Why to do a road trip in Luxembourg?
Luxembourg is one of the smallest countries worldwide – ranked 179th out of the 194 independent countries of the world- having also a population much less than one million. Despite its size, Luxembourg is an interesting country to explore but not the first to pop on in your mind for a tour in Europe! However, renting a car is a great choice if you wish to experience the most of the country as everything is so close but not too close for using the public transportation. In our Luxembourg 3-day road trip we managed to squeeze many interesting things, villages and cities in and here is our itinerary that is totally doable if you don’t have enough time!
Our Luxembourg Road Trip 1st Day
We (a company of 5 !) arrived in the airport from London on a Thursday afternoon and we found our rental car awaiting for us. We visited Luxembourg city for a first encounter stroll and a dinner and then we drove to our AirBnb place, a mobile home that could fit 5-6 people in the middle of the Fussekaul camping– approximately 1 hour away from the city centre in the middle of the forest! We chose this place on purpose as it was very strategically positioned in the middle of the country surrounded by nature (for those living in London, a dose of nature is so mandatory!) along with free unlimited parking– unfortunately, in the city centre you can not park for more than 2 hours on the same spot.
The place you will choose to stay while on a road trip in Luxembourg is vital as, even if the country is small, you don’t want to drive in loops back and forward or to pay for expensive parking seats so try to book a centrally-located accommodation ideally with free parking!
2nd Day : Vianden Town and Castle and Esch-Sur-Sure Village
Vianden is located very close to the German boarders and it s considered the most beautiful town in Luxembourg so it deserved our first stop on Friday morning, only a 35-minute driving away. The Victor Hugo literary museum (actually the house where he lived during his political exile from France) is here along with the Vianden Castle , a well-preserved Gothic building. However, the most popular attraction here is the chairlift that climbs above Our Valley and the river and offers incredible views to the entire area. On top there are few cafes/ restaurant that serve food and snacks (do not break the bank!) and the neighbouring natural Park ( aka Parque Natural de Our) is the perfect spot for walking , enjoying the nature (=sleeping ?) and breathing fresh air again! As there are many hidden gems in the park you may want to ask for specific information/ things to do/ events/ hiking paths etc. at the Regional Tourist Office of the Luxembourg Ardennes that is located on Vianden too.
In the afternoon we headed closer to our base in a tiny and cute village with the awkward name Esch-Sur-Sure. I have yet to mention that we had a French friend travelling with us at this tour. No doubt, he has been really helpful as almost no one of the rest could communicate efficiently in French but in this town he had an extravagantly hard time trying to explain us how we can PRONOUNCE this village name! Do you think it is easy and we are dumb? Well, maybe, but I am challenging you to ask a French friend to teach this name to you! Beyond this, the village was wonderful , next to the river and under the mountains… highly recommended !
3rd Day : Ettelbruck & Schengen
On Saturdays, Ettelbruck town holds a market that attracts many people from the suburbs as well from Germany; this was our morning first stop for the 3rd day. The city is very lively with positive vibes, vendors and a variety of food options and we did a bit of shopping! Oh, Luxembourg country is definitely worth a visit! Then, a 50 min. drive southern leaded us to the German, France and Luxembourg boarders in the Schengen museum and town! The idea of free mobility in between the European countries was born here in 1995 and the agreement remains one of the world’s biggest areas that have ended border control between its member countries. This concept was very innovative and ahead of its time! Today is supported by 26 countries-members. The town is quite small but the museum is very interesting as it takes you back to the historian facts along with the contemporary conditions / challenges of each country. An other interesting point is that from the museum you can observe the boarders of the 3 countries that are actually inside the Moselle river! If only every country in the world could have these… invisible (literally and metaphorically) boarders!
Schengen is 35 minutes away from Luxembourg city by car and a bit over 1 hour by public transport (2 buses that are convenient enough). We arrived back in the city after 2 full days around the country and we realised that, under the sunlight, it is even more beautiful- especially the old city that is very cute and walkable! Even if we truly enjoyed our last afternoon there (our flight was very late at night so we had plenty of time to wander around) I was still under the influence of the free boarders concept that changed our perception of what travel means , at least in Europe, and how lucky we are to live in this continent. Unfortunately, the UK is not part of the Schengen agreement and from 2021 the country wont be part of the European Union either (update : well, let’s see Brexit is still under discussion!) . This made me a bit sad while I was boarding on the plane for London– everything for me and other Europeans in the UK will be uncertain and tricky, who knows what will happen afterwards?
Interesting Facts About Luxembourg
- The public bus from the airport to the city centre costs 2 €
- Buses in the city are free every Saturday! Speechless!
- Even if the national language is Luxembourgish , French and German are widely spoken too- what an amazing trilingual society!
- Luxembourgers have the higher rate of cars ownership worldwide!
- The country has no national religion (YES!)
- The same-sex marriage was approved in 2014 with the support of more than 83% of the population ❣ One more reason to visit Luxembourg!
Keen to learn more interesting facts? Marysia has gathered some on her blog!
Our Luxembourg road trip just reached its end… unfortunately! Have you ever considered travelling around Luxembourg by car or by public transport? Any recommended places (that I missed out) for my next visit? I am sure there are many! In any case, please comment below!!
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