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the grand duchy of luxembourg

Updated: Nov 15, 2018

The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, as Luxembourg is formally known, is one of the smallest countries in the world. This pint-sized nation is roughly the same size as Dorset in the UK/slightly smaller than Rhode Island in the US. It’s not only small in landmass, it’s also one of the least populous countries in Europe, with only about 580k people.

This landlocked country is surrounded by Germany, France and Brussels. Nearly half of Luxembourg’s workforce commutes in from one of these countries. They probably do this because Luxembourgers benefit from the most generous vacation allowances in the world (32 days of paid holiday per year plus national holidays) and work amongst the least (average of 32 hours/week). Still, somehow, Luxembourg manages to be the second richest country in the world.

Luxembourg's historic fortifications and old quarter makes it a very pleasant place to wander around and the locals are very friendly and helpful, but a weekend is enough time to get a taste for the place and see everything there is to see.

The star tourist attraction in Luxembourg is the Bock Casemates. They are a system of solid rock tunnels carved into a cliff-top with cannons and look-out points throughout. The city’s defense was provided by this network of 23kms of casemates. After the fortress was dismantled in 1867, the casemates were partially destroyed and reduced to 17km which now belong to UNESCO World Heritage list. Throughout the years, the casemates have housed everything from soldiers to kitchens and bakeries to slaughterhouses. And during WWI and WWII they sheltered 35,000 locals.

After visiting the tunnels, if you're feeling peckish/parched, walk just a short distance to the cozy Konrad Cafe & Bar, tucked away on the cobbled rue du Nord.

If you're still feeling hungry, you're in luck because the Grand Duchy is a city fit for foodies. It has the most Michelin stars per capita of any city in the world. Although I did not have time to partake in all of them, the places I did go, listed below, were well worth a visit:

  • Um Plateau - Go for dinner. It's got a great modern, chic ambiance, a very friendly wait staff and an interesting menu.

  • Kathy’s Deli & Cupcakes - If you fancy a western-style breakfast, head to Kathy's. If you're going on a weekend, you'll need a reservation. I had scrambled eggs/guacamole/bacon/tomatoes on a baguette. It was fresh and delicious! I didn't have the cupcakes, but they looked yummy!

  • Chiggeri - I didn't eat here, but this place has made the Guinness Book of World Records for having the largest wine list.


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