Luxembourg Christmas Markets: Festive Food & Fun In Luxembourg City

christmas tree and colourful light displays at the Luxembourg Christmas Markets

Christmas Markets in Europe are legendary. If you’re wondering if they do Christmas Markets in Luxembourg, they do – and they do them really well! Luxembourg may be one of the smallest countries in Europe, but they go big on Christmas Markets.

Not big size-wise, like huge markets with a thousand stalls – but big in terms of lots of seasonal cheer. And also several markets in a relatively small area. Across the city, there are Christmas light displays, fairground rides, ice skating, kids’ events, crafts and plenty of yummy festive food & drink.

I really enjoyed all the festive fun when I visited the Christmas Markets in Luxembourg City. This article is a guide to what to expect in the Luxembourg Christmas Markets in 2023, based on the information they have published about the event this year, and my experience from 2021.

Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links. These are links to products or experiences I recommend and if you were to buy something after clicking on them, I might earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Any earnings go towards the upkeep of this blog, which I appreciate.

What Are The Luxembourg Christmas Markets?

Luxembourg City is the capital of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and the location for the main Luxembourg Christmas Markets.

Winter Lights is the umbrella name for the Luxembourg City Christmas Markets. There is a mixture of Christmas Markets (or Marchés de Noël in French), where you can find food, drink, rides and other activities, and illuminations – festive light displays dotted around the city.

Luxembourg Christmas Market 2023 Dates

If you’re planning a trip to the Luxembourg Christmas Markets, you need to know when they are actually open, so you know when to book or if your dates align.

Good news: the Winterlights festive activities in Luxembourg will start fairly early in 2023. The Luxembourg Christmas markets are open from 24 November 2023 to 1 January 2024.

Where Are The Luxembourg Christmas Markets?

As I said, there are a lot of different activities and light displays at different sites across Luxembourg city. Last year, the organisers displayed maps that showed the various locations so that you could find your way around and not miss any – and I expect it will be the same in 2023.

map showing the location of christmas markets and illuminations in Luxembourg
Map of the Winter Lights Festival in Luxembourg displayed in the city centre

I’ll share my experience at each of the main sights and also some of the smaller ones that I visited.

Place d’Armes: Lëtzebuerger Chrëschtmaart

This felt like the main Christmas Market in Luxembourg for adults. It takes up the majority of Place d’Armes, a central square in Luxembourg City that dates from the 17th century and is surrounded by cafes and restaurants.

lit-up entrance to a christmas market with a sign saying Winter Lights Lëtzebuerger Chrëschtmaart
Christmas Market at Place d’Armes: Lëtzebuerger Chrëschtmaart

There were lots of people here when I visited – and lots of going on inside.

There were plenty of food stalls, including sausages, cheeseburgers, crepes, chips, and potato pancakes, called Gromperekichelcher. As well as food, you can buy alcohol, the most popular of which is vin chaud (also known as mulled wine in English and gluhwein in German).

This warm, spiced red wine is excellent at keeping you warm on a winter’s night and there are various flavours available. However, you have to pay a small deposit for the glass, which you get back when you return it.

There are also lots of stalls selling crafts and gifts – but I would say more than half of this market is food & drink stalls.

Place De La Constitution: Wantermaart

This Christmas Market is located on another major square in Luxembourg City, and close to the gorge that surrounds the Ville Haute part of the city. 

Place De La Constitution sits atop Pétrusse Casemates, which is the base of a medieval fort on the edge of the Pétrusse gorge. The square contains the Monument of Remembrance, an obelisk that memorialises those who fought in WWII.

At Christmas, the square is transformed into a significant Christmas Market, with a mix of activities that would appeal to adults and kids. There’s a fairground with a lit-up Ferris wheel – which can be seen from across the gorge, making this market especially photogenic.

ferrix wheel and christmas lights seen from across a gorge in Luxembourg
Place De La Constitution: Wantermaart, seen from Pont Adolphe

For adults, there are more upmarket gifts and food available. I was intrigued by Tart Flambée, which is a little like pizza but with all kinds of toppings, including salmon. 

