Not to be confused with the neighbouring country of the same name, the province of Luxembourg is the southernmost province of the Belgian region of Wallonia. It is the country's largest province, as well as its least populated one - with only 270,000 inhabitants, as the natural Ardennes region occupy a large part of its territory. The southern part of the province - the Gaume - is part of the Lorraine region, which also contains the French cities of Thionville, Metz and Nancy.
In the Ardennes:
In the Famenne:
In the Gaume:
The territory of the modern province of Luxembourg used to be part of the the Grand Duchy of the same name until 1839, when the western, Francophone part became part of a new country - Belgium, while the eastern, Germanic part went on to become the modern country Luxembourg.
French has been the official language of the province since it was imposed in schools in the nineteenth century. Nonetheless, a number of traditional languages are still spoken or understood by a part of the population, who mostly live in rural areas:
Dutch is widely spoken in most touristic places, as a large number of Dutch and Flemish tourists visit the province each year. English is more widely spoken (or at least understood) by young people across the whole province. German is spoken by some people who live near the border with Luxemburg.
The province is primarily served by two motorways, that meet near Neufchateau, in the center of the province:
Most of the province is within 1-2 hours rides from Brussels and 40-90 minutes from Liège. Arlon is 20 minutes from Luxembourg.
The Brussels-Luxembourg line has four main stop in the province:
Trains leave both ways every hour 06:00-22:00.
The province is well served by a network of paved road, though these suffer from the relatively harsh climate of the province, are potholed, and can be snowy during winter.
A number of regional lines provide regular trains to some destination within the province:
Some cycling path exist, but are often badly maintained making the road a safer choice. However, the province is full of small beautiful roads that are not much used by cars and are in good state. Be careful however that countryside is more hilly than in the rest of the country, and you can find yourself in front of short but steep and frequent slopes.
Forests make a wonderful place to walk. A large number of path cross them, and most municipalities have traced some paths, with signs and possibly maps at the local tourism office. A number of long-distance paths also cross the province, such as the Transardennaise, and GR15.
Tec, the regional public transportation service provides a good network between towns and villages of the province, and one should find it possible to reach even the most remote village with public transportations, even though buses might be sparse on some lines (typically schools schedule to bring students to high school).
As in the rest of Belgium, quality of food in Belgium is very good. However, fast foods and foreign food is popular, and it might be difficult sometimes to find a real local specialist.
Belgium is the country of Beer, and the province of Luxembourg doesn't escape the rule, with several small breweries scattered around. Among them we can discover the Rulles, the Chouffe,... Some locals distillate their own liquor from fruits (plum, apple...), but those are not readily available, and you're only chance to taste it is to be invited by one of them. In Arlon, a local white vine, the Maitrank, aromatised with woodruff is very popular, and is celebrated every year in a festival, the Fêtes du Maitrank.
The province, as the rest of Belgium is a very safe place. However, some fights might occur at the end of village 'bals' where heavy drinking is involved. However, those happen usually between local youngsters, and basic precaution will avoid any trouble, and you will find your stay a very peaceful experience.