Home ┬╗ Luxembourg – Podcast Episode 2

Luxembourg – Podcast Episode 2

 

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Book the Hotels I mention in this Podcast Le Royal Luxembourg and Novotel

Book cool tours of Luxembourg through Get Your Guide

 

Welcome to the Travel Wrighter Podcast, where I hope to inspire you to get out there and see the world one episode at a time. I’m your host, Megan Wright, and I’ll be sharing my travel stories, tips, and advice about exploring new countries moving abroad. Solo Travel, grown up Gap  years and so much more.

Let’s get started.

Hi guys. Welcome back to the Travel Wrighter Podcast. And in this episode we are gonna be discussing one of my favorite countries, and that’s because it’s very near and dear to my heart for sentimental reasons. I just went on a trip there. It is one of these smallest countries in Europe. Maybe you have guessed it.

It is Luxembourg and it is very near and dear to my heart because I studied abroad there. Oh my God. in 2007. Oh my gosh, 15 years ago. I cannot believe how much time has passed. So I actually went out there with work on a work trip. I was working from Monday to Wednesday, but I just went out a little bit earlier on Saturday so that I could explore the city and see my old host family.

And I wanted to see the city with fresh eyes because as you can imagine, seeing it as a 36 year old, it’s a lot different to seeing it as a broke 21 year old college student. So it was a lot different this time around, but fun. And I would highly recommend anybody that has been thinking, do I wanna go to Luxembourg?

Is it worth it? Yeah, it’s worth it. Like there are some really cool things and it’s just a great place If you want a very quick city break. Somewhere that you can really get that old European feel. You can see some castles, you can drink some nice wines, some nice cremant. You can have some . Oh, it’s so good.

It’s definitely one of my favorite European cities. Just for a quick. City break. So let’s talk about the first step to visiting Luxembourg, and that is how are you gonna get here? So for me, I live in London, so I think the obvious suggestion that I would have if you also live in the UK is that you can fly in and they have a very small airport.

It’s just called Luxembourg Airport, and you can get a direct flight. From London City Airport, it only takes one hour to fly there. It’s a super quick flight. I actually forgot how quick it was because I got out my laptop and I was gonna start like working on something and then the air steward just was like, okay, please put away all of your tray tables and put your seatbelt on for landing.

And I was like, oh wow, that was fast. So super quick flight from London and I’m not sure if they fly directly from other parts of the uk. I’d have to check on that, but just do a quick Google flight search. If you are in Europe, you can either drive or fly. The reason that I studied abroad here and that my university has set up the program to study abroad here is because Luxembourg is very centrally located in Europe, so it’s extremely easy to get there via train.

So I would suggest it’s if you’re in Europe, if you don’t have a car, getting there by train is super easy. If not, you can just drive. And like I said, the airport is super small, so getting through customs was a breeze. It took like two minutes max, and then I came out and you know, the buses and the taxis and whatever you wanna take are just right there.

So that’s getting to the airport. So what is the best way to actually get into Luxembourg City Center? So this is a big one. This is great, guys. The public transportation in Luxembourg is all free. Free trams, free trains, free buses. It is amazing. So the way I got from the airport into Luxembourg City Center where I was staying is that I took the bus and yeah, it was only, I’d say, I think it was 20 minutes.

The bus ride wasn’t packed at all. Super easy. And that was on a Saturday, like one of the busiest travel days, you would think, from the airport. But nope. Got on the bus, got there in 20 minutes to my hotel. Super easy. Now, if you’re really a public transport snob, and you definitely don’t wanna take a bus, you can take a taxi.

But I’m going to tell you that taking a 15 minute taxi journey. From Luxembourg Airport to Luxembourg City Center, it’s going to cost you about 50 euros. That’s right. Five zero euros. So I would highly recommend not doing that. And the reason the taxis are so expensive for this short amount of time is because if a taxi has to leave one city to go to another, they do a surcharge.

