6 Best Neighborhoods in Aachen: Your Ultimate Guide
A lesser-known choice for a German relocation, little Aachen has a population of only around 250,000 people, but it serves up a whole bunch of varied stuff.
It’s most famous for its Roman roots, its massive cathedral, and its associations with Charles the Great.
But it’s also a hugely underrated place to call home, offering sulfurous spas, lively nightlife and a young population. And because it sits in a little western area bordering both Belgium and the Netherlands, it’s diverse and multicultural, and it serves up endless options for varied and fun-filled day trips.
Lots of people are starting to realize what a great place Aachen is—and although the city is small, it’s slowly becoming a more popular choice for people hunting out a brand-new life in Germany.
But with any big move comes lots of big questions: where to stay in Aachen? Which are the best neighborhoods in Aachen? And which type of people will like which neighborhood?
Well, in this fact-packed guide, we’ve covered all that and more. Today, your good friends at Homelike have brought you lots of must-know details on these 6 districts:
- Aachen Mitte
- Viktoriaviertel, Burtscheid and Frankenberg
- Rothe Erde
Grab your suitcase, pack your sandwiches, and come join the fun. Today, Homelike is taking a trip around the 6 best neighborhoods in Aachen—and lucky for you, you’re coming with us!
1. Aachen Mitte
Best for: Living like a tourist, staying for just a short while, lots of partying and buddy-hunting, and gawping at the massive cathedral
If you know anything about the German language, you’ll have worked out that this is the most central part of the city.
The very heart of Aachen, it’s where you’ll find the Old Town—and this section of the city is absolutely dominated by the massive UNESCO-listed cathedral. Other highlights include the creative (and let’s be honest, also pretty creepy) Puppenbrunnen fountain, the gothic city hall, and loads of museums and monuments. City centers this small don’t usually offer this much insight and excitement.
But Aachen Mitte also extends beyond the Old Town, to include loads more. Aside from all the historical stuff, this is also one of the best neighborhoods in Aachen for eating and drinking.
You’ll find lots of great restaurants (super-central Hazzblot and wood-covered Sukhothai are two big favorites), cafes (check out Lulu’s Coffee and Cafe Del Sol), and bars (slurp and sip over at The Wingman, and the oddly-titled Grotesque Absinthe Bar).
If you want to spend your time socializing, partying, sightseeing and having fun, you’ll want to be in this part of the city. It’s an especially popular choice with young professionals who have a good chunk of money without many responsibilities to spend it on.
But if you plan on living here, it’s usually easiest to find a serviced apartment or a serviced flat. Because it’s the most well-known part of the city, lots of the best accommodations are snapped up quickly. But if you move into a ready-made serviced place, you get the guarantee of a pleasant home without any of the stress or fretting of having to find one. Perfect!
Best for: Drinking and dancing, hanging around with students, and enjoying the liveliest part of the city by far
The Pontviertel district is actually just a tiny part of the city center. Nestled in a northwestern pocket of the city’s heart, it’s a super-famous hangout popular with students and other young people… and it has an impressive number of bars squeezed into its cozy confines.
If you like drinking and dancing, you’ll think this is one of the best neighborhoods in Aachen—and you’ll find a busy atmosphere most nights. When locals, students or visitors want to party in the city, Pontviertel is usually where they choose.
Some of its nightlife highlights include Apollo Kino & Bar, a happening arthouse cinema and events-heavy nightclub (how hip), the tacky but fun Lava Lounge (who designed this place? Austin Powers?), and the punnily-titled techno hub of Lessie Fair.
Like in any cut-price student district, you’ll also find lots of low-cost canteen-style restaurants here, serving up food from places as diverse as Poland, China, Turkey and Italy.
The whole district is centered on and around Pontstrasse, a narrow street that leads into the 14th century Ponttor gate (once part of the city walls).
Because it’s only a small area, you won’t find a massive number of homes in Pontviertel. So, again, you might want to consider a serviced apartment of a serviced flat—or you might just want to consider living in another district and traveling to this place whenever you want to booze and boogie.
3. Viktoriaviertel, Burtscheid and Frankenberg
Best for: Raising kids, exploring some interesting family-friendly hangouts, and living in the most attractive part of the city
Bordering Aachen Mitte to the east and southeast, Viktoriaviertel, Burtscheid and Frankenberg all sort of blend into one another, forming a district that some people reckon is the prettiest part of the city.
No-one quite seems to know where one area begins and any other ends. But here’s our advice: don’t worry too much about it, and just refer to this area as “Burtscheid,” as most locals do.
Anyway, when newbies are working out where to stay in Aachen, this is usually one of the first places they consider. And it’s a good choice—it’s pretty, it’s within walking distance of the center, it has lots of places to hang out, it’s home to a pretty diverse crowd, and it’s relatively residential without being far from the city’s heart.
Though this spot isn’t quite as well-known as Pontviertel, it’s also one of the best areas in Aachen for nightlife. If you like low-key bars, classy cocktail joints and a slightly older crowd, you’ll love drinking here.
