Abbey of Neumünster, Luxembourg

Luxembourg Old Town: An Oasis in the Heart of the City

Tiếng Việt

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.

Pont Adolphe – Luxembourg City’s iconic bridge runs across the Pétrusee Valley

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.

Pétrusee Valley
Advertisements

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.

Grund Borough

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.

The Upper Town
View over the Grund from the Upper Town
Shophouse in Luxembourg City

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.
Advertisements

24 thoughts on “Luxembourg Old Town: An Oasis in the Heart of the City”

  1. Nemorino – Frankfurt am Main, Germany – Hello, my name’s Don. I’m an American living in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, where I teach, ride a bicycle and go to the opera. You can find me at https://operasandcycling.com/
    Nemorino says:

    Impressive views of this attractive city.

  2. Bama – Jakarta, Indonesia – Based in Jakarta, always curious about the world, always fascinated by ancient temples, easily pleased by food.
    Bama says:

    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!

    1. 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.

  3. thepetalpusher – gardener, procrastinator, teacher, wife, daughter, friend, step-mother, pet owner, bike rider, angler, daydreamer, exerciser, not-a-very-good listener, walker, house cleaner, over-eater, lover, reader, voter, hiker, tutor, avoider, writer, fantasizer, painter, eye glass wearer, giggler, vacationer, traveler, photographer, Facebooker, Twitterer, shopper, pooper, stooper: Alas, a retiree!
    thepetalpusher says:

    Very interesting information about Luxembourg and nice photos. Thank you!

  4. Mel & Suan – Singapore – Mel works his day job for a living, but lives for antiquities, history and geography at all other times. He enjoys writing and thought sharing and obviously traveling. Suan is a homey person, who like girlie stuff such as cross stitching etc. Enjoys shopping & modeling for Mel. What a match!
    Mel & Suan says:

    It is a beautiful city. Pity it is rather expensive too!

    1. 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 🙂

      1. Mel & Suan – Singapore – Mel works his day job for a living, but lives for antiquities, history and geography at all other times. He enjoys writing and thought sharing and obviously traveling. Suan is a homey person, who like girlie stuff such as cross stitching etc. Enjoys shopping & modeling for Mel. What a match!
        Mel & Suan says:

        Singapore is not as expensive as Luxembourg or Switzerland yet we believe!

      2. 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 🙂

      3. Mel & Suan – Singapore – Mel works his day job for a living, but lives for antiquities, history and geography at all other times. He enjoys writing and thought sharing and obviously traveling. Suan is a homey person, who like girlie stuff such as cross stitching etc. Enjoys shopping & modeling for Mel. What a match!
        Mel & Suan says:

        Oh perhaps so! When we come back we say in our own home, so never stayed in a hotel in Singapore! LOL

  5. Tina Schell – I am passionate about photography, love traveling and exploring new places and faces, and seeing the world from different perspectives. My lens is always on the lookout for something beautiful or interesting.
    Tina Schell says:

    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.

  6. Dee – I'm a #travelblogger all about slow travel, meaningful journeys and local culture.
    Dee says:

    Beautiful photos. This place looks like a fairy tale!

  7. Jolene – Sydney, Australia – Jolene is a banker by trade, a writer at heart, and is a contributor to Thought Catalog. You are welcome to peek into her adventures and reflections on films and life at "SoMuchToTellYou", her ultimate love affair with words.
    Jolene says:

    Very pretty. Birds eye view of European cities are always very nice.

      1. Jolene – Sydney, Australia – Jolene is a banker by trade, a writer at heart, and is a contributor to Thought Catalog. You are welcome to peek into her adventures and reflections on films and life at "SoMuchToTellYou", her ultimate love affair with words.
        Jolene says:

        I’m good, just so busy with work!! Adjusting to boring old life after holidays can be very hard!!

      2. 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 🙂

      3. Jolene – Sydney, Australia – Jolene is a banker by trade, a writer at heart, and is a contributor to Thought Catalog. You are welcome to peek into her adventures and reflections on films and life at "SoMuchToTellYou", her ultimate love affair with words.
        Jolene says:

        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!

  8. 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!

    1. 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 🙂

  9. Alison and Don – Occupation: being/living/experiencing/travelling In our sixties, (Don is now 77) with apparently no other authentic option, my husband Don and I sold our apartment and car, sold or gave away all our stuff and set off to discover the world. And ourselves. We started in Italy in 2011 and from there have travelled to Spain, India, Bali, Australia, New Zealand, SE Asia, South America, etc. - you can see the blog archive. We will continue travelling until it's time to stop - if that time ever comes. So far it suits us very well. We are interested in how the world works, how life works, how the creation of experience works, how the mind works. As we travel and both "choose" our course, and at the same time just let it unfold, we discover the "mechanics" of life, the astounding creativity of life, and a continual need to return to trust and presence. Opening the heart, and acceptance of what is, as it is, are keystones for us both. Interests: In no particular order: travel, figure skating (as a fan), acceptance, authenticity, walking/hiking, joy, creativity, being human, adventure, presence, NOW. Same for Don except replace figure skating with Formula One motor racing.
    Alison and Don says:

    What a treat this was. Absolutely gorgeous!
    Alison

    1. 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 🙂

Leave a Reply