🎄 A Detailed 2023 Guide to the Trier Christmas Market

Planning a visit to the Trier Christmas Market? Read on for detailed information about the markets!

In the foreground: market stalls with pointed roofs and lined with greenery, in the background: the colorful, decorated buildings of Trier.

Nestled in a river valley between rolling hills sits the city of Trier, Germany. This small city hosts a charming set of Christmas markets that is often overlooked by travelers.

This gives Trier a really homey local feel, while still offering up fun markets in beautiful squares, filled with delicious foods to eat and goods to purchase.

Both the town and the marketers were a great blend of Germanic and Belgian cultures, and had some very unique elements (especially food) that we didn’t see anywhere else during our tour of Christmas markets through Europe.

In this post, we’re sharing everything you need to know about visiting the Christmas markets in Trier.  

Planning Your Visit to the Trier Christmas Market

To help you plan your trip quickly, here’s a snapshot of where to stay and how to get around:

Top Hotel Options in Trier:

These are some of the best, top-rated, and centrally located spots in the city. I would highly recommend you book your hotel early, as hotels definitely fill up.

  • Hotel Deutscher Hof ($): A cute, modern hotel offers clean, spacious rooms in the old town of Trier, and an on-site sauna and steam bath
  • Romantik Hotel zur Glocke($$): A charming, quaint hotel in a historic building, located on a quiet pedestrian street
  • Berghotel Kockelsberg($$$): This hotel is about 2.5 miles from Trier, but views over the valley are incredible, and the hotel almost looks like a castle.

How to Get Around Europe:

Market Dates for 2023

The dates for the Trier Christmas Market are November 24, 2023 to December 22, 2023. The market is open every day except Sunday November 26.

Opening Hours for the Trier Markets:

  • Monday – Thursday: 10:30 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
  • Friday – Saturday 10:30 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
  • Sunday 11:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.

The Trier Christmas Markets

The Trier Christmas Market is divided between two separate, but basically connecting squares: Hauptmarkt and Domfreihof. These two squares are connected by the short street, Sternstrasse. While these are two technically two separate spots, it’s really just two parts of the same market. 

1. Hauptmarkt Square

People mill about the Trier Christmas market, with stalls situated in a circle on the cobblestoned road of the main square in Trier.

We started in the Hauptmarkt and my goodness, the buildings surrounding this square are absolutely delightful! They were all built at different time periods, so you see a really interesting conglomeration of architectural styles: Romanesque, Gothic, Baroque, etc. We loved all the different hues and details on the buildings.

A view of the whimsical buildings of Trier, with different colorfuls, and embellished with decorations.

Inside the market, you’ll find quite a variety of foods and shops within the relatively (compared to larger cities) small number of stalls. 

There was also a small kiddie carousel to ride.

On the north side of the market, opposite the entrance, was a large Christmas pyramid, which is a classic German Christmas feature. You can see it best from the outside of the market, and it’s worth walking around to get a good view and picture with it!

A man stands in front of a Christmas pyramid in Trier. This Christmas pyramid has a small shop underneath, pyramid shaped beams running up to the spinning fan wheel on top.

2. Domfreihof Square

When you are finished in the Hauptmarkt, stroll over to the Domfreihof square.

The part of the market sits in the shadow of the Trier Cathedral. If you fancy a ride, there’s a cute carousel in this square. 

A view of the markets in Domfreihof square, with the massive Trier cathedral in the background.

The cathedral is free to visit and definitely worth a stop. Matthew really liked the look of this cathedral; it has an exterior that reminded us more of a castle.

Inside the market at Domfreihof, with stalls lined up on the sides of a lane, and the massive cathedral in the background.
Castle or cathedral?

It is actually the oldest cathedral north of the Alps, but the real standout for this cathedral was the West Choir, a raised area just to your left when you first walk in that was stunning with its intricate carvings and bold coloring.

The inside of the Trier Cathedral, with large, soaring ceilings.

Cathedral architecture is always so impressive to me, especially in smaller cities! (Even smaller locations in Europe so often still have such grand churches!)

What Goods To Buy at the Trier Christmas Market

Here is a sampling of the goods for sale at the Trier Christmas market. While this list is not exhaustive, it is a very good representation of what you can expect to see in the markets at Trier:

A stall full of snowglobes at the Trier christmas market.
A stall selling colorful, delicate glass figurines at the market.
Glass figurines
A stall selling decorative gingerbread ornaments in Trier.
Decorative gingerbread ornaments
A stall selling a variety of vandles and small candle holders in a variety of shapes, colors, and sizes.
Propeller candle holders
Chocolate and candy creations
Souvenir items

We also saw items such cookie cutters, embossed rolling pins, stuffed animals, jewelry, and alpine village pieces and people.

