Our getaway to Luxembourg was full of adventure! We spent one night in Luxembourg City and two nights in a cute town called Echternach near the border with Germany. We rented a car in Luxembourg and bounced around the countryside, enjoying some of its quaint towns and popping into a few castles on the way. We also spent an afternoon exploring Trier, the oldest city in Germany!

Top things to do in Luxembourg City

Spend the day walking around the various areas of the city. The Old Quarter sits perched on the top of dramatic gorges created by the Alzette and Petrusse rivers below. Various bridges cross over the river gorges, like the famous Adolphe Bridge. The landscape is really quite stunning!

Tips: Start your tour by grabbing a self-guided walking map at the city tourist info center to see all of the highlights.


Casemates du Bock and Le Chemin de la Corniche

Le Chemin de la Corniche is an amazing walk along the city edge, with views of the Barrio Grund below and the Casemates du Bock (fortifications built back in the 17th and 18th centuries that consisted of passages and provided shelter).


Vallee de la Petrusse

Down the steep cliffs from the city lies a beautiful park along the river. Walk from Barrio Grund to access the valley then continue Le Pont Bleu) and take the walking path back up to the city center. There IS an elevator located near Grund, but that’s no fun…


Cathedrale Notre-Dame & St. Michael’s Church

A large and beautiful cathedral in the heart of the city, known for late gothic style architecture with some renaissance influence. St. Michael’s Church is a small church perched on the city edge that we enjoyed. It is located on the oldest religious site of the city.


Barrio Grund

The Grund is located at the valley below the city centre and is quite picturesque, located along the Alzette River. Good spot to walk around, grab lunch, or get drinks at night.

Tips: Access Grund from below the Casemates du Bock (Rue de Rham) and pick up the self-guided tour around the castle ruins (route marked with crown symbol).


Luxembourg American Cemetery and Memorial

Just outside the city center, this is really peaceful and moving cemetery, memorial, and monument with tributes to fallen American soldiers from WWII. General Patton is also buried here. It is not far from the city or airport, and definitely worth a visit.


Where to stay in Luxembourg City

Hotel Parc Beaux Arts: A small hotel located in the heart of the city with great rooms of unique style (ours was a loft!).

Booking.com

Food and places to eat in Luxembourg City

Vinoteca: a great little wine bar with generous small plates; had some of the best Beaujolais we’ve ever had here!
Chez Cathy Goedert: a cute patisserie and lunch spot with salads and sandwiches. Order a giant brioche man.


Top things to in Echternach and the Luxembourg countryside

From Luxembourg City, we rented a car and drove out to the countryside, staying in Echternach (a good home base).


Old Town

Echternach is the oldest city in Luxembourg and has a nice street of shops, bars and restaurants. There is a beautiful church called Basilica of Saint Willibrord. Some of the hotels in the area offer nice spas to visit.


Vianden Castle

A really neat fortified castle perched on the hillside in Vianden built between the 11th and 14th centuries. It is one of the largest fortified castles located west of the Rhine. Beautiful views from the castle on the city and surrounding valley. We were told on our self-guided tour that the beds were short because people used to sleep sitting up… interesting and questionable theory!

Tips: Look for the castle lookout on Route de Diekirch/CR322 for a great photo-op!


Bourscheid Castle

Located in the town of Bourscheid, this medieval castle has not been reconstructed (direct contrast to Vianden Castle) and sits on an archeological site that dates back to Roman times. It was also built on the hillside, with dramatic cliffs down to the River Sure valley below.

Tips: Make sure to bundle up because this entire castle tour is outside and check out the nice views of the pretty landscape in the valley below. We also saw amazing mixed foliage in this area.


Clervaux

Cute town north of Luxembourg City that is the site of the “Battle of the Bulge” and heavy WWII fighting. There is a small memorial to commemorate the fallen. We also found a US Army tank at the entrance to Clervaux Castle.

Tips: Make sure to bundle up because this entire castle tour is outside and check out the nice views of the pretty landscape in the valley below. We also saw amazing mixed foliage in this area.


Food in Echternach

Grimougi: Amazing food and cozy ambiance. Portions are nice and large, so unless you are super hungry, pass on the first course. We were served an amuse bouche as well.

Tips: There is a bridge from Echternach to Echternacherbruck, Germany you can walk over right near the restaurant.


Top things to do in Trier, Germany

We spent half a day in the oldest city in Germany, Trier, home to several UNESCO World Heritage sites. The city was crawling with Roman history!

Porta Nigra

Grand ancient stone gateway dating back to Roman period (180 AD). It was given this name back in the Middle Ages due to the darkened color of the stone it is made of.

Tips: Find the ticket office below and get the ticket that also includes the Roman ruins and amphitheater access. Walk up the different levels for views of the city and surrounding area.


Town Square

The main square in this medieval town, surrounded by various restaurants, shops and churches. Located at the center of town, it boasts a nice variety of architecture and hosts various markets and festivals year-round, including the main market called Marktbrunnen.


St. Peter’s Cathedral

A beautiful Roman Catholic church that is the oldest cathedral in Germany. Withstanding such a long life span, it is an interesting mix of Romanesque, Baroque and Gothic style architecture.


Roman Ruins and Amphitheatre

A 20-minute walk from the main square, the Ampitheatre is a must see in Trier. It has been left largely untouched, and you can walk underground to see the cages where the gladiators and animals were kept prior to the shows. On the way to the Ampitheatre, stop at the Imperial Baths to see Roman ruins dating to the 4th century AD.

Food in Trier

Brasserie: A great spot for German cuisine in a cosy and warm atmosphere. Enjoy a pint of Bitburger, potato pancakes, and a side of applesauce amongst the locals.