What to do and see in Bonn, Germany: The Best Places and Tips

August 3, 2017 Velvet Champine

Though probably best known as the capital of West Germany from 1949 to 1990 (and of reunified Germany until 1999), Bonn actually has a history dating back to the 1st century BC. Roman soldiers were stationed here and the largest known Roman fort was built at Bonn. In medieval times, the town gained prominence when the Archbishop of Cologne transferred his seat to Bonn. The city's most famous son is Ludwig van Beethoven, born in 1770 at Bonngasse, where a museum now honors him.
Restaurants in Bonn

1. German National Museum of Contemporary History

Willie Brandt Allee 14, 53113 Bonn, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany +49 228 91650
Excellent
74%
Good
20%
Satisfactory
4%
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4.5 based on 838 reviews

German National Museum of Contemporary History

Reviewed By Blumit

I visited the museum exactly on the day of Global Climate Conference. The exposition starts already in the underground station, right before the museum entrance. This time photos from massive German coal mines where displayed. Purely from the visual perspective the photos where magnificent, but obviously coal is not most environmentally friendly way to heat our houses or produce electricity.
Mr. Adenauer's Mercedes and his train are on display. Several audio and video installations, as well as books, describe his time in German government.
Unfortunately due to reconstruction main part of the museum was closed. Still it was interesting to learn about Germany as the country of societies (Verein). There are more than 600000 of them in Germany.
I also enjoyed a nice display of German automobile history with yet one more government "pullman" Mercedes.
The museum is completely free of charge. There is a nice cafeteria on the 1st floor of the museum. Free WiFi is offered throughout the museum. You can reach the place by U66/67. Takes about 7-8 minutes from Bonn central station. I walked along the river. Walk from Bonn central station to the museum lasts around 1-1.5h.
I definitely enjoyed my several hours there.
99% of the signs are in German. Several reviewers already said they would've liked to see English explanations as well, till now it's not done. Nevertheless it's worth the visit.

2. Freizeitpark Rheinaue

Bonn, Bonn, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
Excellent
66%
Good
30%
Satisfactory
3%
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4.5 based on 415 reviews

Freizeitpark Rheinaue

Reviewed By John E - Melbourne, Australia

I visited this park during the UN climate conference, often walking between the two zones. It must be a lovely park in summer, but it was especially beautiful in late autumn with all the reds and yellows of the leaves falling from the trees and blanketting the ground and the ponds and lakes. I wish I had more time to explore many of the paths in this park. If I return to Bonn in more summery conditions, I'll definitely spend some time in this park.

3. Botanische Garten der Universitat Bonn

Poppeldorfer Allee, 53115 Bonn, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany +49 228 735523
Excellent
56%
Good
34%
Satisfactory
8%
Poor
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4.5 based on 200 reviews

Botanische Garten der Universitat Bonn

Reviewed By DSC-NOVA - Fairfax, Virginia

The Botanical Gardens are within a short walk from the city center and offer an enjoyable outing for those who want to experience peace and tranquility within a bustling city. Located adjacent to the Poppelsdorf Palace, it is further demarked by a bridge over a small but scenic river so that in a sense you enter an entirely separate space..
The Botanical Gardens of Bonn’s university, which were laid out in the early 19th century, are located behind Palace (now an office building which is attractive to look at but offers nothing more). More than 8000 species of plant can be seen here and there are ten hothouses; the paths and hothouses are free and open to the public while still serving as an important botany research center.
The space offers diversity, with tropical plans, water lilies, ferns, cactuses, and orchids from places around the world available for viewing. Since this was spring, the garden was also home to animals working vigorously on establishing homes and families (in particular, frogs and ducks).
The trails are gentle and suitable for people in wheelchairs.
We spent about two hours within the Garden and didn’t manage to get to all the hothouses, but we were there in early spring when flowers were in bloom and the space was probably at its most appealing. It was a most enjoyable visit with surprisingly few other guests. To add to the ambiance, there is a cafe on-site which caters to both full meals and snacks.
We would return ... in spring when the Gardens are at their most attractive.

4. Bonner Munster

Gangolfstr. 14 | Gangolfstraße 14, 53111 Bonn, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany +49 228 985880
Excellent
44%
Good
42%
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4.5 based on 437 reviews

Bonner Munster

Reviewed By DSC-NOVA - Fairfax, Virginia

If you are into history, this is the site for you. Bonner Münster is one of Germany's oldest churches, having been built between the 11th and 13th centuries, but its origins go much further back: excavations beneath the crypt located a “Cella Memoriae”, which had been erected in the second half of the 3rd century. It was here where two Christian Roman officers underwent martyrdom: Saints Cassius and Florentius, members of the all-Christian Theban Legion, refused to kill fellow Christians. Their severed heads are reproduced as large sculptures outside the basilica. They have become a favorite climbing location for kids of all ages.
The basilica is Romanesque in design, with five towers of different heights. The interior is solemn, with parishioners and visitors seeking solace throughout the day. Relative silence is enforced throughout, including the cloister. As is true in much of Bonn, signage is mostly in German.
Be sure to step out into the cloisters and enjoy the quiet space.
We recommend visiting for the architectural and historic significance of the site; we spent about an hour exploring the space. That said, don't expect to find an extraordinary site or one that will wipe out memories of bigger and more better known religious building.
The basilica is relatively easy to find from the city center, since its spires rise above most of the buildings in this part of Bonn. The area around the basilica is worth exploring.

