According to allcitycodes.com, Luxembourg City is the capital and by far the largest city of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. Luxembourg City is not too big compared to other European capitals. Know, for example, that Luxembourg City only reached the limit of 100,000 inhabitants in 2012. The Netherlands, for example, has more than twenty cities that are larger than Luxembourg City. However, Luxembourg City can compete with the larger cities of the Netherlands in terms of culture, museums and places of interest. The city has existed for more than a thousand years and has developed over the years into a versatile city with different faces. The city therefore has something to offer for different types of visitors. It is not for nothing that Luxembourg City is called everyone’s friend.
For a long time, Luxembourg’s banking secrecy was one of the main reasons for the city’s wealth, as a result of which the city has a relatively large number of banks and has always had an enormous attraction for foreign capital. Luxembourg is still regarded as an important business city. The international airport, located just outside the city, is therefore used more by business travelers than by tourists. The Dutch visit Luxembourg City mainly in combination with a holiday elsewhere in Luxembourg or during their journey to or from their holiday destination. Thanks to the fairly compact city centre, Luxembourg is perfect for a one-day visit.
To help you with your visit to Luxembourg City, we have listed the most important sights of Luxembourg City for you.
Top 10 sights of Luxembourg City
#1. Chemin de la Corniche
In Luxembourg City you have to deal with height differences. The present-day center is located in the so-called Upper Town. In Luxembourg they talk about Oberstadt. In the valley, around the basin of the Alzette, are a number of authentic parts of Luxembourg City, such as Grund. From various places you have a beautiful view of Luxembourg City. The Chemin de la Corniche is the most popular of these. This car-free pedestrian promenade is located along the edge of Oberstadt. It offers you a spectacular view of part of the city.
#2. Place d’Armes
The Place d’Armes is seen as the beating heart of Luxembourg City. Especially on sunny summer days, the Place d’Armes is a lively square where it can be difficult to find a spot on one of the many terraces around lunch or dinner time. The development of the current Place d’Armes, popularly referred to as ‘the living room of the city’, was started by Sébastien van Noyen d’Utrecht and completed in 1671 under Governor Jean Charles de Landas. Louis XIV’s French troops planted lime trees, paved the square and used it as a parade ground. The most striking building is the neo-baroque Cercle Cité on the eastern side of the square. The building dates from 1830. A major restoration took place between 2005 and 2010.
#3. Vauban defenses
‘Gibraltar of the North’ is a nickname you may read or hear for Luxembourg. Luxembourg City owes this name to its location and the imposing defenses that have turned the city into an almost impregnable fortress. As the Duchy of Luxembourg repeatedly went back and forth from Spanish and Austrian to French rule, each of the conquering nations contributed to the strengthening and expansion of the fortress that Luxembourg Castle had become over the years. An example of this is the French military engineer Marquis de Vauban, who gave the fortifications a major upgrade. The fortress walls are still visible.
#4. Bock rock
The Bock Rock is the place where Luxembourg City once originated. The first castle of Count Siegfried of Luxembourg was built here in the tenth century. The ruin that now stands on the Bock rock is one of the main sights of the city. It shows a piece of the historical defenses of Luxembourg City. An important part is formed by the casemates. This underground system of caves and passages was created in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The total length of the casemates was once 23 kilometers. In the end, 17 kilometers have been preserved, an important part of which is located in the Bock rock. The great view from the Bock Rock is another good reason to visit this historic site within Luxembourg City.
#5. Grand Ducal Palace
Luxembourg is a Grand Duchy. The Grand Duke of Luxembourg is the only Grand Duke in the world to hold office as such. The Grand Duke lives in the heart of Luxembourg City. The Grand Ducal Palace is the official residence. The palace was built in 1572 to serve as a town hall. At the end of the nineteenth century, the former town hall was converted into a grand ducal palace. Those who want to visit the Grand Ducal Palace should come to Luxembourg City in the summer months. Only then will it be possible to see the Grand Ducal Palace from the inside. This is only possible in the form of a tour with a French-speaking, English-speaking or German-speaking guide.
#6. Lower Town
The center of Luxembourg City is located in the Upper Town. That is the liveliest and busiest part of the city. In the valleys you will find the lower city. In the green valleys there is a completely different atmosphere than in the heart of the city. Historic districts such as Grund and Pfaffenthal largely have a tranquility that belongs more to a village than to a European capital. Grund is one of the oldest districts of Luxembourg City. This part of the city with many old houses is seen as the center of Ville Basse (the lower town). This includes the imposing Abbey of Neumünster. This former Benedictine abbey today serves as a public meeting place and cultural center.
There are several elevators that connect the upper town with the lower town. This ensures that it takes a lot less effort to bridge the height differences. The panoramic lift over the Pfaffenthal is located on the north side of the center. This elevator not only takes you up or down quickly, you also get a great view along the way. The other lift is the Grund lift located on the Saint-Esprit. This lift is less spectacular, but is ideal for pedestrians and cyclists to travel between the higher parts of the city and the lower Grund.
#7. Luxembourg Cathedral
The Notre-Dame of Luxembourg is a cathedral built in the early 17th century. This former collegiate church of the Jesuits became the Parish Church of Luxembourg City in 1773. Almost a century later, this church became a cathedral. Because of its important status within the Catholic Church, the cathedral was expanded considerably between 1935 and 1938. Thanks to the new transept, the size of the cathedral increased considerably. The cathedral is free to visit. Some sites give the wrong impression that you have to buy entrance tickets. You actually buy the (non-mandatory) self-guided tour. Nice if you think it’s worth it, but not mandatory to view the inside of the cathedral.
#8. Adolf Bridge
The Adolphe Bridge (in French: Pont Adolphe) is one of the bridges that you can admire in Luxembourg City. The bridge is also called the New Bridge. It is about four decades younger than the Passerelle, which is also known as the Luxembourg Viaduct. When it was completed – in the year 1908 – the Adolf Bridge was the largest stone arch bridge in the world. It has a length of 153 meters and a width of more than 17 meters. At the place where the ravine is the deepest, the height is 42 meters. The Place de la Constitution is the best place to have a nice view of the ravine and the bridge.
#9. Musée National d’Histoire et d’Art
The Musée National d’Histoire et d’Art is one of the most important museums in Luxembourg. The museum consists of two parts. First, the history of Luxembourg is exhibited in the historical part of the museum. Various periods of Luxembourg’s history are discussed, including prehistory, the Gallo-Roman period and the Middle Ages. In addition, this museum is a great art museum. The collection includes fine arts, decorative arts, and folk art. The Musée National d’Histoire et d’Art is divided between beautiful 17th and 18th century patrician houses on the Rue Witheim and a sleek modern part. This is a new building designed by Christian Bauer et Associés. It was opened in 2002.
The northeastern part of Kirchberg is worth a visit for several reasons. You can visit the Musée d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean here. The building in which the MUDAM is located is already an attraction in itself. The museum complex was designed by Ieoh Ming Pei. This famous Chinese-American architect is also known for the pyramid that stands in the courtyard of the Louvre in Paris and for the iconic Bank of China Tower in Hong Kong.
Kirchberg is also known as the European district of Luxembourg. Several European Union institutions are located here. Another place of interest in Kirchberg is the Philharmonie (also known as Salle de concerts grande-duchesse Joséphine-Charlotte). Since its opening in 2005, the Philharmonie has grown into one of the most important concert halls in Europe.