they never told me how beautiful it is. it looks like it can be done in 2-3 days so a perfect weekend trip for me. Awesome!

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    • mm
      October 7, 2016 at 4:49 am
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      Yes .. Its perfect for a weekend trip 🙂

      Reply
  • November 21, 2016 at 9:29 am
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    Luxembourg looks like a perfect place for travelers esp for those who love 17th-century architecture.

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  • November 21, 2016 at 11:33 am
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    I haven’t been to Luxembourg yet – but its great to know everything is in walking distance from the station. It’s great when everything is that close and makes it a great destination for a weekend break! – or as an added extra day from a weekend in Paris. What a great way to combine the two cities!

    Reply
  • November 21, 2016 at 11:28 pm
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    Out of everything you’d seen in Luxembourg, Bock Casemates is the most interesting for me. It kinda reminds me of the Cu Chi Tunnel in Vietnam. I’m not claustrophobic so I’m definitely going there when I get the chance.

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  • November 22, 2016 at 1:20 am
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    Although I am planning a trip to Europe soon, Luxembourg is not on our list right now. After going through your post,I feel like altering my plans to include this beautiful city as well. But that’s difficult. I will have to wait for a second trip

    Reply
  • November 22, 2016 at 1:46 am
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    We drove down to the city for a few hours from Paris on our way to Strasbourg. And it was worth the detour! Your pics have bought back good memories. Isn’t it wonderful that they have preserved old with new so well?

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  • November 22, 2016 at 6:37 am
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    Luxembourg sounds like an amazing city especially walking in those long tunnels seems to be a sort of adventure..

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  • November 22, 2016 at 9:05 am
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    All of what you’ve said sounds interesting but what actually caught my eye was The Chocolate House. I should check those homemade ones once I get to visit the place.

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  • November 22, 2016 at 1:23 pm
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    I love to see all of those sites you mentioned here but the Notre Dame Cathedral really interests me a lot. I will surely want to add this city in my future Europe trip.

    Reply
  • November 23, 2016 at 5:19 pm
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    When I read “We visited Luxembourg on a day trip from Paris one can also visit from Brussels. A two-hour train journey” I only wish I’m in Europe. Where countries can be traveled by train. Wow! I super love this place. Everything looks perfectly design. The view of Le chemin de la corniche. Is surreal. Its feel like you can only see it in movies. So majestic!

    Reply
  • November 24, 2016 at 11:17 am
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    I believe a visit to this continent would never be complete without visiting to one of Europe’s most scenic capitals – Luxembourg.

    Notre Dame cathedral has a feeling of space and openness providing a haven from the hustle and bustle outside the city. A brief history on the wall as you enter tells you about both the Cathedral and the development of Luxembourg .

    Le Chemin de la Corniche is my favorite.Wonderful views over the Alzette valley with its historic buildings, winding roads and greenery.

    Reply

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