City trip to Bonn in spring – 9 super sightseeing attractions

The city of Bonn in the south of North Rhine-Westphalia is the former capital of Germany and is still of political importance today as the seat of the United Nations.

A city trip to Bonn is worthwhile at any time of the year, because in addition to numerous sights, there are also many places to discover in nature and on the Rhine. There are also plenty of museums to explore on rainy days.

Special sights in the city center are the Old Town Hall, Beethoven's birthplace, the University of Bonn and the Botanical Garden at Poppelsdorf Castle. A super highlight in spring is the annual cherry blossom in the old town of Bonn, which attracts many visitors. If you need some time out in the countryside, you are in good hands on the banks of the Rhine or in the Rheinaue recreational park.

Most of the city's sights are relatively close to each other and can thus be easily explored on foot. Somewhat further outside is only the recreational park Rheinaue with the beautiful Japanese Garden.

If, like us, you don't visit museums, one day is perfectly sufficient to visit the most important places and highlights in Bonn. You can also plan an extra day if you want to go hiking in the Siebengebirge near Bonn or go for a walk. B. want to discover the town of Konigswinter with its Drachenburg Castle.

Path along the banks of the Rhine, with the Rhine and the Bonn-Beuel district to the right

Info around Bonn

  • Big city on the Rhine south of Cologne
  • ca. 330.000 inhabitants
  • was the federal capital until 1990
  • most famous personality of Bonn is Ludwig van Beethoven

How to get there

Getting to Bonn, especially for a day trip, is very easy by public transport. The main station in Bonn is served by numerous long-distance trains and is located in the middle of the city center. Here's how you can start exploring the city right here.

If you arrive by car, there are many parking lots and parking garages available in the city center of Bonn. On Sundays, parking is also possible free of charge in some parking lots. E-cars can park for free at any time in the city's surface parking lots.

Bonn is also very well connected by plane due to the nearby Cologne/Bonn Airport.

Large paved square with historic buildings all around

Sightseeing tour through Bonn

As already described, the most important sights of the city of Bonn are located relatively close to each other in the city center. So you can explore the city best on foot. We did our tour of Bonn in the order in which I also describe the sights here. At the same time, most places could be connected quite well and a nice tour of the city resulted.

Old city hall

The Old Town Hall is located directly on the market square and dates back to the 18th century. Century. After the building was completely destroyed in World War II, it was rebuilt around 1950. Today, the historic building is listed as a historic monument and is used only for representative purposes; Bonn's city administration no longer sits in the Old City Hall. In addition, the Old Town Hall is a popular wedding location in Bonn.

Magnificent city hall in Bonn with light stone and stucco on the windows. At the front of the building on both sides leads down a staircase with golden railing

Beethoven birthplace

On a city trip to Bonn you can't avoid Beethoven. In many places in the city, souvenirs of Beethoven can be found in the form of statues or small busts for decorative purposes. The most famous sight around the person Ludwig van Beethoven is the house where he was born and lives in the center of Bonn. This is one of the 100 most popular sights in Germany.

In 1770 Ludwig van Beethoven was born in this town house in the center of Bonn. The Beethoven Birthplace is located at Bonngasse 20 in Bonn and today houses a permanent exhibition about Beethoven's life. The music room in the house is regularly used for concerts.

Admission is €10 for adults and €7 for children.

Bonn's old town with historic buildings

University of Bonn / Electoral Palace

A palace was first built on the site of the electoral palace as early as 1567; over the years, several palaces were built here, but were destroyed again by fire and war. Today's Electoral Palace was rebuilt after the Second World War until 1951.

Since the foundation of the Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-University in 1818, it had its seat in the palace with the adjacent court garden. And also today some humanities institutes and the theological faculty are located in the historic castle.

View across a street; to the left is the historic, long building of the University of Bonn

Bonn Minster

The Bonn Minster is the imposing, Catholic main church of the city of Bonn and is also a landmark of the city. The church was built already in the 11. Century and is currently (2022) completely renovated. Therefore, the Bonn Minster was unfortunately mostly scaffolded during our visit and hardly visible from the outside.

Inside there is a bright and magnificent chancel with several side altars, porticoes and round arches.

