Bonn is one of the largest cities in the Cologne Lowland, second only to Cologne itself in terms of population count. Despite the size, it maintains a cozy, relaxed atmosphere of a small town, featuring mostly low-rise buildings, a charming old town and a lot of greenery. Located only 28 km south of Cologne up the Rhine river, it has a wealth of museums and points of interest.
Bonn was the de facto capital of the pre-reunification Federal Republic of Germany ("West Germany") from 1949 through 1990. The city still holds the seats of many federal institutions, and remains a popular choice for large-scale exhibitions and conferences. Bonn is also the birthplace of Ludwig van Beethoven, who is celebrate throughout the city with several memorials and events.
You should consider a trip to Bonn if you like atmospheric smaller cities with many students and a rich culture. Admirers call it Italy's most northern city because of its street culture with many cafes and beer gardens in the summer. It is also a good base for day trips to Cologne, Düsseldorf, the romantic Rhine and the Eifel region.
Bonn's beginning dates between 13-9 BC when Romans began building roads, bridges, and fortresses at a location known as "Bonna." One well-documented event was the martyrdom of two Thebaean legionaries. The Thebaean Legion was an all Christian legion, which refused to worship the emperor as a god. As punishment, the Thebaean Legion's commander, Mauritius was executed in St. Moritz as were many other Thebaean legionaries including Cassius and Florentius, Bonn's patron saints, who were martyred at the location of the present-day Münster basilica.
After the Romans left, the town had a very tumultuous history. Bonn has been destroyed and pummeled on so many occasions that it nearly became a pastime. Norman invaders were the first to burn the town to the ground in 881 and again in 892. In 1198, King Philip of Swabia and Duke Heinrich von Brabant laid siege to Bonn. In 1244 Konrad von Hochstaden, archbishop of Cologne ordered Bonn to be fortified. The reasons for fortification may have been for the Archbishop's protection as he had apparently begun fighting with Cologne's leaders and often resided in Bonn after the dispute. In 1288 under Sigfried II von Westerburg the archbishopric was transferred from Cologne to Bonn, which has since been transferred back to Cologne.
In 1582 Archbishop Gebhard Truchsess von Waldburg converted to Calvinism and refused to give up his position as elector. In February of 1583 Waldburg married and was in April of the same year excommunicated by Pope Gregory XIII. After the Truschessian War Gebhard fled to Strasbourg, but not before Bonn felt the rapture of Bavarian troops, who blew up the Godesberg (the archbishop's residence) with 1,500 pounds of gunpowder. While the town survived the Thirty Years' War Bonn was completely destroyed in 1689 as a result of the War of the Grand Alliance.
In December 1770 Bonn's most famous son, Ludwig van Beethoven, was born on Bonngasse. Bonn is probably best known as Beethoven's birthplace and this fact is well advertised by the city despite Beethoven's vehement disgust towards his hometown. Beethoven spent some time in Vienna hoping to study with Mozart, but after his mother's death he was forced to return to Bonn for five years to raise his two younger brothers since his alcoholic father was unable to. In 1792 Beethoven returned to Vienna and never came back to Bonn.
While Bonn is by no means a "village" its selection as seat of the government of the new west German state in 1949 was precisely because the partition of Germany should appear to be temporary and thus more important or symbolic cities such as Cologne, Munich or Hamburg were soon out of consideration. However in the final decision the fact that Konrad Adenauer had a house nearby may well have played some if not the decisive role, where Bonn beat out Frankfurt by a single vote.
After reunification it was seriously considered to keep the government in town, especially as the previously "provisional" facilites had just been upgraded bit by bit in the late 1980s. However in another close vote the Bundestag decided to move most agencies to Berlin, while some would stay in Bonn much to the chagrin of people who see the double facilities as needless pork in favor of Bonn.
- Bonn Information, Windeckstraße 1, 53111 Bonn (street between the post office and Karstadt), ☎ . M-F 10AM-6:30PM, Sa 9AM-4PM, Su 10AM-2PM. The tourist information offers almost all the help a tourist could need. They also have brochures about walking tours in English. You can also buy tickets for the theater and the opera there.
Bonn is nominally served by the Cologne-Bonn Konrad Adenauer Airport (German: Köln-Bonn) (IATA: CGN) in Cologne. The airport handles far more air cargo traffic than passengers, but since the airport has become the hub for a Lufthansa's low-fare subsidiary Germanwings, it is well connected to many major European airports. The airport is also well-served by other low-fare airlines like Ryanair and holiday flight specialists like and TUIfly.
That said, the airport sees very little intercontinental passenger traffic, save for a few flights to countries like Turkey, Morocco or Iran operated by the respective countries airlines and serving mainly local ethnic minorities. In November/December 2015, those will be joined by Germanwings's long-distance sister airline, Eurowings, flying to holiday destinations like Dubai or Bangkok. For other long-distance flights, you have to take one of the many connections to one of Europe's major intercontinental hubs.
