I found out about Bonn through my roommate Maria. She was the first friend I made in Germany. She stayed in my dorm for a week and a few days. As she was moving to Bonn, we promised to stay in touch and did. This meant I travelled to Bonn and she travelled to Essen several times. Bonn is known for its political importance. It was the capital of West Germany until 1990 before the reunification of West and East Germany. Today it still has United Nations offices; it holds numerous political science conferences and is home to the residence of the former Chancellor of Germany. Bonn has several museums, it’s the birthplace of Beethoven and it has a world-famous cherry blossom tree lane. It’s one of my favourite cities in Germany even though I skipped many of the museums I got to enjoy Bonn with Maria. So this is my roundup of the best things I did in Bonn along with things you should do if you love museums.
Beethoven House (Beethoven Haus)
The house where Beethoven was born is now a museum in Bonn. He was born in 1770 Bonngasse 20. In the museum, you can see interesting artefacts of his life such as portraits’ of him and his friends. Musical instruments he played and letters. The museum has a display room where Beethoven’s music is displayed in a visual show whilst it plays in the background. It’s incredible to see and a brilliant idea which allows deaf visitors to see the music. Beethoven house regularly holds mini-concerts where Beethoven’s music is played in the room where he played. Maria and I had a great time visiting and we went on a Sunday, the museum was relatively empty. Do note though that you aren’t allowed to take photographs inside of the museum.
Bonn Minster was built in the 11th century making it one of the oldest churches in Germany. It was built over other church and temple ruins from the Roman era. The church is a mix of Gothic and Romanesque architectural design and inside you will find Baroque decoration. It is a pretty church but, I will say that after a while visiting churches and museums become tedious since Germany and the rest of Europe has so many.
Old Town Hall (Altes Rathaus)
This 18th-century old townhouse still houses the mayor’s offices and has reception rooms. It looks more like a place than an administration building. Its construction started in 1730. The old town hall has a twin staircase front making it look regal. It’s a Rococo styled building where Kennedy, Charles de Gaulle and Mikhail Gorbachev were hosted.
Münsterplatz is the biggest square in Bonn where you can find an imposing statue of Beethoven. The Beethoven memorial includes four symbolic representations’ of the musician’s music. This is also where you will find the Bonn autumn festival and where the Christmas market stalls are placed you will walk past this square or through it.
Drachenburg Castle (Schloss Drachenburg)
This cute castle was commissioned by a wealthy capitalist who ended up never living inside of it. Each room in the castle is lovely. It is also perfectly located as it’s surrounded by a nature reserve. From Drachenburg castle you can see the Rhine River. Don’t miss this if you visit Bonn it is a bit of a travel from Bonn’s city centre but, it’s easy to get to.
Naturpark Siebengebirge is a nature reserve which surrounds Drachenburg castle its ideal for a leisurely hike on a sunny day.
Cherry Blossom festival
I wrote about this festival before in a previous post. Bonn has a few streets where cherry blossom trees bloom and make everything look magical. To read more about it all click here.
Former chancellor residence
The house where the chancellor of West Germany lived is still in Bonn. I visited it with my Masters Development and Governance class. The University of Duisburg-Essen sponsored the trip. The building isn’t over the top or grand at all. But, it was interesting to see it and hear the history of the place where heads of state visited.
Bonn Christmas market
The Christmas market in Bonn isn’t huge like the one in Cologne. But, it’s charming. I saw it on my class trip and our Professor bought us free drinks. If you happen to be in the area around Christmas time check it out Christmas markets all over Germany are great. And you can find unusual gifts such as special Christmas ornaments.
Bonn University Campus is beautiful. The building in the background of this photo used to be a castle. This alone makes it worth seeing. For me, it was where my friend was studying which made it even more special.
Bonn University Building in the background with Maria
Stroll along the riverside
The riverside is beautiful in Bonn. I never took a boat trip but, it is an option. There are many people strolling alongside the river.
There are many yummy food options in Bonn. You can find both traditional German and international cuisine if you visit the city. I love Vapiano which is a restaurant chain in Germany; they sell handmade pasta and pizza which is made right in front of you. Pendel serves more of a variety of food and some German dishes as well. It’s another lovely restaurant in Bonn.
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