July 15, 2019

Holidays by train from Luxembourg

Summer is upon us whether we like it or not, and everyone seems to only talk about holidays. One of the benefits of living in Luxembourg, so basically in the middle of Europe, is that we are well connected by plane to all the major destinations in Europe and not only. Not to mention that by car you can organise city breaks or entire vacations and this time of year the campers populate the motorways in this part of Europe.
But there is another means of transport from Luxembourg, the train. I remember when I was little, the train was the most reliable way of getting from one place to another and I've listened to countess stories of gap years spent "in Europe" travelling by train. So what are the train connections from Luxembourg?

CFL (Chemins de Fer Luxembourgeois) is the national railway company with a reliable website in French, German and English. From that website one can purchase tickets or search the timetables for national and international trains. For European destinations I used the international website, There is also an app which you can download and manage your tickets from there.

For the purpose of this article, I've looked up tickets for direct trains or trips with one change of trains. I did my research on a Friday and looked up the tickets for the next Monday. I do not know if the price of the train tickets has the same logic as the plane tickets, meaning the closer to the travel date the more expensive they are, you will have to look up that for yourself. Also the prices are for one way, if you want a return trip the prices change. Use the link I've provided to search an entire trip to your liking!

Luxembourg to Brussels

The neighbouring country is well connected to Luxembourg mainly because they both host European capitals, meaning that the European Institutions found a home in Brussels and in Luxembourg and there are a lot of people travelling between them. Not to mention that once per month the European Parliament has a session in Strasbourg and all the trans that connect Brussels to Strasbourg pass by Luxembourg. So one can travel to Brussels every hour from Luxembourg. The trip should take up to 3 hours and the train is direct. A train ticket for the second class is 42 euros and for the first class is 65 euros. Again, I've searched the prices on a Friday for the next Monday so the prices may vary.

From Brussels one can continue travelling to Amsterdam, London and Paris or just visit the Belgian capital. Try the frittes, the wafers or the chocolate and of course the Trappist beer, Belgians are famous for. Brussels has a lot of interesting museum and in general is a lively capital city with a lot of options for spending time.

Luxembourg to Amsterdam

As mentioned, from Luxembourg one can travel to Amsterdam through Brussels. Including the changing times, the trip is about 5 hours and 34 minutes and to my knowledge the tickets are very easy to read. You are given the starting hour, the stop where you have to change and even the platform and the time you have in between the trains. So no stress! A one way ticket for the second class is 124 euros and for the first class is 160 euros.

What you can do in Amsterdam? There is no secret that out of all the cities around Luxembourg, Amsterdam is my favourite. Try the little museums on the canals and the bigger ones, try the countless shows, the night life, the amazing decoration stores and organic fashion.

Luxembourg to London

This would be the first trip I will book by train from Luxembourg. I've been to London a lot, but only by plane. I think the train trip has that something, that smell of holiday, of leisure. I can only dream. So to go to London from Luxembourg one has two options, through Brussels or through Paris. Luxembourg-London via Brussels takes almost 7 hours and a ticket for the second class for a one way trip is 266 euros and for the first class is 301 euros.

The second option, Luxembourg -London via Paris, the trip is 6 hours and 3 minutes and a one way ticket is 340 for the second class and 497 euros for the first class. I have no idea if the difference of price is worth it, I only know that the carts on the Belgian trains differ slightly from one class to the next. I think you only have a little more leg room and the cart is carpeted on the first class.

Luxembourg to Paris

There is a direct train connecting the two European capitals and if I'm not mistaken is a TGV. I remember the stories about travelling at a high speed, by train, in Europe, so the TGV would be my first option if put in a situation of choosing. The trip to Paris is only 2 hours and a one way ticket for the second class is 104 euros and for the first class is 148 euros.

Paris is well advertised in all the guiding books, but if it were up to me I would visit again the Pompidou Centre and the Brancusi workplace, I would enjoy a very tasty meal followed by a reach dessert and I will marvel at the Parisian life from a small terrace with an eclair and a coffee.

Luxembourg to Berlin

This is a long trip and you have to love to travel by train to endure almost 9 hours of travel including a change in Cologne. There is always the plane option, but if travelling by train is your fix, then know that a one way ticket at the second class is 172 euros and for the first class is 273 euros.

In Berlin I would check a museum or two, I would have a walk on the Unter den Linden boulevard, smelling the linden trees that so remind me of home and coming lunch time, I will go to the terraces close to the university and enjoy a full meal with just a couple of euros, so, so different from Luxembourg.

Luxembourg to Vienna

If night travel is something you might consider, CFL even advertises the trip to Vienna as "arrive at your destination well rested" and ready (I might add) to visit this beautiful city. The trip is 11 hours and you have to change in Koblentz. One way trip to Vienna on the second class is 123 euros and on the first class is 199 euros.

In Vienna I would have the schnitzel for breakfast. I could never manage to make a schnitzel the Vienna size, not to mention I could never finish one in one go. Ah, Vienna! I would just walk the streets up to the Hundertwasser House and just stare at it for hours.

Luxembourg to Zurich

Again, there isn't a direct train and you have to change at Mulhouse in France. The trip lasts 4 hours and a one way ticket at second class is 107 euros and on first class is 137 euros.

I would not know what to tell you about Zurich, as I've only passed it a couple of times and visited just Bern in Switzerland. The Internet shows it as a nice town, with a lot of museums to check out. A must try has to be raclette or fondue cheese.

These are the European train destinations available from Luxembourg. I've only tried European Capitals on the logic that from there you can continue your travel to anywhere in Europe. Of course you can reach other cities in Europe by train from Luxembourg, but for now that was the topic of the article.

I hope you enjoy reading my article and maybe it sparkled the idea of a train trip from Luxembourg. As always you can find me on Instagram @mademoiselle.ralu

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