Luxembourg is one of the most beautiful European capitals, yet one of the least known to tourists. It’s a city often thought of as serious and solemn, whereas in fact, it has thousands of hidden corners that are well worth seeking out.
Strolling around the city is a pleasure. Small in size, it spreads over steep hills and deep ravines, although at strategic points you’ll find lifts that offer an easier way to get around and a chance for a rest.
The city was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994 and its historic centre, made up of walls and fortifications, is unique in Europe. The old city is split into two parts, known as the ‘Ville Haute’ (Upper Town) and ‘Ville Basse’ (Lower Town), which together form the busiest area of the city, full of shops and cafés.
The many bridges that link different districts are one of the features of a capital divided by the rivers Alzette and Petrusse. They come in all shapes and sizes, and as well as fulfilling their everyday function they make magnificent impromptu viewpoints.
To walk into the historic centre is to step inside a fairytale townscape of houses in pastel colours and towers, along narrow pedestrian streets.
Don’t forget that we are at the heart of the European Union: you can feel it in the air. The city has a European Quarter that is home to the European Court of Justice and the European Court of Auditors. A district where you will also find the Modern Art Museum, where contemporary buildings soar in stark contrast to the old city.
One of the loveliest city views can be had from La Corniche, a long pedestrian promenade that links Plateau du Saint Esprit with the Rock de Bock, a view that has been called “the most beautiful balcony in Europe.” The walk also takes us past several magnificent mansions.
Another of Luxembourg’s distinguishing features is its cosmopolitan atmosphere and the variety of languages spoken in its streets, due to its status as the seat of so many European institutions.
The city also has plenty to offer to night owls. The low-lying district of Grund has a bohemian, easy-going appeal that makes it the ideal destination for a night out, with plenty of bars and café terraces.