You may have heard about how tiny Luxembourg is but is one day in Luxembourg really enough? Since the country of Luxembourg is roughly only 2,500 square km in size, most people tend to visit Luxembourg City for the day. And since it’s landlocked with 3 major other European countries, it’s the perfect spot for a day trip.
I personally visited Luxembourg as part of a larger European road trip. We only had one day in Luxembourg City and another to explore the surrounding region (more specifically, we wanted to visit a castle!).
To answer the original question, one day in Luxembourg City is definitely enough time. If this sounds like something that interests you or something that you plan on doing, I have put together this guide to help. I’ll go over where we stayed when we visited, how to get around Luxembourg City and the highlights of Luxembourg City! But if you really want to visit Luxembourg, you should think of adding another day or two to your itinerary. I’ve also added a few castle recommendations that are worth checking out if you have additional time!
I hope you enjoy exploring this fortified, medieval city with me!
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Where did we stay?
Luxembourg is known as one of the most expensive cities in Europe. It’s funny to think that a country so small could be so expensive to visit! Not that this should put you off of traveling there, but it’s something to keep in mind. There are ways of course to keep your expenses low!
One easy way in particular was not actually staying in Luxembourg. The beauty of this small country, as I said above, is that it’s really easy to day trip to. We situated ourselves in a town in Germany close to the border and drove into Luxembourg for the day. You can easily do this if you’re visiting Belgium or France as well!
In our situation, the drive into Luxembourg was no more than 45 minutes!
How to get around?
Something really exciting about Luxembourg is that PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION IS FREE! You can simply walk onto any bus, tram or train and it’s completely free. (Who says Luxembourg has to be super expensive!?)
If you are arriving by car, I’d recommend parking outside of the city at one of the Park and Rides and then use the public transportation. On our one day in Luxembourg, we saved money this way (its free anyways, why not use it)! The rest of the day, we did everything on foot – its a very walkable city!
How to spend one day in Luxembourg?
Now for the fun part! What do you actually DO in Luxembourg City? If I only have one day in Luxembourg, how should I spend my time? No worries, I’ve got you covered. Here is a list of the BEST things to see in Luxembourg City if you’re just passing through!
1. HIGHLIGHT: Walk around the Chemin de la Corniche
This spot offers the most beautiful views of the Lower City! If you didn’t know this about Luxembourg (because I didn’t) it’s built in two parts. The reason for this is the huge natural rocky structure of the area as well as the river that runs straight through! This means that the city has an Upper part (on the hill) and a Lower part (in the valley).
The original castle was built in the Ville Haute (Upper City) and this particular street, the Chemin de la Corniche, walks along the former city wall! A Luxembourg writer describes it as the “most beautiful balcony in Europe”. It has some of the most spectacular views and I highly recommend going for a stroll.
2. Visit the Grund
Remember I said that there is an Upper and Lower part of the city? Well, the Grund is in the lower part! It’s a little isolated from the main city centre. But it actually makes it a really calm, unique and quaint place to visit! Quite the contrast to the bustling Ville Haute!
To get there, you can either walk or talk an elevator! You can take the Grund Elevator or the Pfaffenthal Lift which can take you directly down into the valley! (They are free to use!)
3. Explore Ville Haute
I’ve already briefly talked about the Ville Haute because this is where the main city centre is! This is also where the origins of the medieval city and castle lie – so it’s definitely worth wandering about! Most of our day was actually spent walking around the Upper town, checking out the shops and exploring the little streets! One, in particular, worth mentioning is the Fish Market, which is the historical centre of town.
Most of the historical sites and main attractions on the rest of the list below can be found in the Upper City! When planning your day, you might consider going into the Lower part of the city right when you arrive to check it out. And then spend the rest of your time up in Ville Haute. Avoid going back and forth too much in order to optimize your one day in Luxembourg!
Fun Fact: Luxembourg City is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site!
4. Visit the Bock or Pétrusse Casemates
I was so excited to visit the Bock Casemates on my one day in Luxembourg visit. And I was so disappointed when I saw that they were closed! I have since read that they have been closed for maintenance but they also close every year during the winter season. I highly suggest checking if they are open during your visit because they are a very important and unique element of Luxembourg’s history!
What are they exactly? They are an underground network of tunnels built in 1644 that were used to fortify and defend the city! How cool is it to be able to explore a city from underground? You can either visit Bock Casemates or the Pétrusse Casemates. The Bock location is closer to the Chemin de la Corniche and the Pétrusse location is closer to the Place de la Constitution.
5. Grand Ducal Palace
Did you know that today, Luxembourg is being led by a Grand Duke? Well, this is his palace! It is a really impressive building to admire from the outside! But if you’re visiting during the summer months, you can also visit the inside! They only offer tours in the summer and you can book your tickets with the Luxembourg City Tourist Office.
It is unclear if you can book your tickets online. I tried to but I couldn’t seem to find it. If you’re having trouble, you can visit the tourist office in person!
6. Notre Dame Cathedral
Almost every Europe city has a Cathedral of some sort and in Luxembourg, it is the Notre Dame Cathedral! This particular Cathedral is Roman Catholic and is a really beautiful Gothic building. You don’t need a lot of time to visit, but do make sure to at least pop in!
Fun Fact: It’s the ONLY Cathedral in the country of Luxembourg!
7. Place de la Constitution
This is another nice spot overlooking the valley below Luxembourg! You have a really nice view of the Adolphe Bridge, the Pétrusse Valley and the Gardens of Luxembourg! This is where we personally had a seat, took a break and enjoyed the view. In the centre of the square, there is the statue of “Gëlle Fra” (golden lady). This statue is a war memorial for all of the soldiers that were lost in World War I.
8. Chocolate House
Food is where you might start to notice the pricier side of Luxembourg. We decided to keep things cheap by just stopping for a snack in Luxembourg and having our main meal back in Germany.
The Chocolate House is a really cute bake shop that of course specializes in chocolate goodies! If you’re looking for a place to sit and enjoy a bite to eat, you’ve come to the right place!
More than one day in Luxembourg?
If you have more than one day in Luxembourg and are looking for a local day trip, I highly recommend checking out one of the castles. There are 2 popular castles to visit from Luxembourg: Clervaux Castle and Vianden Castle.
Vianden Castle is the most popular day trip from Luxembourg city and it was on our route home so that worked out perfectly for us. The visit to the castle was an absolute highlight for me! It was the perfect size castle for a quick visit, with a really nice view of the region.
⏰ We spent around 2 hours visiting the castle
💰We paid 11 euros per person to visit the castle. We did not book our tickets online, we booked them once we arrived! Your ticket gives you access to the castle and the grounds – not to the museum!
🚗 It’s around a 1-hour drive from Luxembourg city
🅿️ Parking was an issue for sure. The castle is located on a hill and there was barely any parking at the top. Most parking spots were located on the way up to the castle. But there weren’t many!
⚔️ Fun Fact: we visited during the Medieval Festival (it was a pleasant surprise)! The festival takes place around the end of July and into the beginning of August. In 2023, it will take place from July 29th – August 8th!
And there you have it! A complete guide to spending one day in Luxembourg (or more if you’re lucky)! I hope you found this guide useful as you’re planning a trip to Luxembourg! Or if you weren’t planning a trip to Luxembourg, I hope you’re inspired to now!
Would you like a more detailed guide about visiting Vianden Castle? Comment below if that would be helpful to you!
If you’re interested in knowing my budget for this particular road trip, I put together a Complete Road-Trip Budget guide!