Luxembourg City, Luxembourg Report of what it's like to live there - 09/05/11
Personal Experiences from Luxembourg City, Luxembourg
1. Was this post your first expatriate experience? If not, what other cities have you lived in as an expat?
This is my second tour. I was in the Middle East before Luxembourg
2. What is your home city/country? How long is the trip to post from there, with what connections? How easy/difficult is it to travel to this city/country?
3. How long have you lived here?
4. What brought you to this city (e.g. diplomatic mission, business, NGO, teaching, retirement, etc.)?
Housing, Groceries & Food:
1. What is your housing like? What are typical housing sizes, locations, and commute times for expatriates?
Luxembourg City has cute different colored row houses and modern apartments.most housing is near corner cafes or bars. The layout of the homes or apartments don't make sense - get over it. Most homes/ apartments don't have AC - you sleep with your window open at night. Most windows don't have screens.
2. How would you describe the availability and cost of groceries and household supplies relative to your home country?
Luxembourg is very expensive. You can do small grocery shopping in town and then drive to Germany for your major shopping.
3. What household or grocery items do you wish you had shipped to post?
Flats - it was pointless to bring my heels with all the cobblestones around the city. Although they have nice shoe stores, the shoes are very expensive and they don't carry narrow.
4. What typical restaurants, food delivery services, and/or takeout options are popular among expatriates?
All fast food is available here - slightly more expensive.
5. What kinds of organic, vegetarian and allergy-friendly foods are available, such as organic produce, gluten-free products, meat substitutes for vegetarians, etc?
6. Are there any unusual problems with insects or other infestations in housing?
1. How do you send and receive your letters and package mail? Are local postal facilities adequate?
2. What is the availability and cost of household help, and what types of help are typically employed by expatriates?
ridiculously expensive and you have to pay social security. This is not a tour where you'll have household help.
3. What kinds of gyms or other sports/workout facilities are available? Are they expensive?
yes - they are approx $150 a month
4. Are credit cards widely accepted and safe to use locally? Are ATMs common and do you recommend using them? Are they safe to use?
perfectly safe to use
5. What English-language religious services are available locally?
I know of a couple catholic churches offering Mass in english.
6. English-language newspapers and TV available? Cost?
readily available - but very expensive
7. How much of the local language do you need for daily living? Are local language classes/tutors available and affordable?
You MUST learn french. If you do not learn french prior to coming to post then sign up for the free french classes offered by the city.
8. Would someone with physical disabilities have difficulties living in this city?
the cobblestones are... cobblestones. that is what gives the city character, but be careful!
1. Are local buses, trams, trains or taxis safe and affordable?
Local buses are 1.50 euro - safe and reliable.
2. What kind of car do you recommend bringing to post, given the terrain, availability of parts, burglary/carjacking risks, etc.? What kind of car do you advise not to bring?
I have a midsize SUV and I don't have any problems driving around town or finding parking spaces. If the Embassy is housing you - you must let them know the height of your SUV - as some of the older homes have small garages. You must have snow tires. If you bring an out of spec car and try to sell it here, the new owner has to pay to bring the car up to spec - not fun!
Phone & Internet:
1. Is high-speed home Internet access available? How long does it typically take to install it after arrival?
If you get P&T internet you have to pay for the phone line (min 16 euros) plus internet (40 euros - basic, no download).
2. Do you have any recommendations regarding mobile phones? Did you keep your home-country plan or use a local provider?
1. Are qualified veterinarians and/or good kennel services available? Do animals need to be quarantined upon entry to the country? Are there other considerations regarding pets that are particular to this country?
Yes - in addition, they need a microchip.
2. Quality pet care available (vets & kennels)?
Employment & Volunteer Opportunities:
1. What types of jobs do most expatriate spouses/partners have? Locally based or telecommuting? Full-time or part-time? Can you comment on local salary scales?
if you know fluent french
2. What is the typical dress code at work and in public places? Is formal dress ever required?
Health & Safety:
1. Are there personal security concerns to be aware of at this post? Please describe.
2. Are there any particular health concerns? What is the quality of available medical care? What medical conditions typically require medical evacuation?
No health concerns. Medical care is very good - some cultural differences (take a long t-shirt when you go for your physical - they don't provide gowns).
3. What is the air quality like at post (good/moderate/bad)? Are there seasonal air quality issues? Does the air quality have an impact on health?
Good most of the year, but when the pollen falls it outlines the cobblestone.
4. What is the overall climate: is it extremely hot or cold, wet or dry, at any time of year, for example?
This year we didn't have Summer. it went from Spring to Fall. Last winter was kinda tough for me, but I came from the Middle East where it was 130 degrees.
Schools & Children:
1. What is the availability of international schools? What has been your general experience with them, if any?
2. What accommodations do schools make for special-needs kids?
3. Are preschools available? Day care? Are these expensive? What has been your experience with them, if any? Do the schools provide before- and/or after-school care?
I hear that it is expensive
4. Are local sports classes and/or activities available for kids?
Yes! And in the summertime the kids can borrow sports equipment at the parks and play. This country is all about outdoor recreation.
1. What is the relative size of the expatriate community? How would you describe overall morale among expatriates?
Outside the embassy, the expat community is extremely large, but I don't know where they are. There is no single American or British spot. This is more like NYC. The embassy community is small but very friendly.
2. Morale among expats:
3. What are some typical ways to socialize, either with local people or with other expatriates? Are there groups or clubs that you can recommend?
easy! Luxembourg has lots to offer.
4. Is this a good city for single people? For couples? For families? Why or why not?
This city is great for everyone.
5. Is this a good city for LGBT expatriates? Why or why not?
I haven't heard of any problems
6. Are there problems with ethnic, race/racial minorities or religious prejudices? Gender equality?
7. What have been the highlights of your time in this country? Best trips or experiences?
Enjoying the greenery. Walking home through a park every day.
8. What are some interesting/fun things to do in the area? Can you recommend any “hidden gems"?
Valley of the 7 castles
9. Is this a "shopping post"? Are there interesting handicrafts, artwork, antiques, or other items that people typically buy there?
Chocolate spoons, Cremant, bird whistles, gluwein and pork sandwiches.
10. What are the particular advantages of living in this city?
Luxembourg is absolutely beautiful. It offers a great number of hiking, biking, and walking trails. The city has many large parks, plazas, dog runs, you name it!Dogs are welcome almost everywhere - restaurants even bring out dog bowls for your dog.
11. Can you save money?
Sorry, no - lettuce is a luxury item at the grocery store.
Words of Wisdom:
1. Knowing what you know now, would you still move to this city?
Absolutely - but I would've shopped for more winter clothes in the US!
2. If you move here, you can leave behind your:
high heels and sweatpants
3. But don't forget your:
running shoes, bike, camping equipment, GPS, and carry-on suitcase (for all of the regional travel that you'll be doing - Ryan Air is less than $50 to most places out of Germany).
4. Do you recommend any books or movies about this city/country for those who are interested in learning more?
5. Recommended movies/DVDs related to this city:
6. Do you have any other comments?
Guys shoud be aware that you have to swim w/a speedo in public pools. They claim that swim shorts aren't hygienic. Don't try arguing - they aren't going to change their mind.