Luxembourg - A Treasure Chest of Attractions

by - November 05, 2017

A nice characteristic of Luxembourg is its small size with an amazing variety of offerings for the tourist. The country is about the size of Rhode Island, incorporating 999 square miles. English is widely spoken and getting around is easy. Roads are excellent but local transportation is efficient and inexpensive.

Luxembourg was founded in 963 when Count Sigefroid built his castle. Over the centuries, a formidable fortress grew in what is now Luxembourg City. The remaining tunnels and walls hint at a turbulent history in the Grand Duchy. This city is now a modern cosmopolitan center boasting art galleries, excellent museums, theaters, concert halls, boutiques, shopping malls and an admirable variety of restaurants. Commercially, the city is headquarters for the European Union Court of Justice, the Investment Bank, the General Secretariat of the European Parliament and the Court of Auditors.

A walking tour, "1,000 Years in 100 minutes," begins at recent 10th-century excavations along the fortress ramparts to the lower historical town. A miniature train ride offers easy access to the valley and remaining fortifications, many of which have been developed into delightful parks with pleasant walks. Take a few hours to investigate the Casemates, a 12-mile network of underground passages, hewn from rock.

Good walking shoes are definitely recommended. In addition, Luxembourg has an excellent network of walking and cycling paths. Maps with routes are widely available. The maps also show campsites. Also readily available are brochures detailing rooms available in private home, hostels and small hotels. A cruise during the summer on the Princesse Marie-Astrid is worthwhile. Various trips on the Moselle River are offered.

Shopping here is diverse. Luxembourg is known for Villeroy and Boch china and ceramics; the factory here offers special prices on regular stock. There is also a sale of slightly flawed items at very low prices. Bargain hunters will be delighted with the flea markets spotted here and there throughout the city. Good buys include designer fashions, perfume, cosmetics, chocolates, gold jewelry, silverware, semiprecious stones, crystal, and liqueurs.

Luxembourg’s haute cuisine restaurants are proud that their Michelin stars outnumber all other countries on a per capita basis. Specialties are crayfish, pike, trout and game dishes. Cafes are excellent and local beers hearty and good.

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