Moving to Luxembourg is tempting for lovers of safety, cultural diversity, ancient architecture, and natural treasures. Known as one of the smallest countries in Europe, Luxembourg boasts a GDP per capita that is three times higher than the European average. The country will impress you with its organisation and opportunities.
The official language of Luxembourg
In fact, despite its small size, the country has three official languages: Luxembourgish, German and French. Luxembourgish belongs to the Germanic language group. Although in the past it was perceived as a dialect of German, after the Second World War it became a language in its own right. It is spoken by nearly 400 000 people worldwide and it is considered a valuable national symbol while its use is actively encouraged by the media and local government. About 80% of the local population speaks Luxembourgish. It is also spoken in parts of neighbouring Belgium and France.
Interestingly, Portuguese is also widespread in the country—about a fifth of Luxembourgers are of Portuguese origin. Foreigners, on the other hand, make up almost half of the population—an ideal opportunity to converse fluently in English after moving to Luxembourg.
The wide variety of languages spoken in the country is one of the plus points when it comes to seamless communication and getting to know the local culture and traditions. And what better way to enrich your linguistic knowledge if not through the chance to communicate in as many as three official languages?
House-hunting after moving to Luxembourg
The cost of renting and maintaining a home in Luxembourg is one of the highest in the EU. When renting a home in the country, a deposit of one to three months' rent is usually also required. In the capital of the same name, rental prices are the highest: between €1,600 (for a one-bedroom apartment) and €4,000 (for a three-bedroom). Luxembourgers prefer to trust an agency when renting a property. It is common practice to pay a commission to the agency intermediary when renting a home, with the fee amounting to just over one month's rent. Additionally, you may have to pay monthly insurance costs for the property. In summary, prepare funds that would cover:
- The first month's rent
- Deposit (up to 3 months’ rent)
- The commission of the real-estate agency
Rental contracts are usually for a fixed period. Among the documents you may need to present when signing a tenancy agreement when moving to Luxembourg are:
- Identity document
- Permit to work in the country
- Contract with employer
- Document certifying payments from the employer
Household bills in the country amount to an average of around €250 per month for a dwelling of approximately 85 square metres. This includes electricity, water, heating, and waste. Apartments that are rented out for shorter periods are usually unfurnished—an expense that is also worth bearing in mind.
Job perspectives after moving to Luxembourg
The presence of many international companies in Luxembourg favours the working climate in the country. In fact, by 2021, annual salaries in the country are the highest in the EU. The minimum wage is rising, with pay for employees over 18 is close to €17 per hour in 2023. Unemployment in the country is low. Areas for which the most staff are sought include:
- IT development
- Kitchen staff
- Management consulting
When it comes to work culture in Luxembourg, accuracy is key. It is based on an established hierarchy. Work habits are strongly influenced by neighbouring Germany and France. The country's labour market encompasses many international staff.
The working week includes 40 hours, usually divided into 5 days of 8 hours. When the working day exceeds 6 hours, employees are obliged to take a break. Overtime is strictly controlled. It is only allowed with permission of the Ministry of Employment and must not exceed 2 hours per day in a 48-hour working week. Overtime is paid at 1.5 times the rate of pay. Although work on Sundays is prohibited, it is paid as much as 170% above the normal wage when necessary. Expectant mothers are entitled to 20 weeks' maternity leave. Parental leave (applicable to both sexes) is granted for a period of 6 months.
Relocation to Luxembourg with kids
Moving to Luxembourg with your children would give them access to a first-class education. It is trilingual—different levels of education focus on learning the already mentioned Luxembourgish, German and French. The cultural diversity in the country is the reason why there are many different variations of educational programmes. Children mainly attend public schools and the percentage attending private institutions is low.
Among the interesting facts about Luxembourg is that a large proportion of teachers in primary and secondary education are under the age of 40. According to Eurostat data for 2021, it is Luxembourg that has the highest percentage of graduates: nearly 63% (compared to an EU average of 41%). The University of Luxembourg offers a variety of degree programmes in fields such as:
- Science, technology, and medicine
- Law, economics, and finance
- Education, humanities, and social sciences
When it comes to moving with a young child, there are over 450 certified day care centres in Luxembourg. They are both private and public. Since 2017, children between the ages of 1 and 4 can benefit from free language learning for 20 hours a week (for a period of 46 weeks).
