12 Hours in Luxembourg City

Happy Christmas! I hope everyone is having a great holiday season so far. I'm enjoying the last bit of my time off before I start work in mid-January and I'm still a bit in denial but thoroughly engrossed in and distracted by the holidays to care, at least for now.

I had just thrown Luxembourg into my itinerary as a "why not?" kind of a decision. It was so close by, accessible, and cheap to go. Unfortunately for me, the timing of my trip overlapped with a Parisian transit strike and my €31 train from Paris to Luxembourg was canceled. So the evening before my trip, I was struggling to find an alternate route. Flights were just as iffy because the transit strike was going to affect the airports; air traffic controllers were also participating. Therefore, I knew I had to choose an airline with some clout that would get priority. So, I ended up on a Lufthansa flight with a layover in Munich.
Honestly, I could have just eaten the cost of the €93 hotel in Luxembourg, paid another €100 for a night in Paris and tried to find transport from Paris to Brussels for the next day instead (which was the next leg of my trip). But, it was going to be just as difficult and just as expensive to try and find a way to Brussels because the transit strike was going to last through the weekend so I think I ended up making the right decision. Plus, I truly enjoyed my time in Luxembourg so it would've been a shame to have missed that (though, I suppose if I had never gone, I wouldn't actually know that).

My layover in Munich was a few hours and I managed to get a little sleep because they have these awesome lounges with reclining chairs. So even though I woke up at 4 in the morning to get to the airport for my 6AM flight, there were no delays and I felt well-rested and was pretty grateful for how things worked out.

I ended up landing in Luxembourg close to noon and it was a quick 30-minute bus ride into the city. The fare was €2 for a ticket that could be used across several modes of public transport within a 2-hour period, which was pretty awesome to begin with. But I actually read an article that Luxembourg will be the first country to make all public transport free, which I believe begins sometime next year.
I arrived at my hotel around 12:30 and was able to check into my room immediately. It was a spacious and comfortable room with modern furnishing and a clean bathroom. I really liked this hotel as it was in a great location just a few minutes walk from the train station and a 15-minute walk from Ville Haute.
After dropping off my bags and bundling up, I went for a walk into town. It was a bit drizzly so I honestly think that even if I had arrived around 9AM via train as originally planned, I might've spent the bulk of my time in a cafe or somewhere indoors anyway so I don't think I missed out too much by arriving a few hours later than planned.
Luxembourg is v. walkable but also be prepared for a few strenuous hills. There are several striking valleys and hills that aren't immediately obvious when you're viewing the city from a regular map. The Grund is particularly striking area within a valley that is accessible via several streets or via lift, if you're looking for handicap accessibility.
To warm up my chilled body, I decided to pop into this Luxembourg institution for a cup of hot chocolate.
The concept is pretty awesome; pick a chocolate spoon from a shelf of various flavors, bring It upstairs, and the staff will bring the patrons a cup of hot milk to dissolve it into. I was grateful for my years of grade school French because it definitely came in handy here. The woman working the counter was just spewing out instructions in French and I actually understood her and was on my way much more quickly than the other foreigners fumbling around the shop. This worked out in my favor as the eat-in area was rather crowded and I managed to snag an open seat before everyone else made their way upstairs.
I opted for a 60% chocolate, as I was looking for something indulgent that wasn't going to be overly sweet and make me sick.
It was honestly the perfect little spoon of chocolate. The staff also brought over a little cup with a sugar cube and a marshmallow, which was a lovely touch. I didn't use the sugar but I certainly enjoyed the homemade marshmallow.
There were several lovely Christmas markets scattered throughout Ville Haute and this was the first one I encountered. There were lovely stalls offering food, a few offering libations, stalls with various handicrafts, and there was an ice rink.
This place is known for its cheese and various treats and I highly recommend coming in, even just to peruse and eye-shop.
The second market I came upon was in Place D'Armes. This one seemed to have less of the food court-y layout of the one at Place Guillaume.
And this final Christmas market I visited was the one that seemed most geared towards kids as there were several amusement park rides. This one felt the most festive and bustling because of all of the fairy lights and the more playful, winding layout of the stalls, rather than having them in a standard grid pattern.
I fell in love with these starburst lanterns hanging from the trees adjacent to Notre-Dame.
For dinner, I ended up at La Briscola based on the reviews and proximity to my hotel. I got a delicious IPA to sip on because I had shown up a bit too early and the kitchen had yet to open.
Once they were ready to start cooking for me, I ordered the tartare (something I'd missed out on in France but knew would be just as good in Lux) and the bolognese blanche gnocchetti because the description was too enticing to ignore. It was a v. satisfying meal.
After dinner, I headed back to my hotel, warmed up with a steaming hot shower, and snuggled into bed to rest and relax.
Here's my video diary: