I think Trier is my favourite place in Germany. It’s one of those cities that manages somehow to capture the perfect balance between old and new. The city lies in a valley, between low vine-covered hills of red sandstone in the west of the state of Rhineland-Palatinate, near the border with Luxembourg.
Originally founded by the Celts in the late 4th century BC as Treuorum, it was later conquered by the Romans in the late 1st century BC where it became the Northern Capital of the Roman Empire.
In later years over 60,000 British prisoners of war, captured at Dunkirk and Northern France, were marched to Trier, which became a staging post for British soldiers headed for German prisoner of war camps.
Nowadays Trier is a cultural melting pot of history, education, international cuisine, religion and shopping.
Trier is an easy city to access as it has an excellent network of public transport and lots of cheap parking. We have visited twice; taking the train from Saarburg on our first trip and driving in on the second, in our RV. Both were easy to do with kids, however for us driving in offered the best value for money as parking was so cheap. If you are travelling from Luxembourg there is a direct train into the city that runs frequently every day.
Exploring The City
If you are looking for history then Trier is a great place to explore. It is known for its Roman and medieval buildings, which include:
The Porta Nigra (Roman City Gates)
Roman Imperial Baths
St Gangolfs’ Church
Second Century Roman Bridge over the Moselle River.
You can also visit a number of interesting museums (great for home schoolers) such as Karl Marx House (a museum exhibiting Marx’s personal history, volumes of poetry, original letters, and photographs with personal dedications). The Fell Exhibition Slate Mine and The Toy Museum of Trier.
We explored the city both on foot and on a city bus tour (26 Euros for a family of four) – If you have time then I would recommend doing both as they offer completely different insights into this amazing city.
There are so many restaurants, bistros and eateries that it would be simply impossible to list them all in one post! Our highlights were the Thai-Vietnamese cafes next to the train station that offered good value, tasty dishes, the food-court on the top floor of the main department store and the ice cream parlours on the high street. You cant visit a city in Germany without sampling the ice cream!
The city is divided into four main shopping streets, Simeonstrasse, Brotstrasse, Fleischstrasse and Nagelstrasse – here you will find the large well-known chain stores, department stores, and small shops. Off the main streets you will also find a network of tiny streets that are littered with interesting independent stores. We were excited to find a ‘Woolworths’ store on the main high-street as they don’t exist in England anymore.
Have we inspired you to visit Trier? What is your favourite city to visit? Tell us in the comments below.
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