From the airport, take the SB60 airport bus (€7.20) to Bonn's central bus station near the Hauptbahnhof. It leaves every 30 minutes from outside Terminal 1 arrivals, and takes a little over half an hour to reach the Bonn city centre. You can also take a train from the airport to Bonn-Beuel, which is on the other side of the river from Bonn city (Zentrum). A taxi to central Bonn will cost around €45.
If you are flying transatlantically, chances are Frankfurt is a better option time-wise - as you are likely to get a direct flight - though not necessarily in terms of budget. If you are cost conscious comparing airfares to CGN, FRA and several other airports in the general area is certainly a good idea, as due to the quirky nature of airline pricing differences in price of one or two hundred Euro are not at all uncommon.
Timewise, however, CGN is just as far from Bonn as the Frankfurt Airport IATA: FRA, one of Europe's busiest intercontinental hubs. The airport has a long-distance train station directly connected to Bonn's Siegburg railway station, which high-speed trains (departing every hour) reach in less than 40 minutes. When flying Lufthansa, you can even book the train connection as a part of your long-distance flight ticket - the station's IATA code is ZPY and the Lufthansa tickets to this destination are often priced the same or slightly lower as those terminating at FRA. For more details see rail air alliances
Travelling with the regional train SE10 "RheingauLinie" from Frankfurt try to sit on the right hand side of the train for the better view and the Regional-Express RE 5 "Rhein-Express" or Mittelrheinbahn MRB26 from Koblenz to sit in the left hand side.
- Bonn Central Station (Bonn Hbf), Am Hauptbahnhof 1, ☎ , fax: +49 / (0)228 / 715324, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Despite the name, meaning Bonn central station, it is only served local and regional trains, and also acts as the hub for Bonn's light rail system (Stadtbahn). You can arrive there from Cologne on the S-Bahn, as well as Frankfurt and Koblenz via the longer, scenic route.
- Siegburg ICE-Bahnhof. The station on the right hand side of the Rhine is where the German high-speed trains (ICE) stop, instead of Bonn Hauptbahnhof. You can get there from Bonn's city centre in around 20 minutes by using tram S66.
- Bonn-Beuel to the right side of the Rhine: only Regional trains RB27 and RE8.
By long distance bus
Traveling by long distance bus, you would typically take the bus lines to Cologne and then continue your travel to Bonn by regional train. There's only one long-distance bus station of Postbus located at the Posttower
- Postbus station. There's a Postbus connection from Bonn to Frankfurt, Karlsruhe, Stuttgart, Munich, and Dortmund
The city centre itself is not very big and you are able to reach the different attractions there by foot.
Bonn has an excellent bus, night bus, tram and subway system operated by the local Stadtwerke Bonn. There are ticket offices and vending machines at major stations, offering single tickets (€2.70), multiple tickets and both 24-hour and weekly passes. The tickets are valid in local trains, Stadtbahn (subway), tram, buses and night buses.
It is also a good city to explore by bike. Rental bikes are available at the train station from Deutsche Bahn at platform 1 or from the Radstation behind the train station.
- Old Town Hall (Altes Rathaus), Markt (at the market place). Built in 1737 in Rococo style.
- Bonner Münster, Gerhard-von-Are Straße 5, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Church 7AM-7PM, cloister 9AM-5PM. A beautiful basilica, in Bonn's city center. Only Bonn Information or the Bonner Münster Foundation are permitted to arrange guided tours to the basilica. The "Bonn Information" organization can arrange for non-German tours.
- The Beethoven Monument stands on the Münsterplatz.
- Kreuzbergkirche, Stationsweg 21, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. In summer 9AM–6PM, winter 9AM-5PM. Visit of the Holy Staircase 9AM–5PM. The church is a beautiful example of baroque architecture. Today, the church serves as both a church and a German language and culture school, but is probably best known for the "Heiliger Steige." The church was erected in 1627/1628 on the orders of the archbishop to replace an older chapel. In 1746 Elector Clemens August von Bavarian donated the "Heiliger Steige", or holy staircase, which, according to legend has pieces of the cross the crucified Jesus set into the stone. Small brass crosses on the second, eleventh, and last steps mark the spots where the pieces of the cross are supposed to be set. Beautiful view over Bonn.
- Universität Bonn (University Main Building), Regina Pacis Weg 3. 8AM-10PM. It is in the former residential palace of the Archbishop and Kurfürst of Cologne, built by Enrico Zuccalli from 1697-1705. It stretches from Kaiserplatz to the Rhine (Alter Zoll) and crosses two streets (Stockenstraße and Adenauerallee), the gates are called Stockentor and Koblenzer Tor. The building looks impressive and beautiful from the outside, but could use a renovation inside. Feel free to walk in. Best view on the palace is from the Hofgarten side. The Hofgarten is a park directly in front of the palace and a place for students to meet and relax in the summer between and after lectures. During Bonn's times as capital, it saw all the major anti-government demonstrations.
