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Luxembourg City is the capital of the small, landlocked European country, Luxembourg. The city, with a population of around 115,000 people, is known for its beautiful contrast between contemporary and medieval. The city is literally divided into two levels, with the upper part of the city perched upon a rocky canyon, and the lower part of the city nestled in the Alzette River Gorge. The city is a fascinating place to visit even if just for a day or two. There are a lot of interesting things to do in Luxembourg City that make the small capital of one of the smallest countries in Europe worth visiting!
This guide to the best things to do in Luxembourg City provides the top 10 places to visit in Luxembourg City in one day and provides an 1-day itinerary for Luxembourg City.
Luxembourg is one of the safest and wealthiest countries in the world, with a population of around 625,000 residents in the entire nation. Bordering Belgium, France, and Germany, Luxembourg has three official languages, French, German, and Luxembourgish.
The Old Quarter of Luxembourg City is a designated UNESCO World Heritage site due to the large number of historical buildings and fortifications. Visiting those fortifications in the Old Town area is one of the top things to do in Luxembourg City.
Its official head of state is the Grand Duke, the only country in the world to still have a Grand Duchy. In addition to the Grand Duke, the country also has a prime minister – much like the United Kingdom has both a prime minister and a Queen.
How to get to Luxembourg City
Luxembourg City is an easy day trip from Brussels, Belgium, as well as Frankfurt or Cologne, Germany. It is also an easy weekend trip from places that are slightly further away like Paris and Amsterdam. It’s worth visiting to not only explore a new city and country, but because there are a lot of fun things to do in Luxembourg City for a day.
If arriving in Luxembourg City by train, you can either walk to the old city center or use public transportation. All public transportation is free in Luxembourg, so hop on a streetcar and save time getting to the tourist attractions if you only have one day in Luxembourg City.
Top 10 things to do in Luxembourg City in a day
Luxembourg is a beautiful city. Its architecture and scenery alone make it worth visiting. But to help plan out your trip, we’ve compiled a short list of the 10 best things to see in Luxembourg City. We’ve also included a one day Luxembourg itinerary and a map of the main attractions to give you an idea of the route, how much walking is involved and how long it takes to get between each of the attractions in Luxembourg City. If you prefer guided tours, you can also book a Luxembourg City guided walking tour – with wine!
Walk across Pont Adolphe
The Pont Adolphe or Adolphe Bridge crosses the Petrusse River in Luxembourg City. Built in the early 1900s, this arched bridge has two layers, an upper level for road traffic and a lower level that serves as a pedestrian crossing.
From the bridge, you get a beautiful view of the Notre Dame Cathedral steeples, the valley below, Constitution Square, and the Luxembourg City skyline.
See the Monument of Remembrance
The Monument of Remembrance, officially known as Gëlle Fra, is a war memorial dedicated to the fallen soldiers from Luxembourg who fought World War I , World War II, and in later conflicts. Thousands of Luxembourg soldiers volunteered to fight alongside the French army and Allied forces during both world wars and in the Korean War, and roughly 2,000 were killed.
At the top of the obelisk, a golden statue representing Nike, the Greek goddess of victory, holds out a wreath with her head looking downward toward a fallen soldier laying at the base of the pillar.
Take in the view at Constitution Square
Adjacent to the Monument of Remembrance, Constitution Square, or Place De La Constitution is a lovely garden built on the site of a former bastion or fortress wall. At the center of the square the Luxembourg flag proudly waves, towering over the green space. Meticulously manicured hedges, flowerbeds, and grassy areas flank the flagpole. From Constitution Square you can look out at Pont Adolphe and the Petrusse Valley.
Visit Notre Dame Cathedral and the church crypt
Not to be confused with Paris’ Notre Dame, one of the most famous European churches, Luxembourg City’s cathedral by the same name is one of the highlights of any walking tour or 1-day Luxembourg City itinerary.
The Roman Catholic gothic cathedral took more than 300 years to construct and is free to enter, although you can buy a self-guided digital audio guide to enhance your experience. With three towers, stunning stained glass windows and a vaulted nave with intricately carved pillars, the church is architecturally incredible. Located below the church, the cathedral’s crypt is also free to visit. It contains the remains of the former grand dukes and grand duchesses of Luxembourg, who are all entombed with their families.
Enjoy lunch in Place Guillaume or Place d’Armes
Place Guillaume and Place d’Armes are the two main squares in Luxembourg City and therefore great places to grab a bite to eat on a restaurant patio. Place Guillaume is home to the Luxembourg City Hall. A statue of the former Grand Duke William II riding a horse dominates the eastern half of the square.
Place d’Armes is at the heart of the pedestrian zone of Luxembourg City. It is lined with cafes, restaurants, and shops. During the holidays, the square hosts a Christmas market and every other Saturday there is a flea market in this central square.
At the west end of the square, be sure to check out the Dick-Lentz Monument. The pillar is dedicated to two Luxembourg poets who wrote the words to the country’s national anthem.
Visit the Palais Grand-Ducal (Grand Ducal Palace)
The Grand Ducal Palace is the official residence of the Grand Duke of Luxembourg and where he meets with foreign heads of states and performs official business and functions. Although you can see the outside of the palace year round, it is only open to the public for part of the year.