5. Zoologisches Museum Konig

Adenauerallee 160, 53113 Bonn, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany +49 228 91220
Excellent
61%
Good
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Satisfactory
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4.5 based on 133 reviews

Zoologisches Museum Konig

Reviewed By researchjatropha - Helsinki, Finland

I found Museum Alexander Koenig Studlls Zoologicis Sacrum (as written at the entrance) has taxidermist collection of a variety of tropical and temperate origin wild animals. For kids it can be an excellent place to start their introduction with mammals, fishes and birds of different species. For myself, as a man grown in tropics, it has been a wonderful experience to see in proximity the wild animals of temperate origin. Besides, I was impressed by the workmanship of the taxidermist. I have seen a number of families visiting the place with their kids. Kids look excited to be there. It is one of the best places for kids in Bonn city.

6. Altes Rathaus

Marktplatz, Bonn, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany +49 228 770
Excellent
38%
Good
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Satisfactory
15%
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4 based on 212 reviews

Altes Rathaus

Reviewed By Robert R - Scottsdale, Arizona

Visiting this square and market remind me of Epcot Center. It's so typically German that it seems like it might be staged by Disney. But it is the real deal -- beautiful, lively and highly enjoyable!

7. Beethoven Statue

Munsterplatz, Bonn, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
Excellent
36%
Good
41%
Satisfactory
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4 based on 242 reviews

Beethoven Statue

Reviewed By JordiBo - Amsterdam

Well, statue is just in the city centrum, on his own named square, you can´t miss this spot as is Beethoven city and probably you will also pay a visit to his house which is a few hundred meters away. If you like classical music of course Beethoven statue will be on your camera pictures as a must! My wife loves it, so of course we visited his house as well.

8. Bundeskunsthalle

Friedrich-Ebert-Allee 4, 53113 Bonn, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany +49 228 91710
Excellent
50%
Good
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Satisfactory
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4 based on 170 reviews

Bundeskunsthalle

Reviewed By Stephan G - Frankfurt, Germany

Kunst- und Ausstellungshalle der Bundesrepublik Deutschland (Art and Exhibition Hall of the Federal Republic of Germany) is one of the most visited museums in Germany. The people of Bonn gave the in the meantime wellknown short name: Bundeskunsthalle. It is a big part of the so-called "Museum Mile" in Bonn. It holds Exhibitions relating to art and cultural history from around the world. The museum is backed by the Federal Government and the States of Germany. The museum is located next to the Bonn Museum of Modern Art.
The purpose of The 'Bundeskunsthalle' aims to present and exhibit the intellectual and cultural wealth of Germany, as well as create opportunities for cultural exchange with other countries. It also aims to be a forum for dialogue between culture and politics. The museum does not have its own collection.
It was planned even before Bonn became the Capital of Germany in the late 40th, and after the move to Berlin it was still built and maintained by the German Goverment.
I went there during the Easter Holydays, not a good idea, far too many people... but the Iran Exihibition was very interesting and nicely done.

9. Bonn Christmas Market

Munsterplatz, Bonn, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
Excellent
62%
Good
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4.5 based on 82 reviews

Bonn Christmas Market

Reviewed By lesley2805 - Essex

We love the German Xmas markets, Cologne being one of our favourites. This time we chose to stay in Bonn. It was a really nice market, but still a little disappointing. Mainly food and drink, very few decorations. Which is quite sad. I bought most of mine in the local department stores.
We had done the market on the first day. Then drove to Cologne (again) on the second day, Essen on the third, and Aachen on the fourth.
Although Bonn is a really pretty setting the shops here are definitely better than the market for choice. We have enjoyed our stay, but I doubt if I would visit again

10. Beethoven House

Bonngasse 20, 53111 Bonn, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany +49 228 9817525
Excellent
40%
Good
33%
Satisfactory
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Poor
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4 based on 896 reviews

Beethoven House

Reviewed By bosphorus104 - Brooklyn, New York

Overall, I enjoyed visiting the house and seeing memorabilia from Beethoven's life and career. However, they could put some signage in English,French or other languages, or given out laminated guides with translations, similar to the temporary exhibit room. Also I am not sure why photographs are forbidden. I should have used the audioguide since all the signs are only in German. It was also extremely crowded due to some groups and a bit hard to navigate.

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