What do you do when you have 24 hours in one of Europe’s smallest countries? See as much as you can of course. But first, a fun fact, native people of Luxembourg are called Luxembourgers and their native language is Luxembourgish, but they mainly speak French and German.
So just before Covid hit, I was lucky enough to have a quick trip to Luxembourg with one of my friends and I can confirm that you can see all the main attractions and more in less than a day. It really is that small. Luxembourg is also known for being one of the richest countries in Europe and this is evident when you arrive and see all the boutique, high end shops and the extortionate prices of tea and coffee!
So bearing the price in mind, I recommend staying in either an AirBnB or a cheap hotel so that you can spend your money on other things. But if you are anything like me and like travelling on a budget then keep reading to find out lots of the free things you can see and do in Luxembourg city. One thing that doesn’t cost you a penny, is the buses, travel around by bus as it’s totally free! I got the bus from the airport to my AirBnB and then used the buses to get into the city centre too.
Walk around Old Town
A must see in Luxembourg is the ‘Grund’ also known as Europe’s most beautiful balcony (Chemin de la Corniche) you can see why it’s called this when you see the view. I imagine that in the summer it looks even more beautiful with flowers in bloom.
The Grund is set in Lux old town, where the streets are laced with cobles, you can just wander around and soak up the atmosphere, you also get views of all the stone bridges and old city walls above. Running through the old town is Alzette river, grab a drink and sit in one of the few cafes near the river.
A short walk around from the Grund is one of Luxembourg city’s only panoramic view points, Pfaffenthal lift. It overlooks the whole of old town and beyond. You can access the lift by a ramp or stairs and of course when you get to the top you can use the lift to get the best view.
Once you have finished exploring the old town of Luxembourg you can move onto the Grand Ducal Palace, situated a 15 minute walk away, in the centre of the city, you can’t miss this extravagant building. You can only have a guided tour of the palace during peak season (July-August) as the rest of the time it is the official residence of the Grand Duke and the royal family.
Right opposite the palace you will find the best and most popular ‘Chocolat Hause’ that Luxembourg has to offer. You are filled with the smell of chocolate from the moment you enter. Downstairs is a chocolate shop where you can buy anything from flavoured bars to hot chocolate spoons. Upstairs and outside is the popular cafe, it can get very busy so try not to go when it’s raining (we did this and waited for a while to get a seat) and during peak times.
Buildings and Monuments
After indulging in some chocolate, take a walk to the Notre Dame Cathedral, this is a must see as from the outside the Cathedral has a very gothic look to it, but inside it’s somewhat modern but with an old twist. It has amazingly detailed stained glass windows dating back to the 19th century and many sculptures, see if you can spot the celebrity sculpture inside!
Outside the Notre Dame is a tall monument of remembrance known as ‘the golden lady’ or ‘Gelle Fra, it is dedicated to all the Luxmbourgers who volunteered for the armed forces and services during the World Wars and the Korean War. It is a beautiful statue which had to be restored in 1984 because it was destroyed by the Nazis in 1980.
Look beyond Gelle Fra and you will see Passerelle Parc, a massive park perfect for a stroll and to see a different side to Luxembourg city, with bridges, trees, cycle paths, mini golf, skate park, viaduct and lots of little quaint buildings. One of which being Chapelle St.Quirin, a cute little chapel, it is closed off so you can’t go inside, but it’s a lovely photo opportunity for those of you who enjoy architecture and history.
In 24 hours you can see some of the best places Luxembourg has to offer and all for free! Now if that isn’t budget travel, I don’t know what is.