Places in Luxembourg

Top events in Luxembourg

May
26

Held each Whit Tuesday since medieval times, this is an unusual dancing procession with obscure origins, the cultural significance of which has...

June
21

Staged at a number of indoor and outdoor venues across the centre of Luxembourg City, this is a three-month series of musical events that take...

June
22

A national holiday held to celebrate the Grand Duke of Luxembourg’s official birthday. The day itself is a fairly formal occasion, but parties are...

Luxembourg Cathedrale Notre-Dame
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Luxembourg Cathedrale Notre-Dame

© Creative Commons / Wolfgang Staudt

Luxembourg Travel Guide

Key Facts
Area

2,586 sq km (998 sq miles).

Population

514,862 (2013).

Population density

199.1 per sq km.

Capital

Luxembourg (City).

Government

Constitutional monarchy. Luxembourg is a founding member of the European Union and the only Grand Duchy in the world.

Head of state

Grand Duke Henri since 2000.

Head of government

Prime Minister Xavier Bettel since 2013.

Electricity

220 volts AC, 50Hz. European round two-pin plugs are used.

Luxembourg is an attractive country with a green and picturesque landscape of rolling hills and valleys, and many close-packed man-made historical sites - including a relatively large number of castles. The latter betray the country’s historical importance brought about by its strategic position right at the very heart of continental Europe. Despite its compact size, visitors may be surprised to discover it boasts an impressive variety of natural forests, vineyards, and striking sandstone rock formations, all of which are conveniently located within an easy striking distance of one another.

The national capital, technically known locally simply as Luxembourg, the same as the country, but usually called Luxembourg City (Ville de Luxembourg) to avoid confusion, is split into a number of distinct districts, divided by the spectacular gorges of the Alzette and Pétrusse valleys. To the northwest is the delightful old town centre (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), complete with elegant squares, imposing churches, shops, casemates (underground networks of tunnels used formerly for defending the city), and winding, cobblestone streets; to the northeast is the more modern area on the Plateau du Kirchberg, home to Luxembourg's renowned international finance businesses, and to shopping malls and entertainment complexes. Proud of its role as a founding member of the EU, Luxembourg sees itself as playing a prominent position in European affairs and a number of European Union institutions are also based here on the plateau. To the south is Gare, the railway station area containing shops and budget hotel options. Separating the three main upper districts is the Pétrusse Valley, now parkland, and, by the banks of the Alzette River, the lower town districts of Grund and Clausen. The former is home to a number of bars, restaurants and museums; the latter is principally home to Rives de Clausen, the city’s primary nightlife area among the younger crowd.

While Luxembourg City is the only urban area in the country of any significant size, and also where most of the business is carried out, the remainder of Luxembourg contains a wide variety of smaller towns and villages, and other attractions, each with its own charms. The most popular destination outside the capital is medieval Vianden in the northeast, with its cobbled main street and a large hilltop castle that is the envy of many in Europe. Vianden also hosts a range of festivals and events throughout the year, many recreating its historical past. Echternach, founded in the 7th century, is the oldest city in the country, with a picturesque centre dominated by an abbey. Echternach is also a convenient base for exploring ‘Little Switzerland’, a tiny region of rocky outcrops, cliffs, cascades, and forests, criss-crossed by walking trails that are a haven for hikers and mountain-bikers. On the southeastern border with Germany, the Moselle Valley enjoys a unique microclimate that has given rise to Europe’s smallest major wine-growing district, producing award-winning whites and sparkling wines.

The northern half of Luxembourg is dominated by the beautiful landscape of the Ardennes, an area of high plateau into which deep, steeply-sided wooded valleys have been carved out over time, another perfect landscape waiting to be discovered by walkers of all abilities.

Travel Advice

Last updated: 21 May 2015

The travel advice summary below is provided by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in the UK. 'We' refers to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. For their full travel advice, visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.


Scams

Foreign visitors and residents can be targeted by scam artists. These can cause great financial loss. If you receive an e-mail claiming to be from Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) offering a tax refund on provision of your bank details you should make absolutely sure that it is not part of a scam.

Crime

Violent crime isn’t common in Luxembourg cities, but a higher number of burglaries have been reported by people who have recently moved into the countryside. Most crimes in these areas occur during the traditional holiday periods in August and around Christmas.

Pickpockets operate on buses and in train stations, particularly the Hammilus (main bus station) and the Luxembourg Gare (main train station) Be aware of your immediate surroundings, keep your bags within sight, and avoid displaying high value items.

Hotel lobbies, especially in the Findel area, are reported to be hot spots for thefts and pickpocketing.

Beware of bogus, plain-clothes policemen who may stop your car and ask to see your passport and/or driving licence. If you’re approached and you suspect that you are dealing with a bogus police officer, you can call 113 to check the officer’s identity.

Report any thefts in person to the nearest local police within 24 hours and get a police report crime number.

Road travel

Many of the driving rules in Luxembourg roads are different to those in the UK

  • the minimum age for driving a car is 18
  • the driver must have a valid driving licence
  • driving is on the right
  • mobile phones may only be used ‘hands free’ while driving
  • priority is given to traffic from the right in towns - drivers must stop for traffic joining from the right unless a yellow diamond sign or other priority road sign has been posted
  • you must use headlights on full-beam outside towns and cities at night and in times of low visibility

If you live in Luxembourg, you can use a valid British driving licence as long as you register it with the Ministry of Transport. Alternatively, you can exchange it for a Luxembourgish driving licence.

Keep vehicle registration documents with you to prove you’re the legal owner. Failure to do so could lead to a fine and confiscation of the vehicle. On the spot fines are common. It’s easy to cross into neighbouring countries without realising it. Keep your passport with you for identification.

All vehicles should have winter tyres when temperatures are zero or below.

Drink-drive laws are strictly enforced. You can be arrested for having a blood alcohol content of 0.05%.
See the European Commission,RAC guide on driving in Luxembourg.

Heavy goods vehicles

Heavy goods vehicles exceeding 7.5 tons, with or without a trailer, intended for the transport of goods from Belgium or Germany to France are prohibited on public roads in Luxembourg from Saturday 9:30pm to Sunday at 9:45pm, and on the days before public holidays from 9:30pm to the following day at 9:45pm.

Public transport

If you travel on public transport you must buy a ticket and validate it either on platform before your travel or on the bus. Check validation rules on the ticket before you travel. You’ll be fined on the spot if you travel without a ticket or with a ticket that hasn’t been validated.
For more detailed information, see the Angloinfo website.

Taxis

It’s safer to use a major taxi company like Web Taxi or ACL Taxi. Always check the fare per km before getting in as some taxis can charge highly inflated prices. Taxi drivers charge 25% extra on Sundays.

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