Travel Guide for Aachen

Travel Guide for Aachen

Personalized for these inputs:

  • Destination: Aachen, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
  • Trip length: 5 days
  • Trip dates: None
  • Travel style: None
  • Budget: None
  • Accommodation: None
  • Activities: None
Picture of Aachen, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany

Key Facts

  • location: North Rhine-Westphalia
  • currency: Euro (EUR)
  • religion: Christianity
  • population: 246,434
  • language: German
  • electricity: 230V/50Hz, European plug types C and F?
  • time zone: CET (UTC+1)
  • country code: +49
  • internet access: High-speed internet access available
  • climate: Temperate oceanic climate

Useful Phrases

Language: German
    hello
    hallo (ha-lo)
    goodbye
    auf wiedersehen (ouf vee-der-zey-en)
    yes
    ja (yah)
    no
    nein (nine)
    how much
    wie viel kostet das? (vee feel kohstet das)
    please
    bitte (bi-tuh)
    thank you
    danke (dang-keh)
    excuse me
    entschuldigung (ent-shool-di-goong)

Introduction

Aachen, nestled in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, is a picturesque city steeped in rich history and cultural charm. Renowned as the former principal residence of Charlemagne, the city boasts a fascinating historical heritage, with the impressive Aachen Cathedral dating back to the 8th century.

This vibrant city offers a delightful mix of modernity and tradition, with its lively market squares, quaint cobblestone streets, and relaxing thermal baths. Visitors can explore the city's captivating culture through its world-class museums, theaters, and contemporary art exhibitions.

Aachen's warm and welcoming ambiance, coupled with its stunning architecture and lush green spaces, makes it an excellent destination for history enthusiasts, architecture aficionados, and those seeking a relaxing and culturally enriching getaway.

Getting There

Getting to Aachen is convenient, as it is well-connected by train from major cities like Cologne and Brussels. The city also has its own regional train station with connections to nearby towns.

If you're flying in, the closest airport is Maastricht Aachen Airport, about a 30-minute drive away. Another option is Duesseldorf Airport, which is about 1.

5 hours away by train or shuttle bus. Special considerations: The area experiences occasional winter weather that can affect road and rail travel, so it's advisable to check for updates during the colder months.

Overall, Aachen is easily accessible by various modes of transportation, making it a great destination for travelers.

Climate and Best Time to Visit

Aachen, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany experiences a temperate oceanic climate marked by mild, moderately wet winters and summers. Summer temperatures typically range between 17-22°C, while winter temperatures hover around 2-6°C. Spring and fall offer pleasant weather with temperatures between 8-15°C. The city receives moderate rainfall throughout the year.

The best times to visit Aachen are during late spring and early autumn when the weather is mild and the city is less crowded. The Aachener Weihnachtsmarkt (Christmas Market) and the CHIO Aachen, a renowned equestrian event, also draw visitors during winter and summer, respectively. It’s best to avoid visiting during the peak of summer when the city can be crowded and temperatures can soar.

Itinerary

Day 1

Explore the historic city center of Aachen and enjoy some traditional German gastronomy.

  • Aachen Cathedral

    Visit the stunning Aachen Cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and marvel at its architecture and historical significance.
  • Elisenbrunnen

    Experience the local culture by visiting the Elisenbrunnen, a historic neoclassical building with a thermal spring and park. Enjoy a relaxing stroll and learn about the city's spa history.
  • Lousberg

    Hike up Lousberg hill for panoramic views of Aachen. This outdoor adventure provides scenic beauty and a refreshing escape into nature.
  • Traditional German Dinner

    Indulge in a traditional German dinner at one of the local restaurants. Enjoy specialties like Sauerbraten, Bratwurst, and Rouladen.













Day 2

Immerse yourself in the cultural history of Aachen and explore its charming neighborhoods.

  • Centre Charlemagne

    Visit the Centre Charlemagne museum to learn about the history of Aachen and its association with Charlemagne. Explore artifacts, exhibits, and interactive displays.
  • Frankenberg Castle

    Explore the iconic Frankenberg Castle and enjoy its picturesque surroundings. Learn about the castle's historical importance and enjoy the scenic views.
  • Old Town Exploration

    Take a leisurely stroll through the charming streets of Aachen's Old Town. Discover hidden gems, quaint shops, and vibrant local life.
  • Indulge in Belgian Chocolate

    Take a short trip across the border to Belgium and indulge in the finest Belgian chocolates. Visit a local chocolatier and savor the rich flavors.













Day 3

Experience the festive side of Aachen and delight in its lively atmosphere and events.

