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Holiday Trips on a Budget

by Sarah Clinger

If you’re looking to get out of Luxembourg for a few days this holiday break without breaking the bank, head to one of our favourite budget-friendly gems! We have a bit of everything, from warm locations in the south of France, to places as far and cold as Poland in December.

[With Covid-19 travel restrictions always changing, be sure to check entry requirements before travelling.]

Maastricht, Netherlands

Maastricht City Square | Photo: Sarah Clinger

Located in the Netherlands, right over the Belgian border, this city is a perfect location for those looking to stay close to Luxembourg, and for those wishing to experience the Netherlands without going as far as Amsterdam. Just around a 3-hour train or bus ride, you can experience all this lovely town has to offer. 

You can see the Dutch Baroque Stadhuis and Maastricht’s city hall located in the Market Square. If you’re lucky, there might even be a flea market up and running while you’re there! If you are into history, you should definitely check out the Roman Catholic Basilica of St. Servaaskerk, as it is the oldest church in the Netherlands! If you are looking for guided activities, you should check out the Caves of Maastrict, they once spanned over 200 km. Other things to see in Maastricht include: the Bonnefanten Museum, Hell Gate and Bishop’s Mill. 

Hotels in Maastricht can be pretty inexpensive if you know where to look. We recommend Hotel de la Bourse, NH Maastricht, Bastion Hotel Maastricht Centrum, and Buitenplaats Vaeshartelt, as they are all priced under or around €100 a night. 

Loire Valley Region, France

Château Chenonceau | Photo : Sarah Clinger

Located in the central region of France, the Loire Valley is a stunning region spanning around 800 square kilometers. This region is famous for its charming castles and wine, so if you are looking for a romantic getaway or a wine weekend, this is a spot we highly recommend. If you have a car, the drive is only around 9 hours from Luxembourg City to Tours, and if you are looking for transportation, 12 hour busses are only around €30.

In the Loire Valley, you can see stunning castles such as Château de Chenonceau, Château de Chambord, Château d’Azay-le-Rideau, and the Château d’Amboise, which all look straight out of a fairytale. If you are more interested in the wine from this region, we recommend the tour and tasting at the Chateau de Miniere vineyards, or the tasting at the Château de l’Aulée

Hotels in this region can be pricey, but we have a few recommendations that do not disappoint. Hotel Anne d’Anjou and The Hilton Garden Inn Tours Centre , are two good standard hotels in the region that are priced just under €100 a night. If you are looking to lodge in style, we recommend staying at the Château de Nazelles Amboise, or Château de Perreux, which are both old castles turned into hotels! They are both a tad more expensive than the hotels, but how many times in your life can you say you have stayed in a castle? 

Ljubljana, Slovenia

View from atop Ljubljana Castle | Photo: Sarah Clinger

Slovenia is one of the locations on this list that is a bit further away from Luxembourg, but we included it due to the fact that the city and the country has a lot to offer, is relatively cheap, and has amazing attractions waiting for you to see. You probably would want to fly to Slovenia, as flights from Frankfurt are very cheap. Although trains are only around €100, and take around 15 hours if you are up for an expedition! 

While in Ljubljana, we recommend strolling through ​​Prešeren Square, here you can see beautiful architecture from the famous Slovenian architect Jože Plečnik such as the triple bridge! Not too far from the square, you can visit the Central Market, the Ljubljana Cathedral, and the Franciscan Church of the Annunciation, which all are beautifully decorated and designed. You don’t want to miss the views from the Ljubljana Castle, here you can see the entire city from above, and you can even see one third of the country from atop of the viewing tower! If you decide to travel to Ljubljana and have some spare time, a good day trip we recommend is Lake Bled. Here you can ride a pletna boat to the most charming island situated in the middle of the crystal clear lake. 

For cheap places to stay in Ljubljana, we recommend the B&B Hotel Ljubljana Park, the Boutique Hotel Asteria, or the ONE66 Hotel, which are all priced under €100 a night! Ljubljana also has a lot of options for AirBnb’s and hostels which are very affordable and close to the city center!

Bonn, Germany

For music lovers or individuals looking to stay closer to Luxembourg, Bonn is the place you should spend some time visiting. Fans of classical music can visit Beethoven’s House, appreciators of art can visit the Kunstmuseum Bonn, and nature lovers can visit the botanical gardens. We also recommend paying a visit to the famous Schloss Drachenburg castle and the Bonn Minster church, one of the oldest in Germany. 

To travel to Bonn from Luxembourg, we recommend traveling by train, as it is only around 4 hours and €20. If you decide to spend more than one day in Bonn, we recommend staying at the InterCity Hotel, Motel One Bonn-Hauptbahnhof, or Hotel Belmont Classic, as all three of these are within a mile of the city center and all under €100 a night. 

Kraków, Poland 

Located on the western side of Poland, not too far from the German border, this city is one with a lot of history and beautiful sights to see. It is one of our location that is quite far away from Luxembourg, but if you have the time to make it here, we highly recommend it! Flights from Luxembourg are around €145, and they’re even cheaper if you fly out of Frankfurt. If you wish to make the 20-hour train trek, the tickets are only a whopping €38! 

Kraków has many churches and castles to see, such as the Wawel Castle and the Cathedral, St Mary’s Basilica, Franciscan Church, and Corpus Christi Church, the number of churches is not surprising as Poland is a predominantly Catholic country. If you are not into the beautiful churches, we recommend checking out the main square, the Kraków Pinball Museum, or the Polish Aviation Museum. If you have time, you can take a somber trip to the former Nazi concentration camp, Auschwitz.

Poland is relatively cheap compared to Western Europe. Most hotels are under €100 a night. Hotel Kossak, Gołębia 8 Residence, and Saint Thomas Corner, are our recommendations due to their proximity to the city center.

Arles, France

Arles Amphitheater | Photo: Sarah Clinger

Located in the South of France in the Provence region, Arles is the perfect weekend trip for those seeking a quiet and relaxing getaway. This again is a bit far away from Luxembourg, but flights from Luxembourg are only around €90, and most of them are direct!

Arles is known for its Roman ruins and style of architecture. Here you can take a visit of the old Roman Amphitheater, which is one of the best preserved in the world. You can also see the Abbaye de Montmajour, an old monastery built during the Middle Ages. Arles is also known for its art history! Famous Painter Vincent van Gogh resided in Arles for a while after he suffered his ear amputation. It is here you can find the Espace Van Gogh, if you visit you may recognize the garden from one of his paintings! Across the street from the Espace Van Gogh, you can find the famous Café la Nuit, where van Gogh painted one of his most famous paintings, Café Terrace at Night. 

Hotels are relatively cheap in Arles compared to the rest of Southern France. We recommend Best Western Atrium, Hôtel de l’Amphithéâtre, and Ibis Budget Arles Palais Des Congres, due to the fact that they are all around €100 a night and within a mile from the city center. 

If we missed your favorite cheap holiday destination, let us know! Send us pictures if you decide to travel to any of our recommended destinations.

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