Aachen - a walk through the old town

Magnificent ceiling mosaics in the cathedral of Aachen

Are you planning a trip to Aachen? Then you should definitely plan a tour of the old town during your Aachen sightseeing! Aachen's old town is a real treasure that will inspire you with its history and charm. A city tour of Aachen's old town is a perfect way to discover the highlights of this vibrant city.

For example, during the tour you will come across unique architecture that will take you back in time. The narrow streets as well as the picturesque squares give you the feeling of walking through a historical painting. Here you can feel the pulsating rhythm of the city. But it's not just about beautiful buildings and narrow streets. In Aachen Altstadt you will also find a wealth of cozy cafés, traditional restaurants and inviting shops. Here you can take a break in between, strengthen yourself and enjoy the local flair. A special highlight is the Aachen Cathedral, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its imposing architecture as well as its important history make it a must for every visitor.

A tour of Aachen's old town is like a journey through time, where you can experience the fascinating history and lively present of this city up close. There is so much to discover and experience - from historical places to vibrant life. An Aachen old town sightseeing tour is guaranteed to inspire you and give you unforgettable impressions.

City map for a city tour through Aachen

This map was created with Wanderlog, an itinerary planner on iOS et Android


A walk through the old town of Aachen

Discover the old town while sightseeing in Aachen. Aachen is a city in Nordrhein-Westfalenthat invites you to take a stroll through the old town. Regardless of whether you start this stroll through the city at the Elisenbrunnen or at the town hall, the cathedral is always in the center. This with its high tower can be seen from many locations and can be used as a guide, because the city center is not very big.



City hall in the old town of Aachen
The town hall is located in the middle of the old town


How to best plan your Aachen old town tour

There are various guided tours in Aachen that will bring you closer to the treasures of the old town. You can join a guided tour or explore on your own. No matter which option you choose, you will definitely be impressed.

Sights on a tour through the city center of Aachen

Aachen's old town is rich in sights that will take you back to the Middle Ages. The Aachen Cathedral, a masterpiece of Gothic architecture, is an absolute highlight. Here you can admire the impressive Coronation Church, where German kings were once crowned. Another highlight is the historic town hall, which impresses with its Renaissance-style facade. During your tour of the old town you will repeatedly come across traces of the kings. The town hall stands on the site of the former imperial palace and is a reminder of the time when Aachen was Charlemagne's favorite place. History was made here.

Also, don't miss the opportunity to stroll in the cozy streets of the old town and enjoy the historical atmosphere. Small cafés and shops invite you to linger and offer you the opportunity to experience Aachen's unique charm. A tour of Aachen's old town is definitely an experience that you shouldn't miss!

We start our old town sightseeing at Elisenbrunnen

We begin our tour of Aachen at the Elisenbrunnen. This is located on the Friedrich-Wilhelm-Platz and is easily recognizable by the colonnades that surround it. Hot water, smelling of sulfur, flows from the mouth of golden lion heads and splashes into the pool below. It tastes slightly like salt, but is not very appetizing, especially because of the penetrating smell of sulfur. Apparently it owes it the glory of having healing powers. What is healthy usually does not taste good.


Book accommodations here *




We look at the blackboard on the edge of the fountain area in the old town of Aachen. On the list are some of the illustrious guests who have already taken advantage of the healing powers of the thermal water of Aachen. Among them is none other than Empress Josephine, the wife of Napoleon, who hoped to be able to do something against her childlessness with the help of Aachen thermal water. Apparently she liked it, followed by a whole series of queens, princesses, field marshals, archdukes and princes, who also sought healing for their complaints here.


Aachen - Elisenbrunnen
In the old town of Aachen at the Elisenbrunnen - Aachen Sightseeing


Aachen old town sightseeing from Elisengarten to the cathedral

We begin our tour through the old town of Aachen. For this we leave the Elisenbrunnen through a passageway in the rear wall of the Kollonaden and stand in the middle of the Elisengarten, a park in which the people of Aachen feel good. Young people can not be stopped by the spring temperatures and look for a sunny spot on the lawn. The older visitors make themselves comfortable on the benches and watch the hustle and bustle in front of them. On our way towards the cathedral we pass a shop window in the past Aachen. Most of the excavated wall remains date back to Roman times when there was a Roman inn here.

A stone proves that the old town of Aachen was populated more than 6000 years ago. However, the time between the end of Roman times and the beginning of the Carolingian era in Aachen is more puzzling. This is because there is no evidence of human settlement in the urban region. “Our city archaeologist is getting gray hair because he finds no indication of what happened in Aachen during this time,” laughs Sabine Mathieu, who shows us her city.


Aachen travel guide, and what else you need

  • To get to know the city better, you need a Aachen travel guide *, You can find a selection here
  • Equally important is a City map of Aachen *with which you can orient yourself in the city.
  • You will walk a lot of cobblestones while sightseeing in Aachen. Therefore, we advise comfortable shoes for the city tour.
  • If you are planning an elegant evening, then you should bring comfortable pumps .
  • In summer it gets hot in Aachen. Therefore sandals are good for a city tour.
  • Practical is also a City backpackin which you can carry utensils for the day as well as souvenirs you buy during the day.


