Europe is a wonderful place to travel through and the close proximity of countries certainly makes it easy to do so. One day you can be in France and the next in Germany and in certain parts of the continent, you might be crossing a country border multiple times in one day just to get to the beach (more on that later). For one of our day trips from Luxembourg, we ventured out to Trier, Germany. It was an hour or so drive from center to center and some highways in Germany have no speed limit so it definitely makes for a special road trip experience.
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The city is located on the Moselle river, the same river that runs through Luxembourg to France, and is best known for its wealth of wine production (I wrote about the Luxembourgish side here). In the 1st century AD Trier was a Roman colony and a huge trading center. With time, in the 3rd century the city became so important it was known as “second Rome” while it was one of the capitals of the Tetrarchy. Naturally, there are some notable Roman landmarks still standing in the city, the most popular and most visible one being The Porta Nigra: a large fortified city gate with two massive archways allowing for the crowds to pass through history with ease [interior images at the top].
Today, however, Trier is a fun and vibrant city boasting culture, food, and art on every corner. In the summer the town square (Hauptmarkt) turns into a lively hangout spot for locals and tourists alike. There are farm stands selling fruits and vegetables, street performers, patios enveloping the open space, and a local winery booth gathering cheerful crowd around it. You can get a glass of wine or two and walk around the square with it, relaxing by the fountain or picking out souvenirs.
The Roman influences are seen often throughout the city (like in the enclosed Forum Baths) but they aren’t the only ones. Walking through the streets you will also notice Turkish, French, and other mixed European influences from across centuries. A few blocks away from Hauptmarkt is a stunning garden in front of the Kurfürstliches Palais (electoral palace, photos above). The palace is a wonderful example of French architecture inspired by the Renaissance, Baroque and Rococo styles and is a popular spot for taking pictures.
Between pubs and restaurants, there is a great selection of traditional German food, heavy on the meets and carbs, with a dash of wild mushrooms and plenty of starchy vegetables (who doesn’t love a mashed potato!). We had a late lunch at Wirtshaus Zur Glocke – a little hotel on a busy side street with a cozy dimly lit pub out front. The menu is large and a bit confusing when read in English but I would trust that everything on that menu was worth trying at least once. As such, we ordered way too much food to balance out the healthy pints of lager and stayed there well over an hour slowly snaking and relaxing in the shade.
One of my other favourite stops, located right in the city center, is the Weinbar Trier. This is a cellar-like tiny wine bar with an open store front that offers a massive selection of German wine*, every wall is a wine wall, from every angle and every side. I was overwhelmed but joyfully so and took a few bottles home to continue the tasting experience.
Having spent the entire day here we had to hit the road at twilight and if I was a toddler you may had to peel me of the ground in a tantrum but alas I am not so I got back in the car voluntarily but hope to return and spend at least a full weekend in this wonderful city.
If you go, some packing & shopping starters
Cute clothing for all the pictures
We all have things we like but shopping, especially online, can be exhausting. Lulus* has a large selection of really nice outfits and single pieces that fit different body types and have good customer reviews.
Find a perfect carryon luggage
I mention this Solgaard* a lot because they are a wonderful sustainable company that makes great travel tech and gear including suitcases* and backpacks*. And then there is of course also the famous Away* suitcases, the carry-ons* look fantastic, I’m waiting for mine right now.