- Poppelsdorfer Schloss and Botanical Gardens, Crossing of Poppelsdorfer and Meckenheimer Allee. Apr-Oct 10AM-6PM, Nov-Mar 10AM-4PM, Sa closed. Was built as a resort in rococo style for the Archbishop of Cologne Clemens August from 1715 to 1753 by Robert de Cotte and today houses the university's mineral collection, several science departments and the botanical gardens. The palace itself is not open to the public. The botanical gardens next to the palace are a peaceful and beautiful place to relax, have a look at the sunbathing turtles at the pool. The gardens cultivate about 10.000 plant species. The green houses were recently renovated. Coming from the city center, walk there from the University Main Building via Kaiserplatz and Poppelsdorfer Allee. Free, on Sunday and holidays €3 (reduced €1).
- Alter Friedhof, Berliner Platz (Stop Stadthaus). The old cemetery, created in 1715, is an atmospheric cemetery with many old graves, among them the graves of Robert and Clara Schumann, Ernst Moritz Arndt, Friedrich Schiller's wife Charlotte von Schiller and their son.
- Südstadt. The southern part of the city owns impressively beautiful buildings from the late 19th and early 20th century in ancient alleys. You can get an English walking tour brochure from the Tourist Information.
- Doppelkirche in Schwarzrheindorf, Dixstr. 41 (on the other side (some say the wrong side) of Bonn in the suburb of Schwarzrheindorf). Tu-Sa 9AM-6:30PM (9AM-5PM in winter), Su 11AM-6:30PM, M closed. The double church St. Maria (upper level) and St. Clemens (lower level) was built in 1151 and is due to its rich ceiling paintings of saints and apocalyptic scenes one of the most outstanding romanic churches in Germany. Take Bus no. 640 or 550 to Schwarzrheindorf. You can walk back to Bonn Beuel or Bonn's city centre by following the dam and crossing the Kennedy bridge, it is a popular promenade. Take a break at Bahnhöfchen or Rheinlust near the bridge.
- Jewish Cemetery. The old and small Jewish Cemetery is in Bonn Schwarzrheindorf between the Doppelkirche and the North Bridge, you can access it from the dam which is a popular promenade.
- Rheinauen (take line 66 to Bad Honnef/Königswinter stop Rheinauen). A big park in the south of Bonn directly behind the Post Tower. You can walk there from the city centre following the rhine promenade, it is about 3 km and very popular on the weekend.
- Deutsche Welle World Headquarters and Radio, Kurt-Schumacher-Straße 3, ☎ , fax: +49/(0)228/ 429-2040, e-mail: email@example.com. Tours leave M-Fr 10AM, 2PM. Deutsche Welle (Also known simply as DW) is Germany's international media outlet and is now housed in what was supposed to be the German parliament's home. After the German government decided to move the building was taken over by DW to become its world headquarters and home to its radio operations. Tours are conducted in German, however, tours can be arranged in English, French, Spanish, or Portuguese when requested in advance. DW asks that anyone wishing to take a tour reserve at least two months in advance and may require you to be with a group of 6-20 persons, however, they may arrange an exception if contacted. Tours last an average of two hours. Tours are free.
- Kottenforst. A big nature park between Bonn (quarters Venusberg, Bad Godesberg) up to the cities of Euskirchen and Wachtberg. It is appr. 4.000 ha and popular for walking tours. The nearest ones starts at Waldesruh on Venusberg (which has also a nice cafe). Another route starts at Bahnhof Kottenforst (a pretty frame house) which you can reach by taking a train to Euskirchen, but the train only stops there on weekends).
The former capital
- Palais Schaumburg, Adenauerallee 139/141. Until 2001 it was used to house the office of Germany's chancellor and the chancellor's cabinet. Today, the building is used as a secondary headquarters for the chancellor.
- Villa Hammerschmidt, Adenauerallee 135. Between 1951-1994 the Villa Hammerschmidt served as the residence of the German President, however, since the relocation of the German government to Berlin the building serves as a secondary residence for the president.
Museums and Galleries
The Bonn Regio WelcomeCards offers free admission to most public museums in Bonn (including all of those listed below), free rides on buses and trams on the local public transport system (VRS), and discounts to other tourist attractions. The validity for both individual or family WelcomeCards are in increments of 24 hours and can be purchased online, at the Tourismus offices or participating hotels. The 24-hour individual ticket cost €9.
- Ägyptisches Museum, Regina-Pacis-Weg 7 (University of Bonn. U-Bahn stop: Universität / Markt), ☎ , fax: +49 (0)228 / 737360, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Hours: Tues. - Sun.: Noon - 18. Closed Mondays and holidays. The University of Bonn administered Egyptian Museum. Admission: Adults: €3.50, Students and Children (7 years+): €2.50, Family ticket (2 adults and 3 children): €9.