A fountain in which money plays a role in Aachen's old town

We pass a fountain with an interesting ensemble of various statues: a well-built woman clutches a money bag with her arm and fends off a man who greedily reaches for it. Behind it another person standing behind him is already waiting for the money, while on the other side of the fountain someone is desperately begging for a few coins. “The Sparkasse commissioned the fountain with the note that money transactions should be shown here,” explains Mathieu.

The artist was probably not particularly friendly to the banks, if you look at his greedy and greedy figures. “Only the other two statues show that money is not everything,” says Mathieu. “It is a father who is handing pocket money to his daughter. However, the girl ignores the money and prefers to look at her father. ”The clients of the Sparkasse in Aachen's old town take it with humor. A model of it is even on the boardroom table in the executive office. Passers-by obviously like it too, because whenever we walk past it we find many of them at this fountain.

Past the inviting sausage kitchen for buffoon, which we want to present to you in a separate report, we reach the cathedral.

The cathedral - Aachen old town with art and history

The Cathedral of Aachen is breathtaking. He is part of the Palatinate of Charlemagne, who chose Aachen as the capital of his empire in the year 800 AD. The oldest part is preserved except for a few parts to this day. All around, new chapels were cultivated over the centuries. So we stand under the golden chandelier in the middle of the cathedral, where Charlemagne was already standing. Wonderful mosaics adorn the arches of the side corridors that lead around the cathedral center. We are also impressed by the modern glass windows in the newest part of the cathedral, in the choir, which are the highest of their kind in Europe, as Ms. Mathieu explains. But see for yourself: our photos show the beauty of Aachen Cathedral in the center of Aachen's old town probably best.


Magnificent ceiling mosaics - Aachen sightseeing
Magnificent ceiling mosaics in the cathedral of Aachen
Beautiful - the mosaics
Beautiful - the mosaics in the Cathedral of Aachen


If you ask yourself what the wolf in the dome entrance means, there is a story from the construction of the church. Supposedly, the dombauherr promised the devil the soul of the first visitor of the cathedral. But smart as he was, he first sent a wolf through the door, whose soul had to satisfy the devil. Visitors can still visit the cathedral unmolested by Beelzebub.

Through the Domhof we leave the Domareal in the old town of Aachen and follow the John Paul II Street to the right, from which we turn into the Ritter-Chorus-Straße to the Katschhof.


Worth knowing for your Aachen Altstadt Sightseeing

  • A Altstadtführung you can book here.
  • If you drive to Aachen by car, you can do it here park.
  • Restaurants You can find it here in the old town of Aachen.


The Aachen Charlemagne - the Palatinate and the city hall

At the Katschhof in the old town of Aachen, a large square opens up, from where we look again at the cathedral. Opposite him are an equally impressive Gothic building, which today houses the town hall of Aachen. The current building is in 14. Century was built on the foundations of the palace of Charlemagne. From the 10. until the 16. In the 19th century, the royal crowning ceremonies in Aachen were celebrated with lavish feasts. The great coronation hall in the town hall still reminds of this time. He should extend over the entire length of the building.


The town hall in the old town
The city hall of Aachen


We follow the Krämerstraße in the direction of the cathedral, but turn off at the Puppenbrunnen, which represents figures from the history around Aachen, in the direction of the courtyard. There is the culinary center of the old town of Aachen.


Courtyard in the old town
Hof in Aachen - here you can meet for a cup of coffee or juice


Open-air cafes

If you want to take a break while sightseeing in Aachen with a good fruit drink, you can get this at Eat a Rainbow at the farm. There are also cafes and pubs grouped around the square in the old town of Aachen. In the Domkeller it is even explicitly stated that one can fetch a piece of cake from the neighbors and consume it with the in-house coffee. An interesting business concept. In any case, the guests seem to like it, because even if it is quite cool on this May-Monday, almost all tables are occupied. There is definitely a nice ambiance here.

However, we continue our sightseeing through Aachen's Old Town through the Rommelsgasse past other restaurants and cafes in the direction of the town hall and market.


The great restaurant Postwagen am Markt
The great restaurant Postwagen on the market in Aachen
Rhenish roast beef with potato dumplings and red cabbage
Rhenish roast beef with potato dumplings and red cabbage
Öchener slab with different sausages and Leberkäs
Öchener slab with different sausages and Leberkäs


The marketplace

At the corner of the town hall, I immediately notice a beautiful extension. It is that Restaurant Postwagenwhere we have dinner later in the day. Regional cuisine is on the menu here. Petar chooses an “Öchener battle plate” with sausage, meatloaf, other sausages and sauerkraut. I try a Rhenish Sauerbraten with potato dumplings. The sauce is dressed with spice. Hearty dishes that are very filling. Therefore, we do not have a starter or dessert this evening.


