Our day wandering around Luxembourg City felt like something out of a fairytale. Then we arrived in Vianden. It was cold and grey, but there was something so beautiful and magical about this little town, nestled in the rolling hills of the Luxembourg countryside, below the beautiful Vianden Castle.
As we approached, equally spaced tall trees started to pop up right along the road as the bus wound through the hills. The anticipation was mounting – this all felt so European and medieval and glamorous!
We arrived at the bus stop along the river, at the lowest point of the town of Vianden. Stepping off the bus, we looked up and there was the beautiful castle atop the hill above us.
The bus stop itself was also low-key gorgeous. Hi, Andrew!
Using our view of the castle as our guide, we started out for the castle in the drizzling rain. We began to climb up the road that we could see winding up the hill through the town.
Though it was somewhat steep, the town is so charming and after every twist and turn the views of the castle keep getting more and more beautiful.
We reached the gates and it is truly like stepping back in time or stepping into a memory. The castle features from the outside are just like the ones you read about in storybooks growing up. The old, slightly dilapidated stone walls have a sense of familiarity to them, giving it a fairytale-like feeling.
When you purchase your tickets to enter the castle, be sure to ask for an audio guide! They are only an additional €2 and you learn a lot. Most of the signs inside the castle do not have English translations, so having the guide was key to understanding what we were looking at in each different room. They are quite loud, so it is easy to share with another person or two. The guide was not offered to us, I had to inquire about it. I am so glad I noticed and asked!
Words could never do the castle justice. Pictures don’t really either. It is a really neat experience touring through the castle – it is a unique blend of restored features, behind the scenes looks at the excavation and restoration, and refurbished areas with period decor to give you an idea what the castle was like in its heyday. I was expecting a fully restored castle and it is certainly not that.
Here is a peek inside, enjoy and let me know which room is your favorite!
The kitchen, filled with period dishes.
Old meets new.
Enamored with the beautiful castle, the beautiful views of the countryside, and ever seeking the perfect Instagram shot (#sorrynotsorry)… I was on the lookout for a great view of the castle and surrounding. As we walked down from the castle, I noticed a road climbing up the hill to our right. It ran along some ruins of an old fortified wall. As soon as we started walking, we could tell this road had potential.
We pressed on up the hill, though a thicket of trees. This walk was turning out to be pretty cool! We tried some artsy photos, but as you can see, the trees were too thick to get a good focus on the castle beyond! (PS – how fairytale/medieval-looking are these trees though?!).
We came through the trees to discover that there was a lookout point at the top of the hill. We rushed up to take in the view. It was prettyyyyy spectacular. You could see the beautiful castle, the town below and the hills all around. If you visit Vianden Castle, definitely walk up after to check out this view. I’ve outlined our route on the Google map below.
We walked back into town and had just missed the bus, so we decided to grab lunch along the river at Cafe Dupont while we waited for the next one. It was lovely and the people there were so friendly.
Getting to Vianden Castle
It was really easy to get to Vianden Castle from Luxembourg City. We used Google maps to find our way and it worked out well. All you need to do is take the train to Ettlebruck from Gare Centrale, then board the 570 bus to Vianden at the stop across from the station. On our journey, most everyone riding with us was doing the exact same trip and the bus driver was very helpful, even calling out that this was the castle stop when we arrived!
You only need one ticket for the whole journey, we discovered and it is only €4! In our experience, the train and buses were very timely, new, and clean. The staff that assisted us on our all spoke English and were very helpful.
If you do visit Vianden, (which I hope you do!) keep in mind that the walk up from the bus stop is hilly and paved with stone, so it is a bit of hike. Wear comfortable shoes and if your mobility is limited, it is worth looking into a taxi service or renting a car to get there instead.
The bus/train combination takes a little over an hour. In total, our journey was about 5 hours, between travel, touring the castle, and lunch. We even got back to Luxembourg City with time to relax before heading to the airport for our flight! If you are in Luxembourg, the castle is absolutely worth a visit.