Bill Alen - May 22, 2007

Luxembourg City, the capital of the tiny country with the same name, is now Europe’s leader in the culture league. Considering that the city has around 200 banks and has the richest per-capita income on the planet, it may seem surprising that it has anything at all to offer on the culture front. However, away from the hustle and bustle of the financial jungle, one can find numerous fruit markets, quaint side streets, picturesque medieval churches and charming little cafes on almost every street corner.


The city has commemorated its installation as Cultural Capital of Europe by opening a new art museum and choosing a deer as the symbol of the city. The deer represents, we are told, health, stealth and wealth, but it could also be said to symbolize the way its inhabitants tend to hop over its borders into neighboring Germany, France and Belgium.


As a result of this border-hopping, Luxembourg City is busier in the daytime than it is at night: the population swells from a nocturnal 80,000 to 120,000 during the day. Businessmen and those on EU duty commute to work in the morning to Luxembourg and return home in the evening to their more affordable homes across the border.


Being one of the most expensive locations on the continent, Luxembourg City is almost totally devoid of backpackers, student travellers and low-spending tourists. It attracts the more cultured class of traveller, those more inclined to visit a museum than a back-street bar.

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