European Capital Of Culture 2022: Esch-sur-Alzette

February 7, 2022

Each year the European Union awards a city or group of cities, the accolade of European City of Culture. This award celebrates the importance of culture, tradition shines a light on lesser-known cities across the continent. One of this year’s winners is the second-largest city in Luxembourg, Esch-sur-Alzette, and we thought we would shine our own light on this great city with a run down of the top ten things to do.

1. See some art in a former furniture store

A former furniture store, the city acquired this building in 2020 to transform it into Konschthal Esch, a contemporary art gallery with rolling exhibitions. Stretching over 2400 square metres, across 4 floors, this gallery enjoys some of the industrial features of its previous usage such as concrete slabs and metal beams.


2. Soak up some culture at Kulturfabrik Cultural Center

Taking over this former slaughterhouse is a large performance hall, cinema, café, an art gallery, rehearsal studios and nightclub. With an eclectic and multicultural programme including dance, theatre, literature, cinema and art, it’s well worth a visit!


3. Visit the animals in Escher Déierepark

With a total of 150 animals across 25 species, this city farm has play and discovery areas, picnic areas and even a chance to feed the animals yourself. A visit here isn’t complete without enjoying a bite to eat at Bamhauscafé, a unique eaterie perched in the trees.


4. Stay the night in a treehouse

You know that treetop café we just mentioned? There are guestrooms too so you can spend the night in the heart of the country park, in a unique treehouse with private terraces overlooking the treetops. Perfect to stargaze or watch the sunset with uninterrupted views.


5. Enjoy some retail therapy on the longest shopping street in Luxembourg

The Rue de l’Alzette has over 400 shops and runs 500,000 square metres from the City Hall to the Place de la Résistance. For more local produce, a twice-weekly market takes place every Tuesday and Friday in front of the City Hall.


6. Spot the sites which made the town so successful

Once known as the metropolis of Iron, Esch-sur-Alzette had a huge steel industry that attracted workers from all over the world, leading to its modern multi-cultural demographic. The steelwork declined here over the second half of the 20th century but some of these historic sites have become part of the modern metropolis of the town. The Esch-Belval district stylishly incorporates old blast furnaces in the heart of a very modern area. See if you can spot them as you stroll through.


7. Learn more about the history of Luxembourg

Visit the National Resistance Museum to discover more about what happened to the country and its inhabitants between 1940 – 1945 during the Nazi occupation including the bravery of hundreds of resistance fighters across the country.


8. Have a bite to eat in one of the town’s restaurants

Thanks to its diverse population, there are many restaurants serving a choice of cuisines from all over the world. From the French and German influences to Mediterranean food, to Japanese and Asian cuisine, there are options to suit every palate. There are also a few Michelin guide restaurants for those of you partial to some fine dining.


9. Visit St Joseph’s Church

Built in the 1870s this church catered for the growing population of iron and steelworkers in the city following the industrial revolution and is even named after the patron saint of workmen. Its gothic spires, stained glass windows and grand ceilings reflect the skill of the native architects who designed this. After WW2, a chapel was added to honour local residents who lost their lives in the conflict.


10. Relax in the city’s park with a dark past!

Stroll the manicured gardens of Gaalgebierg Park, smelling the flowers and stopping on a bench to watch the world go by. Walkthrough the forest and climb the hill, previously known as ‘hill of the gallows’ where criminals would be hanged in the 17th century! These days it’s a peaceful place of contemplation and beauty to be enjoyed by locals and visitors alike!



Esch-sur-Alzette is less than 5 hours drive from DFDS’s ports in IJmuiden, Dunkirk and Calais. Sail from the UK to Europe and start your trip with DFDS.

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