[ source: Flickr ]

Have a question about Aachen? Ask a local resident for special Aachen insider tips ...

In case you have a specific question for Aachen or would like a Aachen insider tip from one of our local property owners and Aachen experts. Simply add your question and enter your email address. You will typically receive responses from us soon, in many cases within less than 24 hours! Please note: We do not share your email address with with anyone. Responses will solely be sent from us.

I would like to also receive an occasional Live Like a German newsletter with special travel tips (at most once a month) and last minute Germany travel deals.
Thanks for submitting your question about Aachen.
Thanks for submitting your question to Live Like a German. We have currently one local expert assigned to Aachen.

Thanks for submitting your question to Live Like a German. We have currently more than local experts assigned to Aachen.

Previously asked Aachen questions and answers:

Here is a list of Aachen questions that were already answered by our local residents and property owners. Please browse through them. In case you still have a question that is not answered here please use the form above.

Where can one get a great breakfast in the morning?

"Where in Aachen can I buy fresh rolls in the morning or get a nice breakfast with coffee?" (posted 07/01/2014)

Aachen is famous for its many bakeries that are everywhere in the city. Many bakeries and cafes also offer breakfast. In the city, especially the Cafe van Daele is famous (http://www.van-den-daele.de/de/aachener-printen.php). Near our apartment is the Cafe Mueller, which offers various good and inexpensive breakfast options (http://www.aachenerprinten.com/).
Answer provided by Rita Wiese on 07/02/2014
This answer is helpful
In Aachen there are numerous bakeries, some of which offer also breakfast. Certainly you can easily find a bakery near you.
Answer provided by Renate Weckler on 07/01/2014
This answer is helpful 1
In any bakery, you can buy bread in the morning and have breakfast. Of course, there is breakfast in hotels, but it is more expensive. You can get a great breakfast in the Middelberg pastry shop or Café Van den Deal in the city center.
Answer provided by Margret Hüllenkremer on 07/01/2014
This answer is helpful

Are there any cultural highlights, museums?

Ideas for 2-3 activities and daytrips?

Good restaurants for dinner?

Typical tourist activities or places that one should NOT do, as they are not worthwhile doing.

Things can do to make it a fun and memorable evening?

How to get around and find best means of local transportation?

"Hi, I'm planning a train trip from Dormagen (near Dusseldorf) to Brussels and I can't imagine doing it without stopping at Aachen. Could you please, send me a map showing what streets I should go to get form Aachen train station to Aachen cathedral. Thank you. Am I right that there is no visiting the cathedral before 11 am on weekdays? Thank you." (posted 07/27/2014)

Hello, the walking distance to the cathedral is about 2 km. You can see the streets best on Google maps. The cathedral is open daily from 7:00 am, but tourists are only allowed inside after 11.00. Have fun!
Answer provided by Margret Hüllenkremer on 07/28/2014
This answer is helpful
Because of the cathedral services held on weekdays, tourists can enter the church after 11.00 (on weekends, after 12.00). Distance: 1.1 km, 13 minutes Aachen Hbf Germany 1 To the northwest 44 m 2 Turn sharp right towards Bahnhofstrasse 85 m 3 Turn right turn onto Bahnhofstrasse 200 m 4 links on theater road 350 m 5 Slight right at Theaterplatz 150 m 6 Continue straight and turn on Kapuzinergraben 76 m 7 Turn left at Friedrich-Wilhelm-Platz 52 m 8 Continue on Hartmannstraße 120 m 9 Left onto Cathedral Square 28 m 10 Turn right on Kraemerstrasse 7 m Aachen Cathedral, Domhof 1
Answer provided by Rita Wiese on 07/28/2014
This answer is helpful
Cathedra opening times: April to December: daily 7 am to 7 pm; January to March: daily 7 am to 6 pm. Guided tours from 11.00. Walk from the Main Railway Station to Cathedral. From the station, left to Marschiertor (= part of the old city wall, worth seeing!). Right on Franzstrasse straight ahead - Kleinmarschierstraße to the cathedral. Take a look on google maps before going!
Answer provided by Renate Weckler on 07/28/2014
This answer is helpful

Where to find good quality groceries?

