Information about Aachen and the surrounding area
The Dutch call the town Aken. Aix-la-Chapelle is what the Belgian neighbours say. Aachen is located in North Rhine-Westphalia, close to the Belgian and Dutch borders. As the westernmost major city in Germany, it has a multitude of sights to offer students, families, young and old. The city’s ideal location – in the west of North Rhine-Westphalia, on the edge of the Eifel and the High Fens and very close to the cities of Cologne, Düsseldorf and Bonn – makes Aachen the perfect starting point for city trips and excursions into nature.
The city’s landmark, Aachen Cathedral, together with the cathedral treasury, was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1978 as the first German and second cultural monument in the world. The city is the episcopal see of the Aachen diocese and the venue of the annual CHIO Aachen equestrian tournament. It is an important location for the German confectionery industry, particularly due to the Aachener Printen, which are considered a local speciality.
Due to its border location “in the heart of Europe”, there are numerous cultural and especially architectural influences from the neighbouring regions, the Belgian-Dutch area. It was probably not least due to this European character that Charlemagne made Aachen the political, cultural and spiritual centre of his empire. Since 1950, the International Charlemagne Prize has therefore been awarded annually to personalities from Germany and abroad for services to the process of European unification.
Aachen’s weather is better than its reputation! In recent years, Aacheners have been able to enjoy an average of 1614 hours of sunshine per year – making Aachen the sunniest city in the whole of North Rhine-Westphalia. But even when it rains, there are plenty of ways to escape the weather. Aachen is a state-recognised spa for the Monheimsallee and Burtscheid spa areas with their rich thermal springs.
Aachen is a Fairtrade city. For 10 years now, our favourite city has been committed to the fair trade of products. Besides the classic coffee, there are more and more businesses that also offer fair trade clothing, jewellery and artwork.
For more information, please visit: https://www.aachen-tourismus.de/en/discover/sights/