Where To Stay in Aachen
Although Aachen is a pretty spa city in Germany bordering both Belgium and the Netherlands, it wouldn’t have made the history books if it weren’t for one reason.
For parts of the 8th and 9th centuries, it was the home of the Holy Roman Emperor Charlemagne. Lots of travellers like to visit the important and impressive historical sites here so there are lots of options for finding where to stay in Aachen.
Located in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia, there are lots of other things to do when you visit Aachen, Germany aside from the historic architecture in the Old Town. It hosts a fantastic Christmas Market and it’s surrounded by lush green countryside which is the ideal spot to go hiking in the summer.
Aachen in Germany is also a university town, with lots of international eateries and cafes as well as homegrown foodie fare. With fewer than 250,000 residents, it’s a lively city without being too crowded.
Accommodation in Aachen it’s plentiful and there are options to suit visitors of all travel styles and budgets regardless of whether you’re backpacking, travelling on a city break, or visiting with family.
This guide will cover all the best Aachen neighbourhoods for each type of traveller. It also includes the top hotels in Aachen, Germany as well as the best hostels, apartments, guesthouses and B&Bs including accommodation options like hotels near Aachen, Germany so you can have an amazing trip!
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Aachen City (Old Town) – Where To Stay in Aachen for First-Timers
Without a doubt, one of the best places, if you’re looking for where to stay in Aachen for first-timers, is the Old Town or Aachen city centre.
This is where you’ll find most of Aachen’s popular attractions and iconic landmarks so you’ll only be a short walk from most of the best things to do in Aachen.
It’s also the best place to stay if you’re only staying for one night as you won’t want to waste any time on public transport when you could be exploring.
Aachen Cathedral and Aachen Cathedral Treasury are both in Aachen Old Town. The Cathedral is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in large part because of its Palatine Chapel which dates back to the 8th century during Emperor Charlemagne’s rule. It’s a lavish, octagonal chapel with a gilded shrine to the former ruler.
There’s also a statue and fountain dedicated to him as well as the Charlemagne museum, the Rathaus, and Katschhof which is the plaza where you’ll find the Christmas Markets every year.
Not only is there lots to do in this neighbourhood, but it’s also the prettiest part of the city!
There are mostly branded hotels in the Aachen city centre since this type of accommodation is popular with overseas tourists.
This is ideal if you collect points or have a membership but Aachen isn’t an expensive city anyway. You will be able to find 3 and 4-star hotels for less than €100 a night in the shoulder seasons easily.
Best places to stay in Aachen Old Town
Cheapest Backpacking Hostels in Aachen Old Town
Budget accommodation in Aachen Old Town
Mid range accommodation in Aachen Old Town
- Best Western Plus Hotel Regence
- INNSiDE by Meliá Aachen
- Mercure Hotel Aachen Am Dom
- Haus am Hühnerdieb
Family Friendly accommodation in Aachen Old Town
Affordable Luxury accommodation in Aachen Old Town
Pontviertel – Where To Stay in Aachen on a Budget
The Pontviertel neighbourhood is next door to Aachen Old Town to the west by the ring road. This neighbourhood is just outside of RWTH Aachen University.
The city’s main higher education institution, as well as RWTH Hochschulverwaltung SuperC University and Aachen West which is the city’s second busiest train station.
Due to this neighbourhood being located a little out of the city centre (but still within walking distance) and the large student population, it’s perfect if you’re looking for where to stay in Aachen on a budget.
There are lots of restaurants serving delicious international cuisine here such as Yan Tasty and Lai Thai. You’ll have no problems finding cheap places to eat or grocery stores so you can make meals according to your budget.
Though there are fewer accommodation options in this part of Aachen, you will find some cheap guesthouses and 3-star hotels as well as one of Aachen’s only backpacker hostels.
Best places to stay in Pontviertel
Budget accommodation in Pontviertel
Family Friendly accommodation in Pontviertel
Frankenberger – Where To Stay in Aachen With Family
Though a mostly residential neighbourhood east of Aachen outside the ring road, Frankenberger has a lot to offer tourists.
There are lots of small but pleasant parks in this area including Frankenburger Park, Burger Park, and Kennedy Park. Some will even stroll through Ostfriedhof Aachen Cemetery on a nice day.
The open, green spaces are just one reason why the Frankenberger neighbourhood is perfect if you want to know where to stay in Aachen with family and young kids.
It’s close to the regional Rothe Erde train station and the main bus route so you can easily travel into the Old Town without having to walk and tiring out your children.
There is a surprising number of restaurants and cafes in this area, like FUCHS, which are ideal for snacks and a mid-exploring break.
You’ll also find Frankenberger is a much quieter neighbourhood than somewhere like Aachen Old Town at night so your kids will find it easier to sleep.
Frankenberger has lots of supermarkets so you can make food for your children if you don’t want to take them out to restaurants all the time.
Plus, buildings like Herz-Jesu Kirche and Frankenberger Viertel make this an interesting neighbourhood to stroll around.
You’ll mostly find short-term rental apartments and guesthouses in this neighbourhood but they’re usually the best option if you are travelling with your kids!
You will likely have access to a kitchen and you will all be able to sleep in separate rooms.
Best places to stay in Frankenberger
Budget accommodation in Frankenberger
Mid range accommodation in Frankenberger
Family Friendly accommodation in Frankenberger
Near Aachen Station – Best Place to Stay in Aachen for Backpackers
Aachen Hauptbahnhof is the proper name for Aachen Central Station and it’s located just outside of the city’s ring road to the southeast of Aachen Old Town.
It’s still within walking distance to the Old Town but this neighbourhood offers tons of public transport options so you can get anywhere in the city via metro, bus, or regional train.
