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Review: Aachen



Aachen Christmas Shopping Weekend

  • By SilverTraveller travelhappy

    17 reviews


  • Dec 2012
  • Partner

121 people found this review helpful

Christmas time is always fun in Germany and, as we hadn’t travelled to Aachen before, we decided to give it a go and are so pleased we did.

What makes Aachen different is the ‘Printen’ – gingerbread to you and me. Yes, all German towns and cities sell gingerbread (Lebkuchen) at this time of year, but the displays in Aachen shop windows are outstanding. There is a famous company called Nobis producing the stuff by the ton. Who would have thought gingerbread could come in so many forms and taste so wonderful. There seemed to be a huge bakery on every corner; well, almost. I’ve attached pictures of some of the shop displays to give you an idea. Plain gingerbread, gingerbread smothered in all sorts of chocolate, nuts and cherries. Gingerbread houses. Gingerbread men. Gingerbread everything.

Many cafes were offering specials of cake or gingerbread with hot chocolate and the atmosphere was very relaxed and pleasant. No-one seemed in a hurry and no-one hurried us either.

There was also a rather beautiful Christmas market around the cathedral/town hall area which was crowded, but that’s to be expected at the weekend. The atmosphere was still relaxed though and there were plenty of tourists swelling the numbers.

Aachen is an old spa city with pretty cobbled streets and plenty of decent architecture to get stuck into. We managed to fit in a tour of the town hall and a look around the fabulous cathedral. We also went to a Christmas concert in one of the many churches.

Aachen is not far from Liege, Maastricht or Cologne. It was definitely worth a look-see and although not as big as some Christmas markets, it did make a charming alternative.

We travelled last weekend (7-10 December) by Eurostar to Brussels and then another fast Belgian train (Thalys) to Aachen. The second train left from the same station as the Eurostar train – Brussels Midi – so it was easy. Both the aforementioned trains have to be pre-booked. You can’t board either without a seat reservation. The leg from Brussels to Aachen took just over an hour and we arrived feeling much less stressed than when flying and it didn’t take much longer when you add in the wait time before a flight and the time it takes you to get from airport into town.

We stayed in the Mercure am Dom because it was centrally located and right next to the main shopping centre. It's about a 10 minute walk from the station. There are plenty of taxis and lots of buses if you are unable to do the walk.

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This review is solely based on the opinion of a Silver Travel Advisor member and not of Silver Travel Advisor Ltd.

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Other Members' Thoughts - 2 Comment(s)

  • Stephen-Fleming
    almost 7 years ago
    Sounds very attractive for a short break.
  • Vicky11
    over 7 years ago
    I went to Aachen many years ago. We were staying with friends in Germany at that time. It was a really beautiful town. We were there in the Autumn. Still a lot of beautiful flowers on display on window boxes.