Tucked between Belgium, France and Germany is the gorgeous little European nation of Luxembourg. Luxembourg means ‘Lucilinburhc’ or little fortress. Truly it’s history can be traced back to 963 AD when the territory around the castle or the fortress was discovered and ruled by Siegfried I of Ardennes. Today, Luxembourg is ONE of the richest countries in the world. It is also culturally diverse and plays an important role in the United Nations and the European politics. As it’s located very close to Belgium, you can effortlessly take a day trip from Brussels. This one day in Luxembourg itinerary is perfect for that. If you are staying in Luxembourg for longer, we suggest venturing outside of Luxembourg City, and exploring the countryside. We have included Luxembourg day trip ideas and travel tips as well. Luxembourg’s capital is Luxembourg City.
Did you know, “The Schengen Visa that is required to travel to Europe from non visa exempt countries, was signed in Luxembourg, in a small town of Schengen?” Hence the name. Learn more fun facts about Luxembourg here
One day in Luxembourg Itinerary: A perfect Luxembourg day trip
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There are many ways to reach Luxembourg. You can fly to Luxembourg city and either drive to the city center or take public transit. Public transit (buses -16, 9 and 114) operate every 15 minutes or so from the Luxembourg Findel airport to the city centre. Fare is 2 euros one way. Travel time is 30 minutes.
Airport taxis are available. Rates start at 30 euros and it takes 30 minutes to arrive at the Luxembourg City center. You can also book a private airport transfer here
Due to Luxembourg’s close proximity to countries like France, Germany and Belgium, you can definitely drive down to the capital city for a weekend or a day trip. Here is a day trip from Brussels to Luxembourg in a guided tour. This tour is perfect to get a glimpse of the Luxembourg city and check off another European destination, while you are at it. Book your tour here.
If you are driving or taking the train to Luxembourg city, you will be traveling for 2- 4 hours depending on your train station and the city of departure. Once you arrive in Luxembourg, head to the city center to start exploring. Doing a hop on and hop off sightseeing tour is an option for those who wish to experience a quick glimpse of the city, before settling into exploring the old town area. Book your sightseeing tour here.
Luxembourg city is composed of upper and lower levels. And the city is quite small and you will be perfectly fine exploring the city by walking. If you are driving to the Luxembourg city, we recommend starting your sightseeing at the Ville Haute Quarter via the Passerelle bridge (Luxembourg Viaduct). This quarter houses the historical center of Luxembourg and has the UNESCO World Heritage Site status. So, let’s start with the best.
Gelle Fra (Golden Lady) – The Monument of Remembrance
When you arrive at the Ville Haute Quarter, look for a tall monument with a golden lady. This monument is called the Monument of Remembrance. It is a war memorial dedicated to the Luxembourgers who serviced in the armed forces of the two World Wars and the Korean war.
Gëlle Fra is Luxembourgish for Golden Lady. There are souvenir stores located near the Gëlle Fra statue as well. If you are driving to Luxembourg city or taking a guided tour, you can park your car here. All tourist buses also stop at the Gëlle Fra.
Place de la Constitution
Place de la Constitution (or Constitution Square) contains a memorial dedicated to the heroes of the World War II. The square consists of manicured gardens and multiple Luxembourg flags that flutter against the backdrop of the bridges and dense forests. The valley that you see below is the Petrusse Valley.
You can also see a bridge – it is called the Adolphe Bridge, which is a Luxembourg landmark. You will see stunning views of the city from here, also perfect for taking post-card pictures.
Place Guillaume II and Chocolate house
Within Ville Haute quarter is Place Guillaume II – town square filled with markets, cafes and gourmet stores and shops offering local products made in Luxembourg. The Chocolate House located here is a great place for a quick coffee and a bite to eat, before you start walking into the heart of the old town. This little bake shop has chocolates and a wide variety of cakes. Their interiors are super pretty.
Visit the Notre Dame Cathedral – Luxembourg Itinerary
Notre Dame Cathedral is a Roman Catholic Church in Luxembourg City. This is the only cathedral in the country of Luxembourg. The cathedral is a great example of Gothic architecture intermixed with Renaissance elements.
The church’s construction began in 1613 under Father Francois Aldenard (Jesuits). The church underwent major expansions from 1953 to 1938. The church has 3 towers – Jesuit church, bell tower and the third tower stands over the transept. We do recommend taking a quick visit to the cathedral before heading on to other tourist attractions.
