How To Spend 2 Days In Luxembourg City Itinerary

view of luxembourg from chemin du corniche

Luxembourg isn’t typically on most people’s European itinerary. As one of the smallest countries in the world, squished between France, Belgium and Germany, it often gets overlooked in favour of it’s neighbours. Personally, this country feels like a bit of a hidden gem to me and 2 days in Luxembourg City is the perfect amount of time to spend here.

Luxembourg is the world’s only Grand Duchy which is a country that is ruled by a Duke or Duchess as opposed to a King or Queen. I find this fact fascinating!

How many days in Luxembourg City is enough

I would say 2 days in Luxembourg City is a ideal amount of time to spend here. We arrived on a Saturday at 8.30am and then left on Sunday afternoon at 2pm for a 4pm flight back to London. 

There is obviously a lot more to see in the rest of the country outside of Luxembourg city, but we went on a fabulous weekend Luxembourg city break. Honestly though, if you are really short on time and get great flight or train times, it’s entirely possible to do a day trip to Luxembourg and spend 1 day in Luxembourg City ticking the major sights off your list.

Girl sat on a wall along the Alzette River in Luxembourg

2 Days in Luxembourg City itinerary

Luxembourg City is compact and very walkable, making it easy to cover a lot of area quickly. We managed to pack a lot in to our 2 days in Luxembourg trip, and you can do the same..

Day 1 in Luxembourg City (Saturday)

We landed early in the morning and took the bus to drop our bags off at the hotel before setting off for a full day of seeing as many sights as we could.

Chocolate House Nathalie Bonn

Gasping for a coffee, we headed straight to Chocolate House Nathalie Bonn. A small, chaotic chocolate shop that has a cafe on the upper floor. They are known for their huge range of Hot Chocolate Spoons and the entire place was packed.

Not least because a light dusting of snow had just started to fall moments before we stepped inside, but this is popular place to visit in Luxembourg.

You choose your chocolate spoon – of course I went for (some might say boring) Espresso, while my more adventurous travel companions went for the hot chilli dark chocolate and hazelnut caramel respectively. The spoons cost 4.00Є to buy, or you can take them up to the cafe to consume there in your choice of either hot milk or a milky coffee. Needing a strong caffeine hit, I opted for a chocospoon with (soya milk) milky coffee for 7.50Є.

Had I not ordered a dairy free version, I’d have also been given a pot of whipped cream and giant marshmallows too.

I’m sad to report, I didn’t get my caffeine fix as I couldn’t taste the coffee at all and essentially just had hot chocolate. I tried the hot chilli dark chocolate and that was delightful.

Palais Grand-Ducal

Having warmed up a little, we crossed over to the Palais Grand-Ducal; right opposite Chocolate House. The Grand Ducal Palace dates back to 1413 and has a prominent place in the middle of the city. This grand palace with its balconies and small turrets is still used today by the Grand Duke and his family as their official residence.

The Grand Ducal is only open to the public for part of the year, when the family aren’t staying there, which is usually in the summer. There is a solemn Changing of the Guard ceremony that occurs once a month in front of the palace from June to September, which attracts a fairly large crowd. There is a fanfare and procession, starting in the nearby streets.

A guard outside the grand ducal palace

Given that we visited Luxembourg in January, we didn’t get to witness this, but we were lucky enough to see the guard marching outside the palace, before assuming his position.

Panoramic Elevator of the Pfaffenthal

Panoramic Elevator of the Pfaffenthal

A short 15 minute walk away from the palace, we headed towards the Panoramic Elevator of the Pfaffenthal. At the top, there is a glass floor-to-ceiling- observation deck leading with some panoramic views of the Alzette River valley. This is a 71m high glass elevator which connects Pescatore park in the Ville Haute (old town) district to the Pfaffenthal area at the bottom of the Alzette valley.

view of the streets in Luxembourg

Much like all the public transport in Luxembourg, the elevator is completely free to ride and runs from 5.45am until 1am. It isn’t just a tourist attraction, but a functional elevator for residents too.

view from the Panoramic Elevator of the Pfaffenthal

Be warned that the glass isn’t completely clear, as with anywhere you can get up close and personal, it is smeared with fingerprints. However, this is a very popular place for people to get photos overlooking the Alzette Valley.

view of pastel buildings and the Grand Duchess Charlotte Bridge

The red bridge you see in the other direction is the Grand Duchess Charlotte Bridge, which I personally think ruins the view. It’s just a garish colour, when all the neutral buildings around it are so aesthetically pleasing to the eye.

The Grund

The lower part of the city; the Grund (the Old Quarter, a UNESCO World Heritage Site) has a distinctly different atmosphere from the modern city above. Along the banks of the Alzette River, the Grund is at the base of the former fortress surrounding the city. This charming area feels more like a quiet European village than part of the busy capital.

You can go on the 5.5km Wenzel Walk here, which is a self guided walk around the Grund district to take in all the historical sites. There are information boards along the route but they aren’t in English.

