Germany day trips: Luxembourg

by Jessica Zen
Stripes Europe

Surrounded by numerous countries, Germany is a superb starting point for venturing out and exploring other cultures, cities, landscapes and architectures. Luxembourg, the small country lying between Germany, Belgium and France, is teeming with sights for the passionate traveler.

IN THE CITY
Luxembourg City, the capital of the world’s only Grand Duchy, is a melting pot of museums, UNESCO World Heritage sites, architectural wonders and fantastic food. The fortress in the Old City is a perfect example of European military architecture and has been manned by various countries in the past. Today, the remains of the fortress include forts, bastions and casemates, all inducted into the UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994.

The Grand Ducal Palace, a beautiful example of Flemish Renaissance architecture, stands proudly as the residence of the Grand Duke and is a symbol of national independence. The exterior facade is always on display, whereas the elaborate interior is only viewable during a guided tour between July and September.


Grand Ducal Palace in Luxembourg City. Photo by 123rf.com/Jesus Barroso

Gracefully arching over the Pétrusse River and valley is the Adolphe Bridge. At the time when it was built in 1900-1903, it was the biggest stone arch bridge in the world. The double arch is just over 500 feet long and 138 feet tall. Though it is over 100 years old, the bridge is referred to as the New Bridge and stands as another national symbol of independence.   

With so many surrounding countries, it’s no surprise that Luxembourg’s gastronomic scene is highly praised. While predominantly French cuisine is served, you will also find no shortage of pork, sauerkraut, potato pancakes and apple-based dishes. From Michelin-starred restaurants to relaxing cafes, there are plenty of delicious options. One particularly interesting place is the Art Café, attached to Theatre des Capucins. The decor recalls the theater’s Golden Era with red velvet curtains and handmade costumes on the walls. When the weather is nice, relax on the terrace while you sip your tea or coffee.

NATURAL LANDSCAPES
Glistening lakes, flowing rivers, enchanting forests, mysterious rock formations and colorful flora and fauna are sure to entice nature enthusiasts into the great outdoors of Luxembourg. Whether you walk, bike or run, there are trails galore to explore.

For a hike that crosses the German and Luxembourg border, trek on the NaturWanderPark Delux, specifically Nat'Our Route 2. On this section of trails you’ll feel like you’ve traveled back in time, as the ruins of the ninth century Dasburg fortress tower over the valley and town. Don’t miss seeing the old tannery that still stands there as a testament to the leather industry.


Luxembourg cityscape view from top with many trees in summer

For a leisurely stroll, visit the gardens of Echternach Abbey near the Sûre River. The abbey is made up of the St. Willibrord Basilica, the Benedictine Abbey and the Museum of the Abbey. The nearby gardens are through a lovely cast-iron arch with statues representing the four seasons. Another great area to wander around is Echternach Lake. Pack a picnic basket and plan on relaxing in this serene landscape.

GETTING THERE  
Luxembourg is northwest of the Kaiserslautern area and is approximately a one and a half hour drive, depending on your departure point. It is west of Wiesbaden and approximately a two and a half hour drive. You do not need a vignette or have to pay tolls to drive on the highways in Luxembourg.

Though small, the country of Luxembourg packs a huge punch when it comes to sightseeing and activities. Spend the day learning about the local history and enjoying the beautiful surroundings.

Glistening lakes, flowing rivers, enchanting forests, mysterious rock formations and colorful flora and fauna are sure to entice nature enthusiasts into the great outdoors of Luxembourg.

 

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