Luxembourg is one of the smallest countries in the world, surrounded by France, Belgium, and Germany. It is full of surprises. This small country is the wealthiest in the world based on adjusted GDP per capita. The country’s capital is Luxembourg City, one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Located between steep valley walls over the Alzette River, the city is a heaven for European elites. This means the city is also one of the most luxurious places in the world. Every morning, 178,000 commuters from Belgium, France, and Germany come to the town.
The country has a really long past. In 963, Count Siegfried, a Carolingian on his father’s side and a Charlemagne descendant on his mother’s side, founded an abbey overhanging the River Alzette. At that time, there was a castle called Lucilinburhuc, and the name Luxembourg came from this castle. From the 14th century to the 15th, the country provided four kings to Bohemia.
Today, the city is still an important place in Europe. Luxembourg City, along with Strasbourg and Brussels, serves as one of the EU’s headquarters. In the city are the European Court of Justice, the European Court of Auditors, the European Investment Bank, the Secretariat of the European Parliament, and the Office for Publications. Although there are many neighborhoods in the city, Ville Haute, Kirchberg Plateau, and The Grund make up most of the downtown area.
Ville Haute, Old Town of Luxembourg
The superb Ville Haute district, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is home to many historic buildings worth a detour, including the Grand Ducal Palace, the official urban residence of the Grand Duke and Grand Duchess of Luxembourg, as well as the Gothic cathedral “Notre-Dame de Luxembourg.”
Whether you are interested in the city’s history, whether you want to discover the local culture, or simply want to stroll through the picturesque streets of the capital, the Ville Haute district is the best place to go in Luxembourg. You can discover in wonder the sights and historical monuments, frequent the lively restaurants and cafes, push the doors of the many shops, and create memories you will cherish for years to come. As a city center and an old town, Ville Haute offers an unforgettable experience. Architecture, art, and fun await you in Ville Haute. Even if you want to run away from the exceptional urban views of State Savings Bank and Petrusse Valley will soothe you.
Notre-Dame de Luxembourg
The church is a great example of late Gothic architecture but has some Renaissance elements and decorations. Initially, the cathedral was a Jesuit church; the first stone was laid in 1613. In the late 18th century, it housed the miraculous statue of the Consoler of the Afflicted, patroness of the country and the city of Luxembourg. Fifty years later, the church received the sacred title of Notre Dame, which Pope Pius IX elevated to the rank of cathedral in 1879. Between 1935 and 1938, Notre Dame Cathedral was widened on its south side.
Adolphe Bridge, or the New Bridge, is one of the most spectacular landmarks in the city. The bridge connects Ville Haute and Gare. It was constructed between 1900 and 1903 over the Petrusse River. The bridge was named after Grand Duke Adolphe, who ruled the country between 1890 and 1905. As soon as the bridge was completed, it became the longest stone arch bridge in the world. The large arch span measures 85 meters and overlooks the Pétrusse valley to a height of 42 meters. The total length of the bridge is 153 meters. The bridge has two footpaths and four lanes of traffic. It also serves as an observation deck for pedestrians in the evening. The view of the Petrusse Valley over the bridge is absolutely magnificent.
Chemin de la Corniche
You don’t have to think about where should I go in Luxembourg. Chemin de la Corniche, or Walls of the Corniche, is considered the most beautiful European balcony by Luxembourgeois writer Batty Weber. Over the balcony, you will face the beauty of the city. You can walk through the steep terrain or use the public elevator. But since the place provides a scenery walk, you won’t regret walking instead of the elevator. Especially in the mornings, you can catch breathtaking views of the Alzette Valley, The Grund, and the Rham Plateau.
Where to Stay in Ville Haute
Ville Haute is a bit of a luxurious and expensive place where to stay in Luxembourg City. The breathtaking city has an option for every type of visitor. Whether a backpacker or honeymooner, there is a taste for everyone.
Guillaume Suites: After you see Guillaume Suites, you don’t want to stay anywhere else. It is among the best places to stay in Luxembourg. You can walk anywhere from Adolphe Bridge to Art Forum Casino Luxembourg. The hotel provides car rental and bike rental services also.
Grand Hotel Cravat: After waking up in your room, you can start a new day while watching Gelia Fra War Monument or Notre Dame Cathedral. Grand Hotel Cravat offers an excellent accommodation experience. American Bar Le Trianon and French restaurant Brasserie La Taverne you can taste some exquisite delicacies from the city.
Hotel Zurich: Luxembourg might be the wealthiest country in the world and is a place like a den for the European elites, but there is room for low-budget backpackers also. Located in the city center, Hotel Zurich is an excellent place to stay. If you want to spend less money on accommodation but stay in a solid place, Hotel Zurich is among the best places to stay in Luxembourg.
The Grund, The Picturesque Side of the City
The picturesque and idyllic Grund district is also one of the oldest in Luxembourg City, with historical references dating back to the 14th century.
The region was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994; the district is located in the lower part of the city, right in the heart of the ancient fortifications that once surrounded it and which, after being built gradually over nine centuries, were finally destroyed in 1867 under the Treaty of London.
Often described as “a village within a city,” the Grund has a much calmer and more peaceful atmosphere than the nearby town center, which can be reached on foot. Its geographical location, at the bottom of a valley and on the banks of the beautiful Alzette River, gives it a unique and unforgettable nature.
