Luxembourg by locals – insider knowledge which you won’t find in any travel guide
Well, our country is very small, and for the majority it is more of a transit destination than an actual travel destination, but there are some beautiful places you should not miss. The sights and attractions we have already mentioned here as well as our restaurant recommendations.
The aim of this article is to give you some insider tips from locals that you will not find in any travel guide.
1. Travel time
According to various websites, the best travel time to travel to Luxembourg is between June-August. We can only partially agree with this. The best travel time should not necessarily depend on the weather (it does rain quite often in Luxembourg to be honest) but according to the events.
Springbreak End of March
The Springbreak is our spring fair. In addition to garden exhibitors, winegrowers from different European regions meet at the Kirchberg in our exhibition halls to present the latest liqueurs and wines. Admission is 5 €, but tickets can be downloaded for free on the website of Springbreak. We like to go to Springbreak every year, as it is interesting to try new wines, and it is also always nice to have a chat with some of the winemakers.
One highlight of the year is the ING Night Marathon! Up to 20,000 motivated runners are reaching their limits in order to compete in the ING Night Marathon. The start is at 19:00 – and everybody is cheering on the runners. Absolutely worth seeing!
Fête de la Musique June
The month of June is marked by various music events. The largest Fete de la Musique takes place in the south of the country, in Dudelange. Different bands perform on open air stages and spread a great atmosphere. In addition to the music visitors can explore the variety of food and drinks.
Luxemburg’s national holiday 23. June
The day before the national holiday is THE party evening in our country. There aren’t any more people in town to admire the big “Freedefeier” than on the evening before our national holiday. Local bands perform in the well-known squares of the Old Town, and Cafés + Discos organize their own parties. The best view of the fireworks is definitely at the Place de la Constituion, at the Gëlle Fra, but our insider tip would be the Independent Café, a few meters down the street. Enjoy the evening with a good cocktail or a gluten-free beer!
Note: Since the city is relatively crowded, the buses are also busy. Check out your connections before you go home and be at the bus stop on time, since there are a lot of people trying to get into one bus. There is not happening a lot on the actual national holiday, most people celebrate the day before properly.
Gaymat 2nd saturday in July
The Gaymat is organized annually by the Rosa Letzebuerg organization and takes place in the south of the country, in Esch. The highlight is of course the parade, but there are also interesting movie nights, podium discussions, etc. scheduled the week before.
E-Lake festival middle of August (before 15.08)
The E-Lake Festival is an annual festival at Lake Echternach. The best thing about this festival is definitely the fact that it’s for free. Beside local bands, some headliners rock the stage as well, for example Sammy Deluxe, who was there a year ago or the German band Madsen.
Schueberfouer End of August – beginning of September
THE fair of the country! The Schuebermesse at Glacies Parking will take place from 23.08 to 11.09 in 2018. Many rides, shooting ranges, bars and public gardens invite you to a boisterous party. Our insider tip: Go to the Gotham club after the Schoberfour to continue the party, and take care that your money is not gambled away on the countless machines.
Veiner Nëssmoort 07. October
Do not let the name nut-market lead you astray. In fact, the focus is on the typical nut liqueur, but other drinks are also offered. Especially nice is the location of this nut market – located in the valley of the Our, overlooking the castle Vianden.
Bazar International Beginning of December
The nice thing about Luxembourg is that there is a variety of different nationalities and cultures. The International Bazaar, which takes place in the exhibition halls on the Kirchberg, is the perfect event to get to know them a bit better. Locals who live in Luxembourg (with different nationalities) introduce their country; sell traditional food and drinks as well as one or the other national specialty.
Chrëschtmaart End of November – End of December
The Christmas market in Luxembourg is in our opinion one of the most beautiful we have ever visited. It is divided into 3 parts: the first part is at the monument Gelle Frau, the second part (including the skating rink) is located at the Place Guillaume II and the third part (mainly food courts) is located at the Place d’Armes.
A visit is really worthwhile, and the best gluhwine is the one next to Gëlle Fra!
Of course, there are other events as well, but the above the best ones are in our opinion.
2. Where are the best parking spots?
We have to admit, the parking situation in our country is a bit difficult. There are only a few underground parkings in the city, but the queues are really long on the weekend and it’s very hard to find a good spot. That’s why we advise you to use the free P + R parkings:
Parking du Glacis
Avenue de la Faiencerie, 1148 Luxembourg
The Glacis is free on weekends (Friday from 18:00 – Monday 08:00). This parking is located in the center, on Limpertsberg and offers parking for about 1,000 cars. Please check in advance if there is an event (Schoberfouer, etc.), because this parking is also often used for events.
P + R Boullon
Hollerich (rue de bouillon)
This P + R can accommodate 2250 cars and the city center can be reached by bus very easily. This parking is convenient for people coming from the South (A3, A4).
