“Luxembourgers themselves don’t know how lucky they are”

Brigitte Goergen recommends the LuxembourgCard, which provides free or discounted access to more than 90 attractions. “I think it’s a great, great value.” Photo: Guy Wolff/Maison Moderne

Brigitte Goergen recommends the LuxembourgCard, which provides free or discounted access to more than 90 attractions. “I think it’s a great, great value.” Photo: Guy Wolff/Maison Moderne

From walking around Luxembourg City to exploring new regions of the grand duchy, Brigitte Goergen of Luxembourg for Tourism shares some of her favourite spots, tips and hidden gems.

Lydia Linna: You’re from Luxembourg but lived abroad for a while. Now you’re back in the grand duchy. How do you see Luxembourg today?

Brigitte Goergen: I’ve lived in Singapore, in Hong Kong, in London and a long time in New York. I think Luxembourgers themselves don’t know how lucky they are, what a beautiful country and city we have. You only see how fantastic it is when you live abroad and then come back.

I still see things differently than other people; I react to things that others don’t see. I think it’s amazing what a great job Luxembourg has done to preserve everything. And there are always new exhibitions, new little pop-up things. It’s just an amazing country.

What would you recommend doing in Luxembourg City?

Start in the Kinekswiss Park, walk through Pescatore and take the Pfaffenthal glass lift--you have a great view over all of Kirchberg, Pfaffenthal. Once you get down to the lower city, just have a walk along the Alzette River. There are lots of nice cafés, a little soccer field, a little waterfall and even an old mustard factory, a labyrinth garden and beautiful views of the fortifications.

The moment I go down with the elevator, as I’m walking around, I think, ‘Brigitte, you’re in the middle of the city!’ I pinch myself! It’s unbelievable.

Luxembourg, of course, is more than just its capital city. What do you suggest doing outside Luxembourg City?

Drive to a little town called Ahn on the Moselle River and hike the Palmberg dream loop trail! It’s about 10km and it’s really nice. You walk through vineyards, woods, fantastic rock formations, open fields, and you think, ‘Wow, this is a completely different region!’ It’s absolutely stunning. As the trail is a loop, you come back to where you started, and then you can go wine tasting.

There’s also Vianden, in the north. Before you arrive in Vianden, there’s a platform that overlooks the castle where you can see the beautiful little medieval village, the river, and then there’s the chairlift on the left. It’s an absolute ‘wow’ effect. Take the chairlift to a chalet and look down over the castle and valley, then walk through the woods to explore the town.

Can you share any tips for family day trips?

Luxembourg’s free public transport is a wonderful thing. You can take the train from the Luxembourg station, get off in Belval, and just walk around. It’s really exciting because you have the old and the new, you have the furnaces where you can go up--by stairs or elevator--and then you have a fantastic view over Belval and also into France.

Then go back to the station and take the train one more station to Esch, where the Gaalgebus shuttle bus takes you up the hill to the amazing Déierepark. Entrance to this animal park is free; you can buy food for the animals, there’s a great little playground and there’s a tree café.

How about a hidden gem?

For me, a hidden gem would be hiking on weekends; there are ‘autopedestre’ trails throughout the whole country. One starts in Bavigne and is about 10km long. It’s a little bit difficult because you go up and down, and up and down. You go up, and then suddenly you’re down at the lake. Then you go up again, and you think you’re somewhere in Switzerland.

It’s absolutely stunning. The view that you have over the Upper-Sûre Lake is just unbelievable. It has a lot of benches, rock formations where you can sit and have a view. Normally we take a picnic with us, and I think that’s one of my favourite hikes.

An alternate version of this article first appeared in Delano’s 2023-2024 Expat Guide.