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- FESTIVALS & EVENTS
- THINGS TO KNOW
- STAY SAFE
Info The city of Luxembourg
The city of Luxembourg is a commune with city status, and the capital of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. It stands at the confluence of the Alzette and Pétrusse Rivers in southern Luxembourg. The city contains the Luxembourg Castle, established by the Franks in the Early Middle Ages, around which a settlement developed.
Luxembourg City lies at the heart of Western Europe, situated 213 km (132 mi) by road from Brussels, 372 km (231 mi) from Paris, and 209 km (130 mi) from Cologne.
The commune of Luxembourg City had a population of 107,247. In 2011, Luxembourg was ranked as having the second highest per capita GDP in the world , with the city having developed into a banking and administrative centre. In the 2011 Mercer worldwide survey of 221 cities, Luxembourg was placed first for personal safety while it was ranked 19th for quality of living.
It is a seat of several institutions of the European Union, including the European Court of Justice, the European Court of Auditors, the Secretariat of the European Parliament, the European Investment Bank, the European Investment Fund, and the European Stability Mechanism.
|TIME ZONE :||CET (UTC+1) Summer: CEST (UTC+2)|
|LANGUAGE :||Luxembourgish (national language), German (administrative), French (administrative)|
|RELIGION :||Roman Catholic 87%, other (Protestant, Jewish, and Muslim) 13%|
|AREA :||51.46 km2 (19.87 sq mi)|
|ELEVATION :||230 m (750 ft) - 402 m (1,319 ft)|
|COORDINATES :||49°36′36″N 6°08′00″E|
|SEX RATIO :||• Male: 49.77% |
• Female: 50.23%
|ETHNIC :||Luxembourger 63.1%, Portuguese 13.3%, French 4.5%, Italian 4.3%, German 2.3%, other EU 7.3%, other 5.2%|
|AREA CODE :|
|POSTAL CODE :|
|DIALING CODE :|
You may not expect it from one of the smallest countries in Europe, but The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg is a diverse land, full of beautiful nature and gorgeous historic monuments. Its turbulent history is filled with stories of emperors and counts as well as many battles and disputes. Today, the almost fairy-tale like castles and fortresses are a faint but impressive reminder of those days, and amidst their lovely natural setting, they make some superb and picturesque sights.
The city of Luxembourg proper was founded in 963, and its strategic position soon promised it a great future. Luxembourg was at the crossroads of Western Europe and became heavily fortified. You can still see the extensive city walls and towers which form its distinctive cityscape.
After the Napoleonic wars, the Duchy of Luxembourg was granted to the Netherlands. It had a special status as a member of the German confederacy and the citadel was armed with a Prussian garrison.
Overrun by Germany in both world wars, Luxembourg was one of the major battlefields of the Battle of the Bulge in the winter of 1944-1945, a story well documented in the museum at Diekirch. The state ended its neutrality in 1948 when it entered into the Benelux Customs Union and it joined NATO the following year.
Luxembourg City has a mild oceanic climate, with moderate precipitation, cold to cool winter temperatures and temperate summers. Moderate to heavy cloud cover is present for more than two-thirds of the year.
Climate data for Luxembourg, Luxembourg
|Record high °C (°F)||13.9|
|Average high °C (°F)||3.1|
|Daily mean °C (°F)||0.8|
|Average low °C (°F)||−1.6|
|Record low °C (°F)||−17.8|
|Source #1: Meteolux|
|Source #2: World Meteorological Organization|
Luxembourg City lies on the southern part of the Luxembourg plateau, a large Early Jurassic sandstone formation that forms the heart of the Gutland, a low-lying and flat area that covers the southern two-thirds of the country.
The city centre occupies a picturesque site on a salient, perched high on precipitous cliffs that drop into the narrow valleys of the Alzette and Pétrusse rivers, whose confluence is in Luxembourg City. The 70 m (230 ft) deep gorges cut by the rivers are spanned by many bridges and viaducts, including the Adolphe Bridge, the Grand Duchess Charlotte Bridge, and the Passerelle. Although Luxembourg City is not particularly large, its layout is complex, as the city is set on several levels, straddling hills and dropping into the two gorges.
Luxembourg is officially divided into 24 districts. Some of those of interest to tourists:
- Ville Haute ("High City") - the medieval town core.
