Luxembourg – A Surprisingly Affordable City Break

We’re on a lifelong mission to visit every country in the World and because of this we’re always on the lookout for cheap deals to get us to our next destination.

Seeing as we’re currently based in the UK we’re using this handy location to visit as many European countries as possible, an area we have previously overlooked in favour of long-haul destinations.

You’ve probably heard that now might not be the best time to head to Europe due to the weakening of the pound but as long as you spend wisely you’ll still find that Europe’s a brilliant budget destination.

It’s insanely cheap to visit our neighbours on the continent (did you read about our £9.99 flights to Germany?) and Luxembourg was no exception with our entire trip costing just £294.59 in full (including flights and accommodation). That’s a tiny £147.30 per person.

If you have a passion for travel and a free weekend you should definitely consider visiting Luxembourg and seeing for yourself just why we think this tiny country is Europe’s best kept secret.

Travel to luxembourg

Luxembourg is so pretty

Luxembourg is under the travel radar

We didn’t realise until after we’d booked our trip that nobody visits Luxembourg. Every time we told somebody where we were next travelling to the first response was always “why?” and to be honest, other than the fact that we’d found cheap flights, we couldn’t really come up with many reasons.

After considerable time researching things to do in Luxembourg, we pretty much drew a blank. Other than being able to claim Jean-Claude Junker, the head of the European Commission, as one of its own, Luxembourg doesn’t seem to be famous for anything.

It’s even the least populated country in Europe… did everyone leave!?

We came to the conclusion that its Luxembourg’s somewhat unfair reputation for being expensive that has kept people away and this combined with it having no huge tourist attractions to draw in crowds has left it hiding in the shadows of its more popular neighbours, France, Germany and even Belgium.

This in our opinion is actually a really positive thing because it meant that the people that do travel to Luxembourg, like us, get to have it all to themselves!

Breakfast luxembourg

Breakfast at  trendy central restaurant ‘Downtown’ and was so good.

Travelling to Luxembourg is not expensive

All of our initial research pointed to Luxembourg being really expensive; it’s a business hub with one of the highest minimum wages in Europe, and we worried about whether we could visit Luxembourg on a budget.

Having already travelled to Germany and Singapore this year (where we blew our budget and splurged massively) and with visits to pricey Cornwall, Poland and Mexico already in the diary for the rest of the year we really needed to make Luxembourg fit our tight budget. It ended up being surprisingly easy to do so, starting with some super cheap flights.

Cheap flights to Luxembourg

It won’t surprise you to learn that we flew to Luxembourg with ultra-budget airline Ryanair.

After falling in love with budget carrier Air Asia whilst based in Asia in 2015, we were much more open to exploring similar types of airline when we arrived back in the UK.

Previously, though we regularly flew with Easyjet, we always flat-out refused to step a foot on Ryanair. We just figured that any airline that had considered charging their passengers to use the toilet whilst on board, and who regularly appear in the papers due to in-flight punch up’s between boozy passengers, was probably not for us.

Old stone bridge

One of the many beautiful bridges in Luxembourg City

However we’re now luxury backpackers and have to save money on all the boring travel expenses, like flights, to enable us to use our funds for activities and adventures instead, and that means we’ve become closely acquainted with Ryanair.

Confession time: WE LOVE RYANAIR.

Sure, they aren’t going to be giving us free snacks and itchy blankets, but they get us to our destinations both on time and on budget and we’ve still never had a bad experience with them. They are a big reason for our travel expenses being so low and for that reason alone we think they’re brilliant.

Flight time from London Stansted to Luxembourg: 55 minutes.

Price of return flights – £30.58 per person.

*Money Saving Tip: You don’t have to spend big on airport transfers*

Upon arrival in Luxembourg we ignored the pricey taxi rank and instead caught a bus right outside the airport.

The number 29 bus (which runs every 15 minutes) dropped us about 30 seconds from our hotel and cost EUR 2 each saving us loads of money early on in our trip. Check out the airport website for a route map as you may find that the number 16 bus is better for you (number 29 heads towards the central station whereas number 16 goes directly into the city centre). Oddly they are in opposite directions.

