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Trier: Germany's oldest city

With low cost flights here to stay, even the cash-strapped can take a break and jet off to Paris or Rome. Fares seem ridiculously low: it's cheaper to fly to some European destinations than to bus it from Glasgow to London.

But travel-goers are often alerted to the downside: getting from gateway airports to the main nearby city can take time and cost money. Frankfurt Hahn, for example, is 120kms from the city that gives it its name.

So why not put the main city on hold and head to somewhere closer? Under a 30 minute drive from Frankfurt Hahn, through gentle hills and neat vines and on the river Mosel, lies Trier, a city well worth a visit.

Tourist information includes more than its fair share of superlatives. Trier is Germany's oldest city, dating back to Roman times. Its impressive 'Porta Nigra', on UNESCO's world heritage list, is the largest Roman city gate north of the Alps, and its Cathedral is the oldest church in Germany.

The main square (Hauptmarkt), with its typical part-timbered houses, was the medieval market hub and it retains that feel. Karl Marx was born in the city in 1818; his house is now a museum, containing rare first editions of his works. The Roman Baths and Amphitheatre and the nearby 18th century rococo Electoral Palace with its beautiful gardens cannot fail to impress.

And with plenty of reasonably priced eateries to sample the excellent local wine and Wiener Schnitzel, there are more than enough reasons to add Trier to your list of must-see places.

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