Tour Luxembourg City on foot
Place d’Armes is a great starting point to discover Luxembourg City on foot. To get some extra energy for what’s ahead, go up Rue du Curé to Veneziano for an artisanal ice cream or pop next door to Kaempff-Kohler, a deli with Luxembourgish specialties that include Rieslingspaschtéit – a mini baguette-looking pastry with gelée portholes revealing a meaty pork filling.
1 Place d'Armes, L-1136 Luxemburg
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Turn right on Passage de l’Hôtel de Ville to Place Guillaume II. Cross this market and event square, pass the guardian bronze lions and enter city hall. To the left in its grandiose entrance you can walk the striped glass tunnel shooting out from the building across to the Bierger-Center – a fine example of Luxembourg’s ability to combine old and contemporary architecture.
You have now walked 400 meters
Next, aim for the equestrian statue of William II and Rue de la Reine to see the majestic 16th century Flemish Renaissance Grand Ducal Palace. Then turn right on Rue de l’Eau. This street becomes Rue Notre Dame, named after the main cathedral whose cornerstone was laid in 1613. Inside, you’ll find Our Lady of Luxembourg, the most Instagrammable statue of the Virgin Mary ever. The sculpture, standing about 70cm tall has had more than 60 different outfits given to her by royals and prominent people.
You have now walked 700 meters
Stay on Rue Notre Dame until you can turn left on Rue Chimay to reach the Golden Lady shimmering in the sun on her 21m-high granite obelisk. Commemorating the victory of WWI, it was taken down in 1940 when the Germans occupied Luxembourg. Thought to be forever lost, it was found under the main stand of the national football stadium in 1981 and restored to its former glory. From here you can marvel at the lush ravine curving through the city with two main connecting points – “The New Bridge” Pont Adolphe, which when opened in 1903 was the world’s longest stone arch bridge, and on the left “The Old Bridge,” the Luxembourg Viaduct, which dates back to 1861.
You have now walked 1 kilometer
If you want a short walk, head south-east to Plateau de Saint Esprit, which will take you to the beginning of Chemin de la Corniche and offers unsurpassed views over the ravine, the original castle of Luxembourg, the inner city, Kirchberg and the Bock Casemates.
But to build up an appetite, let’s take the stairs down the ravine into Vallée de la Pétrusse. Under the viaduct, the hexagonal Skatepark Péitruss draws young and old BMXers and skaters to perform daredevil acrobatics.
Follow the Pétrusse River curving through the ravine until it joins the Alzette in Grund, where you can cross the little Rue Münster bridge to Liquid Café and try some of its 50 different craft beers.
Luxemburg-Grund, 15-17 rue Munster, L-2160 Luxemburg
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Backtrack across the bridge to the Elevator Plateau St Esprit Grund, which lifts you to some 100m from the beginning of the Chemin de la Corniche. At the end of the Corniche you arrive at the Bock Casemates, the 17km-long Unesco World Heritage-listed military defense tunnel system penetrating 40m into the rock. Enter the caves that once sheltered thousands of soldiers and their horses.
You have now walked 2.1 or 4.3 kilometers
After your subterranean refuge, take Rue Sigefroi to the angular sandstone and glass box that is the National Art and History Museum. Walk Rue Wiltheim on the east side of the museum and hang a right on Rue du Nord, which curves around to Place du Théâtre. Here you can park yourself in a beach chair if the weather allows, or go inside for a healthy, vegetarian pit stop at café Kumpir the Happy Potato.
Kumpir the Happy Potato
Place du Théâtre, L-2613 Luxemburg
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You have now walked 2.5 or 4.9 kilometers
Walk past the Cinématheque onto Rue Beaumont, turn right by the Théàtre des Capucins and walk almost straight for some 100m to cross Boulevard Royal into Pescatore Park. On your right-hand side, what looks like a giant rocket launcher is the Pfaffenthal Lift, which will give you a vertiginous panoramic descent into Pfaffenthal. Exit the elevator and head left some 30m for a rustic meal at Bei de Bouwen. Try the Kniddelen – walnut-sized quark-like gnocchi – best had with brown butter, bacon and apple sauce.
Bei de Bouwen
35 Rue Laurent Ménager, L-2143 Luxemburg
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You have now walked 3.8 or 6.0 kilometers.
Continue some 70m along Rue Laurent Ménager to the arched, medieval Vauban Towers, before crossing the picturesque little stone bridge De Béinchen. Another 250m and you’re on the funicular up to Kirchberg.
After the ascent, follow Avenue John F. Kennedy for 500m. You’re now in the Blade Runner part of Luxembourg, which like everything in this country is big enough to be truly impressive, yet small enough to be easy to handle. Architectural highlights are the drop-shaped Luxembourg Philharmonie concert hall and the glassy Mudam (modern art museum), the latter designed by Ieoh Ming Pei. Don’t miss the coffee in the Mudam Café.
3, Park Dräi Eechelen, L-1499 Luxemburg-Kirchberg
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You have now walked 4.5 or 6.7 kilometers
After a dose of contemporary culture, you can take the tram back to the funicular and the Pfaffenthal Lift back to the city center. For those hungry for more exercise, behind the Mudam you can descend through the intensely lush forest of Parc de Trois Glands, before ending up on Rue Vauban. Then simply follow the river to Rue du Pont, which takes you back to the Pfaffenthal Lift.
Head south back to the National Art and History Museum. Across the road you’ll find the Rue de la Loge entry to Ilôt Gastronomique, a somewhat hidden medieval building with several restaurants. There is also the neighboring Dipso – the Wine Republic just before the entrance. Whatever tickles your fancy, you have well deserved it – you have now walked 5.6 or 9.4 kilometers.
32, Rue de l'Eau, L-1449 Luxemburg
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Published: October 17, 2019