Of all the cities we visited on our Christmas market tour, I would have to say that the Luxembourg Christmas market surprised us the most with just how absolutely delightful it was. While other markets dominated in other categories, Luxembourg City’s Christmas markets really just felt like a fun party or a carnival. We loved it!
Luxembourg itself is a very nice city. It was very clean and beautiful, with lots of interesting and old architecture. The people we interacted with were very friendly, and the infrastructure was well-developed.
The Old Town part of Luxembourg City was relatively small – you could cross it in about 20 minutes. I would say the Old Town felt less “quaint” and more upscale than other old towns in Europe.
There are 4 main Christmas markets in the Old Town of Luxembourg. They were all part of the Winterlights Festival, which is the name of the Christmas markets in Luxembourg.
This article is a guide to what to see, eat, and buy at the Luxembourg Christmas market.
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To start, we need to talk about drinks – an integral part of experiencing a European Christmas market!
Around the markets, you can find drink stands selling various alocholic and non-alcoholic hot beverages – hot mulled wine, non-alcoholic cider, and hot chocolate are the most common drinks. When you buy your drink, you also pay a small deposit for the cup it is served in. In Luxembourg, the deposit was 5 euro.
When you finish your drink, you can return the mug for your deposit back OR you can keep the mug as a fun market souvenir.
We collected mugs from all over Europe and brought them home with us – a fun souvenir that I see every time I open my cupboard doors (pro tip: when packing, stick each mug in a sock, and then place all the mugs in a carry-on duffel bag, padded with clothes).
If you are keeping your mug instead of returning it for your deposit back, you can still go up and exchange the dirty one you just drank out of for a clean one (people were really nice when we did this – it seems like this is pretty common).
The Luxembourg market had a ton of different mug options – we saw at least 8 as we were walking around (and I’m sure there were others we didn’t happen to see). We brought home the official Winterlights mug, as well as a mug that looked like a Christmas tree! There was also an adorable boot mug.
This year, the Winterlights Festival will run from Friday, November 18, 2022 to Sunday, January 1, 2023.
The Christmas Markets of Luxembourg City
The markets really leaned into the “lights” theme. The trees were strung really intricately with lights, the best tree lights in any of the Christmas markets we visited.
I think it came from a combination of the best lit trees we had seen yet, plus a lot of rides and yes, even a few carnival games, in the markets. Plus, there was Christmas music piped in! It was just delightfully jolly.
Letzebuerger Chreschtmaart at Place d’Armes
This market has a Christmas tree, a traditional nativity display, and 35 chalets (stalls). There was also a little campfire, with a stand where you could buy smores fixing to make over the fire.
I would call this the “international” market, as the stalls, particularly the food stalls, showcased foods from different countries. For examples, we saw:
- Stroopwaffles (3 euro) and pfannkuchen from The Netherlands
- Spaetzle (7 euro) from Germany
- Waffles (3-6 euro) from Belgium
- Calzones (6 euro) from Italy
- Hawaiian Fruit – chocolate covered fruit on a stick
- Gromperekichelcher – Luxembourg potato pancake
- Bratwurst from Germany
- Fondue and raclette from Switzerland
Things to buy at Place d’Armes:
There was a decent selection of things to buy – though food was the main focus of this market. Still, you could get winter gear (scarves, hats, gloves), crocheted winter linens, ornaments, sugared nuts, and Christmas decorations, as well as some unique things like specialty wooden toys and games.
Wantermaart at Place de la Constitution
The Place de la Constitution part of the Winterlights Festival had a real carnival feel to it. There was a Ferris Wheel, a carousel, a Christmas tree ride, a bouncy trampoline for children, and some carnival games. There was also a Christmas pyramid, a traditional part of many European Christmas markets.
There are 41 chalets here, many of them selling food and drink.
In the corner of this market is the grand Christmas tree, decorated in white lights and red ornaments.
There were a lot of types of foods to eat, including:
- Cotton candy (barbe a papa)
- Belgian Liege Waffles
- Fries + Hamburgers
- Crepes + Galettes
- Grilled Fish
- Hungarian Chimney Cake (kurtos)
We saw less shopping options here, but some of the stands included a pet bakery stand, children’s toys, jewelry, and of course, Christmas decorations.
Winterlights on Ice at Park Kinnekswiss
This market is has 5 chalets dedicated to delicious food and meals, but the main event is the large ice skating rink!
Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evenings are DJ nights on the ice.
Niklosmaart at Place de Paris
This is a smaller market, with only 12 chalets, but there is still a grand Christmas tree, a swings ride, and visits from Saint Nicholas.
The Saint Nicolas visits are only during very specific days/times. The 2022 times aren’t out yet, but in 2021, the hours were from Nov 20 to Dec 4, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays, from 3-5pm.
In the evenings, there are also concerts in this market! These occur every night of the market except for December 24 and 25. These concerts run for 1-1/2 to 2 hours and start at 6pm on every night except Sunday, when it starts at 5pm.
Other Christmas Displays
This reindeer ride is at Place Guillaume II.
The kiddie winter train at Square Jan Palach (right behind and outside of the Place d’Armes Christmas market)
There is also a fairy tale carousel at the Grand Rue and Rue Aldringen.
Top Things to See Besides the Markets
The Grand Ducal Palace is the residence of the royal family of Luxembourg: the duke, duchess, and their children live here. You can tour the palace only during the summer months of the year, so a visit during the Christmas markets is not possible. It’s still worth walking by the palace, though!