- Ville Basse and Grund ("Low City") - situated in the gorge that cuts itself across the city and the most picturesque area.
- Gare ("Station") - the location of the train station, a 15 min walk south of Ville Haute and home to many restaurants and cafés.
- Kirchberg - a modern district across the Grand Duchess Charlotte Bridge in the north east of the City. The cityside eastern area of Kirchberg is home to many European Union institutions including the European Court of Justice, European Court of Auditors, parts of the European Commission, the Secretariat of the European Parliament and the European Investment Bank. The western end of the Kirchberg plateau is home to Luxembourg's thriving international financial services district. The Mudam modern art museum, the Philharmonie and the Dräi Eechelen fortress are near the Place de l'Europe beside the impressive EU institutions buildings.
- Hollerich - a formerly independent commune which was a prominent industrial site within Luxembourg. The remains of the industrial heritage are still to be seen around it
Prices in The city of Luxembourg
MARKET / SUPERMARKET
|Beer (domestic)||0.5 l||€1.30|
|Bottle of Wine||1 bottle||€5.85|
|Dinner (Low-range)||for 2||€53.00|
|Dinner (Mid-range)||for 2||€70.00|
|Dinner (High-range)||for 2||€85.00|
|Mac Meal or similar||1 meal||€8.00|
|Beer (Imported)||0.33 l||€3.50|
|Beer (domestic)||0.5 l||€4.75|
|Coctail drink||1 drink||€10.00|
|Men’s Haircut||1 haircut||€25.00|
|Mobile (prepaid)||1 min.||€0.15|
|Pack of Marlboro||1 pack||€5.00|
|Toilet paper||4 rolls||€2.40|
CLOTHES / SHOES
|Jeans (Levis 501 or similar)||1||€87.00|
|Dress summer (Zara, H&M.)||1||€44.00|
|Sport shoes (Nike, Adidas)||1||€105.00|
|Local Transport||1 ticket||€2.00|
76 € per day
Estimated cost per 1 day including:
- meals in cheap restaurant
- public transport
- cheap hotel
269 € per day
Estimated cost per 1 day including:
- mid-range meals and drinks
Transportation - Get In
Getting into the country of Luxembourg basically means getting into the City of Luxembourg, as all major connections to Luxembourg terminate there. Do follow the advice given in our guide to the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.
Luxembourg is served by the Findel Airport in Sandweiler, a municipality just northeast of the city. Compared to other major airports serving European capitals, it has quite limited connections - there are no long-haul flights scheduled to Findel, and the European network only encompasses several other capitals and destinations, meaning that flying in even from major European airports may require a transfer on your way.
The airport is dominated by the country's flag carrier, Luxair, who operate a network of connections to selected other European capitals, some German cities and holiday destinations in the Mediterranean. This is complemented by some of the Star Alliance European members flying singular connections to Findel from their hubs. Luxair is not a Star Alliance member, but was partially owned by the Alliance's founding partner Lufthansa and shares its frequent flyer programme with them. Oneworld and Skyteam offer few connections to Luxembourg, but there is growing traffic from some regional and low-fare airlines.
Interestingly, while its passenger traffic is limited, Luxembourg Findel Airport is a major cargo hub thanks to the prominence of the cargo airline Cargolux with its base there. Both Cargolux and other major international players in the cargo market fly in huge intercontinental jets in and out of Findel daily.
Getting to the city from Findel Airport
There are regular buses to the city center (line 29 and 16, about 15 minutes), the train station (line 29, 16 and 114, 15-25 minutes), and Kirchberg, the European district (line 16, 10 minutes). Buses to the city center and train station run at least every 10 minutes (15 minutes on Sunday). The bus stop is on an island across the street on the left as you exit the airport. Tickets cost 2 euro and are available at a kiosk (cash or card), or from the driver (cash only). A 4 euro ticket is also available which is valid for the entire day.
An alternative to flying in directly to Luxembourg, which may be costly and time-consuming from some locations in Europe, is taking a low-fare flight with the likes of Ryanair or WizzAir to either Charleroi in Belgium or Hahn in Germany, and taking a direct coach transfer to Luxembourg from there.
The imposing neobaroque Gare Lëtzebuerg adored with a clock tower and huge windows is Luxembourg's main train station. It is relatively well served by connections from neighbouring countries.
