Easy on the eye
The world’s only grand duchy has the same population as Glasgow (about 600,000), but size isn’t everything. The capital, Luxembourg City, is a charming mixture of old and new Europe.
Its medieval quarter perches on a cliff high above the Grund, a deep gorge. This part of the city is famed for its nightlife. Outside the city, it’s a short drive along winding hillside roads to postcard-pretty villages such as Vianden, nestled in the shadow of an 11th-century castle.
Sandwiched between Belgium, France and Germany, the duchy is the perfect base from which to explore.
The rugged wilderness of the Ardennes lies just to the west, while the ancient Roman city of Trier — thought to be the oldest city in Germany — is an hour’s drive in the opposite direction.
Safe bet for banking
Most of the world’s big international banks have a base in Luxembourg’s financial centre, which employs almost 50,000 people. And should you lose your job, the state benefit system is extremely generous, paying up to 85 per cent of your salary for a year.
High standard of living
The high standard of living here — Luxembourgers enjoy the world’s second-highest per-capita gross domestic product — is reflected in the variety of museums and music venues in the city, which also boasts 11 Michelin-starred restaurants, one for every 10,000 inhabitants. Oenophiles will feel at home, too; the duchy’s wine-producing region in the Moselle valley is one of European winemaking’s best-kept secrets (the local Riesling and crémant — a native sparkling wine — are highly recommended).
The country is a family-friendly place. Married couples pay less income tax than single people, and according to Numbeo, the crowdsourced price-data website, private nursery fees are 15% cheaper than in London and around half the average amount paid by New Yorkers.
Photographs: Robin Weaver/Alamy; Dreamstime; Getty Images/iStockphoto
Related article: Luxembourg: a quiet haven where expats find themselves at home