Bonn travel guide

Bonn Tourism | Bonn Guide

You're Going to Love Bonn

Bonn was the capital city of West Germany and is still a major center for conferences and exhibitions. The birthplace of Beethoven, it is a city of culture and music, with plenty of cafes and bars in summer.

This is an atmospheric, small city with a vibrant student culture, and it makes a good touring base for the surrounding Eifel and Rhine areas.

Top 5 Reasons to Visit Bonn

1. Museums and Galleries

Bonn has a great selection of museums and galleries, including Beethoven Haus and the Kunst und Ausstellungshalle der Bundesrepublik Deutschland.

2. Street Culture

In summer, Bonn's pavements are peppered with beer gardens and cafes, making the city an excellent place to hang out and enjoy people watching.

3. The Rhineland

Bonn is a convenient base from which to explore the romantic Rhine area, where you can enjoy a cruise on the stunning river.

4. The Architecture

Bonn has a good collection of impressive buildings, such as the university, Palais Schaumburg, and the Bonn Minster.

5. The History

Bonn dates from 13 BC and has some excellent visitor guides with tours of the most important historic sites.

What to do in Bonn

1. Beethoven-Haus: The Musical Museum

As the name suggests, this museum, cultural institution, and memorial site was established in honor of the famous composer Ludwig van Beethoven. Bonn and is also known as Bethoven's City, and the museum, which is the site of the renowned composer's birthplace, was founded in 1889 for the sole purpose of studying and celebrating the master's life and work. Be part of the 100,000 visitors who come to this prestigious site to view the world's largest Beethoven collection. Explore the life of one of the most revered classical music composers of all time and even see some of his original instruments.

2. Bonner Münster: Beauty of the Basilica

Located in the heart of Germany is one of the city's oldest Roman Catholic churches, The Bonn Minster. The church, which is now a minor basilica, was built between the 11th and 13th centuries. Explore the various sculptures inside and outside the church and learn about each of their significance, such as the giant sculptured heads at the front that depict Saints Florentius and Cassius, who were beheaded for their strong religious beliefs directly at the location where the Münster now stands.

3. Poppelsdorf Palace: Science is Calling

Completed in 1753, the Baroque Poppelsdorfer Palace is a Mineralogical-Petrological Museum which houses the University of Bonn's natural sciences collections. A 'Botanical Garden' was developed from the adjacent palace grounds, which is currently one of the most ancient gardens in the world with a rich variety of species. Time your visit to coincide with the annual Poppeldorfer palace concerts, where lovers of classical music are entertained in front of the Baroque Palace's beautifully illuminated backdrop.

4. Zoologische Forschungsmuseum Alexander Koenig: A Rare Species of Beauty

Both a distinguished zoological institution and natural history museum, the Alexander Koenig Research Museum was established in honor of professor Alexander Koenig, who donated his entire specimen collection to the institution. The building was established on May 13, 1934 and consists of various buildings, animal cages and houses that have served a variety of purposes throughout the years. View the numerous exhibitions on display in this vast collection, such as the restored Leonerasaurus skeleton, the arthropod collection, and professor Koenig's historic villa, where he lived which housed his extensive bird collection.

5. Theme Park Rheinaue: Bonn's Green Heart

Modeled by Gottfried Hansjakob, the landscape (which measures 160 hectares) of the Theme Park Rheinaue is strategically split into three zones, the brainchild of its architect Gottfried Hansjakob who specialized in landscape designs for urban areas. Great for relaxing on a sunny day, this is the perfect place to be for families both small and large. The activities to take part in are limitless, including barbecuing, biking, jogging, or just admiring the impeccable landscape design. There's so much to see, including waterfalls, a beautiful Japanese garden, and clear lake where boats can be rented to explore the park from a different angle.

1. Beethoven-Haus: The Musical Museum

As the name suggests, this museum, cultural institution, and memorial site was established in honor of the famous composer Ludwig van Beethoven. Bonn and is also known as Bethoven's City, and the museum, which is the site of the renowned composer's birthplace, was founded in 1889 for the sole purpose of studying and celebrating the master's life and work. Be part of the 100,000 visitors who come to this prestigious site to view the world's largest Beethoven collection. Explore the life of one of the most revered classical music composers of all time and even see some of his original instruments.

2. Bonner Münster: Beauty of the Basilica

Located in the heart of Germany is one of the city's oldest Roman Catholic churches, The Bonn Minster. The church, which is now a minor basilica, was built between the 11th and 13th centuries. Explore the various sculptures inside and outside the church and learn about each of their significance, such as the giant sculptured heads at the front that depict Saints Florentius and Cassius, who were beheaded for their strong religious beliefs directly at the location where the Münster now stands.

3. Poppelsdorf Palace: Science is Calling

Completed in 1753, the Baroque Poppelsdorfer Palace is a Mineralogical-Petrological Museum which houses the University of Bonn's natural sciences collections. A 'Botanical Garden' was developed from the adjacent palace grounds, which is currently one of the most ancient gardens in the world with a rich variety of species. Time your visit to coincide with the annual Poppeldorfer palace concerts, where lovers of classical music are entertained in front of the Baroque Palace's beautifully illuminated backdrop.