Are there any special local events?

Are there any local food specialties one should try out?

What makes this destination special? Why should one spend some time here during vacation?

"Why should someone do a vacation in Aachen? Can you possibly tell me 2-3 popular travel tips for Aachen, which everyone visiting Aachen should see? Also let me know 2-3 special insider travel tips for Aachen that a typical tourist may not know about, but that you can highly recommend. Thanks!" (posted 04/30/2014)

Aachen is the coronation city of the emperors of Germany. Charlemagne lived here and left his mark. Aside from having the cathedral, the town hall, the cathedral treasury, the wonderful Old Town and several other historically valuable attractions, Aachen is also located in the "three country's triangle." That is, both Holland (e.g. Maastricht) and Belgium (e.g. Brussels) are only a stone's throw away. Aachen also has the world's largest stadium for horse jump and dressage. Well, and the printen can only be found here :-) Regards from Oche
Answer provided by Sandra Bock on 04/30/2014
This answer is helpful
Travel Tips: - hot springs and Carolus baths - UNESCO world cultural heritage Aachen Cathedral - Town Hall with historic old town and the finds from the Roman period One should consider the history of the city, beginning with the first finds from the Stone Age (3000-2500 BC), anyways. Insider Tips: - Lousberg and the saga of its origins - Dreiländerpunkt - it's almost a necessity, coming to Aachen, to also visit the Netherlands and Belgium
Answer provided by Renate Weckler on 04/30/2014
This answer is helpful
"Where is the best place to live in Aachen? I am trying to understand the nature of the different areas in Aachen and what they are like to live in. I have just moved to Aachen for 4 years and am looking to settle in an area for that time. Danke!" (posted 09/10/2014)

it depends on what criteria are important. Does the distance to work a role? Where is the work? Will you use public transport or your own car? If a quiet and natural location preference or would like to live in the city center, where you can do everything on foot, but it is not so steady? Is the proximity of schools (if so which) important or kindergartens? Only if you have more information of this kind, one can give advice. With best regards
Answer provided by Rita Wiese on 09/10/2014
This answer is helpful

Is there a good local deli or restaurant with lunch menu?

Are there any points of interest or local attractions?

"I like to know the address of hot spring in Aachen. Thanks" (posted 03/29/2015)

The "Elise Fountain" is at the Peter Street in Aachen. The Hot Spa Therm (Carolus Therme) is at the Pass Road in Aachen https://www.carolus-thermen.de/go/bad_aachen/english.html The hot spring is under a big store, called "lust for live". Regards from Aachen
Answer provided by Sandra Bock on 03/30/2015
This answer is helpful

What are good places to go for shopping?

Any sporting activites and recommendations to stay active?

"My wife and I will be visiting Aachen in October. We are looking for a guide for walking/hiking in and around Aachen. Can you help us?" (posted 08/25/2014)

Of course we do with our tenants and small guided tours / sightseeing. Unfortunately, it is not possible for us to offer this to other tenants, because they are very time-consuming. Tips and hints are always possible with us, because we like to go hiking and our home know well. City Tours in Aachen are bookable through the tourist board Aachen, this is short term in office in Aachen-Elisenbrunnen.Geführte hikes are offered to my knowledge only in the Eifel by rangers and can only be booked there. I hope to have helped a bit and wish them lots of fun.
Answer provided by Margret Hüllenkremer on 08/26/2014
This answer is helpful
There are in Aachen so-called "forest educators" make the guides for children and interested adults. If necessary I can make contact. Alternatively, I would ask at the tourist office.
Answer provided by Renate Weckler on 08/26/2014
This answer is helpful

Questions around the weather, different seasons, ...



Popular Points of Interest in and near Aachen

  • Roman Catholic Diocese of Aachen
    [ source: Wikipedia ]

    Roman Catholic Diocese of Aachen

    The Diocese of Aachen is one of 22 dioceses in Germany. It is also one of 7 dioceses that has a population that is in majority Catholic, in this case 57.6%. The weekly attendance rate at mass in the Diocese of Aachen is 11.5% of the Catholics in the diocese.

