Luxembourg City, Luxembourg Report of what it's like to live there - 10/13/09

Personal Experiences from Luxembourg City, Luxembourg

Luxembourg City, Luxembourg 10/13/09

Background:

1. Was this post your first expatriate experience? If not, what other cities have you lived in as an expat?

No.

View All Answers


2. How long have you lived here?

Too Long.

View All Answers


3. Travel time and best routes to this city from Europe or the US:

Around 9 hours from East Coast. No direct flights, must fly to Frankfurt, Brussels, and or Amsterdam and then fly to Luxembourg's airport; Findel

View All Answers


4. What brought you to this city (e.g. diplomatic mission, business, NGO, teaching, retirement, etc.)?

Government, affiliated with the U.S. Embassy.

View All Answers


Housing, Groceries & Food:

1. What is your housing like? What are typical housing sizes, locations, and commute times for expatriates?

Mostly apartments. Houses outside the city for families

View All Answers


2. How would you describe the availability and cost of groceries and household supplies relative to your home country?

Very, very expensive.

View All Answers


3. What household or grocery items do you wish you had shipped to post?

Toiletries as well as cleaning supplies, as Luxembourg is a monoploy or a one-horse town. So there is not much in the way of free-market competition. Luxembourgers like to keep out any company that threatens their monopolies.

View All Answers


4. What typical restaurants, food delivery services, and/or takeout options are popular among expatriates?

McD's and a few Subway's, as well as two Pizza Hut's and one Chi-Chi's Mexican (though it sucks). Restaurants are very pricey, the and food isn't that great. The local dishes don't excite the palate -- if you know what I mean.

View All Answers


5. Are there any unusual problems with insects or other infestations in housing?

None.

View All Answers


Daily Life:

1. How do you send and receive your letters and package mail? Are local postal facilities adequate?

APO or Pouch at the embassy. I use DHL even though FedEx is available.

View All Answers


2. What is the availability and cost of household help, and what types of help are typically employed by expatriates?

Forget it unless you are a well-paid expat

View All Answers


3. What kinds of gyms or other sports/workout facilities are available? Are they expensive?

Yes, but they are not cheap.

View All Answers


4. Are credit cards widely accepted and safe to use locally? Are ATMs common and do you recommend using them? Are they safe to use?

Not an issue. But the dollar is in the tank now, so you'll love seeing your bank statements after withdrawing Euros.

View All Answers


5. What English-language religious services are available locally?

Yes, for Protestant as well as Catholic services.

View All Answers


6. English-language newspapers and TV available? Cost?

IHT is available locally.

View All Answers


7. How much of the local language do you need for daily living? Are local language classes/tutors available and affordable?

French is a must.

View All Answers


8. Would someone with physical disabilities have difficulties living in this city?

Not many though some businesses do not have ramps.

View All Answers


Transportation:

1. Are local buses, trams, trains or taxis safe and affordable?

Yes, taxis are expensive, but buses are reasonable, as well as trains on the weekend. Trains are a great way to see the country on the weekends.

View All Answers


2. What kind of car do you recommend bringing to post, given the terrain, availability of parts, burglary/carjacking risks, etc.? What kind of car do you advise not to bring?

Any will work, but European models are easier to get repaired and are cheaper to buy.

View All Answers


Phone & Internet:

1. Is high-speed home Internet access available? How long does it typically take to install it after arrival?

ADSL with local phone company, which is another monopoly, so it isn't cheap and it's not unlimited as in US.

View All Answers


2. Do you have any recommendations regarding mobile phones? Did you keep your home-country plan or use a local provider?

Use pre-paid phone cards unless you know you'll be here long enough for a phone plan. iPhone is available with a LuxGSM plan.

View All Answers


Pets:

1. Are qualified veterinarians and/or good kennel services available? Do animals need to be quarantined upon entry to the country? Are there other considerations regarding pets that are particular to this country?

No.

View All Answers


2. Quality pet care available (vets & kennels)?

Only one kennel in the country, and vets are never in the office. Take turns watching coworkers' pets, that works best.