From what I saw, Wantermaart is generally less boozy than Lëtzebuerger Chrëschtmaart. That said, there is a corner where you can buy beer, vin chaud and food, near a log fire – and it was packed with adults partaking when I visited!

There are also lots and lots of lights in the trees – Wantermaart is a very sparkly Christmas Market! And this is one of the things that made me like the Luxembourg Christmas markets so much: they have a really cosy, upbeat christmassy feel.

Parc Kinnekswiss: Winterlights on Ice

Just outside Ville Haute, Kinnekswiss Park is a state park where during the Winterlights festival, you can find a 500m2 ice skating rink, which includes a covered section, just in case there’s rain. If you’re up for skating, you can glide around with hanging light sculptures and a ceiling illuminated by 20,000 LEDs.

If you need to relax and warm up afterwards, there is also food and vin chaud available.

This is the only one of the main Luxembourg Christmas Markets I skipped. The reason is that I broke my arm a few years ago skating at a Christmas ice rink in London – and I have had zero interest in ice skating ever since. I don’t even like watching it: I keep thinking people are going to fall and break their limbs as I did.

So, if you take part, please be careful and don’t have any vin chaud until after you skate!

Place De Paris: Niklosmaart

Place de Paris is just south of the city centre, on Avenue de la Liberté. It’s a small square with fountains – and at Christmastime, it’s brought to life with another sparkly Christmas market.

christmas tree and colourful light displays at the Luxembourg Christmas Markets
Place De Paris: Niklosmaart

The Christmas Market at Place De Paris is quite compact and split into two. On the west side of the avenue, there are some rides for kids.

On the east side of the avenue, it’s mainly an adults market: there are no rides for kids and the main things to do are drink vin chaud (or beer) and eat sausage.  In fact, it’s a literal sausage fest, with all kinds of wurst available (and no other food, when I was there, which was a little bit disappointing).

It was very busy on the Saturday night I visited, but quiet on Sunday night. On Sunday, they’d also done away with the glass deposit scheme and were using paper cups for vin chaud.

huge christmas tree lit up with lots of lights with food stalls underneath
Place De Paris was quiet on a Sunday evening

Cour De L‘Ancien Athenee: Winterkids

Just off Rue Notre Dame, close to Cathédrale Notre-Dame, there’s a tiny square with a small Christmas Market with rides for kids and lots of lights in the trees. I’m no expert on kids, but I would guess it’s not as exciting as the Ferris wheel etc. at Wantermaart, but it is smaller, calmer and quieter.

Note, this doesn’t always open as early as the other Christmas Markets in Luxembourg: in previous years it has opened in early December and also closed early in the evening – around 7 or 8 pm.

trees with fairlights and a sign saying Winterkids - one of the christmas markets in Luxembourg
Cour De L‘Ancien Athenee: Winterkids

Other Christmas Markets In Luxembourg City

Place Guillaume II: Les Rennes Volants

Place Guillaume II is a 13th-century public square named after King William II.

There wasn’t much here when I visited: just one ride and some Christmas lights, so it didn’t feel like a major destination to me.  However, that was possibly because there was some construction going on in the square at that time. I’ve read that in previous years there was more going on at this location, so it might be that the market here is more appealing in 2023. 

Large square with a tree lit up in blue lights and a kids ride lit up in red lights
Place Guillaume II

Other Christmas Displays In Luxembourg

Illuminations

As I mentioned earlier, the Winterlights festival is a mixture of Christmas Markets and illuminations, which you will find all over the city.  One of my favourite illuminations was a tunnel of lights I found in Place de Martyrs – it was really cool to walk through and was popular with selfie-takers.

tunnel of fairy lights with people taking photographs
Illuminations at Place de Martyrs

What Are The Best Luxembourg Christmas Markets?

It’s subjective, of course, but because I was in Luxembourg as a solo traveller, and because of my aversion to ice skating, my favourite of all the markets was Lëtzebuerger Chrëschtmaart at Place d’Armes.

