Luxembourg travel guide
As the wealthiest nation in Europe and one of the founding fathers of the EU, it’s safe to say little Luxembourg is punching well above its weight.
But as well as the highest per capita income on the continent, this diminutive country also has more than its fair share of natural beauty with rolling hills, verdant valleys and meandering rivers painting picture of rural idyll.
Proud of its role as a founding member of the EU, Luxembourg plays a prominent position in European affairs and is home to a number of European Union institutions.
Most of the action takes place in the capital, Luxembourg City, which has something of a split personality: while it’s all antiquated charm in the Old Town, with its elegant squares, imposing churches, independent shops and cobblestone streets, the Kirchberg district has a modern, flashier feel thanks to its ubiquitous offices, shopping malls and entertainment complexes.
The most popular destination outside the capital is medieval Vianden in the northeast, with its cobbled streets and hilltop castle, which is the envy of many European cities. Vianden also hosts a range of festivals and events throughout the year, many of which celebrate its historical past.
Echternach, founded in the 7th century, is the oldest city in the country, with a picturesque centre dominated by an abbey. It is also a convenient base for exploring ‘Little Switzerland’, a tiny region of rocky outcrops, cliffs, cascades, and forests, crisscrossed 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 one of Europe’s smallest wine-growing districts, producing award-winning whites and sparkling wines. Meanwhile, northern Luxembourg is dominated by the Ardennes, an area of high plateau where wooded valleys, shimmering rivers and lofty peaks make for stunning trekking.
All in all, not bad for a country the size of Dorset.
2,586 sq km (998 sq miles).
576,243 (UN estimate 2016).
220.5 per sq km.
Grand Duke Henri since 2000.
Prime Minister Xavier Bettel since 2013.
Last updated: 16 February 2019
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.
Around 120,000 British nationals visit Luxembourg every year (Source: STATEC (Statistics Office in Luxembourg). Most visits are trouble-free.
If you’re living in or moving to Luxembourg, visit our Living in Luxembourg guide in addition to this travel advice.
Terrorist attacks in Luxembourg can’t be ruled out.
All vehicles must have winter tyres when temperatures are zero or below.
If you’re abroad and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the nearest British embassy, consulate or high commission.
The Overseas Business Risk service offers information and advice for British companies operating overseas on how to manage political, economic, and business security-related risks.
Safety and security
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.
Violent crime isn’t common in Luxembourg cities, but incidents of burglaries are on the increase. Ensure you take adequate precautions to secure your home, particularly during the traditional holiday periods in August and around Christmas.
Pickpockets operate on buses and in train stations, particularly 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.
Report any thefts in person to the nearest local police within 24 hours and get a police report crime number.
If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, you may need to get an International Driving Permit (IDP) to be able to drive in Luxembourg and other EU/EEA countries as a visitor after 29 March 2019.
There are 3 types of IDP. Check that you have the correct permits covering all countries where you will be driving - you may need more than one IDP. For full information, check this guidance page. You should also check guidance on driving in the EU after Brexit for information on other additional documents you may need to carry.
If you’re living in Luxembourg, check the Living in Guide for information on requirements for residents.
Currently, 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.
Many of the driving rules on Luxembourg’s roads are different to those in the UK:
- the minimum age for driving a car is 18
- 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
Keep vehicle registration and car insurance documents with you to prove you’re the legal owner and the car is properly insured. 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.
In 2016 there were 32 road deaths in Luxembourg (source: Department for Transport). This equates to 5.6 road deaths per 100,000 of population and compares to the UK average of 2.8 road deaths per 100,000 of population in 2016.
All vehicles should have winter tyres when temperatures are zero or below.
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.
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.
It’s safer to use official taxis (on clearly marked taxi stands). Always check the fare per km before getting in as some taxis can charge highly inflated prices. Taxi drivers charge 25% extra on Sundays.
Terrorist attacks in Luxembourg can’t be ruled out. Attacks could happen anywhere, including in places visited by foreigners.
There’s a heightened threat of terrorist attack globally against UK interests and British nationals, from groups or individuals motivated by the conflict in Iraq and Syria. You should be vigilant at this time.
Find out more about the global threat from terrorism, how to minimise your risk and what to do in the event of a terrorist attack.
Local laws and customs
French, German and Luxembourgish are the administrative languages.
The minimum legal drinking age is 16 years, but being drunk and disorderly in public is a criminal offence that can result in arrest for a night and a heavy fine.
The information on this page covers the most common types of travel and reflects the UK government’s understanding of the rules currently in place. Unless otherwise stated, this information is for travellers using a full ‘British Citizen’ passport.
The authorities in the country or territory you’re travelling to are responsible for setting and enforcing the rules for entry. If you’re unclear about any aspect of the entry requirements, or you need further reassurance, you’ll need to contact the embassy, high commission or consulate of the country or territory you’re travelling to.
You should also consider checking with your transport provider or travel company to make sure your passport and other travel documents meet their requirements.
Your passport should be valid for the proposed duration of your stay; you do not need any additional period of validity on your passport beyond this.
However, if the UK leaves the European Union with no deal, the passport validity rules for travel to most countries in Europe will change from 29 March 2019. Some passports with up to 15 months validity remaining may not be valid for travel. Before booking travel, you should check that your passport will meet these new rules and find out whether you need to renew it.
If the UK leaves with a deal, travel to the EU will remain the same as now until at least 31 December 2020. You will not need to apply for a visa to travel or work in the EU during this time.
If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, the rules for travelling or working in Europe will change after 29 March 2019.
The European Commission has proposed that in a no deal situation, if you are a British Citizen, you would not need a visa for short stays in the Schengen area or elsewhere in the EU. You would be able to stay for up to 90 days in any 180-day period. Visits to the Schengen area within the previous 180 days before your date of travel will count against the 90-day limit.
