Luxembourg, a small country tucked between France, Germany, and Belgium, is often overlooked by European travelers. As it is roughly the size of Rhode Island, it is often excluded from travel itineraries because who would think such a small country has so much to offer? However, it is a delightful destination—Luxembourg is the only grand duchy in the world and is a melting pot of different cultures, languages, and peoples. The small European country boasts rolling hills, fabulous wine, hundreds of ancient castles, and quaint villages.
Despite its small size, Luxembourg is easily accessible and features all the modern amenities the avid traveler craves. The Luxembourg City airport is the main flight hub of the country and is served by Luxair and other major European airlines, including British Airways and Air France. If you don't care to fly, Luxembourg travel is great by train. Popular international train services, including Benelux, offer rail passes solely for Luxembourg travel or travel passes that include service to the surrounding countries as well. The domestic rail and bus lines within Luxembourg also offer discount day-by-day passes (Billet Reseau), making travel throughout the country cheap and stress-free.
The best time to book your vacation in Luxembourg is between May and October. The summer months offer plenty of sunshine and beautiful, mild temperatures. The climate during these months is ideal for taking a hike in the Ardennes up north or touring one of the famed vineyards in the south. Two of the most popular festivals held during this time are the International Music Festival in May and June, and the Riesling Open wine festival on the third weekend of September. The most popular months for Luxembourg trips are during July and August, so if you don't like to be surrounded by crowds, you should plan your trip for another time. The cool winters typically steer travelers away, but those not fazed by the cold will find no crowds and great bargains on hotels, hostels, and skiing vacations.
Those planning a vacation in Luxembourg will be pleased with the various attractions that fill this tiny country and the ease of getting to see them. For a nominal fee, visitors can purchase the Luxembourg Card, which covers the entrance to more than 55 attractions throughout the country. Travelers often begin their Luxembourg tour in the capital, Luxembourg City. Located in the south of the country, this ancient yet vibrant area is an international banking hotspot and is home to the remains of a fortress built in the year 963. You can descend the steps into the underworld of the city and explore one of the various casemates, a network of tunnels that run underneath the fortress walls, or opt to take a guided bus tour that allows you to get on and off as you please to explore intriguing destinations further. Luxembourg City also offers various museums, guided open-air bus tours on the Petrusse Express, and fantastic restaurants that feature more than 2,300 vintages of wine.
Your vacation in Luxembourg would not be complete without a trip to the Ardennes, located in the northern part of the country. The Battle of the Bulge raged throughout this region in 1944, but today the peaceful area is home to numerous hiking trails and idyllic towns. The charming village of Echternach is surrounded by luscious woodlands that are truly heaven on earth for hikers and bikers alike. Echternach is the largest town in the Little Switzerland region and is home to a fifteenth-century town hall. The gorgeous seventh-century Basilica of St. Willibrord, dedicated to Luxembourg's only native saint, and its Benedictine Abbey are also located in the town center.
Just a short distance from the popular village of Echternach are the villages of Vianden and Esch-Sur-Sure. Home to the picture-perfect Vianden Castle, this little village is surrounded by rolling hills and a beautiful landscape. The castle is one of the most impressive found in Western Europe due to its size and grandeur; it was built on top of a collapsed Roman fort between the eleventh and fourteenth centuries. Vianden Castle looms over the village from a hilltop that offers spectacular views of the Ardennes region. Esch-Sur-Sure is also a quaint village that is circled by the remains of Luxembourg's oldest castle as well as a natural moat. The picturesque village allows visitors to experience a true medieval market town and the breathtaking landscape the Ardennes region has to offer. Your Luxembourg travel would not be complete without at least a day spent in one of these perfect little villages.
From the small, quaint villages of the Ardennes to the bustling capital of Luxembourg City, Luxembourg should be a definite stop on any European traveler's itinerary. It's sure to be a memorable and delightful destination.