Preface Last Updated: 12/5/2005 10:58 AM
It would be easy to overlook tiny Luxembourg in a European
itinerary, but you'd be missing out on a very charming experience.
Squeezed into a pocket of land about one-fiftieth the size of
England, it is Europe in miniature, complete with wine country,
abbey towns, a cosmopolitan city, hiking trails, restored castles,
lovely river valleys, and a multilingual populace.
Luxembourg has been influenced at one time or another by the
Spanish, Belgians, French, Germans and Austrians. But perhaps the
most influential of all were the Romans, who ruled the land for
nearly 500 years. They left behind an excellent network of roads and
bridges that, in addition to unifying the nation physically, linked
the people psychologically.
Positioned between two major historical world powers (and having
been conquered at times by both of them), Luxembourg takes a good
deal of its identity from its neighbors’ contributions. This shows
itself both in the generally amicable relationship between the
countries and their citizens and in their shared linguistic traits.
Multilingualism is universal among Luxembourgers, and both the
German and French languages are used in the press, in politics, and
in daily life. French is most common in government and schools,
though Luxembourgish is the language you will hear most frequently
on the street. English is widely understood in tourist areas.
Luxembourg's location in the heart of Europe made it a desirable
territory for the continent's abundance of expansion-minded rulers.
So it built itself into one of the most powerful fortresses in the
world. Most of the fortifications were dismantled in the mid-19th
century, and fortresses were converted into parks — too soon, as it
turned out. Luxembourg was invaded and occupied in both World Wars
by its neighbors to the east and sustained terrible damage in World
War II at the Battle of the Bulge. The damage has since been
repaired, and Luxembourgers, grateful for the U.S. role in
liberating their country, have been particularly friendly to
travelers from the U.S. ever since.
Geographically, the country is surprisingly varied, considering
its small size. The northern area has the best scenery, particularly
in the heavily forested area of the Ardennes, whereas the southern
area is more industrial and urbanized. The eastern region, along the
Sauer and Moselle Rivers, has lovely vineyards and wineries.
Service in Luxembourg is interesting and challenging. The range
and variety of responsibilities are broad. Officers working in the
political and economic fields deal with the major issues of Europe
and the European Union and NATO as well as with bilateral
U.S.-Luxembourg matters. Administrative and consular officers are
diversified in their respective fields of activity. In addition,
consular officers assume reporting functions. Comparable variety and
interest characterize the Embassy's locally-engaged staff positions.
Luxembourg offers the advantage of life in a medium-sized Western
European city coupled with many of the social and cultural aspects
of a modern capital. Its central location in the heart of Western
Europe, its lovely countryside, and its hospitable people make
Luxembourg an unusually attractive assignment for overseas service.
The Host Country
Area, Geography, and Climate Last Updated: 12/5/2005 10:59 AM
Luxembourg, located in Western Europe, is bordered by France,
Germany, and Belgium. The country is 50 miles long and 36 miles
wide, covering 999 square miles, or slightly less than the area of
Geographically, the Grand Duchy is divided into two sections. The
forested and hilly northern half of the country is a continuation of
the Belgian Ardennes. In the south, the Lorraine Plateau extends
from France, creating an open, rolling countryside with an average
elevation of 1,000 feet. The Our, Sure, and Moselle Rivers flow
north-south along the frontier between Luxembourg and Germany.
Temperatures range from 5°F (-15°C) to 90°F (32°C), with an
annual mean temperature of 49°F (9°C). Summer temperatures average
60°F (15°C) and winters are mild with an average low of 29°F
(-1.7°C). July and August are the warmest months; May and June are
the sunniest; and January and February are the coldest months.
Luxembourg has a climate much like that of the U.S. Pacific
Northwest — cool, temperate, and rainy. The northwesterly winds that
traverse the western, lower portion of the Belgian Ardennes cause
abundant clouds, fog, and rain. Average annual rainfall is 30
inches; some rain falls 50% of the year.
Population Last Updated: 12/5/2005 10:59 AM
The Grand Duchy has a population of approximately 440,000 (2000
est.). The population is most dense in the industrial southwest
region and around the capital city, with a population of 78,300. Of
the entire population, 34% are aliens, most from other European
countries (12% Portuguese). The European Union Institutions located
here employ 9,000 citizens of the different member states.
The native population is at least bilingual, often trilingual.
Luxembourgish is the native language spoken in the majority of
homes. German is the language of instruction beginning in first
grade; French begins shortly thereafter as a foreign language.
Luxembourgish and French are the official languages of the country.
French is used in diplomatic exchanges, in drafting decrees and
legislation, and in the upper courts.
Local newspapers are usually published in German, and German is
used in the lower courts. French is the most common second language
used in stores within the city, but German is often more useful in
the northern part of the country. Luxembourgers invariably speak
Luxembourgish among themselves. Related to the old Moselle Frankish
language of Western Germany, Luxembourgish is basically a Germanic
language enriched by French and Flemish words and expressions. This
language is rarely written and varies from region to region. English
is also taught in the schools. Most Luxembourgers in regular contact
with Embassy personnel speak English well, with the exception of
some Management contacts and contractors.
While there is no state religion, Luxembourg is predominantly
Roman Catholic. Protestant and Jewish communities also exist, and
all faiths are welcome.
Public Institutions Last Updated: 12/5/2005 11:00 AM
Luxembourg has a parliamentary form of government with a
constitutional monarchy. Under the Constitution of 1868, as amended,
the Grand Duke is the Chief of State. Executive power is exercised
by the Grand Duke and the Council of Government (Cabinet), which
consists of a dozen members led by the President of the Government
(Prime Minister). The Prime Minister is the leader of the political
party or coalition of parties that has the most seats in the
Legislative power is vested in the Chamber of Deputies, elected
directly to 5-year terms. A second body, the Council of State,
exercises some of the functions of an upper house, but can be
overridden by the Chamber of Deputies. It is composed largely of
ordinary citizens appointed in part by the Grand Duke, in part by
the Council of Government.
The law is codified, as in France and Belgium, and is a composite
of local practice, legal tradition, and foreign systems (French,
Belgian, and German). The apex of the judicial system is the
Superior Court, whose judges are appointed by the Grand Duke.
Under the Constitution of 1868, as amended, Luxembourg is a
parliamentary democracy. A coalition of two of the three major
parties — the Christian Social Party (CSV), the Socialist Party (LSAP),
and the Democratic (or Liberal) Party (DP) — have formed the
government in recent decades.
Arts, Science, and Education Last Updated: 12/5/2005 11:00 AM
Over the ages, the cultural influences upon Luxembourg life have
been extremely varied. Until the 19th century, Luxembourg was
dominated by the various European powers: France, Spain, Prussia,
Austria, and the Netherlands. The strongest influences have been
those of its immediate neighbors: France, Belgium, and Germany.
