Moien! So it’s been 60 days since I moved to Luxembourg. It’s flown by so quickly! Here’s the lowdown of what it’s been like so far.
Luxembourg Fast Facts
- Official languages are French, German, and Luxemourgish, but most people speak English, as they learn all four in schools
- Luxembourg is one of the founding members of the EU and the world’s only Grand Duchy, but wait, what is that? According to Wikipedia, “a grand duchy is a country or territory whose official head of state or ruler is a monarch bearing the title of grand duke or grand duchess.” So there you go. Meet Henri.
- Yes, Luxembourg has an airport AND its own airline. Luxair flies to 64 destinations across Europe, North Africa, the Mediterranean and Middle East with a fleet size of just 17. That’s efficiency.
- Things aren’t as expensive as I thought it would be, what with Lux having the highest GDP per capita in the world. I think it’s quite comparable to Austin, except that on every corner, there are Ferraris, Maseratis, and other fancy cars that I don’t know the names of.
- Google translate is literally my best friend. Although most young people speak English, the older generation doesn’t really, and most packaging is in French or German. The time I’ve spent at the grocery is about 2-3x as long as when I was in the States. I don’t know the brands yet, I have to convert grams to ounces or ml to cups for recipes, and sometimes I can’t tell if I’m buying detergent or face wash (jk it’s not that bad).
- Recycling. There’s a nice blue bag that we use for plastic bottles, cans, and cartons that gets picked up twice a month, but to recycle any paper or glass, we have to walk about 3 blocks away to a special disposal container.
- Transportation/driving. I take the bus everywhere around the city. There’s a ton of buses and they’re all very prompt. I pay €25 a month for unlimited rides, but no one checks for tickets anyway. There are also city bikes that you can rent for super cheap. Having a car is very convenient and a lot of people do have one, but parking within the city can be annoying. It’s a 30 minute drive east to Germany, 20 minutes west to Belgium, and 30 minutes south to France. I’ve taken the train to go to everywhere outside the city, and it’s pretty cool to go to the gare and see trains going to Paris, Brussels, and Düsseldorf.
- Speaking of traveling, everyone who has been to Europe can attest to how cheap flights are compared to those in the US. Luxembourg isn’t as cheap, because it is a smaller airport, but I still have reverse sticker shock when I see round trip flights to Milan, London, or Lisbon for less than €50.
I’ve truly enjoyed Luxembourg so far, and I can’t wait for the next 60 days. Coming up, I hope to start taking French classes, explore Luxembourg beyond just Luxembourg City, and meet more people!