Luxtoday
Family and education

Luxembourg's culture and traditions

Luxembourg is proud of its rich culture and deep history. Legends surround its ancient castles, its forests and traditions are protected by UNESCO, and its people love all kinds of festivals and fairs. In this guide we will get to know the biggest events, interesting traditions and activities of the Grand Duchy.

Last time updated
03.04.24

Despite its small size, Luxembourg has a rich and vibrant cultural life, living traditions and amazing festivals.

Luxembourg is one of the oldest states in Europe, founded on the ruins of the Roman Empire (before our era, these lands were inhabited by the Gauls, and the territory itself was part of this ancient state). The first ruler of Luxembourg was Count Siegfried, who gained independence in 963 and built a castle on this site. Later it became the center of the city and its casemates became one of the main attractions of the capital.

Source: luxembourg-city.com
Source: luxembourg-city.com

The Legend of Siegfried and Melusina

A beautiful love story of Siegfried and Melusina has been passed down from those distant times. 

The Magic Song

It is said that Count Siegfried was a great fan of hunting. One day, he wandered deep into the forest and got lost. Enchanted by nature and the amazing scenery, Siegfried found himself in the valley of the Alzette River. There he saw a beautiful girl sitting on a high cliff overlooking the river, singing. Siegfried wanted to go up to the girl, but the magical song put him to sleep. When he awoke, the count thought he had dreamed it all and returned home. But the thought of the mysterious beauty kept him awake. So he returned again and again, until one day he met the mysterious girl again.

Conditions of love

The young men immediately fell in love, and Siegfried offered Melusina (that was the girl's name) to be his wife. The girl agreed, but with two conditions: they must live near her cliff, and once a week she must be left completely alone. Siegfried hurried to fulfill Melusina's requirements, and a castle was built on the cliffs of Bock. He named his town Lucilinburhuc — the little castle — and the young people lived happily ever after.

A fateful night

Years went by, and everything would have been fine if the people around the count had not bothered him with questions: "What does your wife do when she is alone?". And one day they convinced him to look into Melusina's room on the very day she was supposed to be alone. And how horrified was the count when he saw that his wife was a mermaid! When Melusina heard Siegfried's scream, she ran out of her room in despair and threw herself from the cliff into the river. It is said that her enchanting voice can still be heard wandering through the casemates of Bock Castle. Every few years, the girl appears on the cliff, waiting for someone to love her again and free her from the river's fetters.
JuliusHubner_Melusine.jpg
Юлиус Хюбнер, «Мелюзина». Источник: volobuef.tripod.com

For several centuries, these lands have been contested by many nations. Here are some important dates in the history of Luxembourg:

  • 1830: During the Belgian Revolution, part of Luxembourg's territory was taken by a neighboring state;
  • 1866: "Luxembourg Crisis" — Napoleon tried to buy Luxembourg, but this was resented by Germany;
  • 1867: During negotiations in London, Luxembourg was granted the status of permanent neutral territory;
  • 1914 and 1940: occupation by German armies;
  • 1948: the state renounced permanent neutrality;
  • 1992: Luxembourg became a founding member of the European Union.

During the Luxembourg crisis, the motto " Mir wëlle bleiwe wat mir sin " ("We want to stay as we are") spread throughout the country. It remains the Grand Duchy's motto to this day. It can be found on some of Luxembourg's buildings, as well as on the coat of arms or the flag. The motto itself is a good example of the Luxembourgish people's commitment to identity: throughout their history, the inhabitants of this country have cherished their culture, their traditions and their distinctive identity.

Источник: en.wikipedia.org
Luxembourg
History
Facts
Interesting and fun facts about Luxembourg
Read article

Owing to its rich history and its strategic location in the heart of Europe, Luxembourg has become home to many museums. The museums of the Grand Duchy are an endless source of information, allowing you to get a complete picture of the country's culture. As in many other countries and cities, the museums of Luxembourg can be divided into several categories.

Art galleries

One of the biggest categories is art museums and galleries. Here are three of the most popular galleries in the Grand Duchy.

Музей Вилла Вобан, Источник: luxembourg-city.com
Музей Casino Luxembourg, источник: luxembourg-city.com
MUDAM: Grand Duke Jean Museum of Contemporary Art
Villa Vauban: Museum of Fine Arts
Casino Luxembourg: contemporary art museum

Historical museums

Owing to its ancient history, Luxembourg has a lot to tell those who live in and visit the Grand Duchy. You can learn more about the Grand Duchy's past in its many museums.

