I visited Luxembourg in the summer of 2022. As my plans changed suddenly, a planned trip of two nights got reduced to two hours.

I had ambitious travel plans for this summer. First, I would have traveled from Finland to Paris without flying. After that, I planned to make a mostly flightless visit to Iceland, returning through Faroe Islands, Norway and Sweden.

As I had not been to any new countries in years, I wanted to visit Luxembourg on the way. However, I didn’t want to just pass through the country, I actually wanted to spend some time there. Years ago, I had paid a very short and unremarkable visit to Liechtenstein (see Travel Memory #6). I didn’t want to repeat the experience.

The Luxembourg Railway Station
The Luxembourg Railway Station
Adolphe Bridge
Adolphe Bridge

Why My Plans Changed

My plans were great. I had arranged a stay with a wonderful Couchsurfing host, and I was ready to experience as much of Luxembourg of possible. But then life got on the way. Just as I was preparing to continue my journey from Paris, I learnt that I had been very heavily exposed to COVID.

I was symptomless and my COVID tests were negative, but I knew I might get ill soon. I didn’t want to get stuck in a hotel somewhere in Europe, so I canceled the rest of my trip and booked a flight home. To reduce my CO2 emissions, I decided to take a direct flight from Frankfurt instead of Paris.

It was late Sunday when I booked my flight. The flight would leave Frankfurt on Monday evening. As I still had a full day ahead, I decided to fit Luxembourg on my route to Frankfurt.

I was able to fit Luxembourg in my schedule, though it was not easy. In total, I only had two hours to spend in Luxembourg City before catching a bus to Germany.

I picked a vegan lunch at EXKi, a Belgian plant-based restaurant.
Strolling around the city center

A Morning in Luxembourg City

If you truly want to experience a new country or a city, you shouldn’t be in a hurry. But sometimes you have no choice. I only had two hours in Luxembourg City. Still, I managed to squeeze in many of the city’s most famous sites.

After a quick take-away lunch at the old town, I had a go on the Pfaffenthal Panoramic Elevator, a famous outdoor elevator that drops down 60 meters to a historical quarter at the bottom of a valley.

The Pfaffenthal Elevator
The Panoramic Elevator of Pfaffenthal
Pfaffenthal Elevator down
The view down

On the way back from the elevator, I walked past the Bock Castle ruins along a yet another scenic route. Luxembourg City is divided by deep gorges that offer magnificent views, and luckily I had time to stop on several viewpoints. 

Feeling the Vibe

To me, Luxembourg City felt like a city of contrasts. After a week in Paris, I felt that Luxembourg City’s identity wasn’t as cohesive in comparison.

Streets of Pfaffenthal
The Pfaffenthal area at the bottom of the elevator.
Bock Castle, Luxembourg City
Luxembourg City offers vistas of valleys and ledges.

You could take a scenic elevator down from an urban area to a very rustic quarter at the bottom of a gorge. The same view could fit in an ancient castle and a lavishly red modern bridge. The architecture mixed old with new, and fancy banks stood on the same streets as the homeless people.

Though my visit was brief, I was intrigued by the atmosphere that I witnessed.

After Luxembourg City, my journey continued on a bus to Germany. On the way, I could enjoy beautiful views of the countryside of Luxembourg. It’s a shame I couldn’t explore more of the country, but I’m glad I could at least catch a glimpse of it.

On the way to Germany