Unfortunately, it was not open when we visited Luxembourg, so we missed out on going inside. However, if you happen to visit during the month it is open, plan for an hour and 15 minutes for a guided tour. You can book your tickets online for a behind the scenes look at home Luxembourg’s royal family lives.
Explore the Old City (The Grund)
Located in the valley below the city center, The Grund is a historic quarter of Luxembourg City. The preserved village area sits on the banks of the Alzette River and is a great place to visit both day and night. During the day, it is a picturesque area to wander through and take photos, and in the evening the district is known for its nightlife.
You can access The Grund by way of an elevator that descends down to the old neighborhood or by walking down a series of cobblestone paths. Not to miss, the Abbey of Neumünster, is now a cultural center, although it has had many uses and purposes since it was first constructed in the 16th century. The old city and the casemates are designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, so it is worth spending some time exploring The Grund while in Luxembourg City for a day.
Tour the Bock Casemates or the Petrusse Casemates
The number one tourist site in Luxembourg, the casemates are one of the best things to see in Luxembourg City.
The network of underground tunnels dates back to 963 when medieval fortifications were built as a stronghold to protect the city. Over the centuries, the fortress was destroyed, but the tunnels under the upper portion of the town still remain. During the world wars in Europe, the casemates served as bomb shelters for Luxembourg residents, but today, you can buy tickets to tour this unique site in the city.
Note: The Bock Casemates are currently closed to the public for renovations, but the Petrusse Casemates are open to explore.
Attend a festival or event
There always seems to be something going on in Luxembourg City. Whether it is a festival, a community event, a market, or a carnival, it seems like there are weekly activities you will stumble upon while in Luxembourg. And attending those festivities is one of the best spontaneous things to do in Luxembourg City.
While we were in Luxembourg for a day, there was a street carnival, which if visiting Luxembourg with kids, always makes for a fun impromptu stop. We walked around, rode a few rides, and simply enjoyed the atmosphere before heading back to the train station.
Visit one of Luxembourg City’s museums
From the Luxembourg City History Museum to the Villa Vauban, the Luxembourg National Museum of History, and the Modern Art Museum, Luxembourg City has more than 60 museums, many of which are accessible on foot in the city center.
If time permits, visit one of the most popular museums in Luxembourg mentioned above to learn about the city’s history or see collections of fine art.
How to spend one day in Luxembourg City – 1-day itinerary
Now that you have an idea of what to see in Luxembourg City, here is our 1-day itinerary to follow. Keep in mind, if you are doing a day trip to Luxembourg City, realistically you will likely not get there until 9-10 a.m.
- 9:00 a.m. – arrive at Luxembourg train station
- 9:30 a.m. – cross Pont Adolphe
- 10:00 a.m. – see Constitution Square and the Monument of Remembrance
- 11:00 a.m. – lunch in Place d’Armes
- 12:00 p.m. -see the Grand Ducal Palace (allow 1 hour 15 minutes if palace is open to tour)
- 1:15 p.m. – walk through Place Guillaume then visit Notre Dame Cathedral
- 1:45 p.m. – tour the Petrusse Casemates
- 3:30 p.m. – explore Luxembourg-Grund (Old Town)
- 5:00 p.m. – stroll through a festival before returning to the train station or hotel
Is one day enough?
Luxembourg City is a relatively small capital city and most of the main things to do in Luxembourg City are located within walking distance to each other, so you can easily see Luxembourg City in a day.
However, the small country boasts over 70 castles, so if you want to visit any of these impressive fortresses outside the city, you could spend a few days in Luxembourg and take a tour to some of the most famous castles in the country, or simply spend more time enjoying the beauty of this enchanting city.
Where to Stay in Luxembourg City
The area near Luxembourg Station is perhaps the best place to stay in Luxembourg City, especially if arriving in Luxembourg by train. The Park Inn by Radisson and Hotel Empire are both very convenient to the train station as well as the rest of the city.
Other things to do in Luxembourg City
While you can see many of the best things to do in Luxembourg City in a day, if time allows, here are a few other interesting activities in the small country.
Luxembourg American Cemetery
On the outskirts of the city, the Luxembourg American Cemetery is a memorial site for American World War II soldiers. There are a total of 5,074 graves of American soldiers at the Luxembourg cemetery. Among those buried at the cemetery is General George Patton Jr., who had asked to be buried with his troops.
Castle Day Trip
Luxembourg is often referred to as a “Land of Castles” and there are several you can visit on a day trip. Bourscheid Castle is the largest and perhaps most picturesque castle in the country. Located in the region of Ardennes, the castle overhangs the Sûre River. The castle is open to the public, although tickets are required. As one of the most popular day trips from Luxembourg City, it is well worth the 45 minute drive or hour and a half journey on public transportation.
Another popular day trip option, the castle of Vianden is a beautiful medieval fortress on a rocky outcrop. Located near the German border, about an hour from Luxembourg City, touring this castle is one of the best things to do in the country of Luxembourg.
Map of things to do in Luxembourg City in one day
While the city is easy to navigate, having a map with a walking route to follow is always helpful. So, we’ve mapped out all the top things to do in Luxembourg City and a walking route to follow to help you make the most of your one day in Luxembourg City.
To give you an idea of distance, from the train station to Pont Adolphe is only about a 10 minute walk, so it is easy to see the highlights of Luxembourg City in a day.
Have a question or comment about any of the best things to do in Luxembourg City in a day? We’d love to hear from you. Leave your thoughts in the comments below.