The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. This tiny landlocked country, sandwiched between France, Belgium, and Germany, is surrounded by rolling countryside, has a wealth of culture, and nature all packed into a country the size of Oxfordshire.
And right now the city, just an hour’s flight away from the UK, is undergoing some huge changes as it strives to hold onto its status as a major player in the European Union.
There’s never been a better time to enjoy a short break in the city. So grab your free pass and check out the highlights.
Currently, 170,000 commuters come into Luxembourg each morning from nearby Belgium, France, and Germany and predictions are that this will increase threefold in the next 40 years.
To combat the effect of climate change, a sleek new tram system from Spain, with trendy light-up seats has been introduced to transport you neatly and quickly round the city. Joined by a funicular and giant panoramic lift, cars may well be the thing of the past.
Tip: Central station is a hive of activity for the thousands of commuters and is also home to a huge mosaic window depicting the outline of the city and an artistic ceiling that welcomes the workers who are vital to Luxembourg’s economy.
Luxembourg Old Town
One thing the Luxembourgers are keen to keep is their old town and its fabulous architecture. You can spend hours strolling around the beautifully kept buildings, peaceful squares, and ancient bridges.
One of the most impressive bridges is the 16th century Grand Ducal Palace – the former home to the Grand Duke of Luxembourg. It is now used for state occasions and weddings and has its own guards.
Pfaffenthal area – Glassy view
EU money has allowed the traditional housed Pfaffenthal area at the bottom of the Alzette Valley to connect with the main city via a huge glass elevator which zips you up 71 m high in the air in seconds and allows magnificent views of the green valley.
Down in the Pfaffenthal area are old-style homes, restaurants, and homes for the elderly which look like castles, so fancy they are! Rent is high in this area with a small flat costing more than 1,500 Euros a month.
A newly launched Hop-on Hop-Off bus allows you to escape the city relatively easily and travel a few miles to some of the finest views in Luxembourg to the green Ardennes.
Here perched high in the cliffs, is one of the country’s finest castles Vianden, dating from the 10th century and one of the largest fortresses west of the Rhine. Until the beginning of the 15th century, it was the seat of the influential counts of Vianden, who had close connections with the royal family of France and the German imperial court.