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7 sights you must see when you visit Luxembourg City

Looking for the perfect blend of museums, architecture, world-class gastronomy and UNESCO World Heritage sites? Visit Luxembourg City with some surprising sights to see, things to do and captivating attractions. And all within an area of fewer than 20 miles.

1. Notre Dame Cathedral

Her Gothic turrets are a familiar sight on the Luxembourg City landscape and have been since the 17th century. Built by the Jesuits as a church and elevated to Cathedral status in 1870, the Cathédrale Notre-Dame and its features are largely original.  

During your visit, join countless pilgrims who head to the cathedral to view the famous statue of Our Lady Comforter of the Afflicted. Also, noteworthy are the one-of-a-kind stained-glass windows in the chancel and the two imposing bronze lions that stand guard over the cathedral’s crypt. The lions are more for show than to keep visitors out however, as visitors are welcome to descend beneath the cathedral’s 17th-century floors. Interred here are John the Blind, and several rulers and religious leaders from Luxembourg over the centuries.

2. The Old Quarter

The enchanting UNESCO-listed Old Quarter will undoubtedly feature as one of the main attractions when you visit Luxembourg City. This is, in part, due to the fact that it is home to one of Europe’s largest fortresses. Its strategic location, perched atop a steep rocky outcrop at the confluence of the Alzette and Pétrusse rivers, delivers impressive panoramas for that perfect shot.

Explore its centuries-old fortifications, the narrow lanes and ancient walls of what was once dubbed the “Gibraltar of the North”. It is likely you’ll forget that Luxembourg City is today a vibrant international and cosmopolitan city and one of the richest nations in the world.

We also recommend you pop into the UNESCO Visitor Center within the Lëtzebuerg City Museum, where you can explore the significance of this fortress and the Old Town which remains behind its fortifications.

3. Grand Ducal Palace

Honey-hued and an impressive example of Flemish Renaissance architecture, the Grand Ducal Palace is certainly one of the prettiest buildings in the realm and one of the main sights to see in Luxembourg City. The original residence of the Grand Duke and Luxembourg’s royal family, the palace was once a city hall and government headquarters, then later (and following German occupation of Luxembourg) a concert hall and tavern.

We don’t need to tell you what happened to the palace’s beautiful art, furniture and ruins during that time. After the return of Grand Duchess Charlotte from exile after World War II, the royal family restored it to its previous glory.

Tours are offered on the hour daily from 9am to 5pm, except for Wednesdays when tours begin at 12pm.

4. National Museum of Art and History

The National Museum of Art and History is one of the most highly recommended sights to see in Luxembourg City, as rated by visitors. Located in the Old Town’s Fish Market area, the museum is a boon for art lovers. However, history lovers will also adore exhibitions devoted to the history of the Grand Duchy and art through the centuries, back to Roman times.

Also catering for modern art enthusiasts, the museum features an impressive range of work from 20th-century artists.

5. The Bock and the City Casements

Tear your eyes from its cannons and fortifications if you can. When you visit Luxembourg City be sure to head to its Bock Cliff and find the entrance to the Casement du Bock, or City Casements. Dating back to 1644, the City Casements comprise a 21-kilometre network of underground tunnels dug from solid rock. Its purpose at the time was to shelter soldiers, horses and equipment, but it also housed kitchens, bakeries and even slaughterhouses.

Today, visitors can explore the tunnels on foot or take scheduled tours delving deeper into its rocky passages and accompanying history. While you’re at it, admire views of the pleasant Grund area and Rham Plateau.

You can also see the 19th-century barracks and what remains of the Wenceslas wall, dating back to 1390. At the top of the plateau, you’ll discover the ruins of a castle which were interestingly only unearthed in 1963.

6. Echternach and its Benedictine Abbey

Echternach offers much in the way of dining, boutique shops and galleries, but it is in the town’s history that visitors will really revel.

Renowned for its 10th-century medieval walls, Echternach is perhaps even more famous for its Benedictine Abbey. The Abbey of Echternach was founded as early as the 7th century by the patron saint of Luxembourg, St. Willibrord. For centuries, it was regarded as the most powerful institution in Luxembourg.

Today, its founder lies buried in a white marble sarcophagus within the crypt. He could not have anticipated that the walls of the abbey would serve as a stunning backdrop for an annual international music festival, held here from late May to late June. Time your visit to the Grand Duchy right and you’ll get to witness this energising spectacle.

For nature lovers, a visit to Echternach will restore heart and soul, with the Mullerthal and Germano-Luxembourg natural park located nearby. Also, within a stone’s throw of the town are dense forests with footpaths, waterfalls and a beautiful lake.

7. The Grund

Slow things right down in this international business capital when you visit the Grund. Historic and classy, this area of Luxembourg City is particularly worth visiting when it’s time to fuel up. The quiet European village atmosphere and vast array of cafés and restaurants in the Grund make it a fantastic foodie stop.

A particular highlight here is the Neumunster Abbey. Here you can explore a range of exhibits and, if you’re in luck, you may just catch one of its cultural events throughout the year.

Have you added Luxembourg City to your list of explored destinations? Perhaps you have a favourite sight to see or thing to do when you visit Luxembourg City we haven’t mentioned. We’d love to hear all about it here in our comments below…

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