Resting on the banks of the Rhine River, the city of Bonn is a cultural hub filled with historic buildings, a plethora of museums and galleries, and internationally renowned annual festivals. The town was home to composer Ludwig van Beethoven and has a memorial and museum honoring the composer’s birthplace, as well as other interesting architectural gems such as the Romanesque and Gothic Bonn Minster church, the pink-and-gold Altes Rathaus, and the magnificent Poppelsdorf Palace. The Bundeskunsthalle is one of the country’s top exhibition venues, and there are plenty of green spaces in which to relax next to the river and soak up the energetic vibe of the city. CDC information for travelers. Hours/availability may have changed.
1.Schloss Drachenburg (Drachenburg Castle)
Schloss Drachenburg is a magnificent private villa styled as a fairytale palace on the Drachenfels hill in Königswinter, near Bonn. Constructed in 1884 as an opulent residence for banker Stephan von Sarter who never ended up living in it, Schloss Drachenburg can be reached by a rack railway known as the Drachenfelsbahn, which travels to the castle from the resort of Königswinter. The villa features breathtaking interiors decorated with ornamented vaults, carved wooden panels, Baroque-style frescoes, and stained glass. The castle is surrounded by manicured gardens and grounds that form part of the European Garden Heritage Network and are filled with statues, sculptures, and beautiful blooms.
Schloss Drachenburg, Drachenfelsstraße 118, 53639 Königswinter, Germany, Phone: +49-22-23-90-19-70
2.Museumsmeile (The Bonn Museum Mile)
The Museumsmeile or Bonn Museum Mile is an association of museums in Bonn consisting of five museums, namely the Haus der Geschichte (House of the History of the Federal Republic of Germany), the Kunstmuseum (Bonn Museum of Modern Art), the Art and Exhibition Hall of the Federal Republic of Germany, the Zoological Research Museum Alexander Koenig and the Deutsches Museum. The museums feature world-renowned exhibitions on art, contemporary and cultural history, the natural sciences, and technology, and are all based within a mile. The Museum Mile Festival is an annual festival held every June that offers a diverse program for visitors.
3.Alexander Koenig Research Museum
© Alexander Koenig Research Museum
The Alexander Koenig Research Museum is a world-class natural history museum and zoological research institution. Named after Bonn-born naturalist Alexander Koenig, the research museum was opened in 1934 and features a variety of exhibitions, including the main exhibit called “Our Blue Planet – the Living Network.” Visitors can enjoy lifelike dioramas of different environments around the globe like the African savannah, tropical rainforests of the Amazon, Central Europe’s temperate landscapes, arid deserts, and the icy polar regions.
Adenauerallee 160, 53113 Bonn, Germany
4.Haus der Geschichte (House of the History of the Federal Republic of Germany)
© Haus der Geschichte (House of the History of the Federal Republic of Germany)
Set on Bonn’s Museumsmeilie (Museum Mile), the Haus der Geschichte (House of the History of the Federal Republic of Germany) is a contemporary history museum dedicated documenting and showcasing Germany’s history from the end of the Second World War to the present. The museum features a fascinating permanent exhibition detailing the political history of East and West Germany, once known as the GDR and the Federal Republic of Germany. Visitors can enjoy immersive experiences such as attending a Bundestag debate, watch short films in an old cinema dating back to the 1950s, and experience an eye-witness account of the fall of the Berlin wall.
Willy-Brandt-Allee 14, 53113 Bonn, Germany, Phone: +49-22-89-16-50
5.Kunstmuseum (Bonn Museum of Modern Art)
The Kunstmuseum Bonn or Bonn Museum of Modern Art is dedicated to 20th-century art with a focus on post-war German art and Rhenish Expressionism. Founded in 1947, the museum is situated on Bonn’s Museumsmeilie (Museum Mile) and features the most extensive collection of Rhenish Expressionism in the world with works by renowned artists like August Macke, one of the founders of Der Blaue Reiter. The museum also showcases post-War German art with works by Joseph Beuys, Georg Baselitz, Anselm Kiefer, and Blinky Palermo, and contemporary video art by pioneers such as Dennis Oppenheim, Joan Jonas, and Klaus von Bruch.
Helmut-Kohl-Allee 2, 53113 Bonn, Germany, Phone: +49-2-28-77-62-60
The Bundeskunsthalle is an exhibition center next to the Kunstmuseum on the Museum Mile that hosts world-class exhibitions in the fields of art, science, technology, and commerce. The center also hosts annual festivals, concerts, congresses, and cinema screenings. The Kaltes Quadrat (Cold Square) is found at the entrance to the center and features cobblestones laid by the artist Tom Fecht in honor of cultural figures who lost their lives in the AIDS epidemic, like Miles Davis, Michel Foucault, Rock Hudson, and Freddie Mercury.
Helmut-Kohl-Allee 4, 53113 Bonn, Germany, Phone: +49-22-89-17-10
7.University of Bonn (Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universitat Bonn)
The University of Bonn (Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn) was established in 1818 and is one of the largest universities in Germany. Named after the Prussian King Friedrich Wilhelm III, the main building of the University is the Prince-Electors' Palace, which was once the residence of the Prince-Electors of Cologne. Today, the historic building houses the Faculty of Arts and is surrounded by beautifully manicured gardens and grounds known as the Hofgarten, which are protected as historic monuments.
