Aachen and the Surrounding Region

  Detail of the Karlsbrunnen Well Copyright: RWTH Aachen

Aachen is Germany’s westernmost city. It lies near the borders with Belgium and the Netherlands and is nestled between the large national parks of the Eifel and the Ardennes.


The city has a population of 260,000, which includes about 50,000 students and more than 4,000 academic staff from across the world. Its lively student community lends the city just as much character as its history. Aachen is famous for its Printen gingerbread, its hot springs, its Mardi Gras carnival and one of the world’s largest equestrian tournaments. The historic city center and a wealth of bars, cafés and restaurants, combined with the nearby nature parks, such as the Eifel, make Aachen a city where everyone feels at home.

Aachen - City of Science

Many new products and processes originate in Aachen. In the research laboratories and test rooms of RWTH, the first all-metal aircraft was developed, for example, as was the diesel soot filter. This is where the first wind tunnel stood and the first particle accelerator. This trend-setting innovative capacity and the practical technology transfer to the economic world have a long history in Aachen, the City of Science.

Here the first German Technology Development Centre opened in 1982. With its business start-ups and the approximately 32,000 jobs created as a result, Aachen has become the city with the highest density of university spin-offs and engineering offices in Germany.

Science has defined the structural change from a mining area to a technology region and today it is the most important economic factor. More than 50,000 people study and teach at the four universities and colleges in the Aachen region. Because of the academic expertise here, Forschungszentrum Jülich and numerous research centers of international corporate groups have been established in and around Aachen, making the urban region a Silicon Valley at the heart of Europe.

Aachen, known as “Europastadt” (City of Europe), is the center of a dynamic, cross-border knowledge region and stands for world-class university education in Natural Sciences and Engineering. More than 7000 international RWTH students from 120 nations, along with the close contacts the University has with its around 12000 graduates worldwide, give the scientific center of Aachen an international atmosphere.

Teaching and research are also reflected in the image of the city. Thanks to the students and their diverse cultural life, the tradition-rich City of Aachen has a lively and young appearance, particularly in the student quarter of Pontviertel.

Its proximity to the Eifel and the Ardennes, to Maastricht and Brussels with their linguistic and cultural distinctiveness, give the city that lies in the shadow of Charlemagne’s palace chapel a particular charm. Anyone who has been here once, according to a study by the Prognos consultancy, keeps coming back ...

Aachen – Centrally Located in Europe

Aachen’s central location offers quick access to numerous European cities. We have included a brief overview of the distances to many of them below.


Distances from Aachen to Major Destinations


  • Aachen – Amsterdam 227 km
  • Aachen – Berlin 632 km
  • Aachen – Brüssel 143 km
  • Aachen – Düsseldorf 87 km
  • Aachen – Hamburg 487 km
  • Aachen – Köln 67 km
  • Aachen – Liège 53 km
  • Aachen – London 501 km
  • Aachen – Maastricht 37 km
  • Aachen – Mailand 870 km
  • Aachen – München 627 km
  • Aachen – Paris 416 km
  • Aachen – Saarbrücken 264 km


  • Aachen – Cologne/Bonn Airport (CGN) 85 km
  • Aachen – Düsseldorf Airport (DUS) 96 km
  • Aachen – Maastricht/Aachen Airport, NL (MST) 35 km

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