4 Reasons to Visit Luxembourg

Luxembourg is not necessarily a first choice holiday destination, but it’s a country my dad had spoken about for years as one of his dream places to visit. So for my parents 40th anniversary I surprised them with a trip there…and of course booked myself a place too because I couldn’t be getting any fomo.

So here’s a bit about Luxembourg…

Luxembourg is one of the smallest countries in the world, around the same size as Dorset. It is surrounded by Belgium, France and Germany and is the sixth richest country in the world – it has the highest minimum wage in the EU paying workers a minimum of just under 2000 euros a month! Because of this, and as Luxembourg is a prominent financial centre in Europe, I expected it to be very expensive but it isn’t any different to it’s neighbours – France, Belgium and Germany. Luxembourg is one of the safest countries in the world and lastly, Luxembourg is the only Grand Duchy in the world, which means it is a territory ruled by a grand duke.

So if you’ve never considered a trip to Luxembourg before, I’ve rounded up my short but sweet reasons on why you should consider it for your next city break.

The Moselle – Remich

My favourite part of our trip to Luxembourg was our visit to The Moselle.

The Moselle is just full of breathtaking views with it’s medieval towns and stunning countryside (but I’m filled with regret that I didn’t take many photos while we were there) and the best bit…the vineyards, as The Moselle is the birthplace of Luxembourg wines including Riesling, Auxerrois and Pinot Gris.

We got a bus from Luxembourg to Remich which takes less than an hour. Once we arrived in Remich, we went for a stroll around the quaint and picturesque town, then sat along the river Moselle, on the German-Luxembourg border, for a picnic of local cheeses and meats. It was so relaxing and so peaceful.

Afterwards we went to Pavillon Desom which faces the river. Desom wines are located in Remich, the vineyard sits on the left bank of the Moselle and benefits from a microclimate.

Pavillon Desom is located just a short walk from the main Desom building and has a lovely terrace which we sat outside on in the sun tasting the wonderful Desom wines. You can buy wines by the bottle, glass or order a variety of tasters for just a couple of euros each and create your own wine tasting. So that’s what we did, and we tried a variety of Desom’s finest including Riesling (favourite), Gewurztraminer, and Desom Brut Elegance.

Visiting Remich and Pavillion Desom was definitely the highlight of our trip. After our picnic and a few wine tasters later, we were craving something sweet so we ordered ice cream to eat on the terrace. Pavillion Desom served THE BEST (yes, seriously the best) vanilla ice cream we have ever had. It was so good we ordered a second portion each. Which says a lot as I’m the type of person to order another glass of wine over a dessert…

and here is the winery, it isn’t open to visitors – because of course we tried to get in for a tasting and failed. But they directed us to Pavillion which is just a 2 minute walk away.

and the bus back to Luxembourg City stops right outside Pavillion which was ideal, and perfect if you’ve had a few too many tastings.

Chocolate House

Yes, I’m making a chocolate cafe one full reason why you need to go to Luxembourg!

Most people research the sights and the history of a place before visiting, I look up the best places to eat.

Chocolate House was mentioned in so many Luxembourg guides and I was seeing such mixed reviews, so I had to go and visit for myself.

The Chocolate House is located in front of the beautiful Grand Ducal Palace so it is the perfect place to stop off while sightseeing.

We excitedly ordered a large slice of chocolate cake to share and three hot chocolates. The hot chocolates come served as a large cup of hot milk, then you pick a ‘Hot Choc Spoon’ – a wooden spoon with a lump of chocolate on one end which you dip into the hot milk to melt. You can choose from about five shelves of flavours, there’s even alcoholic versions which come with a small tube filled with a shot of alcohol including Amaretto, rum, vodka or whiskey.

We were not disappointed, Chocolate House is ideal for chocoholics. We left on sugar high and slowly fell into chocolate-milk induced coma.

The shop sells a large selection of chocolate treats to take away too but we were way too full to consider buying anything else.

Luxembourg City

We stayed in Luxembourg City and as it’s quite small it is so easy to walk around everywhere. We walked around and saw Grand Ducal Palace where we saw the guards march back and forth.

and then there’s the stunning, colourful and quaint streets filled with lovely boutiques and cafes which are perfect for getting lost in.

The city is an interesting blend of historic and modern cultures. You’ll see a Sephora and a McDonald’s, then you will come across this breathtaking scenery of the Passerelle Viaduc and the Grund Quarter – a quaint area with Medieval charm.

Luxembourg is known for its picturesque scenery, and picturesque it is. We saw it in Luxembourg City and when we ventured out to Remich. But after seeing so many lovely photos of Luxembourg’s fairytale-like castles and towns, I think I expected to see more of it in the city which now I say it like that sounds ridiculous. But it is an example of how social media can often be a bit misleading at times. For example, I saw wonderful photos of Vianden Castle in guides about Luxembourg City when in fact it is a 45 minute drive away. So make sure you schedule ahead of your visit, as I know I will next time as there are plenty of stunning castles to see in this lovely country which will make you feel like you’ve stepped into a fairytale.

 

Luxembourg City is beautiful though and perfect for a day trip, so I would recommend venturing outside of the city too as there is a lot to offer, which leads me onto my next point…

It’s free to get around

It’s FREE to travel around Luxembourg! When we went (and at the moment) transport is free on the weekends.

However in December 2018, Luxembourg announced that they were to become the first country to make all of its transport free from the start of 2020. An initiative which I hope will spark other places to copy – think of the money it would save and the positive affect on the environment it would have!

Free transport = helping to decrease bad congestion and help the environment…and it means those who would usually drive can drink…which reminds me, I highly recommend trying local beer Diekirch and German Bitburger beer while in Luxembourg.

The free weekend transport was perfect for us travelling to the airport, to The Moselle and from our apartment to the city centre, and we didn’t have to worry about it eating into our budget.

Where to stay

Accommodation in Luxembourg varies in prices and hotels can be expensive. I booked an affordable apartment on Booking.com which was a short walk from the city centre, with a bus stop outside and was the perfect size for 3 of us. The owners left essentials for us such as cereal, milk, juice and even a 825g jar of Nutella. It was perfect!

How to get there

Luxembourg is very cheap to get to with Ryanair. I paid just £19.99 each for return flights and you can often get reasonable deals on British Airways. I tend to look on SkyScanner and search ‘cheapest month’ to find the best deals.

Would I return?

Yes definitely, there’s so much more I want to see! I had a fantastic time and fell in love with The Moselle, it’s a place I would love to explore more of. Two lessons were learnt on this trip – photograph everything (I usually do, I think I was too happy living in the moment and having fun!) and do your research. Create an itinerary, and list where you want to go and how to get there. It will be worth it!

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