I don’t know a lot about Luxembourg, and maybe that’s why I decided to go there. It was the unknown, without having to go too far; and it was surprisingly convenient – just an hour and a half away with flights direct out of London City airport.
People don’t tend to know very much about Luxembourg. They know that it’s small, that it’s associated with bankers and the like, that it’s where the “Lux” from “Benelux” comes from, and maybe that it’s mentioned fleetingly in a Smiths song (“Writing frightening verse to a buck-toothed girl in Luxembourg”, in case you were wondering…)
But it’s actually a great place for a weekend break – small and well-connected. We stayed in an Airbnb out of town, but the bus routes are excellent and cheap (in fact it turned out travel was free on Sundays.) You can also get to a huge number of destinations by train very cheaply for day trips. We went to Trier, which turned out to be marvellous, perhaps for all the wrong reasons. It cashes in on the fact that it’s the birthplace of Karl Marx, and in addition to the usual museums and memorials boasts a Karl Marx department store (we hoped the irony was deliberate.) The museum at his birth place was actually very good, well laid out and informative, though our lasting memory of it will be the delightful Karl Marx dolls whose arms and legs move when you pull a string, rather than the displays.
Aside from the things you can do that aren’t actually in Luxembourg, in the country itself there is a surprising amount to see. The centre is beautiful, with a nice walk laid out for you where you can take in structures from the Roman era onwards. There are a couple of good museums and lots of very fine restaurants and, as you might expect, eye-wateringly expensive but equally fine bars. Our Airbnb host assured us the clubbing scene was good, too, apparently mistaking us for Young People.
So, if you’re looking for an unusual, convenient weekend break that will make your friends raise their eyebrows, consider Luxembourg.