    The diocese was first created in 1802, covering the area west of the Rhine formerly belonging to Cologne, as well as parts from the dioceses Liege, Utrecht, Roermond and Mainz. After the first bishop Marc Antoine Berdolet died in 1809, Pope Pius VII didn't approve the successor suggested by Napoleon, Jean Dénis Francois Le Camus. After the end of the French rulership over the area the diocese was abolished by the bull "De salute animarum" of July 16, 1821, and included into the archdiocese of Cologne.

  • Cathedral of Aachen
    [ source: Wikipedia ]

    Cathedral of Aachen

    The Cathedral of Aachen is one of the most famous examples of occidental architecture. It is the coronation church of more than 30 German kings, burial site of Charlemagne, major pilgrimage church and cathedral church of the Aachen diocese since 1930. In 1978 it was the first German building to be included in the UNESCO World Heritage list. A guided tour is therefore an essential part of any visit to Aachen and a must for anyone who loves historic buildings and churches.

    April - October: daily 7am - 7pm. November - March: daily 7am - 6pm. No visits during the services, e.g. no tours before 11am., Sundays before 1pm. There is a concerts series of evening music in June, July, September and October, each Wednesday at 7pm; admission: 5 €.

  • Ludwig Forum für Internationale Kunst
    [ source: Wikipedia ]

    Ludwig Forum für Internationale Kunst

    The Ludwig Forum für Internationale Kunst is a museum of modern art in Aachen, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. It is located in a former industrial building that was once an umbrella factory (Schirmfabrik Brauer), designed in Bauhaus style and built in 1928.

    The museum contains exemplary major works of American pop art and photorealism. It also displays the development of European art from the early 1960s to the present day. Its permanent collection includes works by Nam June Paik, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Roy Lichtenstein, and Jörg Immendorff, as well as a large collection of Cuban works.

    It also displays works by well-known contemporary artists, as well as hosting exhibitions of local artists, e.g. an exhibition about tiles in 2007.

    Other museums and institutions bearing the name Ludwig are located in Bamberg, Basel, Budapest, Koblenz, Cologne, Oberhausen, Saarlouis, Beijing, St. Petersburg, Vienna and Havana. There is a close cooperation between the Peter and Irene Ludwig Foundation and these municipal or state institutions.



What is your insider travel tip for Aachen?

Travel Insider Tips for Aachen

Aachen Overview

Aachen is a historic spa city in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. It was a favored residence of Charlemagne, and the place of coronation of the medieval Kings of Germany. It is the westernmost city of Germany, located along its borders with Belgium and the Netherlands, 65 km west of Cologne (Cologne vacation rentals | Cologne travel guide).

Things to See in Aachen

The Aachen Cathedral was erected on the orders of Charlemagne in 786 AD and was on completion the largest dome north of the Alps. On his death Charlemagne's remains were interred in the cathedral and can be seen there to this date. The cathedral was extended several times in later ages, turning it into a curious and unique mixture of building styles.

The 14th-century city hall lies between two central places, the Markt (market place) and the Katschhof (between city hall and cathedral). The coronation hall is on the first floor of the building. Inside you can find five frescoes by the Aachen artist Alfre Rethel which show legendary scenes from the life of Charlemagne, as well as Charlemagne's signature.

The Grashaus, a late medieval house at the Markt, is one of the oldest non-religious buildings in downtown Aachen. It hosts the city archive. The Grashaus was the former city hall before the present building took over this function.

The Elisenbrunnen is one of the most famous sights of Aachen. It is a neoclassical hall covering one of the cities famous fountains. It is just a minute away from the cathedral. Just a few steps in southeastern direction lies the 19th century theater.

Also well known and well worth seeing are the two remaining city gates, the Ponttor, one half mile northwest of the cathedral, and the Kleinmarschiertor, close to the central railway station. There are also a few parts of both medieval city walls left, most of them integrated in more recent buildings, some others visible. At Turmstraße and at Junkerstraße, there are even two towers left, both of which are used for housing.