Luxembourg’s technology is primarily German-influenced. While many
Luxembourg engineering students train in Germany, others take higher
education in Belgium or France. The French and, to a lesser degree,
the Belgians, are the strongest cultural influences. However,
Luxembourgers are appreciative of many other cultures as well,
including those of Great Britain, Italy, and the U.S.
Commerce and Industry Last Updated: 12/5/2005 11:01 AM
Luxembourg is aptly described in tourist literature as the “Green
Heart of Europe.” The open rolling countryside is accentuated by
Luxembourg’s small but productive agricultural sector, which
concentrates on animal husbandry. Its principal products are meat
and dairy products. Vineyards along the Luxembourg side of the
Moselle River annually produce almost 4 million gallons of
high-quality dry white wine, almost half of which is consumed
Luxembourg’s standard of living and per capita income are the
highest in the European Union. The Grand Duchy is a charter member
of the Euro, the European Union's Common Currency. The economy is
stable and prosperous, enjoying modest growth, low inflation, and
low unemployment (2.9%; 1999 est.). Steel production, financial
services, and light industry are the primary sectors. The industrial
sector, until recently dominated entirely by steel, is increasingly
diversified. The financial sector’s rapid growth over the past two
decades has more than compensated for the long-term decline of the
steel industry, which now contributes only 1.8 % of GDP.
American investment has played a large role. Goodyear, DuPont,
Guardian, General Motors, Commercial Intertech, and Delphi
Automotive Systems are among the American firms with industrial
facilities in Luxembourg. Several major hi-tech companies have also
relocated their European operations to Luxembourg recently,
including AOL and Amazon.com.
Services, especially banking, account for a growing proportion of
the economy. Luxembourg's 210 banks now employ over 9 percent of the
working population (20,557).
Luxembourg's dependence on exports of goods and services has made
it favorable to open borders and commercial activity generally. Most
trade is with Luxembourg's immediate neighbors. The U.S. accounts
for only 3% of Luxembourg’s trade. Steel exports to the U.S.
dominate our trade relations. Although the country usually registers
a trade deficit, a surplus in earnings from financial services
contributes a very large current account surplus.
GDP growth in 1999 was 7.6%, the highest in recent years.
Inflation was 1.4%. Unemployment, at 3.3%, remains the lowest in the
Government finances are conservatively managed. Government
budgets usually record surpluses. In order to prevent these
surpluses from growing even larger, the government introduced tax
cuts in both 1997 and 1998.
Automobiles Last Updated: 12/5/2005 11:02 AM
Luxembourg has excellent paved highways and secondary roads.
Driving in Luxembourg is on the right side of the road with
“priority to the right” (the driver from the right normally has the
right of way and exercises it).
Rental cars are available through car rental agencies locally or
at nearby U.S. military bases. The Embassy provides for the sale of
duty-free gasoline to Embassy employees via a tax-free gas card,
billed monthly. Gasoline quality is comparable to American grades.
Lead-free gasoline is always available and diesel is on sale at most
gas stations in Luxembourg and neighboring countries.
Many people prefer small American or European cars. However, no
restrictions apply to the type of car brought into the country.
Repairs and spare parts are not readily available for American
automobiles in Luxembourg, and prices are higher than in the U.S.
However, parts are usually available at the BX garage at Bitburg Air
Force Base, Germany, 40 miles away, or at Spangdahlem AFB, which is
another 20 minutes' drive beyond Bitburg.
Some cars need minor modifications to pass a safety inspection
required for all vehicles registered in Luxembourg. Regulations on
tire tread and the color of side/tail lights are strict, and Embassy
employees sometimes have to purchase new tires and light covers in
order to pass the inspection.
Vehicles must be registered within three months of arrival in
Luxembourg. Automobile registration costs about $45 (plus any
required modifications to meet the safety inspection — usually from
$0-$250). A valid U.S. drivers license is sufficient for a tour of
duty not exceeding 1 year. After 1 year, you must apply for a local
driver's license. Personnel are exempt from paying the fee for a
driver's license, but a medical examination is necessary and costs
about $43. Before registration can be completed, the car must pass
inspection by the Ministry of Transport.
The law requires that all cars registered in Luxembourg be
insured with a Luxembourg firm for third-party liability insurance.
The insurance "green card" proves that your automobile insurance is
valid in Europe and is obtained from the Luxembourg insurance
company with which you have third-party liability coverage. The GSO
Motor Pool can assist with obtaining a Luxembourg third-party
The cost of third-party insurance is based on engine
displacement. Costs are generally higher than in the U.S. A letter
from your American (or present) insurance company stating that you
have been driving "X" number of years without a claim against them,
will cause the local insurance company to deduct 5% for each year
(up to 45%) from the prices listed above on comprehensive insurance.
Comprehensive & Collision insurance may be obtained outside
Luxembourg (i.e., Clements in Washington, USAA).
The not-for-profit Automobile Club of Luxembourg provides travel
information, maps, emergency, assistance, and many other services
for a modest membership fee. With the purchase of a carnet
d'assistance, members have access to services from automobile clubs
throughout Europe and in North Africa. (Automobile Club, 54 Route de
Longwy, L-8007 Helfenter-bruck, Telephone: 45-00-45.)
Local Transportation Last Updated: 12/5/2005 11:02 AM
Bus service in the city is reliable and inexpensive. Frequency of
service and start/end times vary with the bus line, but many Embassy
employees successfully commute to and from the office on a regular
basis with the city bus service.
TDY personnel as well as those living in the newer homes by the
train station or working at the Management Annex in the City Center
are particularly well served by the bus system.
Buses also run on evenings and weekends with adjusted schedules.
Taxicabs are plentiful but prices are higher than in the U.S.
Most employees (American and local) drive their POVs to the Embassy.
Regional Transportation Last Updated: 12/5/2005 11:02 AM
Luxembourg’s central location is a definite advantage; all of
Europe is easily accessible from Luxembourg. Paris is 4 hours away
by car; Brussels 2 hours; Le Havre 10 hours; Frankfurt 3 hours; and
Amsterdam 5 hours.
Bus or rail connections can be made between Luxembourg City and
most other towns in the Grand Duchy. The schedules, however, are
primarily geared to workers and students; therefore, they are
generally inconvenient for Embassy personnel.
Trains stop at Luxembourg’s Central Station en route to Paris,
Brussels, Cologne, Amsterdam, Milan, and the south of France.
Second class trains are generally clean and pleasant. A modern
(and expanding) airport (Findel) is located only 4 miles outside
Luxembourg City. The passenger terminal was opened in November 1975
and a new terminal was added in 2004. Luxembourg has daily (or more)
air service to Paris, London, Frankfurt, and Amsterdam. Other major
European cities are also served but schedules vary. Limited tourist
flights are scheduled to most major vacation areas. Attractive
package tours to some 30 destinations from Algarve to Zurich are
offered by Luxair, the Grand Duchy’s passenger airline.
A wide variety of connecting flights to other points in Europe is
available in Amsterdam, Paris, London, and Frankfurt.