- Akademisches Kunstmuseum, Am Hofgarten 21, 53113 Bonn. Tu&Th 10-16, Sun 11-16, closed on public holidays and in August. the academic museum of antiquies is situated at the other end of the Hofgarten park, directly opposite to the main building. It is a beautiful building, constructed from 1823-1830 and designed by Karl Friedrich Schinkel and Hermann Friedrich Waesemann, and hosts one of the largest collections of plaster casts of ancient Greek and Roman sculptures in the world. Entrance fee €1,50, free admission for students.
- Arithmeum, Lennéstrasse 2, 53113 Bonn (Subway Stop: Universität / Markt Busses and Trams: Hauptbahnhof), ☎ . Tuesday - Sunday 11AM-06PM. The Arithmeum features a collection of historical mechanical calculating machines, which today comprises more than 1200 pieces and is the largest in the world. It features the history of calculators, from ancient abacuses and ropes with knots, until the modern day PC. The design of the building itself and its colorful art collection are an added bonus. €3 / €2.
- Beethoven-Haus (Beethoven House), Bonngasse 18-26 (Take trams (62 or 66) or buses to Bertha-von-Suttner-Platz / Beethoven-Haus), ☎ , fax: +49 228 98175-26, e-mail: email@example.com. 1 Apr-31 Oct M-Sa 10AM-6PM, Su & holidays: 11AM-6PM; 1 Nov-31 Mar M-Sa 10AM-5PM, Su & holidays 11AM-5PM; closed New Year's Day, Carnival-Thursday, the Monday preceding Ash Wednesday, Carnival-Tuesday, Good Friday, Easter Sunday and 24-26 Dec, New Year's eve. The birthplace of the great composer is now a museum dedicated to his life and work. The museum even has a lock of Beethoven's hair on display. Somewhat ironically Bonn advertises their hometown son despite Beethoven's vehement hatred for his hometown. With a competent docent this museum is well worth the visit and is more interesting than Mozart's Geburtshaus in Salzburg.
- August Macke Haus, Bornheimer Straße 96 (U-Bahn stop: Bonn West), ☎ , fax: 49 (0)228 / 69 15 50, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Hours: Tues - Fri. 2:30-6PM. Sa, Sun, & holidays 11AM-5PM. August Macke, a leading member of Der Blaue Reiter, a famous expressionist group, lived in this house with his wife, Elizabeth, for a few years and produced over 400 works in the top floor studio. Admission (regular/reduced): Adults: €3.50 / €2.50, Children: €2.50/ €1.50.
- Haus der Geschichte (House of the History of the Federal Republic of Germany), Willy-Brandt-Allee 14 (U-Bahn linien 16, 63, 66, „Heussallee / Museumsmeile“), ☎ , fax: +49 (0)228 / 91 65-302, e-mail: email@example.com. Tue - Fri 9AM-7PM, Sat, Sun and Christmas season 10AM-6PM, closed on December 24, and 31. An interesting explanation of German history after 1945 that is constantly updated. A must if you are interested in history or politics. Exhibitions are presented in German only, but guide booklets with English translations are available for a couple Euros, and guided tours for school groups conducted in English are available free of charge when prebooked. Free admission. Tour groups with a guide: Tel.: (02 28) 91 65-400 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Kunstmuseum Bonn, Friedrich-Ebert-Allee 2 (Museumsmeile. U-Bahn stop: Heussallee. Bus 610 will also stop at Heussallee), ☎ . Tues. – Sun.: 11AM-6PM, Wed.: 11AM-9PM. Closed on Mondays; February 23 and 27; December 24, 25, and 31.. Admission: Adults: €3. Students, Children (over 6), and Bonn-Card holders: €1.50. Family ticket: €6..
- Kunst- und Ausstellungshalle der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, Friedrich-Ebert-Allee 4, ☎ . hosts permanently changing exhibitions which range from visual art and cultural history up to science and technology. Most of them are world class and definitely worth a visit.
- Deutsches Museum Bonn, Ahrstraße 45 (U-Bahn stop: Hochkreuz/Deutsches Museum Bonn), ☎ , fax: +49 (0)228 / 302-254, e-mail: email@example.com. Tues. - Sun.: 10-18. Closed Mondays; Thursday before Fat Tuesday; Fat Tuesday (Shrove Tuesday); Good Friday; May 1; December 24, 25, and 31.. Admission: Regular: €4, Children (6 years+): €2.50, Family ticket: €7.
- Zoologisches Forschungsmuseum Alexander Koenig (Zoological Research Museum Alexander Koenig), Adenauerallee 160, ☎ , fax: +49 (0)228 / 9122 212, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Hours: Tue., Thurs. - Sun.: 10:00-18. Wed.: 10.00-21. Closed most Mondays (except on legal holidays); Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year's Eve. Zoological museum. Admission: Regular: €3, Discounter (Seniors, students): €1.50.
- Karneval. Enthusiastically celebrated in Bonn, especially on 11 November, the begin of the 'fifth season', and between Weiberfastnacht and Rosenmontag in February (peak time, the exact dates differ every year). The best parties are in Bonn Beuel at Bahnhöfchen and Rheinlust, be there early (and costumed, of course!). Bonn's central carneval parade (Karnevalszug) is on Monday (Rosenmontag), but there are also parades in the different suburbs where it is not so crowded and you might catch more sweets (Kamelle).