There are many other places and objects worth seeing, for example a notable number of churches and monasteries, a few remarkable 17th- and 18th-century buildings in the particular Baroque style typical of the region, a collection of statues and monuments, park areas, cemeteries, amongst others. The area's industrial history is reflected in dozens of 19th- and early 20th-century manufacturing sites in the city.

Economy

Aachen has a large number of spin-offs from the university's IT-technology department and is a major center of IT development in Germany. Due to the low level of investment in cross-border railway projects, the city has preserved a slot within the Thalys high-speed train network which uses existing tracks on its last 70 km from Belgium to Cologne (Cologne vacation rentals | Cologne travel guide). The airport that serves Aachen, Maastricht Aachen Airport, is located about 40 km away on Dutch territory, close to the town of Beek. Aachen was the administrative centre for the coal-mining industries in neighbouring places to the northeast; it never played any role in brown coal mining, however, neither in administrative or industrial terms. Products manufactured in or around Aachen include electronics, chemicals, plastics, textiles, glass, cosmetics, and needles and pins. Its most important source of revenue, the textile industries, have been dead for almost half a century now. Robert Browning's poem "How they brought the good news from Ghent to Aix" refers to Aachen, but not to any historical fact.

Transportation

Aachen's central station, the Hauptbahnhof, was constructed in 1841 at the Cologne-Aachen railway line and replaced in 1905, moving it significantly towards the city center. It is connected to railway lines to Cologne, Mönchengladbach (Mönchengladbach vacation rentals | Mönchengladbach travel guide) and Liège as well as Heerlen, Alsdorf, Stolberg (Stolberg vacation rentals | Stolberg travel guide) and Eschweiler (Eschweiler vacation rentals | Eschweiler travel guide) via small regional railway lines. ICE high speed trains from Brussels via Cologne to Frankfurt (Frankfurt vacation rentals | Frankfurt travel guide) am Main and Thalys trains from Paris to Cologne stop in Aachen Hauptbahnhof. Four RE lines and one RB line connect Aachen with the Ruhrgebiet, Mönchengladbach, Liège, Düsseldorf (Düsseldorf vacation rentals | Düsseldorf travel guide) and the Siegerland. The euregiobahn, a regional train system, reaches several minor cities in the Aachen region. There are four smaller station in Aachen: Aachen West, Aachen-Schanz, Aachen-Rothe Erde and Eilendorf. Only slower trains stop there, but especially Aachen-West has developed enormous importance due to the expanding RWTH Aachen university.

Aachen is connected to the Autobahn A4 (West-East), A44 (North-South) and A544 (a smaller motorway from the A4 to the Europaplatz near the city center). Due to the enormous amount of traffic at the Aachen road interchange, there is often serious traffic accumulation, which is why there are plans to expand the interchange in the next years.

The next airports are Düsseldorf International Airport (80 km), Cologne Bonn (Bonn vacation rentals | Bonn travel guide) Airport (90 km) and Maastricht Aachen Airport (40 km).

Other Things of Interest in Aachen

For 600 years, from 936 to 1531, the Aachen Cathedral was the church of coronation for 30 German kings and 12 queens. Aachen is also famous for its carnival (Karneval, Fasching), in which Families dress in costumes, and children are the happiest on that day.

In 1372, Aachen became the first coin-minting city in the world to regularly place an Anno Domini date on a general circulation coin, a groschen. It is written MCCCLXXII. None with this date are known to be in existence any longer. The earliest date for which an Aachen coin is still existent is dated 1373.

King Ethelwulf of Wessex, father of Alfred the Great was born in Aachen. Mies van der Rohe, one of the founders of modern architecture and a member of the Bauhaus during its period in Dessau (Dessau vacation rentals | Dessau travel guide) was born in Aachen as well.

Aachen has the hottest springs of Central Europe with water temperatures of 74°C(165°F). The water contains a considerable percentage of common salt and other sodium salts and sulphur.

In 1850 Paul Julius Reuter founded the Reuters News Agency in Aachen which transferred messages between Brussels and Aachen using carrier pigeons.

