This article is for anyone not yet living and working in Luxembourg. Perhaps you are thinking of relocating yourself, your company, or your entire family here—and you might have questions ranging from the dreamily open-ended What's Luxembourg like? to the very practical How long does a commute in Luxembourg City take?
We've got all that information for you.
Dukes, wine, and fintech
This country is a tiny, lovely place that you probably haven't heard much about. Often mistaken for a Belgian region, a German state, a piece of France, or quite simply Liechtenstein—which it is not!—Luxembourg is its own country, complete with language, culture, cities, villages, and all the rest of it.
With a population of just over half a million, it can't help but be an underdog in most categories. And yet, Luxembourg is the second largest investment fund centre in the world (following the US), and boasts one of Europe's liveliest fintech scenes. It's third worldwide on the index of growth promise indicators according to a KPMG Global study, and is the most productive country in the world according to Expert Market.
None of this is accidental: Luxembourg's government proactively updates its legal and regulatory frameworks to remain competitive, reliable, and forward-looking. This reputation, together with a tradition of openness, has attracted banks, insurance providers, fund promoters, service providers, and innovative tech companies from all over the world.
Luxembourg's capital is a beautiful medieval city overlooking the Alzette and Pétrusse valleys, and the rest of the country offers idyllic landscapes dotted with towns and villages. The city's modest size offers convenience to many businesses: the airport is only a few minutes away; bus networks are good; and two huge marketplaces, France's and Germany's, are just across the border.
Multilingualism is the norm, not the exception, and the country is very foreigner-friendly, with nearly half (47.5%) of the country's population being non-Luxembourgish as of 2017. Locals speak Luxembourgish, a Germanic language heavily influenced by French (much like English, come to think of it). French is widely spoken in the public sphere but many expats—especially in the finance sector—communicate primarily in English.
The country's history, culture, and high standards tend to charm newcomers. I can vouch for this. It happened to me.
Where to live
On a map, it's never easy to get a real feel for a place. So, broadly speaking, here are a few standout neighbourhoods in Luxembourg City:
- Belair: beautiful and expensive, great location near the city centre
- Beggen: attractive and affordable, good location behind the business neighbourhood of Kirchberg
- Bonnevoie: exciting, "up-and-coming" vibe, good location behind the train station, affordable
- Hollerich: northern half: attractive and moderately expensive, great location near the city centre; southern half (especially towards the east): less attractive in terms of the area
- Limpertsberg: charming and expensive, great location near the city centre and the business neighbourhood of Kirchberg
Lots of expats live in the city, but others live in the countryside and commute in (usually by car). Still others live across the border in Germany, France, or Belgium, where housing prices tend to be much cheaper. As for transport: the bus network is extensive, plus there is a bike-share programme, taxis, and a brand new tram being built.
Find out more
We have prepared an entire guide to Luxembourg in detail. Access it here. Find out about the school system, housing norms (renting and buying), childcare, national and international transport, cultural attractions and events, and more.
If you are particularly interested in tax (like me) then also check out my recent blog article on tax facts in Luxembourg.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.