Telephones and Telecommunications Last Updated: 12/5/2005 11:03
Telephone service in Luxembourg is excellent. STL apartments have
local phone service installed when the unit is occupied — employees
pay monthly subscription bills (approximately $15). Local and
international calls may be direct-dialed. A 3-minute
person-to-person call from Luxembourg to New York costs $2.50.
Wireless Service Last Updated: 12/5/2005 11:03 AM Employees
assigned permanently or for long-term TDY will be issued a U.S.
Government mobile phone (GSM). Mobile phone coverage in Luxembourg
and the surrounding countries is excellent, with fewer gaps than in
the United States. Rates are generally slightly more expensive than
in the U.S. The Embassy pays for official calls and employees are
responsible for paying personal phone bills, which are reconciled
EFMs wishing to have their own cell phones may purchase a
European GSM (or use a U.S.-purchased "tri-band" phone) for use with
a locally-purchased subscription. Subscription rates vary based on
provider selected and a variety of contact options are available.
Internet Last Updated: 12/5/2005 11:04 AM
Broadband (A/DSL and Cable) and dial-up internet access are
widely available in Luxembourg. Pricing depends on the neighborhood
service provider in the employee's neighborhood. The Embassy is also
connected to the State Department's OpenNet Plus.
Mail and Pouch Last Updated: 12/5/2005 11:04 AM
The Embassy pouch address for official shipments is:
5380 Luxembourg Place Washington, DC 20521-5380
For personal shipments, the address is: 5380 Luxembourg Place
Washington, DC 20189-5380
APO privileges are available through Bitburg/Spangdahlem AFB;
postage is the same as U.S. domestic mail. The official APO mailing
American Embassy Luxembourg Unit 1410 APO AE 09126-1410
The personal APO address is:
John Doe American Embassy Luxembourg PSC 9, Box 9500 APO AE 09123
Airmail letters and magazines take 5-6 days. Surface packages
usually take 1 month. The Embassy has two regular weekly deliveries
of APO mail.
Mail in Luxembourg is delivered once daily, Monday through
Friday. International airmail from the U.S. takes 3-6 days. This is
the most rapid means of communication between the two countries.
Packages sent from the U.S. by regular surface mail take 6-7 weeks.
The address for international mail is:
John Doe American Embassy 22 Blvd. Emmanuel Servais L-2535
You may also use a private home address.
Radio and TV Last Updated: 12/5/2005 11:05 AM
Radio reception in Luxembourg is adequate to receive stations
throughout Western Europe, including the BBC, VOA and the American
Forces Network from Germany.
Cable TV service is generally adequate although with the
exception of CNN, BBC World and MSNBC, all programing is in French,
German, Luxembourgish or Dutch. All channels are in color. An
American TV, however, cannot be converted to receive Belgian,
French, German, or Luxembourgish programs. Newly assigned employees
should plan to bring or buy a 220V multisystem TV and VCR/DVD
(available at Bitburg, Spangdahlem and other bases). Luxembourg does
not tax owners of televisions and radios. Post recommends that the
equipment be purchased here rather than the U.S., both because of
price and the availability of dual voltage, multi-system appliances
at the BX.
Satellite television (SKYTV) from the UK is also available from
the Eifeline store at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany. Post reimburses
employees for the purchase of a receiver/dish (if equipment is not
already provided in a given STL residence) and employees pay monthly
service fees. Armed Forces Network (AFN) television subscriptions
are also available from Spangdahlem's Eifeline store. Post
reimburses for decoders if one is not provided in the STL
Newspapers, Magazines, and Technical Journals Last Updated:
12/5/2005 11:05 AM
The leading newspapers of Luxembourg are in German. The
French-language La Voix, Le Quotidien and the Républicain Lorrain
(published in France) are also widely available. The main newsstands
in Luxembourg carry a wide section of Europe newspapers as well as
French, Belgian, and German magazines.
The International Herald Tribune is also available at local
newsstands or by subscription. It is possible to obtain American
magazines in Luxembourg, but the selection is limited. Except for
some technical journals, most American magazines can be purchased in
the Stars N’ Stripes bookstores at the Bitburg and Spangdahlem Air
Force Bases. Embassy personnel should use the A.P.O. address for
subscriptions to American periodicals.
About 1,500 English and American books of the former USIS library
have been donated to the National Library of Luxembourg. The library
at Bitburg Air Force Base has a good selection available to Embassy
personnel. The University of Miami and the British Ladies Club
maintain good reading libraries in Luxembourg. Some American books
are sold in shops, but prices are high.
Health and Medicine
Medical Facilities Last Updated: 12/5/2005 11:05 AM
The Embassy does not have a resident doctor. The Commander of
Bitburg Air Force Base Hospital, Germany, acts as the Embassy’s
medical adviser. The regional medical officer is located in London,
U.K. The Embassy has a part-time (three days per week) nurse.
Medical and surgical attention in Luxembourg is good, although in
view of the small community served, the depth of a coverage in some
specialities might not be as great as in the U.S. All Luxembourg
physicians and surgeons receive their medical education abroad.
Several local doctors, including pediatricians, have trained in the
U.S. The hospitals, including maternity hospitals, are clean and
well kept and are well staffed. Embassy personnel may use the USAEUR
(military) medical facilities.
Another option is Landstuhl Military Hospital. Landstuhl is one
of the largest military hopsitals in Europe, used as an
international MEDEVAC center. Services available cover family
practice, pediatrics, dental clinic, cardiology, neurology, ER and
many of the other specialities to be found in a general hospital.
The information desk may be reached at: +49 6371 86 8106; Duty desk
(open 24 hours) +49 6371 86 7184. Landstuhl is located in Germany
around 150km from Luxembourg. Access to the facility is good, but
expect a 1.5 hour drive.
Competent dentists practice in Luxembourg, and Americans are
usually satisfied with routine dental work done locally. As with
medical care described above, there may be areas of special
dentistry where the size of the community does not support the
fullest facilities. Dental work may also be performed at Bitburg
Local ophthalmologists and opticians are dependable. Glasses may
be obtained at Bitburg for somewhat lower prices than in the U.S.
Pharmacies in Luxembourg are well supplied with most general
medicines. The Bitburg Air Force Hospital has a pharmacy for
prescription drugs. The Bitburg and Spangdahlem commissaries have
drug counters that stock U.S.-manufactured over the counter
Community Health Last Updated: 12/5/2005 11:06 AM
Luxembourg enjoys a high standard of living. Public health
standards compare well with those in the U.S. Sewage and garbage
disposal are not a problem. The public water supply is potable.
Preventive Measures Last Updated: 12/5/2005 11:06 AM
Prevalence of disease is comparable to that in the New England
states, except for a slightly higher incidence of tuberculosis and
respiratory diseases. Several outbreaks of typhoid, influenza, and
infantile paralysis have occurred since World War II; none has
assumed serious proportions, and statistics reflect a steady
downward curve. The last recorded case of infantile paralysis was in
1963. Ordinary colds and bronchial coughs from the damp climate are
the most common ailments. Humidity increases sinus trouble,
rheumatism, arthritis, catarrh, and asthma.