The local specialty of Aachen is an originally stonehard type of sweet bread, baked in large flat loaves, called Aachener Printen. Unlike gingerbread (German: Lebkuchen), which is sweetened with honey, Printen are sweetened with sugar. Today, a soft version is sold under the same name which follows an entirely different recipe.

Aachen is at the western end of the Benrath line that divides High German to the south from the rest of the West Germanic speech area to the north.

Residential tips:

  • Aachen
  • "Euregio" (Netherlands and Belgium)
  • Are also interesting targets in the Eifel region, such as the Naturpark Eifel and the Eifelorte (Monschau, etc.).
  • Brunnenhof Aachen
  • Relais Koenigsberg
  • Bistro Blausztein in Walheim
  • Eiscafes, Cafes, Bistros within 1 km
  • Tour of Aachener Innenstadt (Dom, Dom-Schatzkammer, historical Rathaus, Museums, Kornelimünster)
  • Carolus Therme
  • Ausflügezum Dreiländereck
  • Eifel zum Rursee (hiking, biking, fishing, etc)
  • Excursion to Greifvogelstation Hellenthal
  • Excursion to Freilichtmuseum nach Kommern
  • Hiking in Eifelsteig
  • Freizeitgelände Walheim (500 Meter) for kids
  • REWE, PENNY, Bäckereien stores (1000 m)
  • Aachener Golf Club
  • riding
  • tennis
  • swimming
  • climbing Park
  • Cycling on the Vennbahnradweg
  • Shopping, excursions, attractions and much more
  • Shopping in Aachen City
  • Factory outlets Lindt & Sprüngli
  • Designer Outlet Roermond

[ source: Aachen ]

More about the History of Aachen

A quarry on the Lousberg which was first used in Neolithic times attests to the long occupation of the site of Aachen. No larger settlements, however, have been found to have existed in this remote rural area, distant at least 15 km from the nearest road even in Roman times, up to the early medieval period when the place is mentioned as a king's mansion for the first time, not long before Charlemagne became ruler of the Franks.

Since Roman times, the hot springs at Aachen have been channeled into baths. There are currently two places to "take the waters", at the Carolus Thermen complex and the bathhouse in Burtscheid. There is some documentary proof that the Romans named the hot sulphur springs of Aachen Aquis-Granum, and indeed to this day the city is known in Spanish as Aquisgrán. The name Granus has lately been identified as that of a Celtic deity. In French-speaking areas of the former Empire the word aquis evolved into the modern Aix.

Middle Ages

After Roman times, Einhard mentions that in 765 - 6 Pippin the Younger spent both Christmas and Easter at Aquis villa ("Et celebravit natalem Domini in Aquis villa et pascha similiter."), which must have been sufficiently equipped to support the royal household for several months. In the year of his coronation as King of Franks, 768, Charlemagne came to spend Christmas at Aachen for the first time. He went on to remain there in a mansion which he may have extended, although there is no source attesting any significant building activity at Aachen in his time apart from the building of the Palatine Chapel in Aachen (since 1929, cathedral) and the palatial presentation halls. Charlemagne spent most winters between 792 and his death in 814 in Aachen, which became the focus of his court and the political center of his empire. After his death, the king was buried in the church which he had built; his original tomb has been lost, while his alleged remains are preserved in the shrine where he was reburied after being declared a saint; his saintliness, however, was never very widely acknowledged outside the bishopric of Liège where he may still be venerated "by tradition".

In 936, Otto I was crowned king of the kingdom in the collegiate church built by Charlemagne. Over the next 500 years, most kings of Germany destined to reign over the Holy Roman Empire were crowned "King of the Germans" in Aachen. The last king to be crowned here was Ferdinand I in 1531. During the Middle Ages, Aachen remained a city of regional importance, due to its proximity to Flanders, achieving a modest position in the trade in woollen cloths, favoured by imperial privilege. The city remained a Free Imperial City, subject to the Emperor only, but was politically far too weak to influence the policies of any of its neighbors. The only dominion it held was that over the neighboring tiny territory of Burtscheid, which was ruled by a Benedictine abbess and forced to accept that all of its traffic must pass through the "Aachener Reich". Even in the late 18th century, the Abbess of Burtscheid was prevented from building a road linking her territory to the neighbouring estates of the duke of Jülich; the city of Aachen even deployed its handful of soldiers to chase away the road-diggers.