Simply delicious - cherry hazelnut cake in Cafe Middelberg
Simply delicious - cherry hazelnut cake in Cafe Middelberg


That would have become too much after our coffee break to conclude our city tour through Aachen's Old Town Café Middelberg in the Rethelstraße. There we enjoy a cherry hazelnut cake for coffee. However, it would have been more typical of the Kirsch rice cakes, which comes from the Belgian cuisine. Well, maybe we'll try it next time?


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Frequently asked questions about a tour of Aachen's old town

How long does a tour of Aachen's old town take?

A typical tour of Aachen's old town usually takes around 1,5 to 2 hours. However, it depends on your individual pace and the places you want to visit.

Which sights should I visit on a tour of Aachen's old town?

During a tour of Aachen's old town, you should definitely visit the Aachen Cathedral, the town hall with the famous coronation hall and the historic buildings along the Katschhof. The market with its charming cafés and the Elisenbrunnen fountain are also worth a visit.

Are there guided city tours through Aachen's old town?

Yes, there are opportunities to take part in guided city tours through Aachen's old town. The Aachen Tourist Office regularly offers guided tours where you can get interesting information about the history and architecture of the old town. Alternatively, you can also explore the old town on your own and download an audio guide.

What is the best way to plan a tour of Aachen's old town?

In order to optimally plan your tour of Aachen's old town, I recommend that you get a map of the old town and pick out the most important sights you want to visit in advance. Also pay attention to the opening hours of the individual attractions and plan enough time for breaks in cozy cafés or for shopping.

Are there any special highlights during a city tour of Aachen?

During a city tour of Aachen there are some special highlights that you should not miss. This includes, for example, watching the Aachen Printen production, where you can experience traditional Aachen gingerbread live. You can also visit the cathedral treasure, where valuable relics are kept.

Travel Arrangements:

Parking at the airport

Here you can reserve your parking space at the airport.


Arrival by plane, bus or train*. The nearest airport is definitely Maastricht-Aachen (about 40 km away). From there you can take the train or bus to Aachen. Those arriving by car can also park their car in one of the multi-storey car parks near the old town of Aachen.

Car Rentals:

Cheap car hire - book here! *

Camper Rentals:

Compare motorhome prices here. Or do you prefer to travel with a Rooftent or Tent?

Accommodation in Mainz:

Hotels, apartments and other accommodation in Aachen * You can also book at this link.

For example, we stayed at the

Art Hotel Aachen Superior *
At Branderhof 101
52066 Aachen

Find more Slow Travel Tips here.


Old town
Click on the photo and then remember “Aachen Altstadt” on Pinterest


Do you also know:


Source: On-site research. We thank NRW tourism as well as Aachen Tourist eV for the invitation to this pleasure journey. You can find more tips for pleasure trips in North Rhine-Westphalia, for example Enjoyment in NRW. You can also follow the hashtag #deinNRW on Facebook or Twitter.

Text Aachen Sightseeing: © Copyright Monika Fuchs and TravelWorldOnline
Photos Aachen Sightseeing: © Copyright Monika Fuchs and TravelWorldOnline

Aachen - a walk through the old town

Monika Fuchs

Monika Fuchs and Petar Fuchs are the authors and publishers of the Food and Slow Travel blog  TravelWorldOnline. They have been publishing this blog since 2005. TravelWorldOnline has been online since 2001. Their topics are trips to Savor, wine tourism worldwide and slow travel. During her studies Monika Fuchs spent some time in North America, where she - partly together with Petar Fuchs - traveled to the USA and Canada and spent a research year in British Columbia. This intensified her thirst for knowledge, which she satisfied for 6 years as an adventure guide for Rotel Tours and then for 11 years as a tour guide for Studiosus Reisen around the world. She was constantly expanding her travel regions, but curiosity still gnawed at her: "What's beyond the horizon? What else is there to discover in this city? Which people are interesting here? What do they eat in this region?" As a freelance travel journalist (her articles have appeared in DIE ZEIT, 360° Canada, 360° USA, etc.), she is now looking for answers to these questions as a travel writer and travel blogger in many countries around the world. Petar Fuchs produces the videos on this blog as well as on YouTube. Monika Fuchs from TravelWorldOnline is among Germany's top 50 bloggers in 2021. Find more Information about Monika and Petar Fuchs here.

2 thoughts too "Aachen - a walk through the old town"

  1. Dear Monika, dear Petar

    Thanks for the nice review. Aachen immediately moved to the "To Do" list. Long-distance travel is great, but we also have so many beautiful cities in our vicinity. It is always worth planning beautiful weekend trips.

    Looking forward to many more reports from you - all the best - Diane

    1. Hello Diane,

      We are very happy if you like our report. And Aachen is definitely worth a trip or a short trip. There is much to discover there.

      Best regards,
      Monika and Petar

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