If you want to know where to stay in Aachen if you are just passing through for a short time on a backpacking trip or extended interrailing vacation around Europe, staying near Aachen Central Station is perfect.
It doesn’t matter if you have to get up early the next day or travel to your accommodation after arriving on a late train as you won’t have far to go.
Plus, the neighbourhood near Aachen Hauptbahnhof perhaps has the highest concentration of hotels, hostels, and other accommodations in the city.
Whether you’re looking for a hostel, a mid-range hotel, or an apartment, you will find what you’re looking for near Aachen Station.
Best places to stay near Aachen Hauptbahnhof
Cheapest Backpacking Hostels near Aachen Hauptbahnhof
Budget accommodation near Aachen Hauptbahnhof
Mid range accommodation near Aachen Hauptbahnhof
Family Friendly accommodation near Aachen Hauptbahnhof
- Relax Aachener Boardinghouse Phase 2
- Apartment 4, direkt am Bahnhof
- Relax Aachener Boardinghouse Main Train Station
Burtscheid – Where To Stay Near Aachen Zoo
Frankenberger might be a great neighbourhood for families, but the neighbourhood next door, Burtscheid, is a great choice too. It’s also next to Aachen Central Station, so it’s in a great location.
The main reason why Burtscheid is another great neighbourhood for families is that it’s where you’ll find Aachen Zoo (Aachener Tierpark Euregiozoo is its full name).
Visiting the zoo is one of the best things to do in Aachen with kids. It’s not a large facility but there are zebras, camels and ostriches as well as pony rides and a petting zoo.
There is a picturesque lake in the centre and you can take guided tours around the zoo to learn more about the animals and the facility’s conservation and breeding efforts.
The zoo is a little far away from the Aachen city centre. Burtscheid is in the centre of both neighbourhoods so you’ll be able to access both sides of the city easily.
This neighbourhood also has lots of city parks like Kurgarten and Ferberpark.
On a nice summer’s day, you can sit outside cafes like Leni Liebt Kaffee and Lammerskötter Café Restaurant.
Like Frankenberger, there isn’t a lot of accommodation choice in Burtscheid but what they do have are some mid-range and budget hotels as well as short-term rental options.
Best places to stay in Burtscheid
Budget accommodation in Burtscheid
Mid range accommodation in Burtscheid
Family Friendly accommodation in Burtscheid
Added Extra: Areas to Avoid in Aachen
Aachen has a very low crime rate compared to major cities in both Germany and the rest of Europe. There aren’t any neighbourhoods you should avoid staying in during your trip to Aachen because they’re too dangerous.
However, there are some areas to avoid in Aachen because they are too far away from Aachen’s historic centre, too rural, or too residential.
Laurensberg is one of the largest districts in the city of Aachen at the northernmost point of the city. There are some parks in this neighbourhood and a castle, Schloss Rahe, which is quite pretty but not much else.
It is only a 22-minute bus journey into the city and buses do leave every 15 minutes, but it’s unnecessary when there are so many nicer, closer accommodation options within walking distance.
Vaalserquartier is another area you should avoid staying in during your time in Aachen. Again, it’s not a dangerous place and it’s also only a 20-30 minute bus ride into Aachen, but there are other places so much closer.
This is also a fairly residential and rural area so you won’t find many restaurants or things to do in Vaalserquartier.
FAQ for Where To Stay in Aachen
Is it worth visiting Aachen, Germany?
Aachen, Germany is worth visiting if you love historic and beautiful architecture and UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
It’s also worth visiting if you enjoy going to cities with a youthful population. There are plenty of bars, cafes, diversity, and vibrancy in Aachen.
Aachen is less than two hours by train from the major cities of Dusseldorf, Cologne, and Bonn so it’s easy to reach.
Plus, Aachen is a great stop-over city if you’re travelling overland between Germany and Belgium or the Netherlands because it’s on the border of both countries.
What is special about Aachen?
Aachen is special for a few reasons. First, it’s the most westerly city in Germany. Second, Aachen is on the border of both Belgium and the Netherlands so there is a point you can visit which all three countries.
One of the most special things about Aachen is that it was the home of Charlemagne, the Holy Roman Emperor, during parts of the 8th and 9th centuries.
Aachen Cathedral is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and it is a city spa city known for its healing hot springs.
Is Aachen worth visiting?
In a word, yes! Aachen is 100% worth visiting because it has something for everyone. Aachen Rathaus, Aachen Cathedral, and museums like the Charlemagne Museum are super interesting if you like history and culture.
On the other side of the coin, Aachen is also worth visiting if you like nightlife. Aachen is a university town with a very young population so lots of the bars, restaurants and entertainment options here are geared towards students. If you’re a backpacker then chances are that Aachen is definitely worth visiting.
Aachen is also in a central location in mainland Europe. If you are travelling overland across the continent, chances are some of the other places you want to visit are close to Aachen.
Or, you wouldn’t have to go too far out of the way to adjust your plans to visit Aachen. You’ll find that it’s a great city to stay en route for a night or two!
Is Aachen safe?
On a global scale, Aachen is considered a very safe city with a very low crime rate. Even by European and German city standards, it has a lower-than-average crime rate. It’s not a very big city and has less than 250,000 residents.
It’s extremely unlikely that you’ll be a victim of a violent and/or dangerous crime during your trip to Aachen.
However, you should still use your common sense and not carry around a lot of cash or walk around parts of the city you are unfamiliar with alone at night. Aachen gets particularly busy in December when they have their Christmas markets.
The crowds at the markets can also get busy and dense and this is when you should take extra care with your belongings.
Aachen doesn’t have the same number of pickpocketers and travel scammers that larger European cities have but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t any.