The district is also pretty popular with young couples with young children. They head here for the big (and very pretty) family homes, the kid-friendly cafes and restaurants, and the safe and welcoming atmosphere. Other child-friendly perks here include great green spaces, the city’s little zoo, a caravan park(!), and some of the city’s best and biggest schools (the well-known Maria Montessori School, for example, sits in this district).
Overall, this is a great place to live, for lots of reasons, and lots of people. Yeah, it can be pretty pricey—but if you’ve got the funds, it’s totally worth the outlay.
4. Rothe Erde
Best for: Great green spaces, surprisingly good cycling, munching on Turkish food, and finding an affordable home
Okay, Rothe Erde isn’t the most desirable place on the planet, but it sometimes gets an unfair rap from long-term locals. Yep, it’s a little dirtier and more disorganized than some other parts of the city, but it still serves up plenty of perks.
First of all, it’s a little cheaper than most other central parts of the city. So if you want to move to Aachen without splashing loads of cash, it’s the first place you should consider. And because it’s a little more working-class than many other neighborhoods, it offers less pomp and pretense.
It’s one of the best areas in Aachen for non-Germans. One of the city’s most multicultural areas, it’s home to a diverse range of people (with a particularly big chunk from Turkey and the Middle East). If you’re another non-native, you might be keen to move to a place where you can make friends with people from around the planet—and in Rothe Erde, you can do exactly that!
The neighborhood is also home to the ever-popular greens of massive Kennedy Park (which sometimes hosts live music in summer), and a load of lip-smacking cut-price Arabic food. The Turkish treats of Öz Gaziantep and Antep Sofrasi are particularly popular—if you like no-frills no-fuss hangouts where the focus is firmly on flavor, you’ll love them.
From the eastern end of the Rothe Erde, it’s super easy to hop onto the Vennbahn, one of Germany’s most impressive cycling routes. It measures in at 125km (78 miles), and runs through Germany, Belgium and Luxembourg.
And because this neighborhood is so close to Viktoriaviertel, Burtscheid and Frankenberg, you can easily walk to those areas (and enjoy all their pros and pluses!) from here.
In short, if you’re not sure where to stay in Aachen, but know you want a cut-price home, we recommend checking out Rothe Erde. As you can see, it offers way more pluses than most people realize—and it’s a lot more welcoming than people like to pretend.
Best for: Living a residential life, putting function before fun, and finding a home in a classy part of the city
Alright, onto the least exciting neighborhood in our guide.
This time, we’re heading over to the northwestern outskirts of the city, to a largely-residential district. Laurensberg is known for being safe, clean, unpolluted, and home to lots of financially-comfortable families.
It offers close proximity to schools, supermarkets, green spaces, and all the other amenities that families are hunting for. So if you’re moving with kids, and want conveniences and comforts above all else, you’ll think this is one of the best neighborhoods in Aachen. And anyway, if you do get the urge to explore the city center, the heart of Laurensberg is only around 3.5 km (2 miles) from it.
But, as you’ve probably already realized by now, you won’t want to live here if you’re young and looking for fun. Yeah, Laurensberg is home to a few cafes and restaurants, but you won’t find any bars or nightclubs here—or many fun-loving whippersnappers.
Best for: Living in a town outside Aachen, enjoying a quiet life, and getting involved in some proper outdoor adventures
Finally, something a little leftfield, for people who don’t want to reside right in the heart of the city.
But before we get started on this one, here’s a quick admission: Kornelimünster isn’t really one of the best neighborhoods in Aachen or one of the best areas in Aachen—because it isn’t really in Aachen. Instead, it’s a town of its own, and lies around 9.5 km (6 miles) southeast from the center of the city.
So, you might be wondering why it’s on this list. Well, it’s part of Aachen municipality (we’re not taking you into the middle of nowhere), it’s quaint and cozy, and it’s super welcoming.
… and, most importantly, if you like outdoor adventures, this place is heaven. The Vennbahn cycling route (which we’ve already covered) runs through here, as does the beginning of the mega-famous long-distance walking trail of the Eifelsteig. But most importantly, this is one of the gateways to Eifel National Park, which is brimming with loads of hiking routes and cycling trails.
And although it’s a pretty rural place, it’s not super remote—there are regular buses to the city center, and it only takes 30 minutes to get to Aachen from here by public transport.
So if you want to live a quaint outdoorsy life on the outskirts of Aachen, you’ll love this place. Yep, you won’t find much indoor action, you won’t find many other foreigners, and you won’t find much nightlife. But for the right person, living in Kornelimünster can be a really fun choice.
6 Best Neighborhoods in Aachen: Final Thoughts
There you go—everything you need to know about the best neighborhoods in Aachen, and where to stay in Aachen. You’re welcome!
Again, if you’re looking for a serviced apartment or a serviced flat in the city, we have plenty of excellent options. All of our homes are perfect for living and working, and they’re all comfortable and well-equipped. Best of all, they’re ready to move into today—so you don’t need to endure any stress, any bureaucracy, or any morally-dubious landlords.
For more German logistics, check out our guides on cold rent and warm rent in the nation, the all-important German Schufa, and 14 other things you need to know about living in Germany.
Thanks for reading, thanks for wandering over to Homelike, and thanks for being you. Enjoy Aachen!