Aachen with kids

For a weekend trip to Aachen with kids, there are just enough activities to keep your family entertained. The city of Aachen is just across the border with the Netherlands, and for many Limburg cities, it is only half an hour away by car. The city is known for its hot springs and the city is very close to the famous tri-border point. We list the best activities and sights in Aachen with kids for you.

Aachen with kids #1: exploring the city center

We always like when we are in a city to explore it on foot first, and that is perfectly possible in Aachen with kids. Aachen Cathedral does serve as the centerpiece of the city. In the streets around the Cathedral (for example, at Hof) there are plenty of outdoor cafes where you can eat and drink. You can also visit Aachen Cathedral for a few euros. The cathedral looks beautiful inside with lots of stained glass and lead and quite a lot of detail. There is also a treasury at the cathedral that you can visit. In total, you did see the cathedral within 15 minutes (if, of course, you don’t linger very long at everything). What is also striking is the number of statues throughout the city. There are plenty of those to be found.

Also located in the center is the Mayersche Aachen bookstore. This four-story bookstore that sells all kinds of things also has a toy section on the second floor where kids can play with toys. There is also a fine café in the bookstore, where you can have a drink and which has an excellent view of the square in front of the store.

Aachen with kids
Aachen with kids

Right in the center you will also find the Elisenbrunnen, one of the hot springs for which the city of Aachen is so famous. You can visit these for free, but keep in mind that the smell is not very pleasant due to the sulfur smell. You can see vapor coming out of the walls here and there are two taps where you can tap hot water. In winter also a great point to warm your hands in the fountains where the water is over 50 degrees hot.

If you are looking for a city park with a playground in the city, the Veltmanplatz park is just under a ten-minute walk from the center. Here you have a fairly large lake and also a medium-sized playground for the kids. A great place to let your kids run around town for an hour. As you can see, you can make a great tour of downtown Aachen with your family without having to walk large stretches.

Aachen with kids #2: the aachen zoo

Open every day of the year, this animal park in Aachen is located in the southeastern part of the city. By public transportation, it is about a 15-minute drive from downtown to the zoo. It’s not a big zoo, but there’s enough to do with kids that you can spend half a day here.

Thus, in addition to the animals you can admire, there are no less than three large play areas in the zoo where your kids can play. There is also plenty of fine sand here, so you’ll also see kids playing in the sand with shovels and buckets. For many German families who have an annual pass, it is of course a great activity for an hour or two to let the kids play for a while in the zoo’s playgrounds and sand.

The zoo is hilly and at times it feels like walking through a large city park. In terms of animals, don’t expect the big African animals, but more the petting zoo animals. However, the zoo does have some other smaller animals such as monkeys, zebras, meerkats and penguins. Therefore, the animal park is definitely suitable for young kids, who can, for example, take a ride on a pony in this animal park.

A big advantage of this zoo is its price. Adults pay only a few euros entrance fee (kids even a little less), making the zoo less than a quarter of the price you pay at most Dutch zoos. This allows you to have a fun day out with the family for little money. For opening hours and prices, check the zoo’s Dutch-language website.

Aachen with kids #3: swimming pool Elisabethhalle

A beautiful swimming pool right in the center of Aachen is Hallenbad Elisabethhalle. Located in a monumental complex, this pool is over 100 years old. Ten years ago the pool was completely renovated and the inside of the pool looks beautiful.

Again, you pay only a few euros for adults and kids to enter the pool. So it’s a great way to admire the pool from the inside and in the meantime you and your kids (on a hot or rainy day) can have a few hours of fun in the pool in downtown Aachen. So bring swimwear when visiting downtown Namur with kids.

Aachen with kids
Aachen with kids

Aachen with kids #4: family-friendly museums

In Aachen, you have a number of museums that you can visit with kids, although we have to note that there is not really a super family-friendly museum among them, which you should definitely not skip. If we have to choose a museum in Aachen with kids then we would go for the Centre Charlemagne museum.

If only because of its location, because this museum is really in the middle of downtown and has exhibits about the city’s history. The museum is quite interactive, but the museum does interest mostly older kids who are interested in history.

The museum is free for kids under 21 to visit. For opening hours and adult ticket prices, check the museum ‘s Dutch-language website.

Aachen with kids #5: the triple-border point

Just over a fifteen-minute drive from Aachen is the famous triple-border point. It is the point where the countries of Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany meet. The triangle point itself is really nothing and is a kind of stone where the three points meet. Of course, kids do enjoy jumping from one country to another.

Still, there are other things to do with kids at this tourist attraction. For example, there is a labyrinth with green hedges that costs a few euros and where you must occasionally pass ´walls of water´ (kind of fountains on the route that sometimes stop spouting for a moment) to find your way out of the maze. In the middle of the maze, you have several vantage points to orient yourself and see exactly where to go. Don’t expect to be out here with your family one, two, three.

In addition, there is an excellent playground at the tri-border point. It is the highest playground in the Netherlands and an excellent playground for kids. You will also find an observation tower on the grounds where, for a few euros, you can take the stairs or elevator up and get a great view of the area.

So as you can see, there is enough to do at the tri-border point to spend half a day there having fun with the family. You might want to make this sight at the beginning or at the end of your city trip to Aachen with kids, since you have to get here by car from Aachen.

Aachen with kids
Aachen with kids

Where to sleep in Aachen with kids

Budget hotel: B&B Hotel Aachen-City

Mid-range hotel: Minx – Cityhotels

Luxury hotel: Hotel Lousberg

To search for other hotels in Aachen with kids click here for the whole list of hotels.

Further information Aachen with kids

Christmas market: Aachen also hosts a large Christmas market in the city center every year. The Christmas market in Aachen is one of the busiest Christmas markets in Germany. The Christmas market is held during the last week of November until the day before Christmas. Most of the Christmas market stalls are around the Cathedral Tower in various squares and streets. So you can very easily combine the Christmas market with a city trip to Aachen with kids.

Environmental sticker: Aachen is easy to reach from the Netherlands by car and train. It is about a 20-minute drive from Heerlen and Kerkrade, and by car you can get to the city from Utrecht in just over 2 hours. By train it takes two and a half hours from Utrecht central. Keep in mind that when you visit the city of Aachen by car that you need an environmental sticker. These can be ordered from the ANWB website and will be sent to you within 5 days. To do this, you need to enter the car’s registration number and report code (found on the registration certificate) and then the correct color will be selected.

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