9 Things to do in Luxembourg City

Luxembourg wasn’t originally on our itinerary for this Europe trip and we had never given much thought to visiting this little country. But we were so happy that we decided to make a stop. Some of our favorite moments on this trip came from our adventures here. We stayed in Luxembourg City and absolutely loved exploring it, admiring all of the beautiful architecture, peaceful parks and river scenes, quaint streets, and spots where the old city walls and fortifications could be seen. There are many things to do in Luxembourg City and we definitely recommend adding these to your list!

Things to do in Luxembourg

1. Walk through the Casemates

The Casemates are a system of tunnels that wind under a portion of Luxembourg. They were built in the mid-1600s as part of Luxembourg’s defense system. Luxembourg already had a strong fortification in place, but the casemates built below existing structures strengthened the strategic position of the formidable fort. Various groups, including the Spanish, Italians, French, Austrians, and more, took control of Luxembourg City over the years and added onto the fortification system.

The tunnels had eventually extended to 23 kilometers (over 14 miles) long, containing storage spaces, kitchens, barracks, artillery slots, and even stables. Much of Luxembourg’s fortifications were destroyed in the 1860s to prevent further conflict, reducing the tunnel system to 17 kilometers (10.5 miles).

Today, visitors can walk through both the Bock & Pétrusse Casemates. Tickets to the Pétrusse Casemates cost €15 per adult. Visits are only permitted with a guide and these accompanied visits only take place at certain times. Check the website for tour and ticket info.

Tickets to the Bock Casemates cost €8. While you can visit these casemates on a self-guided tour, you still must reserve a time slot. See the website for hours and ticket info.

Tickets for both sites can be purchased online in advance or at the tourist office. Visiting the Casemates is one of the most popular activities in Luxembourg City, so we’d recommend booking tickets in advance if possible.

Around the Bock Casemates, there are also various viewpoints atop the old structures that can be accessed free of charge. These viewpoints have some informational signs and offer pretty views.

The Bock Casemates seen from the Grund
The Bock Casemates seen from the Grund

2. Take in the Picturesque Views along Chem de la Corniche

As you explore the city on foot, don’t miss out on taking a stroll along Chem de la Corniche. This small road runs from down in the Grund, along the cliffside, and up to the top of the plateau near where the Bock Casemates sit. Along the way, there are various viewpoints that overlook the quaint Grund area where tightly spaced houses and narrow streets sit along the Alzette River. Portions of the old city fortifications can be seen as you make your way up (or down) the path as well.

Walking up Chem de la Corniche was quite peaceful and scenic, especially as the fall colors began to show!

Views over the Grund from Chem de la Corniche
Views over the Grund from Chem de la Corniche

3. Dive into Interesting Topics at Luxembourg’s Museums

If you’re a fan of museums, Luxembourg has some interesting options. We checked out the Lëtzebuerg City Museum because we wanted a deeper look into Luxembourg. This museum covers much of the city’s history, culture, and even some present-day topics.

Other museum options include the Luxembourg National Museum of Natural History, the Grand Duke Jean Museum of Modern Art (MUDAM), Musée Dräi Eechelen for more Luxembourg history, Villa Vauban for more art, or the Nationalmusée um Fëschmaart (the National Art & History Museum).

There are many intriguing artifacts and works housed in Luxembourg's museums
There are many intriguing artifacts and works housed in Luxembourg’s museums

4. Stroll through the Parks

Lush and well-maintained parks sit all around Luxembourg’s historic center. The main ones are the Luxembourg Municipal Park and Parcs de la Pétrusse. The parks offer a great escape from the bustling city scene and are a nice place to get some exercise or just take a stroll.

We particularly enjoyed Parcs de la Pétrusse for the pretty woods, nice views of Pont Adolphe and La Passerelle bridge, and the portions of the old city fortifications visible along the trail. Our walk started near the Gëlle Fra monument, continuing through the woods as the path wound down the hillside. We ended up down in the valley and followed the trail towards the Grund.

