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Just across the border from southern Belgium, Luxembourg is a bit of a mystery to most people. Is it a city? A country? Well, actually it’s both, a tiny sovereign state just 85 km (53 miles) long, with a population of around 500,000, made up of green hills and valleys, small, unassuming stone villages, and with a capital of the same name that is one of the most dramatically sited cities in Europe, heavily fortified and set astride a series of deep, jagged valleys. Luxembourg as a whole punches far above its weight in the world, and the city is no exception: it’s the size of a small provincial town but is one of the administrative centers of ...

Just across the border from southern Belgium, Luxembourg is a bit of a mystery to most people. Is it a city? A country? Well, actually it’s both, a tiny sovereign state just 85 km (53 miles) long, with a population of around 500,000, made up of green hills and valleys, small, unassuming stone villages, and with a capital of the same name that is one of the most dramatically sited cities in Europe, heavily fortified and set astride a series of deep, jagged valleys. Luxembourg as a whole punches far above its weight in the world, and the city is no exception: it’s the size of a small provincial town but is one of the administrative centers of the EU, and has an important financial sector. It’s not overloaded with essential sights, but you could spend a happy few days here, ambling around its mazy old town and enjoying the views from the spectacular Chemin de la Corniche, poking through the numerous fortifications and subterranean casemates sunk into its valleys, and experiencing the Ruritanian ceremony of the diminutive Ducal palace. And don’t miss the countryside beyond: you can sample sparkling wine straight from the cellars in Remich and Grevenmacher, just south of the capital in the Moselle Valley, or visit the huge abbey of Echternach about 20 miles north. Better yet, take more time out to travel up to Vianden and its enormous and majestically situated castle, an hour or so north of the capital – once the home of Victor Hugo.

Martin Dunford
About the Expert

Martin Dunford is the author or coauthor of eight Rough Guides: Amsterdam, The Netherlands, Brussels, Belgium & Luxembourg, Italy, Rome, Naples & the Amalfi Coast, and New York City.

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Martin Dunford for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Spring, summer, early fall