Luxembourg City

The capital of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg was once one of Europe’s strongest fortresses, known as the Gibraltar of the North. Today this medieval city is home to the European Parliament and European Investment Bank.

While Luxembourg is a small, mostly rural country tucked between Belgium, Germany and France, it is accessible via train from most places in Western Europe. The airport is also located just a few miles from Luxembourg City.

Luxembourg was occupied by Germans during World War II and liberated by American troops in 1944 and 1945. Today, the Luxembourg American Cemetery and Memorial, a short trip from the City, is the final resting place for over 5,000 American service members and General George S. Patton. It is a peaceful place for reflection and memorial.

EAT

Luxembourgish food draws from the cuisines of its neighbors’ and immigrant communities. Try French pâtisserie, German sausages and apple sauce, and Portuguese food.

DRINK

The historic Grund district, known today for its nightlife, beauty and medieval charm, lies at the bottom of a valley that runs through the center of the city’s Old Town. Our favorite spots include:

Melusina A trendy night club.

The Pyg Friendly and cozy Irish pub.

Scott’s This pub is popular with the ex-pat crowd.

PLAY

Casemates du Bock A network of medieval tunnels used as bomb shelters during World War II.

Le Chemin de la Corniche The “most beautiful balcony in Europe” is a lovely walk along 17th century ramparts overlooking the Grund and Alzette River valley.

Grand Duke’s Palace

The Grund Walk around before the sun sets.

Moselle River Valley vineyards The Moselle’s wines, especially the whites, are internationally recognized and cellar door tastings are a short trip from the city.

Philharmonie Luxembourg A beautiful, internationally renowned concert hall.

STAY

Luxembourg City is small and easy to get around by bus. Stay in the city center for easy access to shopping, restaurants and the Grund’s nightlife, or in the area just north of the train station.

Amsterdam

With its bikes, lovely canals and narrow brick buildings, Amsterdam is one of the sweetest cities in Europe and one that begs for return visits.

Amsterdam is small and best viewed by foot or bicycle. For destinations beyond Centraal and the canal district, the trams are easy and one-hour tickets can be purchased on board.

The city is best reached from the airport via a taxi (15-20 minutes, assumes no traffic) or by train (20 minutes).

EAT

The Avocado Show An instagram-able brunch spot that serves avocado in every dish. Service can be slow so go early or plan to wait.

Foodhallen A sprawling indoor food market with good options for brunch, lunch, or afternoon drinks.

Henri Willig Cheese Try (and bring home!) Dutch cheese and mustard.

Lantjil & De Tijger The best Indonesian food in a hip, busy setting. Indonesia was a former Dutch colony and today Amsterdam has some of the best food outside of Indonesia. Try one of the nasi plates or a rice table.

The Pancake Bakery All the sweet and savoury Dutch pancakes (a larger cousin of the French crepe) you could want at a historic location in Joordan.

Restaurant C A high-end, trendy restaurant with a tasting menu prepared at varying degrees of Celcius. Service a little slow but food is delicious.

Vlaams Friteshuis Vleminckx The very best french fries.

Winkel 43 Incredible Dutch apple pie. The hype is real!

DRINK

Brouwerij 't IJ A brewery and beer garden serving organic beers next to a windmill.

Coffeeshop Paradox Chill spot in Joordan.

Easy Times Coffeeshop Clean coffeeshop serving dry herb and overlooking a canal. Try the carmelo.

Pilsvogel Lively pub and beer garden in Gerard Douplein Square in De Pijp.

Proeflokaal Arendsnest Dutch craft beer pub in Joordan with over 50 local brews on tap.

PLAY

Albert Cuypmarkt A street market in De Pijp. It’s on every day except Sundays.

Anne Frank House

Canal Cruise We highly recommend this. Choose the self-operated boats or hire a skipper. We enjoyed our 90 minute cruise and tour with Those Dam Boat Guys.

Jordaan The poshy part of town. Spend time strolling through it’s charming streets.

Katten Kabinet Feline friends, check out this quirky museum in an old town house devoted to cat artwork. Say hello to the kitties in reception.

Rijksmuseum The Netherlands Museum with art dating back to the Middle Ages. Works by Vermeer and Rembrandt can be found here.

Sarphatipark A small but sweet park in De Pijp.

Shopping It’s fantastic. A few of our favorites include:

De 9 Straatjes (The 9 Streets) for vintage and designer boutiques.

Juulry Cute jewelry shop in De Pijp.

O My Bag A sustainable and fair-labor leather company that produces beautiful bags in De Pijp.

Restored on Haarlemmerdijk.

Tikal Alternative jewelry boutique in Joordan.

Zenza Global home goods in Centraal.

Stedelijk Museum Contemporary art housed within a grand old building.

Van Gogh Museum Best museum in Amsterdam.

Vondelpark Rent a bike and cruise around.

STAY

We recommend De Pijp. Amsterdam’s coolest neighborhood, this former working class hood retains its bohemian vibe. It’s a 20 minute walk into Centraal and far enough from the tourist crowds that it feels authentic. We have loved staying in AirBnbs here and here.

We also love the Joordan neighborhood, which is a bit pricier but worth the cost for being close to everything.

Hotel Arena Gorgeous hotel property next to Oosterpark. Great bar on-site.

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