Germany: 10 must-do things in Bonn during a trip

par Destination(s) Europe

📌 Read in / Lire en : Français (French)

We often arrive in Bonn via Cologne. The contrast between the modern, cultural city and the much more bucolic atmosphere of the former capital of the FRG is immediately striking. This diversity is the sweetness of life, preventing boredom. Here is our pick of the ten things to do in Bonn to make the most of your stay.

Visit Beethoven’s House

It is a must-see on any visit to Bonn. Located at number 20 of the Bonngasse, this house was the birthplace of the famous German composer in 1770. The museum was founded there more than a century later, in 1893. It consists of two buildings: one overlooking the street and the annex on the garden, where the young Ludwig spent the first years of his life. This museum has the largest collection of objects that belonged to the German genius in the world.

Cycling down the Rhine

When the sunny days arrive, don’t hesitate: head to the banks of the Rhine and rent a bike for ten euros per day to go further south to Drachenburg Castle. On the way, you will cross the magnificent Rheinaue Park, with its ponds and varied fauna. On the way back, follow the other side of the river, where the beaches are overlooked by open-air bars. Miles of tested and approved happiness.

Europe by bike. Do you know the best cities for cycling on the continent? We tell you everything in this article.

The kind of landscape you can expect as you ride your bike (Credit: Destination(s) Europe).

Go on an assault on Drachenburg Castle

We say “go on the assault” but there is nothing medieval about this castle. Its construction began in 1882, which ultimately makes it a fairly recent building. But it is nonetheless majestic: the neo-Gothic-style of the Drachenburg Castle seems straight out of a fairy tale. It’s positioning allows you to survey the magnificently city of Bonn from the top of the Drachefels hill. The funicular that takes you up to the building offers several different options for your journey, including an ascent to the top of the hill to better appreciate the valley below.

(Credit: Phantom3Pix / CC)

Discover the splendid Town Hall

The Altes Rathaus, which sits east of the Place du Marché, has hosted famous figures such as John Fitzgerald Kennedy and Charles de Gaulle. This is because the city was the capital of West Germany during the Cold War. The building, with its double staircase, dormers, and mansard roof, is also worth a detour for its obvious beauty.

Immerse yourself in the history of the Cold War at Haus der Geschichte

A stop at the Town Hall will undoubtedly have made you want to know more about the period of the Cold War in Germany, so head to the House of the History of the Federal Republic of Germany and step back in time. Opened in 1994, this place will invite you relive the great moments of the country during troubled decades for three hours. You will also see some of the personal effects of the former chancellors of the FRG there.

Explore the city at night

The city of Bonn has a mysterious charm that makes every night time visit exciting. This has not always been the case. While it may not compete culturally with Berlin, or even the neighboring Cologne, Bonn has some perfect nightlife attractions. An opera or a ballet? Head to the “Rhineland Scala”, otherwise known as the “Oper der Stadt Bonn”, where you can choose from a large number of shows. Are you more of a jazz fan? The Pantheon Theater is for you. Or would you prefer we recommend a bar? Without hesitation, the Old Jacob, specialist in amazing cocktails.

The Old Jacob | Kesselgasse 1a, Bonn

Have a coffee on Münsterplatz

Münsterplatz is Bonn’s largest square, overseen by the imposing Bonn Minster. It is also known for its statue of the town’s native child, the genius composer Ludwig van Beethoven, erected in 1845 during a festival conducted by Franz Liszt. You will have plenty of time to admire this from your table: the square is full of cafes, and also hosts many festive events.

The Münsterplatz (Crédit: Destination(s) Europe)

Admire some beautiful paintings at the Kunstmuseum

Opened in 1992 and nearly 5,000m2 in size, the Kunstmuseum Bonn presents the main paintings of Rhine expressionism as well as many post-World War II works. You will mainly find German artists on display, such as Joseph Beuys, Georg Baselitz and Anselm Kiefer, but they also have some beautiful pieces by Robert Delaunay and Richard Long.

Pray (or meditate) at the Bonn Minster

An essential stopover for any stay in Bonn, the passage through the Bonn Minster is as much a moment of respite as a leap in time. This is the main church in the city, and was completed the same year that the first stone of Cologne Cathedral was laid: 1248. With its tall bell spire and five towers, you can’t miss it.

Explore Poppelsdorf Castle and its botanical gardens

Located in the east of the city of Bonn, Poppelsdorf Castle, built in the 18th century, now houses a mineralogical museum. The building is recognizable from its beautiful facade and three pavilions typical of French architecture. Behind the castle, you will find a very welcoming botanical garden, which boasts five greenhouses and nearly 8,000 plant species.

This list of ten things to do when visiting the town of Bonn in Germany is complete. If you have any other suggestions, feel free to share them with us in the comments!

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