National Museum of Natural History
The National Museum of Natural History has the country’s most important collections of zoological, botanical, paleontological, and mineralogical specimens. The National Museum of Natural History is also a scientific research institute. Behind the exhibition windows, there is obviously a little-known world of scientists and naturalists who study the collections’ specimens and focus on the scientific aspects of our natural heritage. Only the most interesting specimens make it into the museum’s displays, and only after they have been carefully inventoried and cataloged, which takes a lot of time in the field.
The Benedictine abbey of Altmünster was destroyed in 1542. The monks of the order then constructed a new abbey in the Grund district. Neumünster Abbey had a church and four buildings grouped around an interior courtyard. At the end of the 18th century, the authorities of the French Revolution carried out the appropriation of the Saint-Jean church. The abbey was transformed into a military hospital in 1867. Supported by the Luxembourg State, the complex of buildings housed the men’s prison until 1980.
This part of the enclosure, popularly called the Wenzel Wall, protected the valley’s inhabitants. It made it possible to integrate into the whole of the defense system, both the lower town and the elevated Plateau du Rham. Initially, the wall was 875 meters long and had 37 towers and 15 gates. A round trip that takes us in front of this wall, through the medieval “Stierchen” tower, at the foot of the river, will allow us to contemplate part of this enormous defensive system outside the walls.
Where to Stay in The Grund
Like anywhere else in the city, the region has plenty of choices. You can have world-class service or basic amenities for staying in a hotel. If you think about where to stay in Luxembourg, you should consider hotels in the Grund.
Sofitel Luxembourg Le Grand Ducal: There are too many places to stay in the city, and Sofitel Luxembourg Le Grand Ducal is the best place to stay in Luxembourg. The hotel’s restaurant serves the best meals in the city. The hotel is located next to UNESCO World Heritage Site thanks to that; you can walk or cycle everywhere you want.
Novotel Luxemburg Center: With its bold and modern design Novotel Luxemburg Center offers a bit of difference from the thousands of years old buildings. After an exhausting day in Luxembourg, well-lit and spacious rooms are the one place. Novotel Luxembourg Center is budget-friendly yet among the places to stay in Luxembourg.
Hotel Vauban: Located on Place Guillaume, you can enjoy the view of the old city and the Grund. Most importantly, you have excellent service and accommodation with a low budget on top of that, close to everywhere in the city center. Hotel Vauban is one of the best choices to stay in.
Kirschberg Plateau, 21st Century in The City
The Kirchberg plateau is Luxembourg’s banking, financial center, and business district. In a veritable open-air gallery of contemporary architecture, you can admire the many creations of renowned architects.
Crossing the Grande-Duchesse Charlotte Bridge, commonly known as the “red bridge,” to reach the new Kirchberg district in Luxembourg City, the discovery begins with the Grand-Duc Jean MUDAM Museum of Modern Art. Its design is signed by Ieoh Ming Pei, a Chinese-American architect also known for having designed the pyramid of the Louvre in Paris. Glass cathedral built on a former Vauban fort; you can, for example, discover the Gothic chapel decorated with stained glass windows with provocative imagery by the artist Wim Delvoye. A few meters away, more than 800 vertical columns rise to form the peristyle of the Grand Auditorium of the Philharmonie.
The district is also one of the three seats of the institutions of the EU. It hosts the Court of Justice of the European Union, the European Investment Bank, and the European Court of Auditors.
The French architect Christian de Portzamparc designed the Philharmonie Luxembourg. The Philharmonie (Grande-Duchesse Joséphine-Charlotte Concert Hall) stands out with its elegant shape in the middle of the city.
The surrounding colonnade houses three rooms that, depending on their size, can accommodate between 120 and 1,500 listeners. The artistic program of the Philharmonie covers a wide range of music in concerts. Moreover, this cultural institution is the residence of the Luxembourg Philharmonic Orchestra.
Fort Thüngen, built in 1733, is on the city’s modern side. Because of the acorns over the three towers of the fort, it’s also known as the Three Acorns. The Treaty of London in 1867 demolished most of the fort. The restoration of the site started in the early 1990s. After the restoration in 2012, the place was opened to the public as the Musée Dräi Eechelen.
Where to Stay in Kirschberg Plateau
Kirschberg Plateau is the modern face of the city. You can travel thousands of years coming to Kirschberg Plateau from the Grund or Ville Haute. There are lots of stylish and bold-designed luxurious hotels in the region. If you wonder about Luxembourg where to stay, Kirschberg Plateau has plenty of offers.
The Sofitel Luxembourg Europe: Kirschberg Plateau is the best area to stay in Luxembourg. To taste traditional Luxembourg cuisine, you should definitely visit The De Feierwon restaurant. There is also an Italian restaurant called Radici in the hotel. The Sofitel Luxembourg Europe is located in the heart of the business center.
Novotel Luxembourg Kirchberg: Yet another modern place to stay in the city’s business district, Novotel Luxembourg Kirchberg might be a more affordable option in the region, but it has top-notch amenities. It is one of the best places to stay in Luxembourg for couples. Spacious and luxurious rooms of the hotel also have a large work area. Visitors of the hotel can work out in the hotel’s gym or unwind in the terrace bar.
Au P’tit Max – Studios Hotel: You can have an idea about the region’s quality after a stay in a low-budget hotel in Kirchberg. The services and amenities of the hotel are above and beyond. This shows the best hotels in Luxembourg located in Kirschberg. Au P’tit Max – Studios Hotel is near Philharmonie Luxembourg and the National Museum of History & Art.