Since we had nothing to do during the weekend, we decided to make a day trip to Aachen, a small and sleepy town which lies just across the German border. After various correspondences and all, we had a total of 10 like-minded people making the trip. It was a pretty large group from what I expected based on the initial poor response from the mega Whatsapp group full of fellow Singaporean exchange students.
From Maastricht Centraal, we took Bus 50 which brings us directly to the city centre of Aachen in 1h 30mins. It will cost around 5-6 euros (I can’t remember the exact fee), so make sure that your OV-chipcard has enough money in it. There’s a certain limit where you can travel with a negative value, but as far as possible try to avoid such a scenario, as you will never know when the limit is reached and you will then have to fork out much more money to pay for the ticket in cash.
Upon arriving in Aachen, we walked to Lindt Chocolate Factory. To call it a ‘factory’ would be really misleading as there wasn’t any obvious production or assembly line where visitors could walk around and see. The place was more of an outlet shop for cheap chocolates. The chocolates are cheap for a reason, as many of them are expiring soon. I picked up a chocolate bar only to realise that it was actually one day past its expiry! So, be sure to check the expiry date of the chocolates before buying!
This is a group photo of us outside the factory. I asked a passer-by to help us take the photo, but boy, did he look mean with all those gangster-like tattoos on his body! Fortunately, he wasn’t as menacing as he looked.
After getting some loot from the chocolate factory, we headed to the city centre of Acchen for lunch. Aachen is a really dead town on a Saturday. The city centre was deserted but luckily some F&Bs were open. We went to a rather fancy restaurant for lunch, where the food turned out tasty and affordable too!
In my honest opinion, Aachen has really nothing much to offer for tourists. It is a small residential town with a university, with no ‘X-factor’ to entice tourists from afar to visit. As a day trip for Maastricht students, however, it is a pretty good way to spend a day with friends, not to mention that it offers German food at much more affordable prices that what comparable restaurants in Maastricht could offer. To round up, if you are a student in Maastricht for the semester, I would strongly encourage you to pay Aachen a visit. 🙂