It’s Christmas markets season! Where are some of the most beautiful Christmas markets in Europe? Yes! In Germany! The city of Charlemagne, the royal Aachen, hosts one of the loveliest Christmas markets in Europe. Do you want to know everything about the Aachen Christmas market? Read further to find everything about the locations, what eat, what to do, what to buy and many more in this complete guide.
Read more: The best Christmas markets in Germany – a selection made by travellers.
Practical info about the 2019 edition of the Aachen Christmas Market
In 2019 the Christmas market in Aachen (Aachener Weihnachtsmarkt) is held from 22 November till 23 December.
- daily from 11:00 am to 21:00 pm
- 24/11 (Sunday) – from 18:00 pm to 21:00 pm
- 14/12 (Saturday) – from 11:00 am to 22:00 pm
- 23/12 (Monday) – from 11:00 am to 20:00 pm
Read more: Visit the fairy-tale Christmas market in Monschau.
Where is the Christmas market in Aachen located
Not many Christmas markets in Europe can boast with a UNESCO World Heritage Site as a backdrop. With the festive stalls scattered around the Cathedral, the Town Hall and the Charlemagne Centre, the market in Aachen has a unique Medieval appeal. You can check on the Google map below where exactly the Christmas stalls are located. Zoom out for the Park & Ride places. Check out also the How to get to Aachen section below.
Traditional foods to try at the Christmas market in Aachen
I won’t hide that my two favorite things about Christmas markets are the mulled wine (glühwein) and the roasted chestnuts. The smell of the spices in the wine combined with the smell of the roasted chestnuts is simply intoxicating. For those that don’t drink wine, there is a good choice of other hot beverages at the market: hot chocolate with whipped cream, herbal infusions, eierpunsch (the German take on eggnog), glühbier (mulled beer) and less hot ones, like just beer. Other must-tries at the market include reibekuchen (a small fried potato pancake), bradworst (sausage), flammkuchen (a thin and crispy pizza-like dish), pommes (French fries), waffles, and pancakes among others.
When buying mulled wine, don’t be surprised if they ask you to pay 7-8 EUR for a mug. Each vendor has their special mug with lovely prints on and the edition of the market. So the mugs make a nice souvenir, if you decide to keep them. You can still return them at the counter and you’ll get back your deposit. Mugs cost around 3 – 3,5 EUR.
The most typical Christmas specialty of Aachen remains the printen. Printen are a kind of gingerbread cookies or lebkuchen. Today, you can buy them everywhere. At every corner in Aachen there is a Nobis shop that sells all year long this special delicacy of Aachen.
Read more: The best Christmas markets in Belgium – recommended by travellers.
Gifts shopping at the Christmas market in Aachen
A Christmas market is the perfect place to buy presents for family and friends. In Aachen you can find lots of hand-crafted ornaments, warm shawls, leather goods, wooden trinkets, snowballs, music boxes and many more. Wander the streets with a cup of mulled wine and soak the joyful atmosphere!
How to get to the Aachen Christmas market
Aachen is located close to the border with Belgium and the Netherlands and is easily accessible from both countries. There are a bunch of airports near Aachen: Cologne-Bonne, Weeze, Dusseldorf and Frankfurt in Germany, and Eindhoven and Maastricht-Aachen in the Netherlands, where you can fly to from virtually any place in Europe.
So why not go on a Christmas market city break in Aachen?
If you are travelling by car, my advice will be to park at one of the Park & Ride places outside the city centre and get a shuttle bus to the market. Trying to park in the centre of Aachen could be a nightmare, especially if you are visiting in the weekend. Depending on from which direction you are coming, there are 4 comfortable P&R places outside of Aachen:
- Westfriedhof (Vaalser Strasse) – coming from the west
- Waldfriedhof (Monschauer Strasse) – coming from the southeast
- Tivoli Parkhaus (Krefelder Strasse) – coming from the northeast
- Jülicher Strasse/Berliner Ring – coming from the northeast
Check out the map at the beginning of the post for the locations of the P&R places.
If you are travelling by bus or by train, there are very good connections with other big cities in Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium. We visited Aachen by bus and it was very convenient. Thus we could enjoy more than one cup of mulled wine… (which to be honest, I can hardly resist)