- Rhein in Flammen (Rhine in Flames). A big firework over the Rhine, usually on the first Saturday in May. The most popular spot to watch it is the Rheinauen, where a big fair with music and food stalls is taking place, although it can become very crowded. Another opportunity is to book a ship tour in advance (often with dinner), you will get tickets at the Brassertufer (Rhine promenade, near Kennedy Bridge). The next date for Rhein in Flammen in Bonn is 2015 May 2nd.
- Beethovenfest, ☎ , fax: +49 /(0)228/ 2010 333, e-mail: email@example.com. 2013 from Sept 5 till Oct 5. A month long music festival in September with numerous concerts held in Bonn and aroung the Siebengebirge region. Many international musicians are showcased during the festival.
- Pützchens Markt. A big fun fair with approximately 500 businesses in Bonn's suburb Pützchen which takes place in September for five days. You can catch buses at the main bus station next to the Hauptbahnhof. 2015, Pützchens Markt is from 11–15 September.
- Christmas Market. Starts at the end of November at Münsterplatz and Friedensplatz and the streets in between. The booths for mulled wine are a popular meeting place in the evening, but they close at 21.
Music and Theatre
- Oper Bonn, Am Boeelagerhof 1 (next to Kennedy Bridge), ☎ . Hosts classical music concerts, opera and dance. Check their website for a recent playing schedule. You can get tickets at the Theaterkasse, Windeckstr. 1, next to Münsterplatz from M-Sa 9AM-6:30PM18.30, Sa 9AM-4PM. Box office opens 1 hour before the performance begins. Ticket prices are moderate, especially for students.
- Beethoven Orchester Bonn, Wachsbleiche 1, ☎ , fax: +49 /(0)228/ 45 49 3-25, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Bonner Kammerchor, e-mail: email@example.com. An amateur chamber choir made up of roughly forty members. The choir occasionally hosts free shows.
Most cinemas only show dubbed German versions of international films. Watch out in the program  for OV=Original Version or OmU=Original mit Untertiteln, means with German subtitles. Amongst the few cinemas which show English films on a regular basis are
- Kinopolis, Moltkestraße 7-9, Bad Godesberg (Train station Godesberg or line 16 to Bad Godesberg Bahnhof), ☎ . A functional multiplex in Bad Godesberg that shows one or two Films in the Original Version a day. Special prices Mon-W and for students.
- Brotfabrik, Kreuzstraße 16 (bus stop Kreuzstraße), ☎ . A small art cinema in Bonn Beuel that regular shows European films (also older ones) in the original version (not necessarily English)
- Rex, Frongasse 9 (Bus line 608, 609, 610, 611, get off at "Auf dem Hügel", 606 to Brahmsstrasse), ☎ . Arthouse cinema in Bonn Endenich (Frongasse 9) which regularly shows movies in the original version.
- Neue Filmbühne. Arthouse cinema in Bonn Beuel (Friedrich-Breuer Straße 68) which regularly shows movies in the original version.
Bonn's city centre hosts the usual chain stores like Kaufhof, Karstadt, C&A, H&M, Esprit, Zero, NewYorker, Promod, Butler's, Tchibo and Runner's Point.
- Haribo Factory Store (Haribo Factory Shop), Friesdorfer Str. 121, 53175 Bonn. Haribo, the world-famous candy maker, has its headquarters in Bonn (Haribo is an acronym for HAns RIegel BOnn). The factory store is located nearby the old factory in Bad Godesberg, 500 m from U-Bahn 16 and 63 Wurzerstraße stop. It features a brief exposition of Haribo memorabilia as well as a huge variety of gummy sweets and gadgets. Entering is a bit of a Charlie-and-the-chocolate-factory moment.
- Supermarkets. There is a supermarket at Kaufhof's basement where you can get normal food and many specialties, but it is quite expensive. You can find the ecological supermarket Basic at Maximilianstraße near to the Hauptbahnhof, they also have a snack bar. Best place to buy cosmetics is dm (Martinsplatz, Ground floor or Sternstraße) or Rossmann (Sternstraße). Cheap supermarkets like Aldi, Lidl and Plus are outside the city centre.
- Comic Shop, Oxfordstraße 17. M-F 10AM-10PM, Sa 10AM-6PM. English comics and books, role playing games, card games.
- Rheinauenflohmarkt, Rheinauen. from April to September, the Rheinauen host a big flea market every third Saturday a month where you can find everything from second hand clothes to DVDs, bikes, furniture, books, board games and jewellery from India and Africa. Bargaining is allowed. It starts at 8 in the morning, best time to visit is 10. Take Straßenbahn Line 66 to Rheinauen.
