The Philharmonie foyer after a cine-concert of Luxembourg co-production “White Fang”
Photo: Tarantula Distribution/Edouard Olszewski
On 1 June 2018, the Schwaarzt Haus temporary gallery opened. The exhibition space had been reclaimed by artists Joel Rollinger and Linda Blaise and featured the innovative works of over 50 artists.
During the vernissage, we wandered around the rooms, a kaleidoscope of colours, drawn by creative works above and below--photography, projections, carvings, and more. One artist had even taken advantage of the space of an abandoned elevator shaft, and visitors could peek at a different level from floor to floor.
By the time you read this, the exhibition will have already closed. Unless you were keeping up with social media or reading Delano, you may have missed it. This isn’t to share old news but to highlight the changing leisure landscape of Luxembourg. Sometimes it requires seeking out information--on social media or through your own network--to enjoy a truly unique experience.
Like the diversity of its population, the country offers more than you might first expect. The country also seems to have shifted immensely over the last couple decades--not only with the addition of new retail and real estate developments, mobility options and hotspots, but also in terms of how people get their information. So, if you make a bit of effort to seek out what’s happening in the grand duchy, it pays off.
Describing an ideal day in Luxembourg is not simple. But Delano has tried to put together a few of our tried and true favourites. (This list isn’t extensive, of course, so stay tuned on delano.lu for the most current agenda.)
To kick-start your day, the aroma of freshly ground coffee at Knopes is hard to resist. Prefer brunch with friends? Mudam does a full brunch most weekends which you can tack onto a visit to their latest exhibitions. Ready Coffeeshop in Limpertsberg and Glow in Bonnevoie also host healthy brunches from time to time, the latter sometimes combining it with a group run to really supercharge your Saturday.
After a good breakfast, a leisurely stroll in the Pétrusse valley can be lovely, with plenty of trees to provide shade in the warmer months. Kids can also take advantage of the relatively new skate park. Taking the path around Neimënster affords gorgeous views, and occasionally the cloister gardens are open so little ones can learn about beehives, orchards and more.
From late spring to early autumn, weather permitting, Kyosk on the Kirchberg plateau is a fine spot to meet up with friends and play a game or two of pétanque. It’s a place kids can enjoy too, with plenty of open spaces for running and playgrounds nearby. Feeling stressed from the work week? Book a treatment at Sabai Thai Massage, Yoaké or Body Veda (tip: try their Indian head massage). Afterwards, head for a tea at Konrad Café and Bar or a drink at Paname for a Parisian bistro vibe. Or catch a sporting match at The Tube.
If you’re up for something a bit more active in the afternoon, there is an extensive national cycle path network over some 600km, many along rivers or converted railway lines, both in Luxembourg City and further afield. Hikes in the Mullerthal region are also well loved, but also keep an eye out for one-off themed tours, some of which are put on by the Luxembourg City Tourist Office, others by organised groups on social media. These tours can range from literary or poetry tours to historical, institutional, even women-focused.
Of course, there are also a range of volunteer and sports organisations--check out our listing for a few ideas.
For a fine night out, there are so many restaurants to choose from. A personal favourite is Kamakura, run by Hajime Miyamae, who always seems content to share his Japanese culture, be it through personal stories or the explanation of exotic ingredients. A visit to the Philharmonie for a classical or jazz concert, or a cine-concert completes a great evening. Like the Grand Théâtre, it attracts world class artists.
For a night out, many find Rives de Clausen to be the location of choice for its buzzing nightlife and swirl of lights, music, dancing. Personally? I prefer something a tad more low-key, whether relaxing with friends or trying out a game of ping-pong on the Rotondes terrace or checking out who’s playing there, den Atelier or de Gudde Wëllen, all of which have surprised me over the years with the range of musical acts they welcome. On a rare Saturday evening, we might end up at Café des Artistes in the Grund for its old-world vibe, to hear a plinky piano and sing along with locals in a number of languages. (Tip: it’s actually a great place to practise your Lëtzebuergesch!)
Trier is a favourite Germany day trip for many, whether it’s for shopping or to take a tour of its impressive Roman architecture, like the Porta Nigra or the ruins of the Imperial Baths. But there are other smaller places to enjoy history as well, like the path at Ramstein castle (near Kordel), where families can explore not only the castle ruins but also peek inside what was once a Roman copper mine and quarry while enjoying the rush of waterfalls below the rope bridges. Bernkastel-Kues is also a picturesque wine area; bikes can be hired directly there. The Saarschleife also affords an impressive view and serious hiking, for those who are up for it.
Metz is another day trip from Luxembourg, whether it’s for shopping or to visit the covered market or any number of its historical buildings, from the Roman to the impressive cathedral. The Centre Pompidou-Metz is great for families and often hosts ateliers for youngsters. But there are a number of storybook sites closer to Luxembourg as well, from Sierck-les-Bains to Malbrouck castle to the entire town of Rodemack, which also hosts a medieval festival once a year that the whole town seems to take part in.
Whether it’s in Luxembourg or abroad, challenge yourself to find the unusual and try something new, and you won’t be disappointed!