Focus on a regenerative travel experience: slow travelling in Luxembourg City
At times, escaping the hustle and bustle of the city feels incredibly refreshing, even if you don't venture far. Whether you're a traveller or a resident of Luxembourg City, embracing the concept of slow travel can be truly rewarding.
Taking the time to immerse yourself in the local culture, forging connections with the city, and savouring its essence like a local allows you to experience it on a deeper, more meaningful level. To help you make the most of your slow travel experience in Luxembourg City, here's a curated list of twelve delightful activities to consider on your next travel to Luxembourg city:
1. Have a yoga session in the open air
Nothing compares to a yoga session in the open air when it comes to embracing the essence of slow travel. The Sunday yoga sessions led by the delightful instructors, Sarah and John, at the picturesque Kinnekswiss (upper town) have become an unmissable meeting for yoga enthusiasts. To be a part of this experience, simply head to the Kinnekswiss lawn, where you can connect with the friendly locals who gather for a blissful and relaxing moment guided by these two adorable yoga teachers. This inclusive yoga gathering welcomes everyone, regardless of their skill level or background and payment is made through voluntary donations. The Kyosk (Kirchberg) also offers open air yoga sessions on Wednesdays and Sundays.
2. Visit the local market at the “Stater Maart”
Exploring the open-air market that takes place on Wednesdays and Saturdays at the William Square, also known as ‘Knuelder’ is not only about getting in touch with the delicious flavours produced in the region, but also about interacting with the more than 30 local vendors that come to present their products. You will find an interesting variety of offerings at the market, including fresh bread, cheeses, charcuterie, roast chicken, and, because Luxembourg city is so multicultural, try also the Turkish, Greek, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish food. There’s also a farmer’s section with organic fruits, vegetables, and colourful flowers. This market promises a truly slow travel experience for your senses.
3. Use the city’s (free) public transports
Consider using public transportation options, such as the city buses or the recent tram, as your preferred means of exploring the city – especially because in Luxembourg they are all free! We recommend you park your car in one of the park and ride facilities around town and take a bus or tram from there to the city centre. By opting for public transportation, you'll have the opportunity to observe the daily routines of the locals and truly immerse yourself in the essence of the city. This choice will also help you embrace a more leisurely pace, allowing for a richer and more authentic experience of your surroundings.
4. Explore some of the 24 neighbourhoods of the capital
Expand your visit beyond the city centre. The city has got 24 districts, each with its own charm. Why not selecting a handful of them and devote a day to exploring each one thoroughly. Stroll through their enchanting streets, delve into the local shops and cafés, and engage with the friendly residents.
5. Visit the museums and Art galleries of the city of Luxembourg
Take your time to immerse yourself in the cultural offerings of the capital by exploring its museums and art galleries. Each museum presents an opportunity to delve into the fascinating history and context of the art pieces and exhibitions. Whether you choose to visit the renowned MUDAM in Kirchberg, the fascinating National Museum of Natural History in Grund or the interesting Tram and Bus Museum (Hollerich), there is something to pique the interest of every visitor and to learn a thing or two.
6. Forest bathe in the Bambësch Forest (Rollingergrund)
The “Bambësch” forest attracts locals mainly for invigorating jogs and scenic hikes, boasting six well-marked trails. However, this natural haven, which serves as one of the green lungs of the City of Luxembourg, has more to offer. Adventurers can explore the forest on horseback, using the dedicated riding trail or enjoy a leisurely bike ride along the designated bicycle lane. Notably, the “Bambësch” proudly holds the FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) label, a certification that ensures responsible forest management.
Among the array of hikes, the “Bambësch” health trail stands out, spanning less than 3 km while promoting overall well-being. For a profound forest bathing experience, why not immerse yourself fully in nature? Embrace the trees with a heartfelt hug, walk barefoot to connect with the earth, and disconnect from all digital distractions. After completing the hike, visitors can even take advantage of the showers available at the “Centre Sportif Bambësch”.
7. Sip a glass of Luxembourgish wine at one of the charming local cafés
Take a moment to relax, order a glass of fruity Rivaner or Riesling, and immerse yourself in the ambiance by people-watching, reading a book, or striking up conversations with friendly locals. Slowing down and enjoying the city's atmosphere is one of our favourite ways to travel.
Luxembourg city offers a plethora of beautiful cafés and enchanting terraces. For us, like for many locals, the Bouneweger Stuff, in the Bonnevoie quarter, and Le Bovary in Weimerskirch hold a special place in our hearts and memories. The Bouneweger Stuff offers a warm and inviting atmosphere, while Le Bovary, known as the cosiest literary café in the city, guarantees engaging conversations, especially if you share a passion for books.