- Bakeries. Mon-Sat 7-20. Germany is famous for its bread. There are bakeries all over the city where you can buy different kinds of bread rolls (Brötchen) starting from 30 Cent (the wholesome ones with grains are 50 Cent or more), sandwiches (belegte Brötchen) for €1,50 and pastries and cakes. A very delicious one is Schell on the corner of Stockenstraße/Am Hof or at Bertha von Suttner Platz. It is still family-run and has only 5 shops in Bonn (try the chocolate buns, Schokobrötchen). Kamps and Lubig, however, are also quite good.
- Student cafeterias. M-F 9–16. You can get cheap and nutritious sandwiches and coffee at the student cafeterias at the Main University Building in the city centre (Am Hof/Regina Pacis Weg), Juridicum (Adenauerallee/Lennestraße) and on the first floor of the Mensa Nassestraße.
- Mensa, Nassestraße. M-Fr 11.30-14.00 & 17.30-19.00, Sat 11.30-14.00. The official student canteen offers several dishes, Essen 1 on the second floor is vegetarian. The food is not gourmet but okay for a canteen. The salad bar on the 3rd floor is quite good. Mensa is also open for non-students who pay a higher price (about €5 for Essen 1), but they do not always ask for your student identification if you look young. €3-6.
- Soup in the City, Franziskanerstraße. M-F 11-19, Sat 12-16. A small bistro, where you get soups and salads, hand-made and really good. Also fruit juices and baguettes €4-8.
- Mandu, Franziskanerstraße 5. M-Sat 11-20. Small Korean snack bar, they offer Mandus, rolls, kimchi, glass noodles, cheap, friendly and very good. €2-8.
- Dehly&deSander Broterei, Am Hof 26a (opposite to the university main building). Mon-Sat 10-20. Delicious and Sandwiches, Wraps, Salads, Soups. €3-6.
- Bonn(e) Baguette, Kaiserplatz 10. freshly made and oven baked baguette sandwiches, very delicious. The shop is tiny and hot, so better chose take away. Often very crowded during lunchtime. €3-6.
- Bagel Brothers, Maximilianstraße 14 (next to the train station), ☎ . M-Fr 7.30-23, at 8.30-22, Sun 9-20.30. Healthy snacks: Bagels (of course), plain or with toppings, salads, juices, muffins, brownies, good coffee. They have a nice quiet terrace you would not expect in the city centre. €3-6.
- Orient-Express, Bertha-von-Suttner-Platz 8. until late. A visit to Germany would not be complete without a taste of the new national dish Döner. Orient Express makes good ones, although you might get them cheaper elsewhere (but not much). Their Falafel Sandwich (vegetarian) is also great. from €2.
- La Piccola, Bonngasse 4. 11-23. Traditional and rustic Italian restaurant with very small tables and pictures of opera singers on the walls. Pizza, pasta and salads. from €5.
- Bönnsch, Sterntorbrücke 4 (near Friedensplatz in the central pedestrian zone), ☎ . M-Th 11AM-1AM, F-Sat 11AM-3AM, Sun 12AM-12PM. Local Bierhaus that brews its own beer. Food includes staples such as schnitzel with fries, steaks and other hearty fare. €15-20 including drinks.
- Bierhaus Machold, Heerstrasse (near the corner of Wolfstrasse, Altstadt). M-Sat 5PM-11PM. Excellent German food and good beer in a nice pub. Beer garden in summer. Try the Jägerschnitzel! €7-15 for mains.
- Roses, Martinsplatz 2a (near Bonner Münster and Kaiserplatz), ☎ . 9-1, Sun 10-1. fancy restaurant for people mainly in their 30s and 40s. A good choice if you are not on a tight budget and if you like European food with a touch Italian. Dishes start from €12 (without drinks). Brunch on Sundays.
- Makiman, Sterntorbrücke 11, ☎ . M-Th 12-15 & 17.30-22,Fr-Sat 12-20,Sun 16-21.30. Very good Japanese restaurant, besides very fresh sushi they also offer soups, curries, and salads. €8.
- Cassius-Garten (vegetarian food), Maximilianstraße 28d (opposite the Hauptbahnhof). M-Sat 11-20. Completely vegetarian, buffet-style, vegan meals are marked with a green dot. Quite expensive but really good, try the soups for €2! €1.60/100g.
- Rüen Thai, Berliner Freiheit 14 (next to Hilton and Kennedy Bridge), ☎ . 11.30-15&18-24. Thai dishes, some of them very spicy, in a beautifully decorated setting. They also offer a very good cocktail selection (although rather expensive), but be careful - some of them can really knock you out. from €8.
- Ristorante Caminetto, Römerstrasse 83 (Bonn-Castell, bus stop Nordstraße). M-Sat 12-14.30 & 18-23. A very nice, family-run Italian restaurant in the heart of Bonn, where you get a selection of the finest wines and meals of the region of Piedmont. Just that you are not disappointed: although Italian, they don't have pizza. €12.
- Mogul, Heerstraße 64 (Nordstadt), ☎ . Best Indian restaurant in Bonn, although the restaurant makes the impression of a carefully redecorated garage the food is really good and the owners are friendly. It is also cheaper than other Indian restaurants. from €9.
