On our way to a Barge trip in Germany, we spent four days in Luxembourg, only because we were to meet our tour guide there for our upcoming barge trip on the Mosel River. We knew nothing about the city or the country, except to know the country was small and thought to be politically neutral. It’s actually a member of the EU. We didn’t even know that the capital city shared the same name as the country. What a great surprise this city was — we loved our visit there.
Long a fortress city because of its natural geographic location, the city is lived on multiple levels and buildings are integrated into the rock walls.
We stayed at the Grand Hotel Cravat, a lovely, genteel hotel that seemed like old-world to us. The lobby includes a photo of General Omar Bradley who apparently stayed there during WWII; the photo is addressed to Mr. Cravat, the original owner of the hotel.
We opted to have breakfast included, and that was wise as the streets don’t have a lot of small bakeries as might be found in other European cities. The hotel breakfast was lovely, with fresh-baked croissants and baguettes plus much more.
Beautiful walkways at the upper and lower levels. The guarded palace of the Grand Duchy is on the upper level and was close to our hotel. Well, our hotel was close to everything — all walkable.
The lower “old town” neighborhood of Grund is accessed through an elevator in the middle of this set of judicial buildings. Of course there are plenty of steps too. Well worth the visit.
Also well worth the visit is the Lëtzebuerg City History Museum. It’s a beautiful, multi-storied building that illustrates the 1000 year history of the City. We found it difficult to see where the old stone structures ended and the new building began. It’s very well integrated into the physical setting.
We initially went to the museum because we saw an advertisement for a display of their 100 best posters through the ages, but then were disappointed to find that display was to open the following day — we were a day too early. When we asked if we could use the same ticket to come the following day, the nice young man at the desk invited us to the Grand Opening that evening at six PM. More good fortune! After speeches by the mayor and the Museum Director (we think that’s who they were – it was all in German in this largely French-speaking city), there was as much free wine and small finger food that one could eat.
The poster display is excellent — it’s there until January 14, 2024 if you are going.
The Bock Casements are what is left from the old fortifications, now a nice area to walk through.
We loved our time in Luxembourg; the beautiful weather helped make it memorable.
- Most restaurants are closed from 2 until 6 PM, although some lunch places are open until 4 if they don’t serve dinner.
- The city’s downtown is only 20 minutes or so from the airport by taxi, and costs a little less than 50 Euros; taxis accepted credit cards. The bus system also serves the airport and would be less expensive.
- As we noted, there are not an abundance of street-side bakeries. We were glad that our hotel room included breakfast.