Pasteurized milk sold in cartons is considered safe by U.S. Armed
Forces standards. No special treatment is required for water or
While potable, the local water supply is very hard. Many people
drink mineral water or use a softener available at Bitburg or
Employment for Spouses and Dependents Last Updated: 12/5/2005
Employment opportunities are extremely limited for spouses in
Luxembourg. Even though priority is given to European Union
citizens, opportunities occasionally arise within the large European
Union Institutions complex located in Luxembourg. Temporary
employment for spouses or teenage dependents is sometimes available
at the Embassy, although the small size of the Mission limits the
opportunities. The USG has a bilateral work agreement with the GOL.
American Embassy - Luxembourg
Post City Last Updated: 12/5/2005 11:07 AM
The Embassy is located in Luxembourg City, the capital of the
Grand Duchy. Luxembourg City is situated in central, southern
Luxembourg. The city is the formal residence of the Grand Duke and
the seat of government. The Court of Justice of the European Union,
the EU Court of Auditors, the Secretariat-General of the European
Parliament, the European Investment Bank, the EU Office of
Statistics, and many other EU institutions are also found here.
In 1963, the city celebrated its 1,000th anniversary. For
centuries, Luxembourg was one of the most powerful fortresses in the
world, earning the name of “Gibraltar of the North.” Although the
fortress was dismantled during the years 1867-83, the many remnants
of these ancient fortifications, the medieval towers and ramparts,
are of great interest. The casemates are a 23-kilometer network of
underground passages, hewn from solid rock. The Grand Ducal Palace,
built during the 16th and 18th centuries, is located among the
narrow, winding streets of the old city.
Within the Cathedral Notre Dame are the Grand Ducal Mausoleum and
the tomb of Luxembourg's national hero, John the Blind, who was
killed in 1346 at the Battle of Crécy. The European Center on the
Kirchberg Plateau commands an impressive view of the entire city.
Built on ridges overlooking the confluence of the Alzette and
Pétrusse Rivers, the city has attractive park areas along both
streams. The Place d’Armes, in the center of the city, is the site
of numerous band concerts during the spring and summer months.
The Post and Its Administration Last Updated: 12/5/2005 11:07 AM
The Embassy is the only U.S. Mission maintained in Luxembourg,
and it is a small post. Office hours are 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and
1:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.
The Chancery is located at 22 Boulevard Emmanuel Servais and
houses EXEC, POL/ECON, POL/MIL, RSO, PAO, and CONS. The telephone
number is (country code: 352) 46-01-23 and is listed in the local
telephone directory under both “United States Embassy” and
“Ambassade des Etats-Unis.” The Embassy fax number is (352)
The Management Annex is a state of the art facility located in
the City Center, approximately 10 minutes (on foot) from the
Chancery. The Management Annex houses all Management sub-sections
(Mgmt, GSO, B&F, HR, MED) as well as the Protocol Assistant. Post's
Wellness Center (gym, wellness library, shower) and Multi-Purpose
Conference Room (including DVC) are also located in the Management
The Embassy also maintains a very small, leased warehouse
facility outside Luxembourg City. No employees are based at the
Newly assigned personnel are met upon arrival. If for some reason
you are not met, telephone the Embassy. During office hours, ask for
the Management Officer. During nonworking hours, weekends, and
holidays notify the duty officer. Staff members are briefed on
arrival by the DCM, the RSO and the Management Officer.
In accordance with the provisions of the Fly America Act,
travelers arriving by air usually fly U.S. air carriers to Paris,
Frankfurt, or London and then take a connecting flight to
Luxembourg. For other routes, travelers should check with the
transportation office in the Department to ensure that their routing
complies with the provisions of the Fly America Act.
All American personnel receive their salary every 2 weeks via
Direct Deposit to their U.S. bank account.
The Embassy duty officer is reachable by telephone from 5:30 p.m.
to 8:30 a.m. on weekdays and 24 hours per day on weekends and
holidays. Normally, duty does not require actual presence at the
Chancery during these hours.
Temporary Quarters Last Updated: 12/5/2005 11:07 AM
Post makes every effort to move employees directly into their
assigned quarters upon arrival. Sometimes, due to the post's small
size, employees may be required to spend several nights in a hotel
prior to a move into permanent quarters. Employees will be notified
in advance should assignment to temporary quarters be necessary.
Permanent Housing Last Updated: 12/5/2005 11:08 AM
The United States Government owns only one residential property
in Luxembourg, the Chief of Mission Residence. The residence, which
is co-located with the Chancery on the Embassy Compound, was
purchased in 1948 from the Luxembourg Government. It is located in
an attractive and desirable section of the city. Its small garden
and terrace atrium overlook the valley of the Alzette. The residence
consists of three floors for living: the first floor includes
entrance foyer, powder room, front hall, library, drawing room,
formal living room, dining room (seating 24), and serving pantry and
kitchen; second floor includes master bedroom with bath, two
medium-sized double bedrooms with bath, and a small sitting room;
third floor contains three double bedrooms, one guest bathroom with
a shower and sink only, two servant’s bedrooms with one full bath
each, and a utility room. The residence also has a storage attic and
a large basement with laundry rooms, wine cellar, a brand new
representational kitchen and a small garage.
All other personnel (including the DCM) occupy short-term leased
housing which meets OBO space standards for "area one" posts. Most
single employees live in two-to-three bedroom apartments. Employees
with families and/or larger pets are usually assigned to small
detached or semi-detached houses.
Apartments and houses are scattered throughout the city and it's
immediate suburbs. Apartments tend to be most convenient to the
Embassy and city center whereas houses are located further out. No
housing is available in the city center (it is a commercial
district), however some apartments are within a 10-15 minutes walk.
Competetion for the best housing units is high, as are prices.
The Embassy GSO staff makes every effort to find an ideal property
for each employee. Some apartments and houses, however, have layouts
which are not typical in the U.S. Many apartments, for example, have
large entry halls (foyers) but relatively small kitchens, bedrooms,
and bathrooms. Many houses have a large amount of "dead space" and
do not have closets (wardrobes are provided).
Furnishings Last Updated: 12/5/2005 11:09 AM
Luxembourg is a fully-furnished STL post. All apartments and
houses are outfitted with the following standard-issue DOS
- Living Room Set (sofa, two side chairs, two end tables, coffee
table, credenza, two lamps, two occasional chairs, bookcase, area
- Dining Room Set (table, chairs [8-10], hutch, area rug)
- Master Bedroom Set (queen bed, dresser, chest, mirror, two
nightstands, two lamps, one large wardrobe if no closet is built-in)
- Extra Bedroom Sets, in accordance with number of bedrooms (twin
bed, night stand, dresser or chest, mirror, area rug, lamp, one
small wardrobe if no closet is built-in)
- Kitchens are equipped with all major appliances (refrigerator,
stove with range, microwave). Dishwashers are available in some
properties. All properties also include washers and dryers, often in
kitchens, space permitting, but sometimes in utility rooms, if
- Three transformers, a vacuum cleaner, and sheer curtains
(except kitchen) are provided.