- Karawane, Adrianstraße 104 (Straßenbahn 66 to Königswinter/Bad Honnef, get out at Oberkassel Nord, when getting out of the station turn two times to the left and follow the road.), ☎ . 18-23. Oberkassel is a bit outside of the city centre, but Karawane is worth the effort. It is basically an "All you can eat" (but not a buffet) consisting of 10 dishes from the Mediterranean and Middle East region. The dishes change every week (see their website), you can order a vegetarian selection (without surcharge) or additional dishes like lamb. The atmosphere is nice and the service friendly. It is often crowded, so better call for a reservation. €15,60.
- Café Göttlich, Fürstenstraße (opposite to Bouvier). 9-2. One of the traditional student cafés, cozy, often crowded, with some of the best cafe latte in town. In summer, the seats outside are the places to see and to be seen
- Café Blau, Franziskanerstraße. 10-24. Mainly visited by students, this café is in the entrance hall of a public swimming pool. It is kind of "cult" to go there, famous caffe latte, good breakfast offers. from €2.
- Cafetiero, Fürstenstraße. Very good coffee specialties, the interior is rather modern, closes already at 8.
- Goldbraun, Fürstenstraße. The Goldbraun Cafe boasts excellent espresso, comparable to Starbucks.
- Café Miebach, Marktplatz, at Stern Hotel. One of the most traditional cafes in Bonn. Not cheap, but good service and excellent cakes. Customers are mostly elderly. In the summer, they offer 300 seats outside directly at the Marktplatz.
- Café Fassbender, Corner Sternstrasse and Dreieck. Café Fassbender is known for its cake. It is a pastry shop and a café. Often very crowded. It is a great location for middle-aged or older people to visit.
- Arco, Sterntorbrücke 2 (near Friedensplatz). : Very good breakfast offers, large breakfast for 2 incl. coffee for €8,90, friendly service.
- Schokoladen, Münsterstrasse 7 (road between H&M and Karstadt). is located close to the central station. This small café offers excellent chocolate-based drinks. Freshly made with melted chocolate and milk you can enjoy it hot, cold or mixed with coffee or other drinks. You can also have an amazing chocolate fondue with fresh fruits and cookies.
- Teestube Gschwendner, Dreieck 2. 10:00-19:00. Not a cafe, but a tea room in a beautiful frame house that hosts the Tea shop Tee Gschwendner. They brew high quality tea on the second floor and also have a small choice of cakes and scones. The shop on the first floor often offers free tea tasting of one or two teas in a Samowar.
Bonner Altstadt ('old downtown') in general is a good place to go out. Find a lot of small pubs and student bars in this district
- Alter Zoll, Am Brassertufer (next to Koblenzer Tor), ☎ . 11-23, but depends on the weather, open only in summer. The definite place to be on a beautiful summer night in Bonn. Alter Zoll is a large beergarden under an old tree with direct view of the Rhine and a wonderfully relaxed atmosphere. It can become very crowded and take 20 minutes to get your drinks. Many people and especially students also bring their own drinks and sit down on the meadow next to the beer garden. To find it, just follow the crowd at Koblenzer Tor down to the rhine.
- Hausbar, Am Boeselagerhof 1 (Opera building). th&s 7-5, sun-wed 7-2. bar and restaurant with house music. Very popular and rather fancy and stylish, some say wannabe, do not dress too casually or you might have problems getting in. Beautiful view of the rhine.
- James Joyce, Mauspfad (near to Dreieck), ☎ . Irish pub in the city centre, atmospheric, good food, large variety of beers and whiskies, live sports.
- Tacos, Bonngasse 7 (same street as Beethovenhaus), ☎ . Popular Mexican Bar, Corona beer and great Cocktails. Happy Hour from 17-19.30h and 23.30-00.30h. Their food is also very good.
- Che Guevara, Münsterstraße 9 (street between H&M and Karstadt), ☎ . Mon-Th 19-1, Fr&Sat 19-3, Sun 18-1. Delicious cocktails, good atmosphere. Happy Hour Mon-Th 18.30-20.30, Fr&Sat 17-19 and Sunday, Cocktail €5,30.
- Mojito, Königstraße 9, ☎ . 18-?. Small and popular Cocktail bar, prices are moderate, they also have Pizza and Tapas. Very hot in the summer. Happy Hour 18-20: Cocktails €3,90 and Pizza €4,50.
- Cafe Pawlow, Heerstraße 64. Situated in the multicultural Nordstadt, an atmospheric place to have a beer in summer.
- Nyx, Vorgebirgsstraße 19. Another good place in the Nordstadt, especially in summer when they have a beergarden outside.
- Fiddler's Irish Pub, Frongasse 9, Bonn-Endenich. Fiddler's is an Irish Pub that serves traditional Irish fare. Events such as weekly Karaoke and Pub Trivia are popular with the student crowd. As a bonus for travelers, a good percentage of the staff will be native English speakers as well.
