Luxembourg is one of those countries I’d never heard of as an American. I finally went to visit recently. It wasn’t what I was expecting. Here are some facts about Luxembourg I learned while I was there.
A Mix of Cultures
Luxembourg is located between Germany, France and Belgium. In Luxembourg City, also known simply as Luxembourg, the population swells in size daily by 30% from workers who live in the three neighboring countries. Living in Luxembourg is very expensive, but their pay rate is one of the best in Europe. Many citizens also speak five languages. In school, they learn Luxembourgish, German, French and English. As Luxembourg is also home to tens of thousands of expats from other countries, they often speak their native language as well, although some of the expats take the easy route and only learn French, which is the top language after Luxembourgish.
Luxembourg is Really Expensive
I believe in spending less so I can travel more. That’s not possible in Luxembourg where a meal at a restaurant averages around $20, and hotels start at about $100 a night. If you want to rent an apartment in town, you’ll be spending about $2500 a month, which isn’t too hard if you’re on a local wage. There are a small handful of tricks on how to stick to a budget in Luxembourg, such as staying in one of the few hostels (which are almost always fully booked), but be prepared to spend a lot when you visit.
The one thing you won’t have to worry about paying for is public transportation. In 2020, Luxembourg became the first country in the world where all public transportation is free. That means if you want to jump on the bus across town or take the train up to visit Vianden Castle, you won’t be paying a penny. Fuel is also incredibly cheap in Luxembourg. The largest gas station in Europe is located about three miles south of Luxembourg City, filling 25,000 vehicles a day.
It’s So Clean
Similar to Switzerland, Luxembourg is incredibly clean. You won’t find litter on the streets, graffiti on the walls, or anything else. Cleaners are constantly roving around the streets and making the place spotless. The buildings were in really good condition, and a ton of upgrades were going on while I was there.
The Fortress was Never Breached
The history of Luxembourg is fascinating. The Luxembourg Fortress was built in the 10th century and was never breached by force, although it was once taken over peacefully and another time succumbed to a siege. Because Luxembourg is a neutral country, they were ordered to dismantle the fortress about 150 years ago. However, some parts are still standing, including a portion of the tunnels beneath the city, which you can explore on a tour when you visit Luxembourg. As a country in the heart of Europe, there are plenty more interesting facts and historical anecdotes you can discover in person.