Luxembourg has its own airport, but it is also possible to use one of the airports in the region.
- Lux Airport. By far the most convenient way of air travelling to Luxembourg is to arrive at the national airport. The airport has recently been reconstructed and the shiningly new terminal indeed looks very appealing. Some of the advantages of Lux Airport are its relatively small size and fast and efficient procedures (one has to be at the airport only one hour before departure). Only a limited number of airlines fly to Luxembourg, including budget airline VLM. The national carrier LuxAir is also a very decent option; return prices start at € 159 (all-in) for those who book early. From the airport, it's only 20 minutes to the city centre by bus. A good choice is to take bus 16, which stops nearby all hotels mentioned later on this web page (€ 1.50 one-way). For hotel Français, Molitor or Alpha, it would also be possible to take bus 9. Our experience is that a taxi from the airport to the city centre can easily cost € 35.
- Frankfurt Flughaven. Germany's largest airport is 3 hours and 45 minutes away from Luxembourg by train. A return ticket costs about 120 euro, less if one has a discount card from the German railways. Usually one has to change trains in Koblenz. Detailed travel schemes can be found on the website of Deutsche Bahn.
- Frankfurt Hahn. Several budget airlines fly to this German regional airport, that is one hour and 45 minutes away from Luxembourg by shuttle bus. Expect to pay about € 30 for a bus return ticket Frankfurt Hahn - Luxembourg. This is one of the favourite options of the staff at the University of Luxembourg.
- Saarbrucken Airport. This regional airport is approximately 3 hours by public transport from the City of Luxembourg. Unlike Frankfurt Hahn, there is no direct shuttle bus, however, and travellers will need to change at least once. To see your precise connection to Luxembourg, consult the online travel planner (From: "Flughafen, Saarbrücken Ensheim (SCN)" / To: "Luxembourg Gare").
- Brussels Airport. The advantage of Brussels Airport is that it is connected to the Belgian railway network with its own station, located in the basement of the airport terminal. Expect to pay € 65 for a return ticket to Luxembourg (trains go every hour), a journey that takes about 3 hour and 30 minutes one way.
- Charleroi Airport. This regional airport in the south of Belgium, sometimes also called "Brussels South Airport" hosts Ryanair as well as several other budget airlines. The airport doesn't have its own railway station, travellers first have to take the bus to the city of Charleroi, from where it is a 2 hours and 30 minutes journey to Luxembourg (change trains in Namur).
By trainLuxembourg has train connections to all of its neighbouring countries: France, Germany and Belgium. It is, however, also very feasible to travel by train when coming from the Netherlands or the UK. When planning train travel in Europe, the website of Deutsche Bahn is an excellent source of information, since they have a travel planner that covers pretty much entire Europe.
- Belgium. A direct train goes once an hour between Brussels and Luxembourg. A one-way ticket costs € 31. The train looks decent and modern, and the trip Brussels-Luxembourg takes about 3 hours. Another possibility is to take the train Liège-Luxembourg, which might be more direct for some parts of Belgium, but it has to be mentioned that this train makes a lot of stops.
- France. Rail connections between France and Luxembourg were greatly improved with the opening of the new TGV Paris-Luxembourg. The trip takes just over 2 hours, with stopovers in Metz and Thionville.
- Germany. Rail travellers coming from Germany can use the railway between Trier and Luxembourg. Trier, however, is a relatively small city and is not served by the ICE-network. The nearest German city on the ICE-network is Saarbrucken, which has a direct highway bus connection with Luxembourg (1 hour and 15 minutes).
- The Netherlands. Train tickets from the Netherlands to Luxembourg can be bought at the domestic counter or even from the standard NS ticket vending machines (press "Belgium / Luxembourg"). When buying a ticket one has to specify whether one is going over Roosendaal-Brussels or over Maastricht-Liège. As most people of the Netherlands are probably aware of, the opening of fast train connection to Belgium and France (HSL) is being delayed and delayed. As a result of this, the existing train connection between Amsterdam and Brussels has been running for longer than its technical life expectancy, with various defects and trouble as a result. The second class can be crowded, so it does make some sense to try to buy a first class ticket. A standard return ticket from the Netherlands to Luxembourg does not have an exact return date on it (one just has to return within 2 months) which allows for some flexibility.