- Limes Musik-Cafe-Bonn, Theaterstraße 2. The Limes is a punkrockers bar, which shows special football (soccer) events of the famous German left football team 1. FC. St. Pauli Hamburg. Events such as concerts or readings are sometimes announced on the website. As a bonus for young travelers and backpackers, the people in the bar are very helpful and open minded.
- Shamrock Irish pub, Römerstraße 22, ☎ . Irish pub close to the city center.
Clubs and Discos
- Blow Up, Rathausgasse 10. Dive bar. Speciality is funk and 60s. It can get smokey and very hot when crowded.
- Carpe Noctem, Wesselstrasse 5 (near Hauptbahnhof). 22-5. Underground rock club with young patrons. Has occasional student parties boasting free entry and half-price drinks. If the club is packed, it will get uncomfortably hot. Dress light.
- Drei Raum Wohnung, Boeselagerhof 15 (opposite the opera). Loosely translates to "Three Room Apartment". Very interesting joint with two completely different atmospheres depending on where you are. The ground floor is a stylish lounge with mixed drink specialties that caters to the slightly older theater crowd. The basement has an open dance floor, cheap beer specials and a live DJ. The basement also has a "bedroom" and "living room" with seating to get away from the dance floor for a rest. The real crowd shows up here late with the dance floor usually not filling up until after 23:00.
- N8schicht, Bornheimer Str. 20-22. Open five days a week. Theme parties. Can also get smoky and hot when crowded.
- Max Hostel, Maxstraße 7, ☎ . Bonn's independent youth hostel in Nordstadt. Different rooms from single and double to dorms with 8 beds. from €19.
- Youth Hostel Bonn Venusberg, Haager Weg 42, ☎ . The official youth hostel is on the Venusberg which is about 20 minutes by bus from the city centre. There are night buses going there, but only one per hour.
- Bildungsstätte Haus Venusberg e. V.. Owned by the Catholic church. They offer singles, doubles, dorms, prices start at €25. 20 minutes outside the city centre.
- Sternhotel Bonn, Markt 8, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. The interior decoration is a bit old-fashioned, but the house has a lot of flair and history and it is at the Marktplatz in the middle of the city. from €69.
- Hotel Eden, Am Hofgarten 6, ☎ , fax: +49 (0)228/ 225070, e-mail: email@example.com. Located pretty close to the city center. Free wi-fi in all rooms. Single room: €70-85. Double room: €85-115.
- Best Western Premier Hotel Domicil, Thomas Mann Straße 24-26, ☎ . Very central location. from €85 for a double.
- Auerberg Galerie Design Hotel, Kölnstrasse 360-364, ☎ , fax: +49 (0)228 1848-1825, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Located 10 minutes from the city center from €87.
- Dorint Sofitel Venusberg, An der Casselsruhe 1, ☎ . On the foot of Venusberg. from €100.
- Tagungs- und Bildungshaus CJD Bonn. Is in the North, approximately 10 minutes to the city centre. Prices start from €42 per person.
- Steigenberger Grandhotel Petersberg. Used to be the government's guest house, located on one of the Siebengebirge's mountains with a view on the Rhine and Bonn. Hosted several international conferences. 20 minutes by car from Bonn.
- Kameha Grand, Am Bonner Bogen 1 (Oberkassel), ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Design and ecological lifestyle hotel. The interior is distinctly modern with unique "neo-baroque" touches. There is ample space for conferences and meetings. The hotel is located directly on the Rhine river in quiet surroundings with views to the Siebengebirge and to downtown Bonn, approximately 20 minutes from the city centre.
- Hilton Bonn, Berliner Freiheit 2, ☎ , fax: +49-(0)228-72697005. next to the Kennedy Bridge, very central.
- Maritim Bonn, Kurt-Georg-Kiesinger Allee 1, ☎ . 10 minutes from city center by taxi
- AMERON Hotel Königshof, Adenauerallee 9, ☎ . Close to the city center and located just beside the Rhine river
- DERAG Hotel Kanzler, Adenauerallee 148, ☎ .
- Deutsche Post - main post office, Münsterplatz 17. Hours: Mon. - Fri.: 09:00-20:00. Sat.: 09:00-16:00. Closed Sundays..
- Cologne — only 20-25 min by train. Get out at Köln Süd for partying at Zülpicher Straße or at Köln Hauptbahnhof for sightseeing and the city centre.
- Königswinter — home to Drachenfels (1010 ft), crowned by the ruins of a castle built early in the 12th century by the archbishop of Cologne, rises behind the town. From the summit, which can be accessed by the Drachenfels Railway, there is a magnificent view, celebrated by Lord Byron in Childe Harold's Pilgrimage. A cave in the hill is said to have sheltered the dragon which was slain by the hero Siegfried. Take Line 66 Telekom Express until Königswinter.
- Zülpich — an old Roman settlement with a newly opened museum centered on Roman baths and bathing culture. It is also a gateway to the Eifel region.
- Burg Satzvey