4. Zoologische Forschungsmuseum Alexander Koenig: A Rare Species of Beauty

Both a distinguished zoological institution and natural history museum, the Alexander Koenig Research Museum was established in honor of professor Alexander Koenig, who donated his entire specimen collection to the institution. The building was established on May 13, 1934 and consists of various buildings, animal cages and houses that have served a variety of purposes throughout the years. View the numerous exhibitions on display in this vast collection, such as the restored Leonerasaurus skeleton, the arthropod collection, and professor Koenig's historic villa, where he lived which housed his extensive bird collection.

5. Theme Park Rheinaue: Bonn's Green Heart

Modeled by Gottfried Hansjakob, the landscape (which measures 160 hectares) of the Theme Park Rheinaue is strategically split into three zones, the brainchild of its architect Gottfried Hansjakob who specialized in landscape designs for urban areas. Great for relaxing on a sunny day, this is the perfect place to be for families both small and large. The activities to take part in are limitless, including barbecuing, biking, jogging, or just admiring the impeccable landscape design. There's so much to see, including waterfalls, a beautiful Japanese garden, and clear lake where boats can be rented to explore the park from a different angle.

Where to Eat in Bonn

Brauhaus Bönnsch on Sterntorbrücke offers good local food from EUR15, while Roses on Martinsplatz has Italian-influenced European fare from EUR20 for mains.

When to visit Bonn

Bonn in February
Estimated hotel price
$163
1 night at 3-star hotel
Bonn in February
Estimated hotel price
$163
1 night at 3-star hotel

The city has a mild, northern European climate. Temperatures rarely exceed 60 degrees Fahrenheit in summer and drop to around 30 in winter. The carnival in February makes this a good time to visit.

Data provided by weatherbase
Temperatures
Temperatures
Average
Celcius (°C)
Data provided by weatherbase

How to Get to Bonn

Plane

Cologne Bonn Airport (CGN) lies 14 miles from town and has good connections across Europe. The SB60 airport bus will take you into Bonn for EUR7.70, while a taxi costs around EUR45.

Train

Bonn Hauptbahnhof is the city's main train station and has frequent services to Frankfurt, where you can connect to routes across Europe.

Car

Germany is renowned for the quality of its autobahn network and Bonn is well served by routes 3, 4, and 61.

Bus

Operators like GoEuro operate frequent bus services to Bonn from other German cities. Tickets from Berlin are available from EUR19 and from Munich starting at EUR14.

Airlines serving Bonn

Lufthansa
Good (3,709 reviews)
KLM
Good (687 reviews)
SWISS
Good (813 reviews)
British Airways
Good (3,455 reviews)
Delta
Good (4,189 reviews)
Turkish Airlines
Good (2,060 reviews)
Air France
Good (838 reviews)
United Airlines
Good (4,266 reviews)
Qatar Airways
Good (2,210 reviews)
Emirates
Excellent (1,811 reviews)
Austrian Airlines
Good (406 reviews)
Iberia
Good (1,400 reviews)
Air Canada
Good (4,028 reviews)
Brussels Airlines
Good (203 reviews)
Scandinavian Airlines
Good (759 reviews)
Singapore Airlines
Excellent (732 reviews)
Finnair
Good (949 reviews)
TAP AIR PORTUGAL
Good (1,007 reviews)
Etihad Airways
Good (601 reviews)
LOT
Good (634 reviews)
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Where to stay in Bonn

Altstadt - this is Bonn's old town and its cultural center, filled with pedestrian streets, and lots of bars and cafes; it is ideal for a leisurely stroll.

Popular Neighborhoods in Bonn

Poppelsdorf - this district has some beautiful buildings dating from the 19th century, and is home to Poppelsdorfer Castle and the Botanical Gardens.

Ippendorf - Ippendorf is a great place to enjoy the countryside in the city. It is home to the Bonn Stadtwald (city forest), where the Ippendorf House of Nature has many natural exhibits.

Most popular hotel in Bonn by neighbourhood

Where to stay in popular areas of Bonn

Most booked hotels in Bonn

Maritim Hotel Bonn
Excellent (8.2, Excellent reviews)
$174+
Intercityhotel Bonn
Excellent (8.2, Excellent reviews)
$135+
Dorint Venusberg Bonn
Excellent (8.1, Excellent reviews)
$194+
Dorint Hotel Bonn
Excellent (8, Excellent reviews)
$192+
Kameha Grand Bonn
Good (7.8, Good reviews)
$233+

How to Get Around Bonn

Public Transportation

Bonn is served by an excellent bus, tram, and subway network. You can buy tickets from numerous vending machines around the city, which are valid on all of the local public transport and cost from EUR1.90 for a single journey.

Taxi

Taxis have an initial EUR5 fare and then cost around EUR3 per mile.

Car

Bonn's road network is good but look out for the pedestrianized areas in the center. Car rental is available from Avis and Enterprise, and prices start at around EUR90 per day.

The Cost of Living in Bonn

Shopping Streets

Bonn has the usual big chain department stores around the city center and there is a good supermarket, Basic, on Maximilianstrasse. More upscale shopping is centered around Martinsplatz and Sternstrasse.

Groceries and Other

A quart of milk in Bonn costs around EUR1 and a dozen large eggs are EUR2.44.

Cheap meal
$17.95
A pair of jeans
$125.55
Single public transport ticket
$5.03
Cappuccino
$4.07