Despite being a small country with a population of just 600,000 and covering approximately 1,650 square kilometers, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg offers a remarkable array of attractions and enjoyable activities.
While Luxembourg City, particularly its UNESCO-designated old quarter, stands as a major hub for sightseeing and points of interest, the country’s quaint small towns are equally enchanting and deserve exploration.
The ease of traveling within Luxembourg is noteworthy. Whether you prefer strolling through the capital city, embarking on a scenic driving tour through the countryside, or town-hopping by train, you’ll find captivating sights and experiences within easy reach.
The country’s landscape boasts a captivating blend of old fortresses, castles, and stunning scenery, making it a favored tourist destination often combined with neighboring countries like Belgium and the Netherlands.
To uncover the best places to visit in this charming West European country, explore our list of the top attractions in Luxembourg.
1. The Old Quarter of Luxembourg City
To commence a delightful exploration of Luxembourg City, the historic Old Quarter stands as an ideal starting point. Locally known as “d’Stad,” this exceptionally well-preserved old city center was granted UNESCO World Heritage Site status in 1994.
In addition to its charming appeal, Luxembourg City’s ancient fortifications played a significant role in its strategic importance among Europe’s major cities. Revered as the “Gibraltar of the North,” the fortress’s impregnability left a lasting impact on the Old Quarter, evident throughout its winding alleys and streets.
Today, the remnants of the old fortifications have transformed into beautifully landscaped parks and gardens, while cobbled streets are lined with quaint old homes and buildings. Meandering through the district allows for an immersive experience as you cross numerous bridges, including the spectacular Adolphe Bridge, renowned as a city landmark. To add an element of adventure, consider venturing without a map, trusting your instincts to uncover hidden gems.
For those arriving by car, ample public parking is available, but using one of the city’s excellent park-and-ride facilities can be a wise choice. Alternatively, arriving by train and booking a stay in an Old Quarter hotel promises a truly memorable experience.
2. National Museum of History and Art
When assessing Luxembourg City solely based on the quality of its museums, it emerges as an outstanding destination among Europe’s historically significant cities. Leading the way is the National Museum of History and Art (Nationalmusée fir Geschicht a Konscht, or MNHA).
Nestled in the historic Fish Market area, once the town’s original center, the MNHA houses an impressive array of collections comprising art objects, archaeological treasures, furniture, tools, coins, arms, and documents chronicling the country’s history. All of these captivating exhibits find a home in a striking modern building.
Notably, the museum places a particular emphasis on the Gallo-Roman period, showcasing numerous exquisite displays that vividly portray the artistic, social, religious, and intellectual life of Luxembourgers from the 16th to the early 20th centuries. The contemporary art section is equally enticing, featuring works by some of the most influential artists of the 20th century. English-speaking guided tours, along with a research library and shop, add to the museum’s appeal.
For art enthusiasts, the unique Am Tunnel, or Galerie d’Art Contemporain Am Tunnel, is a must-visit attraction. Set in an old tunnel, this contemporary art gallery houses an exceptional collection of visual arts, providing a delightful escape from the bustling atmosphere of larger museums and galleries in the city.
Situated near the German border, this charming little town holds the distinction of being the oldest in all of Luxembourg. Embracing a laid-back and cozy ambiance, it serves as the ideal base camp for exploring the surrounding region at a leisurely pace. If you’re drawn to the allure of “lazy afternoon rambles,” this is the place for you.
The town proves to be a perfect haven for hikers, as it provides easy access to the picturesque trails of Mullertal and offers delightful opportunities for cycling along the River Sure.
For over 500 years, pilgrims have been making their way to this town every Whit Tuesday to partake in the dancing procession, honoring its revered founder, St. Willibrord. If you happen to visit during May and June, you can also indulge in the International Music Festival, adding a touch of cultural delight to your stay.
No matter the time of year, the town boasts fascinating attractions such as the Prehistory Museum, the Basilica, and a recently discovered Roman villa, all of which invite exploration and appreciation of the region’s rich history and heritage.
4. Vianden Castle
Vianden, a charming and hilly town nestled on the River Our, shares its border with Germany. The town’s allure is highlighted by its quaint old-world charm and the commanding presence of Vianden Castle, perched high above the flowing river. Dating back to the 11th and 14th centuries, the castle served as a prominent residence for Luxembourg royalty for many centuries before falling into disrepair for an extended period. Since the 1970s, ongoing restoration efforts have breathed new life into the castle, allowing it to reclaim its former glory and now offering some of the most picturesque vistas in the entire country.
Atop the castle, an extraordinary restaurant awaits, accessible only by chairlift, granting visitors the most breathtaking views of Vianden and the surrounding mountains. Additionally, a must-visit attraction is the Victor Hugo Museum, housed in the very home where the esteemed writer once resided, providing a fascinating glimpse into his life and works.
Nestled in charm, Beaufort is a quaint small town that draws many visitors primarily due to its castle, situated across the valley from the town center. Originally established as a Roman camp, the castle gradually expanded through the years, but its restoration has been hindered by the impact of the WWII Battle of the Ardennes.
Tourists can immerse themselves in the exploration of the castle’s various levels and interiors, although the lack of decor adds a unique historical touch. Following this enriching experience, one can relish an afternoon of cycling or hiking, as the town offers several delightful trails to choose from, providing an opportunity to savor the natural beauty of the surroundings.
Spanning 42 kilometers from Wasserbillig to Schengen, the Moselle Valley and its meandering river present a picturesque landscape adorned with small villages, vineyards, and wine cooperatives. Schengen, renowned for the EU agreement that facilitates easy cross-border travel, has long been a magnet for wine enthusiasts, drawing them in for generations.