Palace of Grand Dukes (Palais Grand- Ducal)
Did you know that Luxembourg is called the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and it is the only Grand Duchy in the world?
The Palace of the Grand Dukes or the Palais Grand Ducal is located in old town center of Luxembourg. It is the official residence of the Grand Duke of Luxembourg. And this is where the Duke performs his duties as head of state. You will find 2 guards at the palace entrance.
The palace is not open to the public at all times of the year. Guided tours to the palace are offered from mid July to August only.
Luxembourg City Museum
There are two museums in the heart of the Luxembourg old town that are worth visiting. The buildings where the museums are housed had undergone tremendous changes over the decades. It was used as a monastery once upon a time, and as separate prisons for men and women.
The Luxembourg City Museum (Musee d’ Histoire de la Ville) displays the rich history of Luxembourg via permanent and temporary exhibitions. The museum is a combination of old and the new – a Middle Ages building with modern glass cage life – which offers panoramic and stunning views of the city of Luxembourg.
The museum is open everyday except Mondays. Hours are 10:00 am to 06:00 pm. Entry fee is around 5 euros.
National Museum of Art and History and the Fish Market
The Fish Market was originally supposed to be the historical center of the Old Town. The markets here were established at the forecourt of the castles of the Dukes. This area was lined with businesses, including an old market – called the cheese market.
These buildings lining the square at the Fish Market are of great historical value. The National Museum of History and Art (Musee National d’ Histoire et d’Art) is located here. It is a small museum displaying art work. You can visit the museum for free. Special exhibitions entry fee is 7 euros.
Place d Armes for lunch – One day in Luxembourg itinerary
Head to the Place d’ Armes for lunch, before further exploration. The Place d’Armes is a square in the old town, which attracts a large number of locals and visitors. Place d’Armes originally served as a parade ground for troops defending the city. Today it pulls visitors during summers, and during winters there are Christmas markets and holiday celebrations at the square.
The square is surrounded by numerous cafés and restaurants, so a perfect place for lunch. Specialty restaurants are a tad pricier then Belgium. There are fast food and food stall options available at the square as well (budget eating).
There is an administrative building located at the eastern end of the Arms Square. It is the Palais Municipal or Cercle municipal.
Casemates du Bock
One of the formidable fortresses in Europe is the Bock, located in Luxembourg city. Casemastes du Bock is a complex of underground tunnels and galleries. In the recent history, the casemates du Bock were used as World War II bomb shelters.
The Bock’s history can be traced back to the 10th century. It was here that Count Siegfried built his Castle of Lucilinburhuc in 963 A.D, thus laying the foundation of the town of Luxembourg. The Bock serves as a natural defensive fort, with rocky cliffs towering over the River Alzette.
The Bock’s casemates (casemates are fortified gun emplacements) were erected by the Spanish in the 17th century. These casemates helped the Bock resist a 7-month siege by the French Republicans. So much so that in the later years, the Casemates du Bock were ordered to be destroyed so that it could no longer be used as a defense fort.
Today, the visitors can explore the old castle ruins and the various underground tunnels and cannon galleries. You can also descend from the heights of the Bock to explore the valley below. You can visit the Casemates du Bock for 7 euros (for adult entry). They are open everyday from 10:00 am to 08:30 pm. Keep in mind, there are tunnels at the Bock casemates and the ground is rocky and uneven, so wear comfortable shoes.
Walk the Chemin de la Corniche
Chemin de la Corniche is a bridge built over the Alzette river, offering you the finest views of Luxembourg city. This is a MUST see tourist spot to view the beautiful valley and take stunning pictures.
The Grund – Highlight of One day in Luxembourg itinerary
One of the highlights of our Luxembourg itinerary was visiting the Grund. The Grund is a historic quarter located in the lower part of Luxembourg city. There are many things to see and explore at the Grund. We definitely recommend taking a walking tour of the old town.
The Grund neighborhood is pedestrian friendly and is filled with cobblestone lanes from the 10th century. We recommend taking a stroll and getting lost in their calm and scenic blocks. As you wander the lanes, you will see the Pétrusse river flowing through the historical ruins and ultimately joining the Alzette (Uelzecht).
One of the MOST popular spots in the Grund is the Neumünster Abbey. The Neumünster Abbey is a bright yellow Benedictine monastery. The abbey had undergone tremendous change over the years – it functioned as an abbey, a police station and a state prison, including serving as army barrack. Today there are exhibitions and workshops and meet ups held at the abbey. The abbey also hosts cultural and musical events like the Jazz festival.
