A Long Weekend in Luxembourg
*POST UPDATED NOVEMBER 2022.
Sweet friends, hello! I hope this post finds you happy and healthy, hopefully with a hot coffee nearby. I’ve been a little out of whack lately, but finally I managed to muster up some energy & finish off this post. It has taken me far too long to share it, but here it is: A Long Weekend in Luxembourg! After stumbling across flights to Luxembourg for an absolute steal of just €8, Boyfriend & I found ourselves booking a little impromptu weekend away. Neither of us had visited before, we didn’t know anyone who had, and we knew very little about the country in general. Spoiler alert: it was amazing.
This was probably the most hastily organized trip I’ve ever been on. When we saw the flights were so cheap – like, literally almost by accident, we weren’t looking to go away again so soon after our Bordeaux/Saint-Émilion trip – we decided to casually check hotel deals. And then when we came across a hotel with rooms for less than €40 a night, everything just fell into place. Cheap flights, cheap hotel, very little Covid-19 restrictions, a short flight, and a new country. And so, within a couple hours of seeing the flights, we booked the trip! It was impulsive and wonderful, and the speed at which everything came together has given the whole experience a rather dream-like quality in my memory.
Listed below is every little thing I know about Luxembourg – which is actually a lot more than I thought I knew! Sections include: before you visit / getting there / where to stay / where to get coffee / where to eat / where to drink / what to see + do. I hope you find it helpful and enjoyable!
before you visit
Just a few quick things to keep in mind before you set off for your own weekend in Luxembourg! 🙂
• at the time of our visit in January 2022, there were still some Covid-19 regulations in place. Covid-certs/negative PCR results were needed in order to board our plane out of Dublin, and certs were rigorously checked at every single restaurant/bar/attraction. Having a 3rd vaccine dose is also a must when visiting Luxembourg, because those without it are required to do an antigen test before being served anywhere. Thankfully we got our boosters less than a month before flying to LUX, but be sure to check the latest regulations before travelling.
• there are 3 official languages of Luxembourg: Luxembourgish, German, and French. We mostly heard people speaking French, but often heard people slip casually from one language to another with envy-inducing ease. It was so fascinating! Most people also speak English, so we had no problems during our trip.
• Luxembourg is the first country in the world to offer entirely free public transport! Buses, trains, trams: all 100% totally free! This was a huge selling point for me and it was so wonderful! To top it off, the public transport is efficient and runs exactly on time – down to the minute! When you’re coming from a city like Dublin – where the public transport is entirely unreliable – this is an actual dream. That said, you might not need to take public transport at all during your stay – it’s extremely easy to walk most places!
• during our time in Luxembourg, we felt so ridiculously safe. We saw no anti-social behavior, no intimidating groups of youths, nothing dodgy at all! The only area of the city where we felt slightly uneasy in terms of pickpocketing etc. was at the train station – but is there a train station in Europe that doesn’t feel a little sketchy? I think not.
Here are the steps we took getting from Dublin airport to Luxembourg city centre:
• we flew direct from Dublin airport to Luxembourg airport with Ryanair. The flight was super short – only 1-hour and 20-minutes each way. Lovely and quick, with some beautiful views en route. Arriving into and getting through Luxembourg airport was also lovely and quick, as passport control was very efficient.
• from Luxembourg airport we took the #16 bus into the centre of town, Hamilius. The journey lasted about 25-minutes, and was relatively easy; a screen inside the bus showed a map with the names of each stop clearly marked. This bus departs from the airport every 15-20 minutes and, along with being entirely free, it’s conveniently located just outside the terminal exit. There are also taxis and the like into the city centre, but how you could justify that when the public transport is both reliable and free is beyond me!
where to stay
I’ll be the first to say it: we didn’t want to splurge on accommodation for our long weekend in Luxembourg. We wanted to keep our travel & hotel costs low to justify the impulsive trip, and realistically, there weren’t that many options available to make that happen. Yes, there are plenty of hotel and airbnb options available in the city, but the prices are just ridiculous. In the end, it came down to two sister hotels located in the same building/block. Although it wouldn’t have been either of our first choices, I wouldn’t have a problem staying here again on another budget trip!
