We used to live in Luxembourg City for two years and, even though the city is green and family friendly, we often found ourselves looking for ways to escape the city and discover some fun places nearby. So in this article I want to share some ideas for family-friendly day trips that you can easily make from Luxembourg City. We’ve done them all, most multiple times, and I can really recommend each and every one of them!
Our family’s favourite day trips from Luxembourg City
1. Echternach Town and Echternach Lake in Luxembourg
Just 30 minutes ride from the city of Luxembourg, you can find a beautiful little town of Echternach. The town is very compact and you don’t need much time to visit the medieval old-town centre with the narrow streets, ancient ramparts, old patrician houses, 7th century Benedictine Abbey, and the churches. Not to be missed is the 15th century Town Hall and the Market Square.
Echternach is also known for the unique dancing procession (part of UNESCO world cultural heritage) which takes part every year on Whit Tuesday and attracts thousands of pilgrims.
But Echternach has more to offer than this. The artificial lake of Echternach, located outside the town, is a great destination for families with children. You can find many leisure and sports facilities at the lake: pedal boats, fishing, miniature golf, playgrounds, also Bike Parc, Adventure Island, and jumping. You can make a nice walk, go biking or rollerblading around the lake. We used to go to the lake at least once a month and always enjoyed it.
You can stay in Echternach for a couple of days and do some hiking on the nearby Müllerthal trail – see below. Use this link to find the best hotel deals in Echternach.
2. The Little Switzerland and the Müllerthal trail in Luxembourg
The Müllerthal trail is a 112 km (69 miles) walking trail in Luxembourg’s ‘Little Switzerland’. For the experienced hikers, there are three loops of 37-38 km (23 miles) each, but some parts of the trail are very easily accessible by car, so you can easily make shorter walks on the nicest parts of the trail.
Our favourite areas were: the little Schiessentümpel waterfall, Wolfsschlucht (the wolves’ canyon), Sieweschloeff (the labyrinth), and the Hohllay Caves (the hollow rocks), the Breechkaul (ampitheater), and Perekop – the tall rocks that can be climbed using a narrow staircase between the rocks.
You can spend a couple of hours, a day, or even a week in the area. We used to go there quite often when we lived in Luxembourg city, even though our kids were very young and couldn’t really hike much at that time.
3. Vianden Castle in Luxembourg
The main attraction of Vianden is the castle. Constructed between the 11th and 14th centuries and recently restored, it is one of the most beautiful romanesque-gothic castles of Europe. Count about an hour for a visit to the castle. The views overlooking the village of Vianden and the area are spectacular. Don’t miss it if you’re in Luxembourg.
You can get to Vianden using public transport or by car, of course. Parking can be challenging though. The castle is high on the hill. You can either walk or take a chairlift to the top of the hill and walk down a bit – the castle is a bit below the chairlift station.
The quaint picturesque village of Vianden is also worth a visit. If you like hiking, you can easily spend a weekend in Vianden and explore the area a bit more. Use this link to book hotels in Vianden.
4. Trier in Germany
Trier in Germany, less than an hour drive from Luxembourg city, is another great place we used to often go to when we lived in Luxembourg.
Trier is a big town with lots of history, so you’ll need more time to explore it. If you are not interested in the historic sites, you can easily spend a day shopping and dining. Or you can combine the two and make it a fun day out for the whole family.
What to see and do in Trier
Trier is known for the Roman structures, dating to about 180 B.C. The most famous is the Porta Nigra, which is also the best place to begin your sightseeing tour of Trier. The other UNESCO sites in Trier include the Cathedral, Ampitheater, Imperial Baths, Roman Bridge, etc.
Often, it’s nice to just walk around the old town centre. Don’t miss the Main Market Square (Hauptmarkt), Cathedral Square and the Cathedral itself, The Electoral Palace, and The Basilika.
In summer, you can also take one of the family-friendly Mosel river boat trips.
Where to stay in Trier
There are many hotels in Trier, in all price categories. I’d recommend staying in the city centre.
5. Amneville Zoo – Zoo d’Amnéville – in France
We have visited quite some zoos all over the world, but Amneville zoo in France remains my absolute favourite. It’s a beautiful big zoo with lots of space for its 2,000 animals. There are 360 different species from 5 continents. You can attend the animal feedings or see one of the many shows during the day. Most shows run daily from February to November.
Go early in the morning as you will need the whole day to visit the zoo. If you want to see the shows as well, you may easily spend 2 days there. In that case you better book one of the hotels nearby. Perfect way to spend a weekend for family travellers from Luxembourg.
Driving time from Luxembourg city: 50 min.
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