We actually spent a lot of time at the Grund – admiring the gardens and lanes.
As the Grund is located at the lower level of Luxembourg city, you will either have to hike or take a lift from the upper level. Pfaffenthal Lift is the answer to that. Pfaffenthal Lift is a glass elevator connecting the “Pescatore” park to the Pfaffenthal area at the bottom of the Alzette valley.
The glass elevator offers mesmerizing views of the valley and the historical center. You can use the elevator free of charge and it is open till 01:00 am at night. (Note: On first Monday of the month, it undergoes maintenance work and will be closed). We recommend walking down from the upper valley and then taking the lift back up.
It was late evening by the time we finished exploring. There are options for food in the lower valley. There is a one star Michelin restaurant and other multi cuisine varieties to choose from. Or using the lift you can either head to the upper valley for dinner and then drive away from the parking lot (Ville Haute Quarter).
Day Trips from Luxembourg City
You can extend your one day in Luxembourg Itinerary by exploring nearby areas and taking day trips. Luxembourg is easily connected by road and train system in Europe. If your base city is in Luxembourg then definitely explore the nearby countries to maximize your stay. Here are some of the cities that are worth taking a road trip or a train ride (or vice versa).
- Brussels – 2.50 hours drive or 3 hour direct train (Belgium)
- Paris – 3.75 hours drive or 2 hour train (France)
- Strasbourg – 2.50 hours drive or 1.50 hour train (France)
- Cologne – 2.75 hours drive or 3.50 hour train (Germany)
Here are our recommended top 5 day trips from Luxembourg
Echternach Town and Echternach Lake
Located very close to the German border, Echternach Lake Town makes for an excellent day trip from Luxembourg city. It is only 30 minutes away from the Luxembourg city.
Echternach Town is the OLDEST town in the entire Luxembourg country and hence has a unique cultural vibe to it. There are churches, old vintage houses and a 7th century Benedictine Abbey. The old town is historic and very compact and can be explored on foot. The town hall was built in the 15th century and today it attracts a lot of visitors. An artificial lake – Echternach Lake – is also a tourist magnet. It is perfect for a day out, picnic or just a stroll.
There are tons of museums and Roman villas located at the Echternach Town. A MUST visit for history lovers. Buses are available from Luxembourg city to visit Echternach Town. Direct bus from 110 or 111 to reach Echternach.
Clervaux – Extend your one day in Luxembourg itinerary
Clervaux is a quaint little town in Luxembourg filled with castles, churches and monasteries. Clervaux is located about an hours drive away from Luxembourg. You can either drive or take the bus to reach there.
Vianden – Most Popular Day trip from Luxembourg City
Probably of the most popular day trip from Luxembourg city is to the fantasy castle land of Vianden. The castle was built between the 11th and 14th centuries, on ancient Roman ruins. Today the castle is turned into a museum, which is dedicated to Victor Hugo. He did a lot in promoting this little town.
You can reach Vianden Village via train or bus. It takes about 45 minutes one way, to arrive to the Village of Vianden from Luxembourg city.
Day trip to Metz – in the Lorrain Valley of France
Located in the Lorrain valley of France, Metz is a must visit for its rich history of the German Kaisers, castles and museums. The town also has the tallest cathedral in the whole of France – the Metz Cathedral.
Luxembourg city to Metz drive is about an hour. There are trains available to take you to Metz (45 minute to an hour duration)
Trier – Day trip from Luxembourg City
Trier is located in Germany. This town has a rich history with Roman structures dating back to 180 BC. Visit this town for exploring Imperial Baths, amphitheaters, Roman bridges, old town and the Cathedral Square. The walking tour of the old town is very popular with tourists.
You can reach Trier via car in an hour. Trains are available and it takes 1.25 hours to arrive in Trier from Luxembourg City.
Special Mention: Amneville Zoo
Zoo De’ Amneville is located in France and makes an excellent day trip, if traveling with kids and family. The zoo shelters over 2000+ animals and variety of wildlife species.
Where to stay in Luxembourg City?
If you happen to extend your stay in Luxembourg City, here are some of the places where you can stay.
Melia Luxembourg – A 4 star hotel located in the heart of Luxembourg City
- Great location, walk-able distance from the Notre Dame Cathedral
- Hotel offers free WiFi and breakfast.
- Is pet friendly. Has a fitness center on site
- Mid budget hotel
- Book your stay at Melia Luxembourg
Double Tree by Hilton Hotel Luxembourg – Another 4 star hotel.