If you are intending to stay in the Schengen area for longer than 90 days, or your stay would take you over the 90 days in the 180-day limit, you may need to get a visa before you travel.
Travel to EU countries currently outside the Schengen area (Romania, Croatia, Bulgaria, Cyprus) would not count towards the 90-day total.
On arrival in the Schengen Area, you may be asked to confirm that you have sufficient funds available for the duration of your stay. As non-EEA nationals, different border control checks will apply, and you may also be asked to show a return or onward ticket. UK nationals would not have an ongoing right to use the separate lanes provided for EU, EEA and Swiss nationals.
The 90-day visa-free period does not entitle you to work in the Schengen area. Most countries will require a visa and work permit.
You should check with the Luxembourg Embassy what type of visa, if any, you will need.
If you’re planning a stay of longer than 90 days, you must make a declaration of arrival (déclaration d’arrivée) at the Municipal Office in your locality within 8 days. Within 3 months of arrival, you must get an address registration certificate (attestation d’enregistrement) from the Municipal Office.
UK Emergency Travel Documents
UK Emergency Travel Documents are accepted for entry and exit from Luxembourg.
At least 8 weeks before your trip, check the latest country-specific health advice from the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC) on the TravelHealthPro website. Each country-specific page has information on vaccine recommendations, any current health risks or outbreaks, and factsheets with information on staying healthy abroad. Guidance is also available from NHS (Scotland) on the FitForTravel website.
General information on travel vaccinations and a travel health checklist is available on the NHS website. You may then wish to contact your health adviser or pharmacy for advice on other preventive measures and managing any pre-existing medical conditions while you’re abroad.
The legal status and regulation of some medicines prescribed or purchased in the UK can be different in other countries. If you’re travelling with prescription or over-the-counter medicine, read this guidance from NaTHNaC on best practice when travelling with medicines. For further information on the legal status of a specific medicine, you’ll need to contact the embassy, high commission or consulate of the country or territory you’re travelling to.
If the UK leaves the EU without a deal on 29 March 2019, access to healthcare for British nationals travelling or living in the EU, European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland is likely to change. More information about healthcare for UK nationals living in and visiting Luxembourg is available on the NHS website.
You should still get a free European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) before leaving the UK. UK-issued EHICs will remain valid until 29 March 2019 if the UK leaves the EU without a deal.
The EHIC entitles you to state provided medical treatment that may become necessary during your trip. Any treatment provided is on the same terms as Luxembourg nationals. If you don’t have your EHIC with you or you’ve lost it, you can call the Department of Health Overseas Healthcare Team (+44 191 218 1999) to get a Provisional Replacement Certificate.
The UK government has or is seeking agreements with countries on healthcare arrangements for UK nationals after 29 March 2019. The NHS website and this travel advice will be updated with further information on travelling to Luxembourg as the circumstances change.
Whether you’re travelling before or after 29 March, it is important to take out comprehensive travel insurance that includes cover for emergency medical treatment and associated costs. The existing EHIC arrangements are not an alternative to travel insurance, as some health-related costs, including for medical repatriation, ongoing medical treatment and non-urgent treatment, are not covered. Read more about what your travel insurance should cover.
If you’re living in Luxembourg, you can also find more information on healthcare for residents in our Living In Luxembourg guide.
If you need emergency medical assistance during your trip, dial 112 and ask for an ambulance. If you specifically ask for SAMU Ambulance (Service d’Aide Médicale Urgente) it means that the ambulance will come together with a doctor. If you’re referred to a medical facility for treatment you should contact your insurance/medical assistance company immediately.
Travel advice help and support
If you’re abroad and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the nearest British embassy, consulate or high commission. If you need urgent help because something has happened to a friend or relative abroad, contact the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) in London on 020 7008 1500 (24 hours).
Foreign travel checklist
Read our foreign travel checklist to help you plan for your trip abroad and stay safe while you’re there.
The FCO travel advice helps you make your own decisions about foreign travel. Your safety is our main concern, but we can’t provide tailored advice for individual trips. If you’re concerned about whether or not it’s safe for you to travel, you should read the travel advice for the country or territory you’re travelling to, together with information from other sources you’ve identified, before making your own decision on whether to travel. Only you can decide whether it’s safe for you to travel.
When we judge the level of risk to British nationals in a particular place has become unacceptably high, we’ll state on the travel advice page for that country or territory that we advise against all or all but essential travel. Read more about how the FCO assesses and categorises risk in foreign travel advice.
Our crisis overseas page suggests additional things you can do before and during foreign travel to help you stay safe.
Refunds and cancellations
If you wish to cancel or change a holiday that you’ve booked, you should contact your travel company. The question of refunds and cancellations is a matter for you and your travel company. Travel companies make their own decisions about whether or not to offer customers a refund. Many of them use our travel advice to help them reach these decisions, but we do not instruct travel companies on when they can or can’t offer a refund to their customers.
For more information about your rights if you wish to cancel a holiday, visit the Citizen’s Advice Bureau website. For help resolving problems with a flight booking, visit the website of the Civil Aviation Authority. For questions about travel insurance, contact your insurance provider and if you’re not happy with their response, you can complain to the Financial Ombudsman Service.
Registering your travel details with us
We’re no longer asking people to register with us before travel. Our foreign travel checklist and crisis overseas page suggest things you can do before and during foreign travel to plan your trip and stay safe.
Previous versions of FCO travel advice
If you’re a British national and you have a question about travelling abroad that isn’t covered in our foreign travel advice or elsewhere on GOV.UK, you can submit an enquiry.We’re not able to provide tailored advice for specific trips.