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Luxembourg has become the first place in the world to have free public transport while many other countries, including Great Britain are experiencing a huge rise of transport fees.
Free public transport is not yet in play but soon will be. Even so, at this moment the fares are quite cheap anyway. Tickets covering around 2 hours of travelling in Luxembourg only cost 2 euros, which taking into account that it is a small country means these tickets already cover most of the journey around all areas.
For those who prefer a bit more comfort while travelling can purchase first class at just 3 euros each which makes the journey even more interesting as 3 euros for a first class ticket is still considered a very low fare for the whole journey. There are also tickets available covering all transport for one day for only 4 euros for a second class ticket.
Even you thought that was cheap you maybe be surprised to learn that youngsters can travel for free. There is also an annual pass for residents that cost 150 euros for all public transport all the year round.
This new free public transport will come into effect soon and it will be possible thanks to the removal of a tax break for Luxembourg residents.
Having free public transport will also have the added benefit of less traffic jams which are a big problem in the country, it will also decrease the private car hiring as well as pollution.
Some Luxembourg nationals have complained about the idea stating that maybe free public transport isn’t the best idea as it might lead to a cut in public transport quality which would put the citizens off from using it and hence they would continue to use their cars.
Other disadvantages might arise from this new measure as public transport could be now filled with homeless people, specially during the winter months.
The abolishing of the public transport fares will also mean a new debate about the second and first class travelers.
Also the new Government is planning the legalization of cannabis and has also proposed the addition of two new bank holidays, including a “Europe Day” to be celebrated on the 9th May.
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CURIOSITIES OF LUXEMBOURG
1. A very small country in Europe
Luxembourg is the smallest country in Europe (not counting independent states, such as San Marino or the Vatican).
It is 57 km meter wide and 84 km long. To give you an idea, it is about 4 times smaller than the Community of Madrid or the province of Barcelona.
To visit it you can do it always staying in the city of Luxembourg, it is not necessary to draw up an itinerary and go staying in other places.
2. Luxembourg is the second richest country in the world
Luxembourg is the second richest country in the world according to GDP per capita (exceeded by Qatar, at present). The country’s economic activity is based almost entirely on the financial and online world sectors.
As a result, his lowest salary is also very high. Currently the minimum wage is 2075 euros per month. (more than double that in Spain).
3. The Last Grand Duchy
Luxembourg is the only Grand Duchy in the world. The Grand Duke is the head of state and his official residence is an impressive building.
The Doge’s Palace is a Renaissance palace that was originally built as a town hall for the city, but eventually became the residence and workplace of the Grand Duke. During the summer months of July and August, you can visit the interior with a guided tour that you must book in advance.
They are very loved by the population. A few years ago a referendum was held to see if they wanted to retain their Grand Duchy status and a majority voted in their favour.
4. World Heritage
Since 1994 the center of the city of Luxembourg, its network of tunnels and its fortresses, have been a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Do not miss the 30 essential things to see and do in Luxembourg.
Up to 1,400 soldiers and 20 cannons took refuge in the more than 23 km of tunnels and fortresses. It was built by the Spanish army in the 17th century to defend against invasions. They also housed and protected civilians from bombing in times of war.
5. All Luxembourgers speak at least 4 languages
From a very young age at school, 3 languages are introduced equally. German, Luxembourgish and French are studied. Once they reach primary school, English is also included. And they speak it perfectly. The language that is most heard in its streets is French and Luxembourgish.
6. Green, Green and more green
When at the beginning of the post I told you that Luxembourg stood out for its natural environment, I wasn’t lying.
Did you know that Luxembourg is the second in Europe with the highest density of trees? Only Finland tops it.
It is a country with many leafy forests, some so dense that they cannot be penetrated, and also, if you like nature and trekking, here you have seven national parks.
As an additional curious fact, The Ardennes is a region of Luxembourg covered with very dense forests. The Germans, both in the first and in the second world war, used this area as a step to invade France, since thinking that it was an almost impenetrable area, it would be a poorly protected area.
7. Almost half of the population is not native
45% of the population of Luxembourg is foreign and in Luxembourg City, the percentage increases to 60%. There is a large Portuguese population, since a few years ago the Portuguese government and the Luxembourg government reached a consensus in which jobs were offered to Portuguese who would work in the steel sector.
In addition, Luxembourg provides many tax facilities for entrepreneurs, digital nomads, the financial sector…
8. Prohibited not to vote
In Luxembourg it is mandatory to vote in elections. If for any reason you could not go to vote, you have to justify the reason and it must be approved. In case of absence it can be reason for jail. Something a bit exaggerated, don’t you think?
9. The goldcrest, the representative animal of Luxembourg
The wren is the animal that represents Luxembourg. It is known as the king of birds for having a small row of yellow feathers on its head.
10. The motto of Luxembourg
The country has a motto; “Mir wëlle bleiwe war mir sin”. It means “we want to continue being what we are”.
This motto refers to the fact that they want to continue enjoying their independence as a country.
11. It is the country with the highest alcohol sales in the European Union
Luxembourg is the European country that sells the highest number of alcoholic beverages per capita in Europe. And this fact is not that they are drinking all day like crazy. This fact is due to the fact that its neighboring countries have a very high tax on alcoholic beverages and they enter Luxembourg to acquire this type of product.
12. Great wine production
Luxembourg has a large wine production. The Moselle Valley is world renowned for producing excellent wines from nine varieties of grapes: Riesling, Pinot Noir, Pinot Blanc, Pinot, Pinot Gris, Gewürztraminer, Auxerrois, Rivaner, Elbling and Chardonnay.
13. The famous Luxembourg carnival
The Luxembourg carnivals are a very popular event. During Easter there is an interesting festival called Eimaischen. Its main event is a gastronomic fair that takes place in the Fish Market.
Burgsonndeg is celebrated every year in February. The streets are decorated with carnival balls and garlands, for three days in the main squares pilgrimages take place.
14. Luxembourg National Day
June 23 marks the National Day of Luxembourg, as well as the birthday of Grand Duchess Charlotte, who ruled for almost 50 years.
As a curious fact, the Grand Duchess was actually born on January 23, but the festivities are celebrated in June, due to June being a month with better weather conditions.
15. The largest castle: Bourscheid
Considering that Luxembourg is the smallest country in Europe, it seems incredible that it is so full of castles. There are a total of 75 castles that are still standing and many of them can be visited.
Bourscheid Castle is the largest in the country. It houses a museum in which objects that have been found in excavations of the place are exhibited. From its towers there is a beautiful view of the surrounding sites.