Neighbourhood watch: Ville Haute & Gare
If you want to walk to work, be near to restaurants and nightlife or don't drive, living in the Ville Haute or Gare districts can be an attractive option, especially for fun-loving singles and couples.
Ville Haute or the central district comprises the streets around the Place D'Armes and Place Guillaume II and the Saint Esprit Plateau. Just south of it, you'll find the Gare quarter, which since 1859 has been the location of the Central Railway Station of Luxembourg. On the Bourbon Plateau, it's separated from the old town by a steep valley where the Pétrusse joins the Alzette.
A little background
Only 1km squared in size, the Gare district has a population of 11,040 (end 2019) of which 84% are foreign residents. The Pétrusse area is home to many of the embassies, whilst the Bourbon Plateau and Avenue de la Liberté combine residential and business premises.
The area closest to the station is filled with cafés, shops and bars, but is also where you'll find the city's homeless (many of their support structures are nearby) and it's the zone for prostitution and drugs.
How you view this will be based to some extent on where you've lived before, but it is not on the scale you will find in other European capitals. However there were protests from residents demanding action over drug crime in October last year.
Also slightly over 1km squared, Ville Haute has 3,413 residents (end 2019). The small fort of Lucilinburhuc stood in this area, and is where the name Luxembourg is thought to have originated. The town grew and was recognised as a city in 1244.
In some streets in the Gare quarter you'll find old Haussmann style buildings dating from the 19th century, many converted to apartments. Proximity to the city's facilities means that prices per square metre in both quarters are amongst the highest for property in Luxembourg.
According to Wort Immo the current price per square metre of real estate in these areas are:
Apartment (old) €11,995
Apartment (new) €12,760
Apartment (old) €12,163
Apartment (new) €13,089
Shopping and services
There's a Delhaize right next to the station and a Monoprix on Rue du Fort Bourbon (also open on Sundays). You'll find fresh fruit and vegetables, household goods and groceries at Alima Gare at 1 rue Charles VI.
There is a Balkan food shop at 50 Rue du Fort Neipperg, just around the corner, with a Russian Market on 16-18 Rue de Bonnevoie, and an Asian store, Dafa, selling Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Thai and African food products. SK Cash n Carry sells Indian and African products, and there's Asia Market on Rue du Fort Elisabeth. Ma Boucherie, on Rue de Strasbourg sells Hallal meat and you'll find another butcher, Emo Alima Gare, the other side of town.
Beauty products can be found at Yves Rocher at 32 Avenue de la Gare and Parfumerie Paris 8 further along the same road, with ICI Paris located near the station. If you're after a tattoo try Ink Junkies or One More tattoo and piercing parlour. If you're planning on tying the knot, you can buy an engagement ring at jeweller's Alexandre Rosenberg.
In the area you'll find a Maison du Monde for reasonably priced furniture and home accessories, and HEMA for low cost clothing. For stylish children's options there's an Okaidi, or for sustainable clothing try Akabo. You'll find a Footlocker and DEVRED 1902, WE fashion store and Mango, all on Rue de la Gare.
This is where you'll find most of the shops, particularly designer ones, and the Royal Hamilius shopping centre.
If you are thinking of making this area your home, you might be interested to know that the new Royal Hamilius centre includes a FNAC, Galeries Lafayette and a Delhaize grocery store, with more shops to come. There's a Monop' at 14 Rue Chimay and an Alima at 11 Avenue de la Porte-Neuve if you need to get the grocery shop done locally.
Ville Haute is also home to Luxembourg City Hall and the Bierger-Center, as well as the courthouse. Skateboarders should check out the clothing and boards at Olliewood on Rue des Capucins.
Schools and creches
There is a municipal creche at 17 Place du Théâtre, and there are childcare centres in the Gare district at 29A Rue de Strasbourg and 92A Rue Adolphe Fischer.
Transport and parking
LuxTram have been conducting work in the Gare area which will continue into 2021. Some buses have been diverted, cycle routes changed and access to some side roads is limited (or one way). There is also work to upgrade the sewers, water and gas pipes. This is causing delays in travel time (sometimes quite severe delays at peak traffic times). There is more information on the work on the VdL website.
Bus lines 6, 8, 17, 19, CN1/2/3/4 and the City Shopping bus all serve Ville Haute, which has 12 Vel’OH bicycle stations and 5 underground car parks. The parking des martyrs "Rousegaertchen" suffered severe fire damage in 2019 and is currently closed.
Both areas will be served by the tram, and you can currently catch it from the edge of the Ville Haute quarter at Stäreplaz Etoile on a line that travels through Limpertsberg and Kirchberg to LuxExpo.
Bus lines 6, 7, 9, 11, 22, 23, 27, 28, 29, 30, CN1 and CN3 all stop at the Gare, and of course you have the Central Railway Station with national and international destinations. There are 9 Vel’OH bike stations and five car parks.
Sports and parks
Despite its central location, if you choose to make Ville Haute your home, you'll find plenty of parks and green spaces, including Edmond Klein Park (City Park) complete with the wonderful Pirate ship playground featuring tube slides, tyre swings and water play features.
Pescatore Park with its fountains and lawns is a great place to have a picnic or take the glass elevator down to Clausen. Kinekswiss hosts many open-air concerts and children's events.
There are four small play areas dotted around the central district, including a play area opposite the Théâtre des Capucins, and just around the corner you’ll find a gymnastics hall.
The Badanstalt Aquatic Relaxation Centre has a swimming pool with whirlpools and water jets, two saunas, a steam bath and a solarium, relaxation areas and a fitness room, as well as a number of shower rooms and baths. You'll find it at 12 Rue des Bains.
Around the Gare, there is less greenery, but you can make the most of the Pétrusse Valley parks or catch a relaxing moment at Place des Martyrs.
Children can enjoy two stations with play equipment, located on Rue d'Anvers and Rue de Strasbourg. The former road is also home to a multi-use sports field and the latter road has a multi-sports hall. There's a gymnastics hall on Rue Michel Welter, and a training pool on Rue du Commerce. You'll find gyms located in the area here.
Culture and theatre
You will be spoilt for choice when it comes to finding something to do in Ville Haute. Several museums including the Luxembourg City Museum, the National Museum of History and Art, the Villa Vauban (City art gallery) and Casino Luxembourg (Forum of contemporary art) are housed here, in addition to the Cercle Cité (exhibitions and performances), and Théâtre des Capucins and Théâtre du Centaure. You can also catch many British and Irish plays, comedians and bands at the Altrimenti.
It would be nigh on impossible to list all the restaurants in the Gare and Ville Haute districts so it's probably best to go with recommendations or just try what you fancy – you'll find vegetarian, oriental and Mexican cuisine as well as more traditional fare like burgers and chips.
For something a bit different try Greek restaurant Athena (Rue Adolphe Fischer) or Lux'burgers on Rue de Bonnevoie. Nirvana Café offers tasty vegan food. In town, try Persian Foodbox on Rue Aldringen or the cosy Daiwelskichen on 4 Grand-Rue.
A good number of sports bars are located in the area, in addition to some great cocktail bars.
Find out more
You can find out more about the facilities and services in both quarters on the Ville de Luxembourg website. Lux Friends advertises house or flat sharing, whilst Vauban & Fort lists furnished rooms available for rent in both districts.
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