Looking for important travel information while backpacking in Luxembourg? Here you will find information on working in Luxembourg, entry visas, Luxembourg hostels, and much more.
Table of Contents
- Facts About Luxembourg
- Entry Visa Requirements for Luxembourg
- Work Permits and Backpacker Jobs in Luxembourg
- Luxembourg Hostels and Budget Accommodation
Facts About Luxembourg
At 2,586 sq km, The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg is one of the smallest countries in Europe. But what it lacks in size, it makes up for in character. Think fairytale medieval castles, dense forests, rolling hills and a vibrant capital city.
Nestled between Belgium, Germany and France, Luxembourg’s history and culture have been shaped by its powerful neighbours. It became independent as the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg in 1839, but is referred to simply as “Luxembourg”. Uniquely accessible and keen to promote a modern, dynamic image, Luxembourg is a great place to stop off while backpacking around Europe. The official language in Luxembourg is Luxembourgish, but French and German are also widely spoken.
- Currency: Euro(€) 1 Euro = 100 cents
- Time Zone: GMT + 1 hour
- Language: Luxembourgish (national language), German, French
- Telephone Services: +352 to dial in (00352 from the UK)
- Emergency numbers: 112 for emergency services
Climate in Luxembourg
Luxembourg’s climate is characterised by mild temperatures and high precipitation.
The North of the country, including the forested Ardennes hills, tends to be quite wet. The south is drier and sunnier. In the extreme south-east, summers are warm enough for vines to be cultivated. Winters can be severe, with snow cover lasting several weeks.
Temperatures are around -2 to 5°C in winter and 20 to 24°C in summer. You can check weather conditions before you go by looking up Luxembourg on the BBC’s 5 day forecast.
Things to do in Luxembourg
A good way to get an idea of what to do is to scan the activities offered by Get Your Guide or Viator. They work directly with local tour operators, so you won’t have to scour the internet or roam around town trying to find the best deal.
Luxembourg’s capital city, also called Luxembourg, is situated in the south of the country. Its central geographical location and multilingualism give it a cosmopolitan flair. The city was named European Capital of Culture in 1995 and 2007 and describes itself as a ‘unique melting pot of culture and cultures’.
The city of Luxembourg boasts a rich history dating back to the Roman era. The watchtower in the Fish Market, the oldest part of the city, dates back to the 4th Century. The 10th-century “Lucilinburhuc” (little fortress) has been widely extended over the years. Vauban’s 17th-century additions to the defences led to Luxembourg becoming known as the “Gibraltar of the North”, but much of this fortress was dismantled between 1867 and 1883 under the Treaty of London.
The newly available space on the western side of the city was partly used to create beautiful city gardens. You can take a walk through the green areas of the city of Luxembourg starting at the Bock Outcrop and finishing at the Amalia Memorial (see link for a map and suggested route).
The fortress ramparts and other remains in the Old Town are now a designated UNESCO World Heritage site. The Luxembourg City History Museum, housed in restored residential buildings in the heart of the city, has a floating glass facade and a panoramic lift. Cafès, bars and restaurants provide plenty of opportunity for refreshment while exploring the narrow central streets.
Fans of modern art can make their way to the Musee d’Art Modern Grand-Duc Jean or to Casino Luxembourg – Forum d’art Conterporain. Their respective websites are works of art in themselves and provide access to information and details of temporary exhibitions. Music lovers can check what’s on at the striking Philharmonie, which hosts jazz and world music performances as well as classical concerts.
There’s no shortage of special events and festivals going on in Luxembourg’s capital. The “Schueberfouer” is one of Europe’s largest fairs, taking place between August and September every year. “Live at Vauban” is the autumn music festival, which is followed by “Winter Lights”, a series of musical and theatrical events and Christmas markets. There’s also a spring music festival “Printemps Musical” and the “New Orleans meets Luxembourg” jazz and blues event in summer.
The Ardennes is a volcanic region of forested hills and fast-flowing rivers stretching between Belgium and Luxembourg.
The strategic position of the region made it a battleground for European powers for centuries, leaving numerous castles and fortifications. Those at Vianden and Clervaux are particularly impressive. Pretty hillside medieval villages provide perfect bases to explore the surrounding countryside.
Walking, cycling, mountain biking and canoeing are popular pursuits in the Ardennes, with plenty of marked trails and guided routes.
The Mullerthal, in the north-east of Luxembourg, is known as ‘Little Switzerland’ due to its thick forests, craggy terrain and clear streams.
With 5,000 inhabitants, Echternach is the cultural and historic centre of the region. It holds a procession on Whit Tuesday and a festival of classical music in the summer. Berdorf, perched over the valleys of the Black Ernz, has footpaths leading to some fascinating rock formations. Beaufort, as the name suggests, has impressive ruins of a 12th-century castle and a beautiful 17th-century castle, which is still inhabited.
The Mullerthal region also provides opportunities for walking, climbing and mountain biking.
The Moselle region of Luxembourg is named after the wide river running through Germany, Luxembourg and France. Vineyards along the banks of the Moselle provide popular white wines.
The town of Grevenmacher is the commercial capital of wine-growing in Luxembourg. It is also home to the Jardins de Papillons (Butterfly Gardens).
Visitors to the region can enjoy boat trips and a river restaurant on the Moselle. Thermal waters at Mondorf les Bains feed the luxury (and pricey!) health spa Mondorf le Domaine (website in French), set in 50 hectares of tranquil gardens.
The Land of Red Rocks
The most southerly part of Luxembourg is characterised by the red earth which used to be mined for mineral-rich rock. The abandoned quarries now provide striking natural habitats. The open-air Fond-de-Gras museum (website in French and German only) tells the story of industrial activity in the region.