View across a street to one side of Bonn Cathedral with three steeples

Poppelsdorf Palace

The Poppelsdorfer Schloss is located – as the name suggests – in the Poppelsdorf district of Bonn and dates back to the Baroque era. Beginning of the 19th century. At the end of the 19th century, the castle and the surrounding park became the property of the University of Bonn. Therefore, today various scientific institutes can be found in the palace and in the inner courtyard there are regular concerts during the summer months. The park, which extends around the Poppelsdorf Castle, was soon transformed into the Bonn Botanical Garden.

During our visit, the castle was unfortunately completely surrounded by scaffolding, but we could definitely guess that it is a very impressive building.

wide path leads to the Poppelsdorf Palace, which is surrounded by some meadows

Botanical Garden

In the botanical garden, which covers about 6.5 hectares, there are nine greenhouses and there are a good 11.000 different plants to admire. Today, the main focus is on research and teaching. During our visit in spring, only a few plants were in bloom in the gardens, but it was still very nice to walk through the huge complex. There is also a lake there with some seating on the shore and many different trails to explore the park.

The gardens are open to visitors free of charge during the week (every day in winter); only on weekends is there an entrance fee of €3 for adults and €1 for children.

The opening hours of the Botanical Garden are 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. during the summer months, closed on Saturdays and until 8 p.m. on Thursdays. In winter, the gardens are open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Botanical Gardens of the University of Bonn
Meckenheimer Allee 169
53115 Bonn

Lake on the left side of a wooden walkway; next to it are green beds and trees

Old customs on the Rhine

A perfect view of the Rhine and the banks of the Rhine can be seen from the Old Customs House on the Rhine. The former bastion of Bonn's city fortifications is located directly on the Brassertufer on the Rhine and is on the grounds of the University of Bonn. At the top of the bastion there are replicas of two cannons and the statue of the writer Ernst Moritz Arndt.

A detour to the Old Customs on the Rhine is worthwhile in any case for the super view – in good weather this reaches even to the Siebengebirge.

Paths lead up to the Old Customs on the Rhine with a statue and some trees View over the Rhine with some excursion boats on the bank and a small park on the bank

Rhine bank

On the banks of the Rhine you can walk in Bonn for several kilometers from the city center to the recreational park Rheinaue. The footpath here is nicely separated by trees from the less frequented street, so it feels like a walk in the greenery.

In the course of the next few years, the image of the Rhine embankment in Bonn will continue to change as it is redesigned on a grand scale.

View over the Rhine with some high-rise buildings in the background. To the right of the Rhine a promenade with trees leads along

Cherry blossom in the old town of Bonn

Year after year the cherry blossom in the old town of Bonn attracts many people who want to admire this spectacle. The cherry blossom starts between the beginning and the middle of April, depending on the weather, and lasts for about two weeks. During this time, especially in the area of Heerstrabe and Breitestrabe in the old town of Bonn, several cherry trees are in bloom, lining these small streets. Then the streets resemble a pink sea of blossoms and are a perfect photo motif.

When I visited Bonn at the end of April 2022, the cherry blossom was unfortunately already over. But then I could admire a street, which was completely covered by a pink flower carpet.

Rheinaue recreational park

The 160-hectare Rheinaue recreational park is the green recreational area in Bonn; it was created in 1979 as part of the Federal Garden Show. The park can be used in many ways for walking, jogging or playing sports. The largest element in the park is the Auensee, which is spanned by six bridges and on which you can also go boating.

There are also several thematic gardens: a rose garden, the Japanese garden and the garden for the blind.

Currently (April 2022) not much has bloomed in the park, but I can well imagine that especially the gardens are a real highlight in summer. Large parts of the Auensee were also a construction site and there was only actual water in a small part of the lake.

But I can recommend, especially with children, a visit to the game preserve with fallow deer at the southern end of the recreational park Rheinaue.

Park with a large meadow, several benches in the middle of rose beds

Japanese garden

A particularly beautiful place in the Rheinauenpark is the Japanese Garden. This is separated from the rest of the area by a fence and can be discovered on a circular path (the circular path is not completely barrier-free). In the Japanese Garden there is a large lake with a waterfall as well as a 13-tiered pagoda. Around the lake, the circular path has been created together with a rock garden. Besides, there are many trees and plants in the garden, which make it a very peaceful and beautiful place.

View across the lake in the Japanese Garden in Bonn. There are numerous trees and plants all around Japanese garden in Bonn with a lake in which the surrounding trees are reflected. At the front of the lake is a stone pagoda

Excursion destinations in the vicinity

In addition to the sights in the center of Bonn, there are several other worthwhile destinations in the surrounding area.

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