Additional furniture is available locally at prices somewhat
higher than in the U.S. Employees are encouraged to hold off on
shipping large furniture pieces in their HHE until they are settled
in their house/apartment. No large furniture can be removed from STL
units due to very limited warehouse space. Post may be able to
remove smaller pieces, depending on available warehouse space.
Additional pieces may be available should furnishings provided not
meet the family's needs — contact GSO Maintenance & Labor on arrival
to check current warehouse stock for particular items of interest.
Local sheets and bed linens are heavier and rougher in quality
and higher in price than U.S. linens, and sizes are different. U.S.
linens are sold at Bitburg. Standard-quality tablecloths at the BX
cost about the same as in the U.S. Fine Belgian table linen, lace
tablecloths, and mats are available locally but at high prices. IKEA
and other similar retail outlets are available within easy driving
The Chief of Mission Residence
The Ambassador’s residence is furnished with government-owned
furniture, including rugs, draperies, and servant's furniture. The
Ambassador should bring flower vases, ashtrays, cigarette boxes and
lighters, table centerpieces, paintings, and other decorative
Among the furnishings are a crested government-owned crystal and
cream and gold china service, but bring chinaware for everyday and
kitchen use. (Extra glasses can be rented for special occasions.) A
complete service of sterling silver flatware for 24 persons, one
complete silver tea and coffee service, soup tureen, a pair of
seven-arm candelabras, one pair of three-arm candelabras, and a hot
buffet ensemble are provided.
Other furnishings include a linen tablecloth (long enough for the
table seating 24 persons) with matching napkins, a smaller damask
tablecloth with 12 napkins, and a set of 24 placemats and napkins.
Sheets, blankets, pillowcases, towels, and dish towels are
available. Stove, refrigerators, deep-freeze cabinets, washer,
dryer, vacuum cleaner, etc., are all government-owned.
Utilities and Equipment Last Updated: 12/5/2005 11:09 AM
Electricity in Luxembourg is 220v, 50-cycle, three-phase AC.
Three transformers are provided in each residence. Additional
transformers are available for purchase locally and at the Bitburg
All STL utilities are connected by the Embassy's GSO staff prior
to the employee's arrival. The Embassy connects electricity, water,
sewer, telephone and cable (and refills any gas heating tanks).
Employees pay only monthly fees for local telephone and a yearly
fee for local cable. All other payments are handled by the Embassy's
Food Last Updated: 12/5/2005 11:10 AM
Most foodstuffs, including many American products, are available
in Luxembourg. Prices are higher than in the U.S. for many foods,
such as meat. Uncooked fruit and vegetables are safe, and the
quality is high. American cuts of meat cannot be obtained locally,
but quality is good. High quality poultry is available.
Excellent-quality fish and seafood are available.
Water is potable, but it has a high calcium content, making it
hard for washing purposes. Bottled water is available at reasonable
The Embassy does not maintain a commissary, but U.S. Government
personnel have access to the commissary at Bitburg and at other U.S.
forces’ facilities. Please note that public transportation does not
operate between Luxembourg and Bitburg; a private car will be
necessary. You can order liquor, cigarettes, and some canned or
dried foodstuffs from a diplomatic discount house.
Although the Embassy has no cafeteria, a few restaurants nearby
provide reasonably priced, good-quality meals. The Management Annex,
in the city center, is served by a wide variety of local restaurants
within five minutes walk, including McDonald's.
Clothing Last Updated: 12/5/2005 11:10 AM
Clothing is similar to that worn in the northern U.S. Average
annual rainfall is heavy, so raincoats, umbrellas, and waterproof
footwear are needed. Extremely cold weather is not prolonged, but it
is often chilly and damp. Bring warm suits, coats, overshoes or
other warm footwear, and a good supply of sweaters. Summer weather
is also cool and unpredictable. Most summer-weight clothes can be
worn for only a limited time. Sports clothing and heavy shoes are
useful for walking, shooting, fishing, and other outdoor activities.
Some clothing and shoes are sold at Bitburg. Quality and prices are
the same as those in less-expensive U.S. department stores, but the
selection is limited. Mail order clothing from the U.S. can be
shipped via APO.
The U.S. Ambassador will need the following attire: Man—full
evening dress (tails), a dinner jacket, and a morning coat with
stripped trousers; woman—long evening gown, formal gown, and black
dress, gloves, and hat. Note, however, that for the commemorative
Mass and other functions attended by female members of the royal
family, completely white or completely black attire is not worn by
female guests. Other Embassy officers find a dinner jacket or formal
Men Last Updated: 12/5/2005 11:11 AM
Men can rent evening dress in Luxembourg. Ready-made
European-style suits are available locally. Workmanship of these
suits is good, but costly. Much available haberdashery is imported,
and prices are higher than in the U.S. Good shoes from England,
Switzerland, Germany, and Italy are available.
Women Last Updated: 12/5/2005 11:11 AM
Because of the cool, damp climate and the tendency to under heat
houses, women wear more suits and sweaters throughout the year than
in most parts of the U.S. Competent, but expensive, dressmakers are
available. Hats, gloves, and other accessories are available, and
there are several good, but expensive, women's wear shops. “A” width
or narrower shoes are scarce, and local shoes are generally
expensive. At least one evening gown and several dinner dresses are
useful for most women at post, particularly those on the diplomatic
list. Court functions require a long-sleeved or half-sleeved dress.
Some women bring gloves, but they are rarely worn. A woman Chief of
Mission or the Chief of Mission's wife can wear a two-piece suit,
provided that the skirt is ankle length.). She will wear it with a
simple hat or veil for the reception at the Grand Ducal Court the
day the credentials of the Ambassador are presented. Women who
attend the commemorative High Mass will need a hat. They can be
Good-quality furs are priced lower than in the U.S. Mending,
glazing, and alteration of furs are done well and more cheaply than
Children Last Updated: 12/5/2005 11:11 AM
Children’s clothes, including winter clothing, are similar to
those worn in the northern U.S. and are readily available in
Luxembourg, though they are more expensive than in the U.S. Due to
the damp climate, children need warm boots and extra shoes. A good
selection of children's clothing, at reasonable prices, is available
at the PX’s.
Office Attire Last Updated: 12/5/2005 11:11 AM
Office attire is similar to that worn in the Department.
Luxembourg is generally a more formal society than the U.S., and
official receptions require coat and tie for men and pant suit or
dress for women.
Supplies and Services
Supplies Last Updated: 12/5/2005 11:12 AM
General living needs are sold locally and at Bitburg/Spangdahlem.