- The domestic train operator CFL has EuroCity-class trains going to Paris and Brussels
- CFL also obviously connects Gare Lëtzebuerg with pretty much every other station within the country of Luxembourg
- The Belgian SNCB/NMSB also has trains connecting Luxembourg withBruxelles-Midi. Some trains continue to Strasbourg in France and Basel in Switzerland
- Deutsche Bahn operates the IC35 Ostfriesland from Luxembourg throughKoblenz, Cologne, Dusseldorf and Münster
- Additionally, Deutsche Bahn's regional services operate the DeLux Expressfrom Luxembourg to Trier
- The French SNCF operates a high-speed TGV train from Gare de l'Est inParis to Luxembourg. There is also a slower Intercite connection via Nancy all the way south to Nice
- TER Lorraine line 1 goes from Nancy via Metz and Thionville to Luxembourg
- The Swiss SBB operates several long distance trains from stations in Switzerland such as Zurich, Geneve, Chur and Interlaken to Brussels that stop in Luxembourg on their way
Transportation - Get Around
- The best way to get around Luxembourg is by foot, bike and bus. Due to the city's small size and beautiful scenery, by foot is also the best way to appreciate it. In a few hours (or dividing your trip in two days) you can get to know the whole city on foot. Buses are regular and they all pass through the central bus station 0Hamilius.
- The city also operates a self-service bike scheme and the stations can be found in various locations around the city centre. For more information check the Ville de Luxembourg (VDL) website.
- Also in the city is the country's main railway station and this can be got to by most buses. The station is a good way of getting around the country or speedily getting into any of the neighbouring countries.
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- Cityshopping Info Point, Place D'Armes. Luxembourg takes promoting shopping in the city very seriously to the point that the Luxembourg City Trade Association and the authorities opened an information point in the very centre to provide guidance and suggestions regarding all your possible shopping needs and interests.
- Smets Luxury Outlet, Rue Beaumont 20. 10AM-6:30PM (Mondays from 11AM, Sundays closed). Pascaline Smets operates the family-owned business of multiple high-end boutiques throughout Luxembourg, offering the best fashion brands. Whatever doesn't sell by the end of the season, however, ends up at her luxury outlet in rue Beaumont, where you can fetch a bargain with your favourite label.
- Ernster, rue du Fossé 27. Mo-Sa 9:00AM-6:30PM. A family business operating for over a century, the Ernster bookstore grew to be a five-storey paradise for bookworms with a wide selection of books in many languages, as well as a special section for children. Apart from the main store, you can find Ernster in the Belle Etoile shopping centre and in several other locations throughout the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.
- Monthly Market in Glacis. Every 3rd Sunday of the month. Every month in the expansive Glacis square in Limpertsberg a market takes place, which is a mixture of a flea market, a farmer's market and some local arts & crafts. Browse and enjoy the best Luxembourg has to offer if you are in the city for the date.
- Weekly Market in Bonnevoie. Every Wednesday, 7:00AM to 1:30PM.Bonnevoie hosts a weekly market every Wednesday in front of the parish church
- Market in Place de Paris, Place de Paris. Wednesdays and Saturdays, 7:00AM to 1:30PM. The district of Gare holds markets in Place de Paris twice a week.
- Market in Place Guillaume II. Wednesdays and Saturdays, 7:00AM to 1:30PM. Place Guillaume II plays host to a market twice a week.
- lët’z go local. The organisation with the jocular name seeks to promote local Luxembourgish produce of all kinds, be it food, drinks, fashion, design or even leisure services. They organize markets multiple times every year in varying locations in Luxembourg to showcase the offer of their members.
- Auchan Luxembourg, Rue Alphonse Weicker 5. A fairly unremarkable yet large shopping gallery, anchored by a bi-level Auchan hypermarket, the only store of the French chain in the country.
Home to a surprisingly high number of Michelin star establishments, the city houses many fine eateries. Luxembourg also has a very large population of Italians that came to the country in the late 19th century so Pizzerias in Luxembourg are always very reliable and frequent. For something cheap and quick the Place d'Armes is the best bet.
