Bonn is one of the cities you should visit if you travel to Cologne. It is located in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia. It is small, so you can get around on foot and see everything touristy in a day.
🗺 Things to do and see in Bonn in a day
Visitors to Bonn do so for one of four reasons:
- Being the birthplace of Beethoven
- Being the city where Haribo was born (ok, this is real; but I doubt many people visit for that)
- Its history: for a time it was the capital of the Federal State of Germany and the seat of government.
- Being close to Cologne
But first, let me give you some advice. Don’t leave this German area without visiting Drachenfels. I also recommend you to spend the night in Bonn and, on your way back to Cologne, make a short stop in Brühl to visit Schloss Augustusburg.
Here is a list of all the things you should see and do in Bonn 👇
A must-see in Bonn is Beethoven’s birthplace.
It is now a house-museum, but for years the house was inhabited by the composer’s family, who were born there in 1770. Inside is the largest collection about Beethoven and his family, where you can find information about his family tree, his personal belongings and even the incomplete autograph of his ninth symphony, which was declared a World Heritage Site.
At the age of 22, Beethoven left the city and it was Beethoven himself who was responsible for gathering all these elements to house them in his house-museum.
The entrance fee for an adult is €6, or free with Bonn Regio Welcome. This tourist card gives you free transport around Bonn and free (or reduced) admission to the city’s 20 museums.
This is the seat of the rectorate of the University of Bonn.
It was founded in 1819 by Frederick William III of Prussia and much of its main building was destroyed by a bomb in 1944. You can enter free of charge and walk around the university where famous philosophers such as Nietzsche and Marx have studied.
This is one of the main squares in the city of Bonn. Here we can find several elements of tourist interest: Beethoven Denmalk-Münsterplatz (statue of Beethoven) and Bonner Münster (Bonn Cathedral).
This is the place that hosts the Christmas market during the months of November and December.
Access to the cathedral is free of charge and since 1956 it has held the title of “Papal Minor Basilica”. The church was, in the words of Pope Pius XII “the most valuable monument of the city” because of its historical past, its beauty and magnificence.
Beethoven Denmalk- Münsterplatz
The Beethoven statue was unveiled in 1845 to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the composer’s birth, in which year a three-day festival in his honour was held for the first time.
This is an 18th century baroque castle palace.
It was begun by the French architect Robert de Cotte and finished by Balthasar Neumann in 1753. In the summer it hosts various concerts and, next to it, there is the botanical garden and an area dedicated to research carried out by the city’s own university.
The botanical garden belongs to the university and can be visited free of charge.
These are the ruins of the old 13th century city walls that surrounded and protected the city. They are located in the old town between Münsterplatz and Marktplatz.
This is the green heart of Bonn.
It covers 160 hectares and has a pedestrian network of more than 45 km.
Although it is a giant park where you can spend hours and hours walking, I recommend a visit to it. It has beautiful views of the city and is perfect for a picnic on a sunny day or a boat ride on Lake Auensee.
Inside the park you can find different gardens: for the blind, Japanese, sports fields. If you decide to relax and take a walk in the park, I advise you to visit the totem pole (a gift from a Canadian city) and the Bismarck tower.
This is the former town hall and is located on the Market Square. It was built between 1737-1738 in the late Baroque style. Theodor Heuss, the first President of the Federal Republic, introduced himself to the public from the steps of this building.
The cherry tree avenue is considered to be one of the most beautiful streets in Bonn.
Without a doubt, I recommend you to choose the first or Christmas as the best time to visit the city.
Every spring, the German city dresses in this beautiful colour thanks to the pink colour of the sakura, the cherry blossom. Whether you have a significant other or not, you’ll find this place to be beautiful and romantic.
The first Haribo factory was established in Bonn by Hans Riegel in 1922.
Hence the name of the company is made up of the first two letters of the founder’s first name and surname and the name of the city (Hans Riegel Bonn).
Every autumn since October 1936, Haribo has organised a barter day where chestnuts and acorns are exchanged for sweets. Children can go to the Haribo warehouse in Bonn and exchange 10 chestnuts or 5 acorns for a Haribo product.
🍴Places to eat in Bonn
When I travelled to Germany, I spent 4 days in Bonn. And there I discovered Backwerk, my favourite café in the city.
My recommendation is their hot chocolate. It is located on Friedensplatz. The cheapest restaurants in Bonn are BurgerWerk and Burrito Rico. But if you prefer something more sophisticated, I recommend Strand Haus or Remise Bonn.
🛌 Where to stay in Bonn
If you have time, I recommend staying an extra day in the city and visiting Drachenfels Castle.
Here is a list of recommended accommodation in Bonn, sorted by price:
Apartament: Apartments Baden
📍Places to visit near Bonn
- Colonia: It is located 35 km from Bonn . It is the oldest city in Germany and the fourth largest city in the country. In its cathedral “rest” the bones of the Three Wise Men.
- Drachenfels:This is a hill near Bonn, in the village of Königswinter. From the village itself there is a road with a LOT of hills, but they lead you to an incredible view of the castle.
- Brühl:In this place there is a palace with beautiful gardens. I recommend a visit at sunset.