So Luxembourg city Center is in a different. Like jurisdiction to where the airport is. So you kind of get an extra charge on top of it. So yeah, you’re gonna be paying 50 euros for a 15 minute cab ride. So I’m not sure if you really wanna do that or not. I would just take the bus personally. So what are some other general tips?

So, I mean, Luxembourg itself is super tiny as a country, so as you can imagine, the city center is going to be very tiny. You can definitely explore this, the whole town, the whole historical center in about a day. Trust me. Another general tip is that if you’re coming on a weekend, mostly everything will be closed on Sundays, and then even the restaurants will still sometimes be closed on Monday night.

This is a very traditionally European country where everything is going to shut down on a Sunday, so that means no shops, no restaurants, no bars. You know, it’s kind of dead. There will be a few restaurants and places open, and I’ll tell you about that later in the episode when I get to the where to eat.

But if you wanna plan on doing some shopping or you wanna see any sites, definitely go on a Saturday if you’re coming for a long weekend. My other piece of advice for Luxembourg is it is very expensive. So this is not a place that you go to if you are on a backpacker budget or a college student. I did it as a college student because I was living there and I lived with a host family so I could cook my meals at home and I could save money that way.

If you want to eat out, it’s gonna be really expensive. Getting in to see certain tours and whatnot, that can be expensive. But like I said, public transport is free, so that is, its redeeming quality right there. So you are gonna save money if you need to take trains, trams, or buses. Okay, so the next topic, where did I stay?

Where to Stay in Luxembourg

I have a few different suggestions for. So when I first came in, I wanted to get my own hotel separate to my work hotel because I just wanted to check a few places out over my trip. So I stayed in the historical city center and I stayed in a hotel called Simoncini, and this was about 140, no, 170 euros with tax per night.

So like I. Luxembourg is not cheap. This place was by no means like fancy schmancy, but it was good enough that I felt comfortable and it was nice. I’d say it’s like mid-tier budget. So you also get breakfast included in that rate, and it is a pretty good breakfast. They have like a full continental, they have like meats, cheeses, yogurt, cereals, that kind of stuff, and croissants and whatnot.

And I arrived at the hotel a little bit before I could actually check in, and they were super nice and accommodating about keeping my luggage in the side room while I just went out and explored until my room was ready. However, the only downside hits like a plus and a minus. This hotel is literally right in the middle of the action in the old town part, so it’s very close to everything.

You can easily walk anywhere you want within two minutes. However, it is also very loud at night, like on a Saturday night. I was. Awoken a few times by some like people who are out and about. And then it’s also right on the main road, there’s like a main road that goes around the historical city center.

So you could hear some of the cars going by. So I would say if I was going again, I wouldn’t book this because I am a bit of a light sleeper and I just really need my sleeper. I’m like a complete grump. So I mean, it was okay. It was fine for a night. So then the second place that I stayed was when I moved into the hotel that I had booked for work because it was closer to the office.

And this place is called the Le Royal Luxembourg Hotel, and this is about 200 euros per night. And again, this is not a cheap place to stay. It’s Luxembourg. And yeah, I did kind of go for like the high end, but that’s because we’re we’re paying for it. And it was like two seconds away from the office. But let me tell you, the 30 euro difference between Simoncini and Le Royal Hotel was astronomically different in terms of service. The Le Royal Hotel, I can see why it’s called the Le Royal Hotel. The level of service that you are going to get is incredible. It’s very top tier. The rooms are extremely spacious. They are very comfy. They have all the gadgets that you could need, you.

The toilet seat is heated. This is the first time in my life that I’ve ever had a hotel room where the toilet seat was heated. When I sat down on it the first time, I literally almost jumped through the roof cuz it scared me so much. I wasn’t sure what was going on. I was like, oh my God, this is so fancy.

And they do a turndown service. They have room service. The only thing is that breakfast is not included in this rate, and they charge. I know how many times, I’m not gonna say that Luxembourg is not cheap, but again, they charge like something ridiculous, 24 euros for breakfast, which if you’re just gonna grab a coffee and a croissant, you really don’t need to spend that much on it.