- United Kingdom. Going from the UK to Luxembourg by train is actually a quite viable option. It is possible to buy a Eurostar ticket (to Brussels) that is valid to any station in Belgium. In that case, one may want to use this ticket until Arlon, the last station in Belgium before the border with Luxembourg. The additional return ticket Arlon-Luxembourg can be bought at the railway station in Brussels (where you can also ask whether conditions are still the same since our university staff used this possibility). Although flying is faster, taking the train has the advantage of being able to see something of the countryside. And it's also better for your CO2 footprint.
Those travelling on a budget might want to be aware that the City of Luxembourg is also served by Eurolines. There is no Eurolines ticketing office in Luxembourg, however, so please buy your return ticket in advance.
- Mercure Hotel Alfa is right in front of the railway station. When leaving the hotel, walk to the left for the nearest bus stop of bus 3.
- Hôtel Français Located inside of the pedestrian zone, at one of the main squares of the city centre, Hôtel Français is a 3 minutes walk away from the downtown bus station (Hamilius), from which a direct bus goes to the conference site. When taking bus 16, get out at Royal. From the railway station ("Gare") to the downtown bus station takes 5 minutes by bus or 15 to 20 minutes by foot.
- Hotel Simoncini (special prices: 110 € single room, 120 € double room, breakfast included) Located close to the independence monument, at 5 min walk from the city center close to the downtown bus station (Hamilius).
- Hôtel Victor Hugo (special prices: € 105 single room, € 120 double room use single, 145 € double room, breakfast included) Located just outside of the city center, this hotel is in the same neighbourhood (Limpertsberg) as the conference site, and it is probably best just to walk (about 20 minutes) instead of waiting for the bus. The city centre is just a 5 minutes walk away. When coming from the airport, take bus 16 to "Fondation Pescatore".
- For those travelling on a tight budget, we should at least mention the Luxembourg Youth Hostel, which is spotlessly clean, just like the rest of the country. Prices start at € 20. Although the hostel appears to be nearby the city centre when viewed on the map, one has to keep in mind that it lies in a steep valley and can be a bit difficult to reach (ask the staff for details).
The above list is by no means meant to be complete. More information about hotels and other things can be found at the Luxembourg City Tourist Office.
Where to Eat?Luxembourg, like any of the world's capitals, has a large range of possibilities for dining out. Hereby some suggestions of the University of Luxembourg staff:
- Even our guest from Indian origin, who tended to criticize quality of overseas Indian food, was pleasantly surprised by Indian/Tibetian restaurant Khana Khazana (rue les Bains 17b, L-1212 Luxembourg. Tel: 228545). Expect to pay € 35 for a full meal with drinks.
- There are several Chinese restaurants in the City of Luxembourg, but Restaurant Palais du Chine can be seen as one of most attractive, for its food, decoration and central location nearby the palace of the Grand Duke. (rue de l'Eau 18-20, L-1449 Luxembourg. Tel: 460283)
- Some good and decently priced Italian food is available at Ristorante Pizzeria Il Cherubino. The place is not too big, however, and it makes sense to make a reservation when coming with a group. (rue Notre Dame 10, L-2240 Luxembourg. Tel: 471794). Other Italian restaurants include Onesto (rue de Nord 11. Tel: 223818) and Bachus (rue du Marché-aux-Herbes 32. Tel: 471397)
- There is a big Portuguese community in Luxembourg, and as a result there are various Portuguese restaurants. Lisboa II is one of the better, and some of our staff members were quite satisfied. It is not a place for vegetarians, however. The restaurant is south of Gare, just across the bridge over the railroad tracks. (Dernier Sol 90-92. Tel: 26481880)
- Restaurant Thailand is getting good ratings online, both for food and decoration. It is located outside of the city centre, in Belair (Avenue Gaston Diderich 72. Tel: 442766).
