I love a last minute adventure and am not one to shy away from a little travel challenge. So, when we decided to book a last minute- one night stay in Luxembourg City, I was happy to get stuck into some last minute planning.
Twenty four hours, one city. How do you do it? Well, a bit like this…
Book The Right Hotel
When you are short on time, book the right hotel. One in a good location that provides everything you need, from in room amenities to a good breakfast. A super short break is not the time to be chasing reception to borrow a hairdryer or having to seek coffee & croissants the next morning.
We stayed in Novotel Luxembourg Centre, based on the fact it was within walking distance of the main sights, had secure parking and that we have had many happy stays with Novotel. Comfortable rooms, all the things provided and always a brilliant breakfast buffet
Consider a Hop on, Hop off tour.
Not always a fan of the HoHo, but when short on time and knowledge they can be useful. We went ahead and bought a 24 hour City Sightseeing ticket. Being honest, the route is fairly limited. But, inexpensive and an easy way of getting from A to B. And a good commentary was good for some background on Luxembourg city.
Explore the Original City: Casemates Du Bock.
Originally built in 963 by Count Seigfried , the Casemates were developed over the years into a superstructure that was one of the most envied fortifications in Europe. Although much of the original structure has been razed, 17 km of tunnels remain, penetrating the rock at different levels and confusingly laid out in a series of interconnected areas and dead ends.
This is a place to let the imagination run riot and you’ll get some great views to boot. Steep, narrow stairs, lots of climbing and uneven floors mean it’s not for the faint hearted or those with mobility issues.
Be Awed by The Grand Ducal Palace.
Wander up from the Casemates via the Fish Market with its narrow alleys, stairways and medieval feel, and end up at the Grand Ducal Palace. The town residence of the Grand Duke, this building has probably the most beautiful façade in Luxembourg city.
That’s saying something in a city brimming with photogenic corners and Instagram-worthy views.
Refuel at the Chocolate House.
Refuelling is a very important part of exploring. Straight opposite the Palace, you will find The Chocolate House. This place is not for those who have embraced Sugar-free or calorie counters.
Selling a range of sweet treats and drinks to eat in the incredibly pretty café or to take home, this is a temple to indulgence. If you’ve explored the Casemates, you’ve probably earned it anyway. Go ahead, treat youreself.
Sit outside to people watch and soak up the beautiful view of the Palace.
Soak up the Atmosphere at Place d’Armes
This is the heart of the pedestrianized old town and also a social hub. The square and the streets leading off it and packed with cafes, bars, restaurants and boutiques. In the summer months there is a programme of live music and entertainment.
Don’t forget to look up, the architecture is beautiful with some quirky details. A golden Unicorn head, anyone? Can’t have too much of that sort of thing, in my opinion.
Reflect at the National Monument of Solidarity
This thought-provoking monument is a tribute to the fallen of WW2 and to the Resistance and solidarity shown by Luxembourgers in the face of Nazi Occupation. The inner courtyard represents concentration camps and barracks, the rough stone all victims of war. In front of this burns an eternal flame.
Pause in a City Garden
The biggest surprise for me in Luxembourg City was how many leafy, green spaces there are. There are gardens and parks galore and they make a great place to stroll or rest. Possibly with a little something from the aforementioned Chocolate Café?
American Cemetery Memorial, Luxembourg
Entering through the gates, one of the first things visitors will see is the impressive Memorial Chapel. Beyond that, row upon row of grave markers dedicated to the Americans who gave their all. Including General Patton, who is buried here.
Set in 17 acres of manicured lawn and 30 acres of woodland and beautifully maintained with planting and fountains, the cemetery is a place of rest and place to reflect. Not to be missed.
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