So, Yes, I would recommend Le Royal if you’re willing to dish out 200 Euros per night, but I am sure there are plenty of other places that you could find that are a bit cheaper, but still okay for that amount of money. Another place that my colleague actually ended up staying because she booked her hotel a bit too late because the Le Royal, was too expensive.

She stayed in the Novotel, which is, it’s not in the old town city center. It’s in the newer town, which is like across the bridge, and it’s much more modern than the Le Royal. She said that the service was really good, and I think from memory, when I was looking around at some of the hotels, I think the Novotel was around 150 euros per night, so I think that is also a good option.

It’s gonna take you about 15 minutes to walk into the city center, but it is like a very nice walk. You get to walk across the bridge and yeah, it’s just like something that’s a little bit more cheaper and a little bit more modern if that’s what you would like to go for. So what are the things that you should see in Luxembourg?

What to see and do in Luxembourg

So I’m gonna list my top items. They’re obviously a lot more things to do if you’re staying for longer, but let’s just say that you’re going for like a long weekend. This is what I would recommend. The first thing that you absolutely must see when you’re in Luxembourg is the Grund, and I don’t even know how to explain this, like it is just a massive canyon, a massive like hole in the middle of the center and you can like walk down there. You can take a lift down there, but it’s just like, there’s loads of bars and restaurants and there’s some shops and there’s a park and it’s just a really cool extension of the old Town city center, which is up on the ground level.

But the Grund is, there’s like a path that you can go down there to explore it. And it’s just really cool and really pretty and I’ve never seen anything. and any other town that I’ve been to. So like I mentioned before, there are multiple ways to get down. And I’m just gonna warn you, it is so confusing.

Even though I studied abroad there, I lived there for three months. I never quite figured out like how to get down there easily, how to get up the same way like it’s probably cuz I was a drunk 21 year old college student. But no, it was confusing, just as confusing when I went back and I visited as a 36 year old.

If you look on the map, you start walking one. and you’re like, oh, okay, this might be how I get down there, and then there’s like twists and turns and whatnot. So let me just tell you the easiest way to get down here. There is a lift, okay? There is actually an elevator to get down. It is near the Palace of Justice.

It’s kind of hard to find when you’re up in the main city center, but if you are down in the Grund, it’s right next to this place called the Up Down. and that is a lift that’ll just get you up and down. So that is the easiest way to get in there. And there’s also like a really cool scenic point that I would recommend going that way to get down if you want to walk instead.

And I would actually recommend walking down if you can, because it’s a very pretty walk. But there’s this place up near the ground level if you can find it. It’s near a restaurant called Mesa Verde. And it’s called a panoramic viewpoint on Google Maps. So if you can find that restaurant, you should be able to find this panoramic viewpoint on the map.

And it’s just a nice, beautiful path to walk down to the Grund and you can get some incredible photos that way as well. So that is the groom. The second place that I would recommend that you definitely need to see is the Grand Palace, and this is where the Grand Duke stays when he’s in town. There will probably be some guards out there, just like, you know how you would see them in London, like the guards outside of the palace dressed in their nice outfit.

They have those as well, and they’ll be doing marches back and forth, and there might be changes of the guard. It’s just a pretty cool thing to see. Okay, so the third thing that I would recommend seeing would be the huge bridge that I mentioned earlier, goes over the groomed, it’s called Punt Adolph. I probably butchered the shit out of that, but it’s just a bridge that goes over the Grund and it’s a really nice viewpoint and if you like to go for a run, you could run over that as part of your run.

Or just take a stroll. Like if you’re staying in the Novotel Hotel, like I said, you can just take a stroll. That is what connects the old city center to the new city center. So another thing that you could do if you have a bit more time, or if you do have time, there are a few castles in and around Luxembourg.

So if you wanna book a trip, like a guided tour, you could do this through Get your guide. They actually have some tours on their website and I’ll link that. In my website so that you can just go there and find it. Actually, if you go to my Instagram, which is @travelwrighter, I have a link in bio type thing.