It has a really buzzy atmosphere and I enjoyed the plentiful vin chaud and varied food options. I am not sure about the chocolate-covered fruits, though…

My Favourite Thing About The Luxembourg Christmas Markets

I really enjoyed Luxembourg’s Christmas Markets overall, but I think my favourite aspect was the food & drink. I was already a fan of vin chaud, but on this trip, I discovered Gromperekichelcher, the fried potato pancakes I mentioned earlier. They are delicious!

These round pancakes are soft & sticky on the inside and crispy on the outside and come with a choice of sauces to dip them in.  I came across a stall selling them at Lëtzebuerger Chrëschtmaart and I bought one, to taste it.

Dear readers, after eating it, I went right back up to get three more!

potato pancakes with sparkly lights in the background
A second helping of Gromperekichelcher

Other Things To Do In Luxembourg At Christmas

The Christmas Markets in Luxembourg come to life at night, so what will you get up to in the daytime? 

When I was in Luxembourg in December, I explored the city as much as I could during daylight hours. It was cold and dull outside, but this only made me appreciate the sparkly lights and comforting food & drink of the Christmas markets later in the day!

Here are 17 things to do in Luxembourg while you’re there for the Christmas Markets.

Admire The Dramatic Landscape On Which Luxembourg City Is Built

Luxembourg City is comprised of elevated plateaus and deep gorges which are crossed by several bridges.

1. Parc De La Pétrusse

Part of the gorge is landscaped parkland through which the Pétrusse river runs. This is Parc de la Pétrusse or Pétrusse Park and it’s a nice space to wander through – even if the trees might be bare in winter.

2. Pont Adolphe

A great place from which to view the gorge is Pont Adolphe, a stone-arch bridge that opened in 1903. This is one of the major bridges that connects the south of the city with Ville Haute.

stone arched bridge over gorge in Luxembourg City
Pont Adolphe, crossing the Pétrusse gorge

3. La Passerelle

La Passerelle is an arched stone viaduct that crosses the gorge. It was built in 1861 and is also known as the ‘Old Bridge’.

4. Chemin De La Corniche

High above the Alzette river is a walkway built on the ramparts that were built by the Spanish and French in the 17th century: Chemin de la Corniche. There are quaint houses along the walkway but the attraction is the stunning views over the valley and the old Grund area down in the valley.

You can walk the corniche between Rue du St Spirit and Pont du Château.

Walk The Fortifications Of Luxembourg City

Luxembourg City has long been a fortified stronghold. There were fortifications here in Roman times and when the city was founded in the 10th century, Count Siegfried of the House of Ardennes built a castle on the Bock promontory. Various additions and city walls were added during the middle ages – and there are plenty to see in the ruins.

5. Bock Casemates

Bock Casemates is the remains of the fortress that was enlarged & rebuilt in the 17th century and partially dismantled in the 19th century. It is part of Luxembourg’s old town listing as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and you can explore the tunnels and galleries of the sub-terranean defence system.

uneven stone ramparts and a yellow church with steeple seen from an elevated viewpoint
Bock Casemates (left) and Grund (right), seen from Chemin De La Corniche

6. Casemates Memorial Point, Pont Du Château & Archaeological Crypt

If you don’t like the idea of going down into the fortress tunnels, you can still appreciate the remains of the mighty fortifications in Luxembourg. Along Mnt de Clausen you can wander around the upper level of various towers and chambers of the fortress, including Casemates Memorial Point, Pont du Château and various viewpoints on the other side of the road (the Archaeological Crypt).

Explore Ville Haute

The municipal centre of Luxembourg City is Ville Haute, partially circled by the gorge.  This is where most of the Luxembourg Christmas Markets are – but there’s more to see beyond the lights and the stalls.

I explored it myself independently, but there is a well-rated walking tour of the city centre available, too.

7. Fishmarket & National Museum Of History And Art

Fishmarket was originally the centre of Luxembourg city. Built at the junction of two Roman roads, it was within Luxembourg Castle and a marketplace where fish and other goods were bought and sold.