- La Fontaine, 25, place de Paris, . One of a number of affordable bistros clustered around place de Paris, conveniently located halfway between the station and the old city. The quadrilingual menus run the gamut from pizza and mussels to Luxembourgish classics like judd mat gaardebounen (smoked pork neck with broad beans), and there are daily specials for around € 8. € 20.
- Taj Mahal, 2, rue de Strasbourg, . By anyone's standards, a fantastic curry house serving rich and delicious Indian food. Very friendly staff too. Well worth making the short trip from the centre to this restaurant located near the station.
- Mousel Cantine, 46, Montée de Clausen, . Great local plates on the site of the former Mousel brewery. Wash down huge portions of pork knee and broad beans with tankards of Mousel lager.€25.
- Le Palais D'Asie, 47, avenue de la Liberté. Don kimonos and marvel at the skill of the chefs as they prepare Japanese and Chinese style cuisine before your very eyes including ceiling-high flames and an "egg show". As entertaining as it is tasty. Arrive hungry as the portions are generous.
- Chez Julie, 17 Rue de Bonnevoie (at gare), , e-mail: [email protected]. Mo-Fr 7:15-17:00. Vegetarian and organic food in small lunch restaurant. Excellent pies, soups, salads and cakes. The tables are small with little space between them, so you get a chance to say hello to your neighbors. No alcohol served, Free WiFi. €15.
- Aime La Fourchette, Avenue Monterey 5 (close to Place d'Armes).Solid and good bistro food.
- L'Etoile du Top Floor, Boulevard d Avranches 40.12:00-2:30PM & 7PM-11:30PM.The restaurant atop the Sofitel Grand Ducal in Bonnevoie, led by chef Sebastien Perrot, affords one of the best views over Luxembourg along with the finest cuisine.
Sights & Landmarks
- The Alzette (The river of Luxembourg). It is very small now, but because the sandstone of the area is very soft, it dug out a huge valley. This is called the Ville Basse and is a spectacular area particularly the Grund (Statgrond) which is well worth the time to take a stroll around. The old fortress surrounded this valley. The Venceslas walk (named after Venceslas, Czech king and count of Luxembourg who built much of the fortresses around) leads along the fortresses, protecting the city on one side (and now forming one of the most spectacular "balconies", the Corniche) and the fortress of the Raam plateau on the other.
- 'The pedestrianized old town'. This is where the greatest concentration of (rather expensive) shops as well as bars and restaurants are to be found. Specific sights are few but all around town you can spot details that remind you of Luxembourg's historical value.
- The Bock. The rock on which the first castle stood, founded in 963 by Sigefroy (Sigfried). It is tied to a number of other remains of the old fortifications. Among others, the famous fortress builder Vauban built much in the city.
- Casemates Bock, . a network of underground fortifications, built in the 18th century. The fortifications and environs are recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site
- Place Guillaume and the Place d'Armes (near the Hamilius bus station). Place Guillaume (also known in Luxembourgish as the Knuedler) is the venue for a market every Wednesday and Saturday. It is also the site of an equestrian statue of William II of the Netherlands and Luxembourg and the neo-classical Town Hall which is fronted by two bronze lions summer months the Place d'Armes is filled with tables and chairs from the surrounding cafes and at the centre of the square is the bandstand around which various concert seasons are based.
- Grand Ducal Palace (Just off the Place Guillaume). Fully restored during the nineties. It also houses the Luxembourgish Parliament the Chamber of Deputies. The Palace is open for a period of 6 weeks over July and August whilst the Grand Duke and his family are away on their holidays. Guided tours last for about 1 h, are inexpensive, and are available in various languages, including English. Tickets are available from the tourist office in Place de Guillaume II
- Cathedrale de Notre Dame.Built between 1613 and 1618 by Jesuits and was elevated to the status of cathedral in 1870. Nearby is the Gëlle Fra: literally 'Golden Lady'. This is a golden figure of a woman holding a wreath, a symbol of victory. It was taken down by the Nazis during occupation but stands today as a memorial to those who gave their lives in World War II.
- Pétrusse Casemates (Nearby Gëlle Fra and Place de la Constitution). constructed by the Spanish in 17th century. They are not as large as the Bock Casements.
- On the road from the inner city to the Bock you will find the Eglise St. Michel. This church took on its present form in 1688, but was probably built in the early 14th century. It was restored during 2003 and 2004.