The P + R on the Kirchberg has 260 spaces to offer at the moment (new parking is planned). This P+R is only recommended if you plan on staying at Kirchberg. Otherwise we would advise to pay parking in the city center, as the parking is limited. However, city center can be reached via bus or tram.
3. Public Transport
Public transport is absolutely working close to the city center, but we don’t recommend using public transport to go to remote areas or at odd times, because unfortunately our trains, or rather buses, have the tendency to be late or being cancelled. Unfortunately we have had those situations before, especially when big events are taking place. You can check timetables here, and a 1h ticket (valid for all means of transport within Luxembourg) costs € 2 and can be purchased either by mobile phone or at the driver.
4. The best picnic spots
There are many different places in Luxembourg to have a good picnic. Our favorite place is definitely at the “Stau”. The upper sure lake (official name) is located in the nature reserve Obersauer and in addition to swimming and diving a variety of other water sports are offered as well. The upper sure lake is accessible from several sides, but we recommend looking for a picnic spot near Lultzhausen, the view is amazing there. It takes about 45-50 min to reach the “Stau” from the city center by car.
5. The cheapest beer
Beer is generally more expensive in the city center than in small villages – but this phenomenon is not new. We only review bars / cafes in the city center below. A beer at the “countryside“ costs between 2.20 € – 2.90 €, on average. To pay more than 3 € for a beer outside the city center is definitely overpriced. We compared the beer prices of our favorite locations (0.3l Battin or Diekirch beer)
8 Rue Sigefroi 3,50 €
Nice pub, located in the middle of the village. Especially recommended for sports fans – something is always showing on TV and when the England national team plays, you better watch out for hardcore fans.
De Gudde Wëllen
17 Rue du St Esprit 3,50 €
Great location for small concerts. We have already discovered some great bands there and recommend going there and check it out.
7 Rue du Nord 3,20 €
Pretty cool hipster café that offers many different teas and sweet treats in addition to alcoholic drinks.
2 Rue de la Boucherie 3,50 €
The after-work location par excellence! The party is usually outside the door and people just drink on the streets.
13 Rue du marché-aux-Herbes 4,00 €
As the name suggests, this bar is not far from the palace. The location is super chic and the cocktails are delicious.
8 rue du marché aux herbes 3,50 €
Pretty new location, close to the palais, with some amazing after-work music and drinks. We are really excited so see how this place is going to turn out.
6 Rue Sigefroi 3,00 €
Small bistro, hidden behind the walls of the palace. Especially popular by younger people.
41, Allée Scheffer 2,50 €
Cool sports bar at LImpertsberg. In addition to the good selection of drinks, this brasserie also offers various Luxembourgish specialties such as “Kniddeln”. Short note: The cheapest beer on our list!
6. The craziest club
There are a lot of nightlife options in Luxembourg. The most popular area to go out at the moment is Limpertsberg – although Clausen has become more popular lately. However, there is only one location for us when it comes to clubs: The Gotham. As the name implies, the motto of this club is Gotham City. In front of the entrance there is usually a Lamborghini parked and inside there are also some batman inspired decorations, combined with good tunes from nice DJ’s. The dress code is rather chic, and the drinks are not exactly cheap, but it’s definitely a great club to celebrate.
7. Which language do I need to use in which situation?
That is a really legitimate question. In Luxembourg, we have 3 official languages: German, French and Luxembourgish. However, many people still speak English and Portuguese in addition. Basically, Luxembourgers adapt to their counterparts, ie you can speak German (with a Luxembourger) without hesitation. It gets a bit more difficult in restaurants, where most waiters often speak French only. Offices, doctors and in supermarkets on the other hand, all 3 official languages are mostly spoken. English is usually not a problem, but the French often don’t make any effort trying.
8. Places you better avoid
Luxembourg itself is a very safe country. Nevertheless, there are a few places / areas that you should avoid especially as a woman (and walking by yourself). We felt insecure in those areas, but that does not mean that they cannot be visited. The best example is in the district Bonnevoie, the area around the “Fixerstuff” – the drug consumption center. The district itself is not dangerous, but many drug addicts hang out around in this area. Another place that should be avoided especially at night as well is the train station to Esch / Alzette. The crime rate is definitely higher there than around other train stations in the country. Rue de Strasbourg and Rue du Hollerich are also very shady during night – these streets are the area of the prostitutes.
9. LGBTQ Dating
Unfortunately we dont have any lesbian bars in Luxembourg. The easiest way to meet queer people is if you go to a local women-sports event. This is usually a good place to meet girls. Another recommended way is to meet over some friends. Since the country is very small, everyone knows a queer person. Thats how we have actually met.