Regina-Pacis-Weg 3, 53113 Bonn, Germany
8.The UN Campus Bonn
The UN Campus in Bonn was opened in July 2006 by then-Secretary-General Kofi Annan and then-Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel and seats 18 organizations of the United Nations.
Platz der Vereinten Nationen 1, 53113 Bonn, Germany, Phone: +49-22-88-15-20-00
9.Botanische Garten der Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universitat Bonn (Botanic Gardens at the University of Bonn)
© Otto Durst/stock.adobe.com
Located at the University of Bonn, the Botanische Gärten der Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn is a botanical garden and arboretum maintained by the educational institution. Also known as the Botanischer Garten Bonn, the gardens were first developed from exquisite Renaissance gardens that surrounded a medieval moated castle and grew into the magnificent Baroque gardens that exist today. The main features in the gardens include a Victorian glasshouse, which houses giant water lilies and the Australia-native Nymphaea gigantea; a succulent greenhouse with many cacti and succulents; and an arboretum filled with towering trees of various species.
Meckenheimer Allee 169, 53115 Bonn, Germany, Phone: +49-228-73-55-23
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10.The Poppelsdorf Schloss (Poppelsdorf Palace)
The Poppelsdorfer Schloss (Poppelsdorf Palace) is a beautifully preserved Baroque building in the Poppelsdorf district of Bonn and is part of the University of Bonn. The original building was constructed as a pleasure palace for Joseph Clemens, the Archbishop Elector of Cologne, but destroyed in the Cologne War in the 1580s. The building was rebuilt in 1715 to its former glory with a façade with French classical design, double stairways, quoins, a mansard roof, and an arcaded central courtyard in the Italianate style, and was bought by the University of Bonn in 1818. Today, the building is used by the university to house the natural sciences collections.
Meckenheimer Allee 171, 53115 Bonn, Germany, Phone: +49-228-73-27-63
Bonn Münster is an iconic Roman Catholic church built between the 11th and 13th centuries and one of Germany's oldest churches. Completed in 1248 on a site famous for being the place where the city’s patron saints, Cassius and Florentius, were martyred, the glorious Romanesque basilica was destroyed during World War II and was later restored to its former glory. Bonn's Münster is located on the Münsterplatz and Martinsplatz in the center of the city and features five tall towers and beautiful gardens filled with magnolia trees and flowering fragrant cherry blossoms during the spring.
Münsterpl., 53111 Bonn, Germany, Phone: +49-228-98-58-80
© Malgorzata Kistryn/stock.adobe.com
Founded by confectioner Hans Riegel in 1920, Haribo began as a small operation with little more than a kettle, a roller, and a sack of sugar. Riegel used the first two letters, his first name, surname, and home city to create the Haribo, and today, the global gummy giant can be found worldwide with its flagship factory store on Bonn's classiest shopping strip in Am Neutor. The huge, brightly colored store is packed with all kinds of sweets, including the famous fruit-flavored gummy candies known as ‘dancing bears’ that later became known as Gold-Bears. The double story factory store features every kind of Haribo sweet from gummy bears and cola bottles to licorice and popular brands like the Supermix and Starmix selection bags.
Friesdorfer Str. 125, 53175 Bonn, Germany, Phone: +49-22-89-09-29-30
Rheinaue Park was designed and established in 1979 for the 'Landesgartenschau' and is now one of the city’s green spaces where people can go to enjoy walking, jogging, cycling, picnicking, and sunbathing. The park features a small boating lake crossed by six bridges and beautifully manicured gardens with flowering blooms, and there are several designated barbecue spots. One of the largest flea markets in Germany takes place in the park during the summer and as well as other events like the fireworks display during 'Rhein in Flammen.'
Ludwig-Erhard-Allee 20, 53175 Bonn, Germany, Phone: +49-228-37-40-30
The Altstadt is an extraordinary natural event that occurs every year in spring when the city’s cherry trees unfold their full bloom, magically transforming the narrow roads into a sea of pink flowers. This breathtaking and incredible sight attracts both professional and amateur photographers from around the world to capture it.
15.Taste Wine in the Ahr Valley
The Ahr Valley in the Middle Rhine region is one of Germany’s best wine regions, producing notable red wines like Frühburgunder, Dornfelder, Portugieser, and Spätburgunder (pinot noir), as well as exceptional blanc de noir wines. Nestled in Rhineland Palatinate and North Rhine-Westphalia and surrounding the narrow River Ahr, the region is home to charming wine towns such as Dernau, Rech, and Kreuzberg and plenty of wine estates and farms that can be visited for tours and tastings. Fun ways to explore the region include hopping on and off a train, driving, or hiking the Rotweinwanderweg (Red Wine Trail) while sampling wine along the way.
Kessalao – permanently closed.
