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Luxembourg

Luxembourg
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The "Grand Duchy of Luxembourg" (Luxembourgish: "Groussherzogtum Lëtzebuerg", French:"Grand-Duché de Luxembourg", German: "Großherzogtum Luxemburg"), is a landlocked country in the Benelux bordered by Belgium, France and Germany, lying at the crossroad of Germanic and Latin cultures. It is the only Grand Duchy in the world and is the second-smallest of the pean Union member states.

With a successful steel, finance and high technology industry, a strategic location at the heart of Western pe, more natural beauty than you might expect given its size, and as one of the top three richest countries in the world, Luxembourg enjoys a very high standard of living and has prices to match!

Understand

History

The city of Luxembourg proper was founded in 963, and its strategical position soon promised it a great fate. Luxembourg was at the crossroad of Western pe and became heavily fortified, and you can still see the extensive city walls and towers that are its most distinctive cityscape. Due to its key position, Luxembourg was raised up to a Duchy that included a much larger territory that stretched in present-day Belgium, Netherlands, Germany and France. The powerful Habsburg family kept its hand on it until the late Renaissance times.

After the Napoleonic wars, the Duchy of Luxembourg was granted to the Netherlands. It had a special status as a member of the German confederacy and the citadel was armed with a Prussian garrison: Luxembourg was still a strategic lock that everybody aimed at controlling. It was granted the title "Grand Duchy" in 1815 but lost some territories that are today parts of France and Germany.

During the course of the 19th century, developments in warfare and the appearance of artillery made Luxembourg obsolete as a stronghold, and it became little more than a rural territory of no strategic interest whatsoever. The Germans relinquished their rights over it and moved out their garrison, its western half was granted to Belgium in 1839, and the Netherlands granted it complete independence in 1867. Since then, Luxembourg arose from a poor country of fields and farms to a modern economy relying on financial services and high-tech industries.

Overrun by Germany in both world wars, Luxembourg was one of the major battlefields of the "Battle of the Bulge" in the winter of 1944-1945, a story well documented in the museum at Diekirch. The state ended its neutrality in 1948 when it entered into the Benelux Customs Union and it joined NATO the following year. In 1957, Luxembourg became one of the six founding countries of the pean Economic Community (later the pean Union) and, in 1999, it joined the euro currency area.

Climate

Modified continental with mild winters, although January and February can get very cold and temperatures can fall to as low as -15°C. The summer can be very hot in Luxembourg, with temperatures in July and August reaching around 30+°C.

Terrain

Mostly gently rolling uplands with broad, shallow valleys; uplands to slightly mountainous in the north; steep slope down to Moselle flood plain in the south.

Holidays
*"National holiday" : National Day falls on the 23rd June. (Birthday of Grand Duchess Charlotte moved by 6 months to coincide with the warmer weather)

Cities

Map of Luxembourg

*Luxembourg - Capital
*Esch-sur-Alzette
*Ettlebruck
*Clervaux
*Esch-sur-Sure
*Diekirch — home to a World War II museum commemorating the Battle of the Bulge
*Mertert
*Echternach
*Grevenmacher

Other destinations
*Vianden - Quaint small town presided over by a rather splendid château
*Remich - For promenades along the Moselle
*Mondorf-les-Bains - Spa town located on Luxembourg-France border

Get in=


Citizens of the above countries/territories - "except" for Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Barbados, Mauritius, Saint Kitts and Nevis and Seychelles - "are" permitted to work in Luxembourg without having to obtain any authorisation during the period of the 90 day visa-free stay. However, this visa exemption does not necessarily extend to other countries.

By plane

"Luxembourg-Findel International Airport" () () is located 6km outside Luxembourg-City. It is served by Luxair , the national airline, which flies to many EU countries (including Milan and London Gatwick and City), and Air France (Paris; actually a Luxair codeshare), KLM (Amsterdam), Swiss (Zurich), Lufthansa (Frankfurt; actually a Luxair codeshare) and British Airways (London Gatwick). Another airline to consider is CityJet, often a cheaper option than Luxair. A completely new terminal opened in May 2008, the airport site has information about all flights .