American Embassy personnel may use the BX, commissary, and hospital
facilities at Bitburg Air Force Base in Germany, about 40 miles
away. Internationally known cosmetics and toiletries are available
Bring a supply of any favorite or special cosmetics. Cosmetics,
perfumes, a limited variety of radios, photographic equipment,
compact discs, costume jewelry, men’s and women’s wristwatches,
chests of flatware, kitchenware, linen, small electrical 220v and
dual voltage appliances (i.e., vacuum cleaners, irons, toaster
ovens, coffee makers, etc.), sporting equipment, etc., may be bought
at Bitburg and other BX locations. Embassy personnel may shop at the
Bitburg Audio Club where audio and photo equipment of both American
and foreign manufacture is available at a discount. Items sold at
these clubs are sometimes different than those sold at the BX’s.
Personal can also use the Photo Club.
A wide variety of good-quality fabrics is available locally. A
small selection is sometimes available at Bitburg and the other
BX’s. Bitburg also sells some better-known paper patterns, knitting
yarns, and sewing notions.
American cigarettes are available at Bitburg.
Basic Services Last Updated: 12/5/2005 11:12 AM
A wide range of personal services is available in Luxembourg,
including shoe repair, laundry, drycleaning, hair-dressing, clothing
alterations. Photographic equipment is readily available, and
developing is of good quality, but much more expensive than in the
U.S. Drycleaning and photodeveloping services are also available at
Bitburg at much lower costs than locally.
Although Ford, GM, Honda, Toyota and Chrysler have agents in
Luxembourg, parts are scarce and repair service is quite expensive.
U.S. cars can also be taken to the BX garages at Bitburg and
Spangdahlem AFB's for repairs. At the BX garage, the work is usually
done properly, and parts are usually available or can be special
Domestic Help Last Updated: 12/5/2005 11:12 AM
Some personnel choose to hire part-time help for cleaning and
general household work.
Full-time domestic help, especially a competent housekeeper, is
extremely difficult to find. It is somewhat easier to find cleaning
personnel who work by the hour.
Persons who employ domestic help for at least 4 consecutive hours
a week must register with the “Office des Assurances Sociales.” The
employer must contribute to the worker's social security. This tax
is about 25% of the worker’s salary and includes medical and
Cleaning help can also be obtained from several companies who
supply their own staff and equipment. The client pays these
companies a flat hourly rate and they take care of all insurance.
Some American students at the Miami University European Study Center
take odd jobs, such as helping in the house, working in the garden,
and babysitting. They may be contacted through the university.
Religious Activities Last Updated: 12/5/2005 11:12 AM
The local population is predominantly Roman Catholic. Although
many church services are held in German, services in English,
French, or Luxembourgish are available. Sermons are frequently given
in a different language from the service. A Lutheran church with
services in German and a synagogue are also located in Luxembourg
The English-speaking Catholic Community of Luxembourg offers
services in English. The Protestant Anglican Chaplaincy and
Christian Community Church also hold services in English. A number
of American residents in Luxembourg attend Christian services at
Bitburg AFB and English-speaking churches in the area around
At Post Last Updated: 12/5/2005 11:13 AM Primary and secondary
public education in Luxembourg is operated by the Ministry of
National Education. Tuition is free and foreign students are
accepted. The curriculum is roughly the same as in the other
European schools. Languages of instruction are Luxembourgish,
German, and French. American students, unless fluent in German or
French, may experience considerable difficulty. English is taught
only as a second (fourth) language. Religious instruction is
conducted in all schools by Roman Catholic clergy, but students are
exempted if the parents so request.
Historically, a majority of school-age children of Embassy
personnel attend the International School of Luxembourg, which
offers a full American curriculum in grades kindergarten through 12.
ISL is fully accredited by both the European Council of
International Schools (ECIS) and the Middle States Association in
the U.S. It is overseen by a board of directors, including several
American board members, under the aegis of the Luxembourg Ministry
of Education, which subsidizes ISL's operation. The student body is
comprised of at least 27 nationalities from five continents. The
Upper School offers advanced placement and honors classes in most
key subjects. Small classes provide each student with a good deal of
personal attention. Comprehensive information can be found on ISL's
In addition to its formal curriculum, ISL offers a wide variety
of supplementary and elective opportunities, including vocal music,
instrumental music, art, computer science, theater, debate, etc.
With its relatively new gymnasium and extensive contact with other
American and international schools in the region, ISL conducts an
active sports program, both intramural and interscholastic.
The European School in Luxembourg (kindergarten through grade 12)
is for children of employees of the European Community who are
working in Luxembourg. Instruction is in English, French, German,
Dutch, Italian, Portuguese, or Spanish. Each section has teachers
accredited by the board of education in the respective countries.
The European School has occasionally admitted dependent children of
Embassy personnel if space is available. First choice, however, is
given to families belonging to the European Union countries.
An English-speaking International Kindergarten is also located in
Miami University (Oxford, Ohio) European Study Center was opened
in Luxembourg in 1968. About 100 American undergraduates come there
from Ohio to study for one or two academic terms under a faculty of
12, including 4 American professors. Students wishing to attend the
center must request approval from Miami University in Ohio. Sacred
Heart University (Fairfield, CT) is also established in Luxembourg
and offers an MBA program as well as certificate in various fields
Luxembourg has no full-curriculum university of its own.
Luxembourgers must go to France, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, or
elsewhere for their higher education.
Away From Post Last Updated: 12/5/2005 11:13 AM There is no
away-from-post allowance at the present time.
Higher Education Opportunities Last Updated: 12/5/2005 11:14 AM
Several language schools are located in Luxembourg. Private
tutors are available for French, German, and most other school
subjects. The Luxembourg Board of Education arranges courses in
Luxembourgish for foreigners as part of its adult education program.
Luxembourg City also makes available, cost free, courses in French,
German, and Luxembourgish. Foreign women's clubs have also organized
A number of dancing schools and gymnastics classes are available
in Luxembourg. There are also ballroom dancing classes for adults.
Some professional schools in Luxembourg allow amateurs to study
pottery-making, drawing, etc. During the summer, special classes
called Beaux Arts are held for about 6 weeks.
The post language program is extremely limited. Employees in
language-designated positions, but who are not at the designated
rating, are able to continue a limited French program.
Recreation and Social Life
Sports Last Updated: 12/5/2005 11:14 AM
The Grand Ducal Golf Club, 5 miles from the Embassy, has an
excellent 18-hole course and a small, attractive clubhouse where
meals are available. The course, considered to be among the most
challenging and beautiful in Europe, attracts golfers from all over
Europe. Instructors and caddies are available. Membership is not
inexpensive, nor necessarily available to all.
A permit from the Ministry of Justice is required to possess a
hunting weapon. Hunters and fishermen also must purchase an annual
license. Diplomatic personnel are granted free permits and licenses.
