Etiquette & Customs (in short)
The Luxembourger have a reserved and formal attitude to practices and attitudes.
Try to learn as much Luxembourgish you can before you arrive, or at least so many simple words you can, like “Hello”: Moien or Salut, “Thank you”: Merci and “Goodbye”: Äddi
This shows, that you are willing to learn their language. You can learn more here.
- The most common greeting is a brief handshake
- Very close friends greet each other by lightly kissing on the cheeks three times, starting with the left cheek and alternating
- This can be between women or a man and two women. Men don’t kiss other men; they always shake hands
- Surnames with the honorific titles Monsieur or Madame are used in most social situations
- Wait to be invited before using someone’s first name and always use the formal pronoun for you, “vous” rather than the informal “tu“
Gift Giving Etiquette:
- If you are invited to someone’s home, bring a box of good chocolates or flowers to the hostess
- Invitations to tea are formal and require the same gift as would a dinner party
- Flowers should be given in odd numbers, but not 13, which is considered an unlucky number
- Do not give chrysanthemums as they are used at funerals
- A small gift for the children is always appreciated
- Table manners are formal in Luxembourg
- There is a proper protocol to follow and you will be expected to demonstrate good manners at all times
- Remain standing until invited to sit down. You may be shown to a particular seat
- Do not begin eating until the hostess begins
- Most food is eaten with utensils, including sandwiches
- If you have not finished eating, cross your knife and fork on your plate with the fork over the knife
- Finish everything on your plate
- Indicate you have finished eating by laying your knife and fork parallel across the right side of your plate
- The host gives the first toast
- An honoured guest should return the toast later in the meal
Should you leave a tip in restaurants or bars?
You can leave a tip, but you don’t have to.
As in many European countries, the bill includes a service charge. So make sure to check the bill itself; there is no need to leave any extra tip in addition to this amount. A service charge is not the same as a tip.
People sometimes give 5 to 10% of the bill as a tip or round up to an even number. It depends on how happy you were with the service.
Luxembourg is generally a very peaceful country, but there can always happen thefts of mobile phones, cameras and other valuable things. Be aware of pickpockets around various sights – especially around cathedrals and other places where tourists gather.
Most travellers will not experience any issues or problems on their holiday in Luxembourg. It can happen, but it can also be prevented by some simple precautions as:
- Do not “flash” cash or expensive items
- Visit only the cash machines during the day or early evening
- Do not leave expensive items visible in the car
Places you should avoid in Luxembourg:
- Gare de Luxembourg (central station) – Use caution, you do need to be careful after dark
Emergency numbers in Luxembourg (free call)
In case of any emergency call:
- 112 – National emergency number
- 112 – Fire brigade
- 112 – Ambulance
- 113 – Police
The caller must:
- State the location where assistance is needed
- State their name and telephone number
- State what happened and if it is still happening
- State how many people need help
- State, if there are weapons involved