Just click on that and then you’ll see a menu. I will link the get your Guide tour to see some of these castles. So they will include transportation and a guide and all of that. So one of the most famous castles. Again, I’m just gonna butcher this name it’s Vianden castle. It’s beautiful.

I would highly recommend going to see that. Also, if you have some more time to actually get out of the city center, I would suggest going wine tasting. So I mentioned before, there is a thing in Luxembourg called cremant, and that is just, you know how when you’re making champagne, you can only call it champagne if it’s made in the champagne.

This is sparkling wine. It’s literally champagne, but it’s just called cremant because it’s made in Luxembourg. It is not made in the champaign region. So you can go wine tasting, cremant tasting. That’s a really cool thing. If beer is more your thing, I would suggest going to the Bofferding Brewery. I did this when I was in college.

They took us to go tour the Bofferding Brewery because it’s one of the local brands, and that was really, really cool. Another brand, I don’t know if you can go on a tour of the brewery in Luxembourg, but another one of my favorite beer brands there is Bain. That’s a good one. Try that.

Where to Eat in Luxembourg

So while I’m on the topic of food, I might as well just go into where I would recommend eating, and let me start by first saying if you are more of a grocery shopper type of person, when you go on holiday and you just kind of like to grab something small or make something at home or, you know what I actually love?

One of my favorite activities when I go to visit a new country is I love going into the grocery stores and seeing what the local food is like, and also seeing if there’s anything that I can bring home as a souvenir. Like, ooh, especially if you are in Europe, the wine in Europe is gonna be so much cheaper than most places.

So if you check your bag at the airport and you have some space in your luggage, I would highly recommend getting some wine while you’re in town. And maybe you could pick up some nice cheese or something nice there. So the main grocery store in Luxembourg is called Cactus. So if you’re looking for a very authentic grocery store, I would recommend going to one of those.

Okay, so let’s talk about the places that you can eat when you are in town. So one of my absolute favorite things to eat when I’m in Luxembourg, and this is because my host mom introduced it to me, is raclette. And if you don’t know what raclette is, It is, well, you can serve it two ways. You know those like Instagram stories or reels that you may have seen where someone has a half wheel of cheese and there’s like a heat lamp over it and it melts the cheese, and then the waiter just scrapes that cheese, that melted cheese off onto potatoes that is raclette.

That’s one way to do it. Another way to do it is to buy a raclette machine, so it would be like a grill on the top where you can grill meats and stuff or veggies, and then underneath of it. Like an oven, and you have these little pans where you can put the raclette cheese in there and then you put it underneath of the grill.

So like you grill the meat on top, but then there’s this little compartment for the trays with a grill that just melts the cheese and then you can just scrape off the cheese from your individual pan onto your potatoes or whatever you’ve chosen as a side. So whenever I’m in Luxembourg, I’m very lucky I get to have raclette with my host family.

But if you were looking for a restaurant where you can get this, I did a little bit of Googling and I found a place called Brasserie du Cercle and it looks like they do very good raclette, so I would highly recommend. Trying this when you are in Luxembourg.

The next place that I would recommend this is if you’re a meat eater. Um, we went here with work and it is called R├┤tisserie Ardennaise Restaurant and they do some incredible steak, lamb, chicken. I had beef burgeoning and I had a side of mashed potatoes. Ugh, it was so good you guys again, eating out is not gonna be cheap.

So, you know, it definitely wasn’t a cheap meal, but it was super, super good. So that is near. Old city center that’s actually right near my office and right near the Le Royal Hotel. So that is, if you want like some local luxembourgish like meat type of place. The other place that I would recommend, it’s actually an Italian place, and before you scoff and write off Italian, multiple people that lived in Luxembourg told me that I absolutely have to try Italian food when I’m in town because.

