For those of you considering a move to this small northern European state, let us discuss the pros and cons of living in Luxembourg.
There are employment opportunities in all fields, but they are much fewer than they were a few years ago. Salaries are very high, enough it to say that the minimum wage set by law is over €2,000 per month. Recently, the country has become a very popular tourist destination and there has been a real boom in new immigrants. For this reason, there are increasingly specific requirements for access to many jobs, such as language skills and special qualifications.
Those who intend to do unskilled jobs, especially in the hospitality industry, should know that the salary they receive is barely enough to survive (pay rent and food). And find a job if you know only English, it’s increasingly difficult if you don’t know French or German.
There is a sort of separation between Luxembourgers and foreigners, as very few Luxembourgers work in the private sector; the vast majority are employed in the public sector, where salaries are higher. Of the 115,000 workers with Luxembourg nationality, 90,000 are civil servants. The average Luxembourger generally has no ambitions and is only willing to get a well-paid job somewhere in administration or the public sector.
When among themselves, Luxembourgers prefer to speak their own dialect, and therefore foreigners cannot fully participate in most social contexts. This makes integration very difficult, foreigners live separately from the locals and meet only with other foreigners, who are not few, since 45% of Luxembourgers are emigrants, making the atmosphere very multicultural and tolerant.
Daily life in Luxembourg is quiet. Stores in the city usually close before 19:00, on Sunday all stores are closed and in winter it is a bit boring. Nightlife is active, especially on weekends. Luxembourg is a very quiet and orderly country, where the rules are always followed, without much discussion. It is a Nordic country in every way, the people are cold and closed.
Living in Luxembourg is expensive.Compared to a few years ago, costs have increased significantly. Housing prices are very high for both renting and buying. A studio can easily cost €1,300 per month. Therefore, many people prefer to live in neighboring countries (France, Belgium, Germany) and commute daily. Every service is expensive (hairdresser, dentist, mechanic, etc.). For a men’s haircut you can easily pay 40 euros, for a simple car service a few hundred euros. Prices in restaurants are very high compared to the quality of the meals offered. Taxes in Luxembourg are high and you always have to pay everything.
The public school has a good standard and is also multilingual, which means that the children are at least trilingual or even quadrilingual if another language is spoken at home. The school facilities, equipment and teacher preparation are of an excellent standard.
The public infrastructure works very well, (public transport, administration). Public transport is efficient and covers the entire country. But at rush hour, if you’re a commuter be prepared to get stuck in biblical traffic jams.
Healthcare in Luxembourg is free. However, the services must be paid in advance by the user, who will then request reimbursement from the National Health Fund (CNS). Unless you have a low income level, in which case you are not required to advance the money. The service is generally good, although waiting times can sometimes be long for some visits or controls.
Luxembourg is a very safe country where you can move without problems even at night.
The weather is gray and rainy most of the year. If you are used to the sun, it will be difficult. You can expect long, gray and wet winters, albeit with little snow, and short summers with cloudy days and rain. One must be prepared for a certain period of depression.
Living and working in Luxembourg – pros and cons
Living in Luxembourg, pros
- Good professional opportunities
- High wages
- Low levels of corruption and crime
- Excellent services and infrastructure
Living in Luxembourg, cons
- High cost of living (especially real estate)
- Gray and wet weather
- Difficult social integration
Living and working in Luxembourg, conclusion
The general quality of life in Luxembourg is very good. It is a safe country with a good healthcare system, good infrastructure, good job opportunities and medium-high salaries. It is a cosmopolitan nation, there are European institutions, multinational companies and many foreign workers.
However, depending on your priorities and needs, you may or may not like Luxembourg.
If you like big cities like London, Paris or Berlin, Luxembourg may not be what you are looking for. It’s too small to offer what a metropolis can. Do not expect a very active cultural scene, plenty of places to stay, and stores and clubs open 24/7.
On the contrary, if you are tired of big cities and love tranquility, Luxembourg may be the right choice.
If you want to know how to work in Luxembourg, I recommend you to read the article: Work in Luxembourg
If you want to move to Luxembourg you can read the article: Moving to Luxembourg