Why do we never hear anything about Luxembourg?

By chance, I visited the country of Luxembourg a few years ago. Its one of those places that you just don’t hear much about — not a lot of people ever seems to go there, which is surprising as Luxembourg is a fascinating country. Many people don’t know exactly where it is — in fact it’s almost in the center of Europe — tucked away between Germany, Belgium and France.

Admittedly, Luxembourg is really small — around 1000 square miles, which makes it just over half the size of America’s smallest state, Rhode Island. Although, it isn’t the smallest country in the world by far — there are at least a dozen smaller states and countries, including five in Europe. (The world’s smallest country is Vatican City).

Luxembourg — whose full name is the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg — includes some beautiful scenery in the north of the country. This part of the country contains the wooded Ardennes region, which also spreads into neighboring countries. The so-called Battle of the Bulge was fought in this area during World War II.

But it’s probably true that the most popular destination in this tiny country is the capital city, Luxembourg City. Despite being a small capital with a population of around 120,000, the city is home to the European Investment Bank and European Court of Justice. Impressive, for a city that has the feel of a provincial town.

Luxembourg City is split into two — the old town and the new town — by a spectacular chasm called the Petrusse Valley and spanned by the equally impressive Adolphe Bridge. The new town contains more modern buildings, banks, the larger hotels and the railway station.

On the other side of the chasm, the old town is a great area for strolling and shopping. This area is surrounded by the thick stone city walls and is a warren of winding cobbled streets, medieval houses and at its center, the tree-shaded square known as Place d’Armes.

Luxembourg boasts many cozy bars and cafes, some offering excellent views over the valley and the city also has more Michelin star restaurants per capita than any other country in the world. And recently opened in 2006 is a museum of modern art, designed by the distinguished architect, I.M Pei.

Luxembourg is easy to get to by train – just over two hours from Paris, even less from Brussels. There are flights from over 20 European cities, including London, but no direct flights from the United States. For more information on Luxembourg, visit http://www.visitluxembourg.com/index.htm

Guest entry by Mancunian

Filed Under: Travel ideas

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  1. Denise says:

    I agree with you, in the last 30 years I’ve been there 4 times and love it more every time I go. I’ve said it’s one of my favorite destinations and most people just stare at me blankly. For a small place there is so much to do and see, anyone going to that part of Europe should make a stop in this fairy tale country and while there try the Ardennes ham.

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