Visit a new country for the price of €50? Sign me up! This 1-day trip was organized by the International Club at IÈSEG and it was not to be missed. In comparison to other European countries, Luxembourg is often overlooked by travellers and isn’t considered a hot tourist destination. Let’s be real, have you ever heard someone say, “I’m going to Luxembourg this summer?” Though unknown to many, but used as a tax haven for some, this country surprised the hell out of me. It’s actually one of my favourite destinations thus far and I understand now, why expats choose to call it home. With Fall fully in the air, all the greenery that once covered this small city were turning brown which made it even more beautiful. It was also the first time I experienced such freezing temperatures (-4°), but with 3-layers of clothing and a pair of gloves, I survived the day.
WHERE I WENT
A famous landmark in Luxembourg City, this double bridge was built between 1900-1903. I saw this bridge after searching on Instagram and I knew that I had to take a picture here. It’s the perfect spot to view the old town below.
PFAFFENTHAL PANORAMIC ELEVATOR
This was the highlight of the trip! It’s a massive glass elevator that connects Ville Haute & Pfaffenthal. Basically, the lower city and the upper city. The kid in me wanted to ride this all day especially since it was free. Take a look!
What started as a simple ride on the elevator ended up with unexpected friendships and a hike to a museum. While taking a couple pics, we asked two guys if they could take a couple shots of us. After a brief exchange and with nothing to do on our end, this led to us accompanying them to the MUDAM. Meet Francesco & Duarte, our adventurous, Portuguese friends who chose to wander through the bushes to visit the museum instead of using the streets (like normal people).
The mini ‘hike’ turned out to be a lot of fun, though at times, it could have ended up with someone at the ER for either a heart attack or a sprained ankle. It took around 30 mins to get to there and honestly, I was so happy we went! The pieces on display were strange yet intriguing and majority of the time we created our own analogies.
This exhibit, ‘The Last Resort’ by Anri Sala showcases 38 drums hanging from the ceiling and is actually a self-playing sculpture. It created a sensory experience that made all of us just lay on the floor and take it all in for an hour.
BRASSERIE NATIONALE (BOFFERDING)
Though the first half of the itinerary was free to do as we wish, the second half was to visit the largest brewery in Luxembourg. As someone who has worked in the beer manufacturing industry before, it was quite interesting to see the European version of it. It was really interactive, and the tour took us from the phase 1 straight til the end. It ended with a beer tasting which turned out to be five full glasses of different types of beer. And as you can see, I struggled to finish them all.
WHAT I ATE
The day was so jam-packed that I didn’t get time to eat anything special. I did however eat the Mcdonald’s McRib for the first time, and it was to say the least, very underwhelming.
my plans next visit
NO PLANS TO REVISIT
I don’t really plan on revisiting Luxembourg as it’s such a small country and I covered most of the important spots that day. It’s such a vibrant city and if I do revisit it’s just to show newcomers around. Who knows, I just might be the 1 in every 10000 to say ‘I’m going to Luxembourg this summer!’
What do you think about Luxembourg? Share in the comments
Just 1h30 minutes drive from Lille, Belgium was the first country to be crossed off the bucket list after starting school. Brussels is small enough to be explored in one day and easy enough to walk by foot. We did a ‘free’ walking tour which highlighted all the historical spots of Brussels and the history behind them.
WHERE I WENT
Who didn’t know that Belgium had a King & Queen, raise your hand….🙋🏾♀️. If you did, hats off to you 👏🏾. Though it is not the official residence of the Royals, it is often used for administrative purposes by the King. Located near Brussels Park, it’s not very old as it was built only in 1900 and represents part of the constitutional monarchy. Seeing this palace for the first time, I think it mirrors Buckingham Palace quite a bit, but it is actually only half its size.
This district is home to most of the EU institutions including the European Parliament and EU Council. The symbol of the EU, the Berlaymont is also located here and houses the EU Commission.The building is quite unique as it is shaped like an ‘X.’ This quarter is one of the main reasons, if not the only reason Brussels was named the ‘de facto capital of the EU’.
- European Parliament: largest & only direct-elected legislative body in the world
- EU Council: main decision-making body of the EU
- EU Commission: runs all day-to-day business regarding the EU
While walking through the stoned side streets of Brussels, we saw a large crowd gathered and couldn’t understand why. Lo and behold, there he was, the famous Manneken Pis (Dutch: ‘Little Pissing Man’). It’s a small fountain sculpture of a little boy urinating in a tracksuit. It was designed in 1619 and though this is the replica, the original can be found in the Brussels City Museum. The sculpture symbolizes the rebelliousness of the people of Brussels. Believe it or not, he has more clothing than most of us with a wardrobe of 1000+ costumes. He actually has a sister called the ‘Jeanneke Pis’ designed to look bolder than her little brother.
CATHEDRAL OF ST. MICHAEL & ST. GUDULA
Known as the main Roman Catholic church in Brussels, it was built in the 11th century and took more than 300 years to complete. St. Michael & St. Gudula are the patron saints of this gothic, medieval-style cathedral as well as the saints of Brussels. The architecture in this church was absolutely stunning and I’ve never seen anything like it before.
WHAT I ATE
French fries are Belgian, not French 😱. So why is it called French fries then? Well, the story dates all the way back to World War I when soldiers deep-fried potatoes and named it ‘French fries’ because the main language of the Belgian army was French. However, there’s still debates decades later whether fries are French or Belgian; but being one of the most popular foods in the world, I don’t think it really matters. Maison Antoine fries are delicious and apart from regular ketchup and mayo, you get a ton of other sauces to choose from.
Another food torn between its French & Belgian origin. However, given the large variety that can be found in Belgium, I’m personally giving this one to them! Waffles are to Belgium like gelato is to Italy. Waffle shops are almost everywhere in the city centre of Brussels and I can attest that it is absolutely amazing. So good that I didn’t really want to share but I had to for ‘health purposes’.
PS. I did have Belgian chocolates but I’ve saving it for another post 😉
my plans next visit
What is this strange looking thing and why I am interested in visiting? Well this landmark was built in 1958 and it’s really a museum. Shaped like a unit cell, each sphere contains exhibit halls and the top spheres houses a restaurant overlooking the city of Brussels. It’s also the main symbol of Belgium.
Will you visit Brussels? Let me know in the comments.