- Musée d'histoire de la Ville de Luxembourg, Luxembourg City History Museum.
- Hotel de Ville (City Hall).
- Cite Judiciare (Plateau St. Espirit).
- Casino Luxemburg.
- Neumünster Abbey. now a cultural and encounter center with a nice church and the old St. John's hospital
- Nationalmusée fir Naturgeschicht (National Museum of Natural History).
- The Kirchberg area.houses a number of banks and most of the European institutions in Luxembourg (Parlament, Court of Justice, Court of Auditors, European Investment Bank and some of the Commission's Directorate Generals. A number of buildings were built by celebrated architects like Richard Meyer, Dominique Perrault and Gottfried Benn. Some modern sculptures also appear between the buildings. Most of the European Institutions hold annual open days. Many of the banks, EU institutions and other offices open their doors to the public once a year to allow access to their extensive art collections
- MUDAM (Musée d'Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean), 3, Park Dräi Eechelen (Kirchberg, buses 1,3,6,Eurobus). Designed by I.M. Pei of "Louvre Pyramid" fame, this museum showcases Luxembourgish artists and changing international exhibitions. The nonlinear (and rather confusing) building is half the fun, and on a quiet weekday afternoon in the off season you'll pretty much have the place to yourself. €5.
- Musée de la Banque.
On the outskirts
- World War II Luxembourg American Cemetery and Memorial. In the eastern section of Luxembourg City, just south of the airport. Open daily except for December 25 and January 1; 9AM-5PM. The cemetery is the final resting place for 5,076 American military dead, most lost during the Battle of the Bulge. It is also the final resting place for General George Patton. A monument is inscribed with the names of 371 Americans whose remains were never found or identified. Two large stone pylons with operations maps made of inlaid granite describe the achievements of American armed forces in the region during World War II. Free.
- Cemetery for German soldiers at Sandweiler, Deutscher Soldatenfriedhof; L-5280 Sandweiler, . Is a World War II cemetery in Sandweiler, in southern Luxembourg. It contains the graves of 10,913 German servicemen from the Battle of the Bulge in winter 1944 and spring 1945. It is 1.5 km from the Luxembourg American Cemetery and Memorial. Devoted to the fallen German soldiers from one of the bloodiest battles of World War II. A touching memorial.
Things to do
- Schueberfouer, Glacis. Held every year across 2 weeks during end of August and early September, this huge and historic funfair attracts enormous crowds. As well as the many stomach churning rides there are numerous places to eat and drink to your heart's content. An important date in the social calendar of young Luxembourgers.
- Grand Duke's Birthday. While not the actual birthday of the current Grand Duke (or any preceding for that matter), June 23 is the country's national day. All night street parties, fireworks and parades are enjoyed by seemingly the entire population of the country on the evening preceding the holiday.
- Utopolis Kirchberg.
- Philharmonie Luxembourg.
Festivals and events
Luxembourg City festivals are a popular feature of this small country nestled between France, Germany and Belgium.
The Octave of Our Lady of Luxembourg is the principal religious event that is held in the second half of April. A pilgrimage is made by tourists to the cathedral in Luxembourg City. The festival started during the 17th century when the local council chose the Virgin Mary to be their patron saint and called upon her to save them from the plague. There is a black carved statue of Virgin Mary in the cathedral which is placed upon a special altar in the main choir. Several street festivals are also held during this time.
Dancing Procession of Echternach
The Spring procession of Echternach is held on Tuesday after Whitsun. This religious event is held in honor of St. Willibrord who lived during the eighth century. The legend behind this festival is that a local horse thief by the name of Veidt was sentenced to death. He was granted 1 last wish before his sentence was carried out. His request was to play his fiddle. The music was so popular and lively that everyone in the audience started swaying to the music. During this period, the thief escaped and was never seen again. People from the neighboring countries of Germany, France and Belgium come to Echternach to take part in the festival.
Schueberfouer, the biggest fair of Luxembourg, is held annually in Limpertsberg. It lasts for a period of 20 days during the months of August and September. The fair features rides, restaurants and food stalls. More than 2 million visitors have been reported to attend the fair. It was founded in 1340 by John the Blind, King of Bohemia.