Finding affordable accommodation in Luxembourg

If you’ve read our articles before you’ll know that we aren’t keen on the idea of budget accommodation generally but are against hostels specifically. This is purely due to the fact that we are now in our early 30’s and don’t particularly want to share a dorm with a load of college kids. It is possible to have a private room in a hostel but these tend to be the same price as a hotel room which is where we’d rather be (though we always rent an apartment if we’re staying in town for longer than a few days).

IBIS Hotel - Luxembourg

The IBIS has it all

Accommodation in Luxembourg is expensive.

We visited in early May which is the start of the tourist season (lol, what tourists?) and the cheapest place we could find to stay was a youth hostel in the centre of town and even that was £42 per night (£21 per person). To be fair it does look pretty decent and is extremely well located and so if hostels are your thing, you should check it out.

However we managed to stay in the 4* Novotel Luxembourg Centre for £56 per night instead which was spectacular… and a fluke. The daily rate for this hotel is around £200 per room and so we shouldn’t have been able to afford it, however the hotel we initially booked had to shut unexpectedly just a few days before our trip and so we were instead booked into the Novotel at no extra cost (perhaps the travel God’s took pity on us after our Singapore splurge??).

Because of this (though we loved the Novotel) we wouldn’t recommend it as a budget hotel in Luxembourg and instead would suggest the Ibis Styles Luxembourg Centre Gare. At £66 per night the price is right, it’s close to everything and comes with both free wifi and breakfast. Filling on up hotel breakfast food is always a good budget tip and so this added perk makes for a great deal.

Why we loved Luxembourg

It’s not a tourist hot spot

So our research wasn’t wrong. There really isn’t much to do in Luxembourg, but there’s a lot to see and that’s kind of why we loved it so much.

It’s also why Luxembourg is a budget traveller’s dream.

It’s basically one huge walking tour of history, culture and UNESCO world heritage sites where a 5 minute walk into town ends up being an 8 hour day staring in wonder and snapping 500 photographs because everywhere you look you see another amazing scene that looks like it came right out of a fairy-tale.

Romantic photo opportunity

Bridge selfies were a thing. Photo courtesy of our Tripod – there was nobody around to take a picture!

Known as the fortified city, Luxembourg is steeped in history with underground tunnels Bock Casemates, symbol of independence Adolphe Bridge and the country’s only cathedral, Notre-Dame being must see stops during your trip.

We spent 2.5 days in country and in that time we walked a total of 25 miles and took 482 photographs. We’d planned to spend the second day outside of the city visiting Vianden Castle but instead a small detour to check out a cute looking street literally lead us on a second full day walking tour of the city we thought we’d already seen.

It turns out that Luxembourg City looks completely different from every vantage point and so wherever we went we had a whole new view to take in. Though we were gutted to miss Vianden, we also felt like we’d be missing out if we skipped town early and so opted to keep our visit purely to charming Luxembourg City itself.

You’ll spend your time ambling down quaint streets, getting lost on the hunt for photogenic rivers, bumping into flash mob’s (yep, we saw a flash mob!) and buying yummy snacks from local market stalls. There’s also a free outdoor gym, skate park and generous sized kid’s playground in nearby park Vallee de la Petrusse which is well worth a visit.

The town square always seemed to be doing something too – on day one there was a grand European fair (which felt a bit odd seeing as we’re knee deep in Brexit at home) and on day 2 there was a whole day of live music which was both spectacular and FREE.

With no tourist traps to fall into you literally have nothing to spend your Euros on making your trip super cheap.

There are zero tourists

How many times have you visited a really cool country only to have your experience dampened by it being overcrowded with rude and annoying tourists? It happens all the time for us and we’ve come to expect it from capital cities and try to manage our expectations in advance.

Government building in the old town

Luxembourg is charming

Luxembourg felt empty. There are obviously tourists visiting and you do bump into the occasional guided tour, but whilst walking around you rarely see another person and you end up feeling like you have the entire city to yourself. We were so spoilt by being able to spend ages taking pictures without being in anybody’s way and without people getting in our way and it was so unexpected.

