Inside the EU's 'most boring capital of culture' where even legal cannabis is 'dull'

The town in Luxembourg, the first country in the EU to legalise growing and using cannabis, was selected as the European Capital of Culture in 2022

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One of Europe's new capitals of culture has been dubbed the EU's most boring towns, according to a travel writer.

Esch-sur-Alzette is a town in south-western Luxembourg which has a population of around 35,040 inhabitants and used to have a thriving steel industry.

Gavin Haines, who works as a travel writer for The Telegraph, visited the city for 24 hours and to his disappointment found "no other tourist attractions to speak of, no markets, quirky shops or village weirdos."

Queen Elizabeth II meeting people in Esch-sur-Alzette, Luxembourg.
Queen Elizabeth II meeting people in Esch-sur-Alzette, Luxembourg.

The town, which is on Luxembourg's border with France, was selected as the European Capital of Culture in 2022 alongside Kaunas in Lithuania and Novi Sad in Serbia.

Mr Haines explored the location was let down by the night life, writing "most of the bars I passed looked a bit forlorn; lots of flashing fruit machines flirting with middle-aged men."

Luxembourg is the first country in the EU to legalise growing and using cannabis, however there is a policy to remove the THC and leave only CBD in products.

The columnist explained his experience purchasing it from a shop in Esch, finding "it had no effect."

The industrial town now has multiple old blast furnaces which have been redeveloped into new cultural buildings such as the University of Luxembourg. It is also home to Luxembourg's biggest concert hall called the Rockhall.

One tourist who reviewed their visit to Rockhal on Trip Advisor wrote: "The interior is a bit boring, like concrete without charm."

A traveller who also left the venue disappointed wrote on the travel website: "We waited 30 minutes in the parking line to be able to pay the parking fee. Really? I mean I thought things worked better in Luxembourg."

Mr Haines did not think much to the town's cultural hotspots either, writing "I’d swung by Esch’s only museum — about Luxembourg’s resistance to Nazi invaders, and all the more poignant given what’s happening elsewhere on the continent — but it was closed for refurbishment."

He dubbed the town to be similar to it's English equivalent: "Bromsgrove. Where? Exactly."