What to Eat at the Trier Christmas Market

Despite being a small market, there was an impressive variety of food to eat at the Hauptmarkt and Domfreihof squares, such as:

A hand holds a paper plate of pfannkuchen, which are small, soft and fluffy pancake-like treats.
Pfannkuchen: “pancakes”, although these were quite different than the pancakes I’m used to in the US. These mini pfannkuchen were super soft, fluffy, and bite-sized, and were topped with butter and cinnamon. (3.50 euro for 12 mini cakes)
A hand holds up a bratwurst in a bun, topped with sauerkraut, with the Trier markets in the background.
Bratwurst: A German staple! (4 euro)
A hand holds a paper plate with dampfnudeln in a market in Trier. This is an oversized rounded dumpling with vanilla sauce and fruit sauce on top.
Dampfnudeln – A type of oversized sweet dumpling. You can get various fruit fillings (we got cherry) but the real star was the vanilla sauce that was sooooo good! (5 euro)
Reibekuchen is a crispy fried shredded potato cake served with applesauce.
Reibekuchen: A crispy, fried potato cake, similar to a hashbrown. Served with applesauce! These are a staple of Germany Christmas markets, you can’t miss it! (5 euro for 3 cakes)
flammekuchen in Germany - a pizza like dish with puffy crust and toppings like creme freche and potatoes.
Flammekuchen: Grilled bread with crème fraiche, bacon, onions, potatoes. The Germany version was a puffier bread, whereas the French version was a thinner, crispier bread.  (5-6 euro)
a hand holds a sandwich with a crusty bun and shaved meats inside.
Meat Sandwich: A crusty bun filled with tender, juicy shaved meat (6 euro)

Other foods for sale included:

  • Churros: Fried fresh from batter on the spot!
  • Crepes: A large, thin, flat French pancake smeared with your choice of toppings.
  • Chimney Cake: A sweet dough that is rolled into a rope and baked around a metal cylinder, and then rolled in sugar. This is a Hungarian dessert, but we saw it several times in Germany. 

What to Drink

A smiling woman holds a mug with a drink in it and walks through the market in Trier.

There are several drinks stands between the two squares where you can buy gluhwein (hot, mulled wine), non-alcoholic hot cider, or hot chocolate. When you buy your drink, you also pay a 3 euro deposit for the cup it is served in.

After you finish your drink, you can return the mug and get your deposit back. Alternatively, you can also keep the mug as a souvenir!

We collected mugs from the Christmas markets all around Europe (including at the Christmas markets in Basel, Strasbourg, Colmar, Cologne, and Luxembourg), so of course we had to keep the one from Trier as well.

Each city’s mugs are different and unique, and so we came home with a collection of unique and beautiful mugs. It’s a great souvenir and was one of my favorite aspects of the European Christmas markets we visited!

(Pro tip: When packing, stick each mug in a sock, and then place all the mugs in a carry-on duffel bag, padded with clothes). 

If you are keeping your mug instead of returning it for your deposit back, you can still go up and exchange the dirty one you just drank out of for a clean one to bring home (people were really nice when we did this – it seems like this is pretty common).

Other Things to Know About Visiting the Trier Christmas Market

  • There are no entrance fees to visit the Christmas markets.
  • People in Trier speak German, of course, but you will find that most people interacting with tourists speak at least some English.
  • There are some stands that will accept card, but many places will just take cash. There are ATMs around the city, so it’s not hard to find a spot to pull out some euros, but I would plan to have euros on hand when you arrive.
  • Weekends are much busier than weekdays, so if you can, visit on a weekday.

How Much Time Do You Need?

One day is plenty of time to see Trier, the Christmas markets, and the surrounding sites, such as the Roman baths and amphitheater. You can stay overnight in town, or do this as a day trip from a neighboring city.

Where to Park

There are several inexpensive parking lots around Trier, marked above with the square and oval P icons. There are good signs for parking as you enter town, giving directions and indicating which lots are full and which have availability. It was very convenient and straightforward.  

The parking lot we parked at was on the corner of Langstrasse and Deutschherrenstrasse. We paid 3.50 euro for 2 hours of parking.

Don’t Forget Travel Insurance

Securing some travel insurance is an important part of prepping for any international trip – you never know when something might happen, and your regular insurance generally won’t cover you overseas. Costs for a medical emergency on vacation can add up extremely fast, so it’s just better to be safe than sorry. 

I like booking insurance at Insure My Trip, as they offer a variety of plans with different coverages to choose from, so you can find the right option for you. Plus, they have great customer support if you need help before, during, or after your trip.

👉Check rates at Insure My Trip here!👈

Final Thoughts on the Trier Christmas Market

The vibe of the Trier Christmas market felt really homey and local, like this was a spot that friends were meeting up at for lunch, or that grandmas were out shopping together.

The whole feel was very pleasant and happy, and I’d recommend it to anyone wanting to get off the beaten path a little bit on their Christmas Market tour.

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