Small country, big variety!
Luxembourg entices visitors with variety and diversity! The multicultural, modern capital city that dates back a thousand years; five tourist regions with their own special charms; and not forgetting four sites on the UNESCO World Heritage List – and that’s just for starters. The Grand Duchy has a lot to offer across its 2,586 km². Certified high-quality hiking routes and thrilling mountain-bike trails also make the country very appealing to outdoor adventurers.
Although Luxembourg City has experienced breathtakingly fast modernisation in the last few decades, the nation’s capital remains a metropolis on a human scale. Despite counting only 125,000 souls, people from over 170 different countries call it their home, treasuring the community spirit in the green, fortified city that dates back over a millennium.
The historic old town stands out through its striking topography between the upper and lower parts. It is very close to the Grand Ducal Palace, while its impressive fortifications and unique underground casemates make it a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Meanwhile, the European quarter is characterised by its larger-than-life contemporary buildings, under which stand the popular Philharmonie and Mudam, the Contemporary Art Museum, designed by I. M. Pei. The best way to get to know the city is by going on one of its many walking tours.
A land of contrasts
Due to geological conditions, the Grand Duchy has many different landscapes in a small area: heavily forested ravines in the Luxembourg Ardennes, bizarre rock formations in the Mullerthal region (known as Luxembourg’s Little Switzerland), idyllic vineyards along the Luxembourg Moselle, enchanting meadows in the western Guttland region, and old mining territory in the south of the country, known as the Land of the Red Rocks or the Minett.
The restored palaces and castles exude their former splendour once more. When you visit, you can experience cultural heritage and picture-perfect scenery at the same time. Vianden Castle, in the north, is one of the most highly regarded historic fortifications. The Beaufort Castles in the Mullerthal region, Clervaux Castle with its The Family of Man exhibition, which is listed on the UNESCO Memory of the World register, and the grand edifices in the Valley of the Seven Castles in Guttland, are just a few examples of Luxembourg’s varied and fascinating history.
Active in nature
The Grand Duchy has one of Europe’s densest certified hiking trail networks. The paths cross through breathtaking landscapes: valleys, forests, cliffs, rivers and waterfalls.
The 112 km Mullerthal Trail, which has been distinguished with the “Leading Quality Trails – Best of Europe” label, is the headline hiking trail of the Mullerthal region – Luxembourg’s Little Switzerland. Three circular routes lead hikers through the unusual rock formations and past castles and palaces, as well as affording splendid panoramic views. Numerous accommodation providers offer “luggage-free hiking” and other services designed especially for hikers. A note of comfort for walkers: public transport in Luxembourg is free. So you can board any bus or train, at any time, knowing you won’t have to pay a cent.
National hiking trails run through the Luxembourg Ardennes, including past the Upper Sûre Lake and through the Our and Upper Sûre Nature Parks. As a cross-border hiking trail, the Escapardenne Eislek Trail starts in the Luxembourgish village of Kautenbach and ends in the Belgian town of La Roche-en-Ardenne. Both this 106 km trail and the 53 km Escapardenne Lee Trail are also certified “Leading Quality Trails – Best of Europe”.
Trails along the Moselle guide hikers through vineyards, and can include stop-offs at one of the many winegrowers or a boat trip on the river. The “Dream Loops” around the Moselle towns of Schengen and Ahn combine stunning views over the vineyards and the Moselle valley with a heavenly route through highly esteemed nature reserves, with the possibility for stops at renowned gastronomic addresses.
In the south, the former mines, with their literally red earth, form a spectacular hiking corridor. The Prënzbierg - Giele Botter Nature Reserve gives hobby geologists a good chance of finding some fossils. And the Haard, Luxembourg’s largest nature reserve, invites visitors to view the fascinating growth and decay process in the natural forest reserve. A particularly idyllic hiking trail leads through the west of the country, the Guttland region, along the Valley of the Seven Castles.
Luxembourg has over 600 km of cycle paths and an additional 700 km of mountain-bike trails. Whether you want to experience professional racing cyclists’ favourite routes, ride established mountain-bike trails, or amble along former railway tracks through disused tunnels and alongside rivers, you can have an authentic experience of the five holiday regions on your bike.
Basic information about Luxembourg
- As a parliamentary monarchy, Luxembourg is an independent state ruled by a Grand Duke. It is the world’s only grand duchy.
- Luxembourg is one of Europe’s smallest countries: its population is just over 625,000, of whom 48% are foreign nationals.
- Luxembourg borders Belgium, Germany and France.
- Luxembourg City, the capital, is home to just 125,000 inhabitants. It is an international city with contemporary architecture and a history dating back to 963 AD.
- Luxembourg City ranks first out of 221 cities for personal safety (according to the 2019 Mercer Ranking).
- Luxembourg is a founder Member State of the EU and one of its 3 headquarters; several important EU bodies are based in Luxembourg.
- The country has three official languages: Luxembourgish, French and German. Many residents also speak English.
- Luxair, the national airline, has flights to the majority of European hubs. Luxembourg Airport is only ten minutes by car from the city centre.
- Public transport in Luxembourg has been free since 2020.
- There are 4 UNESCO World Heritage-listed locations or events in Luxembourg – the fortifications of Luxembourg City’s old town, Edward Steichen’s The Family of Man photography exhibition in Clervaux, the Echternach Hopping Procession, and the Minett Biosphere Reserve.
- The Grand Duchy has the world’s highest ratio of Michelin-starred restaurants per capita.
- Luxembourg has a wide variety of accommodation options: 1- to 5-star hotels, youth hostels, campsites and holiday apartments.
- The Schengen Agreement (which abolished border controls for people) lends its name to a small Moselle wine-growing village called Schengen, where the agreement was signed in 1985.
A travel destination in the heart of Europe
|Paris||372 km||1:00'||2:05' (TGV)|
|Straßburg||220 km||2:10'||1:53 (TGV)|