Source: citymuseum.lu
Source: visitluxembourg.com
Source: luxembourg-city.com
Source: luxembourg-city.com
Musée National de la Résistance
Musée d'Histoire de la Ville de Luxembourg
MNHN: National Museum of Natural History

Other museums

In addition to art galleries and historical museums, Luxembourg has other unusual collections. Here are some interesting examples of how to spend your free time.

Source: luxembourg-city.com
Source: luxembourg-city.com
Source: rail.lu
Source: Jan Dreesen on flickr.com
Source: visittroisvierges.lu
Source: visittroisvierges.lu
The Cinémathèque
Tramsmusée
Toy Museum Clervaux
Museums
Luxembourg
Tourism
Museums and cultural centers in Luxembourg
Read article

Luxembourg is proud of its history, its culture and its rich traditions. Twice in its history it has been awarded the honorary title of European Capital of Culture: in 1995 and 2007. There are nine UNESCO sites on its territory. The famous UNESCO World Heritage List included the capital's districts and fortresses in 1994. Later, the organization also recognized nature reserves, geoparks and the intangible heritage of the Grand Duchy.

Luxembourg's historic district and fortresses

yuri-shirota-umsmLWESOrk-unsplash.jpg
Source: Yuri Shirota, Unsplash

This is the heart of the state, the famous walls where Siegfried lost his beloved. Unfortunately, due to numerous wars and turmoil from the 16th to the 19th century, the walls of the fortress were repeatedly dismantled and rebuilt. Today it is one of the most popular tourist sites in the country.

Minett Region

csm_UNESCO_MINETT_BIOSPHERE_4_-_Thomas_Jutzler_01_33efe7e2d5.jpg
Source: visitluxembourg.com

This nature reserve in the south of Luxembourg is on the UNESCO list of protected areas. It covers more than 200 kilometers (about 1/10 of the total area of the country). There is a special red trail (80 kilometers), thanks to which the reserve is sometimes called "The Land of Red Rocks". In the past, the steel industry was developed and iron was mined here. Now its amazing biosphere is protected by a world organization.

The exhibition "Family of man"

7d99513e26f74d6ab3388145e9f33196.jpg
Source: visitluxembourg.com

This exhibition was organized in 1955 by the photographer Edward Steichen (born in Luxembourg and raised in the United States) for the New York Museum of Modern Art. Its main characters are people who lived in the 1950s, and the exhibition itself is divided into 32 themes, arranged chronologically. The exhibition is now at the Museum of Clervaux and is also on the UNESCO Memory of the World list.

University of Luxembourg

20161004_UNI-Belval_Bat-MS_1149.jpg
Source: researchluxembourg.org

A special network of UNESCO universities includes a chair in human rights at the University of Luxembourg. Students and staff actively contribute to the activities of the world organization, participate in international conferences and organize global events.

Most of Luxembourg's sites can be found on the UNESCO intangible heritage list:

Traditional irrigation

UNESCO recognizes the deep understanding of the natural landscape, weather patterns, land irrigation designs and how to train new professionals.

Transhumance, the seasonal droving of livestock

Seasonal grazing, a practice of our distant ancestors, has survived in Luxembourg, and there are whole families here who pass on their knowledge from generation to generation, as well as sharing their skills at all sorts of conferences.

Hauspeschbléiser

The art of playing the musical horn, born in the 18th century at the court of the French king, later spread throughout Europe; it is still alive in Luxembourg, where you can meet real masters of this rare art.

Hopping procession of Echternach

This event takes place every year on Pentecost Tuesday in the center of Echternach, one of the oldest cities in Luxembourg; the tradition dates back to 1100 and is associated with the name of St. Willibrord, a monk and founder of the Abbey of Echternach.

Midwifery

Medical attendants for pregnant women made the list because their skills, knowledge, and practices have been successfully developed and maintained over generations.

For more information on all UNESCO sites in Luxembourg, visit the organization's official website.

gukhwa-jang-X30mNjC_oOY-unsplash.jpg
Source: GukHwa Jang, Unsplash

Thanks to its ancient history, Luxembourg boasts many unusual buildings: castles, abbeys, monasteries and various fortifications. You can find something unusual and interesting just by stepping over the threshold! The Grand Duchy will surprise everyone, even the most demanding traveler.

There are 76 castles and châteaux, the most beautiful of which are in Vianden, Beaufort, Bourscheid, Clairvaux and Larochette, but others are worth a visit, especially if you travel with a guide or an expert on Luxembourg's history.

