Aachen Travel Guide
Due to its hot springs, the German town of Aachen was a favourite place for Charlemagne, (King of the Franks from 768 and Emperor of the Romans from 800 - 814) who also built a palace here. The town was the seat of emperors and kings and the scene of many coronations during the Middle Ages. Aachen Cathedral embodied the dreams of Charlemagne for a new Empire and a shrine dedicated to him can be seen in the church.
The town also comes alive during the festive period, with the Aachen Christmas Market said to be one of the most traditional yuletide events in Germany.
Every year, the town awards a "Medal for Combating Deadly Seriousness" to politicians, diplomats and lawyers across Europe who have shown a sense of humour.
We have many other German holidays available for those looking to spend some time in this country. Why not check out our Stuttgart city breaks or holidays in Bavaria if you are looking to stay somewhere a bit more lively?
- Flight time from London: 1hr 35min
- Maastricht Aachen Airport: 28km from the city centre; transfer time about 30min
- Nearest railway station: Hauptbahnhof
- Currency: Euro
The Aachen Cathedral is next to the Town Hall and casts an imposing presence over the Old Quarter. Thirty German kings were crowned in this historic building between 936 and 1531. The cathedral also has a treasury.
Aachen's Gothic Town Hall
Aachen's Gothic Town Hall was built with a coronation hall in the 14th century. The walls are decorated with five Charlemagne frescoes by Alfred Rethel.
World Equestrian Festival
Every year, Aachen holds this traditional equestrian event which sees show jumpers from around the world compete in five different disciplines. The festival attracts around 350,000 visitors to the area and some 950 horses take part in stages such as jumping, dressage and versatility. In 2018, the 10-day event will take place from the 13th to the 22nd July.
The Mercure am Dom 3*
Situated close to the centre of the city and the cathedral.
This comfortably furnished restaurant is held in dark woods and offers a great location to relax and enjoy.
Paella is a Spanish restaurant and is legendary for its selection of cocktails. It is busy, especially in the evenings, and visitors can move to open-air seats on the small cobblestone street in front of the restaurant.
The River Kwai is an Asian restaurant with a warm interior. The well-spiced food is well worth the price and is highly enjoyable.
Besides lots of cafés and bars around the market square, Aachen offers many great nightclubs as well. The Rotation in the Pontstrasse keeps the dance music cranking until 6am and live music is offered in the Wild Rover, which is mostly a rock club. The bands range from mainstream to punk and it's open from 8pm to 1am.