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 July
Estimated hotel price
£61
1 night at 3-star hotel
Bonn in July
Estimated hotel price
£61
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 (1,367 reviews)
United Airlines
Good (2,465 reviews)
American Airlines
Good (3,907 reviews)
KLM
Good (290 reviews)
Air France
Good (291 reviews)
Turkish Airlines
Good (1,073 reviews)
Delta
Excellent (2,655 reviews)
British Airways
Good (936 reviews)
SWISS
Excellent (354 reviews)
Qatar Airways
Good (926 reviews)
Iberia
Good (660 reviews)
Air Canada
Good (626 reviews)
Emirates
Excellent (659 reviews)
Austrian Airlines
Good (195 reviews)
TAP AIR PORTUGAL
Good (367 reviews)
Brussels Airlines
Good (74 reviews)
Ryanair
Good (1,156 reviews)
Scandinavian Airlines
Good (303 reviews)
Etihad Airways
Good (201 reviews)
Finnair
Good (445 reviews)
Show more

Where to stay in Bonn

The Max Hostel on Maxstrasse offers good central accommodation with dorm rooms. The Kameha Grand Bonn Hotel is a modern 5-star option on the banks of the Rhine and just 20 minutes from downtown.

Popular neighbourhoods 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.

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 Königswinter
Excellent (8.4, Excellent reviews)
£94+
Intercityhotel Bonn
Excellent (8.4, Excellent reviews)
£70+
Maritim Hotel Bonn
Excellent (8.2, Excellent reviews)
£78+
Bonn Marriott Hotel
Excellent (8, Excellent reviews)
£97+
Kameha Grand Bonn
Good (7.8, Good reviews)
£128+
Hilton Bonn
Good (7.8, Good reviews)
£86+
See all hotels

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
£8.81
A pair of jeans
£61.60
Single public transport ticket
£2.47
Cappuccino
£2.00