One hour from Luxembourg
If you prefer to spend less time in the car and more time having fun, there are plenty of fun-filled destinations about an hour's drive from Luxembourg City. Here are some suggestions that make for a great day trip.
This beautiful town nestled on a circular bend in the River Semois is the perfect spot for a day trip, at just 103km from Luxembourg City or a one-hour 10-minute drive.
High on a hill sits the Chateau Fort de Bouillion, where children will delight in the narrow passageways and dark halls as they learn about the Godefry family. Audio guides are available in English, and there's a great falconry display. You can combine your ticket with entry to the Ducal Museum for a few extra euros, plus currently there is an after-dark sound and light show.
The nearby Parc Animalier de Bouillon is a small but lovely zoo featuring zebras, tigers, lynx, monkeys and bears and equipped with a nice playground and reasonably priced restaurant at its entrance. It's open year round except for 25 December and 1 Janaury.
Visit the beautiful Cistercian ruins of Orval Abbey with its herb garden and medicine museum. Just 66km from Luxembourg City and less than an hour away, audio guides provide a history to the present day. Children are welcome to explore all the nooks and crannies, and, afterwards, you can load up your boot (or trunk) with a crate of the famous beer.
Wolfpark Werner Freund, Merzig
Make your weekend hike that bit more interesting by starting it in these beautiful woods filled with wolves (20 wolves in seven packs, in an eight-hectare enclosure). You can follow the 10km wolf trail past enclosures featuring polar, timber and numerous other breeds of European and American wolves. In June, pups were born and are being reared under observation within the enclosures.
Parking and the trail are free, and there is a free tour on the first Sunday of each month at 16.00. The wolfpark is just 63km from Luxembourg City and open daily from 10.00 to 18.00. Unfortunately, visitors are no longer allowed to bring their dogs, even on a lead.
Open Air Museum, Konz
Find out about traditional everyday rural life at the Roscheider Hof museum just 45km and 45 minutes' drive from Luxembourg City. The village includes a classroom from 1912, traditional grocer, barber and village pub. Exhibitions will take you on a journey from corn to bread and through the history of wine making in the region. It's open daily but closes from 21 December to 31 Janaury.
Meet the Romans, Borg
Discover what life was like for the Romans who lived in the Saar Lor Lux region 2,000 years ago at this reconstructed villa rustica in Pearl-Borg. In addition to archaeological treasures, you can see a complete four-stage bath house and dress up like a Roman.
The Villa Borg, just 40 minutes from Luxembourg City, also houses a tavern serving Roman-style dishes. Afterwards, you can do some cut-price shopping in Perl.
Fort Hackenberg, Veckring
Follow in Winston Churchill's steps on a guided tour around the largest fort of the Maginot Line. Just 55km and less than an hour away from Luxembourg City, you can travel back in time to life at the fort in the 1930s and take a ride on the historical electrical train to witness the operation of a 135mm howitzer gun turret. Open Saturday and Sundays (and French national holidays), with tours in English at 14.15, from 1 April to 12 November, tours are given by enthusiastic and knowledgeable volunteers.
Castles, citadelles, and illusions museum Rodemack to Manderen
If you've seen all the wonderful castles of Luxembourg, why not pop across the border for a little road trip back in time? Start at Rodemack and visit the wonderful walled village, then drive on to Sierck-les-Bains to the Chateau des Ducs de Lorraine, a favourite resting place for the Duke's family in the 11th and 12th centuries (open from March until end November).
Nearby you can also visit the Museum of illusions in Beyren les Sierck, to try more than 300 illusions and scientific experiments during an interactive tour followed by a magic show (total duration is 90 minutes). The museum is open at weekends from 14.30 to 17.30 (last entry for tour at 16.00).
Finish your tour at the Chateau de Malbrouck, which gets its name from the Duke of Marlborough, who stayed there in 1075. Perched on a hill, the castle houses a lovely toy museum and cafe, and regularly holds festivals and events. From Manderen, it's a 42-minute drive back to Luxembourg City.