Wild boar, deer, and pheasant hunting are excellent and popular in
Luxembourg. Many wooded streams provide fine fishing. However,
hunting and fishing rights are privately owned, so you are usually
dependent on invitations from Luxembourgers. American Government
employees are eligible for membership in the Bitburg Rod and Gun
Club, which maintains a large game preserve in nearby Germany.
Gym classes for men and women are available. The more popular
spectator sports are basketball, soccer, rugby, bicycling, handball,
and volleyball. Team membership in these sports and activities such
as karate and judo are open to everyone.
The city has several swimming pools; the Olympic Swimming Pool in
the suburb of Kirchberg is a world-class facility. Pool memberships
are also available at the Hotel Intercontinental and Royal Hotel.
River bathing is possible in several places. Water skiing is
popular on the Moselle, and scuba diving may be done in Lake
Esch-sur-Sure. Sailing, kayaking, and canoeing are also possible,
but you sometimes have to provide your own equipment.
Membership is possible in several private tennis clubs, and a few
well-kept municipal courts are available. Indoor tennis courts are
also available for hire by the hour or on a seasonal basis. About 4
miles outside the city is an indoor ice skating rink that can be
enjoyed year round. Two riding academies offer riding lessons, and
many riding trails are located in the surrounding countryside. A new
squash club is also available. There are several lovely bicycle
paths, both from the city and out in the countryside.
Touring and Outdoor Activities Last Updated: 12/5/2005 11:15 AM
The Luxembourg countryside is beautiful in the spring, summer,
and early fall. There are hundreds of kilometers of well-groomed
hiking trails throughout the country. Tourists and hikers from all
over Europe enjoy the unspoiled natural attractions of “Little
Switzerland,” the Sure and Moselle Valleys, and the thick forests of
the Ardennes Mountains. Over 130 old castles dot the country,
including Vianden, Clervaux, Bourscheid, Beau-fort, and
Esch-sur-Sure. Grape and wine festivals and tastings are held in
towns and villages along the Moselle in the fall and spring when the
grapes are gathered and the wine is bottled.
Trier, a former provincial capital of the Roman Empire and an
important German town in medieval days, is 30 miles from Luxembourg
City and an interesting day’s excursion. North from Trier along the
German Moselle, a series of picturesque wine towns and ruined
castles extends to Koblenz where the Moselle joins the Rhine.
To the south near Luxembourg, the Verdun Battlefield in France is
well worth a visit. Paris and Brussels are fun for a weekend visit.
Reims, Cologne, Aachen, and Strasbourg are within easy reach of the
Grand Duchy. Spring trips to Holland’s tulip fields also are
Entertainment Last Updated: 12/5/2005 11:15 AM
Luxembourg has several motion picture theaters. American,
English, French, German, Italian, and other films are shown.
American films are usually 6-12 months old, but are ordinarily
presented in their original English-language version.
Luxembourg City’s cultural center is the Grand Theatre. It offers
opera, drama, symphonic concerts, and solo recitals and otherwise
enriches the country’s cultural life. In the winter, the Grand
Theatre presents two series of plays, one in French and one in
German, by excellent touring companies. Touring companies also
perform operatic and ballet series each season. Luxembourg has an
excellent philharmonic orchestra. Luxembourg's New Theater Club
presents two or three plays in English during the season. The “Old
Theater” on the Rue des Capucins has been revived and presents very
interesting plays by professional and amateur actors.
The French, Italian, and German cultural centers have interesting
programs. Luxembourg City has several nightclubs and bars.
In the summer, music is everywhere. Groups from all over Europe,
Canada, and the U.S. perform in the Place d’Armes. Concerts are also
held in the Municipal Theater, the “Cercle Municipal,” churches, and
various other places in and around Luxembourg City. The annual Open
Air Theater and Music Festival at Wiltz Castle in northern
Luxembourg provides a well-rounded selection of musical events,
theater, and ballet, as does the Echternach Festival. The U.S. Air
Force bands have concerts several times a year.
During 3 weeks in May, pilgrimages are made from all parts of the
country to the Cathedral, culminating in a procession of the statue
of “Our Lady of Luxembourg” through the city streets. The
“Schueberfouer” comes to town at the end of August, following an
almost unbroken tradition of over 450 years. This annual street fair
has all the usual attractions loved by children: bumper cars,
carousels, shooting ranges, plus many temporary restaurants and two
Among Americans Last Updated: 12/5/2005 11:15 AM Luxembourg is a
small post and there is no American Embassy club. An American
Chamber of Commerce, an American Business Association of Luxembourg,
and an American Women's Club operate here. Small scouting groups are
provided for both boys and girls.
International Contacts Last Updated: 12/5/2005 11:15 AM All
Embassy officers are in constant social contact with diplomatic
colleagues, government officials, community leaders, and many
Luxembourg associations. Luxembourg has an active
Nature of Functions Last Updated: 12/5/2005 11:16 AM
Diplomatic corps members are frequently invited to official and
quasi-official ceremonies and entertainment. American officers
receive many American visitors, both official and private. Other
American personnel have few official social obligations.
Luxembourgers are friendly to Americans and deeply appreciative of
their role in the two World Wars. Many events commemorate
American-Luxembourg friendship, where U.S. Embassy representation is
Standards of Social Conduct Last Updated: 12/5/2005 11:16 AM
The existence of a court imposes some formal, social obligations
upon Embassy officers. Although engraved cards are available in
Luxembourg, they are quite expensive.
Special Information Last Updated: 12/5/2005 11:16 AM
Army attachés assigned to and resident in Brussels are also
accredited to Luxembourg. The NATO Maintenance and Supply Agency
(NAMSA) is located at Capellen, 8 miles from Luxembourg City. A U.S.
military officer or civilian is attached to this organization as the
liaison officer. A number of U.S. civilian employees work at NAMSA.
U.S. Army military storage facilities in the towns of Bettembourg
and Sanem have a small American Army contingent working with the
Luxembourg contractor who operates the sites.
Two U.S. civilian employees of the American Battle Monuments
Commission are the only other non-Foreign Service U.S. employees
assigned to Luxembourg.
No restrictions exist on movements within Luxembourg.
Notes For Travelers
Getting to the Post Last Updated: 1/9/2005 10:40 AM
The climate in Luxembourg is changeable even in summer.
Therefore, bring warm clothing in your accompanying baggage.
Most travelers arrive by air via London, Paris, or Frankfurt. All
airports have exchange facilities for changing small amounts of
Flying time from Washington to Luxembourg is about 12 hours,
including a stopover at an intermediate airport. Unaccompanied
airfreight from the U.S. usually arrives within 7-10 days. Surface
freight takes a minimum of 1 month.
