Luxembourg is a small country in the heart of Western Europe surrounded by Belgium, France and Germany. It’s very green (with third of the country covered in forests), has many well preserved historical castles and fortresses and the city center of its capital – Luxembourg city – is a UNESCO World Heritage site. If you are planning a trip in Europe make sure you put Luxembourg on your ‘must visit European countries’ list and read on for an example of a two-three days itinerary in Luxembourg.
We have visited Luxembourg as part of our mini Benelux trip on a long weekend. First stop of the trip was in Maastricht, Netherlands, then we spent 2-2.5 days in Luxembourg and went on to Liege in Belgium before returning home to Utrecht. Travelling and sightseeing in Luxembourg is easy – everything is close by and can be reached within a few hours. In fact, on the way from the Netherlands to Luxembourg we drove through Belgium and Germany, making it 4 countries within just 2 hours – talking about easy travel in Europe 🙂
Depending on the direction you are coming from you can change the order of the places to visit in Luxembourg. Below is our two to three days itinerary in Luxembourg – in the order we did it.
Day 1: Vianden Castle, Hohllay Cave and Breechkaul Amphitheater in Mullerthal Region
Luxembourg has many castles worth visiting, but if your time is limited and you have to choose only one castle I would suggest going to Vianden Castle.
Vianden Castle was built between the 11th and 14th centuries. It stands on top of a hill overlooking the town of Vianden. Not only the castle itself but the area around it is beautiful and picturesque.
If you are travelling by car you can park at Parking Château de Vianden and walk up the hill to the castle. Make sure you have coins for the parking machine at the car park.
Alternatively, park your car at a parking lot near Der Sessellift like we did, and go up on the chairlift. We bought one way tickets to Der Sessellift to take us to the observation platform and a cafe with scenic views of Vianden castle and the town beneath it. From the viewing platform it’s an easy 10 minutes walk (mostly downhill) to the castle entrance.
Vianden castle is open for visitors every day. Check their web site for opening hours and admission fees.
After visiting the castle, take a walk in the town. Vianden is a small but charming town surrounded by forest and with Our river (yep, that’s the river name) flowing through the city. We have walked from the castle via Grand-Rue, then the stone bridge over the river, onto Rue Victor Hugo and to the car park near Der Sessellift – making it a nice short walk around the town.
Mullerthal Trail: Hohllay Cave and Breechkaul Amphitheater
We have finished in Vianden in the late afternoon and, since it was summer, we still had some day time left. So we drove to Hohllay Cave (approx 30 mins drive).
Hohllay Cave is a man made cave located in the forest area of Luxembourg. The cave was created as a result of mining happening on the site since medieval times.
Park your car at the Parking Hohllay and then it’s a short walk in the forest to the cave.
Don’t miss Breechkaul Amphitheater when walking to/from Hohllay cave. Amphitheater “Breechkaul” is an open air theater in a cavity under the rock (also man-made by mining in the rock).
After short walks in the forest and visiting Hohllay cave and Breechkaul Amphitheater we headed to Luxembourg city.
It takes about 40 minutes to drive from Hohllay to Luxembourg city. We have arrived in the city in the evening – just in time to check in to the hotel, have a nice dinner in a restaurant nearby and call it a day.
Day 2: Luxembourg city
Spend a day in Luxembourg city
Luxembourg city is the capital of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg (full name of the country) and is well known for its old town fortification.
We have spent the whole day in Luxembourg city just sightseeing and walking around. Even though it was raining lightly in the morning it didn’t affect much our impression of the city. Luxembourg is very green, with lots of historical buildings, old fortifications and scenic views – thanks to its hilly landscape.
In Luxembourg we have stayed in a hotel on the Place d’Armes – right in the heart of the city. We parked our car in an underground parking garage and explored the city on foot.
Here are some of the things to see in Luxembourg city in a day:
Palais Grand-Ducal (The Grand Ducal Palace) – the official residence of the Grand Duke of Luxembourg. If you are visiting in summer you can take a guided tour in the palace.
Cathédrale Notre-Dame – the 17th century Catholic cathedral in a former Jesuit church.
Palais de Justice Luxembourg – great views to the old town from there. Walk from Palais de Justice down to the old town to see fortified bridge Stierchen, Neumünster Abbey and other medieval sights of Grund district.