Each village within the valley exudes its unique charm and offers fine dining establishments and a relaxed ambiance that will undoubtedly evoke a desire to call it home. Notable villages include Remerschen, Remich, Greiveldange, Ehen, and Machtum. Fondly known as d’Musel by the locals, the valley also boasts awe-inspiring fruit plantations to explore, themed hikes like the wine route, invigorating water sports and cruises, and even a glimpse of medieval history for added allure.
7. The Ardennes
For an exceptional nature experience, the Ardennes is an absolute must-visit destination. With its enchanting combination of winding valleys and scenic highlands, this region offers a plethora of hiking and cycling trails, allowing you to immerse yourself in the beauty of the forests and villages scattered throughout the nature parks. Unsurprisingly, some of the best-preserved medieval ruins in all of Luxembourg can be found here, evoking a sense of history and nostalgia.
The Ardennes is a treasure trove of experiences, offering medieval revivals, traditional markets, and outdoor performances and concerts that transport you back in time. The ambiance is truly magical, immersing you in the charm of another era.
Within the Ardennes, you’ll find two distinct nature parks, Naturpark Öewersauer and Our, each offering its unique allure and natural wonders. If you’re feeling adventurous, consider indulging in Nordic walking along the Sûre or the Alzette rivers, adding a touch of active exploration to your nature-filled escapade.
8. Notre Dame Cathedral
The Notre Dame Cathedral (Kathedral Notre-Dame) in Luxembourg City stands as an exquisite example of Roman Catholic architecture. Erected in the early 17th century, the cathedral showcases a late Gothic style, enhanced with captivating Renaissance elements that were added later. Among its distinguished features are the two original choir bays, dating back to 1621, and the three distinct towers, with the west tower also hailing from the same period.
The cathedral boasts intricate sculpted Baroque angels adorning the organ tribune, a mesmerizing sight that dates back to the early 1600s. Additionally, within the cathedral cemetery, a poignant monument pays homage to the country’s WW2 resistance movement and the victims of deportation.
For visiting Catholics, attending the Sunday evening mass at the cathedral is highly recommended. This regular service often involves the participation of the Archbishop of Paris, making it a truly special and spiritually enriching experience.
9. The Bock Casements
Luxembourg’s Bock Cliff, also known as Bockfiels, is a site of historic significance, boasting formidable fortifications and cannon loopholes. Here lies the entrance to the renowned Casemates (Casements du Bock), an extraordinary network of underground passages hewn from solid rock, spanning an impressive 21 kilometers. These underground tunnels were ingeniously designed to shelter thousands of defenders, as well as equipment and horses, along with various facilities such as workshops, kitchens, and slaughterhouses.
Some parts of the Casemates date back to the era of Spanish rule in 1644, and together, they encompass a vast area of 40,000 square meters. Presently, visitors have the opportunity to explore much of these remarkable fortifications on foot, while organized guided tours are also available for those seeking a deeper understanding of the tunnels’ captivating history.
Atop the Bock plateau, one can discover the remains of the old castle, a remarkable find made in 1963. From this vantage point, visitors are treated to beautiful views of the Grund suburb and the Rham Plateau, along with the old 19th-century barracks and the imposing towers and remnants of the Wenceslas wall, which date back to 1390.
Berdorf, located in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, stands as a prominent tourist destination, gracing a vast tableland that overlooks the picturesque valleys of the Black Ernz, Sûre, and Aesbach rivers.
The region is adorned with numerous meticulously maintained footpaths and hiking trails that meander through the valleys and chasms, offering splendid vistas of tall rocky hills and over 300 acres of lush forest. Among the most beloved routes is the 112-kilometer-long Mullerthal Trail, which links Berdorf to the charming village of Echternach.
Berdorf is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, attracting rock climbers, hikers, and campers alike, who revel in the abundant opportunities for adventure and exploration amid the natural beauty of the area.
11. Parc Merveilleux
Situated in the charming town of Bettembourg, merely six miles from the capital city and three miles from the French border, Parc Merveilleux captivates thousands of visitors annually.
This enchanting amusement center boasts a delightful array of fairy-tale-themed attractions and rides, catering to visitors of all ages, with a special appeal for children. The park offers an exciting game enclosure, a playground, a mini-train, a pony express, a mini-golf, as well as restaurants and concerts, ensuring a plethora of enjoyable experiences for everyone.
Adding to the allure is an intriguing zoo component that showcases a diverse collection of exotic birds, reptiles, and a myriad of cute and cuddly mammals. With its blend of entertainment and nature, Parc Merveilleux promises an unforgettable and joyous experience for the whole family.
Named after the nation’s most beloved beer, Diekirch exudes a colorful local flavor that endears it to tourists. Situated in the northern part of Luxembourg and resting on the banks of the River Sure, the town is surrounded by majestic mountains that offer breathtaking vistas at every turn.
A stroll through the pedestrian zone unveils a charming array of shopping venues, cozy cafes, and public concerts, while a visit to the old quarter grants the opportunity to admire the St. Laurentius Church and other quaint old-world homes. Diekirch boasts three outstanding museums worth exploring: the National Museum of Historical Vehicles, the beer museum, and the National Museum of Military History, which features a comprehensive exhibit on the Battle of the Bulge.
For nature enthusiasts, Diekirch is an ideal destination, offering a plethora of outdoor activities. Whether you prefer cycling, hiking, kayaking, or fishing, this town caters to those seeking a dose of nature during their holiday.