Neighbourhood watch: Belair
In the west of Luxembourg City, Belair lies between Merl, Hollerich, Rollingergrund and the city centre and is approximately 2km squared.
Mostly a residential area filled with grand villas from the 1920s and 1930s in addition to new-build, upmarket apartment blocks, it is home to approximately 11,703 people (31.5% Luxembourgish, 68.5% foreign residents).
It's also home to the former national stadium Stade Josy Barthel, named after Luxembourg's Olympic gold medal winner. The new national stadium is between Cloche d'Or and Kockelscheuer. Belair/Strassen is also where the Central Hospital of Luxembourg is located.
The quarter is bordered by two of Luxembourg's main roads, Route d'Arlon and Route de Longwy. Although these roads are often congested in peak traffic hours, the residential roads of Belair remain calm and surprisingly quiet.
A little background...
Belair, formerly part of the Hollerich municipality, became a district of Luxembourg City in 1920, but it began developing as a residential area after the dismantling of the fortress in 1867.
In 1887 the district, initially called "Neu-Merl" had just 87 inhabitants. In the 1920s the convent of Franciscans and social/workers housing was built in the area. The iconic landmark church was built in the 1950s. In 1956 the district got its official name, Belair.
Guillaume Justin Kroll had his residence and laboratory in Belair at 54 avenue Gaston Diderich, between 1923 and 1940. It's now occupied by the state's veterinary medicine laboratory and the Administration for Land Registry and Topography.
Kroll is best known for inventing the Kroll process which is used commercially to extract metallic titanium from ore. He worked for many years in the United States where he received numerous awards and was posthumously entered into the American National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2000. Kroll has a street named after him in Gasperich.
According to Wort Immo the current price per square metre of real estate in the area is:
Apartment (old) €12,878
Apartment (new) €14,181
Shopping & Services
Bio-gourmet butchers and deli Niessen is located at 137 rue Gaston Diderich and there is a Fischer bakery up the road at rue Théodore Eberhard.
Supermarket Alima Belair is closer to town on avenue du Dix Septembre, and whilst not technically in Belair, there is a Lidl and a Delhaize on Route d'Arlon, just around the corner from the borders of the district. There are also several petrol stations along the route de Longwy with small grocery sections.
The National Theatre of Luxembourg hosts international dance and theatre performances (including English language and children's theatre).
The Israeli Consulate is on Avenue Gaston Diderich, the Ukrainian Consulate on Avenue des Archiducs, and the Irish Embassy is at 28 route d'Arlon just behind the Immigration Directorate. The Confederation for the Portuguese Community in Luxembourg also organises cultural events and language courses.
The Central Hospital of Luxembourg (plus the children's clinic) is located on rue Ernest Barblé, while the Institute of Gynaecology and Obstetrics is on route d'Arlon. The Cancer Foundation is further up on the same road.
Preschool Merl is at 10 rue Yolande, whilst Ecole Aloyse Kayser and Ecole Avenue du Dix Septembre offer pre- and primary school. Ecole Av Gaston Diderich also offers primary schooling. You can find more information here.
The private international Over the Rainbow School has pupils from 47 countries and offers education from nursery through secondary school in French and English sections (IB programme).
Nearby, two schools offer classes in English, the Athénée de Luxembourg has an international secondary section (IB programme), and the private International School of Luxembourg (ISL) houses secondary, primary and early years' sections (IB and GCSE programmes). The French Academy for language courses is also located on rue Astrid.
Transport & parking
Bus line 13 links Belair to Cessange, the CHL and town, bus line 8 to Bertrange (Belle Etoile shopping centre), line 12 to Merl in one direction and Kirchberg in the other.
Bus line 15 links Merl to Hamm via Clausen, and line 31 links Belair to Reckenthal and Strassen in one direction and the city centre in the other.
Nightbus CN7 links the district to Merl, Limpertsberg and the City.
There's are Vel’oh bike stations on Allée Léopold Goebel, Av. Gaston Diderich, and on Av. du Dix Septembre and Val Sainte-Croix, but you can also walk from the centre of Belair to Place d'Armes in 20-25 minutes. You can park at the stadium (free at weekends).
Sports & Parks
The Belair swimming pool on Rue d'Ostende is open on Saturday 10:00 to 18:00 and Sunday 08:00 to 12:00 but you must reserve a time slot and you can only book one ticket at a time at the moment.
Jui-Jitsu experts should check out Fight Team Impact on Boulevard de Verdun or for something more relaxing Sahaja yoga and meditation. You can brush up on your backstroke at the indoor and outdoor courts at Tennis Club Arquebusiers on Val Sainte Croix. Sonja Soyer runs art classes for adults and children from her studio on rue Jean Bertholet.
You'll find the delightful little helicopter playground on Allée Léopold Goebel, and the fun wooden castle park with swings, sand and slides on rue Charlemagne. The beautiful, big Merl-Belair park is also on the district's borders. It houses a playground, lake and pavilion serving meals and ice creams. In summer, the park provides free trampolines and during D'Stad Lieft there are funfair rides.
Restaurants and cafes.
On the corner of Route d'Arlon and Rue des Aubépines you'll find the family run New Confucius Chinese restaurant with 80-seat terrace open every day for lunch and dinner, including Sunday, and offering traditional cuisine from Shanghai and Hong Kong including spicy chicken and ginger lobster.
For steak and chips or a smoked salmon salad try Portuguese cafe Um Staminet on Route de Longwy which also has a ten pin alley. Along the same road you'll find sushi bar Wayoxi, Restaurant Chinese King, Indian restaurant the Royal Bengal, Antica Trattoria for pizzas, or the lovely wood-furnished bar bistro Pacha for light bites or a late drink.
Check out the parasol decked ceiling of Thai Belair, over the Sawadee tasting menu, or pick up a gourmet burger at the hugely popular Cafe Bel Air or a pizza at Bel Canto. There's more sushi to be found at Takajo and Hakii Belair.
Mansoku is a new Japanese Ramen restaurant (with terrace) and store, located at 153 avenue du Dix Septembre, just off the Place du France in Belair. In addition to its popular craft Ramen cooking kits (all vegetarian), it stocks a range of Japanese food and drink products including sweet treats, chocolate and macha cookies, Japanese beers and unusual soft drinks (including a lemonade bottle with a marble in it).
Try ceviche, tapas and tacos at Pablito, or relax in the wonderful garden terrace at Restaurant Scheiss, with an Irish steak or some grilled fish. You'll find more steak and a lovely garden setting at Le Bistrot, which also has a nice range of mussel dishes.
For something on the go try Breaktime Kebab or Damla Resto Kebap, or for something upmarket take lunch on the terrace at the Hotel Parc Belair followed by afternoon tea or a drink in Mary's Bar. Closer to town try the Rotisserie-Ardennaise, which also has a lovely terrace or the classy Max et Moritz.
For a sweet treat, try Bonomeria artisan ice-creams on Rue Wurth-Paquet or Patisserie Arens at 4 avenue du Dix Septembre.
Find out more....
For more information on the neighbourhood visit the Ville de Luxembourg website here.