For over 10 years, a close friend captivated me with stories of her father’s fairy-tale homeland of Luxembourg. An often-overlooked country with castles perched on hilltops, dreamlike woodland streams, and ancient villages dotted throughout the countryside. Without hesitation, we reserved three days to explore Luxembourg on our epic road trip across Europe.
Where to Stay in Luxembourg
As Luxembourg is a small country, distances between cities and attractions are not vast. We recommend basing yourself in one location for your three days in Luxembourg.
If you have a vehicle, consider staying outside a city center for better value. Hotels in the center of Luxembourg City are a little pricier than elsewhere but may be the best choice for those requiring public transportation.
- Hotel Simoncini is a great option for those who want to be in the heart of Luxembourg City’s Old Town.
- Hostellerie Stafelter on the outskirts of Luxembourg City offers great value, especially for those with a vehicle as there is free parking.
- We wanted something in the countryside for our three days in Luxembourg and chose the Hotel Saint Fiacre. The view was spectacular and being only minutes away from the magnificent Bourscheid Castle was worth it. It was also nice and central for the places we visited.
To curb traffic and environmental issues, Luxembourg public transportation is free. Whether you are traveling by tram, train, or bus throughout Luxembourg you won’t pay any fares. How nice is that!
To avoid parking fees in Luxembourg City, use the Park and Rides which often include free parking.
Day One in Luxembourg
As it was right next door to our hotel, we started our three days in Luxembourg in the countryside at Bourscheid Castle. Built around the year 1000, the castle was continuously expanded upon until it reached its current form in 1430. Beautiful inside and out; however, it’s the view you’ll remember most.
Carved out by the Sûre River, everything about the small sleepy town of Esch-sur-Sûre is adorable. After parking, we walked around the town center until we made our way up to the Esch-sur-Sûre Castle. Though the castle is not much more than ruins, the view is gorgeous and well worth the hike.
After our visit, we headed west along the river to the Naturpark Öewersauer Center. Here we browsed their small shop, toured the museum, and grabbed a few brochures on the area. Driving a little further west we finished our day with a visit to the dam, the lake, and a few small villages along the river. The area was so pretty, we just enjoyed taking it all in.
Day Two in Luxembourg
Luxembourg City's Old Town
After a confusing drive around the city, we finally found parking in an underground garage on Avenue Monterey. As we wandered out of the parking area, the enormous clock tower of the BCEE bank commanded our attention.
After a quick close-up of the bank, we headed back into the Old Town of Luxembourg City. With so much architectural beauty, walking around the city was an attraction in its own right. A few of the stops we made included:
- Notre-Dame Cathedral – Built between 1613 and 1621 by the Jesuit religious order.
- Grand Ducal Palace – This 16th century palace is only open for tours in summer.
- Saint-Michel’s Church – The oldest holy building in the city.
Luxembourg's Best Views
If we only recommended one thing to do in Luxembourg City, it would be to go see the Bock Casemates. A labyrinth of over 10-miles of subterranean tunnels, this UNESCO World Heritage Site was once a unique defense system for the city. In WWII, these tunnels were used as a bomb shelter. Today, it’s the most popular attraction in the city.
From the Bock Casements, we made our way to the Wall of the Corniche (Chemin de la Corniche) for stunning views of the Grund historical area of the Old City. We feel its nickname, “most beautiful balcony of Europe,” sums up the wall walk pretty well.
National Monument of Solidarity
Another notable stop on our tour of Luxembourg City was the National Monument of Solidarity. Perched atop Cannon Hill, the eternal flame a reminder of the great sacrifices made in WWII. The paved inner courtyard symbolizes prisons, concentration camps, and barracks. A moving memorial, it’s worth the visit.
The rest of the day we spent aimlessly wondering through the winding streets of the city. Grabbing a few local beers and popping into the shops on the Grand-Rue.
Day Three in Luxembourg
Our third and final day in Luxembourg ended up being our favorite. We went to the German border to explore the Echternach region.
Like most cities in Luxembourg, we found Echternach a wonderful place to just wander. Bordered by the Sûre River, the walk along the riverside was beautifully peaceful. Where the river curves, behind the Basilica of Saint Willibrord, is a lovely garden with the Rokoko Pavillon.
Before heading into the countryside, we stopped in the city center to grab lunch at one of the cafes with outdoor seating.
Leading off from the city of Echternach, the Mullerthal Trail is a popular hiking area with tourists and locals alike. Known for its quirky rocks, mossy forests, and picturesque streams, the area is nicknamed “Little Switzerland.”
Broken into three routes, each trail is approximately twenty-three miles long. Plus, there are “Extra Tour” routes that can be added to each trail.
The most postcard worthy stop in the area is on Route 3, Schiessentümpel/ Schéissendëmpel Waterfall. Though you can park near the waterfall, we recommend checking out the trails.
At the beginning of this post, I promised castles, and there’s no castle more fairytale worthy than Vianden Castle. Perched on a high cliff above the town of Vianden, it’s approximately a 30-minute drive from Echternach.
Built between the 11th and 14th centuries, Vianden Castle is one of the largest remaining feudal residences of the Gothic period in Europe.
Don’t skip out on going in the castle. Though it has been heavily renovated, it’s still one of our favorites in Europe. English speakers should opt for the audio tour as mostly everything is in French and German.
Books on Luxembourg
If you’re planning on more than three days in Luxembourg or are interested in learning more about their history, it’s wise to grab a book on the country.
- We are big fans of the DK Eyewitness travel guides – Belgium and Luxembourg, as they use a lot of photos for motivation. We use them for most of our travels.
- Alternatively, Lonely Planet Belgium & Luxembourg makes a great travel guide, though it has less photos.
- For a wonderful picture guide through Luxembourg and its history, check out Luxembourg: History, Landscape, and Tradition.