Photo Essay: Impressions from Luxembourg City

To be honest, I had no real reason to go to Luxembourg. Usually, I book trips to places with famous museums or libraries or medieval churches I want to visit in mind, but none of those things called me to Luxembourg City.

Back in February, I had been a little frustrated with winter and just randomly booked a soothing trip to anywhere for my boyfriend Steffen and me. We actually hadn’t left the country together ever since our trip to Belgium back in 2013, and although our domestic weekend trips to Berlin and Hamburg were super fun last summer, it was definitely time for a little lost in translation adventure again.

I chose Luxembourg, because it’s close to Germany and I had never really been before. (It’s slightly disturbing to think about how many countries I’ve seen no further than their rest stop toilets — Luxembourg was one of those countries.)

The train from my adopted home town Göttingen to Luxembourg City would take about 6 hours and I was sold: Stepping out of your house and arriving in a new country a few hours later? That’s what I love Europe for!

Luxembourg City

Luxembourg City

I arrived in Luxembourg with an almost no expectations: A knew I was going to see a UNESCO World Heritage Site just by strolling through the old city center, I knew which coffee shops I wanted to try, and I knew that I really needed to sample the national dish, fried potato pancakes, known as Gromperekichelcher (try pronouncing that!). Other than that, I just wanted to be surprised and enjoy not having plans.

Fried potato pancakes in Luxembourg City

I had forgotten how relaxing it is to just go with the flow. We just strolled around, took photos and experimented with Steffen’s new tripod, stopped for a beer here and there — and that was it. There was no pressure to see all the “musts” — mainly because I hadn’t even looked into what the musts actually were in Luxembourg City.

Luxembourg City

Luxembourg City

Ducal palace, Luxembourg City

Luxembourg City

Beer in Luxembourg City

Luxembourg City

But when I did a little post-trip research, I realized that we had actually seen everything important: There big squares with statues, the bridges, the casemates, the Grand Ducal Palace, and all the pretty view points.

We even accidentally visited the huge history museum without really noticing. We just went in because it said “free admission” on the outside, and we only later realized that we had seen Luxembourg City History Museum, which was downright the coolest and most modern history museums I had ever been to (it had only reopened a month before!).

Luxembourg City

Luxembourg City

Luxembourg City

Luxembourg City

Luxembourg City

Luxembourg City

Luxembourg City

Casemates of Luxembourg City

The weather sadly wasn’t on our side, but I didn’t really mind at all: The wet cobblestones shimmered beautifully and there were enough cozy bars to flee into when the rain got too strong. Of course, I was a little bummed when I looked up a few places on Instagram and saw that they looked even prettier with blue skies, but in the end it didn’t really matter: I got a few cute photos and all the colorful spring blossoms definitely made up for the lack of sunshine. 

Luxembourg City

Luxembourg City at dusk

Luxembourg City

Luxembourg City

When my co-workers asked me about my weekend in Luxembourg, and I said “oh, it rained pretty much the entire time and there aren’t really that many sights” they were confused: “So, the trip wasn’t great?”.

No, actually, this trip was perfect. It was exactly what I needed.

Luxembourg City

Luxembourg City

Beer in Luxembourg City

Having no itinerary and no reason to get up early, was absolutely liberating. Speaking French (or at least trying to) was something I hadn’t done since my last trip to Paris, but I simply adore this language. We learned that next to French and German, Luxembourgish is widely spoken and it’s super easy to understand when German is your mother tongue.

And then we found out that Luxembourg City has a very high amount of immigrates and 25% of them are from Portugal — I nearly cried while sitting next to a group of Portuguese people at dinner. I love listing to Portuguese so much! Throw in a little English here and there, and the Italian we encountered while eating out — a whole glorious language confusion! In the end, I didn’t even know what language would come out of my mouth next, but I like surprises like that.

Julika in Luxembourg City

Coffee in Luxembourg City

Do I feel bad that just booked a trip to anywhere, because I wanted some else to make me my scrambled eggs in the morning? Because I just wanted to be in a new country, but didn’t mind lying in my hotel bed watching Portuguese TV?

Well, maybe a little bit. But then again, it was exactly what Steffen and I needed, and I still feel like we saw a lot of what Luxembourg City has to offer. And the beer was actually really tasty.

 

Was Luxembourg ever on your travel radar? 