We didn’t spent too much time exploring here as the temperature was rapidly dropping and the tiredness from a 4am wake-up call was slowly starting to set in. However, you can café hop, check out some restaurants or simply just discover the charming streets here.

One of the oldest buildings in the Grund; Neumünster Abbey can also be found here. They host many concerts, exhibits, lectures and other cultural events throughout the year.

Ville Haute, the Upper Old Town Luxembourg

Ville Haute (Upper Old Town)

We took the elevator back to the Upper Old Town, Ville Haute, which is home to cafes, restaurants and all the usual shops you’d find in a city. From souvenir shops to Gucci, you can find it all and more here – and you’ll likely be spending a lot of your time in the city here.

We had lunch at Um Dierfgen; a brasserie serving traditional Luxembourgish cuisine. More importantly, this is the only place I could find online that serves a vegetarian version of Kniddelen (Luxembourgish dumplings) for 21.50Є. Other traditional dishes include horse meat steak and a boiled beef salad, so this was really my only hope of trying a vegetarian take on something local – and it was delicious! I also tried their vegan lentil soup and can hands down say this was the best lentil soup I have ever eaten. Highly recommend!

Searching for a much needed a caffeine fix after lunch, we ended up at Amore; the only place nearby we could find serving coffee with vegan milk choices. The coffee wasn’t great. Another disappointing attempt at fuelling myself with caffeine – though at least the hot coffee helped warm us all up.

stained glass windows inside Notre-Dame Cathedral, Luxembourg

Notre-Dame Cathedral

We went on a long, wild goose chase to find Notre Dame Cathedral, thanks to Google Maps sending us off in every direction but the correct one. I’m not sure how you can miss a large cathedral, but of course, we managed to get lost.

I have to say, there is something to be said about getting lost in a new city. You see more of the beauty of a country you wouldn’t otherwise have stumbled upon, especially with only 2 days in Luxembourg.

Eventually, we found the stunning Gothic cathedral; the only cathedral in the country. Originally built in the 17th century, it was well worth the time and effort spent searching for it and marvelling at its impressive architecture.

the view from Chemin de la Corniche

Chemin de la Corniche

One of the most popular things to do in Luxembourg City is to walk along the Chemin de la Corniche. Though this was already on our list of things to do, we stumbled upon this while searching for Notre-Dame Cathedral – and what a sight!

Hailed as ‘Europe’s most beautiful balcony‘, this stunning pedestrian promenade winds along the course of the 17th-century city ramparts. This very scenic corridor overlooks the Grund, the Alzette Valley and River.

Nishi perched on a wall at Chemin de la Corniche

This was my favourite view of the city and something you need to see when spending 2 days in Luxembourg City. The view is simply breathtaking from this elevated promenade. You can also capture the most photogenic spots in Luxembourg with this highly rated tour if that’s something you’re interested in.

Casemates Du Bock

The nearby Casemates Du Bock are made up of 17 kilometres of underground tunnels beneath the city’s ancient castle, built in 1644 built through the city ramparts and fortress. These underground passages were initially carved under Spanish rule and subsequently twice extended. They included not only artillery slots and soldiers’ barracks but also served as workshops, bakeries and even a bomb shelter during World War II.

Casemates is one of the most historical Luxembourg City attractions. Although the castle is now in ruins, visitors can tour a section of the honeycomb of tunnels.

The views from the Casemates over the valley are also said to be pretty spectacular. This was somewhere we wanted to visit, but unfortunately the Bock Casemates are closed during the winter season – and we were here in January. I would add this to your 2 days in Luxembourg itinerary if you visit at the right time of year though.

After a pit stop back at our hotel – mainly just to warm up as it was -4°C outside and to layer up with more clothing, we headed back to the Upper Old Town. We had dinner at a pretty unimpressive Thai restaurant before deciding to head back to the hotel.

We had a complimentary drinks voucher waiting for us at the hotel and it was around 10pm at this point. Having been awake for around 22 hours, walking almost 20k steps and running on about 3 hours sleep, you can imagine we were pretty exhausted and looking forward to a glass of wine.

If a guided tour is more your thing, you can book this guided city walking tour with wine tastings – I’m fairly certain the wine will be much better than the complimentary house red we had on our first and last night in Luxembourg. It was terrible.

How to spend 2 days in Luxembourg city

Day 2 in Luxembourg City (Sunday)

Grand plans to wake up early and head out to see more of the city quickly came to a halt as the temperature had dropped further and there was a lot more snow and ice starting to settle this morning.

Instead, we had a leisurely breakfast at the hotel and checked out at 11am, knowing we only had 3 hours to spare before leaving for the airport.

As far as things to do in Luxembourg on a Sunday go, there isn’t much. Unlike London, Luxembourg is a typical European city where most places shut down on a Sunday; shops and eateries – so it was a good time for us to to be leaving.

view of La Passerelle bridge Luxembourg

La Passerelle bridge

The historic Passerelle the Luxembourg Viaduct or otherwise known as The Old bridge offers picturesque, panoramic views of Luxembourg City.

