DISCLAIMER: This trip was done in early February, long prior to before the escalation of the current coronavirus pandemic around the world.
Finally! I am glad that I m can stop logging onto my blog and seeing my latest post being about practicing basic hygiene and cleanliness, because it’s been awhile since I’ve published some content.
As you can see from the disclaimer I had a mini break in Luxembourg a few months ago but haven’t really had the time nor impetus to finish off my review till now.
With regards to Luxembourg it is a very quiet city, and has a lot of industrial history. To me its the land of iron given its rich history with the element and has strong affiliation with aviation and castles.
Once you’re well within Luxembourg you get a clear sense of the mellow, reticent vibe it has. There’s large spaces occupied by the few people you see in the neighbourhoods. The houses and buildings are very modern and well-designed, which is a big plus although on the flip side there’s not many people there so its earlier to maintain its high quality. To home in on my point the population of Luxembourg is actually smaller than Leeds in the UK.
Despite its diminutiveness that doesn’t stop Luxembourg’s economy from thriving, so much that they can afford to make public transport around the country free of charge for everyone as of the beginning of last month. It also didn’t stop me from enjoying what Luxembourg can offer from its heritage and history to food and sites, excluding the awful weather that seemed to have followed me from the UK.
Also I decided to go Metz in France for an evening and visited a small town in Germany called Trier. I’m fully intending on writing up a few separate posts discussing what to do in Trier and Metz when the time is right. I say that because of everything that’s going on with the coronavirus pandemic it’s quite a sensitive time.
Anyway let’s fully get our feet back on Luxembourg soil for the rest of the review
The attractions in Luxenbourg were very quiet and virtually barren when I visited. Looking at the bigger picture it’s not surprising that was the case having visited in midweek of the winter season. Not to mention the small population in the country being at work rather than sightseeing.
The majority of these attractions are within walking distance of each other. If you play your cards right and you’ve planned your itinerary well enough, you’ll basically see what is there to see of Luxembourg within a few hours.
So I started off my sightseeing at the Dent Creuse, known to be the place of the origins for Luxembourg as both a city and country. What you see when visiting is just the ruins of the place. The mere fact that it’s where Luxembourg began is what mainly pulls tourists and visitors to the attraction. It is closely situated to other attractions such as the Bock Casemates and Grand Duchy Palace and is easily accessible via public transport or by foot depending on where people are in the main city.
It’s a chance to also catch some picturesque views of Luxembourg and from a historical point of view it’s cool to still see. For any archaeologist or historian it’ll definitely grab your attention more than the average Joe.
I left the Dent Creuse and only to headed in the opposite direction only to find the Bock Casemates (or Casemates du Bock). It is a UNESCO heritage landmark that has roots going as far back as the 18th century.
The casemates was given its name as it was originally a fortress constructed on the rocky surface you find it in today. It served as a wall of protection against invaders before being knocked down and made open to the public in the early 20th century. They then evolved into safety bunkers for Luxembourg civilians at the height of WWII.
Unfortunately it was closed when I got to the complex because its closed during the winter period, meaning I only managed to get a few outdoor glimpses. Its medieval architecture on the exterior gives a sense of history before you can see it in the caves and tunnels. I really liked the authentic feel of strolling along rocks and stones and climbing on them.
Chemin de la Corniche
Another UNESCO heritage site (really proud to say that again!) that I had the pleasure of exploring is the Chemin de la Corniche, dubbed to be the most beautiful balcony to stand on in Europe.
To the casual eye it is mainly a walkpath for pedestrians to go through to get to and from the old town and to various places around the city. But there’s so much more to it than that: a fence where couples leave paddocks with their initials engraved on them. Much like what you see with padlock bridges in major European cities. Not to mention the scenic views of the Alzette valley along with bridges and hills that help shape the country’s landscape.
I personally couldn’t stay too long to admire it all because of mother nature having a bad day but its definitely worth passing through the 17th century attraction on a sunnier and warmer day.
Lutzebuerg City Museum
The Lutzebuerg City museum tells the story of the city of Luxembourg throughout many centuries gone. I managed to get free admission courtesy of having a Visit Luxeumbourg tourist card, courtesy of Visit Luxembourg tourist board (shoutout to them for helping me out with that!)
It takes you on a journey throughout the country’s history, exploring cultural and societal shifting events. This includes the country being taken over by Nazis during WWII in 1940 before being liberated by US in 1944 as well as the development of fireplaces and iron technology and its wider impact on Western society across many eras.
There’s a few other interactive exhibitions, some that are collection-focused and others that are temporary. One of them was an exhibition dedicated to famous fairgrounds and amusement parks in Luxembourg. Another was a tech lounge with activities such as virtual reality headset experience where you can watch videos and clips and be immersed in its environment. There was also an Atlas map of the country where you can browse through maps and satellites images of the country in different time periods.
You’ll find the museum in the heart of the old town and at the end Chemin De La Corniche.
Rating out of 10: 7 out of 10
The experience of getting around Luxembourg was a unique one to say the very least.
