Luxembourg Travel for Sophisticated Travelers
Travel to Luxembourg, the destination with more castles per square mile and more Michelin-starred restaurants per resident in Europe.
AN AFTERNOON IN LUXEMBOURG CITY
The evening sunrays bounce off the Gëll Fra or Golden Lady, throwing a pool of golden light on the Place de la Constitution in the City of Luxembourg. This statue of the ancient Greek goddess Nike looks across from the city’s other iconic landmark, the Notre Dame Cathedral, and stretches out her arms in a symbol of victory. She is in the act of placing a laurel crown on the heads of two fallen soldiers who died defending Luxembourg during the World Wars and volunteered in the Korean War. Today the Gëll Fra stands for peace and patriotism.
LUXEMBOURG: A DESTINATION FOR SOPHISTICATED TRAVELERS
The Golden Lady is to Luxembourg City, what the Eiffel Tower is to Paris– a symbolic landmark of a city and country. A miniature kingdom (actually Grand Duchy) in the heart of Western Europe, Luxembourg, though not as well known as its neighbours France, Germany and Belgium, offers first time visitors to Europe and even the most experienced European traveler, a lavish buffet of activities and experiences that would keep them coming back for more.
LUXEMBOURG’S FAIRY-TALE CASTLES
Don’t be put off by Luxembourg’s reputation as a bastion of bureaucracy and banking. It’s true that the multilingual, multicultural country is home to some leading financial institutions and some offices of the European Union, but it’s also a fun, vibrant travel destination that combines a rich history and cultural traditions. Luxembourg has more castles per square mile than any other European country, and with the presence of the Grand Ducal family headed by Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Cuban-born Maria Teresa Mestre y Batista, it also exudes an aura of sophisticated glamour reminiscent of Monaco.
DINKtravelers invites you to visit the Grand Duke’s Palace on rue du Marché aux Herbes. We suggest taking one of the guided tours that are available during the summer months so that you can visit the castle’s interior with its Versailles-style chandeliers and Belgian tapestries.
A WALK THROUGH THE OLD TOWN: PANORAMIC VIEWS AND UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITES
To get an introduction to Luxembourg’s historical legacy and stunning natural beauty, spend an afternoon taking an exploratory walk through the historical part of the city.
The Wenzel route takes visitors to some of Luxembourg’s top tourist attractions and offers them some stunning views for photography. You can either follow this route by taking a guided tour organized by the city tourist office or you can do it on your own with a map. Well-posted signs and information boards not only make the route easy to follow but also enrich the experience with a wealth of historical information.
Leaving Place de la Constitution, make your way to the Bock Promontory. This is massive rocky ledge, on which Count Siegfried built his fortified castle in 963, making it the birthplace of the city. From here, you can enjoy spectacular vistas of the Alzette (river) valley and the Grund, a suburb noted for its nightlife and bars.
Below the street, the Bock Casemates —a network underground passages that were once important for the city’s defence— are hewn into the rock. Designated a UNESCO world heritage site, these are one of the city’s top tourist attractions and can be visited until November.
Continuing through the Rue de la Corniche, turn left and come to the Wenzel wall with 37 towers and gates. After passing many more sites including the Neimenster Cultural Centre and the Rham Plateau with its defensive towers and gates, you’ll end your three-hour walk in the pleasant neighbourhood of Grund, where you can stop for a break at one of its many fine cafes and restaurants. Later, return to the city center via a public elevator for a special dinner at a historic restaurant.
Note: the Wenzel route is a wonderful way to experience the city’s history and natural beauty. However, it does include some steep gradients and steps to climb, so it can be challenging for those with low fitness levels.
DINNER AT RESTAURANT AM TIIRMSCHEN
The walk is fascinating, but the grand finale of the day will be dinner at Restaurant Am Tiirmschen in Luxembourg’s city centre, where you’ll have a wonderful experience of local gastronomy.
Housed in a 400-year old building, the Am Tiirmschen (the name means “a turret”) offers a menu that features some of Luxembourg’s traditional dishes. We recommend an appetizer of cold meats and pâtés (a taste of Luxembourg), a delicious carnival of flavours from around the country. Of course, you should try the country’s famous national dish: Judd mat Gardebounen –tender pork and broad beans in a cream sauce. Made with the freshest of ingredients, it is excellent, and while hearty, is not overwhelmingly heavy.
Pair your meal with a glass of one of the country’s crémants, —a sparkling wine that is Luxembourg’s version of champagne —and finish with coffee and crème brulèe. It will be the perfect ending to a memorable day.
Luxembourg has the highest concentration of Michelin-starred restaurants per resident in Europe, and after your experience at the Am Tiirmschen you’ll understand why the country is well known for its proud culinary traditions. The sights, sounds and flavours of Luxembourg will stay with you for years to come. Indeed, Ernest Hemingway’s famous quote about Paris can well be adapted to this country.
Luxembourg is a moveable feast!