Last Updated on 22nd February 2018 by Sophie Nadeau
Landlocked Luxembourg lies in central Europe and is filled with fairytale castles, plenty of languages, and of course, lots of stunning Luxembourgish settlements worth a visit. From the town that began centred around an abbey to the village overlooked by medieval ruins, here are the very best villages and most beautiful towns in Luxembourg.
Ettelbrück has a population hovering around seven thousand, meaning that it is one of the larger towns the country has to offer. Indeed, the capital of Luxembourg, Luxembourg City, has a population of just over 110,000 residents and the entire country’s population is under 600,000.
Located in the very heart of Luxembourg, Ettelbrück is best known for its proximity to Berg Castle, the General Patton Museum (named for an American soldier who fought in Luxembourg during WWII), and a historic town centre. The town is located a half hour drive from Luxembourg City and takes just over an hour to reach on public transport. A trip here can easily be combined with a visit to the nearby pretty village of Diekirch.
Vianden is probably the most beautiful of all Luxembourgish towns. It’s the perfect day trip from the city of Luxembourg and is filled with fairytale façades, a sparkling river and an impressive restored castle dating all the way back to the 10th century, perhaps even before. Vianden Castle is one of the largest fortifications along the River Rhine and can be today visited for a small fee (or free with the purchase of a Visit Luxembourg Card).
Frenchman Victor Hugo (the one who wrote the Hunchback of Notre Dame and lived in Le Marais) was so impressed with Vianden during his visit, that he encouraged tourism here as early as the 19th-century. Now, there is a small museum dedicated to Hugo in the heart of town, overlooking the River Our.
Lying sleeping along the River, Esch-Sur-Sûre is the one place I wanted to visit during my three days in Luxembourg last year, but wasn’t able to get to! Complete with a castle and surrounded by mountain and hill walks, it’s one of the last ‘hidden gems’ of Europe that remains little-known to this day.
Head to the North-West of Luxembourg to discover a small town frozen in time and with a population of just three hundred. Walk in the Natural Park on the fringes of the town of hike all the way up the hill and to the top of the town to explore the ruins of Esch-Sur-Sûre Castle.
The oldest town in Luxembourg started out in life as a result of an abbey that the town has since been built up around. Located on the German border, and not far from the charming city of Trier, Echternach was first founded as early as the middle ages and now has a population of around four thousand.
As a result of its centuries worth of history, there’s oodles of history to be discovered in Echternach, including countless museums, decades-old eateries and even a Roman fort a little way out of town. Of all the reasons to visit Luxembourg, a visit to this fairytale town should top the list!
A pretty Luxembourgish town not far from Esch-Sur-Sûre, Diekirch is surrounded on all sides by the charming River Sûre. The Luxembourg town was the first Luxembourgish settlement to have a designated pedestrian zone and the area is filled with cobbled lanes, as well as all of the modern convenience shops you’d expect to find in a fairly substantial European town.
But, above all else, Diekirch is best known for its beer and even has a brewery with the town’s name, as well as a beer museum. The Luxembourg town is also home to one of the most extensive military museums in Luxembourg, as well as countless churches and an old town worth a wander around.
A quaint town with two castles that may very well be the best castles in Luxembourg, Beaufort is situated in the canton of Echternach and is just a short drive away from the German border. One of the castles at the bottom of town dates back to the middle ages and is a well-preserved ruin. Inside you’ll find a torture chamber, vista views and a glimpse into what life may have been like all those centuries ago.
The other castle, sitting to the left of the fortified remains dates back to the 17th-century and is built in the Renaissance Style. In the rest of the town, there are regular transport links by way of bus to other parts of Luxembourg, as well as dozens of quaint eateries and cobbled lanes.
If you’re searching for vineyards, local wine, and a slower pace of life, then head to Remich, a charming little town overlooking the banks of the River Moselle. The small town is filled with picture perfect postcard views, small lanes and is the most popular of the winemaking towns of Moselle.
Sample some of the local drink, enjoy traditional Luxembourgish cuisine in one of the town’s many restaurants, or simply stay a while and soak up the authentic atmosphere. In Remich itself, things to do include a visit to the many wineries in town and seeing where grapes that make wines such as Crémants, Riesling, Pinot, and Rivaner, among others, are grown.
Overlooked by a monastery and with a Castle in the centre of town that’s since been transformed into three museums, Clervaux is one of the most popular Luxembourg towns on this list. Highlights of the town, whose population is just under five thousand, include patisserie shops, the Abbey of St Maurice and St Maur, and a 20th-century Rheinisch-Romanesque style Parish church.
Clervaux was also the site of the Battle of Clervaux in December 1944, and part of the castle has since been transformed into an exhibition space which covers the history of the battle. The most famous of the town’s museums is the Family of Man exhibition, a photographic collection from the 1950s which covers universal human life, love and emotions from all over the world.
In the North West of Luxembourg, the town of Wiltz is located in a canton of the same name, that of Wiltz. Lying on the banks of the River Wiltz, highlights of the Luxembourgish settlement include Wiltz Castle. This castle-turned private home-turned private girl’s school- turned retirement home has been a key part of town life since it was built almost three centuries ago.
Though the town is largely peaceful and quiet, other attractions include a musical Festival of Wiltz each summer, camping sites, and a sanctuary dedicated to Our Lady of Fatima. Head to Wiltz and you can also expect to find plenty of green spaces and parks to relax in.
More village than a town, due to its resident number of two thousand, the ruins of a castle tower above this fairytale-like town, making it the perfect place to visit if you love photography. Wander the cobbled lanes and feel like you’re stepping back in time during a trip to this typical Luxembourgish town.
The castle of the town, Larochette Castle, can be visited for a small fee and its ruins provide an incredible bird’s eye view over the town below. Situated in the Canton of Mersch, Larochette is also the perfect starting point for day hikes into the countryside (just bring a picnic along with you!). The 15th-century privately owned (and sadly closed to the public) Château de Meysembourg is also just a few kilometres away.