- Great location – close to the airport
- Upscale hotel with sauna, jogging and fine dining options on site
- Book your stay at Double Tree by Hilton Hotel Luxembourg
City Hotel Luxembourg – A 4 star hotel in Luxembourg City
- Located about 15-20 minutes away from Gelle Fra and Grand Ducal Palace.
- Kid friendly
- Offers free breakfast and free WiFi
- Book your stay at City Hotel Luxembourg
Travel Tips for One Day in Luxembourg Itinerary
We have included travel tips here to help prepare for one day in Luxembourg
Luxembourg belongs to the Euro Schengen Zone. If you have a European Union Passport, you can enter and exit Luxembourg without any visa. Non-exempt nationals will require to apply for Schengen visa ahead of their arrival in Luxembourg. You are free to travel to Germany, France and Belgium on a valid Schengen visa (without multiple entries). Citizens of USA and Canada can travel visa free up to 90 days in Schengen zone. Post 2021, an online travel authorization is required to be applied to (ETIAS), prior to traveling to Schengen zone countries (for US and Canada passport holders).
Always insure your travels. Travel insurance will safeguard against trip cancellations, delays and lost or stolen baggage. Medical emergencies and accidents are also covered. Get travel insurance quote customized to your needs
Luxembourg Card for 3-2- or One day in Luxembourg Itinerary
The Luxembourg Card offers great sightseeing benefits. For 1, 2 or 3 days enjoy free access to more than 60 museums and tourist attractions in Luxembourg. The Luxembourg Card can be used in the entire country, rather then just the Luxembourg City. You can also ride public transit for free.
So if you wanting to visit Luxembourg on a budget and capture the most of the little country, then get the Luxembourg Card.
Best time to Visit Luxembourg
We visited Luxembourg in September – the weather was amazing and we really enjoyed walking the old town. May, June and September months are very pleasant to visit. During winter months November to January, there are holiday and seasonal activities. The city’s Winter Lights festival is on from November to January. During the winter season, the city turns into a fairy tale. Winter months are not too extreme, temperature hovers around 3 degree (low) to 9 degree (high).
February month is cold and wet. June is a busy month with tons of outdoor activities. Outdoor concerts such as Festival OMNI and Fête de la Musique are celebrated across the capital. Hotels are quite expensive around this time. June is also busy as people in Luxembourg are celebrating their National Day – June 23.
July and August are very hot and warm for outdoor activities. May and September is perfect for hiking and wine lovers respectively.
Road Trip Ideas to Luxembourg City
We visited Luxembourg from Brussels in Belgium by road. We were able to cover the entire one day in Luxembourg Itinerary as mentioned above. Only thing that we skipped was the National Museum of History and Art as we didn’t have enough time to explore that. You can definitely cover most of Luxembourg city in a day. Arriving early to the city is key. When we looked at train options, we found that most trains would leave at 08:00 am or so and we wanted to maximize the time in Luxembourg so decided to hit the road instead. Train journeys took 3 hours to arrive in Luxembourg, while a drive was 2.50 hours (and there is a flexibility to start at any time you want, unlike trains)
From Brussels on your way to Luxembourg, you can visit Dinant as well. Dinant is located in Belgium. Dinant can be a day stop in your road trip proceeding to Luxembourg for a day. Both Dinant and Luxembourg are perfect day trip options from Brussels. Here are some of the things you can do in Dinant
Other road trip options include – Paris – 3.75 hours drive, Strasbourg – 2.50 hours drive, Cologne – 2.75 hours drive.
Luxembourg also forms a part of Benelux – Belgium Netherlands and Luxembourg corridor. So if you have a Rail Pass for Benelux – definitely come to Luxembourg.
We hope you found this post useful in planning your one to two day Luxembourg itinerary. Yes, there are bigger cities in the world New York City or San Francisco in the United States of America or Dubai in the middle East (popular as the highest GDP nation), Luxembourg is no less. We highly recommend visiting this beautiful nation full of history, culture and with a modern outlook.
Here are some of the resources to help plan your trip to Luxembourg and neighboring areas
- Planning for Europe Trip Guide here
- Travel Itinerary for Brussels Belgium here
- Get travel itinerary for Bruges Belgium here
- Paris Itinerary Ideas here
- Itinerary for Prague, Czech Republic here
- Get Tips to survive Long Haul flights here
Last Update: May 12 2019
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