Amidst such a vast green landscape, it is hard to believe that you are standing at the heart of a metropolis. But here in the Old Town of Luxembourg City – the capital of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, you will be able to enjoy nature at its finest.
With just over 2500 km², Luxembourg belongs to one of the world’s smallest countries. It is flanked between Belgium on the North and West, Germany on the East, and France on the South. Despite its pipsqueak size, Luxembourg is the second wealthiest nation in the world (after Qatar), and its capital – Luxembourg City – is the home of several corporates and international organizations, including the United Nations, the UNESCO, and the European Council.
Despite its fame, Luxembourg City is not high on the list of European top attractions due to the lack of opulent palaces or gigantic monuments. Yet its fairy-tale historic center which nestles in Pétrusee Valley is definitely worth a visit. It resembles an oasis in the middle of a modern city.
The Old Quarter of Luxembourg City rolls on a very steep rocky outcrop at the confluence of the Alzette and Pétrusse Rivers (hence the name of this valley). Due to its location, it was only accessible from the west side and thus making the fortification somewhat easy. It was one of Europe’s largest fortresses for centuries until its demolition in the 19th century. Fortunately, many of its gates, forts, bastions, and casemates still remain.
It’s hard to believe that you are standing at the heart of a metropolis.
1. The Grund
Although the fortress was dismantled, the old town is able to retain its layout of streets and buildings. Inside and at the foot of the ramparts – the Grund – is where people lived and engaged in businesses. In this area, you can certainly find Luxembourg’s national dish Judd mat Gaardebounen (smoked collar of pork with broad beans)in a restaurant along the Alzette. The ancient Abbey of Neumünster is the worship place and the landmark of this borough.
2. The Upper Town
The Upper Town was reserved for the aristocrat families and major religious communities where they built mansions and official institutions. Noteworthy buildings in this area are the Grand Ducal Palace and the Notre-Dame Cathedral Luxembourg. The Upper Town also grants a sweeping view of the Grund and the beautiful Pétrusee Valley.
Tips for visiting Luxembourg
- Walking is the best way to explore Luxembourg’s Old Town as the streets in this area are relatively narrow, sloping and car parks are rare. The best place to make good photos of the Old Town is along Chemin de la Corniche.
- The height from the Grund to the Upper Town is over 65 metres, so be prepared for a lot of steps. Lifts are also available at some positions.
- Another alternative is taking the bus. However, most buses only run along the Montée de Clausen (the rampart). A few runs to the Grund, but not so frequent. Since March 2020, using public transport in Luxembourg is free of charge. The scheme applies to both residents and tourists.
24 thoughts on “Luxembourg Old Town: An Oasis in the Heart of the City”
Impressive views of this attractive city.
Many thanks! 🙂
On my trip to Europe ten years ago, a learned from my cousin that Luxembourg was famous for its fortifications. I had no time to visit the country, though, but what he said was enough to piqued my interest of Luxembourg. I’m really impressed by how green the capital is. Imagine strolling or running among those trees!
It is really delightful, especially at the Grund 🙂 I have read somewhere that parks and green areas cover more than one-third of the city’s surface. One more thing I found interesting about this area is that the locals actually live here. It is not a tourist attraction like other old towns in Europe where you mostly see tourists or businesses that provide service for tourists.
Very interesting information about Luxembourg and nice photos. Thank you!
My pleasure! I am glad that you like it 🙂
It is a beautiful city. Pity it is rather expensive too!
Indeed. The price in Luxembourg is slightly higher than its neighbor countries. I think it is the same for Singapore right? But it is still affordable in comparison to Switzerland 🙂
Singapore is not as expensive as Luxembourg or Switzerland yet we believe!
I don’t know about other stuff but the price for accommodation in Singapore is more or less the same to the price in Paris or even Zurich 🙂
Oh perhaps so! When we come back we say in our own home, so never stayed in a hotel in Singapore! LOL
Gorgeous photos all Len – I was going to point out my favorite but every time I reached the next one IT became my favorite. Beautifully done.
Your comment made my day! Many thanks 🙂
Beautiful photos. This place looks like a fairy tale!
Thank you, Dee! 🙂
Very pretty. Birds eye view of European cities are always very nice. 😊
Many thanks, Jolene! Haven’t seen you for a while 🙂 How are you?
I’m good, just so busy with work!! Adjusting to boring old life after holidays can be very hard!! 😪
I can understand 🙂 It took me days to adjust to the normal life after one month of travelling. But it is good to come back home, isn’t it? To be able to sleep on your own bed, cook your own mean. I remember at the end of my trip, I was really tired of Western foods 🙂
I know exactly what you mean! I’m not unhappy to be home, but every time I come home I get a small dose of disappointment, that surely there has to be more to life than just 12hours of work each day. But yea, I miss my bed, my blanket, and the blueness of the sky that can only be found back home. The food is definitely better home cooked!
Thank you for showing us Luxembourg, Len. This is one country I can visit without taking any free days from work, over the weekend because there are weekend flights to Belgium from Warsaw. I am curious how long you stayed there? The city looks stunning and so peaceful. I think I’d enjoy it!
I stayed there for one day. The city is quite small so one day is enough to explore it all. I suggest that you combine visiting Luxembourg with the Rhineland-Palatinate in Germany. It is a very scenic wine region and close to Luxembourg 🙂
What a treat this was. Absolutely gorgeous!
No doubt! I haven’t seen any European old town with such a dramatic setting. You need to walk on hilly paths, but the view is worth the effort. Thanks for visiting again, Alison 🙂