Luxembourg's capital city is the cradle of the European Union. It is open and features fascinating contrasts and diversity.
The upper part of the city — the traditional, historical area — is perched on a rocky plateau surrounded by river valleys. The Kirchberg Plateau on the other side of the Alzette valley is the up-to-date contemporary headquarters of many European, cultural and financial institutions.
The City of Luxembourg is cosmopolitan at every level. With a population exceeding 119,000 inhabitants, more than 70% of whom are foreign residents of some 170 nationalities, the city is certainly one of the smallest European capitals but above all a true European microcosm steeped in history.
You will be able to feel this multiculturalism that characterises the city through a wide range of cultural activities. Whether you visit the latest exhibition at one of the city's many museums or you go to the theatre to discover the latest production, you will be rocked by several languages. In fact, the country's three languages, i.e. Luxembourgish, French and German, naturally rub shoulders with English, Portuguese or Italian, among others, in many performances.
Lovers of nature and active tourism will also be able to explore the city's greenery. UNESCO World Heritage sites can be enjoyed by bicycle. The architecture can be contemplated on hiking routes. Parks are ideal to unwind under the shade of tall trees or to spot Luxembourg's renowned roses. Discover this small but great capital and let yourself be carried away by its dynamic spirit!
Luxembourg, a city with a long history
Visiting Luxembourg City is like time-travelling. The Grand Duchy may be small - 2,586 km2 for almost 614,000 inhabitants -, but it has a particularly rich history and the capital is a real compendium of European history
Luxembourg was founded in 963 when the Ardennes Count Siegfried built a castle (Lucilinburhuc literally: small castle) on the Bock cliff, around which a fortified city would grow over the centuries. Modified and reinforced countless times during centuries of foreign domination, the fortress of Luxembourg was once one of the largest in Europe. Were you aware of the fact that, with a reputation of being impregnable, the fortress city became known abroad as the Gibraltar of the North?
Since 1994, the bastions and the old city centre have been included on UNESCO's World Heritage List. You can explore the history of this millennial city on several hiking trails, such as the Wenzel trail that will allow you to go through 1,000 years of history in 3 hours. Don't miss the Bock Casemates in the summer! This labyrinth is filled with history and will delight young and old alike!
You were planning to go for a walk but the weather forecast says 'no'? Why not delve into history in one of the capital's museums? The Musée Dräi Eechelen is set in a remarkable historical building, the restored redoubt of the Fort Thüngen fortress. Its journey began in the Middle Ages and ended in 1903. The Luxembourg City Museum provides a concise introduction to the city's history... that you can also experience in 3D!
Luxembourg - a European city
Luxembourg was one of the founding countries of the present-day European Union. In 1952, the capital became the temporary headquarters of the European Coal and Steel Community and the first capital of Europe. Birthplace of Robert Schuman, Luxembourg City is now, together with Brussels and Strasbourg, the third European capital and hosts most of the European institutions on its territory.
Would you like to know the places where European decisions are made? Immerse yourself in Kirchberg, the area that is home to most of Luxembourg's EU institutions. It's a young and modern area that is constantly evolving, featuring some fascinating architecture. The Kirchberg Fund organises guided tours on a regular basis, through which people can discover captivating urbanism.
Luxembourg - culture on the front page
You've just finished your architectural walk in Kirchberg? Have you already had an aperitif on one of the area's modern terraces? If so, there’s no need to leave the area when you can enjoy a music-filled evening in a wonderful building: the Luxembourg Philharmonie. In 1997, French architect Christian de Portzamparc won the architectural design competition with his remarkable ellipsis-shaped building project, featuring 823 thin white columns. A very wide range of music and unwavering artistic quality are the programme's guidelines. Young audiences play an important role in it: each year, around 150 concerts for children and young people take place there!
Kirchberg is also home to the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Mudam. The building is the work of the Sino-American architect I. M. Pei and houses the largest collection of contemporary art in Luxembourg. The museum offers a wide range of activities that serve as a vehicle to introduce art to children of a very young age, while knowledge can be developed with the Mudam Akademie. As part of Till Ten on Wednesday evenings, the Mudam organises night events: guided tours, concerts, conferences, etc. Entrance is free from 6 p.m. on those days!
Would you rather go to a modern dance performance, a play or an opera? Then the theatres of Luxembourg City are the place to be: the Grand Théâtre and the Théâtre des Capucins. If you are visiting Luxembourg in spring, do not miss the TalentLab: 10 days of creation, shows, encounters and exchanges around the topic of theatre research and creation.
When considering Luxembourg City's cultural offerings, you soon realise that the modest size of the capital is inversely proportionate to the vitality of its cultural landscape!
Luxembourg, a green city
A quarter of the 5,173 hectares that make up Luxembourg City is occupied by green spaces waiting to be discovered on foot or by bike. The large municipal park designed by French landscape architect Edouard André and the Petrusse Valley invite you to walks in a green and enchanting environment.
Are you a skateboard lover? If so, your place to be is the high quality skatepark, with its unrivalled functionality. Located in the Petrusse Valley, it blends in perfectly with its natural and historical setting.
If what you're actually looking for is a fun multi-generational space, the 'arty' Kirchberg maze is great for families. It's one of the city's secret places, found along the tram line that combines art with games for the young and old alike.
A stone's throw from the capital, the Bambësch and Gréngewald together make up the country's largest area of woodland and are the perfect place for sport and relaxation. An afternoon stroll in the Bambësch is a great way to recharge and make sure you are in great shape for tomorrow. It is easily accessible via public transport from Luxembourg City
History, art, culture and nature await you in the heart of Europe, in a city famed for its safety!