‘Where even is Luxembourg?’ I asked myself when my friend first invited me to visit her home. I am always up for an adventure, and I love to experience new cultures and places, but this country was one that I couldn’t even pinpoint on a map. But now, after spending a long girls’ weekend there, I just want to go back and experience this tiny country all over again.
Luxembourg is bordered by Belgium, Germany and France. If you’re visiting any of those countries, there are cheap buses and trains to get you to the center of the cozy country – Luxembourg City. Alternatively, you can either fly into Luxembourg airport which is only a 15-minute drive from the center, or fly into Belgium and bus in. No matter where you’re coming from, it is surprisingly easy to get to Luxembourg.
If you stay in the center, the city can be easily enjoyed with time to spare in just one weekend. Even though it is so small, don’t associate it with the stuffiness that we often feel in St. Andrews. There are lots of shops, nice restaurants and fun clubs that make the small city feel so big. There is something special for students – which is free transportation! Not only did this save us a lot of money, but it also saved time over the weekend to quickly get to each place of interest. The buses and new trams go absolutely everywhere, so make sure to use those as much as possible!
Also free for students is entry to most museums. We went to two, The Grand Duke Jean Museum of Modern Art (MUDAM) and the National Museum of History and Art (MNHA). MUDAM is one of the most architecturally beautiful buildings I’ve ever seen, and the art inside is just as great. Each room in the museum is unique and it’s all modern, but there are lots of different artists and thus plenty of perspectives represented. MNHA has many different exhibitions going on, so check before you go to see if anything interests you. Even if just one of them seems interesting to you, I would suggest going along since it is free after all… I recommend going to the top floor and then working your way down. The very bottom floor is intertwined with the history of the building and is a wonderfully crafted exhibition.
The center of town is divided into two parts, the lower part is the old town, and the upper part is the new town. To get to the old town, I suggest taking the Pfaffenthal Lift. It’s a glass elevator and you can see all of old town on the way down – perfect for pictures! You can spend the whole day exploring, as there are so many tiny streets, parks, and restaurants to see. Most of this area is along the Moselle river, which helps to give this area a gorgeous fairytale feeling. If you want to end your night in the old town clubbing, I suggest going to Clausen. It’s a row of bars and clubs that gets very busy during the summer.
The top part, the main town center, also has lots to do; but is more on the commercial side. This is where the best of shopping and eating is. It doesn’t take a long time to walk around here, so go slow and really take in the architecture and the great window shopping. Take a look at the ‘Buckingham Palace’ of Luxembourg, the Palace of the Grand Dukes. It’s easy to miss because it blends in with the colors and style of the rest of the buildings, but it’s a great piece of history. Also, if you walk to the National Monument of the Solidarity, you can get a gorgeous view of both towns at the same time.
Luxembourg really is the underdog of weekend getaways. If it’s autumn/winter time and you don’t fancy the beach just yet, I would highly recommend time in Luxembourg. It’s a great way to begin, end, or spend a holiday.
Top tip: If you have time, take the bus out to the SMETS warehouse shop. It’s like Urban Outfitters on steroids, and you’ll never want to leave.