Alternative airports, especially for low-cast carriers, include Ryanair hub Hahn (aka "Frankfurt-Hahn"), about two hours away by direct Flibco bus , Zweibrücken Airport and Brussels-South Charleroi, served by bus company charleroiexpress.com .

By train

Luxembourg train station can be reached directly from Paris (2 hours), Metz (1 hour), Brussels (3 hours) and Trier (43 min). Both international and national timetables can be found on the website of the national railways company CFL .

By car

Motorways from Metz (A3), Brussels (A6) and Trier (A1) connect to the ring-road around Luxembourg City, from which most other parts of the country can be reached.

If you want to enjoy a nice view to the city, "Grund" and Kasematten, leave the motorway coming from the East (Germany) at exit "Cents".
Enter Cents and drive down the hill.
Don"t let yourself be stopped by signs that the route is blocked via "Grund".

By bus

Aside from the airport buses listed above, sometimes there are commuter buses to Trier and Bitburg. The train is a far preferable option for entering the country from nearby.

By boat

Luxembourg being a landlocked country, it"s extremely hard to get in by boat. But if you really want to there are boat links form the German side of the Moselle river to the Luxembourg side, but it is easier walking over the bridges.

Get around
CFL regional train

Luxembourg is a compact country and it"s possible to reach most any place in the country from the capital in under an hour. The central railway station has a handy "Mobiliteit" office that will help to plan your trip with bus and train.

By train

The "Chemins de Fer Luxembourgeois" ("CFL") train network is either comprehensive or spartan, depending whether you want to go south or north. While the south is reasonably well covered, the north is limited to one main line (Ligne 10) which runs from Luxembourg City via Mersch, Ettelbrück, Wilwerwiltz, Clervaux and Troisvierges. The line continues north into Belgium towards Liège. Diekirch has a branch line from Ettelbrück, and Wiltz has a branch line from Kautenbach. To the south you can reach Bettembourg and Esch-sur-Alzette. There is also a line to the east which crosses into Germany over the Moselle River at Wasserbillig.

The same tickets are valid on trains as buses, and the same rates apply: €1.50 for two hours (unlimited transfers) or €4 for one day. A €40 month ticket can be purchased at the CFL office under Hamilius, at some newsagencies or at the station. Trains in Luxembourg generally run very much on time and are modern and comfortable. As the fares are so cheap this is a good mode of transport to use when possible.

From an aesthetic view, perhaps the best way to approach Luxembourg City is by train from the north via Ligne 10 as this is a beautifully scenic route past some of the most well-known Luxembourgish sights.

By bus

Within the city, the comprehensive bus service is more than adequate for the average tourist. Buses numbered 1-25 serve the Ville de Luxembourg, with the most useful being the 16 (Town to the Airport via Kirchberg) and the 18 (Town to Kirchberg and Auchan). Almost all buses include the central bus station Hamilius (centre of town) and the Station (Luxembourg Gare) in their routes at some point. Any bus pointing stationwards from Hamilius will probably take you there (the 3 being a notable exception). Bus tickets (which are also valid on trains) are available from the driver. A standard ticket costs €1.50 and will be valid on any bus up to 2 hours after its purchase.

The bus service out of town is also extensive. Every village has a convenient bus service which runs at least once every hour. Buses numbered 100 upwards will take you out of the city. Useful routes to the north of the country include the 100 (Diekirch via Junglinster, every hour), the 120 (Junglinster, every 30 minutes) and the 290 (Mersch, frequent). However, Mersch and the south are more easily reached by train (see below).

Town buses experienced a reduced service on Saturdays (including those used mainly by shoppers), and many routes are barely existent (if at all) on a Sunday. This doesn"t matter, though, since most shops and attractions are closed on a Sunday.

Almost all national buses run the same on Saturdays (which count as working days in this instance) as during the week, but the Sunday service is usually reduced or non-existent.

By car

Luxembourg"s road infrastructure is well-developed if not always very well thought-out. Anywhere that happens to lie along the major motorways is easily accessible via these (including Grevenmacher in the east, Mamer to the west and Bettembourg to the south). Esch-Alzette, the country"s second city (more like a small town by international standards) has its own motorway link, the A4. In addition, a new motorway is being built towards the north of the country (Mersch, Ettelbrück), but this won"t be completed until 2010 at the earliest. However, the current North Road provides easy access to these areas for the moment.