There’s a lot of Italians living in Luxembourg, and so the Italian restaurants are very authentic. So this probably wasn’t one of the most old school Italian authentic places, but one of my coworkers said that she really wanted an Italian style pizza. So someone that we work with recommended that we go to Partigiano and this is over in the newer part of town. Oh my gosh. This pizza was up there with some of the best Italian style sourdough pizza that I have ever had. I got the Diavalo pizza, so that’s like spicy salami cheese, and it was actually very spicy and the portion is pretty big. You know, it’s like your own personal sourdough pizza.

And then we also got the burrata to start and I had a little glass of wine. . So yeah, that was really good. I would highly recommend it if you’re up for Italian or you want a pizza. Another place that I 100% need to recommend because number one is to throw back to my college days. But number two, if you’re in Europe and you don’t have a kebab or a kebab, whatever you wanna call it, you are missing out because kebabs in Europe are so freaking good.

And they’re cheap as well. So if you’re looking for something on a budget, I would highly recommend you can just Google any kebab shop that you want. But the one that I went to was in the old city center. It’s called Istanbul Kebab. It might say Snack Istanbul 34 on Google Maps. But this place is great.

One Euro will cost you, I think it’s around six euros, and it’s freaking huge. Like I could not eat the whole thing. So it comes with donor kebab meat, which is like, if you’re not familiar with what that is, you know when you look in a kebab shop, there’s a huge thing of meat on a spit, and it’s just spinning in a circle.

That is donor kebab meat. So they shave that off. They put it in a pita, a Pitta, and then they put tzatziki sauce on top of that and all the salad, like the lettuce, the tomatoes, the onions. Oh, it’s so good. It really took me back to my college days. I was definitely more sober eating it this time than I was when I was 21.

Okay, so what are some other places that I recommended? There was a really good coffee shop in the city center called, Coffee shop. It’s spelled Knopes. It was just one of the better coffee shops that I could find around this other place. I’m gonna recommend, because when I have to go back for work, I’m 100% going here, but I actually haven’t been here, so I’m taking a chance recommending it to you.

but all the reviews looked really good. If you’re in the mood for Asian food, there was a place called Red Face, and all the photos in the menu looked really, really good. So I’m definitely gonna give that a go when I go back.

Luxembourg Nightlife

Okay, so last but not least, nightlife in Luxembourg. I mean, it’s no London, it’s no Berlin.

Like you’re not gonna get nightclubs and raves. All that sort of stuff here, but they do have some fun spots for you to go out. So like I mentioned before, you have the Grund, there are a few bars and restaurants down there. There’s actually this part of the Grund called Rives de Clauson again. Yeah, laugh at me.

I probably butchered that. But there are a lot of different bars there. It’s like a little. Area by the river, so that’s really cool. There’s a place that one of my coworkers recommended called The Pig, so I would go there if I were you. And outside of that, still in the groom there’s a place called Scott’s Pub.

So that’s just like a local pub. And then there’s a place called vin’s Fins. It’s probably pronounced Vin Fin. Again, my French is horrible. That’s like a little cute wine bar, so I would recommend that. And then if you’re up on the main level, there is a place that one of my coworkers recommended, which is called Urban.

And that was actually one of the places that was open on Sunday and Monday and it looks like they were serving food and it’s a bar and it looked to be actually, uh, very happening. There was like a lot of people there. So I think I would recommend that place as well. To be honest, it’s just gonna be pretty low key when you’re in Luxembourg.

I mean, it is what you make it, you could go crazy at one of these bars. But yeah, like I said, there’s no like huge discos or nightclubs. Lastly, I would recommend if you were going around the Christmas season, Luxembourg has a really cool Christmas market that you should check out. You know, it’s just a very stereotypical European Christmas market.

They’ll have mulled wine, they’ll have loads of food stands, some rides. It’s just a really fun time. Yeah. So those are all my recommendations. If you guys have any questions, just find me on Instagram and send me a message. I’m at @travelwrighter. I’m also gonna be posting a travel blog up on my website.

And as always, if you enjoy this episode, please like, follow, subscribe, whatever it is and whatever platform that you are using, and I would really appreciate it if you just keep tuning in and listening to. Thanks guys. Speak to you soon.

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