I traveled around Luxembourg, one of the world's wealthiest and most sustainable countries. I found 2 ways I can make my next visit more eco-friendly.
14.11.2023 - 16:59
When I started planning my trip to Luxembourg earlier this year, I had one thing in mind: affordable luxury.
In 2023, the landlocked European nation became the second wealthiest country in the world based on GDP per capita. It stood out to me because of its well-priced luxury hotels and free public transportation.
Luxembourg is also known for its sustainability, ranking sixth out of 180 countries in the Environmental Performance Index in 2022.
I was excited to explore the country in a respectful and environmentally friendly manner. I was especially looking forward to free travel by train as it's more sustainable than flying or driving.
Looking back, I nailed the luxury aspect of the trip. But there are two changes I could have made for a more eco-friendly itinerary.
After visiting in March, I reached out to the national tourism organization, Visit Luxembourg, and Nina Karnikowski, an Australian journalist and author who specializes in sustainable travel. I asked them to review my itinerary, as shown below:
Day 1 — Sunday, March 5:
Day 2 — Monday, March 6:
Day 3 — Tuesday, March 7:
Day 4 — Wednesday, March 8:
Most of my travel within Luxembourg involved public transportation, and I also departed the country for its neighbor Belgium via a gorgeous snowy train journey.
But Karnikowski, the author of "The Mindful Traveller" and "Go Lightly," pointed out that I could have taken this a step further by extending my trip by a couple of days to travel to Luxembourg from Scotland via train.
This would have involved about three separate train journeys, starting with a high-speed, electric train from Edinburgh to London, followed by the Eurostar from London to Brussels, and a final train to Luxembourg City, which would take around 11 hours. In comparison, my flight from Edinburgh took about five hours, not including travel time to the airport.
Unlike flying, this mode of transport would have encouraged me to go slow and take in the natural beauty of the surrounding landscape.
I spent one night at Le Royal, a five-star hotel chain with a branch in Luxembourg City, which I was drawn to because of its central location and luxury amenities, including a spa with an indoor pool.
It was the most affordable luxury hotel I've stayed in. One night in a traditional queen room cost $275.70. In comparison, my overnight stay at San Domenico Palace, the five-star hotel where "The White Lotus" was filmed in Sicily, cost $2,248 back in April.
My stay at Le Royal was followed by two nights at Chateau d'Urspelt, a four-star, family-owned castle hotel in the countryside, which cost $145.60 a night. The hotel has an Eco Label Lux, an award given by Luxembourg's General Directorate of Tourism to accommodation that prioritizes