A festive fair around Cathedral and Town Hall (20 November till 23 December)
Every year before Christmas the squares and streets round the Cathedral and the Aachen Town Hall are transformed into a paradise of lights and colours, festive sounds and seductive smells. The glorious fair in the Christmas City, which has been erected with great care and sentiment, fascinates both the young and the old. The enormous choice between original, stylish and precious goods makes small and big dreams come true. It is really no wonder why the Aachen Christmas Market has become an absolute "must" for all people of Aachen and Aachen fans as well.
The Aachen Market has become famous far beyond the boundaries of the Aachen region. This is due to its pleasant and familiar atmosphere. People come to the Christmas Market in order to meet their families, friends, acquaintances and colleagues. This happens during the lunch break or after work, during the week or at the weekend. The carousel is a must for the children as is the mulled wine for the adults. Potato fritters are eaten at all times of the day. Naturally you will find a large variety of Printen and other Christmas cakes and biscuits, "Domino Stones", gingerbread, "Spekulatius" and marzipan bread. These are distributed all over the world by Aachen bakeries. However in the Aachen Christmas Market they come oven fresh and taste particularly delicious.
The organisers of the Christmas Market are proud to boast approx. 1.5 million visitors every year. Amongst them you can find guests from the Netherlands, Belgium, France and the United Kingdom.
The tradition of the Christmas Market goes back to the seventies. Originally when it was held around the Elisa Fountain the "Printen Market" was rather small. A huge change took place when it was moved to the Market Place and the Katschhof as well as the adjoining small streets. Not only visitor numbers have rocketed but also the number of exhibitors has continuously risen over the last years.
This way the choices of culinary delicacies as well as that of beautiful works of arts and crafts have increased with every year. The visitors are faced with a great deal of choice and this is why they come to see the colourful stands and stalls. But don't take too long to make up your mind what to take home because there is strong competition, especially the closer you get to Christmas.
The Aachen "Christmas City" closes its gates on the day before Christmas Eve in the afternoon. Then the Market and the small streets will remain somewhat empty, abandoned and silent. But don't be sad. You will be able to look forward to the next Christmas Market for the coming eleven months.