Trier is my all-time favorite city in Germany. It’s beautiful, it’s charming, and it’s friendly. I know a lot of people plan day-trips into this historical city, but once they see the highlights, they don’t often go back. The Porta Nigra, Basilika, Kaiserthermen, Dom, and Roman Ampitheater are definitely worth visiting, and I would recommend anyone who hasn’t been to Trier before to go to these sites. But, I get it, they’re not exactly things that you would want to visit over and over again.
Like I said, I love Trier, and I spend at least two weekends out of every month there. So, here is my list of things you should try on your next visit to Trier after you’ve hit all of the main attractions.
1. Drink a coffee in Zurlauben
The name “Zurlauben” refers to an area of buildings that face the Moselle River. They actually used to be a small village called Zurlauben, but as Trier grew, it kind of swallowed it up.
There is a string of cafes and restaurants here, all with the prettiest little outdoor patios overlooking the river you’ve ever seen.
2. Swim in the Moselle River
Because of Trier’s location, it’s always warmer (and greener) than the surrounding areas. With the river running right through the city, it’s really the ideal place to cool off on hot summer days.
There are several places along the riverbank where you can wade into the water. Watch out for boats, though!
3. Drink a Kraftbräu Beer at Blesius Garten
Not only is the restaurant itself fabulous, but they have their own brewery called Kraftbräu. It might be a hefty claim, but this has got to be one of the best beers in the country.
They have just about every variety you can imagine, but my personal favorite is the classic (Helles).
4. See “Im Reich der Schatten”
This is one of the coolest museum exhibits I’ve seen in a long time. It’s kind of like an Omni Theater meets Disneyland’s Fantasmic production. You walk through a room that has authentic Roman artifacts in it, but they project pictures onto them that tell a story. There’s music, lights, and a narrator that guides you through a story of a merchant and the Roman god Mercury, who travel from the Underworld to Roman Trier. It’s really entertaining and very well produced.
5. Experience the “Devil in Trier”
You probably need to know a little German for this one as there are no English options, but I’d still recommend it even if you don’t know any German. Der Teufel in Trier is really interactive and entertaining. It’s kind of similar to Im Reich der Schatten in some ways. It’s part walking tour, part performance, and some of it takes place in a room where they use those same light projections. This is also a story, but this one is about Trier during medieval times. Your “guide” leads you through the city streets at night, carrying a torch, clothed in a robe. He tells you about how the Devil himself is in Trier, trying to steal as many souls as he can. The guys who lead the tours are trained actors and put on a really good show.
6. Relax in the Trierer Stadtbad
I wrote in some detail about the Trierer Stadtbad a while back in my Top Three Saunas post. And I would still say to go there for the sauna experience, but if you’re not quite up for that yet, they do have a pretty amazing swimming area. There are four pools, including a diving pool and a leisure pool, plus they have a swimming pool just for kids.
7. Take Pictures from the Mariensäule
This is THE best place to take pictures of Trier.
You’ve got a bird’s eye view of the whole city, the Moselle River, and the hills off in the distance. It doesn’t matter what the weather is like, either. It’s a beautiful spot year-round. And some couples have even recently started leaving love locks on the railings.
Depending on how athletic – or motivated – you are, you can either hike up to it (which is a bit challenging) or drive.
8. Hike up to Petrisberg
This isn’t nearly as challenging as the hike up to the Mariensäule is. It’s much more relaxed, but it’s another nice spot to take pictures of the city. You’re much lower here, though, so your view isn’t as vast, but it gives you a totally different perspective.
9. Have a Drink at The Irish Pub
This might be the coolest place in the whole city. The guy who owns it is Irish, and usually working behind the bar. He speaks fluent German (which is always motivating for me) but also speaks English (obviously) with a lovely Irish accent. The pub is cozy and welcoming. They have live music on various days throughout the week, including traditional Irish music.
His drink menu is off the charts. There’s a little bit of everything, and it’s all quality stuff.
This is my favorite thing on the menu. IT IS AMAZING!
10. Catch a Movie at the Broadway Film Theater
The Broadway Film Theater shows both European and American movies. The majority of them are in German, but, especially with the Hollywood movies, they offer limited showings in English. (Just look for OV next to a movie title. That stands for “Original Version.”) It’s a small theater, but it has a laid-back, almost indie, vibe to it.
They also have different film events throughout the year. Last year, close to Halloween, they had a Tim Burton marathon, which officially made it my favorite theater ever.
11. Eat Chocolates at Suite au Chocolate
If you love chocolate, you definitely should not pass this place up!
There’s just nothing else I can say here. The picture says it all.
12. Stock up on Craft Beer at The Hop Shop
This place is a craft beer-lover’s paradise. Owned and operated by another guy from the UK, this place boasts over 200 different types of craft beer.
The owner is super knowledgeable about his beer, and he holds different events once or twice a month.
13. Buy Smelly-Good Stuff at Rituals
Rituals is kind of like a Bath and Body Works, except it’s a smaller line, and it’s much fancier. They have all kinds of amazing products (they are not a sponsor of the blog; I just really love their store) like lotion, face creams, make-up, perfumes, candles, and tea.
I’m not sure about other countries, but I know that in the States, you can only buy the Rituals line at places like Barneys or Cos Bar. So, it’s available but very hard to find.
14. Eat Ice Cream on Simeonstraße
You can find ice cream shops pretty much everywhere, but the locals eat on Simeonstraße. Lots of people swear that the ice cream here is the best in the whole city.
And if it’s a nice day, you can sit outside in the sunshine.
15. Walk the Jewish Alley
The Judengasse was home to the Jewish population of Trier as far back as the Roman times and up to the 14th century. There’s not a whole lot to see here – the street is rather short. But you can feel its significance and see its history in the details of the buildings.
Today, the narrow street is home to a couple of bars.
16. Dance at Club Toni
Did you ever see the movie XXX with Vin Diesel? If you did, you’ll remember the nightclub he goes to in the beginning of the movie. Club Toni reminds me so much of that scene.
It’s an underground nightclub and a local favorite.
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