This past weekend I ventured out to the tiny landlocked European country of Luxembourg. Nestled between Germany, Belgium, and France, Luxembourg is definitely a country that gets forgotten or is barely on the radar of an North American. But it is actually quite a crucial nation, it is a global financial powerhouse, it is also home to the EU Court of Justice and a major air cargo hub (oddly enough). And over all I was more impressed in my short few hours here than I was expecting I would be.
It is a charming, quaint country. Luxembourg city is also magical during the winter holiday season, as it is lit up with decorations throughout and the Christmas Market is top-notch. The food and drink scene is also quite good, but in terms of truly “Luxembourg” cuisine, none really exists as most are a cross between German and French food. Luxembourg is known for its mineral water, beer and white wine (specifically sparkling white wine), and we can say that all of the above were indeed quite tasty.
On a weekend, getting around this city is really quite easy. Once in the city limits everything practically within walking distance. But to get from airport to the city and even if you want to go to sites that require a longer walk or up or down a hill, take bus 16 which is free on Saturdays and Sundays.
As it was three of us traveling, our hotel and lodging choices were quite limited and hostels/ Air BnBs were already booked. We ended up booking the Novotel Luxembourg City Centre which has rooms that fit 3 adults with a pull out couch (at no additional cost). And it is walkable to everywhere, from the train station to the historic city center.
- Flew into Luxembourg City from Frankfurt (there are many gateway EU cities with nonstop flights or fly into Brussels and take a 3 hour train). Arrived at around 3:30PM, took bus 16 to our hotel and checked-in, by the time we walked back out it was sunset at 4:30PM.
- We walked through the city, passing by the Palais Grand-Ducal (The Grand Duke’s Palace), The Ministry of Finance, The Central Bank (Which looks like a Castle with its own watch tower), before stopping at Place Guillaume II (the main square where one part of the larger Luxembourg Christmas Market is held).
- After eating some wonderful food including Gromperekichelcher (Luxembourg potato/ mung bean pancake) and Luxembourg smoked sausage, all paired with music, and mulled wine; we then walked over to the edges of the elevated portion of the historic city in the Monument du Souvenir where another portion of the Christmas market is held (featured image on the left).
- Here we walked around some more and had some delicious wood fired smoked salmon sandiwch
- Afterwards, we walked towards Ennert de Steiler, said to be the oldest bar in Luxembourg for a pint of local Luxembourg beer.
- We then walked downhill into the valley and river below to the popular quint Grund neighborhood of Luxembourg. We visited Cafe des Artistes for some Luxembourg wine and beer.
- Afterwards we crossed the river to Vins Fins, a lovely little wine bar to sample some Luxembourg sparkling wine and white wine as well as a delicious garlic butter escargots in an edible phyllo pastry shell.
- Once fed, we proceeded back uphill towards our hotel. We stopped by the Rooftop Bar at the Sofitel Luxembourg Le Grand Ducal, for a nightcap craft cocktail to wrap up our short but charming visit to Luxembourg.
- Headed to our Novotel right next door for a short sleep before departing for the airport on Bus 16 from the Central Train Station at 5:20AM (the first departure)
I do wish our flights were not all delayed so that we could have seen Luxembourg more during the day and maybe visit a few museums or sites. However, the long evening we spent here was wonderful and magical. Filled with charming and quaint nooks and crannies, festive holiday ambiance and good wine and food. It was relaxing, cold and enjoyable.
I would recommend checking Luxembourg out for sure, its easy, and you can do it in a short amount of time.