Luxembourg at a Glance
Moving to Luxembourg
Luxembourg is one of the smallest states in Europe, but still hosts very diverse landscapes.
If you are a non-EU citizen, you will need a Schengen visa to enter the country. Incidentally, the Schengen convention was signed in Luxembourg and named after a city in the country.
Luxembourg shares borders with Germany, France, and Belgium. Those countries are very close by train or car, if you wish to visit them.
Moving to Luxembourg is a wonderful cultural, historical, and linguistic experience; and, given that almost 44% of the population is comprised of expats and foreigners, it’s quite an international experience, too. This small country was founded in AD 963 and today belongs to the Benelux Customs Union. It is the only independent duchy — the territory of a duke — in the world. Luxembourg is a fairy-tale country with a history of wars and victories, kings and castles. However, there is more to moving to Luxembourg than its historical heritage. As one of the six EU founding countries, along with Belgium, France, Italy, the Netherlands, and West Germany, it also plays an important role within the European Union.
Small Country, Varied Landscapes
The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg is just under 2,600 km2, which makes it about two-thirds the size of Rhode Island — the USA’s smallest state. Situated in the heart of Europe, sharing borders with Belgium, France, and Germany, the country is landlocked. It is also multilingual: Lëtzebuergesch (Luxembourgish), French, and German are all official languages and taught at school and university. Luxembourg is divided into two natural regions: Guttland in the south and east, and Oesling in the north. Despite its small size, the country hosts diverse landscapes of mountains, forests, and valleys.
Luxembourg’s climate is quite temperate, with mild winters and comfortable summer days. Weather conditions can, nevertheless, vary considerably. When moving to Luxembourg, you should be well prepared for rain to occur all year round. The Ardennes region in the north is colder and wetter than Luxembourg’s south. Annual average temperatures for the entire country range from -2.1°C to 21.6°C.
Oesling and Guttland: Luxembourg’s Main Regions
As mentioned above, expats moving to Luxembourg will settle in one of the country’s two main regions: Oesling (or Eisléck) in the north and the Guttland (literally “Good Country”) in the south. Oesling covers one-third of the country’s territory and belongs to the Ardennes. The Guttland, on the other hand, is mostly composed of farmland and also comprises the wine-producing valley of the Moselle in the East. Wherever your expat relocation lands you, you're likely to end up living in a city or town with a European feel, international connections, and the opportunity to speak several languages including French, German, and Luxembourgish. When moving to Luxembourg as an expat, it's not necessary to learn Luxembourgish to feel at home. The friendly locals will happily speak to you in whatever languages you can speak.
Small Yet Impressive: Luxembourg City
Luxembourg City is the biggest urban center in the country. However, “urban” is somewhat of an exaggeration considering the city’s population of only 107,000 inhabitants. Nevertheless, the little city impresses expats moving to Luxembourg with its narrow streets, historic buildings and bridges, and old fortress. However, if you really want to mingle with the locals living in Luxembourg, you need to visit the taverns and pubs off the beaten track.
The Capital of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg was founded in the year 963 and traditionally served as one of Europe’s most powerful fortresses. A treasure trove of ancient remains, such as the Casemates and the ruins of the fortifications, Luxembourg City has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1994.
Of Abbeys and Castles: Oesling and the Ardennes
Oesling is located in Luxembourg’s north and belongs to the Ardennes; it borders the Eifel plateau in Germany. Expats moving to Luxembourg’s north should not hesitate to explore the region’s rich forests and deep valleys as well as its rivers and lakes. The Oesling is Luxembourg’s highest region, rising up to 560 meters above sea level. As a result, the climate is, of course, colder than in other parts of the country.
Make sure to stop by the region’s main towns of Wiltz, Clervaux, and Vianden. Particularly Clervaux and Vianden are worth a visit upon your move to Luxembourg, for their beautiful old castles overlooking the rivers Clerve and Our. The Benedictine Abbey in Clervaux hosts a World War II museum, while the Vianden Castle showcases antique tapestries and armor.
Guttland: Famous for the Moselle Wine Valley
Guttland covers almost 70% of Luxembourg’s territory and is mostly characterized by its forests and valleys. The Moselle Valley is the most imposing one of them and attracts many tourists with its vineyards and delicious wine. Upon moving to Luxembourg, you should not miss out on Müllerthal, also referred to as Petite Suisse (Little Switzerland). This area is located north of the Moselle Valley and is home to one of the oldest towns in Luxembourg, Echternach.
The Valley of the Seven Castles, on the other hand, is the perfect destination for romantics moving to Luxembourg. The 24 km area includes the two castles of Ansembourg, as well as the chateaux of Koerich, Septfontaines, Schoenfels, Hollenfels, and Mersch. At the same time, Guttland is home to meadows, picturesque villages, and forests, making it the perfect home for outdoor enthusiasts in Luxembourg.
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