Around Fishmarket, you’ll find several other landmarks, including the National Museum of History and Art and Saint Michael’s Church.

8. Grand Ducal Palace

Luxembourg is a Grand Duchy, and the Grand Ducal Palace (or Palais Grand-Ducal in French) is the official home of the Grand Duke of Luxembourg, the head of state. When I visited here, there were lots of police officers guarding the building, so I didn’t linger too long!

9. Notre-Dame Cathedral

Notre-Dame Cathedral (Cathédrale Notre-Dame) is the Roman Catholic cathedral of Luxembourg City and the only cathedral in the city. It has a mixture of late gothic and Renaissance architecture.

church with steeples and trees with fairy lights in them
Notre-Dame Cathedral at Christmas

10. Place de Clairefontaine

Close to Notre Dame is a pretty little square with a circular monument in it. Many of the city squares are occupied with Christmas Markets around Christmastime, but Place de Clairefontaine is not. The monument is a statue of Charlotte, Grand Duchess of Luxembourg who ruled from 1919 to 1964.

11. Justice Quarter

The Justice Quarter (Cité Judiciaire) contains a rather austere square with several buildings of importance including the Superior Court of Justice and the Palais de Justice Luxembourg.

12. Citadel Of The Holy Spirit

The Citadel of the Holy Spirit, known locally as Citadelle du Saint-Esprit, is another fortress that overlooks the Pétrusse valley. Originating in the 13th Century, the current structure is slightly newer, dating from the 17th century.

Wander The Cobbled Streets Of Grund

Down in the valley is Grund, one of the oldest districts in the city. This area around the Alzette river retains a village feel. In the fog you can get in Luxembourg in winter, it is an almost fairytale-like place to wander during the day.

old houses line a river with elevated buildings seen on cliffs above
View from the Grund bridge, with Ville Haute visible above the district of Grund

13. Grund Elevator

To get to Grund from Ville Haute, there is an elevator next to the Justice Quarter. The elevator descends through the cliff and you exit through a tunnel into the town. Like all public transport in Luxembourg, the elevator is free!

Ps. There’s another elevator north of Ville Haute called the Panoramic Elevator of the Pfaffenthal – this one has glass walls so you can enjoy the view as you go up or down.

14. Rue Münster

The main street that runs through Grund is Rue Münster, which crosses the Alzette with a pretty bridge. Have a wander along this quaint street and you’ll soon pass Mosconi, a Michelin-starred restaurant; Luxembourg National Museum of Natural History and Neumünster Abbey. Further along the river is Pont du Stierchen, a beautiful old medieval stone pedestrian bridge.

15. Church Of Saint John In Grund

Also on Rue Münster is the Church of Saint John in Grund (Église Saint-Jean-du-Grund). This yellow church with a tall steeple is very striking.

Sample Luxembourgish Food & Drink

Luxembourg’s cuisine is not well-known worldwide, but there are several Luxembourgish restaurants where you can try it. I ate Luxembourgish food at Le Quai Steffen Gare de Luxembourg, which was recommended to me. 

16. Luxembourgish Food

The most traditional dish I tried was kniddelen – these are Luxembourgish dumplings made from flour, eggs and milk. They’re often served with a buttery sauce and bacon, but I opted for salmon with mine.  This is great comfort food for a cold day in December, but really filling!  Embarrassingly, I couldn’t finish my serving of them (which was massive, by the way).

bowl of pale coloured dumplings and pieces of salmon with a glass of pink drink next to it
Kniddelen & kir royale made with Crémant de Luxembourg

17. Crémant de Luxembourg

Vin chaud is not the only wine to try in Luxembourg at Christmas. I enjoyed a kir royal made with local Crémant de Luxembourg – it was delightful!

Crémant is a sparkling wine that originates in France – although it is made with the same méthode traditionnelle as champagne, it is ‘distinguished from champagne due to a different mouth texture, which is described as more ‘creamy’ than ‘fizzy’.