Walking through Parcs de la Pétrusse
Walking through Parcs de la Pétrusse

5. Explore the Grund

The Grund is a picturesque quarter that sits in a valley below Luxembourg’s historic city center. It used to sit within the lower portion of Luxembourg’s fortress until much of the fortification system was destroyed in the 1860s. The Grund has been classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since the 1990s.

The area is like a scene from a fairytale with the quaint cobblestone streets and old buildings lining the Alzette River. Some spots to visit in the Grund area include the National Museum of Natural History, Neimënster Abbey, and the Wenzel Wall and pathways below the Bock Casemates. Additionally, this charming little district has some restaurants and galleries.

The beautiful Grund along the Alzette River
The beautiful Grund along the Alzette River

6. Visit the Notre-Dame Cathedral

The Cathédral Notre-Dame de Luxembourg, or Cathedral of the Blessed Virgin, is a beautiful structure built in the early 1600s. It features Gothic, Baroque, and Renaissance elements, and the tall spires can be seen from various points around Luxembourg. The interior contains many beautiful details, including the carved columns, intricate woodwork, and bright stained-glass windows.

The cathedral is free to visit and is generally open daily to the public. Visitors can walk through the main hall and visit the crypt. Check the Visit Luxembourg webpage for any closures and for specific hours. This is a convenient and quick stop located in the historic center.

We walked through the Cathedral one morning, admiring all of the detail inside. We were lucky to be there when the organ was played! As when visiting any place of worship, please respect those who have come to pray.

The Notre-Dame Cathedral
The Notre-Dame Cathedral

7. Walk through the Historic City Center

Luxembourg’s historic city center is filled with great restaurants, little shops, unique streets, and other attractions. We loved walking down the old streets and recommend putting a little time aside to just wander around!

As you make your way about, some spots worth stopping by include Place Guillaume II, Place d’Armes, the Notre-Dame as mentioned above, and the Palais Grand-Ducal. Outside the palace, you may even catch the changing of the guards, which takes place each hour with more elaborate ceremonies during the summer months. The residence of the Grand Duke can also be toured only during a few weeks in the summer. Check here for more information.

If you’d like a more structured visit or want to learn more about the sights of the city, there are quite a few Luxembourg City tours. Some include bike, walking, and food tours in addition to many options that may also cover other highlights outside of the city. You can find various options on sites like Get Your Guide and Viator. Additionally, you can visit the tourism office and they’ll provide information on tour options or highlights they recommend visiting,

The Palais Grand-Ducal
Outside the Palais Grand-Ducal

8. Take in more Great Views From the Pfaffenthal Panoramic Elevator

If you just can’t get enough of those Luxembourg views, make a stop at the Pfaffenthal Panoramic Elevator. This elevator takes passengers between the Pfaffenthal area in the valley and the higher area of the city near Pescatore Park. The elevator is free to use.

At the top, there is a bridge leading to and from the elevator that is encompassed in glass. The end of the bridge near the elevator offers some great views of the Pfaffenthal area below. 

Moody autumn views from the Pfaffenthal Panoramic Elevator
Moody autumn views from the Pfaffenthal Panoramic Elevator

9. Take a Day Trip to Experience other Luxembourg Highlights

Well, a day trip may have you venturing outside of Luxembourg City. But we put this activity on the list because there are truly so many great things to do and see that are easily accessible from the capital. Luxembourg is small and public transport is free, making it easy to take a day trip.

Many visitors just come to explore Luxembourg City for a day or two and don’t make it to some of the other great highlights in the country. The countryside is dotted with old castles, trails wind through the pretty landscape, and there are various peaceful towns worth visiting.

A couple day trips we went on included Vianden, the Beaufort Castles, and hiking a portion of the Mullerthal Trail. All were amazing experiences. And whenever we make it back to Luxembourg, we’ll not only visit the city again, but definitely plan on exploring more of the gems around it!

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