From the early 16th century, Aachen declined in importance. In 1656, a great fire devastated Aachen. It still remained a place of historical myth and became newly attractive as a spa by the middle of the 17th century, not so much because of the effects of its hot springs on the health of its visitors but since Aachen was then - and remained well into the 19th century - one of the centers of high-level prostitution in Europe. Traces of this hidden agenda of the city's history can be found in the 18th century guidebooks to Aachen as well as to other spas; the main indication for visiting patients, ironically, was syphilis; only by the end of the 19th century had rheuma become the most important object of cures at Aachen and Burtscheid. This explains why Aachen was chosen as site of several important congresses and peace treaties: the first congress of Aachen (often referred to as Congress of Aix-la-Chapelle in English) in 1668, leading to the First Treaty of Aachen in the same year which ended the War of Devolution. The second congress ended with the second treaty in 1748, finishing the War of the Austrian Succession. The third congress took place in 1818 to decide the fate of occupied Napoleonic France.

18th Century

By the middle of the 18th century, industrialization had swept away most of the city's medieval rules of production and commerce, although the entirely corrupt remains of the city's medieval constitution were kept in place (compare the famous remarks of Georg Forster in his Ansichten vom Niederrhein) until 1801, when Aachen became the "chef-lieu du département de la Roer" in Napoléon's First French Empire. In 1815 after the Napoleonic Wars, the Kingdom of Prussia took over and the city became one of its most socially and politically backward centres until the end of the 19th century.[1] Administered within the Rhine Province, by 1880 the population was 80,000. Starting in 1840, the railway from Cologne to Belgium passed through Aachen. The city suffered extreme overcrowding and deplorable sanitary conditions up to 1875 when the medieval fortifications were finally abandoned as a limit to building operations and new, less miserable quarters were built towards the eastern part of the city where drainage of waste liquids was easiest. In the 19th century and up to the 1930s, the city was important for the production of railway locomotives and carriages, iron, pins, needles, buttons, tobacco, woolen goods, and silk goods.

20th Century

Aachen was destroyed partially - and in some parts completely - during World War II, mostly by bombing in the latest phase of non-surrender, by American artillery fire and through deliberate destruction wrought by the Waffen SS division employed to keep Aachen out of allied hands as long as possible. Damaged buildings include the medieval churches of St. Foillan, St. Paul and St. Nicholas, as well as the Rathaus (city hall), although the Aachen Cathedral was largely unscathed. The city was taken by the Allies with only 4000 inhabitants who had disobeyed Nazi evacuation orders, on October 21 1944, the first German city to be captured. Its first Allied-appointed mayor, Franz Oppenhoff, was murdered by an SS commando unit.

While the kings' palace no longer exists, the church built by Charlemagne is still the main attraction of the city. In addition to holding the remains of its founder, it became the burial place of his successor Otto III. The cathedral of Aachen has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

It is here that in 1944, just after having crossed the German border, Rabbi Sidney Lefkowitz, an American Army Chaplain, held the first Jewish service in Germany since the beginning of World War II.[citation needed] This service was broadcast live on NBC.

[ source: Aachen ]

Aachen is a historic spa city in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. It was a favored residence of Charlemagne, and the place of coronation of the medieval Kings of Germany. It is the westernmost city of Germany, located along its borders with Belgium and the Netherlands, 65 km west of Cologne. For 600 years, from 936 to 1531, the Aachen Cathedral was the church of coronation for 30 German kings and 12 queens. It is a must-see stop for any visit to the city. The local specialty of Aachen is an originally stonehard type of sweet bread, baked in large flat loaves, called Aachener Printen. Unlike gingerbread (German: Lebkuchen), which is sweetened with honey, Printen are sweetened with sugar.

Where to stay in Aachen?

Check out our selection of hand-selected and quality Aachen vacation rentals and holiday apartments.