Luxembourg is the only country outside France entitled to use the term ‘crémant’, having been used for sparkling wine production since the 19th century.

Map: Luxembourg Christmas Markets

Here’s a map of the main Christmas Markets in Luxembourg, and the other things to do in Luxembourg that I listed above.

How To Use This Map: Click the tab in the top left-hand corner of the map to view the layers. If you click the icons on the map, you can get more information about each one.  If you click the star next to the map’s title, it will be added to your Google Maps account. To view it on your phone or computer, open Google Maps, click the menu, go to ‘Your Places’ or ‘Saved’, then click Maps and you will see this map in your list.

Practical Information For Visiting The Luxembourg Christmas Markets

Getting To Luxembourg

You can fly into Luxembourg Airport, which is connected to many places across Europe and some in Turkey and north Africa. The airport is 8 km from Luxembourg City, connected by bus and taxi.

Try Skyscanner to get a good flight deal.

However, don’t rule out train travel – it’s pretty easy to get around Europe by train.

On my visit to the Luxembourg Christmas Markets, I travelled to Luxembourg from London via Paris (on the way there) and home via Brussels on the way back. The main train station is simply called ‘Luxembourg’ and is south of Ville Haute.

Where to Stay

I’d happily recommend the hotel I stayed at in Luxembourg. The Park Inn by Radisson is a modern hotel near the main station, which was handy for me, as I arrived by train.

I had a spacious room and the breakfast was great. From the hotel, it takes less than 5 minutes to walk to the Christmas Market at Place de Paris and 12-15 to get to Place de la Constitution (10 mins, if you jump on a tram).

spacious room with double bed and desk in a hotel
Park Inn by Radisson

How Long Do You Need For The Luxembourg Christmas Markets?

As there’s a lot of variety to the Christmas Markets in Luxembourg, two days is a good amount of time to explore several of them and also the city at the same time. That’s what I did during my trip.

However, if you only had one day in Luxembourg City, you could use this guide to pick & choose which markets sound most appealing to you and visit two or three of them in one evening.

Public Transportation

Getting between the Christmas Markets in Luxembourg is made simpler by the fact that there is good, reliable public transport around Luxembourg City – and even better, it is free! 

Yes, since 2020, public transport in Luxembourg, including buses, trains and trans, is free for everyone (residents and tourists) throughout the entire country. The only exception is first class on trains – you do still have to pay for that. You should take ID with you, too – every passenger has to be able to show a piece of identification if a conductor asks to see one.

Still, you need to find the right route through the city, so download the Citymapper app to help you plan your way around the city using public transport – and then just hop on board without paying a cent.

Free Wifi

Luxembourg is proud to be one of the countries with the best connectivity in Europe, with widespread 4G coverage, 5G rolling out and public wifi across Luxembourg City – with basic use free when you register.

Languages

The official languages in Luxembourg are French, German and Luxembourgish. It seemed to me that French was most common in Luxembourg City, which reflects the fact that 98% of the population speak French, compared with 78% German and 77% Luxembourgish.

However, many people also speak English. As someone with very limited French & German (and no Luxembourgish), I didn’t have any language barriers exploring Luxembourg.

That said, it is, of course, a good idea to learn at least a few basic words and phrases in French.

The Last Word

If you visit the Christmas Markets in Luxembourg, I hope you have a great time! 

And if you’re not sure whether it’s the right destination for you at Christmas, there are some great Paris Christmas Markets to choose from. And there’s also a really fun and festive Christmas Market in Amsterdam.

Finally, if you’re buying Christmas presents for a travel fan (or if you are one and your family and friends are asking for ideas for you), check out my list of ideas for travel stocking stuffers and small gift ideas for travel lovers.

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2 thoughts on “Luxembourg Christmas Markets: Festive Food & Fun In Luxembourg City”

    1. Thanks so much for your feedback, Clazz! I really enjoyed it in Luxembourg at Christmas and it was so easy to get there by train. The public transport was amazing: clean, punctual and free 🙂

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