- An all-time classic is Restaurant Ems, just opposite to the railway station. The decoration is quite simple, but they serve good local food for quite decent prices (Place de la Gare 30. Tel: 487799)
- Those just wanting to have a snack but not willing to go to Quick or McDonalds could go to Snackbar Ankara just behind the post office and let themselves be impressed by the phenomenal knowledge of languages of the owner. (Avenue Monterey 6)
Where to have a drink?
Apart from its famous Mousel wine, Luxembourg is also known for its good quality of beers. The country has no less than five national beer brands: Bofferding, Diekirch, Mousel, Simon and Battin. Bofferding is probably the biggest brand and is available pretty much everywhere (the export of the first shipment of Bofferding to China made headlines in the national newspaper). Diekirch is brewed in the North of the country, in the town it is named after. Simon is fournisseur de la cour, which means that the Grand Duke also drinks it. Don't leave Luxembourg without at least having tried Battin Extra.
There are several bars worthwhile having a drink at:
- At the University of Luxembourg, we often have a drink with our guests at Scott's Pub (Bisserwee 4, L-1238 Luxembourg), which is in Grund and has a terrace at the Alzette river. Those wanting to avoid the long climb back up to the old city can instead walk into the nearby tunnel to take the lift (operating until 2pm).
- Cafe de la Presse is just opposite to the palace of the Grand Duke. It attracts mostly an elderly clientele and is nicely decorated with various portraits of the Grand Duke and his and his family.
- Various trendy bars can be found at the Rue d'Hollerich, nearby Gare. This is also where one has a decent chance of getting service in English.
- For those wanting something different, we can recommend Café Natascha (Route de Thionville 155, L-2611 Luxembourg), which also happens to be the neighbourhood pub of one of the organizers. The bartenders are from Russia or the Ukraine, just like some of their clientele.
The history of the City of Luxembourg goes back more than 1000 years, and many of our visitors have been pleasantly surprised by the scenery. The City Tourist Office hands out free walking tours, but please keep in mind that there will also be a walking tour as part of the DEON social program. Musea worthwhile visiting include the National History and Art Museum and the Historical Museum of the City of Luxembourg.
It can be worthwhile to stay a few extra days before of after the conference to do some sightseeing in the region. Some places worthwhile to visit from Luxembourg on a day-trip include:
- Echternach, a pleasant small town at next to the border with Germany, which starts at the other side of the Sûre river. The place is best know for the Abbey of Echternach, founded by St. Willibrord. People who like to challenge themselves can go to Echternach by bicycle, using piste cyclable 2, which is a particular scenic route. It is possible to continue to, for instance, Diekirch, where one can take the train back to the City of Luxembourg (one can take the bicycle on the train for free). Please be aware that one probably needs a better bicycle than the standard Luxembourg veloh in order to do this route. Those of us that are not hardcore enough to cycle can also take the (direct) bus from Gare (see Mobilitéits Zentral for timetables).
- Vianden is of historical interest, since it hosts the castle of William of Orange, the founding father of the Netherlands. The castle is on top of a hill, but to make things easy for everyone, people have constructed a chairlift. The place attracts a lot of tourists from the Netherlands, and we can particularly recommend the broodje kroket at the local Dutch snackbar. From the City of Luxembourg, take the train to Ettelbrück, and change there for the bus to Vianden. Detailed travel info can, as usual, be found at Mobilitéits Zentral.
- Trier, just across the border, is the oldest city of Germany and has a quite charming centre. One of the most famous landmarks is the Porta Nigra, the largest Roman city gate north of the Alps, nowadays a World Heritage Site. Trier is close at heart to many inhabitants of Luxembourg who tend to consider it as their shopping paradise. Socialists and ex-socialists are free to marvel at the birth house of Karl Marx, which has now been converted to a museum. A return ticket ("Tagesrückfahrkarte") for the direct train between Luxembourg and Trier (43 minutes by InterCity) costs € 8.40.