Knowing that it’s well worth a visit when you’re in the city, even if just for the fantastic photo opportunities, we decided to do just that. However, it was far too unbearably cold to be outside for longer than necessary (even with 2 pairs of socks and 5 layers on), so we opted to check out the view of the bridge instead, as oppose to walking along it.

Nishi posing with a view of Luxembourg behind her

Built between 1859 and 1861 to cross the Pétrusse valley at a height of 45 metres, the bridge consists of 24 arches – you can’t miss it. We took the bus from our hotel to Plateau du Saint-Esprit, and found the viewpoint which was a short 5-10 minute walk away.

Beautifully foggy view, but I still maintain that nothing beats the views from Le Chemin de la Corniche and the Pfaffenthal Panoramic Elevator.

Kaale Kaffi

Luxembourg City has a thriving cafe culture like most European destinations and Kaale Kaffi evidently attracts a very artsy crowd. A place that combines coffee and cocktails in a cosy atmosphere filled with art and vintage furniture.

Kaale Kaffi was packed, and as lovely as would have been to sit inside, I wouldn’t have been able to have a coffee there anyway as they don’t have any vegan milk offerings. This was probably a blessing in disguise to be honest as we discovered coffee everywhere in Luxembourg hadn’t been to our liking. So I was very grateful to spot a Starbucks.

Now I always prefer an independent coffee shop over chain coffee shops – particularly abroad, but at least you know what you’re getting at Starbucks. I had spent almost 2 days in Luxembourg desperate for a good coffee, and this was my last attempt to have one. I can honestly say it did not disappoint – and it was cheaper in this city too!

The streets all around were deserted as we were walking around, with just the odd tourist I assume and it was really quite lovely actually. Sunday is the perfect day to take photos with no other people in them, though it wasn’t much different on Saturday either.

We took the tram half way to the airport -purely to experience it as we hadn’t been on one yet, and then crossed over to take the bus for the rest of the journey back.

Where To Stay In Luxembourg City

DoubleTree by Hilton Luxembourg

We struggled to find reasonably priced hotels in Luxembourg City, so we ended up booking the DoubleTree by Hilton Luxembourg and it was perfect for us.

Though this is certainly one of the shabbiest DoubleTree’s I have ever stayed at, we were only spending 1 night and 2 days in Luxembourg, so it didn’t matter too much. We scored a one night stay for under £100 including breakfast, and let me tell you, for a 4 star hotel in Luxembourg City, that certainly is no mean feat.

The hotel is around a 30 minutes bus ride from the airport, but it also has the route 4 bus stop into the city, a couple of minutes’ walk away from the hotel. As all public transport is free here, it was a great option to save a bit of money on our trip overall.

The hotel was okay, quiet, warm and clean with free WiFi, a gym and pool (that sadly wasn’t heated). There is a restaurant (with zero vegan options) and they also offer breakfast. I would have preferred to eat in a cafe in the city centre instead, however for around an additional £4 per person on top of the room rate, breakfast was included – and we obviously couldn’t say no to that.

Nishi posing with a view of Luxembourg behind her

What to see in Luxembourg in one day

As you can see, we saw most of Luxembourg in one day; Saturday. So this Luxembourg itinerary can very easily be made into a Luxembourg day trip if you can’t do two days in Luxembourg.

If I was going to spend just 1 day in Luxembourg, I would do it in this order:

  • Grab a coffee and breakfast
  • Walk the le Chemin de la Corniche Luxembourg, overlooking the Grund
  • Take the Pfaffenthal elevator down from the Upper Old Town
  • Explore the Grund district
  • Wenzel Wall Walk
  • Walk back through Pfaffenthal to the Panoramic Elevator back up
  • Walk around the city centre; Upper Town
  • Have lunch at Um Dierfgen
  • Visit Chocolate House Nathalie Bonn for a chocolate spoon
  • Check out the ducal palace
  • Visit Notre Dame cathedral
  • Walk the Passerelle bridge, or simply enjoy the view of it from a distance
  • Finally, Casemates Du Bock if you visit in the right season

There is also the Luxembourg city history museum if that’s more your vibe. I’m personally not into museums and prefer to look at modern art, which you can see at Grand Duke Jean Museum of Modern Art.

Bare in mind that most places are closed on a Sunday, but with 2 days in Luxembourg, you can obviously see and do all of this at a much more leisurely place.

Selfie of Nishi on a bus in Luxembourg

Is Luxembourg expensive?

This was the most popular question I was asked on my Instagram stories and the short answer is yes. However, I found that cost wise it isn’t actually much different to the rest of Western Europe and so cheap city breaks in Luxembourg are possible.

A main course costs around €20-30 (the lower end being predominently for vegan/vegetarian dishes and the upper amount for their famed horse steak dishes). I personally don’t think this is too dissimilar to what you would pay for similar at some of the nicer restaurants in central London.

While food might be expensive, public transport is completely FREE in Luxembourg and most of the things to do and see are free too. So it all averages out in the same way as any other European city break.

Watch the vlog of our Luxembourg City break below

How To Spend A Weekend In Luxembourg City

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