For some reason Bonn often falls in the Shadow of the nearby city Cologne, but Bonn has a very rich history of its own, which can be seen in the many museums, including the birth house of Beethoven. During the Cold War, Bonn was the capital of West-Germany, and some of the ministries are still located here.
Compared to the industrial cities of the nearby Ruhr Area and most of North Rhine Westphalia, Bonn has a lot more Altstadt (Old Town) to offer, maybe proportionately even more than Cologne.
Beethoven’s Birth House
You can’t leave Bonn without visiting Beethoven’s house. The sad part is that a large part of the collection is about the founders of the house, and instruments of Beethoven’s time. However, the museum does include some original writings and pieces of the old master. Even if you don’t care about Beethoven or his music, you will love the old building (from ~1700) with its creaky wooden floors.
The Sterntor combines Bonns major squares. It was once the gate of the medieval city walls. While all the bricks are original, the Sterntor has been moved a couple of meters to make place for traffic.
Take one of Bonn’s walking tours
Take the Beethoven walk or the Path of Democracy walk, centered around contemporary historical sights in the former government district of Bonn.
German National Museum of Contemporary History
The Hause der Geschichte is one the most populair German museums. The permanent exhibition is centered around modern history from 1945. This museum provides one of the best, and most carefully exhibited overviews of German history you will find anywhere. And best of all: It’s for free!
The rest of Bonns “Museum Mile”
We’ve mentioned the Haus of Geschichte, but take a look at the many other museums Bonn has to offer within a miles walk:
Kunstmuseum Bonn: Has standard exhibitions of the Rhine Expressionism after WWII, but take a look at their current temporary exhibitions, because some great masters have been represented here.
Deutsches Museum Bonn: Exhibitions centered around research and technology in Germany after WWII.
Kunst- und Ausstellungshalle der Bundesrepublik Deutschland: Easily recognized by the three pillars/cones, this museum houses treasures and cultural objects from around the world.
Zoologisches Forschungsmuseum Alexander Koenig: Bonns Zoologic museum aims to research and explain the diversity of the species of our planet.
If you’re into Gummy bears…
Can’t leave this one out I guess: Haribo, meaning Hans Riegel, Bonn, started here. Just out of the city center, there’s a huge Haribo store (Friesdorfer Straße 121)