The city center is a 40-minute drive from Maastricht Aachen Airport on fast modern roads. Adding a GPS to your booking when you rent a car in Aachen helps you navigate the unfamiliar streets with ease. Dipped headlights are compulsory when it is foggy, snowing, or raining and speeding regulations are strictly enforced. Parking zones and parking garages in the city are clearly marked.
Evidence of human settlement in the region goes back to the Bronze Age and Holy Roman Empire, but the city is most famous for its role during the reign of Charlemagne. He made it the political and geographical heart of his vast Empire in 974 A.D. Although heavily damaged during the Second World War, Aachen has been restored and brought back to life. As you explore the city in your rental car, look out for the 14th-century Rathaus, or city hall. This striking Gothic building is topped with 50 life-sized statues of German kings and rulers. You will also see the Pont Gate and the Marching Gate and remaining remnants of the medieval city walls. Another landmark is the Puppenbrunnen, a modern fountain that features clever mechanical art.