Il Lussemburgo è uno dei piccoli stati più affascinanti d'Europa. Credit: Shutterstock

Top Things To Do in Luxembourg

As one of Europe’s most diverse cities, Luxembourg offers myriad delights for the seasoned traveler
Published 03/17/2022 by James March

With deep gorges, snaking trails, soaring spires, and tumbling hills, Luxembourg City doesn’t look like your average financial hub. But then, Luxembourg’s capital doesn’t look like anywhere else, really. While the city might be well known in business circles, its spectacular multi-layered cityscape has largely flown under the radar as a tourist destination. 

But Luxembourg City is more than just its cinematic appearance. With three official languages and citizens hailing from 168 different countries, it’s one of Europe’s most diverse cities, and that cocktail of cultures means that it boasts a fabulously global food scene. There are also centuries of fascinating history hidden within its rocky plateau, and the Old Quarter’s cobbled streets, charming cafés, and grand fortifications form a beguiling UNESCO World Heritage Site. For the curious traveler, a weekend in there is endlessly rewarding as there is so many things to do in Luxembourg City.

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Eat 

A reflection of its location in the heart of Europe, “French cuisine with German portions” is the tongue-in-cheek label that once described Luxembourg’s border-straddling gastronomy, but the city now boasts an array of premium restaurants that illustrate the capital’s vast cultural diversity, from Italian, Greek, and Portuguese to Bangladeshi, Thai and Syrian.

Though for a more local taste, start with Bosso in the low-lying Grund neighborhood and enjoy their hearty German-inspired dishes such as Coconut Schnitzel or their own Bosso Spätzle. And if you’re here in the summer, check out its hidden courtyard garden with tree-shaded seating.

Serving exceptionally-prepared pasta and just a 10-minute walk from Bosso is the award-winning Italian restaurant Notaro. Though if you’re willing to travel a little further, head out to the Howald neighborhood and sample the wood-fired pizzas of 30-year Luxembourg City institution Restaurant-Pizzeria La Véranda. 

But really, in a city with such a wide range of nationalities, it would be rude to not cast your gastronomic net a little wider. 

The brainchild of Syrian chef and owner Chadi Bekdach, Chiche! serves up intoxicating Middle Eastern flavors offering everything from aromatic Arabic yogurt to generously-filled falafels. Chiche! started life as a pop-up food truck and some of Luxembourg City’s most authentic Mexican food can also be found at a food truck. Operating on alternate days between the Kirchberg and Capellen neighborhoods, Las Maracas serves up classic tacos and quesadillas alongside vibrant specials such as papas con chorizo (fried potatoes with chorizo and grilled onions). And over in the modern Rives de Clausen district, don’t miss the fiery green curries and signature “Thai tonic” of lively Thai bar and restaurant Ukulele. 

But starting your day right in a hilly city like Luxembourg City is important, too. Indulgent pastries and delectable baked goods are GLOW’s calling card, while Café NORDBO offers fresh coffee alongside classic Scandinavian Smørrebrød sandwiches.

Play 

There are so many things to do in Luxembourg. The capital of Luxembourg is an extraordinary-looking city, so take a stroll along its winding promenades and corniches to get a widescreen perspective of the city’s dramatic topography. 

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Described by influential Luxembourgish writer Batty Weber as “the most beautiful balcony of Europe,” the Chemin de la Corniche promenade is home to Luxembourg City’s finest views. Wonderful vistas of the city are also seen from the arched Pont Adolphe bridge, Place de la Constitution square and the unique Pfaffenthal Panoramic Elevator.

And after scanning these panoramas, it’s easier to see why Luxembourg City was once known as the “Gibraltar of the North” and one of Europe’s largest natural fortresses. So make sure to explore the Bock Casemates, an atmospheric defense network of tunnels and passages carved out of the city’s rocky cliff-face in the 17th-century when Luxembourg was under Spanish rule. 

Back in the Luxembourg city center’s Old Town, the beautiful Grand Ducal Palace dates back to the 16th-century and is a fine example of Flemish Renaissance architecture. With its elegant spires soaring over the Old Town, Notre-Dame Cathedral is just a short walk from the Grand Ducal Palace and one of the most recognizable buildings in Luxembourg City. And if you want a window into the turbulent thousand-year history of this curious European capital, the Luxembourg City History Museum is an absorbing spot on the rue du Saint-Esprit. 

Almost as well known as the historic sites, the Chocolate House is an indulgent institution and the ideal pitstop while exploring Luxembourg City, so make sure to check out their famous hot chocolate spoons at the busy upstairs café. 

Spend your evening down in the regenerated factory district of Rives de Clausen and its eclectic mix of lively bars and restaurants. From fine dining at classy French restaurant Le Sud to losing yourself amid Rock Box bar’s pounding metal soundtrack, there’s something for everyone here.

Stay

La Pipistrelle

Carved into a cliff and housed in an 18th-century property, La Pipistrelle is a stylish boutique BnB in the charming Grund neighborhood. Minimalist rooms are occasionally interrupted by a section of exposed stone and the elegant outdoor terrace is beautiful on summer evenings. And if you want to return to the higher ground of the Old Town, there’s a nearby elevator to save you the walking. 

GRAACE HOTEL

GRAACE HOTEL is an oasis of calm in the cosmopolitan Bonnevoie neighborhood. With rustic wooden interiors in a lush green setting, this boutique hotel combines eco-friendly sustainable materials with modern touches like high-speed Wi-Fi and an iPad in each room. Enjoy breakfast from the tote bag left on your bedroom door and then head to the Japanese-inspired tea and coffee house on the hotel rooftop to sip and soak in the surroundings.

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