Aachen is one of Germany’s most historic cities, with a legacy dating back hundreds of years to the days of Charlemagne. The impressive home to emperors and kings during the Middle Ages, Aachen has lost none of its sense of grandeur.
Soothing spring waters
The hot springs, Europe’s warmest, are a major attraction. Bubbling up under the city, these mineral-rich natural waters have been uniquely channelled into a public bath – the Carolus Thermen Bad Aachen, where you can relax in beautiful surroundings at a very reasonable price – just 11 Euros for 2.5 hours.
A palace of history
The Cathedral is another key attraction for visitors, and not one to be missed – it’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most famous examples of Western architecture. As well as being visually stunning, it’s a site steeped in history. The cathedral treasury contains a unique collection of church artefacts including a silver and gold bust of Charlemagne and the Lothar Cross (dating from around 1000 AD). It has been the place of coronation for more than 30 German kings and is the final resting place of the legendary Charlemagne, also known as Charles the Great.
Aachen's magnificent town hall is also well worth a visit: you can explore this Gothic building and discover mesmerising frescoes, Carolingian manuscripts and replicas of the imperial insignia - the sword, orb and crown.
Food for thought
Drink in the rich cultural history of Aachen at the many galleries and museums the city has to offer. The Cathedral Treasury contains a host of rare and beautiful artefacts, while the Ludwig Forum for International Art boasts a large collection of contemporary artworks. You can also read all about the history of newspapers at the International Press Museum, or immerse yourself in the luxurious lifestyles of the 18th and 19th centuries at the Couven Museum.
The city may be rich in history, but Aachen’s shopping district is firmly on the cutting edge, with branches of all the major fashion, homeware and lifestyle stores popular in Germany. There are luxurious department stores for extravagant shoppers, as well as small boutiques and specialist shops in the area around the cathedral.
Finally, don’t forget to stop off at one of the city’s many bakeries to sample the Printen, Aachen’s famous sweet treat or visit to the Aachen Printen Museum for a glimpse into this local culinary delicacy.
Travel to Aachen with Stena Line
If you'd like to drive to Germany, Stena Line offers the perfect opportunity for taking your car to the continent. You can drive onto the ferry at Harwich and disembark at Hook of Holland to make the two and a half hour journey to Aachen. Alternatively, you can take the train - transporting you easily to Aachen for a memorable trip away.
With Stena Line, your trip to Aachen will run smoothly. Taking the ferry from Harwich to Hook of Holland places you perfectly for making your way to Aachen by rail or car, meaning this majestic city is even simpler to reach than you think. And with an amenity-filled, leisurely voyage to look forward to, you can be sure that your Aachen holiday begins the moment you step - or drive - onto the ferry.