Hôtel Parc Belle-Vue // no frills, but great as a budget option. Although I’ve never stayed in a motel, this gave me serious motel vibes. As in: the reception was located in a different building, the rooms run along a one-sided corridor devoid of personality, and the building itself just seems a bit dated. Despite this, our room + en suite was clean and spacious, and the bed was very comfortable. Really, the main downside is that the location is a little bit out of town – at least a 15-minute walk to most places. Address: 5 Av. Marie-Thérèse, 2132 Luxembourg
where to get coffee + pastries
Any long weekend in Luxembourg would not have been possible without my two good friends coffee and pastries. I function at my best when I’m highly caffeinated and have at least one buttery baked good a day, as does Boyfriend. Luxembourg city tried to thwart our efforts somewhat – many of the coffee shops I’d researched were either randomly closed or located too far away. Next time we’d hopefully add these to our list: Lea Linster (for madeleines), Kaale Kaffi and Golden Bean. We hit up:
Caffe Torino // Boyfriend used his pastry sniffer to lead us to this café, and I’m so glad he did – it was great! Unlike every other coffee shop, this place opened early & was super reliable. The coffees were large & strong, the pastries were buttery and flakey, and it was surprisingly good value! Would recommend. Address: 8 Av. de la Porte-Neuve, 2227 Luxembourg
Konrad Café & Bar // the busiest little café! We stopped by early on a Saturday morning for coffees & it was very enjoyable. Sadly, there were no pastries – just homemade cakes + cookies – but the coffees were great. Be sure to get in early if you want a nice table, it fills up quickly. See also: where to drink, below. Address: 7 Rue du N, 2229 Luxembourg
Chocolate House Natalie Bonn // apparently, the best hot chocolate in Luxembourg. This was the only hot chocolate we had, so I can’t be sure – but it was pretty good. We both opted for the 40% milk chocolate sticks, and they were perfect for the cold winter day. We also sampled one of their cakes: a lactose-free chocolate cheesecake. Boyfriend ordered it, overlooked the ‘lactose-free’ part, and we suffered through it due to the price. Pro tip: stick to the hot chocolates. Address: 20 Rue du Marché-aux-Herbes, 1728 Luxembourg
where to eat
First, a confession. After doing some online research, we decided that typical Luxembourgish food wasn’t really for us. According to the internet, said dishes include: green bean and potato stew, liver meatballs, and a lot of soupy dishes with dumplings. Probably all amazing in their own right, yes, but I also read online that the city has some amazing non-traditional restaurants! And so we booked up as random a restaurant scene as you can imagine: Mexican, Chinese, Irish-owned, and an Oktoberfest styled beerhouse! I’m pleased to report that every single meal we ate was amazing! Details below!
Urban Bar & Restaurant // we literally only stopped in here because it was always packed & we didn’t want to miss out. And thank heavens we did; the food was fantastic! So good, in fact, that we went back for lunch two days in a row! On our first visit we shared buttermilk chicken tenders & a toasted club sandwich overflowing with bacon/chicken/boiled egg/tomato/lettuce/Cajun mayo and a side of fries. On our second visit we both went for burgers, one Super Cheeseburger and one Irish Burger, and we shared the deconstructed Snickers cheesecake for dessert. Both times, everything was phenomenal. The food, the restaurant space, the staff – everything! A must visit. Address: 2 Rue de la Boucherie, 1247 Luxembourg
Big Beer Company // sure, it’d just be rude to go so close to the German border and not visit a proper beerhouse, no? We went, we ate perfectly hammered-out + battered pork schnitzel, and we sampled a couple pints of their home-brewed beer. It was great! The portions were huge – they also came with fries & a side salad – and the beerhouse style really satisfied my inner German. Address: 12 Rives de Clausen, 2165 Lëtzebuerg, Luxembourg
Mamacita // the Mexican restaurant of our dreams! And, apparently, of everybody else’s dreams too, because it was hopping. We devoured and adored every single thing that came within reaching distance of our faces. Classic margaritas aplenty, the best nachos frescos we’ve ever eaten, cochinita pibil pork tacos + carne asada tacos, and possibly the most delicious churro ever to exist. No seriously: a massive, piping hot churro, coiled up like a snail, and dripping with ice cream + caramel sauce. It felt special. Pro tip: be sure to book in advance! There was a queue out the door every time we passed by! An absolute must visit. Address: 9 Rue des Bains, 1212 Luxembourg
Fu Lu Shou Inn // a really very good Chinese restaurant. They have an overwhelmingly large menu – Chinese, Vietnamese, Thai, Korean – but they seemed able to deliver on all fronts. I went for Chinese spring rolls & Cantonese style chicken with boiled rice, while Boyfriend enjoyed pork satay skewers and sizzling stir-fried pork with fried noodles. Everything was good, but Boyfriend’s choices were better. Aside from the food, the design of the place was so cool – soothing water feature! oriental music! traditional furniture! – and it was the cheapest meal we ate in Luxembourg! Address: 56 Rue de Strasbourg, 2560 Luxembourg
where to go for a drink
Not surprisingly – being so close to Belgium + Germany – there are some super great beers to be sampled in town. During our long weekend in Luxembourg, we made it our mission to try as many different Luxembourgish lager/pilsners as possible. I’m happy to report that there are some truly delicious ones! Listed below, in preferential order, are each of the beers we tried and where we tried them. Honestly though, we basically loved them all – so the distance between each should be imagined as really quite small. Prost!
Battin Gambrinus // our favourite beer of the trip and, typically, we didn’t get to try any until our last day. It’s a very smooth lager, and we only came across it in Urban Bar & Restaurant. More about Urban: where to eat, above.
Bofferding Pils // can countries have a national beer? If so, I feel like Bofferding is the national beer of Luxembourg – it’s everywhere, it goes with everything, and it’s pleasingly easy to drink. We enjoyed it in Ënnert de Steiler, Fu Lu Shou Inn, and Urban Bar & Restaurant. More about Ënnert de Steiler: where to drink cocktails, below. More about Urban and Fu Lu Shou Inn: where to eat, above.