To be honest, I'm not a big fan of castles and chateaus. But when you see them up close you can't help but feel something: their magnificence and the power of a bygone age. I don't know how to explain this feeling of connection, it is simply fascinating. It is true that the state of the castles varies, but in the last few years, the government has been gradually buying up the most important sites and restoring them.

Vika
Vika
Luxembourg language teacher, living in Luxembourg for over 26 years
Read interview

In addition, these castles or their ruins often host traditional festivals, exhibitions, open-air concerts and other events. If you have a memorable date on your calendar and don't know where to go, try visiting the nearest castle: you're sure to find fairs, tastings, musical performances and activities for children.

Grand Ducal Palace
Vianden Castle
Beaufort Castle
Luxembourg
Castles
Sightseeing
Interesting and fun facts about Luxembourg
Read article

The people of Luxembourg are very fond of folk festivals — there are so many different festivals for all ages and tastes.

To find out about the most important holidays and weekends in the Grand Duchy, check out our special calendar.

Medieval fairs

Source: visit-vianden.lu
Source: visit-vianden.lu
Source: pipeband.lu

These festivals are among the most popular in Luxembourg. Traditionally, they are held in the streets or within the walls of castles or their ruins.

Performances
There are jousting tournaments, performances of troubadours and minstrels, jesters or street theater troupes amuse the crowd, and for the most sophisticated — there are competitions in shooting medieval weapons.
Tastings
The program includes tastings and special markets. Here you can enjoy unusual traditional dishes, fresh food and drinks, and of course, buy some treats to take home.
Artisans
This is where artisans display their work to the public. Here you can find magical candles or aromatic oils, mysterious amulets, handmade jewelry and much more.

You can find these festivals in almost every castle, mostly in the summer or fall when it is warm. Here are some of the most popular events that take place regularly in the Grand Duchy.

Vianden

One of the largest festivals of medieval culture is usually held in July or August.

Useldeng

This event take place in June.

Koerich

This fair is held in the newly restored castle in early fall.

Dudelange

This festival is very popular among the inhabitants and visitors of the Grand Duchy and is usually held in the fall.Website: buergfest.lu

Musical open-airs

Source: loa.lu
Source: loa.lu
Source: sympass.lu
Source: Luxembourg City Tourist Office - LCTO Facebook page

Open-air music festivals are a summer tradition that has spread all over the world, and Luxembourg is no exception. Every year, dozens of events take place here, bringing together hundreds of artists and thousands of music lovers from all over Europe.

Lives
Of course, the best part is seeing your favorite artist live, singing along to your favorite hits, and dancing with your friends to familiar beats.
Picnics
Some festivals begin in the afternoon, giving visitors the opportunity to dine al fresco with live music and enjoy the summer scenery.
Workshops and souvenirs
Some festivals have unusual workshops where you can learn something new and even make some unusual crafts. Especially if it is a workshop for children.

Luxembourg's music scene is rich in events. Here are some of the biggest festivals that take place every year.

LOA Festival

The most important festival for electronic music in Luxembourg. It takes place twice a year: in spring and in autumn.Website: loa.lu

Fête de la Musique

The "Musical Party" has been held in the capital every year since 2000. Traditionally, not only well-known artists, but also young musicians who are just starting out perform on its stage. The festival is usually held in June.Website: fetedelamusique.lu

Kinnekswiss Loves

The event takes place in June and July in the legendary Kinnekswiss Park, a favorite destination for Luxembourg residents and visitors alike. This festival is characterized by its rich classical music program and amazing opera stars and symphony orchestras. And best of all — it's free!Website: vdl.lu

Luxexpo Open Air

At this festival you can meet the biggest stars of the world stage. Lizzo, Robbie Williams, Paul Kalkbrenner and many others have performed here at various times. The festival is usually held in July.Website: atelier.lu

To make sure you do not miss out on the most interesting festivals and other events in Luxembourg, keep an eye on our calendar and check out our special events section.

Cimena festivals

Source: neimënster facebook page
Source: British & Irish Film Festival Luxembourg Facebook Page
Source: British & Irish Film Festival Luxembourg Facebook Page
Source: British & Irish Film Festival Luxembourg Facebook Page

Another large category of the Grand Duchy's screenings are film festivals. Despite its modest size, Luxembourg has given the world several movie stars, such as actress Vikki Krieps, director Anne Fontaine and filmmaker Bady Minck.