Customs, Duties, and Passage Last Updated: 12/5/2005 11:17 AM
The Luxembourg Government accords unlimited free-entry privileges
to all American personnel assigned to the Embassy. A written request
is required for each shipment when the baggage arrives in
Personnel receive conditional free-entry privileges and may
import automobiles without payment of tax. An employee who has owned
an automobile for more than 6 months should import it as part of the
household effects (formalities are completed by the Embassy on
arrival) to avoid having the buyer pay taxes if deciding to sell the
car during his/her stay in Luxembourg. Automobiles not imported as
part of your household effects are subject to an 11% import duty
upon resale in Luxembourg. This is assessed on the automobile value
at the time of resale, plus 15% value-added tax. A vehicle purchased
and constructed in any of the EU countries is exempt from import
duty, but is subject to the 15% value-added tax when resold. Due to
the complexity of sales taxes on an automobile, Embassy personnel
should first discuss applicable laws with the Administrative
All official furniture and supplies addressed to the Embassy are
admitted duty free.
The import and export of U.S. dollars or travelers checks payable
in any currency is unrestricted at all times.
Shipments from the U.S. (other than residence-to-residence
movements) are normally handled by the U.S. Despatch Agent. Inform
the agent promptly of contemplated shipment. Suppliers and those
with packing concerns should contact the U.S. Despatch Agent at the
port of exit indicated in 6 FAH H-165.3-3. All shipments, both air
and surface, will be authorized and handled through the State
Department’s Division of Supply and Transportation. Do not make any
arrangements with commercial firms for exporting, packing, storing,
or transporting effects until you have obtained appropriate details
from the Division of Supply and Transportation.
Address all shipments as follows, with traveler’s initials in
American Embassy (JHD) Luxembourg, Luxembourg
The Embassy should know in advance of all shipments scheduled to
arrive before the employee.
Pilferage and breakage are rare if goods are properly packed, but
consider taking out adequate insurance.
Customs and Duties Last Updated: 12/5/2005 11:17 AM
Employees traveling on a diplomatic passport are entitled to
duty-free import of personal goods (via HHE, UAB) and one vehicle.
Items may not be cleared through Customs until the employee's
diplomatic ID is issued (usually during the first two weeks at
post), so employees are advised to have items timed to arrive
two-to-three weeks after the employee.
Passage Last Updated: 12/5/2005 11:17 AM
No visas are required for official travelers to Luxembourg or any
of the surrounding countries, except France, if traveling with a
diplomatic passport. Other visas are sometimes required if you
intend to travel with your diplomatic passport, e.g., to Spain.
Pets Last Updated: 12/5/2005 11:18 AM
No special formalities are observed in connection with the
importation of pets, nor do any special rules or limits affecting
clearance of particular items apply. Pets should be inoculated
against rabies and should have had the parvo vaccine. Pet owners
should obtain a Certificate of Good Health from their veterinarian
before coming to Luxembourg. Upon arrival, dogs should be licensed
Contact the Embassy's GSO for additional information on importing
pets and on obtaining housing suitable for pets.
Firearms and Ammunition Last Updated: 12/5/2005 11:33 AM
Employees planning to bring firearms, vehicles over four years
old, or any item destined for commercial resale, should contact the
GSO for additional information.
The following quantities and types of nonautomatic firearms and
ammunition may be brought to Luxembourg:
Pistols and revolvers 2 Rifles 4 Shotguns 4 Ammunition 1,000
The Chief of Mission’s prior approval is required to import
firearms and regulations concerning firearms are “interpreted” by
Luxembourg authorities for Embassy staff members on an ad hoc basis
and are subject to wide variations. As a result, anyone wishing to
import firearms must send a description of weapons, ammunition, and
their intended use to the GSO and receive written approval prior to
Currency, Banking, and Weights and Measures Last Updated:
12/5/2005 11:20 AM
The currency of the Grand Duchy is the Euro. Eleven other
countries (Belgium, The Netherlands, France, Germany, Finland,
Spain, Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Austria and Greece) also use the
Euro currency. Dollar/Euro exchange rates vary significantly
month-to-month and the current rate is available from the Department
of State's intranet home page.
The metric system is used for weights and measures.
Taxes, Exchange, and Sale of Property Last Updated: 12/5/2005
American Embassy personnel are exempt from personal taxes, income
taxes, and road taxes in the Grand Duchy. Almost all items are
charged a sales tax (VAT) of 15%. This tax is refunded on most
purchases in excess of 220 Euros (see B&F for further details upon
Personal property may be sold in Luxembourg duty free. The
Ambassador's approval is required before selling any item whose
initial purchase price was in excess of $100.
Recommended Reading Last Updated: 12/5/2005 11:24 AM
Book titles are provided as a general indication of the material
published in this country. The Department of State does not endorse
A great deal of bibliographical material on Luxembourg is
available in English. In addition to Fodor and Blue Guides on
Belgium and Luxembourg, many tourist pamphlets in English can be
obtained from the Luxembourg Embassy in Washington or the Luxembourg
Consulate General in New York.
The good general books are “Living in Luxembourg” available from
the American Women’s Club, and “Luxembourg Yesterday and Today” by
Joseph Petit, director of the Luxembourg Government Informa-tion
The latest edition of the “Political Handbook of the World,”
published by the Council of Foreign Relations, contains a brief
résumé of useful information on political affairs, party program and
leaders, and the press of Luxembourg.
Attic in Luxembourg, written in 1956 by Beryl Miles and published
by John Murray, gives a great deal of historical and background
information about the Grand Duchy and its customs and ceremonies.
In French, a brief but excellent general study of Luxembourg is
“Le Benelux,” published by the Editions Ode of Paris.
Two books by Pierre Majerus of the Luxembourg Ministry of Foreign
Affairs, “Manuel de Droit Constitutionnel et de Droit Administratif
Luxembourgeois” and “Le Luxembourg Indépendant: Essai d’Histoire
Politique Contemporaine et de Droit International Public,” are
highly recommended for their scholarly excellence and useful
“All the Best in Belgium and Luxembourg” by Sydney Clark (Dodd,
1956) is also recommended reading. “Le Luxembourg” edited by Charles
Dessart, and “Nature et Tourisme au Luxembourg,” published by the
Touring Club Luxembourgeois, present pictorial evidence of the Grand
Duchy’s scenic and historical attractions.
“Le Luxembourg: Livre du Centenaire,” originally published in
1939 under the auspices of the Luxembourg Government and
subsequently updated, is an exhaustive analysis of every aspect of
life in Luxembourg, past and present.
Local Holidays Last Updated: 12/5/2005 11:24 AM
Official (legal) national holidays observed in Luxembourg are:
New Year’s Day January 1 Shrove Monday Moveable Easter Monday
Moveable Luxembourg Labor Day May 1 Ascension Day Moveable Pentecost
(Whit) Monday Moveable Grand Duke’s Birthday June 23 Assumption Day
August 15 All Saints’ Day November 1 All Souls’Day November 2
Christmas Day December 25 Second Day of Christmas December 26
Avoid travel on Christmas, the Second day of Christmas, and New
Year’s Day, when airline and rail services are greatly reduced.
Additionally, the day of the “Braderie” falls on either the last
Monday in August or the first Monday in September. An open market is
held in the streets of the city. Although it is not an official
holiday, most government and private offices and banks are closed.