Aachen is a city in the Nordrhein-Westfalen region of Germany, close to the border with both Belgium and the Netherlands. Historically, Aachen was a thriving spa town, while it was also known as the place where many kings were crowned and as the historic residence of Charlemagne. Today, the city is renowned for having one of the country’s best universities. Many of the older buildings in Aachen are Baroque in style, although they’re complemented by modern apartments, exhibition centres and towering office blocks. Its location near the border means that the city is influenced by Dutch and Walloon cultures as well as that of Germany, making Aachen a truly European city.
For driving near the historic centre of Aachen, there’s nothing better for the job than a supermini. It would come in handy for street parking too if space is a little scarce.
Driving in Aachen
Road Driving Side
Urban Speed Limit
Rural Speed Limit
Motorway Speed Limit
Important things to note
Towards the city centre, parking can be a little of the expensive side. To save money, parking on the outskirts of Aachen or in the suburbs is advisable.
If coming in from the Netherlands, driving through Vaals is the best possible way by car, preferably along the N278.
The E314 is the main European route in Aachen, ending here after going through the Netherlands. The E40 going northeast will take you to Cologne.
Highlights & Hotspots
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Aachen Cathedral was first built in around 800AD. It’s one of the finest examples of occidental architecture in Germany and is the resting place of Charlemagne, whose memorial can be seen by visitors to the cathedral.
Just a few miles west of Aachen is the Dreiländereck. This is the point where Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands meet; it has a watchtower where you can look out over each nation including Vaals, a small town just inside the Dutch border.
The Frankenberger Viertel is a bohemian part of the city, where many boutiques, second-hand and vintage stores are based. Here, you can dine at a Turkish or Arab restaurant while watching the world go by. It’s pretty lively at night here.
Carolus Thermen is a spa and relaxation complex in Aachen, living up to the city’s past. It’s a good place to take advantage of the thermal springs as well as receive all sorts of therapies to clear your body and mind, while it attracts thousands of visitors from across Europe.
Maastricht Aachen Airport is 17 miles northwest of Aachen, closer to the Dutch city of Maastricht. It serves a number of cities all over Europe, mainly for low-cost airlines running flights to the south of the continent in the summer months.
The airport is alongside the A2/E25. Going south, you should turn onto the N278 until reaching the border with Germany. After crossing, take the same road and you will be close to the city centre.