We were definitely glad to visit whilst Luxembourg is still so unknown as there’s no doubt that it will change when the tourists pour in. Get there soon!

Luxembourg is so safe

Another thing you have to prepare for when visiting a tourist city is crime. We had to protect our bags when we explored Kuala Lumpa, we knew to watch out for child scams in Cambodia and we kept our belongings safely locked away whilst living in Thailand.

But in Luxembourg we felt incredibly safe. It reminded us of Singapore in that it’s all very sterile and clean and the locals just seem to be respectable folk. We even stumbled upon a little kitty shelter that has been set up to provide a warm and safe home for stray cats… unbelievable!

Outdoor stray cat homes

Free accommodation for cats!

It’s easy to eat cheaply

Food is usually a big expense for us. We like to try all the local foods and beer which can eat into a tight budget.

That was not the case in Luxembourg and this is actually due to the food choices being quite poor.

With no famous Luxembourgian cuisine to speak of all you’ll find are expensive chain restaurants that you can visit any time in your own country. There are no (or not that we found) unique and rare restaurants that you feel you should visit to get a real taste of the city and that actually saved us a load of money.

We had huge breakfast in the morning which kept us going for most of the day, and then on the first day we ended up buying some snacks in a local supermarket for dinner as we still weren’t hungry.

On the second day we splurged on a visit to a chocolate café as it was so highly recommended (though we wouldn’t – it was overpriced and tasted pretty rubbish too) and then due to being so full up on sub-par cake and excessively sweet hot chocolate, we weren’t fussed about dinner and so ended up having an impromptu food crawl at a pop-up market which was also pretty affordable.

Food stalls in Luxembourg

This stroopwaffle from our food crawl was so good

Drink beer luxembourg

…And so was the beer!

Our biggest food expense was definitely beer. It would have been rude not to try the local tipple after all… and this is definitely not cheap (it’s about 6 Euros per beer).

Thing you need to know:

  • There’s not much nightlife in Luxembourg which kind of works as after a long day of walking, you’re probably going to be too exhausted to stay out all night. However if you are looking for a good time check out Rue Emile Mousel. There are loads of themed bars and restaurants and it’s definitely the most happening place we found.
    Nightlife in Luxembourg

    This is Rue Emilie Mousel during the daytime

    The local language is Luxembourgish. Really. Though it just sounded like French to our uneducated brains.

  • If you have an extra day to spare try to get to Vianden Castle. It’s a bit of a journey if you use public transport (a good 1.5 hour drive with multiple connections) but it looks like its well worth a visit.
  • You can buy a Luxembourg Card which will cover your train /bus journeys and also get you into over 60 different museums/tourists attractions, including Vianden Castle. It’s worth considering but would have been a waste of money for us as we walked everywhere and the things we wanted to see were free so make sure you give it some thought before you buy.
  • The city throws a huge party every year on 23rd June to celebrate the country’s national day. This would be a really cool (though probably expensive) time to visit.
  • Luxembourg is a landlocked country and so you could nip in when you’re next visiting one of its contiguous countries. We were in nearby Cologne just a few months ago and kicked ourselves for not combining the two trips.
  • You only need a couple of days in Luxembourg (3 if you want to head out of the city) and so save yourself some money and travel with carry-on luggage only (Ryanair charge for hold luggage). We took our trusty Osprey Backpacks – they’ve been all over the World with us and still look brand new.

Overall we were glad to be able to tick another country off of our list and pleased that it was so cheap to visit. We’d definitely recommend a city break to Luxembourg and hope you enjoy it as much as we did. With travel being as affordable as this, there’s no reason not to see the world!

Have you been to Luxembourg? What was your experience like? Let us know in the comments below.

Money making tip – last year alone we made £534 by using cashback site Top Cashback. It simply works by giving you cash back when you shop online. Not every website will give cashback so you have to be savvy but on this trip we received money back from Ryanair, Booking.com and our travel Insurance provider, Coverwise. We earned about £35 back in total – pretty much the cost of our return flight! Sign up today and start earning money when you shop online. More money = more travel!!

Luxembourg on a budget pin

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