Kessalao, 88 Bonner Talweg, Bonn, Germany, Phone: +49-228-96-10-89-86
Strandhaus brings the beach to Bonn with an award-winning menu of fresh, seasonal cuisine served in an elegant setting with a maritime theme. Established in 2000 on the edge of Bonn’s old city, the highly acclaimed dining spot offers a continually changing menu of globally-inspired cuisine. Signature dishes include black cod with miso beurre blanc, beef tenderloin with polenta, grilled wild prawns, watermelon kimchi and several prix-fixe menus. The cuisine is accompanied by an extensive wine list featuring over 180 bottles from Europe and the New World with a focus on German whites, and diners can dine alfresco style on the terrace in the summer.
28 Georgstraße, Bonn, Nordrhein-Westfalen, 53111, Germany, Phone: +49-22-83-69-49-49
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Il Punto is a charming Italian restaurant that serves both classic and contemporary Italian cuisine in a warm and welcoming setting. Loved by locals and visitors alike, the casual eatery specializes in authentic regional Italian cuisine with starters of antipasti, salads, and freshly baked foccacia. Entrées include fresh seafood, handmade pasta, chicken and veal dishes, and classic dishes like spaghetti Bolognese and lasagna. Desserts include pannacotta, tiramisu, and homemade gelato, and the cuisine is paired with a variety of casual wines Italy and Europe, along with craft beers by the bottle, and handcrafted cocktails.
Il Punto, 6 Lennéstrasse, Bonn, Germany, Phone: +49-228-26-38-33
The Phoenicia Lounge is a locally-owned restaurant that serves modern versions of Lebanese dishes. Paying tribute to ancient culinary techniques, the restaurant offers house-baked flatbreads, sharing plates of mezze to delicious entrées of seafood, meats and vegetables, and other Middle Eastern specialties. The distinctive restaurant has a warm and welcoming communal dining room and a full-service bar that serves traditional Lebanese liquors, casual wines from around the world, and craft beers by the bottle. The Phoenicia Lounge is open for lunch and dinner, seven days a week.
34 Clemens-August-Straße, Bonn, Nordrhein-Westfalen, 53115, Germany, Phone: +49-228-18-46-73-40
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19.Taj India Bonn
Taj India brings the rich tastes of India to the tables of Bonn with delicious, traditional Indian cuisine. The richly varied menu pays homage to the tastes and flavors in India with made-from-scratch dishes using high-quality ingredients, wholesome sauces, and house-toasted spices and traditional spice mixes. Signature dishes include chicken and the lamb curry, samkeh harra, vegetable pakora, tikka masala, biryanis, tandoori, and vindaloo. Taj India is open for lunch and dinner, seven days a week.
49 Kölnstraße, Bonn, Nordrhein-Westfalen, 53111, Germany, Phone: +49-228-68-46-93-38
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Burritorico is a casual restaurant with vintage Central American-themed décor that offers self-service Mexican fast food in a warm and welcoming ambiance. The menu features delicious homemade Mexican fare, including nachos, a variety of soft tacos, and quesadillas, handmade tortillas, fajitas, and burritos, as well as a variety of specials. The bar menu boasts inventive cocktails, selective spirits, and a range of craft and draft beers, and the restaurant is open for lunch and dinner, daily.
20 Thomas-Mann-Straße, Bonn, Nordrhein-Westfalen, 53111, Germany, Phone: +49-228-94-77-91-30
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20 Best Things to Do in Bonn, Germany
- Schloss Drachenburg (Drachenburg Castle), Photo: Anton/stock.adobe.com
- Museumsmeile (The Bonn Museum Mile), Photo: Sascha/stock.adobe.com
- Alexander Koenig Research Museum, Photo: Alexander Koenig Research Museum
- Haus der Geschichte (House of the History of the Federal Republic of Germany), Photo: Haus der Geschichte (House of the History of the Federal Republic of Germany)
- Kunstmuseum (Bonn Museum of Modern Art), Photo: Photographee.eu/stock.adobe.com
- Bundeskunsthalle, Photo: Till/stock.adobe.com
- University of Bonn (Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universitat Bonn), Photo: Wirestock/stock.adobe.com
- The UN Campus Bonn, Photo: Lato-Pictures/stock.adobe.com
- Botanische Garten der Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universitat Bonn (Botanic Gardens at the University of Bonn), Photo: Otto Durst/stock.adobe.com
- The Poppelsdorf Schloss (Poppelsdorf Palace), Photo: saiko3p/stock.adobe.com
- Bonn Munster, Photo: INTERPIXELS/stock.adobe.com
- Haribo Factory, Photo: Malgorzata Kistryn/stock.adobe.com
- Rheinaue Park, Photo: Vladimirs/stock.adobe.com
- Bonn Altstadt, Photo: majonit/stock.adobe.com
- Taste Wine in the Ahr Valley, Photo: DGC/stock.adobe.com
- Strandhaus, Photo: Strandhaus
- Il Punto, Photo: kichigin19/stock.adobe.com
- Phoenicia Lounge, Photo: REDPIXEL/stock.adobe.com
- Taj India Bonn, Photo: fahrwasser/stock.adobe.com
- Burritorico, Photo: fahrwasser/stock.adobe.com
- Cover Photo: travelview/stock.adobe.com