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Modern Aachen is a spa town with a beautifully preserved medieval old town and an almost magical occidental cathedral, but historically this Roman city, built at the point where Germany borders Belgium and the Netherlands, was made great by Charlemagne, was the place where German Kings were crowned and has been a major centre of Christianity. You’ll find some of the best places to stay in Aachen within, or within a short walking distance of, the old town, which is all quite walkable.
However the modern city is quite large, so if you stay outside the centre of town you’ll probably need to use the public transport system - which is excellent - or a car. Our Guru’s list of the best places to stay in Aachen includes several great B&Bs which are certainly worth considering if you’re on a budget or just enjoy meeting the locals.
The Romans founded Aachen by its steaming, sulphur-y, mineral springs, and used it as a place of rest and recuperation, but it was probably its location that appealed to the Holy Roman Emperor Charlemagne when he made it the winter capital of his Frankish Empire. Charlemagne built the Dom around 800AD, and it’s also where he’s buried. But it was during the 14th and 15th centuries when the cathedral's modern shape became to appear, with its Gothic choir and north and south chapels with their classical pillars and glasswork. This is a truly amazing building, so much so that it was the first building Germany proposed for listing as a UNESCO Heritage Site - which of course it has been since 1978.
The Rathaus, or Town Hall, is probably the old town’s other main sight, and there’s also a beautiful market square and numerous ancient buildings, including bathhouses, city gates and some really lovely fountains.
As well offering visitors the opportunity to ‘take the waters’ in one way or another, Aachen is also well known for its Christmas Market and its sweet factories.
Aachen now has a large university so it’s a lively place to go out in the evening - especially during December.
While you’re here it’s worth taking the short trip to Dreiländereck just outside the small Dutch town of Vaais, which is just beside Aachen. This is the point where Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium meet - as well as being the highest point in the Netherlands - and there’s a great watchtower you can climb to compare the nations…
Our pick of the best places to stay in Aachen will be very busy during peak periods (like November and December when the Christmas Market's in full swing), so get organised and book well ahead.
The Best Places to Stay in Aachen
For a City Break
- The Pullman Aachen Quellenhof is a five star hotel with a beautiful Neoclassical facade, 183 elegant rooms, a bar and brasserie and a well equipped spa and fitness centre. You’re around 2kms from the station and a 15minute walk from the Palatine Chapel.
- Benson’s Hotel is a B&B in central Aachen, with 14 cosy, contemporary rooms in bold colours and decorated with modern art. Expect a good breakfast.
The Best Value Places to Stay in Aachen
- The Hotel Granus is a modern hotel just ten minutes walk from Aachen’s old town, with just 12 smart rooms and a quaint breakfast room serving indulgent Continental breakfasts. Rooms start from around €90 per night.
- The Landgasthof gut Marienbildchen is outside of Aachen on the fringes of the Eiffel National Park. It’s a traditional German country hotel with eight simple, but comfortable rooms, and wonderful views over the surrounding countryside.
- Hotel Zum Walde is located a short distance outside Aachen, but is perfectly placed for exploring the Venn-Eifel Nature Park. And with rooms from as little as €68 per night it's fantastic value for money for a four star property! Families will love it too with its wide range of accommodation including self catering apartments.
Best Hotels in Aachen
Hotel Zum Walde 59 rooms from $71Aachen (Stolberg)
This 4 star hotel is decorated in a country-house style and benefits from free parking. Rent a bike, embark on a walk around the Northern Venn-Eifel Nature Park, swim in the pool or relax in the spa facilities. With suites and self-catering apartments available it's a great choice for family trips.Families - There are family suites available and plenty of activities to keep the kids busyActive Holiday - Take advantage of the local cyling routes and hiking trailsValue chic - An excellent value stay without compromiseGreat walks - There are lovely local hiking trails to enjoy
Hotel Granus 12 rooms from $94Aachen
A contemporary hotel well located near the Old Town. Smart rooms with soft hues that contrast against pops of colour coming from bright contemporary furniture. A quaint atmospheric breakfast rooms serves indulgent continental breakfasts. The charming owners make this a homely stay.Local exploring - A well-run hotel just a 10 minute walk from the Old Town.Sights nearby - Take a walk around the picturesque Old Town and make sure to stop at the Aachen Cathedral.
Landgasthof Gut Marienbildchen 8 rooms from $94Aachen (Roetgen)
Traditional German country hotel on the fringe of the Eifel National Park. The simple rooms are comfortable and some enjoy stunning views of the surrounding countryside. Visit the nearby historic Aachen or spend a day exploring the beautiful High Fens national park.Country Escape - A warm and friendly manor house with plenty of opportunity for countryside rambling and fresh air.Sights nearby - Marvel at Monschau’s stunning half-timbered houses eight miles away.Local markets - Winter guests will enjoy Aachen's renowned Christmas market.
Pullman Aachen Quellenhof 183 rooms from $125Aachen
A 5 star hotel with an imposing neoclassical-inspired facade, elegant rooms with thai silk curtains & large comfy beds, brasserie, bar and a well equipped spa and fitness centre. Right on the border with The Netherlands and Belgium this hotel is an ideal base for business or leisure.Business meetings - Alongside the inhouse meeting rooms it is close to many of Aachen businesses and connected to the Eurogress Congress CentreShort fly break - Positioned just 2km from the Aachen Central Station, once inside the hotel provides everything and more one could needSights nearby - The Palatine Chapel is just a 15 minute walk awaySwimming Pool - Heated indoor pool
Benson's Hotel 14 rooms from $114Aachen
B&B in central Aachen. Rooms are simple yet cosy with modern art and contemporary furniture. Enjoy a charming breakfast before setting out to explore the historic old town. Secure bike storage in the hotel.Local exploring - 5-minute walk from the historic old town, and 5km drive from The Netherlands, a great base to explore the regionSights nearby - The Dutch border is just 5 km from the property for a day tripLocal markets - Aachen's Christmas Market is not to be missed