|Area||total: 2,586 sq km |
water: 0 sq km
land: 2,586 sq km
|Population||448,569 (July 2002 est.)|
|Language||Luxembourgish (national language), German (administrative language), French (administrative language)|
|Religion||the greatest preponderance of the population is Roman Catholic with a very few Protestants, Jews, and Muslims |
note: 1979 legislation forbids the collection of religious statistics
Luxembourg is a landlocked country in Western Europe in between Belgium, France and Germany. It is the only Grand Duchy in the world and is the second-smallest of the European Union member states.
- Administrative divisions
- 3 districts;
- Luxembourg - Capital
Ports and harbors
- Benelux Customs Union and when it joined NATO the following year. In 1957, Luxembourg became one of the six founding countries of the European Economic Community (later the European Union) and in 1999 it joined the euro currency area.
- National holiday
- National Day (Birthday of Grand Duchess Charlotte shifted by 6 months) 23 June
Luxembourg International Airport (http://www.luxair.lu/luxair/jsp/polopoly.jsp?d=561) is located 6 kilometers outside Luxembourg-City. It is served by Luxair, the national airline, which flies to many EU countries (including London Heathrow and City), and Air France (Paris; actually a Luxair codeshare), KLM (Amsterdam), Swiss (Zurich), Lufthansa (Frankfurt; actually a Luxair codeshare) and British Airways (London Gatwick). The airport is currently undergoing expansion and renovation; some short-haul intra-Schengen flights now operate out of Terminal B, and a new Terminal A is being built.
Luxembourg train station can be reached from Metz, Brussels, and Trier, and most other cities in Europe via these or similar neighbouring countries' stations.
Motorways from Metz (A3), Brussels (A6) and Trier (A1) connect to the ring-road around Luxembourg City, from which most other parts of the country can be reached.
There are no sensible bus connections to Luxembourg from outside the country (although there are random commuter busses to Trier and Bitburg sometimes). The train is a far preferable option for entering the country from nearby.
Luxembourg being a landlocked country, it's extremely hard to get in by boat. Go figure.
Luxembourg's road infrastructure is well-developed (if not always very well thought-out). Anywhere that happens to lie along the major motorways is easily accessible via these (including Grevenmacher in the east, Mamer to the west and Bettembourg to the south). Esch-Alzette, the country's second "city" (more like a small town by international standards) has its own motorway link, the A4. In addition, a new motorway is being built towards the north of the country (Mersch, Ettelbr�ck), but this won't be completed until 2010 at the earliest. However, the current North Road provides easy access to these areas for the moment.
Current national speed limits are 50km/h in towns and villages, 90km/h on open country roads, and 130km/h on the motorway (110 in the rain). 70km/h also exists in some places. Speed limits are enforced by random police checks.
Within the city, the bus service is adequate for the average tourist. Busses numbered 1-25 serve the Ville de Luxembourg, with the most useful being the 16 (Town to the Airport via Kirchberg) and the 18 (Town to Kirchberg and Auchan). Almost all busses include the central bus station Hamilius (centre of town) and the Station (Luxembourg Gare) in their routes at some point. Any bus pointing stationwards from Hamilius will probably take you there (the 3 being a notable exception).
Bus tickets are available from the driver. These cost �1.20 for one hour or �4.40 for one day. A �40 month ticket can be purchased at the CFL office under Hamilus, or at the station.
The bus service out of town is very good. Every village has a convenient bus service which runs at least once every hour. Busses numbered 100 upwards will take you out of the city. Useful routes to the north of the country include the 100 (Diekirch via Junglinster, every hour), the 120 (Junglinster, every 30 minutes) and the 290 (Mersch, frequent). However, Mersch and the south are more easily reached by train (see below).
Town busses experienced a reduced service on Saturdays (including those used mainly by shoppers), and many routes are barely existent (if at all) on a Sunday. This doesn't matter, though, since most shops and attractions are closed on a Sunday.
Almost all national busses run the same on Saturdays (which surreally count as working days in this instance) as during the week, but the Sunday service is usually reduced or non-existent.
The train network is either comprehensive or spartan, depending whether you want to go south or north. While the south is reasonably well covered, the north is limited to one line which runs from Luxembourg City to Mersch, Ettelbr�ck and up to Wilwerwiltz in the very north. Diekirch has a branch line from Ettelb�ck. To the south you can reach Bettembourg and Esch-Alzette.
The same tickets are valid on trains as busses, and the same rates as above apply. Trains in Luxembourg generally run very much on time.
The streets and landscape in Luxembourg make for good biking territory; highly recommended. Be wary, though, of small-ish bicycle repair shops in rural corners of the country -- they may quite well charge you quite some money for fixing your bike when they actually break it, more or less subtly. For bicycle repairs, neighboring Trier (with a considerable University student population) is usually a safer bet.
- Luxembourgish (national language; "Letzebuergesch"; a strong German dialect: German speakers understand much of it, French won't, even though it contains many French words), German (administrative language), French (administrative language)
Over one third of Luxembourg's overall population is made up of foreigners, and this figure rises to 50% in the city. Hence, knowing French is your best bet if you want to converse with most people, especially as people working in shops and bars usually come from France or Belgium and refuse to learn the local language. English is widely understood by such personnel as bus drivers, but many shop assistants will only respond if addressed in French. Educated Luxembourgers are fluent in all four of the above languages; it is the "frontaliers" (workers who live across one of the borders) who may not speak English.
Every Luxembourgish person understands and speaks fluent German.
Sometimes, you won't be able to get things you desire in Luxembourg. In that case, neighboring Trier might be a good bet.
Since several products are much cheaper, many people on travel will stop here to buy cigarettes, alcohol or gas.
Luxembourg is a great place to have a drink. Due to the amount of expats who live in Luxembourg there is a wide variety of establishments. The English tend to, but by no means exclusively, congregate in the Britannia Pub, the Scots likewise in Ecosse and the Irish in The Pygmalion. There are also French, German, Spanish and of course Luxembourgish pubs and bars as well. In the Evening you should aim for Urban a refreshingly modern bar that has a wide mix on clientel. Although often overcrowed it is a great place to start a night out.
There are two main night clubs in Luxembourg Melusina and Pulp. Melusina has a large main room with a balcony. It also has another couple of rooms at the back of the club which are worth a look. Pulp has two main rooms one for cheese and house and the other is a mosh pit. Both are worth look in if only to experience the difference.
If you're looking for work, you will be expected to know at least French, but well paid jobs will expect you to know German, French and English.
Luxembourg is a very safe country, no need to be worried about anything.
The food in Luxembourg is good and healthy, so no worries. The climate is average, the summers can get very hot with 3 months of around 35 degrees celsius, and winters very cold.
Try to show respect for the local language and make some effort to say a few words to people. Luxembourg is a quiet town and so is not the right place for big nights out, for example.