8. Have a picnic in the green parks of the city of Luxembourg
Discover a serene haven amidst the bustling cityscape, whether it be the family-friendly park Merl, the charming park de la Pétrusse, or the panoramic park Dräi Eechelen. As you unpack your delightful picnic basket, preferably filled with local delicacies, immerse yourself in the picturesque surroundings, observe the locals as they go about their day, and savour a leisurely meal in the lap of nature. Whether with friends, family, or in peaceful solitude, these parks offer the perfect setting for relaxation, making your picnic a truly unforgettable experience of serenity and joy.
9. Join the local events and festivals
Immerse yourself in the culture of Luxembourg City by joining local events or festivals, an exciting way to connect with the city's lively culture scene. One of the most cherished gatherings is the City Open Air Cinema, where locals and visitors alike come together under the starlit sky to enjoy classic films in the iconic William Square also known as ‘Knuedler’. Check the city's event calendar for an overview of the "Summer in the City" concerts, a series of electrifying outdoor musical performances showcasing diverse genres and talents, offering an unforgettable experience in the heart of the city.
For a taste of Luxembourg's traditional craftsmanship and conviviality, the Éimaischen festival is a popular celebration where locals celebrate Easter Monday near the St Michael’s church. The streets come alive with artisanal pottery and the main attractions are the small bird-shaped terracotta whistles that are not just very popular among children but collectors alike. Music, and other folkloric animations round the event up and are a delight for the locals and visitors alike. This event has a long-standing tradition as it is held since at least 1827.
Another event that gathers big crowds in the City of Luxembourg is the Octave. It is the country's main religious ceremony and takes place on the 3rd Sunday after Easter. Thousands of pilgrims come to visit the statue of the Virgin Mary in the Cathedral of Luxembourg and celebrations last for two weeks. There is even a market held during the festivities, commonly called "Mäertchen". The origin of this religious fest dates back to the 17th century.
10. Hop on one of the Vel’OH!, the city’s public bicycle
As you pedal through the charming streets of Luxembourg city, you'll immerse yourself in the city's heartbeat, absorbing the details that might be missed in faster modes of travel. With each turn of the wheel, you'll forge a connection with your surroundings, while appreciating the architectural marvels and stumbling upon hidden gems that the hurried traveller would certainly miss. The slow pace allows for spontaneous stops at cafés or parks. The first 30 minutes of the VelOH's subscription is free, encouraging you to take your time and relish the experience.
11. Feel at peace amidst the serene cemeteries in the city
For a truly tranquil experience, consider visiting one of the many picturesque cemeteries in the city. Offering a level of tranquillity these peaceful grounds provide an opportunity for reflection and contemplation. Among the most visited cemeteries in Luxembourg City is the American Military Cemetery in Hamm, where the brave soldiers who lost their lives during World War II rest in peace. One of the most prominent tombs in this cemetery belongs to General Patton, a heroic figure, who commanded the US Army Corps in several offensives during the war.
Another cemetery well worth a visit is the one in Limpertsberg, the Notre-Dame Cemetery where you can find remarkable tombs housing the remains of notable individuals, such as William Voigt, better known as “Hauptmann von Köpenick”, Jean-Antoine Zinnen, the Luxembourg composer of the national anthem or Paul Eyschen, a former prime minister, just to name a few. Visiting these cemeteries offers not only a chance to pay respects to those who have passed but also an opportunity to immerse yourself in the serene atmosphere and find solace in the beauty of life's impermanence.
12. Soak in the calm atmosphere of Luxembourg city’s churches
Discover the serene beauty and spiritual tranquillity of Luxembourg city's churches, where history and architecture intertwine to create a captivating atmosphere. If the Notre-Dame Cathedral – a magnificent example of Gothic architecture dating back to the 17th century – is too busy or too big for you, delve into the city's religious heritage at Saint Michael's Church, a neo-Romanesque gem boasting a striking clock tower and a rich history dating back to the 10th century. Saint John's Church, in the Grund, is a baroque masterpiece adorned with elegant frescoes. Don’t miss the small Quirinus Chapel, probably one of the least known religious building in the City, carved into the rock next to the Viaduct in the Pétrusse valley. But for total serenity head to Belair for the pretty Saint Pius X church and soak in the sacred calmness of this spiritual haven amidst the bustling city.
Remember, slow travel is all about embracing the moment, being present, and fully immersing yourself in the city's culture and atmosphere. Enjoy the journey and let the city of Luxembourg reveal its unique charm at its own pace. Visit Luxembourg City, recharge your batteries and return regenerated from your "Slow Travel" break!
Anabela and Jorge Valente, avid travellers themselves, are the passionate founders behind the independent travel magazine, diariesof. With a deep love for authentic experiences, they explore the world on their motorcycle, immersing into foreign cultures and embracing the spirit of adventure.
While they are spending time at home they also like to enjoy and rediscover their home country Luxembourg. In their City Adventure series, Anabela and Jorge share their recommendations and personal experiences with visitors of the capital.