Current national speed limits are 50km/h in towns and villages, 90km/h on open country roads (110 in some places on N7 and N11), and 130km/h on the motorway (110 in the rain). 70km/h also exists in some places. Speed limits are enforced by random police checks. Be aware that if you have a right-hand-drive car then you are very likely to be singled out for a customs check on the way in. Police are also very keen on stopping drivers for having the "wrong" lights on in town, i.e. side lights instead of dipped headlights.

Driving in Luxembourg is nowhere as testing as in other pean countries. The locals are polite, even when entering roundabouts. When entering the highways from side roads into the slower traffic lane, the other drivers will allow you join the traffic line, but traffic indicators are essential. As with other highways in pe always keep in the slow traffic lane, keeping the fast lane for overtaking. Some drivers travel at high speeds and will flash their headlights to indicate that they are in a hurry, even if you are sitting on the speed limit. Most of the time trucks keep in the slow lane at their regulated speed for large vehicles. They can be a little annoying when overtaking other trucks. The truck drivers seem to keep a watch out for other vehicles. Cars towing caravans can be a bit of a menace at times but staying alert will ensure there are no problems. The closing speeds of vehicles needs to be watched if overtaking, as some drivers travel well in excess of the speed limits.
Normal day to day driving in Luxembourg is a delight but traffic does slow down in peak times.

Finding parking in Luxembourg city centre on weekends can be difficult. Most spaces are quickly taken and some parking garages close early. The best option is to find somewhere near the station and then walk around the city centre. Traffic wardens are also numerous and vigilant.

By bike

The streets and landscape in Luxembourg make for good biking territory; highly recommended. Be wary, though, of small-ish bicycle repair shops in rural corners of the country -- they may quite well charge you quite some money for fixing your bike when they actually break it, more or less subtly. For bicycle repairs, neighboring Trier (with a considerable University student population) is usually a safer bet.

Talk

Luxembourgish ("Lëtzebuergesch") is the national language, while French is the administrative language. German is also widely used and almost universally understood. Luxembourgish is a separate and unique language, having previously evolved from a German dialect ("Moselfränkisch"). German (Hochdeutsch) enjoys official status and appears in some media and is used in the court system and is taught in schools. However, everything from road signs, to menus to information in stores will appear in French. French therefore is clearly the most useful of the three languages to know, essentially making Luxembourg a Francophone country for the visitor with the exception of places close to the German border such as Diekirch or Echternach.

Over one third of Luxembourg"s overall population is made up of foreigners, and this figure rises to around 50% in the cities. Hence, again knowing French is your best bet if you want to converse with most people, especially as people working in shops and bars usually come from France or Belgium and don"t bother to learn the local native language. English is widely understood by such personnel as bus drivers, but many shop assistants will only respond if addressed in French or German. Educated Luxembourgers are fluent in all four of the above languages; it is the "frontaliers" (workers who live across one of the borders) who may not speak English well or at all. Apart from the more elderly inhabitants, virtually every Luxembourger understands and speaks fluent standard German and French. Luxembourgers are the polyglots of pe, perhaps making even the Swiss jealous!

See

Do

Buy


If you know any coin collectors, take a few local coins as keepsakes, since Luxembourgish coins are among the rarest of the euros — even in Luxembourg, most of your change will be in other countries" coins!

The general price level in Luxembourg is noticeably higher than in France and Germany, especially in central Luxembourg. Even cheap hotels tend to cost over €100 a night and you won"t get much change from €20 after a modest dinner and a drink. Basing yourself in Trier (or other cities across the border) and daytripping to Luxembourg might be a good bet.

On the upside, cigarettes, alcohol or petrol are comparatively cheap, making the small state a popular destination for long-haul drivers.

Eat
"Judd mat gaardebounen", served with potatoes and washed down with a Diekirch beer

Traditional dishes are largely based on pork and potatoes and the influence of German and central pean cooking is undeniable. The unofficial national dish is "judd mat gaardebounen", or smoked pork neck served with boiled broad beans. A must to try if you do get the opportunity are "Gromperekichelchen" (literally, Potato Biscuits) which are a type of fried shredded potato cake containing onions, shallots and parsley. Typically found served at outdoor events such as markets or funfairs they are absolutely delicious and a particularly nice snack on a cold winter"s day.

