What to see in Grand Duchy of Luxembourg

Luxembourg city/ Pixabay

Luxembourg is one of the smallest and second richest countries in the world. It is landlocked and surrounded by Germany, France and Belgium. The country is a mix of cultures and traditions.

Three-day visit started with a train travel. The journey from Stuttgart to Vianden, in Luxembourg, took about 8 hours with 3 changes. It was quite hectic. I was quite excited to see Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.

We had booked a ‘Youth hostel’ in Vianden. Why? Because of the location, location and location!!! Vianden is the most beautiful city (actually village) in Luxembourg and in here, the hostel is right in front of a castle. This castle is one of the significant historical monuments of Europe. We could see the castle from the window of our room. We got a huge room/dorm with 10 beds. All for us. Aarush was excited to see lots of beds and I and Amol were delighted to see the spectacular valley of Vianden.

From next day we started our expedition.

Day 1

Morning breakfast was included in the room charges. The breakfast was typical continental. All of the tourists in the dining room were getting ready for their cycling excursions. Most of them were, as expected, young. The staff in the hostel was very caring and helpful. Aarush was the only small kid in the hostel at that time.

Last night, in Vianden, we didn’t find any vegetarian food to eat, so we booked our dinner at hostel kitchen and started for the day.

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View of Vianden Castle from our Hostel

We walked around the village for a while. Some tourists in the hostel told us that there is nothing to see inside the castle. But in the night it is best admired with lightings. So we skipped to go inside the castle and instead started to climb, along the road, on the hill. There was not much traffic. Nice leisurely walk in the morning was refreshing.

Then we hopped on to a bus and went to the nearest train station Ettelbruck. This travel was also scenic with winding roads on rolling hills.

What to see in What to see in Grand Duchy of Luxembourg
A leisurely walk in Ettelbruck

Ettelbruck is situated on the banks of three rivers – the Alzette, the Sauer and the Wark. The train station is on the banks of River Alzette. We walked towards the city center – Place de l’eglise. This square is just 10 min walk from the station. Soon we reached on the pedestrian zone. There were small 3-4 story beautiful buildings with shops on the ground floor. Many flowering plants planted along the path as well as different carved statues were adding grace to the town appearance.

We energized ourselves with lunch in one of the restaurants and then continued to our trail. The town was quiet and lazy in the afternoon. People had a relaxed attitude but were friendly. Just before reaching the river banks, we found one public play area. Aarush got delighted and we decided to stop there for a while.

Such play areas are a good place to mingle with locals and to have a glance of local life. Aarush made some friends also.

Before going back to Vianden, we strolled along the river for some time and then caught a bus.

What to see in What to see in Grand Duchy of Luxembourg
View over Vianden town from Chairlift

Vianden is settled along the River ‘Our’ and is surrounded by small mountainous uplands. There is a chair-lift from valley to the top of the hill. We reached there in the evening. From here, we could see the back side of the castle and the whole Vianden town down in the valley. This was the best photo point in the town. One can also walk down the hill but we used chair-lift in both the directions.

Here we ended our day and went back to the hostel. It was dinner time.

What to see in What to see in Grand Duchy of Luxembourg
Walkway alongside the ‘Our’ river in Vianden

Day 2

Today we wanted to visit The Luxembourg City – The capital of the country Luxembourg.

After breakfast, we took a bus to Ettelbruck and then train to Luxembourg City. It took around 1 hour to reach there.

What to see in What to see in Grand Duchy of Luxembourg
Gorge of Petruss and Alzette rivers.

The settlement and some of the constructions in the city date back to the Roman era. The city is spread not only horizontally but also vertically.  Two rivers Peitruss and the Alzette have cut the sandstone to develop the gorges of about 70 m deep.  The fortification in these depths is World Heritage Sites. (Read about Matera, Unesco World Heritage site in South Italy).

What to see in What to see in Grand Duchy of Luxembourg
mini Road train through the gorge

From the Central train station, we walked to the ‘Place de la Constitution’ in the old city center. Gorge below was looking lush green with whitish sandstone walls.

From this square, ‘mini road train‘ tour starts. We decided to hop on the train rather than walking. The train took us through the gorge to most of the popular destinations. The audio commentary was basic but the ride was enjoyable for us and for Aarush also. It lasted for around 1 hour. The sights through the train window were so amazing that we decided to walk down again to explore more.

We walked for around 3 or 4 hours and finally reached ‘Casemates du Bock’. All this walk was amazing and took us in historic periods through small alleys and steps. It was not at all tiring, in-fact was refreshing.

What to see in What to see in Grand Duchy of Luxembourg
UNESCO Heritage site- Luxembourg city fortification

Then we walked through one of the happening parts of the city – nearby City hall. The area is studded with lots of cafes, restaurants and trendy shops. Some kind of festival was going on there. Aarush played some joy rides and got some balloons. His day was made!!!

By the evening, we returned to Vianden.  On the last night, while wandering, we had marked one charming restaurant situated just beside the river. Today we had dinner there. While eating, we could look over the old arched stone bridge and Vianden castle towering up from the hills. At the end of a day, all we needed was long sound sleep.

Day 3

Today was our last day in Luxembourg. We didn’t want to leave the Vianden. Before catching a bus, for the last time, we strolled along the river for some time. The weather was perfect, cool breeze with morning sunshine.

What to see in What to see in Grand Duchy of Luxembourg
Empty bus to Clarvaux

The last destination in this trip was Clervaux. Actually, we did not see the Clervaux City but the road trip from Vianden to Clervaux is breathtaking. The terrain is mostly flat with rolling hills covered with greenery and seasonal wildflowers. This journey was about 40 min by bus. 

Interestingly no one was on the bus except us and the driver (of course). He was so happy to have us with him as tourists, that on the way, he pointed so many places while driving. (read the facts about driving in South Italy here). He could talk only French and we couldn’t. I did not understand what he was showing us but I appreciate his efforts. In this trip, I observed that people in this country are calm and busy with their own stuff. If we approach friendly, they are happy to help.

From Clervaux we took a direct train to Luxembourg City and then from there to Stuttgart. We were returning to a long-lasting feast for eyes and mind. It was a memorable trip.

Some tips

  1. Luxembourg is a costly place. Food and accommodation eat up all the budget.
  2. Travel is cheap. Day ticket for public transport for the whole country costs less than 10 Euro.
  3. As per my experience, this was a little laid back country where everything goes at its own pace.
  4. The roads are famous for bike riders.
  5. This is one of the safest places on earth… so just relax and enjoy.

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