  • Aachen Printen Bakery

    Embark on a culinary adventure at an authentic Aachen Printen bakery. Learn about the history of printen and indulge in the sweet, spiced treats.
  • Aachener Weihnachtsmarkt

    Visit the enchanting Aachener Weihnachtsmarkt (Christmas Market) for a festive experience. Explore the stalls, enjoy mulled wine, and savor traditional Christmas delicacies.
  • Night Out in Pontstraße

    Enjoy a vibrant night out in Pontstraße, a lively street known for its bars, clubs, and live music venues. Immerse yourself in Aachen's nightlife scene.
  • Volunteer at Local Shelter

    Give back to the community by volunteering at a local animal shelter. Experience the heartwarming joy of helping animals in need.













Day 4

Discover the natural beauty surrounding Aachen and engage in outdoor adventures.

  • Eifel National Park

    Embark on a day trip to Eifel National Park and immerse yourself in nature. Hike through scenic trails, spot wildlife, and enjoy the tranquility of the natural surroundings.
  • Watersports at Rursee

    Participate in thrilling watersports at Rursee, a picturesque lake in Eifel National Park. Enjoy activities such as kayaking, sailing, and paddleboarding.
  • Picnic in the Park

    Relax and unwind with a delightful picnic in the scenic surroundings of Eifel National Park. Enjoy a leisurely afternoon amidst nature's beauty.
  • Sightseeing at Monschau

    Explore the charming town of Monschau with its half-timbered houses, narrow streets, and historical architecture. Discover the beauty of this picturesque destination.













Day 5

Wrap up your trip with cultural exploration and a taste of local art and creativity.

  • Ludwig Forum for International Art

    Experience the world of contemporary art at the Ludwig Forum for International Art. Explore thought-provoking exhibitions and installations.
  • Aachener Kunstroute

    Embark on the Aachener Kunstroute (Art Route) and discover the vibrant art scene of Aachen. Visit galleries, art installations, and creative spaces.
  • City Hall Market

    Explore the bustling City Hall Market, a vibrant area with local crafts, artwork, and cultural treasures. Immerse yourself in the thriving artisan community.
  • Local Brewery Tour

    Embark on a tour of a local brewery and learn about the art of beer-making. Sample a variety of craft beers and experience the rich brewing tradition of the region.













Accommodations

Aachen offers a range of accommodation options, from luxury hotels to cozy guesthouses. The historic Old Town is a popular place to stay, with charming hotels and guesthouses nestled among the picturesque streets.

For those on a budget, there are several well-located hostels offering clean and comfortable rooms at affordable prices. Booking websites like Booking.

com and Airbnb are great resources for finding accommodation that suits your needs and preferences. Additionally, the neighborhood around the Aquis Plaza shopping center is a convenient location with easy access to shops, restaurants, and transportation, making it a great choice for visitors looking for a central base to explore the city.

Food and Drink

Aachen is famous for its Printen, a type of gingerbread, and its local beer, called "Alt Aachener" or "Aachener Landbier." Must-try dishes include the Aachener Sauerbraten (marinated pot roast) and the Reibekuchen (potato pancakes). For an authentic experience, visit the historic market square and try these specialties at traditional bakeries, beer gardens, or local restaurants.

For a memorable dining experience, head to the old town where charming cafes and taverns offer regional fare. The famous "Gaststätte Zum goldenen Einhorn" is known for its traditional German cuisine, and "Domkeller" offers a cozy ambiance near the cathedral. Tipping is common in restaurants, with 5-10% considered appropriate. Vegans and vegetarians will find options, and seasonal foods like white asparagus are popular during spring.

Local beer and wine festivals are a treat for visitors, with Aachen offering a lively food scene to explore. Keep in mind that reservations are recommended, especially during festivals and weekends.

Attractions and Activities

Aachen, a picturesque city in North Rhine-Westphalia, is known for its stunning cathedral and historic charm. Visit the Aachen Cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and marvel at its impressive architecture. Take a leisurely stroll through the Old Town to admire the charming streets, lively market squares, and traditional architecture.

Don't miss the chance to relax and rejuvenate at the Carolus Thermen spa, known for its thermal baths and wellness facilities.

Off-the-Beaten-Path Experiences

Aachen, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany offers unique experiences for adventurous travelers. Visit the Lousberg, where you can find a hidden gem: the Lousberg Forest, a peaceful woodland area. Another hidden gem is the Dreiländereck (Three-Country Point), where the borders of Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands meet. It's a perfect spot for panoramic views.

Additionally, explore the mysterious underground network of the Aachen limestone caves, an off-the-beaten-path adventure for history enthusiasts.

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