Luxembourg, the Pearl of BENELUX

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Luxembourg_City_Night

Some say the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg is not even a real country, because it’s so small. Others say that small bottles keep the best essences.

Luxembourg is more like a city state, a small enclave landlocked in the center of Western Europe with three official languages : French, German and a melting-pot namely Luxembourgish. The country is a constitutional monarchy with a prime minister and a grand-duke, just like the UK. With a land surface of only 2500 square kilometers and a population of 550,000, Luxembourg is one of the smallest sovereign countries in Europe.

Neighbored by Germany on the eastern border, Belgium on the west and north and France on its southern boundaries, Luxembourg  is formed of two main regions : the Oesling and the Gutland. Despite its small size, we’re talking here about a highly developed country, with an advanced economy and a breathtaking GDP, the world’s 2nd per capita actually (Qatar ranks 1st). Basically, life is pretty good in Luxembourg, hence you can pay a visit any time.

Being a member of NATO, the European Union, the United Nations and BENELUX and due to its geographic position, Luxembourg is a cultural melting pot, a fusion between the Germanic and Romanic Europe, a truly multicultural place to visit.

Having a picturesque landscape with green pastures and beautiful hills and valleys, there’s no shortage of places to visit, believe me.

luxembourg

What to see, what to do while in Luxembourg

Like any self-conscious tourist, I’ll begin with the Ardennes region, locally known as Eisleck. This is one of  those places with scenic beauty thanks to its lush valleys, wooded hills and forested plateaux. While here, take a trip to the small city of Esch-Sur-Sure, a very nice resort built on the river Sauer.

Breweries are another major selling point for visiting Luxembourg, especially the ones located in Wiltz and Bascharage.

The medieval city of Clervaux holds a well-preserved market town and a 12th century castle, along with a war museum dedicated to the WW2.

Luxembourg-Clervaux-Castle

In the East you can see the city of Echternach, a religious place that attracts pilgrims from all over the world each and every year, thanks to its 7th century Benedictine Abbey (transformed into a museum nowadays) and St Willibrord’s Basilica, along with the 15th century town hall.

Luxembourg is home to many museums and art galleries, such as  the National Museum of Natural History, the Museum of the City of Luxembourg and the National Museum of History and Art.

The Mullerthal region is described as Luxembourg’s Switzerland thanks to its dense/black forests  and beautiful rock formations that make for an exceptional place for trekking and hiking.

While you’re here, enjoy life and go rock climbing, there are a few well equipped facilities  near Berdorf.

schengen

Schengen is a small village that symbolizes the intersection of three countries (Germany France and Luxembourg) and it’s world renowned after the Schengen Agreement (signed In 1995) that bears its name.

There’s a beautiful spa at Mondorf-les-Bains where you can benefit from thermal health treatments or you can take a wine tasting tour during a trip on the river Moselle that crosses the south of Luxembourg, a well-known wine producing region, filled with wineries.

An outstandingly beautiful place to visit is Upper Sure National Park, especially if you’re into water sports (There’s a huge dam/lake there).

The medieval castle of Vianden was built between the 11th and 14th centuries and makes for an excellent bird eye’s view over the rocky perch.

Vianden-Luxembourg-

Luxembourg, the Capital

Luxembourg City is the capital and harbors the beautiful square of Place D’Armes, along with lots of charming and lively restaurants and cafés.

While you’re here you can visit the medieval underground tunnels that cross the city, enjoy the grand squares and admire the changing guard while visiting   the Palais Grand Ducal, the official residence of the Grand Duke (open for tourists in  July and August). Other points of attraction include the 17th century Notre Dame Cathedral, the Place Guillaume and the open tourist train ride via the Petrusse Valley.

Luxemburg_Palais_Grand_Ducale

Food and Drink

Luxembourg’s cuisine is a fusion between German and Franco-Belgian finesse. You can eat fish, pastries and cakes, equally awesome, along with local liquors, kirsch or Mirabelle. The best wines come from Mosel region, including Pinot Gris, Riesling and Pinot Blanc.

Specialties include smoked neck of pork served with a stew of beans and potatoes, mushrooms and chicken in béchamel sauce, all kinds of sausages, cochon de lait en gelee (a sort of jellied piglet), smoked ham, plum tart and game (Especially in the autumn).

cuisine

Visa Requirements

Luxembourg is a member of the European Union and it signed the Schengen treaty, hence if you’re an EU citizen, you’ll not require a passport, just an ID. For USA/Canadian tourists, a passport is required (no Visa though).

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