Cathedral Notre Dame
Interestingly, this cathedral was originally built in the early 1600’s as a Jesuit church, but was converted to a Catholic church in 1773 and became a cathedral in 1870. This cathedral is large and soaring and is free to enter from 8am-6pm daily, except on Sundays, when it is open 9am-7pm.
There are several free Christmas concerts at this cathedral during the Christmas season. In 2021, they were on Sundays, December 5, 12, and 19, from 3-4:30pm.
Where to Stay
Undoubtedly, staying in the old town is the best area to stay in Luxembourg, as you will be within walking distance to all attractions and Christmas markets around the city. I would highly recommend you book your hotel early, as hotels can fill up several months in advance of the markets.
These are my top recommendations for where to stay when you visit the Luxembourg Christmas market:
Hotel Vauban: This clean, modern hotel is incredibly comfortable, has great views, and offers a free breakfast. You’ll be just a block away from the Place d’Armes Christmas market! Overall, this hotel offers a really great value. Check current rates here!
Grand Hotel Cravat: This hotel is set in a historic building and has a very “old-world” vibe. It sits right across the street from the Place de la Constitution market and next door to the cathedral. Room service, a bar, and a restaurant are all available at the Hotel Grand Cravat. Check current rates here!
Hotel Parc Beaux Art: Right around the corner from the Palais Grand-Ducal, this hotel is not far from many of the sites in Luxembourg. All rooms are individually decorated, with exposed beams and fireplaces in some of the rooms. A bistrot is on location at the hotel. Check current rates here!
How Long Do You Need?
With a full day, you can explore all the Winterlights Christmas market locations and see some of the sites in Luxembourg City. This market could also be done as a daytrip from Trier, Germany, which is just a 30 minute drive away and has it’s own, cute village market, or you could do a daytrip to Trier from Luxembourg. Check out my article about the Trier Christmas market here!
Public transport in Luxembourg is free, including the buses, trams, and trains. While you can walk most places in Luxembourg, if you do need any transportation, I would recommend using the bus system the most, as it is really easy and convenient to use and goes around the city.
If you want to find free parking, I would park in the P+R Luxembourg Sud lot on the outskirts of the city and then take the free bus in. It’s a short ride (about 15 minutes) into the main part of Luxembourg.
Additionally, Luxembourg City has free wifi throughout the entire city. We did find that there were some dead spots here and there, but overall were pretty impressed with the quality and coverage of the free public wifi.
The official languages in Luxembourg are French, Luxembourgish, and German. However, many people also speak English.
Some Basics About Visiting the Luxembourg Christmas Market
- There are no entrance fees to visit the Christmas markets.
- Currency in Luxembourg is the euro. One euro is currently converts to around 1.10-1.30 US dollars.
- There are some stands that will accept card, but many places will just take cash. There are ATMs around the city, so it’s not hard to find a spot to pull out some euros.
- Weekends can get very busy, so if possible, visit the Christmas markets on a weekday.
- Each market had a free public bathroom you can use – plus, they were very clean!
Travel Essentials for the Luxembourg Christmas Market
Like most Christmas markets in Europe, the Basel Christmas market was chilly! I cozied up with this affordable wool coat, this super cute pom-pom beanie, and this festive scarf. And don’t forget a pair of gloves!
You’ll definitely want good footwear as you walk around the markets – you can put in a lot of kilometers/miles as you traipse all around Basel. These are my new favorite sneakers – white faux leather, and soft and cushy!
A good backpack and/or a crossbody purse with a zipper is a must! We liked carrying around a backpack so we had a place to stash any goodies we picked up at the markets, and this one is waterproof! And I always bring this cognac crossbody purse with me on trips – always zipped and in front of my body to prevent pickpocketing.
Don’t forget – Luxembourg uses type C and F plugs, so if you’re coming from the US (or another country that doesn’t use type C plugs), you’ll need a power adaptor. This set is affordable and comes in a 3-pack – perfect so everyone can charge their devices.
These packing cubes are my new best friend. Gone are the days of a suitcase full of clothes getting all mixed up and disorganized after 2 days of travel, with me always rummaging around for 5 minutes trying to find things. You can pack like items in different cubes and keep everything in its place. Honestly, can’t believe I held out buying these for so long!
Don’t Forget Travel Insurance
Securing some travel insurance is an important part of prepping for any international trip – you never know when something might happen, and your regular insurance generally won’t cover you overseas. Costs for a medical emergency on vacation can add up extremely fast, so it’s just better to be safe than sorry.
I like booking insurance at Insure My Trip, as they offer a variety of plans with different coverages to choose from, so you can find the right option for you. Plus, they have great customer support if you need help before, during, or after your trip.
Final Thoughts on the Luxembourg Christmas Market
Christmas music was playing overhead, lights were twinkling, hot drinks were flowing freely, and people were having a good time all around. We walked around with giant, cheesy smiles on our faces – the Luxembourg Christmas Market surprised and absolutely delighted us. It’s a hidden gem Christmas market in Europe, for sure, but one that I would not hesitate to recommend!
Read about other European Christmas markets:
- Colmar Christmas Market: A Charming Winter Wonderland
- Strasbourg Christmas Market: A Detailed Guide
- What to Eat, See, and Do at the Basel Christmas Market
- The Cologne Christmas Market: The Best Themed Markets in Europe
- What to Do at the Trier Christmas Market