When we were visiting Luxembourg City for a long weekend (blog post here) we figured we’d take advantage of its central location and take a day trip somewhere. We decided on Trier, Germany for its history (one of, if not the, oldest cities in Germany with some amazingly intact artifacts from Roman times) and convenience (only an hour train ride from Luxembourg City).
Upon arrival we walked an almost perfectly straight line 20 minutes from the train station to the Porta Nigra (latin for black gate) which dates to the 2nd century and is a UNESCO World Heritage site, at least in part because it’s the largest Roman city gate north of the Alps. Naturally darkened to its current color over time, the gate offers great views of the city, including a straight view to the main square. The Haupmarkt beckoned, so we made our way in that direction. The square is large and charming, with pretty architectural details and a humble fountain. We were more enamored with nearby Domfreihof, which had fewer crowds and is crowned by the attractive exterior of St. Peter’s Cathedral. The inside of the church is equally as pretty and we were surprised by the small courtyard in the back of the church. We walked back around to Domfreihof and took a seat at Walderdorffs for lunch (we shared potatoes with an herb blend, chorizo and goat cheese wrapped in bacon).
After lunch we walked south toward the Kurfürstliches Palais, which is only accessible to visitors at certain times during the year, May not being one of them, so we sat in the surrounding park to appreciate it from afar instead. This bit of rest would prove valuable as we took the long (and uphill) route to our next stop. Trier’s Roman Amphitheater, also UNESCO-listed, is located southeast of the city center on the top of a hill. Once we finally made it, we walked around the top rim, then down to ground level and finally down below where you can see the engineering effort that went into building and maintaining these kinds of arenas. There is not much original stone left, so don’t expect an intact structure like the Colosseum! And, if you’re taking our advice, follow the pedestrian signs to the site as opposed to using Google Maps so you can spare yourself the long walk.
We finished off the day trip with gelato from Christis Eis & Kaffee (salty peanut for Rico—the best gelato he’s ever had—and mocha for Britt) and a stroll down by the Moselle River. Trier served as an excellent add-on to Luxembourg City and we’d recommend it to anyone looking for a Roman-flavored visit while in the area.