Registration for the 16th edition of Relais pour la Vie opened this week.
Pictured: Luxembourg has an extensive network of cycle lanes. Photo credit: Maison Moderne
Luxembourg Airport (which used to be called “Findel”) is the only international airport in Luxembourg. Luxair is the grand duchy’s national airline. The company currently serves more than 60 destinations, mainly in Europe and North Africa. Other airlines serving from Luxembourg are Aegean, Alitalia, British Airways, Easyjet, Flybe, Hahn Air, KLM, Lot Polish Airlines, Lufthansa, Ryanair, Swiss, Tap Portugal, Turkish Airlines, Volotea and Vueling.
23 bike paths crisscross the grand duchy, with 600km of lanes specially designed for cyclists and 900km more planned for the future. The routes are numbered from PC1 to PC23. Special signage (green on a white background) has been regularly placed along the way and at major intersections. The signs usually indicate the next step and how far away it is. Helmets are not required, but they are strongly recommended. Self-service bicycle hire systems are available in Luxembourg. In Luxembourg City, cyclists have access to Vel’oh! service (www.veloh.lu) which counts 75 stations. In Esch-sur-Alzette, Vël’OK offers the same services with 57 stations. Mamer Vélo (www.mamer.lu) has five bike share points. Free bike slots are available across Luxembourg. In 16 train stations, CFL provides 20 bike storage areas where the access is only restricted to pass holders.
The Moselle river connects Luxembourg to Germany. Many cross-border boat excursions are offered. We recommend checking the Luxembourg for Tourism website (www.visitluxembourg.com) to find out more.
The Régime Général des Transports Routiers (RGTR), Autobus de la Ville de Luxembourg (AVL) and Transport Intercommunal de Personnes dans le Canton d’Esch-sur-Alzette (Tice) operate the bus network in Luxembourg. RGTV network consists of 342 lines, of which 139 are school lines and 39 serve industrial parks. Several lines provide cross-border services to Germany, Belgium and France. AVL operates with 32 regular bus lines, a free city centre shuttle bus and four late night bus lines. The Tice bus network in the south consists of 15 lines, five of which are intended for intra-municipal routes, or City-Bus, in Dudelange and Esch-sur-Alzette. Different payment options are offered, such as nationwide tickets, cross-border tickets and commuter passes. Post-primary students in possession of the “myCard élève” (student pass) and children under 13 benefit from free transport. Every Saturday, public transport network AVL and RGTR are free on some lines.
Whether or not you have to get another driving licence when living in Luxembourg depends on your nationality. Non-EEA/EU nationals have the right to use their foreign driving licence for up to one year in Luxembourg before having it transcribed and exchanged for a Luxembourg licence within the first year of residency. For EU and EEA nationals, it is recommended to register their licence to allow the Luxembourg authorities to issue a Luxembourg licence quickly if their licence is lost or stolen. A driving licence exchange is also possible if desired. If the licence is not in French, German or English, it has to be translated. The exchange, registration or transcription of a foreign licence (European or otherwise) may be requested from the National Society of Automotive Traffic (Société Nationale de Circulation Automobile, www.snca.lu). In order to exchange driving licences, applicants need to fill a form found on guichet.public.lu, provide a passport-sized photo, copy of the foreign driving licence, copy of passport or ID, tax stamp (available at the SNCA), and a criminal record certificate (“extrait de casier judiciaire”). In addition to these documents, non-EEA/EU nationals need to provide a medical certificate no older than three months and an affidavit certifying photocopies. To obtain a first-time driving licence in Luxembourg, applicants must be 18 years old for category B vehicles (regular cars) and 17 for accompanied driving. They need to enrol in a driving school approved by the Ministry of Transport for a minimum of 12 hours of theory lessons and 16 hours of practical lessons, and then pass a theoretical and a practical exam. All novice (category B) drivers living in Luxembourg must attend a training course. The course, which is not a test, will help student drivers adopt a responsible and defensive manner of driving. The administrative validity of the driving licence is ten years for light vehicles such as cars and motorcycles (categories AM, A1, A2, A, B, BE and F).
The train system is operated by the Luxembourg National Railway Company (CFL). The railway has six lines that serve 68 stations in Luxembourg. The state-owned company also connects Luxembourg with Belgium, France, Switzerland and Germany. Luxembourg City and Paris are connected by a French TGV high speed train line. Two-hour, one-day, two-day, three-day, monthly, annual and group tickets are available.
There are currently 92 approved taxi companies in Luxembourg. Taxis can be booked by phone or on websites. Webtaxi is the most popular cab service in Luxembourg and has its own app to select and book hybrid or electric, Mercedes and van vehicles. To reduce traffic congestion in Luxembourg, the government has launched the carpooling platform CoPilote, a website and an application aiming to connect people with similar journeys so that they can share a single car (www.copilote.lu).
Since the end of 2017, Luxtram, Luxembourg’s tram service (www.luxtram.lu), has been up and running in Luxembourg, although the network is still being built out. A tram line in Kirchberg connects eight stations. Three new stations, running to the place de l’Étoile, enter service on 27 July 2018. From 27 July to 16 September 2018, the tram will be free. Besides monthly and annual passes, and the books of tickets, travellers can purchase a €2 ticket valid for two hours or a €4 ticket valid one day.
If you live in Luxembourg City (www.vdl.lu) and own a car, you are entitled to a sticker (“vignette”) allowing free parking in your district. Different vignettes are available: annual, service car and visitors. The annual vignette is valid for 12 months. Each resident can have three vignettes, but only the first vignette is free. The second costs €60 and the third €120. Applications must be accompanied by the owner’s registration card; other supporting documents may be required. Service car vignettes works the same way as the annual vignette, but with a different application form. The visitor vignette (€16) may be issued to residents upon request, with supporting documentation, for persons who intend to reside for extended periods of time with the resident for family reasons.
Clock cards are issued by the municipal administration at the same time as residential parking stickers. It can only be used simultaneously with the “vignette”. In the capital, this card entitles its holder to free parking for 2 hours anywhere in the City of Luxembourg, including on the street.
A transportation venture that aims to combat mobility issues by providing a pre-plannable shuttle service to people commuting to and from the city. Kussbus clients are picked up and dropped off at home, saving lots of time and worries about parking.
Mobiliteit.lu is a useful app for planning your public transport journeys around the grand duchy and neighbouring countries. The app is available for download (www.mobiliteit.lu) on both IOS and Android mobile phones.