Luxembourg never really stood out to me as a place of priority to visit. But that was until I met Eric.
Eric and I accidentally stumbled across each other after discovering that we would both be starting our attempted Appalachian Trail thru-hikes around the same time.
Post-trail, we remained in contact and Eric very kindly invited me to do some exploring and hiking around his country. Here’s everything we got up to in a week. If you ever get the opportunity to visit, I suggest you explore some of these activities too:
Stroll around the beautiful capital
Like the rest of the country, Luxembourg City is beautifully compact, making it exceedingly walkable and explorable within just a day or two.
Though small, the city is complex in the sense that it is spread across numerous levels. These levels straddle the hillsides, which drop down into two gorges cut through by the Alzette and Pétrusse rivers.
Cobbled streets and the pastel-coloured town houses are a favourite of mine.
Due to it’s highly strategic positioning, Luxembourg City was once one of Europe’s most successful fortified sites. Today, the remains of the fortifications are still very much visible throughout the city and are part of UNESCO’s World Heritage List.
Discover the many castles and châteaux
Luxembourg is dotted with picturesque castles. Many of them cling to steep hillsides and proudly overlook the old towns that reside in their shadows.
The charming little town of Vianden, for instance, is one of the countries major tourist attractions. This is thanks to the magnificent medieval castle, which perches high above its cobblestone streets.
Whilst in the town, we took a ride in the Vianden chairlift. It leisurely carries you over the river and up past the castle, giving you a breathtaking view of the surrounding countryside.
Bourscheid Castle is another medieval structure worth visiting. It stands majestically some 150 metres above the village of Bourscheid and the River Sauer.
Bourglinster Castle has a rich history stretching right back to the 11th century. Having been partially destroyed and then subsequently restored numerous times over the years, it’s now home to one of Luxembourg’s best restaurants.
Nip over to neighbouring countries
Luxembourg just so happens to be snugly nestled between France, Germany and Belgium. This gives you the perfect excuse to dip into a whole new country, if you so wish.
We visited Trier, one of Germany’s oldest cities, the birthplace of Karl Marx and under 10 miles from the Luxembourg border.
Nicknamed ‘Rome of the north’, this medieval mecca boasts a number of well-preserved UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
We also visited Château de Malbrouck in France. The castle is built on a rocky outcrop overlooking the lush, green French countryside in the 1400s.
Take a hike on the Müllerthal Trail
The Müllerthal Trail comprises of three routes, which can be hiked separately or connected to create a 112km (70 mile) long stretch.
I hiked a 20 mile section of the trail over two days, which you can read about here: Hiking the Müllerthal Trail in Luxembourg.
After a week of wandering, Luxembourg is now firmly one of my favourite countries. I love the city for its unique structure and historical buildings, but above all, for how green it is; over one third of the capital is classed as a green space. Its size and compact nature means that you only really need a few days to take it all in, making it the perfect place for a short city break.
If, however, you are lucky enough to have ample time and access to transport, I would thoroughly recommend going further afield. Explore the more rural areas, go hiking and visit the old towns and castles scattered across this underrated little slice of Europe.
For more information, certainly check out the Visit Luxembourg website.
Big thank you to Eric for being an amazing host, tour guide and for helping me to translate the list of ingredients on everything I ate, ensuring that they were vegan!