Grand Duchy of Luxembourg

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Main facts:

  • Capital city: Luxembourg City

  • Language (s): Luxembourgish, French, German

  • Currency: Euro, EUR

  • Population: 602,000

  • Timezone: UTC+1

  • Main religion: Catholicism (69%)

  • Standard of living (subjectively): very high

Top 10 interesting places and activities:

Approximate costs (person/day):

~€ 30-85

~€ 2-4

~€ 7-15

~€ 4-10

Sights map of Luxembourg

Travel around Luxembourg

Luxembourg became a duchy in 1354. Until that time, the locals were ruled by the Frankish rulers. In 1477, the country came under the control of the Austrian Habsburgs, but after half a century, when the empire was divided, the country was under the control of Spain. Subsequently, the Eighty Years' War in the Netherlands, the Thirty Years' War for the heritage of the Holy Roman Empire and the France entry into military operations severely knocked down the economy and population of Luxembourg, as a result the country was thrown far back to the poor peasantry. In the 17th century, the country returned under the rule of the Habsburgs, but it did not last long - after only a few years, after the French Revolution, the country was again under the protectorate of France. As a result, it suffered the same disasters as the entire Napoleon empire. After the fall of Napoleon, Luxembourg received the status of an independent state, but continued to be closely associated with neighboring France, Germany and Belgium, alternately moving from one dependence to another. In 1842, Luxembourg entered the European Union Customs Union, which greatly raises its economy and industrial sector. In 1857, Luxembourg finally became an independent state.

In the First World War, Luxembourg was occupied by German troops, but tried to maintain neutrality and in the end did not suffer much. But in the World War II, German troops reoccupied the country and imposed a strict Nazi regime, which led to individual destruction and several thousand deaths. The country was liberated by the coalition of the United States and Great Britain in 1944 (as described at the Clervaux Castle), and in the same year entered into an economic alliance with the Netherlands and Belgium, forming a single economic alliance of Benelux. Although Luxembourg joined NATO after the war, violating its "eternal neutrality", it still remains a passive observer of actions on the world political and military arena, never having participated in any military conflict.

The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg is a unique country in Western Europe. Its foundation is lost in the depths of centuries, while throughout its history, the Luxembourgers tend to maintain their military and state neutrality. An example of this attitude to politics among European countries can only be Switzerland and Liechtenstein, with which Luxembourg has much in common. For example, Luxembourg is one of the richest countries in the world, the basis of whose economy is banking. Annual GDP per capita in Luxembourg is the highest in the world ~ $ 103,000 per person and can be compared only to Switzerland ~ $ 80,000 / person. At the same time, the offshore zone allows Luxembourg to actually be the center of European banking (there are representative offices of more than 200 banks and thousands of investment funds). This situation is largely due to the policy of neutrality.

Due to political neutrality and serious concern for people and the environment, Luxembourg is a country with one of the highest levels of life in the world! Once here, you can perfectly feel it for yourself. For example, a single ticket for all types of transport costs about 4 euros per day and includes trips on all trains, buses and other types of public transport throughout the country. Although it can be assumed that this is quite a lot, think about the annual income of an ordinary Luxemburgian, as well as the cost of daily travel at least in neighboring countries - it is much higher and is only for the one city! A transport ticket can be bought anywhere, and only 2 types of tickets are sold - for a day and for 2 hours (half the price). Undoubtedly, such a fare across the country stimulates a huge number of tourists to come here and get acquainted with many interesting sights!

Want to see the best sights of Luxembourg? Book our author tour!

Although you can drive the whole country in a couple of hours, you can see many beautiful places here. First of all, this is the metropolitan area of ​​Luxembourg City. It is built on the ruins of the ancient fortress of Luxembourg, which harmoniously fit into the surrounding landscape. The amazing combination of medieval towers and walls with modern high-rise buildings, as well as monophonic modern houses with dark blue roofs creates a special atmosphere of wealth and laconic style. Walking through the ancient well-maintained streets, often tiled or even marble (asphalt is not used), watching the strict functional buildings decorated with baroque bas-reliefs, communicating with the local population and immersed deeper in the culture, you feel more and more at the crossroads of cultures. It is like being at the same time in Germany (rigor, punctuality, conciseness), France (refinement, fashion, charm) and Belgium (tolerance, environmental friendliness, gothic). Luxembourg is very clean, there are very few cars here, and those that are mostly premium-class. Curiously, the majority of people in the city are Germans, Frenchmen and Belgians who come here to work; the local population is only about 30%. But there are some strange moments: in the historic center it is almost impossible to find market or shops with food, only restaurants with exquisite cuisine ...

Luxembourg is famous not only for its medieval center, but also for its beautiful surroundings. Thanks to the excellent transport system, you can be anywhere in the country in 1-2 hours, which allows you to explore all its attractions in the shortest possible time. Take, for example, the town of Echternach, whose history goes back over 13 centuries. It is a model of comfort and cleanliness, so characteristic of the neighboring (literally across the river) German residents who come here every day on bicycles. Abbey of Echternach is one of the oldest in the country and has been preserved in excellent condition; now there are a hospital, high school and government offices right in the abbey. The abbey is surrounded with thick hilly forests that have grown on the slopes of the Ardennes. Most Europeans come here on autotrailers and lodge on numerous campgrounds along the river separating Germany and Luxembourg. The border here is purely formal, and the river provides excellent opportunities for rafting or long cycling marathon along the entire border of Luxembourg.

In the center of the country the Berg Castle is located - the residence of the Grand Duke of Luxembourg, who by the Constitution completely controls the country. Although the entrance to it is closed, the castle can be well seen from the surrounding hills. The modesty, which one of the richest people in Europe allows himself, is surprising and admiring. In the nearby commune of Colmar, you can enjoy the true Luxembourg countryside: here flocks of sheep and cows graze on the green slopes, well-groomed bicycle paths in the forests and cozy parks around small villages. In general, the whole country has a characteristic rural landscape, which is still different from the typical one. If usually remote villages are in a dilapidated state, and the villagers are trying to make ends meet, then here life in a small village is comfort, convenient and is available to everyone. You can freely breed cows or sheep, sow your hectares with cereals, and, if you wish, arrange a garden directly on the slope with the help of a landscape designer. Driving through the villages, you can feel the omnipresent comfort and high standard of living that allows the locals to live here in peace and prosperity.

At the other end of the country (an hour’s drive), among the ridges of the Ardennes, lies the town of Clervaux, which has only a few thousand inhabitants. Its special charm is in the old abbey, named after the founder Bernard of Clervaux, as well as a small castle serving for protection of the surrounding lands. I highly recommend to enjoy the comfort and tranquility of this place, and at the same time try the apple juice by the monks in the abbey. But do not strive to return to the capital - in half an hour drive from Clervaux in the village of Vianden is the largest castle in the country! This is a huge medieval fortification, which rises above the river and the surrounding gorges, looks powerful and majestic, conveying the spirit of the warlike Middle Ages, when the Luxembourg people defended their territories from German and French troops. Today, the castle is a true symbol of a bygone era, attracting a large number of tourists and those who want to get acquainted with the ancient history of the country. There are several similar castles throughout the country, but the most beautiful and well preserved for today are the castles of Bourscheid,