Luxembourg is one of the smallest countries in the world and spans an area of just 1,650 square kilometers. With a population of 500,000 residents it is more like a large town than a country, but its size actually makes it a great place to visit as many of the main attractions are concentrated in one place. The center of the city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in its own right and may of the top sights in Luxembourg can be found here.
That’s not to say however that you should spend all your time in the city center, as if you take a quick journey out of town you will find a wealth of delightful towns and villages and much of the scenic countryside can be accessed by train. As well as picture-postcard enclaves you will also find aged fortresses and stunning castles, and it’s easy to visit Luxembourg by hopping across the border from the Netherlands or Belgium.
Here are the 25 best things to do in Luxembourg…
1. Wander around the Old Quarter
The Old Quarter in Luxembourg City is the perfect place to kick off a trip to this delightful country and is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The center would have been surrounded by graceful ancient fortifications that once were known as the Gibraltar of the North although these were destroyed in 1883. Nowadays you will find tree lined cobbled streets as well as lush parks and gardens.
As you wander around you can check out scenic bridges and winding alleyways and the best tip is to see which areas catch your eye and explore them at your leisure.
2. Visit Notre Dame Cathedral
Source: BAHDANOVICH ALENA / shutterstock
Notre Dame Cathedral was built in the 17th century by Jesuit priests and still stands proud to this day.
One of the signature features here is the north gate which is baroque in style and is covered with pretty stained glass that dates from the 19th and 20th centuries.
As well as traditional structures you will also find modern pieces of sculpture as well as a famous statue of the Madonna and Jesus in miniature form that sits over the altar.
It is also famous for its crypt which contains graves of members of the Luxembourg royal family and which is guarded by two lion statues.
3. Admire the National Museum of History and Art
Despite its small size Luxembourg is known for having a wealth of engaging museums.
One of the best of these however is the National Museum of History and Art which is nestled in the Fish Market part of the old town center.
Here you will find a huge range of items such as tools, coins, weapons, historical documents, and photographs.
Much of the art work is focused on the Gallo-Roman era and tells the story of social and religious life through the ages for those who call Luxembourg home.
If you like modern art won’t be disappointed and it is filled with the works of a range of artists from the 20th century.
4. Stroll around Parc Merveilleux
Parc Merveilleux sits in the town of Bettembourg which is only 6 miles away from Luxembourg City and only 3 miles away from the French border if you want to hop across.
The park is besides an animal parc also an amusement center were you will find arcades, playgrounds, and even a train that runs around the park.
5. Explore the Bock and the City Casements
The Bock Cliff in Luxembourg is known for its cannons and its fortifications and it is here that you can explore Casemates which is a series of underground passages.
These tunnels are an amazing feat of engineering as they stretch for 21 kilometers and are dug out of solid rock cliffs.
They were made with the intention of hiding soldiers as well as providing a place to stockpile horses and equipment.
You can walk through many of the tunnels and at the top of the plateau you will find the crumbling ruins of a former castle which was only discovered as late as 1963.
6. Visit the Echternach Benedictine Abbey
If you visit the town of Echternach then make sure to check out the Benedictine Abbey which dates from the seventh century and has an adjoining museum.
It is made up of four buildings and a central courtyard and the basilica here has a huge amount of religious significance throughout Luxembourg.
One of the reasons for this is that it contains a crypt with the sarcophagus of St.
Willibrord which is made of white marble and the vaults here are covered in colorful frescoes that were painted in the 10th century.
Recommended tour: Luxembourg City: Hop On Hop Off Castles & Nature Day Tour
7. Explore Berdorf
Berdorf is famous for being one of the tourist hot spots of Luxembourg and sits on windblown table lands that back onto valleys containing the Black Ernz, the Sûre, and the Aesbach rivers.
These valleys are covered with footpaths that let you take in the majesty of the landscape of Luxembourg and this area is also home to over 3,000 acres of forest.
If you like rock climbing then the hills here provide the perfect opportunity.
8. Visit the town of Echternach
The quaint town of Echternach sits on the banks of the pretty River Sûre which is also on the border with neighboring Germany.
The town is famous for a few of its festivals such as an international music festival that is run from May to June as well as a dancing procession that has been held here for centuries on Whit Tuesday.
In the town itself you will find old fashioned houses, winding streets, and medieval architecture that hark back to another era.
9. Explore the Palais Grand-Ducal
The Palais Grand-Ducal is the official residence of the Grand Duke and royal family of Luxembourg and is one of the most stunning feats of architecture in Luxembourg City.
It dates from the 16th century and mixes a range of style including romantic touches and medieval and gothic designs.
10. Climb along the Walls of the Corniche
In Luxembourg City you will find the Walls of the Corniche which look over the city down onto a valley.
This is also the spot where the Gate of the Grund is located which was built in 1632 and there are a range of houses and other curiosities in the area such as St.
Michael’s Church and the Abbey of Neumünster which has a famous pipe organ as well as a ‘black virgin’ from the 14th century.
11. Stop by Place Guillaume
Place Guillaume is known for its spacious open areas that used to be the location of a Franciscan convent.
Now the area is fully closed to vehicles and there is a famous statue here of William II on horseback who was the King of Holland and the Grand Duke of Luxembourg.
The area is famous for its Town Hall, and other landmarks to check out nearby include the Spanish Turret and a former cavalry barracks.
12. Enjoy the culture at the Museum of Modern Art
People may think that Luxembourg is full of ancient relics but it also has a range of cutting edge museums like the Museum of Modern Art which is also known as MUDAM. The museum sprawls over 4,500 meters and although it features a unique design it is also built on the walls of the former Fort Thungen that dates from 1732. The range of art here is eclectic including photographs, sculpture, textiles, and even digital media.
