Starting sometime next summer, all forms of public transportation in Luxembourg will become free for everyone. That includes city busses, the light rail line, and trains within the national borders. This means you cannot only explore as much of the city as you want; you can also make day trips to the smaller cities and rural areas in the north.
Many U.S. and Canadian travelers “of an age” remember Luxembourg as the primary European terminal for Loftleidir (now Icelandair) when it was the only low-fare transatlantic option in an otherwise tightly controlled air travel market. Back then, thousands of travelers—with a hefty proportion being of student age—arrived at Luxembourg’s Findel Airport and headed either for the rail station to start their Eurailpass adventures or to one of the many car rental offices.
Even though not a primary destination, Luxembourg City had a great deal of history and charm, which it retains. Among the surprises I encountered on my first visit, decades ago, was the importance of U.S. General George Patton in Luxembourg’s national narrative. He led the army that freed Luxembourg from an oppressive Nazi occupation and is regarded as a great liberator. Another surprise is that a large fraction of the rural northern part of the country, which is heavily wooded, is part of the Ardennes Forest, historically significant in both World Wars.
Free transit is an interesting experiment that I suspect will be closely studied by transportation mavens around the world as they explore ways of increasing transit use. But you don’t have to study it to enjoy it as you explore one of Europe’s most attractive and historic areas.
— Ed Perkins, editor
For more travel tips from Ed Perkins, see our companion site Ed on Travel