What makes Luxembourg a unique country to travel to?
Luxembourg is a highly developed, stable constitutional monarchy and parliamentary democracy. There are many tourist facilities in Luxembourg.
The predominant forms of crime in Luxembourg are non-violent. Such crimes include the theft of valuables through snatching of purses/bags, and breaking and entering of unoccupied homes. Crime is more pronounced in Luxembourg City, especially at bus terminals and the main train station and its surroundings. Street robbery can turn violent if the victim is isolated and cannot seek help from by-passers. You should take common-sense precautions while in Luxembourg; be vigilant with your personal belongings and refrain from carrying visible jewelry and more cash than necessary. Pickpockets often operate in teams, usually one team member distracts the victim while another empties the pockets or bag. You should be especially careful when taking the train to/from Brussels; theft of backpacks, laptops, or other valuables regularly occurs on this route.
Luxembourg has many public parks that are safe during the daylight hours, though the volume of low-level drug vending has increased in some of the city parks. You should avoid these parks after dark, though, because they pose a higher risk. During the summer season, you should be particularly alert to purse snatchings and confidence scams against tourists. Incidents of petty crime spike during the annual “Schueberfouer,” a three-week event held every summer.
Don’t buy counterfeit and pirated goods, even if they are widely available. Not only are the bootlegs illegal to bring back into the United States, if you purchase them you may also be breaking local law.
While you are traveling in Luxembourg, you are subject to its laws even if you are a U.S. citizen. Foreign laws and legal systems can be vastly different than our own. Criminal penalties vary from country to country. There are also some things that might be legal in the country you visit, but still illegal in the United States. You can be prosecuted under U.S. law if you buy pirated goods abroad. Engaging in sexual conduct with children or using or disseminating child pornography in a foreign country is a crime prosecutable in the United States. If you break local laws in Luxembourg, your U.S. passport won’t help you avoid arrest or prosecution. It’s very important to know what’s legal and what’s not where you are going.
Persons violating Luxembourg's laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. Penalties for possessing, using, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Luxembourg are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines.
Arrest notifications in Luxembourg:
While some countries will automatically notify the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate if a U.S. citizen is detained or arrested in a foreign country, that might not always be the case. To ensure that the United States is aware of your circumstances, request that the police and prison officials notify the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate as soon as you are arrested or detained overseas.
Medical Facilities and Health Information
Medical facilities are widely available. Dial 112 for a medical emergency or the fire department, and 113 for the police. Hospitals in Luxembourg operate on a 24-hour rotation system. We do not advise self-referral to any hospital, with an exception: the “Centre Hospitalier” is always on-call for emergency cases involving children under the age of 14. In Luxembourg City, three major hospitals offer comprehensive general medical and surgical treatment. Additionally, there are two pediatric clinics and two obstetric clinics in Luxembourg City. There are also hospitals in the south of the country (Esch-sur-Alzette) and in the north (Wiltz). For more specialized care, including major burns, transfer to a regional burn center in Belgium or France is necessary. Three medical services (maisons médicales) provide general medical treatment (not suitable for emergency cases) after hours, on weekends, and holidays, when a treating physician is not available. Please see information on all medical facilities in Luxembourg at the following website.
Most drugstores are located in Luxembourg City but can also be found throughout the country in all major communes. Drugstores operate on a 24-hour rotation system for after-hours services, including emergency prescriptions. The on-call pharmacy is listed daily in the local newspaper or can be ascertained by calling 112. A doctor's prescription is sometimes necessary for drugs that are sold over the counter in the United States.
Safety and Security
Terrorist incidents are rare in Luxembourg. Luxembourg's open borders, however, could possibly allow terrorist groups to enter/exit the country unnoticed.
Prior police approval is required for public demonstrations in Luxembourg. Police routinely provide supervision to ensure adequate security for participants and passers-by. Nonetheless, situations may develop which could pose threats to public safety. We advise you to avoid areas where public demonstrations are taking place.
Traffic Safety and Road Conditions
Persons residing in Luxembourg who wish to drive must have their driver’s license transcribed within one year. To start the process, the driver must have been a registered resident of Luxembourg for at least 185 days and the license must have been issued in the country where the person was actually residing at the time of issuance. Additional documents to be submitted with the application include a recent medical certificate, a criminal record (affidavit from the U.S. Embassy), and a residence permit for Luxembourg. It is not possible to receive a Luxembourg driver’s license and keep the foreign (U.S.) license, which has to be surrendered to the driver’s license office and will be returned to the issuing authority.
While in Luxembourg, you may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. Luxembourg has a modern, well-maintained system of highways and secondary roads. Road signs and markings are clear and primarily worded in French. Streets in the city, construction sites, and crossroads are well illuminated at night. On highways, a digital alert system warns drivers of incidents or detours. Roads into and out of Luxembourg City are congested during the morning and evening rush hour. Visitors should drive defensively in high-volume commuter traffic. During the fall and winter, fog and ice can cause sudden slowdowns on highways and secondary roads.
In case of a car accident involving injury or dispute, it is a good idea to call the police at 113. The police will make an official assessment of the accident's circumstances that can subsequently be used if further legal action becomes necessary.
The daily mix of drivers from Luxembourg and its three neighboring countries results in a variety of driving practices and courtesies. While most drivers respect speed limits, traffic signals, and rules, some do not. Vehicle maintenance for cars registered in Luxembourg is controlled by the mandatory yearly car inspection; police can perform random road checks at any time. The possibility of encountering an intoxicated driver increases on weekends, especially during the late evening hours. Driving while intoxicated may result in penalties including imprisonment from eight days up to two years, plus a fine of 251 to 5,000 Euros (approximately $326 to $6,500).
Public transportation throughout the country, including bus services and taxis, is highly developed and is considered very safe.
Emergency road services in Luxembourg are excellent. For breakdown and towing service call the Automobile Club of Luxembourg (ACL) at 26000. In case of an accident, call 112 for a medical emergency and 113 for the police.