Europe Travel

Photogenic Luxembourg by Train

city viewAs it is my birthday mid-May, the Hobbit treated me to a weekend away in Luxembourg. We had been to Luxembourg once before, but we really like the atmosphere there. I had never done it by train yet, so I was curious to see the scenery as I heard it’s very beautiful 3 country train ride.

We had to change trains twice: one time in Maastricht, in the South of NL, and one time in Liege, Belgium. The first bit through NL to Maastricht is not very special to me as I have done this quite a few times in my life. The 2nd bit, from Maastricht to Liege isn’t very nice and it feels like you are going back 20 years in time. The trains are outdated, and the scenery up to Liege is rather awful, quite honestly. However, The 3rd bit, from Liege to Luxembourg, makes up for it all; the scenery is just breathtaking; the train journey offers a variety of stunning views over green fields, picturesque rivers, lush valleys and hills, and stops at tiny stations in tiny villages.


Luxembourg City itself is the capital of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg; it’s a very old city, and with just over 100.000 inhabitants fairly small for a capital city as well. One of the unique things is the dramatic height differences throughout the city: when looking at a map, never assume something is very close by, as you might be surprised by a steep climb or descent. The city is rather compact though and if you are not shy of a climb every now and then, it’s very walkable. There are some lovely parks and green areas, and the old city walls and buildings provide a dramatic backdrop; Luxembourg is very, very photogenic.



Tip: If you are at the lower level (Grund) and you want to go up to the higher level without getting tired, you could consider taking the free lift that departs from Rue Munster and will get you to ‘Haute Ville’ Place du Saint-Esprit. From the higher level you will get amazing views over the city. Here, you will also find the main areas for shopping and nightlife.

We didn’t want to do too much shopping as that’s not what we came for, but I couldn’t resist a cheeky stop at Karen Millen where the hobbit got me a lovely black dress for my birthday, on top of our weekend away. I got spoiled! When walking back to the hotel, we found a really nice shop with great atmosphere and interior design, so we had a look in there too. It was called Honey/Mustard and its on 11 r. du Marché-aux-Herbes.

jewel box


Luxembourg has a big expat community, a lot of whom return home over the weekend. Therefore, a lot of good quality restaurants are closed on Saturday and Sunday. In general, we were not overly impressed with food and drinks, or with the price level; at one point I paid 17,50 Euro for a cocktail. Ouch. We had two meals that were heavily overpriced  too and were poor quality.

One little gem we did find was a Wine bar called Dipso on Rue de la Loge. Not very big, but lovely atmosphere and wines in various price ranges by the glass. They also do a ‘planchette’ with food; a sharing platter basically, tapas style; this looked amazing, but we did not get to try one, as we went here after dinner. Definitely a place to go for a glass of wine if you are in Luxembourg though!

Copyright picture:

Copyright picture:

On Saturday, we went to a place called Vinoteca. As the name suggest, this too is a wine bar. We preferred Dipso, but Vinoteca has something Dipso has not: a nice roof terrace and outside area with great views over the city. In summer, this must be a great place; we were unlucky as it had just started to rain, so we couldn’t sit outside.

Our dinner on Saturday was going to be something special at Le Bouquet Garni, a Michelin star restaurant, one of the few that was open. It has a nice, intimate, rustic atmosphere and we had a great meal, the food was indeed amazing here, but again; heavily overpriced.

main course


Our hotel was the Sofitel Grand Ducal; conveniently located within walking distance of the main area’s overlooking the old city. The restaurant and bar on the 8th floor give a unique view of the city. The very bright lit up cocktail bar reflects in the windows though; so much so that the stunning views are not visible at all. This was a real shame and not a very smart move. The rooms are size-able, but the bath did not withstand the tall people test; if you are 6’2 or up, you will have cold shoulders or cold knees! 🙂

All in all we had a great weekend, and we will definitely go back to this lovely old city.


  • Reply
    Beth @
    18 May 2015 at 19:16

    I really loved this honest review. The photo of the bridge with the reflection is SO stunning. That’s so odd that most restaurants are closed on Saturdays and Sundays. I’ve honestly never heard of such a thing but I guess if people are just working there during the week and then go home for the weekend, that’s why?

    Ugh! I hate it when it feels like Michelin star restaurants tack on hefty prices just because they received the rating….not that we haven’t been sucked into this in NYC and San Francisco but still… That’s what I loved about Restaurant Sinne in Amsterdam. Michelin star but amazeballs prices compared to what we’ve paid in big cities for “starred” restaurants.

    Also, this is random but if you’re ever in Beaune, France, there is a restaurant called Le Carmin that serves exquisite food. Apparently, the chef was awarded a star at his previous restaurant. Le Carmin is still pretty new and the local who recommended it said he’ll be shocked if it doesn’t receive the rating at some point. BUT since it doesn’t yet have the rating, we enjoyed an amazing 3 hour 6 course meal with wine for a very reasonable price. We were also invited into the kitchen to have a look (we could kind of see in from where we were sitting as it was) and to meet the chefs. Since my husband LOVES to cook and wants to go to culinary school at some point, this was rather fun for us. Sorry to be rambling on about food. It sounds like you guys enjoy eating interesting food like we do, and I love being able to chat about it. 🙂

  • Reply
    Tall Wife
    18 May 2015 at 19:40

    We were surprised about those closed restaurants as well; we asked at the wine bar as there was one in particular we wanted to go to; they said that they are closed on Saturdays as they just have too much money. In every other city Saturday and Sunday are the big nights for restaurants!

    I have stayed one night in Beaune once in a road side motel during a holiday; All I know is it’s along the motorway somewhere between here and the South of France. 🙂 What you say about that restaurant sounds lovely though! I always love those unexpected places! We love watching programs about it as well; Masterchef ‘the professionals’ always make me so envious; I am not that good a cook myself; partly because I do not take the time for it, partly because my kitchen is the size of a stamp. But you are right, we do love our food and drinks as well, and I will keep Sinne (and the one in Beaune) in mind. I need to start a database somewhere… 🙂

    Back to Luxembourg; It is absolutely worth a visit, just do some research beforehand on the places to eat and bring a little bit of extra spending money for eating and drinking out. 🙂

    • Reply
      Beth @
      18 May 2015 at 20:08

      I will put Luxembourg on our list since I think it would be an easy drive for us (and another country to check off the list). I’ll definitely remember to take your advice re researching what restaurants will be open. I can’t wait to see the dress your husband bought for you in Luxembourg BTW.

      Re Beaune, it is a really charming town with an amazing Saturday market in the old town area and some great eats. We stayed there a couple of nights so that we could explore the Burgundy wine region and it did NOT disappoint. We will definitely go back. All of the surrounding villages in the region are rather delightful as well, and of course there’s oodles of great wine to be had. 🙂

      I look forward to future travel posts! Keep em coming.

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