It’s difficult to say what the easiest way of getting around. The buses and trains run fairly frequently and the journeys are very quick cos again – Luxembourg is a small country so everything is bunched up. You have plenty of seats available as a result and the fact that only one in five people who commute to work daily use public transport xD
Although at times I was misled by the schedule on Google Maps. It would state that a bus was to arrive at a certain time only for it not to show up then for its arrival time to change soon after. Whether those are errors on Google’s part or the buses themselves wasn’t clear to me but it irritated me having to wait longer than expected in very poor weather conditions.
However at the same time if youre a car owner I can imagine life being relatively stress-free with the roads being quiet and less chances of encountering traffic whilst driving. Although I did see a car that was totalled near the place I was staying at so I guess watch your speed guys.
As a big bonus public transport in Luxembourg has been free as of March 1st so more savings for Luxembourgers and future visitors! Transport was free for me due to my tourist card anyway (not trying to brag!)
Rating out of 10: 8.5 out of 10
The bedroom is spacious given it is a single room. You could fit in the essentials like a heater, desk, chair and wardrobe, and there would still be enough room to play around with. Generally speaking it’s clear to see from the pics below. I made the most of it via having a few home workouts. The single bed was comfortable to stay in and had no issues with sleep whatsoever – apart from late night YouTube binges of course! Added bonus of having semi-automated blinds I could control myself, something that was useful considering it was raining more often than not.
Rating out of 10: 8 out of 10
To be honest with the savings I made from having my complimentary tourist card (shoutout to Visit Luxembourg) and accommodation paid for pre-trip. I spent the majority of my travel fund for the trip on dining out, snacking or taking home savouries and treats.
This was on the top of my must-visits but leaving the restaurant wtter my meal Very prideful about the beef in their burgers so chances of getting a fairly healthy meal were low. Customer service was a bit tricky due to the big language barrier and I got the sense that beyond their burgers and fries there wasnt a wide range on offer. WiFi wasn’t available to me I believe. These are details that you can seemingly take for granted when you dine at a restaurant until you have a sub-par experience or two.
But I did my best and got a Veggie burger with fries for €15.40. As much as the burger was enjoyable and filling it was ridiculously pricey – and was even pushing for me to order complimentary wine or drink which was an extra €3-€5? I’ll pass and think of GBK or Five Guys instead. I was even having doubts about my decision to go Lux’Burgers and told the staff to cancel my order, only to realise it was done and felt I had to eat it not to be of an inconvenience.
Whilst away I thought I’d experiment a bit with my eating out experience and have food from the local supermarkets and grocery stores rather than cafes and restaurants.
One of the grocery store/mini supermarket around was Carrefour Express, and it wasn’t the first time I came across it. I saw a few branches in Warsaw and Naples when visiting. That’s why I’m calling Carrefour the European Tesco because there are many Carrefour convenience shops all around Europe, namely France, Spain, Poland and of course Luxembourg.
There’s over 2000 stores across the continent and I’d imagine that number is gonna keep increasing because it is a pretty handy store for anyone wanting to shop on a budget.
I would get meal deals, snacks and drinks that would carry me throughout the day and partially through the next day. Some of the best bits were portuguese ham and cheese sandwiches and a few slices of carrot cake.
Rating out of 10: 7 out of 10
The Luxembourg experience for me wasn’t quite the adventurous, mindblowing and warm (pun unintended) occasion you crave from a holiday or city break. Although it was what I needed at the time. There were a few personal things I was going through before going away and the fact that Luxembourg is a quiet country and the timing of the trip was perfect to help me get past what I was going through. It’s also a reminder that travelling is a lot more than the extravagant experience we so dearly wish it can be so often.
Sightseeing wise you can get through the sightseeing (and itinerary) fairly quickly because transport is accessible in a place that’s miniature in size and presence. The attractions were picturesque and there’s plenty of history and heritage to admire. However once you’ve explored the old town you may need to consider heading to more rural towns in Luxembourg or to neighbouring countries to fill your time.
It’s obviously taken me a while to get this review out as I’ve been busy and kind of lacked the appetite for blogging. But I’m happy to be back and able to share a travel experience experience with you lot again.
There’s a bitter sweet feeling I have posting this. Whilst I’m back producing content for my blog it’s in the middle of a worldwide crisis with so much uncertainty for travellers and content creators.
Originally my plan would be to head to Lisbon this month but with the pandemic that’s happening and its global impact I, and I’d imagine a lot of you too, have had to postpone it ill things change. This may very well be my last trip review in a long time, perhaps the first and last one of the year. However at this very point in time the most important thing is the wellbeing and safety of everyone.
Going forward I’m planning on working on more content geared towards helping those in isolation and needing to adapt to the lifestyle changes whenever I can. The spare time the pandemic has given me from work and other responsibilities is an opportunity to rediscover my passion for blogging and to reconnect with a community I’ve had the privilege of being a part of.
Stay at home, stay safe and stay sane peeps xD
Johnny | Johnny’s Traventures