View All Answers


Employment & Volunteer Opportunities:

1. What types of jobs do most expatriate spouses/partners have? Locally based or telecommuting? Full-time or part-time? Can you comment on local salary scales?

No, ISL only hires from the government unemployment office. So forget sending them a resume, as they prefer to hire unemployed locals or expats with no skills. Luxembourg's government pays a large portion of their first year's salary. So I guess it's better to sign-up with the Luxembourg unemployment office to get a job in this town. Unless you can get one with your spouse's company.

View All Answers


2. What is the typical dress code at work and in public places? Is formal dress ever required?

Business.

View All Answers


Health & Safety:

1. Pollution index (Good, Moderate, Unhealthy, or Very Unhealthy)?

Good. Allergies do affect many people in Spring

View All Answers


2. What immunizations are required each year?

A boredom shot is required.

View All Answers


3. Are there personal security concerns to be aware of at this post? Please describe.

None, though crime is under-reported... as in all European countries.

View All Answers


4. Are there any particular health concerns? What is the quality of available medical care? What medical conditions typically require medical evacuation?

OK, but it's European national health care, so don't be too sick.

View All Answers


5. What is the overall climate: is it extremely hot or cold, wet or dry, at any time of year, for example?

Normal Western European climate. Not as wet as more coastal capitals. Like Brussels or The Hague.

View All Answers


Schools & Children:

1. What is the availability of international schools? What has been your general experience with them, if any?

International School of Luxembourg (ISL) has a US-based program, and St. George's is UK-based. Good Luck getting into ISL unless your company is a big contributer to ISL, i.e old fashioned bribery... I mean donation.

View All Answers


2. What accommodations do schools make for special-needs kids?

None.

View All Answers


3. Are preschools available? Day care? Are these expensive? What has been your experience with them, if any? Do the schools provide before- and/or after-school care?

Local Luxembourg creches or ISL or St. George's pre-school programs.

View All Answers


4. Are local sports classes and/or activities available for kids?

At the schools.

View All Answers


Expat Life:

1. What is the relative size of the expatriate community? How would you describe overall morale among expatriates?

Rather large.

View All Answers


2. Morale among expats:

Embassy morale is going into the tank. Local expats are probably okay, as they have nice jobs.

View All Answers


3. What are some typical ways to socialize, either with local people or with other expatriates? Are there groups or clubs that you can recommend?

Boring. Movies and nightclubs.

View All Answers


4. Is this a good city for single people? For couples? For families? Why or why not?

Boring for All. This town rolls up the sidewalks at sunset.

View All Answers


5. Is this a good city for LGBT expatriates? Why or why not?

No problems that I know of even though it is a more conservative European country.

View All Answers


6. Are there problems with ethnic, race/racial minorities or religious prejudices? Gender equality?

Not that I've heard of so far.

View All Answers


7. What are some interesting/fun things to do in the area? Can you recommend any “hidden gems"?

See the country. Great Sunday drives outside of the city. A lot of WWII history.

View All Answers


8. Is this a "shopping post"? Are there interesting handicrafts, artwork, antiques, or other items that people typically buy there?

Villeroy and Bach. Visit neighboring countries, i.e France, and Germany.

View All Answers


9. Can you save money?

No.

View All Answers


Words of Wisdom:

1. Knowing what you know now, would you still move to this city?

No. Big mistake. If you see this post on the bid list, pass right by it and don't look back.

View All Answers


2. If you move here, you can leave behind your:

Speedo.

View All Answers


3. But don't forget your:

Credit cards.

View All Answers


4. Do you recommend any books or movies about this city/country for those who are interested in learning more?

View All Answers


5. Do you recommend any books or movies about this city/country for those who are interested in learning more?

View All Answers


6. Recommended movies/DVDs related to this city:

View All Answers


7. Do you have any other comments?

Avoid Embassy Luxembourg for next three years. It's going down hill faster then an SUV with no brakes.

View All Answers


Subscribe to our newsletter


New book from Talesmag! Honest and courageous stories of life abroad with special needs.

Read More