Moving to Luxembourg with a pet
The requirements for moving to Luxembourg with a pet include:
- The animal must be microchipped in accordance with the ISO 11784/11785 standard.
- The animal must be vaccinated against rabies at least 3 weeks prior to departure (the day the vaccine is administered counts as zero)
- The animal must be in possession of a European passport or health certificate (compulsory when arriving from outside the EU)
- A written declaration signed by the owner that the animal is not travelling for commercial reasons (only in some cases).
When moving within the country you can travel with a maximum of 5 animals. Only cats and dogs are allowed on board. Check-in of animals is done on site, not online.
After settling in Luxembourg, you should register your dog with the local municipality. For cats, registration is not compulsory, but they must be microchipped for identification purposes. The country is animal-friendly, as evidenced by the Animal Welfare Act implemented in 2016, which aims to ensure the dignity, safety, and welfare of animals.
It probably won't surprise you that such a well-regulated country has also thought about comfort and cleanliness while walking your pet. In many places there are dog poop bag dispensers with instructions on how to dispose of the bag properly.
Driving after moving to Luxembourg
If you are a driver planning to move to Luxembourg, it is good to know that driving licences issued in EU countries and the European Economic Area are recognised as valid in Luxembourg. You will need to register your licence upon arrival. In case it has expired, it will be renewed with a Luxembourg one, after registration, without having to take a driving test. Those arriving from outside the EU and EEA are allowed to drive in the country for a year, after which they should replace their licence.
Luxembourg has an immaculate road network. For expats who do not drive, there is excellent public transport to facilitate mobility. Even more, from 2020, public transport is free—both for tourists and permanent residents. The country is the first in the world to take such a step. The consistency of bus, train and tram timetables makes coupling between them more than easy.
Expats’ health rights when living in Luxembourg
The public health system in Luxembourg is set up to offer high quality services. Typically, they are free, and this is true even for dental and mental health care. The state-funded health system covers both check-ups and laboratory tests and hospitalisation: in total around 80-90% of all health costs.
All Luxembourg residents have access to the public health system, for which they must register with the Public Social Security Centre. Social contributions are compulsory for those working in the country. Unemployed people and people with a lower income are also entitled to basic health care. Health services for children are covered by the state according to their parents' contributions. Although vaccination of children is not compulsory, the state covers the cost of vaccines against:
- Hepatitis B
- Measles, mumps, rubella, and varicella
The cost of pre- and post-natal care is also borne by the state.
Nature and climate in Luxembourg
Outdoor enthusiasts are lucky when it comes to life after moving to Luxembourg. Mountain hiking, cycling, and canoeing are among the main activities for locals. The country has three nature parks, the terrain is mountainous, there are plenty of rivers and lakes making outdoor recreation a more than pleasant experience. 33% of its territory is forest, leading to cleaner air.
The climate in Luxembourg is continental. Winters are traditionally cold, cloudy, and rainy with temperatures reaching -15 °C. Summers are hot, with temperatures around 30 °C in July and August. Rainfall is common and is year-round.
The country will appeal to history buffs. There are around 130 castles, most of which are well preserved and open to visitors. Some key attractions of Luxembourg are:
- The National Museum of Military History
- The National Museum of History and Art
- The Vianden Castle
- The Bock Casemates (a series of underground tunnels)
- The Grand Ducal Palace (the official residence of the Grand Duke of Luxembourg)
- Echternach and its Benedictine Abbey
Luxembourg cuisine is largely influenced by that of its neighbours, France, Belgium, and Germany. Portuguese and Italian immigrants also left their mark on the dining options.
Ranked 9th in the 2023 World Happiness Index, Luxembourg definitely has a lot to offer its residents. And if, thanks to these lines, you have confirmed your decision to move permanently to Luxembourg, but you still have questions related to the relocation process, do not hesitate to contact the specialists of Movega Removals, a company with proven experience in transportation services throughout Europe. Write to us through our contact form or chatbot function.