Is Luxembourg City Europe’s most underrated capital?
Let me begin this post by saying that Luxembourg City is not my favourite European city. I would go back to Rome, Barcelona, Paris or Siena any day. But perhaps that’s exactly the point – what comes to mind when one thinks of Luxembourg City? A small, bland, mercantile metropolis, flanked by France, Belgium and Germany, in the heart of the European Union?
Luxembourg was my 45th country, and we flew in on the nation’s flag carrier airline Luxair. The flight was all good service, a smooth travelling and pretty city lights as we landed over Luxembourg City – a lovely introduction to the country. The next morning we headed out to explore Luxembourg City on foot.
The historic part of Luxembourg City is built atop a plateau which is seemingly isolated from the ‘mainland’ by a canyon – a natural defence which the country has used to its military advantage over the centuries. Walking around in the early morning, Luxembourg City glistened with the hope of a new day – crystal clear skies, cathedral spires and cobblestone streets. We strolled past the Grand Ducal Palace and stopped by the National History and Art Museum which was hosting an exhibition on Luxembourg’s role in the Cold War.
My favourite part was undoubtedly the Corniche, a pretty pathway along the front of the city’s ramparts with spectacular views across the canyon. Old homes are built up along the higher end of the path, while down in the valley below Luxembourg City’s ‘suburbs’ seemed quaintly village-like.
The views across the viaducts to the surrounding business areas were simply stunning. And while not many people would visit a city just for a park alone, sitting in the park near the Cité Judiciaire in the mid-morning sun while admiring the views over to the Garer Quartier was a highlight.
I will admit to having very little idea of what Luxembourg City looked like before going there, but now that I’ve been, I want to tell the world about my visit to this green and pristine, provincial-style capital that is simply picture perfect. Luxembourg City: Europe’s most underrated capital?