Bonn Travel Guide
Predominantly a small university town for the past 2,000 years, Bonn has a rich musical heritage as the home of both Beethoven and Robert Schumann. Although this is its main tourism draw, there are many sites of interest including a few good museums. This former capital of West Germany lies in the Middle Rhine Valley right along the banks of the timeless Rhine river, and boasts some beautiful walks to complement its charms.
Like most European cities, Bonn has a medieval town center which miraculously survived the devastation of WWII, and serves as the historical heart of the town. The streets and buildings look much as they did centuries ago, and are a major highlight. The home of Beethoven is here, as well as many excellent restaurants, pubs and shops.
Bonn’s modern face can be found along its restored waterfront district. After WWII, this strip along the Rhine river was transformed into a commercial and entertainment destination where you can find the avant-garde Opera House anchoring the variety of shops and cultural venues. Two main squares provide hubs for the city’s layout, including the Munsterplatz, where Bonn’s main shopping streets converge.
Beethoven House: Bonn’s most famous native son was born in this house in 1770 and it has been preserved to look as it did when the composer lived and worked there. It is open for tours.
Bruhl: dating back to the Roman Empire, this magnificent Baroque castle is just 15kms from Bonn and has a long and fascinating history worth exploring.
House of History of the German Republic: this museum traces the modern history of Germany after 1945 through an extensive collection of photographs, artifacts and displays, including some of Oskar Schindler’s original documents.
Kunstmuseum Bonn: a highlight of Bonn’s Museum Mile, this architecturally striking art gallery contains one of the Rhineland’s most important collections of art, especially contemporary works.
Siebengebirge (Seven Hills): this national park just to the south of Bonn is comprised of seven mountains, offering a wonderful environment for hiking and outdoor recreation.