Luxembourg City, Luxembourg
By Alicia Bernardo
Arriving in Luxembourg City during the early dawn with the sun rising above the trees, the fog lifting from the ground and a castle standing tall in the distance is like entering into a fairy tale. Who knew that a city with the population of 90,000 could be filled with such beauty?
This fortified city is nested on a point overlooking the Petrusse and Alzette Valleys, making the landscape part of the lure. It is a city filled with never ending parks, beautiful public gardens, 19th century bridges, scenic lookouts and flowing rivers. Yet, for such a little city it has more to offer than a pretty view.
Luxembourg City is in a perfect location for outdoor activities like hiking. Several tourist offices are located throughout the city providing news on the many different walking tours scheduled daily. Some of the tours begin in the very heart of the city, taking visitors past the small boutiques and international chains that outline the two squares in the old section of Luxembourg City. The cobblestone roads and the painted cow statues add to the ambiance of the fairy tale feeling.
Walk beyond the modern-day stores and pubs to travel back in time. There you will find the casemates, the remnants of the fortress that was built in 1644. The casemates are an impressive labyrinth filled with dark chambers and connecting tunnels leading to the center of the Bock, the original fortress created in 963 AD. As the wind blows through the tunnels, one’s imagination comes alive with the vast history the casemates provide.
To the east of Luxembourg City is the famous Moselle Valley, one of Europe’s most pleasant wine-producing regions. Majestic swans sail along the river while more parks and restaurants are located on the riverbanks. Several wineries are located in this region. They often include wine tasting at the end of the tour, which tend to convert novice wine drinkers into connoisseurs.
Luxembourg City and its surrounding regions are one of the best-kept secrets of Europe. It isn’t traveled as much as its surrounding neighbors, but it does provide visitors with the nostalgia of their favorite childhood stories. Visitors will pay for the extravagance of their surroundings, but even backpackers passing through for the night have been known to stay for five once they discover the richness of the city. Take a trip to Luxembourg City and feel like royalty.