Best known as the capital of Charlemagne's Frankish empire, today's Aachen sits at the juncture where Germany meets the Netherlands (the Dutch know it as Aken) and Belgium (where "Walloons" call it Aix-la-Chapelle). But Aachen's history goes back even further than 8th-century Charlemagne. Roman soldiers dating back to the 1st century AD cherished its hot springs (as did Charlemagne, who loved a good spa day just as much as the next guy). Aachen Cathedral, northern Europe's oldest and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is the city's main attraction.
Restaurants in Aachen
5 based on 433 reviews
Hello folks, I recently visited a magic show here in Aachen and was in awe. Christian the magician dazzled me and the others with his quick wit, his incredible memory with numbers and his sleight of hand magic tricks. His connection to the audience was...MoreThank you very much :-)
4.5 based on 2 reviews
This is a truly impressive building, not so much in size as in decoration. We spent a good time looking at all the detail. The building itself is very old, the decoration is much newer, and from the outside you can see the old corridor that linked the Cathedral to the Rathaus.
A guided tour - costing only a few euros - is recommanded as for understandable reasons the most valuable objects - the shrine and throne - are roped off. As far as I could see there weren't any English tours available at the time of our visit though I imagine in summer this should be possible. Fortunately I speak German and our well informed tourguide spoke a clear German, obviously used to guided foreigners with reasonable knowledge of German around.
The church was surprisingly warm, especially compared to the frozen cold and wind outside.
4.5 based on 571 reviews
This museum has one of the most important collection of medieval Christian art with pieces like the Bust of Charlemagne and the Cross of Lothar. But there are a lot of other fine artefacts like silver and gold book covers with delicate ivory carvings and beautiful gilded reliquaries decorated with gemstones among others. I was very impressed with the art collection on display.
The Treasury is next to the Cathedral, so a visit to both can easily be combined. Standard entrance price for the Treasury is 5 €. There are audio-guides or you can buy a small guidebook for 1 €. Available in many languages.
4.5 based on 199 reviews
Nice little zoo in the middle of a residential area. Mostly indigenous animals, but also some outlandish ones like cheetah. The zoo is probably ideal for children aged 3-10. It's not a very big zoo, you can see all the animals in about 1.5hrs if you don't linger too much.
4.5 based on 439 reviews
This is one of the best Christmas Markets in Germany. Great goods (we actually flew from the US to specifically go to one stall and get a matching ornament we knew we could only get in Aachen. It worked!). The people are great, the gluhwein terrific and the stalls many and varied. We went on a day when it snowed and the crowd was still large. The best parking garage for us was the Eurogress garage, which is about a ten minute walk, but very much worth it. If you want the best market experience, I think this comes very close.
4.5 based on 760 reviews
4 based on 393 reviews
Aachen has a number of quirky bronze sculptures and this one is right up there. Arms, legs and heads of each figure can be moved and it provides great pleasure to adults and children alike, with lots of photo-taking to be seen. It's just behind the Dom so have a look and it will make you smile.
4.5 based on 64 reviews
...here you get LINDT chocolate from all around the world including the macaroon variants from France or the mousse au chocolat from Italy (real mousse au chocolat...) and of course all variants you get in Germany. Prices are good, specially for the stuff with a short shelf life (up to 70% discount). Only minus: the many people shopping as if there was something for free...and the very slow cashier...
4 based on 334 reviews
At the top of the hill, on the highest point in the Netherlands, is the trig point for three borders. It's not very often you get to stand over three countries at the same time so it's worth a visit. It was raining, low clouds and poor visibility so we didn't go up the tower. But in the area is are some large woods and plenty of tracks for walking on and wandering. There's a cafe too for food and drinks.
There's carparks on the Belgian and Dutch side very near the trig and although they had signs for €2 to park the barriers were up and no-one was paying (on the Belgian side).
4 based on 148 reviews
I recommend that this be visited but realize that the name is a bit misleading. It is really a history of Aachen, not just that of Charlemagne. There is some signage in English, enough to make sense of what you are seeing. Start to the left and go clockwise to take things in historical order. There are clean restrooms, storage lockers, and a small gift shop with some items in English. One caution: I paid for our admission tickets without checking the price and then realized that I had been overcharged (anyone under 21 is supposed to be free). I asked for a refund and was told that such was not possible. So, check the price of the tickets before you pay.
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