Luxembourg is a beautiful country blessed with lush and scenic landscape and a host of historical treasures. For easy tourism, the country is split into five zones. The central and southern region of undulating farmland and woods surrounds the capital, the northeast featuring sandstone rock formations and forests, the north packed with charming forested hills and valleys, the south full of red rocks rich in iron, and the southeast holding the Moselle Valley. As it was my first visit, I chose to first visit the capital and two more regions to explore the major tourist attractions in Luxembourg.
Luxembourg-Ville is the capital that is again divided into two districts namely, the beautiful old center boasting fortress towers, turrets, paved streets; and the contemporary downtown on the plateau du Krichberg. The old center is the World Heritage site where you can find many well preserved fortifications and underground tunnels called casemates. Before you start your tour, pick up the detailed maps from the Luxembourg City Tourist Office on the Place d’Armes for a multitude of walks along which you can explore the medieval relics and historic sites.
As soon as I heard about a special open-air tourist train – the ‘Petrusse Express’, I first went for this historic journey by buying the tickets from the tourist office. Regarded as one of the major tourist attractions in Luxembourg, it departs from below one of the arches of the Pont Adolphe viaduct. The trip features frequent guided tours via the Petrusse Valley from where many surviving fortifications are comfortably seen along with the explanation in many languages. If you are impressed by this and want to go for a deep look, go on foot through the Petrusse and Alzette valleys accessible by many bridges. This is one of the best ways to know more about the historical sites and have some great views of the fortifications. The Place d’Armes is the main square in the capital alluring tourists with its little surviving French charm. It offers a myriad of outdoor cafes and restaurants.
Coming to the downtown, I explored the Grund area located besides the River Alzette. This zone is full of lively cafes and restaurants and that it is accessible through a lift descending through the old rock. The other highlights in the city center are the restored Palais Grand Ducal that is official home of the Grand Duke and where the guard changing ceremony takes place, the Place Guillaume (Knuedler) with the twice-weekly market on Wednesday and Saturday, and the 17th century Notre Dame Cathedral near Knuedler.
Now, it was the turn of the several galleries. Some of the most interesting museums in the city are the National Museum of Natural History, National Museum of History and Art, and the Museum of the City of Luxembourg whose old and new architecture boasts a detailed and educational report of the country’s vivid history.
The today’s age district located on the plateau du Kirchberg is worth exploring. The main highlight here is the Pont Grand Duchesse Charlotte that is the most stunning bridge in the capital via which the district is accessible. Do explore the main cinema complex here named Utopolis and the biggest shopping complex besides it.
As a proud member of EU, Luxembourg also has a number of European Union institutions in the Kirchberg. The impressive ones are the Commission of the European Community, European Court of Justice, General Secretariat of the European Parliament, and the European Court of Auditors.
Then, I visited what is dubbed as the ‘Little Switzerland’. This is Mullerthal also known as the Germano-Luxembourg Natural Park is at 19 miles from the capital. It is simply the best for hiking and walking due to its multitude of footpaths winding via the dense forests, transparent brooks, and magnificent rock formations. Coach tours depart from the main bus station in the capital daily. Beaufort, Berdorf, and Larochette are the famous resorts here out of which Beaufort and Larochette offer castles on a hilltop with spectacular views.
Lastly, I explored Ardennes that ranks second among the major tourist attractions in Luxembourg. It features lush forest covering one-third of the total area of the country. Also known locally as Eisléck, this is the area full of natural attractions due to the picturesque charm, tranquility, forested plateau, wooded hills, and lush valleys. Do visit the small town of Esch-sur-Sûre that offers a famous resort flanked by the natural moat of the River Sure. Go upwards to cover a few miles after which you will see the drinking water reservoir with a barrage dam forming a great lake for water sports and the Upper Sûre National Park.