The entire museum complex sits in the Parc Drai Eechelen which has an array of sculptural works of art and sweeping vistas over the old town area of Luxembourg.
Included in: Combi-Ticket Sightseeing Train & 7 Museums Entry
13. Travel to the town of Vianden
The town of Vianden is one of the most scenic in all of Luxembourg and nestles close to the banks of the Rover Our.
It is blessed with a pretty feudal manor that was built in the ninth century and the town is surrounded by a medieval outer wall which is studded with guard towers.
The town is also famous for being the spot where Victor Hugo lived when he was in exile and his former home is now open to the public and has a range of memorabilia for this period.
If you like hiking or rambling then there are a range of trails that branch out from Vianden into the Our Valley.
If you want something more relaxing then there is also a chairlift here that rises to 440 meters and gives you the most amazing views over the countryside.
Included in: Luxembourg City: Hop On Hop Off Castles & Nature Day Tour
14. Explore Bourscheid Castle
The village of Bourscheid is located on a plateau that has two rivers running past it in the form of the Wark and the Süre.
The village has a range of outdoor activities like hiking trails and other pursuits, but the real draw here is the Bourscheid Castle which dominates the village from a peak of 137 meters.
It was originally built in the 10th century and has been lovingly preserved and you can either take a guided tour to learn more about the history or enjoy one of the audio tours.
If you time your visit here in the evening oyu will be able to enjoy the castle when it is fully illuminated which is incredibly beautiful when viewed from the village.
15. Have a spa at Mondorf-les-Bains
Located in the Moselle region of Luxembourg is Mondorf-les-Bains which is home to the some of the best thermal springs in all of Europe.
One of the most famous of these is Mondorf le Domaine Thermal which is a spa complex and has a heath center, gym, and adjoining hotel.
The spa is serviced with spring water from underground pumps that is 24 degrees Celsius and is known for its healing properties that are said to cure a range of diseases.
Certainly if you are looking for a relaxing experience in Luxembourg then this is well worth the trip.
16. Enjoy Walferdange and its castle
Walferdange Castle used to be the residence of the Grand Ducal until the end of the 19th century and sits close to Grunewald Wood.
The village itself is part of one of the major visitor trails in Luxembourg and is near to the Alzette Valley which is known for lush woodlands and stunning views.
As if that wasn’t enough the village is also famous for its flowers, and in particular its heady roses.
If you like archaeology then you have also come to the right place as there is a Roman villa here complete with an aqueduct that goes deep underground.
17. Take to the Upper-Sûre Lake
Close to Esch-sur-Sûre in the Upper-Sûre Natural Park which is also home to the famous lake.
The lake is known as one of the top leisure spots in Luxembourg and people flock here for the water sports in the warmer months such as swimming, canoeing, and sailing.
Depending on how adventurous you want to be you can also try diving or windsurfing here and there is a special solar boat that will take you out on the water.
18. Take in a concert at the Philharmonic of Luxembourg
Luxembourg may be small but the Philharmonic of Luxembourg is known for being one of the premium concert venues in Europe.
It is the home of the Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg and guests play here from all over the world including a range of famous conductors and orchestras.
The building is known for its powerful acoustics and you can come here to take in a local concert that showcases the best musical talent in Luxembourg.
19. Admire Beaufort Castle
Beaufort is located on a plateau in the Mullerthal region of Luxembourg and has a castle that dates from the 12th century.
Much of the castle is now in disrepair and it is not as well preserved as many in the region, but it makes a great stop off for a more rustic experience and there are a range of footpaths close to the castle that take you through woodlands and stunning rock formations.
20. Take in the views from Passerelle Viaduc
Passerelle Viaduc is one of the most historically significant bridges in Luxembourg and was completed in 1861. Built by a British company called the Waring Brothers, the viaduct linked to the center of the city although despite how cutting edge it would have been at the time it is now known as Old Bridge.
One of the main reasons to come here is to take in the stunning views that spread out over Luxembourg City.
21. Take in the nature at Biodiversum – Nature Reserve Haff Reimech
The Haff Reimech Nature Reserve is located at the base of the Schengen and Remich wine slopes and is the place to come if you want to check out a range of flora and fauna in Luxembourg.
The Biodiversum is on an artificial island and you can explore a well preserved nature reserve as well as an underwater world exhibit with a range of galleries and informational material.
The emphasis here is on teaching visitors about sustainability and caring for the environment.
22. Visit Minett Park
Located in Fond-de-Gras is Minett Park which used to be an important center of industry.
One of the great delights of the area is that you can get here using Train 1900 which is a traditional steam locomotive that will take you up to Fond-de-Gras.
Here you will find a kind of open air museum and there is a walking tour that you can take around the various buildings on show, many of which are made from wood.
Some of the highlights include a period grocery shop as well as the Paul Wurt electric power station.
23. Enjoy Larochette
Larochette is a pretty market town which sits in a craggy valley that is encircled by picturesque woodlands.
The town is also famous for having not one but two castles that sit on the White Ernz above the valley.
Other signature features here include a medieval square as well as an interesting Museum of Industry and a church decorated in the Neo-Roman style that has a range of unusual Art Nouveau frescoes.
24. Make your way to Wiltz
Wiltz is made up of two parts, namely the upper and lower town.
He has a range of attractions such as the Battle of the Bulge Museum which you will find inside Wiltz Castle.
It also has an exciting music festival in the summer months and an open air theater where you can enjoy concerts under the stars.
25. Explore the Valley of the Seven Castles
In the Guttland region of Luxembourg is the so called Valley of the Seven Castles which unfolds over 24 kilometers.
One of the joys here is to go back in time to the mediaeval period and hop your way along the trail here moving from one castle to another.
These include Mersch, Schoenfels, Koerich, Hollenfels, Septfontaines and the two castles in Asembourg.