Luxembourg

Luxembourg, wedged between France and Germany, is at the centre of the great trading bastions in Europe. The tiny country, comprised of a small collection of towns, is not really known as a holiday hotspot even though it does in fact boast many pleasant surprises. One such tidbit is a tree that grows on the highest point in the landlocked territory, planted by Napoleon Bonaparte during the French revolution, vandalized during the Second World War and restored in subsequent years. The territory has passed between German and French hands over the centuries, leaving ancient castles peppered throughout the landscape and making for a most interesting visit for the traveller. Luxembourg City is by far the most interesting destination, with the quaint architecture and pompous splendour of the eponymous Luxembourg Palace serving as a jumping point to a great urban gem. Of course it's not just the history that draws you in either; the country is very well served by train and the airport links to international destinations, making it a convenient and enjoyable pit stop in a wider tour of Europe. The country's inhabitants – affectionately known as Luxembourgers – are generally fluent in several languages, including Luxembourgish, French, German, English, Dutch, Flemish and some Spanish. As the country and its capital retains the historical charm of its much larger neighbours, the linguistic and cultural overlaps are not surprising. Nonetheless, those looking for a delightful break from the usual European destinations may be pleasantly surprised with Luxembourg’s little secrets and international flavour. ~ Stephen Mowat


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 Full name: Grand Duchy of Luxembourg

 Population: 509,074 (CIA, 2012)

 Capital: Luxembourg

 Largest city: Luxembourg

 Area: 2,586 sq.km. (998.5 sq. mi.)

 Major languages: Luxembourgish, German,  French

 Major religions: Roman Catholic, Other

 Monetary unit: Euro

 GDP per capita: US $84,700

 Internet domain: .lu

 International dialling code: +352

 Source: CIA World Factbook