Why visit Luxembourg? Wine not!
To be honest, before moving to Europe I hadn’t even heard of Luxembourg. Mark and I decided to visit because it was a new country for us both, and is only a one hour flight from London – perfect for a weekend trip.
Luxembourg is technically a duchy because the head of the country is a Duke, rather than a King. There are three official languages: French, German, and Luxembourgish, although almost everyone we interacted with spoke English. The capital city is Luxembourg City, named after the country, and outside of the capital it is mostly small towns and countryside.
After checking into our hotel Friday night where I marked a milestone – my first ever stay in a 5 star hotel (read about how we afforded this at the end of this post) – we got a good nights rest so we could tackle Luxembourg City.
First up Saturday was a filling breakfast at the Chocolate House, one of the most famous hot chocolate cafes in the world which of course, I had to try. It didn’t disappoint!
We also strolled along the Wenzel Walk, a scenic walking path that overlooks the lower part of the city, which was really quite beautiful. To learn more about Luxembourg, we also joined in a walking tour of Luxembourg City offered by the Luxembourg City Tourist Office. During our walking tour we learned that because of the European Union’s presence in the city, there is a huge mix of nationalities – 70% of the city is foreign born, and a large percentage of people who work in the city actually commute from neighboring Belgium or Germany.
Our evening was spent in a nightlife area called Rives de Clausen, where we enjoyed Luxembourgish beer and a pot of meat at Brauerei (the meal and beer were very German influenced!).
Sunday morning we rented a car and went to the town of Remich in the Moselle Valley. I was attracted to the Moselle Valley because there are wineries in the area, as well as the Moselle river which was quite nice to walk by.
The winery we visited was Caves St. Martin where we did a tour of their wine cellar followed by a wine tasting. On our tour, we learned that Luxembourg actually produces quite a lot of wine, but 70% of it is consumed in the country, and the bottles that make it out are only for restaurants in neighboring countries. Luxembourg mostly produces white wine, and 60% is sparking white wine.
(Many of the wineries in the area are closed on Sunday, so I’d recommend weekdays if you want to visit a few in one day.)
Wine in Luxembourg is quite affordable; we usually paid no more than 3-5 euros per glass at restaurants, and Caves St. Martin had some nice bottles for only 4 euros (When Mark and I realized this, we frantically tried to figure out how to take a few cases home since we had only traveled with backpacks!).
Although we only had a weekend in Luxembourg, Mark and I were both really pleasantly surprised with how much we liked it. Luxembourg City is bigger and busier than we expected, and we actually wished we had a third day to explore the countryside a bit more and potentially visit another winery.
Does Luxembourg seem like a place you’d like to visit?
Hotel info: I had trouble finding a quality hotel for a reasonable price in Luxembourg City. What I did instead was head to Hotwire.com – they offer a deal where they tell you the general location of the hotel and number of stars, and once you agree to purchase then you are told the specific hotel. We ended up staying at the 5 star Sofitel Luxembourg Europe luxury hotel for £64/$78 a night!
Transportation info: Buses in Luxembourg City are free on the weekend and the center city is compact enough to walk around. Taxis are insanely expensive – our 12 minute ride from the airport to our hotel cost us almost 30 euros. Our rental car for one day was 100 euros (this was for an automatic car with insurance – a manual car is significantly cheaper).
Till next time all!