In most restaurants however, the typical local food would be French cuisine coming in bigger portions. Italian food has been popular since the 1960s. Home cooking has been very influenced by the recipes of Ketty Thull, apparently the best-selling cooking and baking book in Luxembourg since WW II.

Drink
The Luxembourg white wines from the Moselle valley to the east of Luxembourg include Riesling, Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc, Rivaner and Elbling to name just a few and are good. In autumn, many villages along the Moselle river organise wine-tasting village festivals.

Young people tend to drink local or imported beer. Luxembourg has a number of breweries, with "Diekirch", from the village of the same name, Bofferding, Battin, and Mousel being the most popular. Despite the fact that you would be hard pushed to find any of these outside of the country, all are excellent lagers.

As an after dinner digestive, Luxembourgers like to drink an "eau-de-vie" . The most commonly available are "Mirabelle" and "Quetsch". Both are made from plums and are extremely strong! Sometimes these are taken in coffee which may be a little more palatable for some.

Sleep
Thanks to the heavy banking and EU presence in the city, hotels in central Luxembourg are quite expensive, although there is a good youth hostel (see Luxembourg (city)#Sleep). It may be more cost-effective to stay across the border in eg. Trier and "commute" into Luxembourg, as a day-ticket valid for a return trip and free run of the entire country is only €8.40.

The Association of Independent Hotels in Luxembourg operates a booking service at hotels.lu for a number of smaller hotels, mostly in the countryside, but a few in the city.

Work

Luxembourg is a major player in the financial service sector. Many thousands of people commute from neighbouring Belgium, France ("Les frontaliers") and Germany on week days, considerably swelling the population of the capital city. The majority work in the numerous financial institutions based in and around the capital (particularly in the Kirchberg district) and are drawn across the borders by the excellent salaries on offer. Luxembourg City has a very international flavour as in addition to "les frontaliers", it attracts young professionals from all over the globe. In this area, business is done predominantly in English, French or German and it is necessary to be fluent in one of these as a minimum although many jobs will demand proficiency in at least two.

Stay safe

In many surveys, Luxembourg has been named "safest country in the world"; if you follow usual precautions, you should be fine.

Stay healthy

The food and tap water supply in Luxembourg is perfectly fine and the country"s healthcare system is first-class. The climate is average even though the summers can get hot. However these temperatures only rarely rise much above 30°C.

Respect

Try to show respect for the local language and make some effort to say a word or two of it even if it"s just the standard greeting "Moien"." Avoid calling "Luxembourgish" a dialect of German or think that the country itself is merely an extension of France or Germany. The locals, especially those in the small towns and villages are very friendly saying "Hello" in no matter what language you will be greeted with a smile.


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REISEPORTAL
"Luxembourg" ( ), officially the "Grand Duchy of Luxembourg" (, , ), is a landlocked country in western Europe, bordered by Belgium, France, and Germany. Luxembourg has a population of over half a million people in an area of
"Feulen" () is a commune in central Luxembourg. It is part of the canton of Diekirch, which is part of the district of Diekirch. The commune"s administrative centre is Niederfeulen.Towns within the commune include Niederfeulen and
"Lorentzweiler" () is a commune and small town in central Luxembourg, in the canton of Mersch. It is situated on the river Alzette., the town of Lorentzweiler, which lies in the centre of the commune, has a population of 743. Other towns within the
"Lorentzweiler" () is a commune and small town in central Luxembourg, in the canton of Mersch. It is situated on the river Alzette., the town of Lorentzweiler, which lies in the centre of the commune, has a population of 743. Other towns within the
"Mersch" () is a commune and town in central Luxembourg, capital of the canton of Mersch. It is situated at the confluence of the rivers Alzette, Mamer and Eisch., the town of Mersch, which lies in the centre of the commune, has a population of
"Remich" () is a commune with city status in south-eastern Luxembourg with just under 3,000 inhabitants. It is the capital of the canton of Remich, which is part of the district of Grevenmacher. Remich lies on the left bank of the Moselle river,
 
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