The small land-locked nation of Luxembourg is bordered by France, Germany, and Belgium, and while mostly known for its tax breaks for big companies, the tiny country has many perks to offer.
The surface of the whole country is 998 square miles and as of January 2015, the country counted 562,958 inhabitants.
Luxembourg has a stable political landscape and is the 9th least corrupt country in the world.
Until 2013 and for 19 years, the country was lead by the head of the Christian Social People’s Party (CSV), Jean-Claude Juncker, who is now the President of the European Commission.
The world’s last grand duchy, a territory whose head of state is a grand duke or grand duchess, Luxembourg is like no other place on earth.
Located in the heart of Western Europe, Luxembourg offers easy access to every big and small city around.
With up to 9 flights to London on some days, the financial hub of the world is only a one-hour flight away. Paris is not even an hour away by plane and is two hours away in TGV. Brussels is a three hour train ride away and it only takes two hours to fly to Berlin.
And while the plane tickets when flying from Luxembourg's only airport, the Findel, can be quite pricey, there are a few airports close-by where low-cost companies fly from.
Although the country only gained its full independence in 1839, Luxembourg City's roots go back very a long way.
The first mentions of the city go back to the Roman era, in the year 963. It is also around that time that the construction for the city's fortification began.
Throughout the country, vestiges of the country's medieval history are also displayed in different museum and can be seen in the Casmates underground tunnels (built for the defence of the city in the 1600s), in the numerous castles, and in the architecture of many towns throughout the grand duchy.
Most of the castles are located in the north of the country, the three biggest castles are the ones in Vianden Clervaux and Bourscheid.
Albeit not the most creative name, the country's capital is a superb example of the juxtaposition between the old and the new as well as nature and man-made.
Built in the middle ages, the city center is full of small old buildings and remnants of its medieval past. While the valley located in the middle of the city boasts a river surrounded by greenery.
Other parts of the city such as the financial center, Kirchberg, are home to glass skyscrapers and big avenues. The city is also the cultural heart of the country and is host to many museums, art galleries, bars and restaurants.
Already an exception in many areas, the country continues on that streak when it comes to immigration. Out of the total population of Luxembourg, which stood at 562,958 at the start of 2015, almost 46% are foreigners.
This allows Luxembourg to be home to many cultures despite its small size.
With 16% of total population, Portuguese people are the most predominant foreign nationality; next in line are the French and Italians. Most other foreigners are also European.
Most Luxembourgish people are multilingual, speaking Luxembourgish, German, French and English as people schooled at Luxembourgish state schools are taught all four languages.
So as long as you speak one of those you should be able to get by, although Luxembourgers will love you if you make the effort to learn their language as only about 300.000 people speak it anymore.
Luxembourgish, French, and German are the three official languages of the country. Portuguese is also widely spoken due to the large number of Portuguese people living in the country.
Luxembourg's culture centres very much around eating and drinking, and the capital is the city with the most Michelin restaurants per capita in the world.
The local food is also worth the trip: Gromperekichelcher (crispy potato fritters), Rieslingspaschtéit (meat and wine pie), Judd mat Gardebounen (the country's national dish which consists of pork and broad beans), Quetschentaart (plum tart) and Kachkeis (runny cheese) are all staples of Luxembourgish cuisine.
Furthermore, Luxembourg is free of many chains that line the high streets of most big cities.
Though a few chains such as McDonald's and Pizza Hut have found their way to the country, Krispy Kreme, Chipotle, KFC, Taco Bell, Shake Shack or Five Guys are missing. And for until January 1st 2016, the country will also remain Starbucks-free.
Not counting the micro-breweries, Luxembourg produces five beers: Mousel, Battin, Diekirch, Bofferding and Simon, which are very popular throughout the country.
It also produces a lot of wine considering the size of the country. With a few exceptions, most of the wine produced is white wine and sparkling wine, or crémant as it is called in Luxembourg, as well as some specialty wines.
Luxembourg also produces some liquors that are commonly found in Europe like Mirabelle or Kirsch. The castle in Beaufort, a village to the north east of the capital, produces a blackcurrant liquor that Luxembourgers are very fond of.
The small nation is, along with Brussels and Strasbourg, a power center of the European Union's institutions.
The European Court of Justice, the European Court of Auditors, the Secretariat of the European Parliament, the European Investment Bank, the European Investment Fund, and the
European Stability Mechanism are all located in the country.
The institutions, along with some big companies, make for an interesting mix of people from all over the world to come together in the tiny nation and ensures the grandy duchy is known to at least a few people outside of Europe.
Luxembourg is the second richest country in the world when looking at GDP per capita, with an annual average of $US79,593,91 and although not spared by the recession, it is still one of the countries in Europe where pays are the highest.
This partly explains the large number of people from surrounding countries coming to work in Luxembourg on a daily basis but living outside of the nation (over 160,000 in 2013).
Though small, the country is home to many big companies.
Among the most notable ones are ArcelorMittal, Cargolux and the RTL Group, in the financial sector some of the most notable institutions are the Banque et Caisse d'Épargne de l'État, ranked as the ninth safest bank in the world, KBL European Private Bankers and Kulczyk Investments.
Other big companies have their corporate headquarters for Europe in Luxembourg because of the tax breaks that the country is known for.
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