Entry visa requirements for Luxembourg
According to its Ministry of Foreign Affairs, all visitors to Luxembourg should be able to provide relevant documents at the border relating to the purpose of their visit and proof of sufficient means of subsistence for their stay.
British passport holders and other EU citizens do not require visas to enter Luxembourg for a period of up to three months. Passports should be valid for at least six months. US citizens can also enter without a visa for a period of up to three months.
How to Travel Around Luxembourg
If you’re flying to Luxembourg or plan to take short flights within the country, we recommend using a few different flight comparison search engines. Kiwi is a new favourite among travellers. On average, we have found the cheapest flights with them compared to the other websites out there. Of course, it is always worth checking Skyscanner to guarantee you’re getting the best deal. Both websites offer great flexible search options, allowing you to search the whole country of Luxembourg to find the cheapest airport to fly into, and also see prices for a full month if you’re flexible on travel dates.
Being situated between Belgium, Germany and France, Luxembourg is easily accessible by road or rail. Trains from Paris take around two hours and from Brussels around three.
Luxembourg Airport is 6km (4 miles) north-east of the capital and served by British Airways, KLM, Scandinavian Airlines and Luxair. Buses to the city centre leave every 20 minutes and a taxi will cost €20 – €35. For flights, we like using Skyscanner to find the best deal because of their flexible search.
Public transport in Luxembourg
As a small country, it is perfectly possible to navigate Luxembourg by public transport. The rail network, run by CFL (website in French), fans out in five directions from the city of Luxembourg across the rest of the country.
Single train tickets cost €1.50 and a network ticket for the whole day costs just €5. The country is a part of the Eurail network, which is a good choice if you plan to take multiple train journeys in a short period of time. There is a good bus service in and around the capital.
Driving in Luxembourg
If you want the flexibility to stop in smaller towns between the major cities, you can use AutoEurope to compare offers from the major car rental agencies in the region. Before deciding, read more about what to expect of driving in Europe.
Health and Safety in Luxembourg
You can go to any doctor or dentist in Luxembourg, pay for treatment and medication and collect receipts to get all or part of the cost reimbursed. Hospital treatment is normally free but you pay a non-refundable daily charge. You should show your European Health Insurance Card to the hospital authorities.
Foreign and Commonwealth Office travel advice also recommends obtaining comprehensive travel and medical insurance for any overseas trip. No specific vaccinations are required for travel to Luxembourg.
Foreigner work permits and backpacker jobs in Luxembourg
If you are looking to travel to and work in Luxembourg, the below information will help.
Nationals from the European Union are able to work in Luxembourg without any extra hassle. Non-European Union workers must obtain a work permit by asking their employer to submit an application to the Employment Office (ADEM) before they arrive. Work permits are issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, taking into account the current labour market.
Luxembourg is a prosperous country with one of the lowest unemployment rates in Europe (rarely exceeding 3%). The banking and steel industries are particularly strong.
Standard casual jobs in shops, bars, restaurants, campsites and hotels are available in Luxembourg. Being able to speak French, German or Luxembourgish is an advantage. There are also openings for teaching English as a foreign language, but you normally need an official TEFL qualification.
Jobs.lu has an English version, though most of the actual job posts are in French. The international job site Monster also advertises jobs in Luxembourg.
Luxembourg Hostels and Budget Accommodation
There is a good range of accommodation in Luxembourg, with basic rooms costing around €18 – €60 a night and more luxurious lodgings reaching over €250 per night.
There is also a good selection of hostels. We have had good experiences finding hostels on HostelWorld. They have the largest inventory of hostels worldwide, and with over 10 million reviews and ratings from other travellers, you know exactly what to expect.
Another good way to find accommodation in Luxembourg is by checking hotels.com and booking.com. With both sites, you’ll not only find hotels, but also homestays, hostels, and other unique accommodation. We have discovered some great finds and have appreciated the ability to book ahead. You can use their advanced filtering to narrow your results by budget, location score, overall review score, and amenities. Many of the places on booking.com also offer free cancellation, which takes the pressure off the planning phase of your trip.
Camping costs around €3-8 per person per night, plus a similar amount for the pitch.
Useful links for backpacking in Luxembourg
- UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office Country Profile for Luxembourg(including a link to official, up-to-the-minute government travel advice)
- British Embassy in Luxembourg
- Eurail – Rail Passes for travellers who plan on doing lots of train travel in a short period of time. Single-Country and Multi-Country passes available
- Omio – Train, bus, and flight search for all of Europe. Offers online booking and mobile tickets
- Auto Europe and Europcar – Europe’s leading rental car search engines to find a rental car in Luxembourg
- Kiwi and Skyscanner – Flight comparison search engines to find the cheapest flights to Luxembourg and within the country
- GetYourGuide and Viator – a collection of local tours and activities in Luxembourg. Also offers Skip the Line tickets for crowded attractions
- Tiqets – Website selling entrance tickets and skip the line tickets for major attractions in Luxembourg
- G Adventures – guided small group tours, great for solo travellers or for those interested in a more adventurous trip which would require a guide
- HostelWorld – #1 hostel search website to find accommodation while backpacking Luxembourg. Thousands of hostels and millions of reviews from fellow travellers
- Booking.com – commonly used booking site. Hostels, hotels, and other unique accommodation with advanced filtering and millions of reviews
- Travel Insurance – read our comprehensive overview of Travel Insurance and some recommended providers for backpacking Luxembourg
There you have it, the ultimate Luxembourg backpacking guide. We hope you have found all the information you need for backpacking around Luxembourg.
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