8 Best Sights in Luxembourg City, Luxembourg

Cercle/Palais Municipal

With its bas-relief of the Countess Ermesinde granting Luxembourg its charter of freedom in 1244, the former municipal building hosts occasional art exhibitions. Admission is always free, but check with the tourist office for event dates and times. A new enclosed glass footbridge links the north side of the building to the Cité complex across Rue Genistre. The latter, a former movie theater, now houses the municipal library.

Citadelle du St-Esprit

Built by Vauban, the brilliant French military engineer, in the 17th century on the site of a former monastery, the Citadelle has typically wedge-shape fortifications. The "prow" affords wraparound views of the three spires of the cathedral, the curve of the Alzette, and the glass towers of the Kirchberg plateau beyond.


On Luxembourg's pedestrian-only shopping street the same brands vie for your attention as in New York; but then, investment bankers have pockets here as deep as anywhere else. Pastry shops and sidewalk cafés add the middle-class touch so typical of Luxembourg. There are pooper-scooper automats for the poodles, and the occasional street musician will, as likely as not, be playing a Bach partita.

Plaza de Armas, Luxembourg City, Luxembourg

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In the oldest part of town, the site of the old fish market, you can walk on streets once walked by the ancient Romans.

Monument National de la Solidarité

Commemorating Luxembourg's World War II victims, the stark granite-and-steel monument suggests the prisons and concentration camps where they suffered. The walls of the small chapel, containing a symbolic tombstone, are made entirely of stained glass. It was as a direct result of its war experiences that Luxembourg abandoned traditional neutrality for international cooperation.

6 Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg City, Luxembourg
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Place Clairefontaine

This elegant sloping square has a graceful statue of Grand Duchess Charlotte and imposing 18th-century ministerial offices.

6 Place de Clairefontaine, Luxembourg City, Luxembourg

Place Guillaume

This square is known locally as the Knuedler, a name derived from the girdle worn by Franciscan monks who once had a monastery on the site. On market days (Wednesday and Saturday mornings) it is a mass of retail fruit and vegetable stands, flower vendors, cheese- and fishmongers, and a few remaining farmers who bring in their personal crops of potatoes, apples, cabbage, and radishes—as well as homemade jam, sauerkraut, and goat cheese. That's Grand Duke William II on the bronze horse; he reigned from 1840 to 1849, while Luxembourg was flush with new independence. The Hôtel de Ville (Town Hall), its stairs flanked by two bronze lions, was inaugurated in 1844.

23 Rue du Fossé,, Luxembourg City, 1536, Luxembourg

Plateau Kirchberg

A number of banks, needing more space than that available on boulevard Royal, have put up huge edifices on Kirchberg, across the Alzette northeast of the center. Gottfried Boehm's glass-and-aluminum Deutsche Bank encloses a giant atrium, frequently used for art exhibitions, and Richard Meier's sober Hypobank is the perfect foil for an explosively dynamic sculpture by Frank Stella. The banks are cheek to jowl with the modernistic buildings of the European Union institutions, often accompanied by contemporary sculpture—the European Court of Justice, with pieces by Henry Moore and Lucien Wercollier; the Jean Monnet Building, with a replica of Carl-Fredrik Reuterswärd's Non-Violence; the European Center, where the Council of Ministers meets; and others, whose presence in Luxembourg are visible reminders of the disproportionately important role played by this tiny country in the politics of the European Union. This is also where the I.M. Pei–designed Musée d'Art Moderne Grand Duc Jean is located.

Luxembourg City, Luxembourg