So far as European countries go, Luxembourg has to be one of the smallest countries there is. It is very easy to miss on a map if you aren’t looking for it (or even if you are!).
As with all other countries that use the euro, there are two things to bear in mind when travelling to Luxembourg. Firstly the euro coins issued in the country have their own design on the obverse that makes them unique to Luxembourg. The other side of the coins is the same throughout Europe. However you do have the luxury of using other euros you have picked up in other countries on your travels if you have any.
The coins are available in one and two euro denominations, and there are also six others that are available in the smaller cents (or euro cents) denominations. These are available as 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 cent coins.
You can also get hold of several different banknotes, ranging from the €5 note to the much larger €500 note. In between you can get the more common €10, €20, €50 and €100 notes too.
Luxembourg was among the first group of countries to formally adopt the euro as its new currency back in 1999. The country then used the euro in virtual form for three years alongside its outgoing Luxembourgish franc. At the end of the three year period the franc became obsolete alongside many other currencies throughout Europe. The euro has been used ever since 2002 in actual banknote and coin form. Before that the franc had been used for nearly 150 years.
Since the euro is in use in more than a dozen countries across Europe, it is very easy to get the currency when you want it. It is always a good idea to take some euros with you so make sure you get some from your preferred bureau de change before you go. Double check how much the exchange rate is that is offered, since this will make it easier to ascertain whether you have found a good rate.
If you want to withdraw cash when you are in Luxembourg you can do this quite easily as well. It is worth finding out how much you will be charged to do this prior to leaving home if you can, since the charges can vary according to which bank card you use and how much you withdraw. If there is a flat charge as well as a percentage charge, you are better off withdrawing a larger sum (although be careful and shield the transaction from those around you if you do).
Of course you also have the ability to use cards for payment in both debit and credit card form. However credit cards tend to be less popular so bear this in mind and always double check at each store and outlet you visit to ensure the card you intend to use is accepted in that place prior to shopping or ordering a meal.
Use a currency converter that is regularly updated in order to find the exchange rate as it stands at the moment. The one thing to be aware of is that bureaux de change will charge different rates because they have to turn a profit. This applies to bureaux in this country as well as those in other countries. Always shop around to find the best rate and don’t be fooled into thinking ‘no commission charged’ options are the best. In this case the exchange rate won’t be as good, so do your sums before choosing the ideal solution.
For those who are thinking about going to Luxembourg but who need a little more information prior to travelling there, the Embassy of Luxembourg in London is a good place to go to. You can go there online if you wish by visiting http://londres.mae.lu/en.
While Luxembourg is not the most popular country in Europe to visit, it does have a lot to offer. Most people who visit the country each year do so without any problems at all, and indeed there is no specific advice or information regarding pickpocketing or other petty crimes.
However it would be foolhardy not to allow yourself the maximum chance to protect yourself. For instance it is best not to carry large amounts of cash on you, and what you do carry should be kept in different places to give yourself the best chance of not losing everything. If your hotel has a safe this is the best place to keep your passport and any other valuables for the duration of your stay.
Luxembourg is a small country bordered on three sides by Germany, Belgium and France. It is tiny compared to the size of each of these countries – even Belgium, which is comparatively smaller than either Germany or France – but it stands as a country in its own right nonetheless.
Just because it is a relatively small country it does not mean there is little to look forward to once you arrive there. Indeed there are lots of reasons to visit the country and you will find much to see and do and to spend your euros on as well.
The capital of the country is Luxembourg City, sometimes referred to as the City of Luxembourg. It can be found in the southern region of the country, towards the centre. The old part of the city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and rightly so, since it has some of its old fortifications still in place. You can also see the Notre Dame Cathedral in the city, and marvel at the grand exterior of the Grand Ducal Palace. It is the home of the Grand Duke of Luxembourg, who is the head of the country.
The country itself is a place of castles, of amazing sights and stunning places to visit. Indeed if you are into hiking there is a trail you can follow that is called the Valley of the Seven Castles. This takes in the required number of castles to hit the total, all located in the beautiful Valley of Eisch. The country is a great place to be if you are into hiking and walking and there are plenty of trails and walks you can attempt, including some that go on for many miles. Simply choose one of the areas in the country, such as Ardennes, Mullerthal or Red Rocks, and go from there.
If we go back to the city for a moment, you will find other superb areas to visit while you are there. For example, Grund is quite stunning and contains bridges, rivers and much else besides to marvel at. The houses are picturesque and the best activity is arguably just wandering around taking it all in.
Another must see area is Le Chemin de la Corniche. This is a walkway you can go on which runs along the side of the ramparts as built back in the 17th century. The area has the affectionate name of the “most beautiful balcony in Europe”, and when you walk along it you will see why it has earned this nickname.
It will come as no surprise to learn that the food and drink in Luxembourg is influenced heavily by its country neighbours. There is a definite French, German and Belgian sense to the food, although influences from other countries have also crept in owing to those people coming to live in the country too.
The rivers running through the country provide it with much inspiration for classic fish dishes, in particular including trout in Riesling sauce and other such concoctions. Pork boiled with broad beans is something of a country classic, so do be sure to spend a few euros on a portion while you are there.
Luxembourg comes as a pleasant surprise to many people, who often aren’t sure what to expect when they visit the country. Its size has perhaps precluded it from becoming a firm favourite among the many European destinations we tend to go to. However this has merely ensured the country remains one of the best kept secrets in the whole of Europe. Now the continent has been opened up rather more than it has in the past, perhaps that secret will soon be out.
Whether you opt to visit the city or you go into the countryside to see what it has to offer, you are sure to be impressed, and perhaps to wonder why it took so long to visit the country in the first place. Luxembourg does provide many treats to those who are ready to enjoy them. Are you among them?