Ironically, one of the great things about living in wealthy Luxembourg is its proximity to Germany, one of the least expensive countries in Europe according to the Mercer Cost of Living Survey 2012.
Groceries cost 38% more in the Grand Duchy than in Germany and restaurant prices are a shocking 66% higher, calculates Numebo. So be a clever expat, do like the Luxy locals and pop over to Trier on a Saturday for some guilt-free shopping and dining.
On a weekday it takes about 30-35 minutes to get to Trier from Kirchberg, but keep in mind that on Saturdays the last couple kilometres into town can be chock-a-block, taking up to an hour just to get down Bitburgerstrasse from the E44/64. Thankfully, there is a secret back road: take the Potaschbierg exit instead of following the A1/E44 all the way to Trier. It will lead you through Grevenmacher, over to Konz, then into Trier. This is also a better bet for leaving town on Saturday evenings.
Once in town, the City Parkhaus is the most popular and central to the shopping district, although the Basilica Parkhaus is also a good option and more practical to access the sweet little backstreets.
Starting point Hauptmarkt
The Hauptmarkt is obviously the centre of town and a logical place to start discovering the oldest city in Germany. Like most cities, this means that it is surrounded by chain stores, but the flower and fruit vendors give it a charming, old-world feel.
Just north of Hauptmarkt on Sternstrasse you’ll find my favourite pizza place: Pellolitto’s Pizza Manufaktur. Don’t let the miniscule size of the joint fool you, the pizzas are wonderfully sophisticated (grilled fennel, artichokes and lemon…) and they even have vegan pizza! We always pop next door to Christie’s for ice cream afterwards, by far and beyond the best ice cream in town. Totally homemade, totally natural, plus their unusual flavours like elderflower, pistachio or peanut have a cult-like following.
Moving eastward from the Hauptmarkt lies a small but important street: Palaststrasse. Best known for Biomarkt, a great organic food store with an excellent vegetarian restaurant. Towards the back you’ll find Herr Becker, arguably the world’s funniest butcher. I particularly love the enormous jars of consommé that he sells for a couple Euros, really practical to have in the fridge for quick soups and risottos. At Palaststrasse 9, you’ll find Blumenfee, a relatively new and super sweet florist worth a peek. Across the street is the Schuhwerk Outlet (Prada, Sergio Rossi et al at greatly reduced prices), Weinsinnig (excellent local wines and super Flammeküchen) and Fabius Sport. Fabius is a very elegant clothing store for men on Konstantinstrasse (Ermenigildo Zegna, Etro) and Fabius Sport is the sporty little brother. On Saturdays, check out the outlet hidden downstairs.
The principal Schuhwerk store, mecca in Trier for trendy luxury and middle range priced shoes, can be found at Brotstrasse 15, parallel to Palaststrasse. The same owner just opened a clothing store down the street at Kornmarkt 8 called Vertigo (yes, same owner as the Vertigo shoe store in Luxembourg) featuring such funky designers as Alexander Wang, Helmut Lang and Jimmy Choo.
Up and coming
Just before Brotstrasse turns into Neustrasse, have a look-see at Guillaume (No. 28), three stories of casual chic clothing for men and women. But the real must when in Trier is Edith Lücke (Neustrasse 20). I call her spa/shop “the Aladdin’s cave of perfume”. There are literally hundreds of different perfumes in addition to high-end cosmetic brands in a luxurious „bijou-box” atmosphere. Neustrasse is an up-and-coming back street, so be sure to take the time to go all the way to the end. Stielvoll Blumen (No. 71-72) is probably one of the best and most reasonably priced florists I have ever used, anywhere. Next door is Nobelkids, an über-cute children’s clothing store – warm sales people, colourful, and just the right amount of kitsch. Yong, an Indonesian soup kitchen at number 39, makes me feel like I am in London: super clean, modern decor with phenomenal soups for just a couple Euros.
Heading back to the Hauptmarkt from Neustrasse, be sure to pass through Nagelstrasse and peek in at Genussgesellschaft, a new bookstore-cum-café straight out of New York City. Fleischstrasse, another important but small shopping street, is around the corner. At number 54 you’ll find Soho Mode, a popular spot known for more formal luxury brands like Chloe, Victoria Beckham, Lanvin, and Céline. Further down the road at number 67 lies Dahm & Schädler, a Trier institution for chic but slightly more conservative men’s and women’s looks (Ralph Lauren, Hugo Boss, Burberry…).
If these high-end shops aren’t your sort of thing, pop down to Dietrichstrasse just off the Hauptmarkt. Point Concept (no. 48) has a great selection of casual but trendy women’s clothing at more middle-range prices. And should you want alterations after all this shopping, leave them with tailor Sonja Schweinheim (Dietrichstrasse 46). Not only is she adorable and joyous, but she does a great job for a fraction of alteration prices in Luxembourg, giving you an excuse to come back to Trier the following week!
By Kristina Svensson, May 2013