Regarded by many as one of the world’s smallest nation, there are actually an incredible 16 nations smaller than the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. Although tiny, Luxembourg has a lot more to it than you would expect for one of the world’s smallest. Visitors can explore the military past of Luxembourg’s capital and climb the walls and spelunk the tunnels of the fortified old town, or you can head out into the hinterland to explore the rolling hillsides and medieval castles that dot the rolling landscape. Active travelers can take to the nation’s extensive network of trails, or those wanting to kick back with something cold and frothy can sample some of the best beers found on the entire European continent.
Euro; Exchange Rate: 1 Euro = $1.46 (June 3, 2011). For more currency conversion info visit xe.com
When To Go:
Although Luxembourg has a temperate climate, winters can be bleak, cold, and gray given the northern latitude and inland location. Summer is a great time for the mild temperatures in the low 70’s, but you can expect crowds and higher prices. As usual, I give priority to the shoulder seasons of spring and autumn for a number of different reasons. In springtime (April-June) wildflowers are in bloom along the river banks and spring festivals pop up nearly every weekend. In autumn (September, October), while there aren’t as many festivals, it’s grape harvest season and the deciduous trees take on a mid-Autumn splendor. Best bets: May and October.
Luxembourg has an incredibly extensive public transportation system with frequent buses running to every corner of the country. In attempting to get to Luxembourg from anywhere on the continent, the easiest and most economical way to get to where you are going is simply to head to Luxembourg City and catch a connecting bus from there, as nowhere is more than an hour away. Also, understand that the Luxembourg City bus/train station is about the ugliest part of the country. It gets much better if you give it the chance.
The Vagabond’s Personal Favorites:
1. Bike or hike the Mullerthal Trail
A wooded, well marked trail that covers 110km of eastern Luxembourg’s hillsides the Mullerthal is the country’s most well known trail, and for good reason.
2. Wander the casemates of Luxembourg’s Old Town
An impressive underground labyrinth of tunnels that served as a defense system during Luxembourg’s largely military past, everyone from Napoleon to civilians during the Second World War have holed up in the tunnels that have earned Luxembourg the moniker of “Gibraltar of the North”.
3. Sample regional beers in Echternach
An impossibly charming little town set right on the riverbank boundary with Germany, Echternach is regarded as the oldest town in Luxembourg. Constructed around the Echternach Abbey which dates to 698, and features a handful of bustling main streets and central squares where outdoor cafes dominate the street scene.