Capital | Luxembourg City
Population | 503,302 (July 2011 est.)
Area | 2,586 SQ KM
Official Language | Luxembourgish
Holidays | National Day (Birthday of Grand Duchess Charlotte) 23 June; note - the actual date of birth was 23 January 1896, but the festivities were shifted by five months to allow observance during a more favorable time of year
Currency | Euro (EUR)
Time Zone | UTC +1
Best Time to Visit | March to June, for the most pleasant weather
Connecting with the Culture | Feeling claustrophobic in Luxembourg City’s fortress casements, a honeycomb of damp chambers and connecting tunnels hewn from the belly of the Bock. Taking in the superb panoramas from Citadelle du St Esprit in Luxembourg City. Spending a lazy day discovering the wineries along the Moselle Valley’s Route du Vin. Playing ‘king of the castle’ at Vianden. Hiking among the amazing rock formations in the primeval landscape of the Müllerthal ‘Little Switzerland’ region.
Read | How to Remain What You Are, a humorous look at Luxembourg ways by George Miller, a local psychologist and writer.
Listen | to Fluyd, an alternative rap ‘n’ roll group, and Sascha Ley.
Watch | the excellent Luxembourgian animation of Kirikou et la Sociére.
Eat | judd mat gaardebounen (slabs of smoked pork served in a thick cream-based sauce with huge chunks of potato and broad beans), ferkelsrippchen (grilled spareribs) and liewekniddelen mat sauerkraut (liver meatballs with sauerkraut).
Drink | Moselle wines labeled ‘Marque Nationale du Vin Luxembourg’ (which means the wine has passed various wine-tasting tests).
In a Word | Moien (hello)
Characteristics | Home to the most dramatically situated capital city in Europe; dumplings; a tax haven; stunning castles; beautiful china; proud people.
Surprises | Whitsunday is celebrated with a handkerchief pageant in honour of St Willibroad; the Moselle Valley’s wine festival is held from August to November’s ‘New Wine’ celebration in Wormeldange.