Watch a new movie
Festival organizers always bring something new and unusual from the world of shows. These can be both high-profile premieres and real gems of cinematography that sometimes go unnoticed by the general public.
Meet celebrities
Major festivals, especially if they have a competitive program, often have guests — world stars who give press conferences or just enjoy chatting with fans between screenings.
Learn something new
The programs include workshops or master classes, as well as lectures by film experts, authors of acclaimed films, screenwriters, directors or critics who are eager to share their experiences and opinions on this or that cultural phenomenon.

Of course, there are not as many film festivals in Luxembourg as there are music festivals. But that only makes them more valuable and their programs more concentrated. Here are some of the country's most colorful events.

Luxembourg City Film Festival

Celebrating its 14th year in 2024, the festival brings hundreds of films from around the world to audiences each year. The program also includes exhibitions, free workshops, lectures and more.Website: luxfilmfest.lu

CinEast

This is the largest film festival from Central and Eastern Europe in Luxembourg. Here you can see films from Lithuania, Poland, Ukraine, Serbia and other countries. The program includes the best dramas and thrillers that will definitely not leave you indifferent.
Website: cineast.lu

British & Irish Film Festival Luxembourg (BIFFL)

The festival took place for the first time in Luxembourg in 2010. At first it was held only in the fall, but in 2023 it was decided to split the festival into two seasons — spring and fall. The program of the festival includes many feature films from Ireland, England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland in various genres.Website: bifilmseason.lu
Luxembourg
Fame
Cinema
Famous people from Luxembourg, that you probably don't know
Read article
5eee90d7204a01a208d3f521a06007b895345175_1920x1080_4a9ef2fb98.png
Source: Luxtoday

The Kulturpass is a special card that allows people with a low income to save money on cultural events in Luxembourg. It is free, personalized and valid for two years.

Through this program, Kulturpass holders receive discounted or free admission to museums and other cultural institutions, as well as access to concerts, festivals, theater performances, and more.

Who can apply for the Kulturpass?

  • Any person (adult and child) or household meeting the criteria for the cost of living allowance and/or the energy allowance issued by the National Solidarity Fund (FNS);
  • Any person who has applied for international protection (DPI);
  • Any person benefiting from temporary protection (BPT);
  • Any person benefiting from a low-income household grant issued by the Centre psycho-social et d’accompagnement scolaire (CePAS);
  • Any student benefiting from a "hardship fund" or "food vouchers" issued by the University of Luxembourg;
  • All international volunteers and au pairs in precarious situations who are taking part in programmes run by the Service National de la Jeunesse (SNJ);
  • Any person receiving income for the severely disabled (RPGH).

Documents for processing

The process of obtaining the card is not complicated: you just need to come to one of the program's collection points with the necessary documents.

Documents for obtaining a KulturpassDocuments for obtaining a Kulturpass
Check the documents
It won't take long, there aren't that many of them.
*The mandatory items are marked with red asterisks.
The written proof of the cost of living allowance
The document must be delivered by the National Solidarity Fund (FNS)
ID Card
Or passport
The form for Kulturpass
It is provided by one of our social partners
Check the documents
It won't take long, there aren't that many of them.
*The mandatory items are marked with red asterisks.
Card collection points

There are a total of 15 card collection points. You can find out the nearest one on the official website of the program.

Once your application is approved, you will receive your Kulturpass.

Where the Kulturpass can be accessed

Partners in the program include dozens of museums, cultural centers, concert halls, festivals, and many other institutions.  For example, the CinEast and LOA festivals, which we told you about earlier, are participating in the program. Here are the largest participants:

Rotondes
This cultural center hosts exhibitions, performances, concerts and many other events of contemporary art and beyond.Address: 3 Place des Rotondes, 2448 Bonneweg-Nord Luxemburg
Website: rotondes.lu
neimënster
Культурный центр одноименного аббатства знаменит своими яркими фестивалями, кинопоказами, а также концертами.
Website: neimenster.lu
Atelier
One of the largest concert venues in the country, it consistently attracts renowned artists from around the world.
Website: atelier.lu
Conservatoire de musique
At the Luxembourg Conservatory, you can listen to masterpieces of the classical musical heritage, meet musicians and immerse yourself in the world of academic or jazz music.Address: 33 Rue Charles Martel, 2134 Hollerich Luxembourg
Philharmonie Luxembourg
Another place where international stars perform with enviable frequency for lovers of classical music and symphony orchestras.Address: 1 Pl. de l'Europe, 1499 Clausen Luxembourg
Kasematten-theater
It offers the widest range of theatrical performances, from daring contemporary productions to traditional adaptations of the classics.
Website: kasemattentheater.lu
Theatre de la Ville de Luxembourg
One of the main theaters of the capital of Luxembourg will also participate in the program and will offer the opportunity to Kultugrass owners to attend performances at a discounted price.
Website: theatres.lu
Show all

Remember that when buying tickets, you must always show your Kulturpass and your ID.

