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Things to see and do
Thermal health treatments
Pamper yourself with thermal health treatments, and enjoy the sports and leisure facilities in the spa town of Mondorf-les-Bains.
Visit the small village of Schengen, where the Moselle marks the meeting of three countries (Luxembourg, France and Germany), which has become internationally known after the ‘Schengen Agreement’ was signed here in 1995.
Visit breweries and sample more of the region’s alcoholic produce in the towns of Bascharage and Wiltz, or arrange an overnight stay in the Béierhaascht brewery hotel, also in Bascharage.
Indulge yourself in a wine-tasting tour in the southeast. The River Moselle flows through Luxembourg’s main wine-producing region (referred to as ‘the Moselle’ or d’Musel), and a number of the larger wineries offer tours of their cellars (caves), usually for a small fee, with tasting included. Smaller wineries welcome visitors, but require advance appointments for practical purposes. Boat-cruises on the river are also available (www.visitmoselle.lu).
Luxembourg City old town
Discover the delightful old centre of the capital, Luxembourg City. See the grand squares and winding, cobblestone streets. Visit the underground tunnels, known as casemates, and hop on the special open-air tourist train through the Pétrusse Valley. See the changing of the guard at the Palais Grand Ducal, the Grand Duke’s official residence, which can also be toured in July and August. Other attractions in the city include the Place Guillaume II (also called Knuedler), its twice-weekly market (Wednesday and Saturday); and the 17th-century Notre Dame Cathedral.
Galleries and museums
Get cultural in the capital’s numerous galleries and museums. Highlights include the National Museum of Natural History, the National Museum of History and Art and the Museum of the City of Luxembourg.
Plateau du Kirchberg
Head for the modern district on the Plateau du Kirchberg (reached via the Pont Grand Duchesse Charlotte – the capital’s most impressive bridge); it’s home to a thriving international finance centre, many European institutions and Luxembourg’s biggest cinema complex and shopping mall.
Further east, in the town of Echternach, see a colourful religious dancing procession, which takes place annually on Whit Tuesday, attracting pilgrims from the world over. The town’s seventh century Benedictine Abbey (now housing a museum) and St Willibrord’s Basilica are well worth visiting, as is the distinctive 15th-century town hall.
In Vianden, be impressed by a magnificent castle, built between the 11th and 14th centuries and restored in the 20th century. The castle overlooks the town from a rocky perch. For a bird’s-eye view, ride the chairlift to the viewing platform on the hillside, 450m (1,476ft) above both castle and town. Another equally impressive castle can be visited at Bourscheid, around 10km (7 miles) from Vianden.
In the medieval market town of Clervaux, visit the 12th-century castle – now home to government offices, the tourist office, a small war museum on the 1944-1945 Ardennes offensive (the famous ‘Battle of the Bulge’), and a renowned collection of documentary art photography, the Family of Man, by Edward Steichen (note: the latter is closed until 2013 for essential renovation work).
Wine and dine al fresco in Luxembourg City’s charming main square, the Place d’Armes. The area known as the Grund, near the River Alzette, also has many lively cafes and restaurants; it can be reached via a lift down through the ancient rock.
Tramp around the Müllerthal region (www.mullerthal.lu/en), Luxembourg’s ‘Little Switzerland’. Dense forests, crystal-clear brooks and spectacular rock formations combine to make this one of the country’s most popular areas for walking and hiking. The main resorts are Berdorf, Beaufort and Larochette. The latter two both have medieval castles.
Explore the scenic beauty and quiet of the Ardennes region, referred to locally as Eisléck. The area consists of forested plateaux, wooded hills and lush valleys. Head for the small town of Esch-sur-Sûre, a well-known resort surrounded by the River Sûre (Sauer).
Harness up and go rock climbing; there are some good ascents and facilities available near Berdorf in the Müllerthal region.
Upper Sûre National Park
Splash out on some water sports: located within the Upper Sûre National Park (an area of outstanding beauty) is the country’s drinking water reservoir, where a barrage dam (the Staudamm) has created a beautiful lake.