advertisement

By Train & Bus

The Chemins de Fer Luxembourgeois (tel. 49-90-49-90; www.cfl.lu), or Luxembourg Railways, operates frequent trains throughout the Grand Duchy, with connecting bus service to those points the rails don't reach. Going by train is a great way to get around. Luxembourg's local trains are not luxurious, nor are they exactly speedy, but riding the rails gives you the chance to sit back and let the sights and the scenery unfold around you.

Bus service is efficient and comfortable, and between the main towns, at least, is reasonably frequent. In Luxembourg City, a combination of walking and using the excellent city bus network is the best way to get around.

Travelers over 60 are eligible for a 50% reduction except when traveling to or from a frontier point. In addition, special half-fare weekend and holiday round-trip tickets are offered throughout the system, again except to frontier points. A 1-day billet longue durée (day ticket), good for unlimited travel by train and bus, costs 4€ ($6.40). You set the starting time of the ticket yourself when you stamp it. A carnet (book) of five 1-day tickets costs 16€ ($26). When going by train, these prices are for second-class travel; riding in a first-class compartment costs an additional 2€ ($3.20) per day.

By Car

Roads in the Grand Duchy are kept in good repair and are well signposted. But beware that some roadways are narrow, and with many curves, especially in the Ardennes.

To park in the "blue zones" of Luxembourg City and some other towns, you may need a parking disc. These are cardboard or plastic discs with a revolving hour scale. When you park, you set your arrival time by turning the disc to the appropriate hour, displayed in a slot in the card, so that the parking inspectors know when you have overstayed your welcome. The discs are available from stores and banks, often at no charge. In many other places, there are parking-ticket dispensers.

Rentals -- If you plan to rent a car in the Grand Duchy, you need a driver's license valid in your own country. Car-rental rates begin at around 60€ ($96) a day and 75€ ($120) for a weekend. Leading car-rental firms in Luxembourg (with rental desks at Luxembourg Airport) are Avis (tel. 800/29-614; www.avis.lu), Europcar (tel. 43-45-88; www.europcar.lu), Hertz (tel. 43-46-45; www.hertz.be), and Budget (tel. 43-75-75-1; www.budget.lu), which also has a location at rue de Longwy 300 (tel. 44-19-38-1).

Gasoline -- Fill up on gas (benzine) in Luxembourg. A low rate of tax on gas and diesel means you can save around 25% on gas prices in Luxembourg, compared to the prices in neighboring Germany, Belgium, and France -- enough of a difference that drivers from those countries go out of their way to fill up in Luxembourg, and the Grand Duchy's main border towns and crossings sport long, ugly lines of gas stations along the main roads.

Driving Rules -- Speed limits are 50kmph (31mph) in towns and villages; 70kmph (43mph), 90kmph (56mph), or 110kmph (68mph) on open country roads (national roads); and 130kmph (81mph), or 110kmph (68mph) in rain, on the autoroute (expressway/motorway). In all cases, lower limits may be posted. The use of seat belts is compulsory, and tooting the horn is permitted only in case of imminent danger.

Road Maps -- An excellent road map of the Grand Duchy -- which shows camping grounds, swimming pools, and tourist attractions in addition to main roads -- is available at no cost from the Luxembourg National Tourist Office in Luxembourg City. Other good road maps include the Ordnance Survey maps (two sheets) and Michelin map no. 214, available from local bookstores and newsstands.

Breakdowns/Assistance -- A 24-hour emergency road service is offered by the Automobile Club du Grand-Duché de Luxembourg (tel. 45-00-45-1; www.acl.lu).

By Bicycle

The Luxembourg countryside lends itself to biking. You're free to ramble down any road that strikes your fancy, but you should know that there are also biking trails leading through the most scenic areas. Local tourist offices can provide suggestions for tours on these trails and on less traveled roadways. In addition, tourist offices in Luxembourg City, Diekirch, Echternach, Vianden, and other towns can arrange bicycle rentals. Bikes can be transported by train for a small fee, regardless of distance traveled, but this is subject to space availability (which is usually not a problem).

By Foot

Walking is a great way to travel through this beautiful land. You can do this on 21 separate signposted walking trails around the Grand Duchy. Known as Sentiers Nationaux (National Trails), these range in length from 13km (8 miles) to 84km (52 miles). Plus there's the Eifel-Ardennes Trail that crosses the border into Germany. Bookstores carry maps of these and other walking routes, and local tourist offices have brochures of walking tours in their area.

The free Luxembourg Railways' Rail et Randonnée (Train and Tour) brochure, available from stations, outlines 40 walking routes connecting stations; you can take the train to one station, follow the walking route to another, and return or go on by train from there. The Luxembourg Youth Hostels Association, rue du Fort Olisy 2, 2261 Luxembourg-Ville (tel. 26-27-66-40; www.youthhostels.lu), issues detailed maps with walking paths marked in red. All youth hostels are on walking paths designated by white triangular signs.

In total, these different kinds of trails and footpaths add up to some 5,000km (3,100 miles) of walks and hikes.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.