Luxembourgish cuisine is an essential part of the Grand Duchy's culture: no celebration is complete without a traditional dish. During festivities, you will always be offered a taste of a local specialty, and the secrets of preparing some of them are kept by families and handed down from generation to generation.

Luxembourg's cuisine is closely linked to the traditions of its neighboring countries. Some of the Grand Duchy's dishes have their origins in France, Belgium or Germany.

Cuisine features
Generous portions
This feature came to Luxembourg from Germany: be careful — sometimes just one plate can be enough to fill your belly!
Special aftertaste
Luxembourg inherited this sophistication from France. And just like its neighbor, Luxembourg likes to decorate its dishes with beauty and elegance.
Seafood
The Luxembourgers love crayfish and river fish. They cook them in such a way that the dish surpasses in taste any delicacy from the land of the sea.
Sweets and pastries
The people of the Grand Duchy have a sweet tooth. They are particularly fond of chocolate (hello from Belgium!) and liqueur-based desserts.

Luxembourg's main dishes

Of course, it is difficult to list the most popular or most important national dishes of the Grand Duchy: everyone likes something different. But if you want to get to know Luxembourg's cuisine, you can start with these delicacies.

Source: travelfoodatlas.com
Source: gourmetexpedition.com
Judd met Gaardebounen
Ardennes ham
River trout
Bretzel
Sweet pastries
Cuisune
Traditions
Luxembourg
Traditional food and national cuisine in Luxembourg
Read article

Where to taste national dishes

The traditional cuisine of Luxembourg can be enjoyed in many restaurants throughout the Grand Duchy. For more authentic tastes, you can attend special fairs, festivals or tastings that are held from time to time in different parts of the country and in different places.

Léa Linster

The restaurant of the famous chef Léa Linster is located in Fréiseng, 10 kilometers from the capital. There are three different dining areas and the menu is famous for its traditional recipes.Address: 17 Letzebuergerstrooss, FréisengPhone: (+352) 23 66 84 11Website: lealinster.lu

Guillou Campagne

Located in Schouweiler, this restaurant is a family heritage and is appreciated for its deep commitment to tradition. Here you can enjoy an incredible gastronomic experience and taste the most amazing dishes and flavors of the Grand Duchy.Address: 17-19 Rue de la Résistance, Schouweiler DippachPhone: (+352) 37 00 08Website: guilloucampagne.lu

Mosconi

In a picturesque area of the historic center of the capital is a restaurant that will surprise you with its fish dishes, as well as cuisine worthy of the highest praise of the Michelin rating.Address: 13 Rue MunsterPhone: (+352) 54 69 94Website: mosconi.lu
Luxembourg
Cuisune
Traditions
Best restaurants in Luxembourg
Read article
faq

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What UNESCO sites are there on the territory of Luxembourg?

What is Kulturpass?

What national dishes are worth trying in Luxembourg?

We took photos from these sources: Gabor Koszegi on Unsplash, visitluxembourg.com, GukHwa Jang on Unsplash, researchluxembourg.org, Yuri Shirota on Unsplash, en.wikipedia.org, volobuef.tripod.com, city.vdl.lu, visit-vianden.lu, pipeband.lu, citylife.esch.lu, luxembourg-city.com, mudam.com, casino-luxembourg.lu, mnr.lu, citymuseum.lu, mnhn.lu, cinematheque.lu, transmusee.vdl.lu, visittroisvierges.lu, researchluxembourg.org, monarchie.lu, castle-vianden.lu, beaufortcastle.com, loa.lu, useldengmedieval.lu, buergfest.lu, fetedelamusique.lu, vdl.lu, atelier.lu, neimënster facebook page, luxfilmfest.lu, cineast.lu, bifilmseason.lu, alamy.it, travelfoodatlas.com, gourmetexpedition.com, Jan Dreesen on flickr.com, lonelyplanet.com, British & Irish Film Festival Luxembourg Facebook Page

Authors: Kadriia
Was this article helpful?
Very helpful!
Informative!
I didn’t get it.
This is outdated.