Ten days into officially living in Germany, we decided it was the perfect time to take a day trip to explore a new German town. We decided on a trip to Trier, one of the oldest cities in Germany, rich in Roman history and right along the Mosel river (read: wine). It was a simple two hour train ride from Kaiserslautern to Trier, so we tired the dogs out with a long walk and breakfast before heading over to the train station. Fun fact – it was Timmer’s first train ride in Germany, so that was cute.
We started our adventure at the Porta Nigra, the “Black Gate.” The Porta Nigra was the Northern gate of the Roman city, and is the only one (out of four) gates that still remains standing and preserved today. It was built around 170 AD, which means it’s been standing for over 1,800 years! Isn’t that crazy! It was pretty impressive to see such a historical site, but it was equally as impressive to see the views from the top. From the glassless windows, you have a beautiful view of the city, the churches, and the Mosel River wineries.
The Cathedral of Trier is the oldest cathedral in Germany, and from the outside, it almost looks like you’re about to walk into a castle. The Cathedral still remains a working Catholic church, and is known for its collection of relics. The inside of the cathedral is huge, but make sure to keep walking through to the breathtaking cloister and cloister garden (i.e., courtyard).
The Hauptmarkt, aka the main market, was the medieval town center and is still the main square in Trier. Just like the rest of Trier, it is photogenic and historic, and almost makes you feel like you’re walking in a Disney movie. The Hauptmarkt is full of shops, businesses, restaurants, and tons of people watching.
Food and Wine
There are so many other UNESCO heritage sites to see other than the Porta Nigra – Constantine’s throne room, the imperial bathhouses, and an amphitheatre are also scattered around the city of Trier. There’s also Karl Marx’s birthplace which has been converted into a museum and the former Jewish Quarter. However, we had to be true to ourselves and know that our real passion is trying out the food and the wines of the area, so we spent the rest of our trip in Trier doing just that.
We decided on stop by Zum Domstein, mainly because we heard they had an awesome wine cellar in the basement. Unfortunately the Weinstube was closed on Sunday, but the restaurant had so many terraces, that we decided to stay and eat outside. We opted for the terrace on the market square for optimal people watching, and then we decided to start off with a wine tasting. We got the six tastings of Riesling (the wine of the region), which started with the most dry and got sweeter as we went.
The really cool thing about Zum Domstein is that you can have a four course Roman meal, complete with a Roman cocktail, an appetizer, the main course that you choose, and a dessert souffle. We weren’t super hungry, so we both ended up getting something off the main menu, but regardless make sure you get an order of the wine roll – it’s delicious. I ended up getting the homemade potato cake, topped with tomatoes, mozzarella, smoked ham and pesto, with a side of tomato soup (I was getting chilly) and Timmer got the potato dumplings stuffed with meat, bacon sauce and sauerkraut. They were both amazing!!
After our late lunch, we decided to walk around and potentially find another historic site. Unfortunately it started raining, of course, so we scrambled to find a wine bar and stumbled upon this perfect little spot. Das Weinhaus has a bunch of small rooms, each filled with shelves of bottles of wine. Our server was super nice and recommended a glass of wine from the region for each of us, and gave Timmer a little tour of the wine rooms. This wine bar also has an outdoor terrace, wine tastings, and food that smelled and looked delicious. It’s directly across from the Karl Marx house, in case you are ever in the area and need a spot to take a break.
Wine in the Square
Last but not least, we took a long walk along the river to get back to the Hauptmarkt one last time. We realized we still had quite a bit of time until our train left, so we decided to try the wine stand in the square. For 3 euro you can get a glass of wine, but it’s also a 3 euro deposit for the glass. You can keep the glass, but if you return it you’ll get your 3 euro back! The wine stand is also constantly changing what wine is being showcased — every few days is a different winery from the area. It was the perfect way to end our trip to Trier!
We’re leaving for our next trip today! Any guesses on where it’ll be? Here’s a hint: flowers, canals, and #cheese.