Clausel Blonde Unfiltered // this wouldn’t have been our first choice of beer, but it was the only one available on tap the day we visited. It’s cloudy, lightly floral, and surprisingly delightful! We enjoyed ours at Big Beer Company. More about Big Beer Company: where to eat, above.
Urban Pils // I can find very little online about this pilsner, but I loved it! Very easy to drink, and flavoursome without being overpowering. As the name would suggest, I tried it at Urban Bar & Restaurant. More about Urban: where to eat, above.
Simon Pils // this was the only beer on tap at Konrad Café & Bar, and we were pleasantly surprised by how delicious it was! Very smooth & easy-drinking – so much so we had to stay for another pint! More about Konrad: where to get coffee, above.
Diekirch Pils // probably the only beer of the trip that we didn’t love; it was just a bit meh compared to the others. We got into the city late on our first night, and literally the only place we could get into was Go Ten Cocktail Bar, and this was their only reasonably priced beer.
Naturally, one cannot survive a long weekend in Luxembourg on beer alone – there must also be cocktails! Aside from the classic margaritas we lapped up in Mamacita, listed below is where ended up for an after-dinner drink in the evenings. Something to note: Luxembourg city comes alive at night! We actually had difficulty getting into bars in the evenings because everywhere was so packed – do not be fooled by the quietness of the streets!
Ënnert de Steiler // home to the actual whiskey sour of my dreams! Served in a lovely champagne coupe, it was so foamy and delicious. Boyfriend opted for an old fashioned and, while it tasted perfect, it was a rather off-putting shade of purple? Mysterious. Address: 2 Rue de la Loge, 1945 Luxembourg
Tube // a busy little place that we squeezed into one night. I opted for the amaretto sour from the menu & the bartender had no problem whipping up an old fashioned for Boyfriend – both were lovely! The amaretto sour was perhaps a squeeze too almond-y for me, but nice for a change. Address: 8 Rue Sigefroi, 2536 Luxembourg
what to see + do
Chemin de la Corniche // apparently “the most beautiful balcony in Europe”. While I’m not entirely certain of that, it is a pretty spot to stroll along on a sunny day. It’s right on the edge of the upper town, looking down over the Grund & the Alzette river below. Would recommend. Address: Chem. de la Corniche, 1945 Luxembourg
Pfaffenthal Panoramic Elevator // I thought this was just the coolest thing! An elevator with glass front & sides that transports you between the different quarters of the city. We rode it a few times to enjoy the views – it’s very Willy Wonka-esque. A must-visit! Address: 2 Rue du Pont, 2344 Luxembourg
Cathédrale Notre-Dame // as a self proclaimed art history nerd, I find it hard not to visit beautiful cathedrals in foreign countries. Notre-Dame is definitely worth a visit – from the outside it doesn’t look like much, but the stained-glass windows inside made my jaw drop. Pro tip: don’t miss the crypt downstairs to visit the remains of past Grand Dukes & Duchesses! Address: Rue Notre Dame, 2240 Luxembourg
Church of Saint John in Grund // another church, less grand than the above, but still peaceful and lovely to wander around. Address: Rue Münster, 2631 Luxembourg
Constitution Square + Gëlle Fra // a monument of remembrance for the Luxembourgish that died in voluntary service during WWII. It’s also a wonderful spot to enjoy views of the Adolphe Bridge, listed below. Address: 2 Bd Franklin Delano Roosevelt, 1116 Luxembourg
Adolphe Bridge // just a very epic-ly beautiful bridge! Our hotel was actually located on the same road as the bridge, so we got to enjoy its beauty every day of our trip. Address: Uewerstad, 1212 Luxembourg
Passerelle Viaduct // another impressive bridge, this one in the Grund. We came across it by chance, but gosh it’s a sight to see. We just don’t have bridges like these in Ireland! Address: 5 Av. de la Gare, 1611 Luxembourg
American Military Cemetery // probably the most random thing we did in Luxembourg – but so worth it! The graves of over five thousand soldiers who died during WWII are located in the cemetery, along with General George S. Patton, who wished to be buried with his men. It’s a little out of the city, but it was such a peaceful and beautiful place to visit. To get there: take a bus (#9 or #15) from Centre Badanstalt to Hamm Kaschtewee, and follow signs to the cemetery. The bus took roughly 12-minutes, while the walk was more like 17-minutes, but nothing too difficult. Would definitely recommend! Address: 50 Val du Scheid, 2517 Luxembourg
Explore the Grund // perhaps the cutest area of the city. Located on the lower level, the Grund is one of the oldest quarters of the city – it dates back to the 14th century! Think: pastel coloured houses all squished together and cobblestone pathways. Added bonus: the Grund is listed as a UNESCO world heritage site! A must-visit.
Visit Vianden! // I have a separate blog post about visiting Vianden coming soon, so stay tuned! Spoiler alert: if you find yourself wondering whether it’s worth making the trip up there – it totally is!
And there we have it: A Long Weekend in Luxembourg! Have you visited this tiny and beautiful country – if so, what did you think? I’d love to hear any thoughts or comments in the box below! Luxembourg was my 25th new country and I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed our visit!
Until next time!