Aachen enjoys a strategic European location, at the junction of German, Dutch, and Flemish cultures. Rich in beauty and stunning architecture, the array of sights here is unparalleled. Perhaps the most popular feature of this city is its natural sulfur springs, long considered excellent for treating various ailments and rejuvenating the body. The region traces human occupation back thousands of years. Once the administrative seat of the Holy Roman Empire, Aachen has long been a favored residence of kings and other influential people, including the emperor Charlemagne. Explore the rich history with visits to famous sites like the Cathedral of Aachen, Suermondt-Ludwig Museum, Couven Museum, and the Aachen Cathedral Treasury.
Location: At the Heart of European Activity
Located in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, Aachen straddles the border of Germany, the Netherlands, and Belgium, making it a great hub for travel between countries. Pay a visit to the border tripoint, marked with a small monument and the flags of all three nations. The city is very well connected to transportation lines, accessible by autobahns A44 and A4 as well as a central rail station servicing domestic and high-speed international trains.
Business: A Major Research and Production Center
A strategic setting and excellent infrastructure have made modern Aachen a booming business and industrial center. Districts have been zoned to create various commercial and research hubs, catering to a number of manufacturing, trade, and service enterprises. Aside from being a major producer of electronics, plastics, glass, and home goods, Aachen is home to research centers for major employers like the Ford Motor Company and Philips Technologie GmbH.
Culture: A City Built on Spas
Naturally occurring hot springs and flint deposits prompted ancient settlements in the area, and Aachen reached prominence as a spa city with the arrival of Roman culture and elaborate thermal baths. Even today, relaxation is king in Aachen—after experiencing the famous hot springs for yourself, why not attend one of the many theaters, concerts, or ballet performances? The city also hosts a highly popular Carnival celebration before Easter, where colorful costumes and spirit abound.
Activities: Absorb Centuries of German History
If thermal baths don’t interest you, fear not—there’s plenty to do here. The magnificent Aachen cathedral is one of the oldest in Europe, the site of coronation for dozens of German rulers, and the resting place of Charlemagne. The Suermondt-Ludwig Museum showcases incredible sculptures, while the Museum of the International Press collects a fascinating display of newspapers dating as far back as the 1500s. After a busy day, try one of the many excellent restaurants serving up local and international food—or simply kick back at a café in the market square with a local beer, taking in the sights and sounds.