So very well known for its business successes, financial services sector and connection to the European Union, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg is not necessarily a country that you would consider for its preservation of nature and significant role in history. However, I am here to tell you and remind those that had forgotten, that Luxembourg has three of its sites on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
One of these sites is the fortifications and the ancient quarters which are part of the Old Town in the capital city of Luxembourg. It was added on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1994; there is only one piece of transportation that can take you to see parts of it where cars and buses cannot travel: the Petrusse Express. With little information about the Petrusse Express available online, I simply had to share the main facts with you so, that you book a ticket on this phenomenal historical and cultural tour.
See some of the best views from a bright green train
The Petrusse Express, as per the photograph, is a bright lime green little train (hard not to spot!) and departs from the Montée de Clausen (near the Bock Casemates) every 30 minutes from 10 am to 6 pm and provides a 40–60 minute continuous tour of parts of the city of Luxembourg; it does not stop at any of the sights for you to disembark from the train. The first tour departs at 10 am and the last tour departs at 6 pm. It has been operating since 1987 and tends to be in action from March – October each year, so if you’re travelling during these months, you’re in for a real treat. The cost for an adult is 10 EUR (11 USD), for children between the ages from 4–15 it is 6 EUR (6 USD) and for a family ticket (two adults and 2–3 children), it costs 28 EUR (30 USD).
I would certainly recommend this tour for families, groups, couples and those with mobility issues as it really does provide you with an opportunity to see the best views in some comfort and if you were to consider walking to see all of the areas that it takes you to, you would be walking for a very long time!
Admire the picturesque Old Town
You will get to see Luxembourg’s Old Town and the Petrusse Valley, which the train is named after. The Old Town is separated into different parts, the main and most well known parts at the Ville Haude, the Grund and the Ville Basse. The Ville Haude is known as the High City and covers the core elements of the medical town. The Grund is the central part and is located on the banks of the Alzette River. The Ville Basse, known as the Low City is situated at the bottom and overlooks the most picturesque area of the Old Town. The Petrusse Valley consists of parks, steep slopes and rock formations and connections to the famous fortifications. Alongside all of this, you will also be able to enjoy spectacular views of the Adolphe Bridge, which takes transportation across the Petrusse River. The Adolphe Bridge was named after the first monarch of Luxembourg, Grand Duke Adolphe and was built between 1900 to 1903. It is a stunning arch bridge that is now the unofficial national symbol of this country.
Soak in the views and learn about history
Whilst you travel through these sites, you will be provided with a set of headphones so that you can enjoy a rather unusual audio guide that can be heard in English, French, German, Dutch or Luxembourgish. Through headphones you will experience quite a theatrical representation of the history of the Old Town with two characters (a child and an elderly adult) that are discussing this marvellous city. You should note that the audio guide does not point out the specific sites that you are seeing as you pass them but rather provides you with a historical overview of the city. This is quite a pleasant contrast to the usual types of audio guides available and allows you to simply understand the purpose and history of the city as a whole as you obtain a visual overview of all the incredible sites that form this famous site. The high cliffs, winding valleys, multiple bridges and deep gorges, with beautiful mid-level stone houses set amidst some greenery create a magnificent destination that must be experienced. The pretty scenery and majestic architecture make it a recommended spot to enjoy.
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Locals will be smiling and waving at you
The motto that the local people of Luxembourg hold is “‘mir wëllebleiwewatmirsinn”, which means “we want to remain what we are” and concerns the rich history that this country has faced and the significant occupation that it has encountered by foreign nations such as the French, Spanish and Austrians in the past. Today, it stands strong and insists that its independence will remain. I would recommend that you visit this independent nation that has an abundance of history and amazing sites that you must see and appreciate. The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg is perhaps not big in size but it is indeed grand in so many ways.
I suggest that you start off with a tour with Petrusse Express, which will provide you with a audible timeline of the events that this destination encountered whilst also touring you around many sites of the Old Town and through the Petrusse Valley. As the Petrusse Express travels at a reasonable speed, you will also have the opportunity to take a few photographs too, and I can also guarantee that the friendly people of Luxembourg will pop up in your photos as they will be smiling and waving at you as you pass by in your quirky lime green train that the city loves.
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