January 3, 2018

10 short day trips from Luxembourg

Hello everybody!

I am a big planner, but not such a big achiever so I will not bother you with my ambitious plan to write 12 blogs of Christmas and skip right on to the New Year's. I have no resolutions, because every year takes me by surprise, but I've come up with a new topic which I know you will like.

Over the holidays we had friends over and every morning the "where are we going today?" question hanged around the coffee ritual. And let's face it, from Luxembourg you can pretty much travel anywhere you want in Europe, that being one of the features I love most about this little country.

I won't promise to do other posts on similar topics, but I kinda want to talk to you about two day trips or even city brakes from Luxembourg, but we shall see. I have the attention span of a retriever so I do tend to lose interest quickly.

Let's do this way, Luxembourg is surrounded by Germany, France and Belgium, but I will include in my post Nederlands as well because it too is close and can be reached within a day. Another disclaimer, one day trips, in my mind, are the places reachable within an hour, an hour an a half driving from Luxembourg. What is over two hours it's already too tiring, cause the driving time is actually four hours... you get my point?

In Germany:

What I always recommend to see in Germany is Trier, especially if you are passionate about history and Roman times. In Trier, beside the beauty of the city and the abundance of stores at reasonable prices, you have the Porta Nigra. It's a gate which dates from Roman times. So if you ever marvelled at the Colosseum in Rome or wondered how the Segovia aqueduct survived, you better check out Porta Nigra in Trier. I always go out of my way to see it when in Trier.
Porta Nigra in Trier, Germany
Also in Germany, you have Bernkastel-Kues a lovely town with timber framed houses which is very Instagramable. You also have a castle to check out and numerous small shops, so a day trip will definitely put you into the holiday mood.

A little bit down south there is Saarburg, also about an hour drive from Luxembourg. For me it is one of the nicest places in the area, because it has a waterfall in the middle of the town centre. You don't believe me? Go and see.

In France:

Well in France there is always Metz. It has a nice cathedral and an even nicer old town. From my limited experience travelling in France, I will not describe Metz as a typical french town, but the food is great and also the shops. Metz is at exactly one hour drive from Luxembourg so a lot of people commute every day, so be sure to avoid the rush hours or you will spend the day in traffic on the motorway.

Rodemack during the Medieval Festival
My personal favourite in France are the small towns, which no one visits and no one knows about. I always love to discover them and get a little bit of the local feel. The region in France close to Luxembourg is Lorraine. I like Rodemack, a medieval town which is still kept the same way today (it's so medieval they don't even have a restaurant, so be warned), Montmedy, which is a citadel where people still live and I'm always impressed when I have to drive over the wooden bridge and under the gate (it's an experience in itself) and Sierck-les-Bains, which is a town build around a castle and from the top of the castle you have the greatest views of the Moselle valley.

In Belgium:

I would recommend Arlon, but on a second thought... Arlon is just a 20 minutes drive from the centre of Luxembourg and it has a nice belvedere from the old church and an impressive cathedral, but most of the times Arlon is a deserted town, worth maybe half a day from your time, maybe...

But in Belgium you have again small lovely towns such as Durbuy. It is a medieval town with lovely houses and cobbled streets which was kept medieval, but being Belgium you can of course find restaurants and the "traditional" chips.

Dinant, Belgium

Another town which I like is Dinant, the birth place of Adolphe Sax, the inventor of the saxophone, but not only. Another Instagramable town with a cathedral and a citadel on top. Also in Dinant you have the former Leffe factory which is turned into a museum and where you can sample all the Leffe varieties.

Of course, Belgium is famous for the chips, but also for the Trappist beer and chocolate. Trappist beer is the beer made by monks in small quantities and is not exported which means you can only find it in Belgium. You can find it at some supermarkets, but I recommend a trip to Orval. For me that is the real Trappist beer experience. If you are lucky and you book in advance, maybe you will have the chance to see the brewery, if not a visit to the monastery and the museum is always a nice experience.

Speaking about chocolate, of course you can buy it everywhere in Belgium, but close to Luxembourg I recommend Jean le Chocolatier in Habay. I'm talking here about the real Belgian chocolate experience, with sampling and leaving with the best pralines wrapped in the best cases. You will like it.

In Nederlands:

Well Nederlands is a little further away than an hour drive, but I have to recommend Maastricht. It is a town which is forgotten by the tourists looking for extreme experiences in Holland. No red neighbourhood in Maastricht, no coffee chops (to my knowledge), but a lovely town with a lovely town centre and a gorgeous library in an old cathedral. If you are in Luxembourg, Maastricht is worth a visit.
Dominicanen Library in Maastricht, Nederelands
And that concludes my post. I hope you liked my little article and if you did please do share it on social media and if you want to drop a line, you can find me at:

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