Discover the musical and historical heritage of Germany's former capital.
Bonn used to be West Germany's seat of government and important national and international political meetings are still often held here today, even if Berlin has replaced Bonn as the capital of a united Germany. Bonn was originally a university town and, over the years, has been able to maintain a pulsing, young atmosphere that visitors can experience in the many cafés and beer gardens.
Take a tour around the Bonn University, one of the country's important educational institutions. The university can lay claim to many famous former students such as Pope Benedict XVI and Friedrich Nietzsche.
Bonn is perhaps best known as the birthplace of the famous composer Ludwig van Beethoven. The house where he was born, the Beethoven-Haus, is now a museum in which the composer's belongings are displayed, including various pieces of writing and musical instruments.
Travel to Bonn will also allow you to discover further museums, such as the Kunstmuseum Bonn which holds one of the region's biggest art collections. In the Haus der Geschichte der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, on the other hand, you can learn more about the country's history. On a stroll through the south of the town you will discover many buildings from the 19th century. The 17th-century church, the Kreuzbergkirche is a typical example of baroque architecture. Even more of Bonn's varied architecture can be seen in the Bonner Münster, the cathedral in the city centre.
Even if you're only breezing through Bonn on a short trip, in one of the city's bars or pubs you have to try the region's very own "dragon blood" red wine, cultivated in a vineyard on the Petersberg mountain. True to the city's musical heritage, Bonn is not lacking when it comes to the performing arts. Throughout the summer, a great variety of operas and ballet performances are put on in the opera houses, while the city's orchestra offers an entire range of concerts from September onwards. If you're looking for comedy shows and jazz gigs, you will get your money's worth in the city's smaller theatres. If you plan to travel to Bonn in the summer, you might even experience the Beethoven Festival in person.
The city lies on the banks of the River Rhine, south from Cologne. Several picturesque train routes lead from Bonn through the Siebengebirge (Seven Mountains) to other major cities. Bonn's location makes it perfect for short trips to Cologne, Düsseldorf and other areas in the Rhine region.