 

  • Hannah

    Luxembourg looks beautiful and seems like the perfect place for a day trip. Maybe you’ll get the chance to go back when the weather isn’t so bad 🙂

    • JulikaSarah

      I agree, Hannah, Luxembourg City is perfect for a day trip or a little weekend getaway! It must look so pretty with blue skies, right?

    • Hannah

      Absolutely! If Luxembourg looks great in the rain, I can’t imagine how it must look in the sunshine.

  • Beautiful pictures, as always!

    • JulikaSarah

      Thanks so much, Christine!

  • Tolle Fotos! Jetzt da ich in Japan, also auf einer Insel lebe (von wo aus Auslandsreisen im Vergleich zu Deutschland weitaus teurer sind), ärgere ich mich, dass ich, als ich noch in Deutschland war, in Europa nicht mehr rumgereist bin (…ich wollte immer weiter weg) XD

    • JulikaSarah

      Danke Hanna! Ja, das kenne ich nur zu gut! Wenn man sich überlegt, dass Deutschland neun offene Grenzen zu anderen Ländern hat und ich gerade erst anfange die langsam zu erkunden, ist es fast ein wenig peinlich! Aber hey, Japan ist doch auch bestimmt super — kann es total verstehen, dass es dich dahin gezogen hat! 🙂

  • Such pretty photos of this microstate I know almost nothing about! I loved learning about the linguistic situation in Luxembourg, but I had no idea there were so many Portuguese speakers there!

    • JulikaSarah

      It’s quite shocking to think that I actually (still) know so little about my neighboring country, because it rarely makes the news and barely anyone vacations there. But language-wise Luxembourg City was so interesting — I loved hearing Portuguese everywhere so much! 🙂

  • Julie

    My parents visited L.C. in the 70s on one of their European trips and always said what a charming place it was. 30 some years later your photos definitely confirm this! So much of it reminds me of Brugge. My favorite photo is probably the one taken from above looking down that features the blossoms of the pink flowering tree. Booking a trip to anywhere is always a good idea 🙂

    • JulikaSarah

      I think I actually said “this looks like Bruges” while I was there, so I can totally see what you mean, Julie! Can you even imagine how charming it must look with blue skies and fluffy clouds? 🙂

  • Wow, sitting in the office it seems to me that going somewhere to just stroll around, not worry about planning the trip and trying local food sounds like the best thing in the world 🙂 Luxembourg is one of the few places in Europe that I actually know nothing about, so it was very interesting to read your impressions.
    And in Slovakia, we also have these fried potato pancakes. I would love to try those in Luxembourg to compare 🙂

    • JulikaSarah

      It’s strange that so few people visit and talk about Luxembourg right, Patrícia? Even though it’s my neighboring country, I still know so little about it — but those fried potato pancake were pretty awesome! You should go try them one day 🙂

  • I was in Luxembourg long time ago, it was November and the weather was really crappy so I kind of hated the place. But now, after seeing the place in your pictures I see I really should give Luxembourg a second chance

    • JulikaSarah

      Weather always makes such a big difference, Kami! It was pretty rainy during our Luxembourg City weekend, but at least all the trees and flowers were in bloom! I hope you make it back there some day in the sunshine! 🙂

  • Valerie

    Luxembourg city looks so lovely and romantic. I had no idea! <3 xx

    • JulikaSarah

      It’s quite pretty, right Valerie? Definitely worth a little trip! 🙂

  • Stunning photos as always! I have been meaning to visit Luxembourg for a while now, it is not that far from Munich and I hear people say it’s worth the visit! 😀

    • JulikaSarah

      Thank you! Yes, Luxembourg City is definitely worth a visit! 🙂

    • 😀 it’s on my list for next year for sure!!

  • I went there on my epic rail tour of Europe in 2003-2004 and it was so quaint and lovely. I’d love to go back now that I have a blog (which didn’t come until 2007) and better camera equipment (I was shooting film then!).

    • JulikaSarah

      Luxembourg City definitely still is quaint and lovely! I’d love to see you travel back there and take photos of this pretty little city! 🙂

  • I was thinking of somewhere random to go to when I found your post on Luxembourg. And I like it!
    I haven’t yet been but I think I will. It’s nice to go somewhere just because we can!
    Nice one Julika!