Luxembourg's annual Printemps Musical Festival can be held anytime between March and June. The best of jazz and world music is played at various concert venues throughout the city by international artists as well as new artists. The 2010 Printemps Festival promises performances by artists such as Sara Tavares and Lila Downs. Anybody who is a music aficionado tries to attend this festival that has now attained a cult status.
Open air markets are held every Wednesday and Sunday. You will find stalls selling fresh fruits and vegetables as well as home-made articles such as fresh jam and cheese. You can bargain with the stall-owners to get the best deal on the articles. From June to October musical concerts are held. Bands from all over the country come to participate in these concerts. The music can range from classical music to modern rock. People turn out in large numbers to attend these concerts that are also very popular with tourists.
Other festivals such as Blues'n Jazz Rallye, International Theatre and Music Festival in Wiltz, Journée Européenne du Patrimoine and the Nights of the Museum are some of the other festivals that are celebrated in and around Luxembourg.
Luxembourg is a decent place to have a drink. Due to the amount of ex-pats who live in Luxembourg there are a wide variety of establishments in addition to the Luxembourgish bars. Pubs in Luxembourg tend to be a traditional affair, although more modern bars, and English or Irish themed pubs have also become the norm. Luxembourg is a low-key capital city and is generally not the best place for big nights out, although during the months of warmer weather it can have its moments. English themed pubs
- Britannia Pub, Rue de Clausen 1342. A favourite watering hole of local English ex-pats. Good place for watching football and rugby.
- Decibel (Gare), 42-44 Rue de Hollerich, , e-mail:[email protected]. A music bar in a courtyard alongside other bars and restaurants off the lively rue de Hollerich, an eclectic range of music can be heard here and Decibel has one of the widest range of Belgian beers in the City both on tap and in bottles. It is run be Irish people so the Guinness is decent as well.
- The Black Stuff (Pulvermuhl), 15 Val de Hamm, , e-mail: [email protected]. The Black Stuff is an Irish Pub on the outskirts of the city that is popular with ex-pats and locals alike. In the winter the log fire makes the cosy back room a good option to enjoy a Guinness or a hot port, the terrace is popular in the summer. It is a popular place to watch Football and rugby and the best place in Luxembourg to watch televised Gaelic Football and Hurling.
- Pygmalion, Rue de la Tour Jacob 19. Or the Pyg, an Irish pub and the best of the English, Scottish, Irish triumvirate situated in Clausen. Pub quizzes every other Monday
- Crossfire. A Scandinavian pub off Ave. de la Liberté, small and friendly.
- Scott's. No. 4, Bisserwee (down in the Grund). A common place for a drink (or two).
- Urban, Rue de la Boucherie 2. A refreshingly modern bar that has a wide mix of clientèle. Although often overcrowded it is a great place to start a night out. Urban also has live music every Sunday evening and has sporting events shown on two massive plasma screens.
- The Tube. Subterranean, London underground themed bar. International young crowd and great tunes for various tastes. Gets extremely packed late on Fridays and Saturdays and overspills into the street during warmer months.
- Vis-a-vis, Rue Beaumont 2 (Near Place d'Armes), .Hang out with the locals in this charming little Luxembourg-ish bar. Cheaper than a lot of other watering holes found in the city.
- Café des Artistes (Grund). Smokey little Luxembourg piano bar illuminated by candlelight.
- Melusina, Rue de la Tour Jacob 145. Has a large main room with a balcony. It also has another couple of rooms at the back of the club which are worth a look.
- Magnum. Located near the big parking lot (Glacis) just outside of the centre, but worth the walk there. No heels are too high and no skirts/shorts are too short here.
- Coco Mango, Boulevard d'Avranches 40 (at the Sofitel Grand Ducal).The bar of hotel Sofitel Grand Ducal enjoys some of the best views over the city. Pop in for a drink and enjoy!
Things to know
Try to show respect for the local language and make some effort to say a word or two of it even if it's just the standard greeting "Moien". In restaurants and high-end service establishments the personnel is generally expected to serve you in French, so if you speak French, do use it.
Safety in The city of Luxembourg
In many surveys, Luxembourg has been named "safest country in the world"
Luxembourg is a safer environment than most other European capital cities, and it would be rare to encounter any physical threat. Nevertheless, care is required in and around the train station area (especially late at night), which contains a handful of seedy clubs and prostitutes.