Your comprehensive travel guide to Luxembourg- All in one place!
Although a small country Luxembourg covers less than 1,650 square kilometers and has a population of just fewer than 600,000 it delivers considerable diversity. Luxembourg's many small towns are lovely and well worth exploring. It's also an easy country to travel around, whether on foot in the capital city, on a driving tour through the picturesque countryside, or town-hopping by train. Old fortresses and beautiful castles complement the scene, making it a popular tourist destination that is frequently visited in combination with surrounding countries such as Belgium and the Netherlands.
History and Government
Luxembourg, once part of Charlemagne's empire, became an independent state in 963, when Siegfried, count of Ardennes, became sovereign of Lucilinburhuc. In 1060, Conrad, a descendant of Siegfried, took the title count of Luxembourg. From the 15th to the 18th century, Spain, France, and Austria held the duchy in turn. The Congress of Vienna in 1815 made it a grand duchy and gave it to William I, king of the Netherlands. In 1839, the Treaty of London ceded the western part of Luxembourg to Belgium. The eastern part, continuing in personal union with the Netherlands and a member of the German Confederation, became autonomous in 1848 and a neutral territory by the decision of the London Conference of 1867, governed by its grand duke. Germany occupied the duchy in World Wars I and II. Allied troops liberated the enclave in 1944.
Luxembourg joined NATO in 1949, the Benelux Economic Union (with Belgium and the Netherlands) in 1948, and the European Economic Community in 1957. In 1961, Prince Jean, son and heir of Grand Duchess Charlotte, was made the head of state, acting for his mother. She abdicated in 1964, and Prince Jean became a grand duke. Crown Prince Henri was sworn in as grand duke in Oct. 2000, replacing his father, Jean, who had been head of state for 26 years.
Luxembourg is only the 179th largest country. Luxembourg has an estimated population of 615,729 in 2019, which means it ranks 169th in the world. It is very densely populated, however, with 207 people per square kilometer, ranking 67th.
Luxembourg's population increased rapidly through the 20th century due to immigration from Belgium, Italy, France, Germany and Portugal. At the 2001 census, the country had 59,000 Portuguese residents. As of 2014, it's estimated that 55% of the population is comprised of Luxembourgers and 45% of foreign nationality. Most foreigners in Luxembourg are from EU countries, and many are asylum seekers from Eastern Europe, particularly new republics that emerged from the former Yugoslavia. These immigrants have increased the young population in the country, and the birth rate.
Luxembourg is a landlocked country of thick, green forests that cover rolling hills and low mountains.
The northern region, (Oesling) is a ridged plateau, with the land that suffers from bad soil composition, and remains (for the most part) unproductive.
Slicing across the northern border with Belgium are the Andrennes (low mountains), while the southern region of Gotland is blessed with fertile soil and nourishing rivers.
Luxembourg's highest point, Burgplatz, stands at 1,843 ft.
Important rivers include the Alzette, Eisch, and Moselle.
Luxembourg’s illustrious culture can be attributed to its rich history. As a result of being a strategic point at the heart of Europe, this small country has been colonized and governed by different races. The Romans, Spaniards, French and among others, the Germans ruled its thousand miles of land. Due to these conflicts of the past, Luxembourg was heavily fortified.
Majority of Luxembourgers are Christians. Even though bonded by the same religion, the country’s ethnicity is very diverse. The same is true with their blend of beer. The convergence of flavors made Luxembourg produce some of the best-tasting beers in the world. This distinct taste makes its citizens consume an average of 2.8 gallons of beer a year which by far is the highest according to the Guinness World Records. This is a place where good food and the best drinks are served.
Apart from the unrivaled historic value and thirst-quenching beers, Luxembourg is almost unchallenged when it comes to wealth. It houses most of the banks in Europe. This country of low crime rate also made endeavors towards technological development and online business. Hence, eBay and Skype were born here.
Food and Drink
You will find a great variety of influences in Luxembourg’s traditional cuisine. Luxembourgish food combines rustic German heartiness, French finesse and a little Iberian flavour thrown in for good measure. When you think of food in Luxembourg, large portions, lots of meat, fish, potatoes, beans, and dashes of cream and wine should come to mind. It’s certainly not a cuisine for those on a diet, but it’s definitely tasty.
Luxembourg never sleeps. Be it theatre or music festivals, traditional processions and big sport events, this is a country on the move. The cultural program includes many village festivals, markets and special events. Schueberfouer, ING Marathon, Nuts Market or Festival of Wiltz, are just a few random words to describe a cultural agenda that always has something on.
Best Time to Visit
Spring and fall bring out the best in Luxembourg, and the peak of the tourist season comes between May and September, with a mild temperature range of 8 to 20° C. During winter, snow is common in the northern hilly region, so if that’s what you enjoy, December to February is best. Festivals play a big part in Luxembourg and the Pricetemp Festival is held in March through May and hosts a variety of musical events take place drawing in international artistes who perform here. Another good time to be here is during the Winter Festival when the streets of the city are lit up and there are small concerts and events that take place throughout the city.