Pfaffenthal Lift – public elevator connecting Alzette River valley with the city center above. Not only it saves you time and energy walking uphill from the valley but it also offers scenic views thanks to its glass doors.
Adolphe Bridge – stone-arch bridge with great views to Pétrusse Casemates and Park, and to Constitution Square – city square with manicured garden and WW2 memorial obelisk.
Musée de la Banque – Bank Museum, free admission.
City Hall – Luxembourg’s city hall is located on the main square in the centre of the city – Place Guillaume II.
Neumünster Abbey – you won’t miss Neumünster Abbey when visiting Luxembourg city. This 17th century abbey is a popular place for public gatherings and features on many postcards and pictures of the city. Make sure you walk to Chemin de la Corniche – a walkway leading up to an observation deck with scenic views of the city below and of the remains of the 18th-century tunnels & WW2 shelters – Casemates du Bock.
Saint Michael’s Church – after enjoying beautiful views at Chemin de la Corniche, check out Saint Michael’s Church nearby. This Roman Catholic church is the oldest religious building in Luxembourg city.
Fort Thüngen and Fort Obergrünewald – historical fortifications in the middle of green park with views of the city center in the distance. Fort Obergrünewald was built in the 17th century by French engineer Vauban (same guy who built pentagon-shaped Citadel of Lille – read about it in my post about Lille)
Place d’Armes – city square with lots of restaurants and cafes around. Nice place to relax and have a lunch break (or dinner) after walking in the city.
Those are the highlights of what to see in Luxembourg city in one day. We really liked it there and would definitely recommend visiting this city.
We spent the night in Luxembourg city and headed to the Mullerthal region the next morning.
Day 3: Wolfsschlucht / Gorges du Loup, Labyrinth and Predigtstuhl in Mullerthal Region
On the Day 3 of our trip in Luxembourg we went to explore natural sights along the Mullerthal Trail – hike in the woods, impressive rock formations, canyons and labyrinths.
I will write a dedicated post about the E1 hiking trail that includes Wolfsschlucht, Labyrinth and Hohllay cave very soon. You don’t have to walk all the way of the 13km long E1 loop trail to see all these sights. If you only have from a few hours to half a day in the region here are the main sights you can see.
Wolfsschlucht / Gorges du Loup
Our first destination on the day was Wolfsschlucht (or Gorges du Loup). We parked our car at a small car park at Trooskneppchen (viewing pavilion in the forest) and went off from there.
Even though the name Wolfsschlucht or Gorges du Loup translates to Wolf’s Gorge please don’t worry – there are no wolves on the trail or anywhere in the region. It’s a spectacular place with rock walls rising up to 50 meters high and old stone stairs, which you can climb to reach the top of the cliffs.
The track is well formed and the stairs are easy to climb, so it’s a good walk for people with different levels of fitness and for families with kids. Our boys enjoyed the walk very much and we spent about half an hour just in the gorge Wolfsschlucht climbing the rocks. Exploring small side trails in the woods and walking up to Paulsplatte – a scenic spot on top of the cliffs with nice views of the valley laying below.
Next highlight in the area was the Labyrinth. If you are walking from the Wolfsschlucht then just continue the hike along the E1 trail and you get into another magical place in the woods – a labyrinth of pathways through moss-covered rocks.
If you are not walking the E1 trail, an alternative way to reach the Labyrinth would be to park your car at Perekop just along Route 364, and walk a few minutes to the Labyrinth itself.
Our last stop in Luxemburg was Predigtstuhl (Pulpit) – a beautiful place with pulpit-like rock formations, narrow passageways through the stones and two viewing platforms.
Predigtstuhl is located at Route 364 near Berdorf. There is a small car park at the foot of the rocks where you can leave your car. It’s really busy in summer, we were just lucky to find a spot on the tiny car park as someone just left when we arrived.
There are passages and views on both sides of the road, so make sure you check out both of them. Some of the passageways are really small and narrow, so look after small children that can get into some places where not every adult would fit! 🙂
After the Predigtstuhl we headed to Liege, Belgium and then back home to Utrecht.
We truly enjoyed our trip to Luxembourg and plan to visit it again to explore more of this beautiful country. Hopefully, our sample two-three days itinerary in Luxembourg will inspire and help you plan a trip to Luxembourg too!