small market stands: fresh fruits and vegetables
In the southern parts of Europe the area around the Cathedral is considered a sacred place where commercial sales of goods is not allowed. Exception can be done during major Catholic holidays or important anniversaries, but this is rare and may be purchased only souvenirs approved by the church.
I was surprised when I saw the stand with fruits and vegetables on Muensterplatz, which closes the eastern part of Aachener Dom. In my opinion this stand, on this spot, match as a "fist in the eye".
What to buy: Besides being ugly in appearance, this stand offers "ugly" prices. At such high prices would have to be offered first-class fruits and vegetables and it was not the case. I wanted to by an apple but the salesman said that I cannot choose by myself, so I gave up.
Traum atmosphaere: Nice glass artworks
The road to Ponttor led from the Marktplatz through Kockerellstrasse, an attractive pedestrian street which at the entrance is marked with the sculpture called "Reiterspiele". It is a quiet street and pedestrian oasis where you can find many shops and numerous bars and restaurants with out door terraces.
What to buy: My attention was drawn the shop where they sale lighting lamps of unusual shapes and vibrant colors. Lamps are made of glass and its creations in many ways reminiscent of Murano glass products. Creator of this really attractive lamps is Mr. Karin Zilt. The price of one lamp ranges from 100 euros and up.
DOM SHOP: BOOKS - BROCHURES - SOUVENIRS
Very near the entrance to the Cathedral on Johannes-Paul II Strasse13 is the DOM SHOP.
I went in to browse around and found a small booklet - Aachen - Concise and Colourful which I bought for 3 Euros. I wasn't sure if I would get the time to visit the Aachen Tourist Service Center.
It was a lovely store with lots of books, booklets and post-cards of Aachen.
Nobis: Where To Get Your Printen
Aachener Printen is a local baked speciality: a sortof cross between gingerbread and a biscuit. This had its origins in the feast-day breads introduced by the Belgians in the 17th century but following Napoleon's embargo of imported honey the Aachen bakers developed their own recipe and technique using sugar from beets.
This resulted in a coarser dough which then had to be pressed before baking and so the Printen was born.
Pinten comes in many shapes, sizes and degrees of elaboration and can be finished with toasted nuts (usually almonds), chocolate or simply glazed with sugar.
One of Aachen's best-known Printen bakeries is the small chain Nobis whose main shop is on Münsterplatz, next door to the Cathedral.
As well as the colourful Printen shop this Nobis is also a buzzy cafe offering all sorts of home-baked goodies and excellent coffee.
Just a note of warning when shopping for Printen. Unless pre-packaged it is sold by weight and the price displayed is per 100g.
- Historical Travel
- Food and Dining
- Beer Tasting
LUSH: Ladies, you MUST try the bubble bars!
All sorts of bath products, such as bubble bars, bath bombs, soap, lotions, lip balm, body scrubs, etc. These products make wonderful gifts!
What to buy: If you buy nothing else, buy a bubble bar! They are pricey, but break them in half, they are still fabulous! These are the most wonderful things I have ever used in my bathtub. They smell nice and leave my skin feeling great.
What to pay: I paid around €4-5+- per bubble bar and the bath bombs were about the same. They also have some nice pre-packaged gift sets at different price points.
- Spa and Resort
- Luxury Travel
- Women's Travel
Adalbertstrasse: The Main Shopping Street
Our hotel was right off this street which seems to me to be the main shopping one. We shopped at Zara and Galeria Kaufhof, but they have a wide variety of other stores. And by comparison to the shopping area in Cologne which we were yet to encounter, this one is so much calmer!
- Women's Travel
- Business Travel
Vom Fass: Straight from the cask!
Vom Fass is speciality store which sells flavored liquors, wines and oils from casks. The variety is amazing and you can sample the products before you buy them. Bryan had been to one while in Switzerland and was really excited to see one in Aachen. We sampled the Fig and Sour Cherry flavors and he got a large bottle of each. I love the Sour Cherry and bought a little bottle of it for myself. They do a great job at sealing these for you which makes you less nervous about packing them in your carry on!
And... I must mention that the clerks at the store were SO nice that it made shopping there truly a pleasure!
- Road Trip
- Food and Dining
- Wine Tasting
Galeria Kaufhof: Food Gallery
You see these stores all around Germany and I know they're a basic department store that everything. I peeked at the Women's department but didn't see anything I cared to explore further so we just hit the food gallery for some provisions like water and snacks for our train ride to Hannover.
- Study Abroad
- Work Abroad
BabyOne: Very nice baby and toddler items!
This is a large store that has pretty much everything you might need (or just want!) for your infant or toddler.
What to buy: Clothes, furniture, carseats, all sorts of baby and toddler needs. I liked the buggy boards (google it on google images or froogle) I have never seen them here in the US. They are basically a little platform for older children to stand on that attaches to the back of a stroller.
What to pay: Prices are anywhere from average to high.
- Family Travel
This struck me as being pretty much like a Super Wal-Mart here in the states.
What to buy: Call me strange, but I'm fascinated by grocery stores in foreign countries. I don't go on vacation to eat, but eat I must, and seeing all the different products available is really interesting.
I was able to pick up a lot of chocolate for family members as well as some frites sauce and curry ketchup which isn't all that easy to find here. I didn't check out the rest of the store, except for the infants dept as I was over visiting my daughter who just had her first child.
I was also able to buy some cheese that's hard to find here in the US, called Prima Donna. I bought that at the deli counter. If you like cheese, give it a try.
- Food and Dining
various: Shopping galore
Aachen is a great shopping town as there are lots of pedestrian streets both in the old and in the new town and they are all full of fun and/or stylish shops. Then there is the December Christmas market with its traditional things.
- Women's Travel
- Luxury Travel
Weihnachtsmarkt: Get your Gluehwein here!
Gluehwein is the traditional warm alcoholic beverage drunk at Christmas markets all over Germany on chilly winter days. Similar to mulled wine, there are stalls selling it by the glass thoughout the market for a couple of Euro and some stalls selling bottles to be taken home.
WeihnachtsMarkt: Christmas shopping in Aachen
It was a real treat just to wander around and experience the atmosphere here - it really feels Christmassy, despite the lack of snow! With twinkling lights, amazing aromas from all the lovely food and traditional German Christmas music they really know how to entice the shoppers! Stall holders were friendly and chatty and helpful and really benefitted from the huge amount of coach parties from England and other parts of Germany!
What to buy: The Christmas Market is full of stalls selling all kinds of Christmas things - wooden toys, handmade decorations, soap, perfume, woolen accessories, food, chocolate, Printen, Gluehwein, cards, ornaments, etc etc etc.
What to pay: Various
All the shops!: Decorations
Every shop in Aachen was beautifully decorated for Christmas ... they really know how to do this with style in Germany.
What to buy: Christmas decorations are of course everywhere at this time of year! You can buy beautiful handmade or mass produced decorations quite cheaply. There are just tooo many to choose from!
What to pay: I bought 10 little red and white handmade felt stars for 1E each!
Christmas Market: Aachener Printen
The Market is probably the best place to buy Printen in the Christmas season.
What to buy: Aachen is famous for its speciality "Printen" - a traditional gingerbread biscuit which comes in all shapes and sizes and with or without a chocolate coating.
What to pay: Various prices depending on the size and quantity of the biscuits you buy!