Bonn is a small city in Germany that is often overlooked by travelers. With big cities like Berlin, Frankfurt, and Munich, there is a lot of competition as to where a traveler can spend their time in Germany. If you’re looking for a smaller scale city that is easy to get to, you should check out Bonn. Only about a 20 minute ride from the city of Cologne, Bonn is a great place to get away from the hordes of tourists and get a taste of Germany. And with a mere 48 hours in Bonn, you can get a great feel for this city.
Welcome to Bonn! I’ll be your tour guide…
What to do with 48 Hours in Bonn
Bonn Regio Welcome Card
The most cost-effective way to see the attractions in Bonn would be to purchase a Bonn Regio Welcome Card through the local tourism board. For just €10, you can experience free entry to 22 different museums and attractions, as well as discounts at other attractions and area restaurants. In addition, your Bonn Regio Welcome Card includes free use of public transportation in the Bonn area, when visiting attractions. The Welcome Card is valid for 24 hours from first use.
Also known as the Art and Exhibition Hall of the Federal Republic of Germany, this museum is all about promoting art and culture, along with science, technology, and the environment. Using your Bonn Regio Welcome Card, you have free admission to one of their great exhibits. I chose to visit their exhibit on the ancient cultures of Iran. When you visit, you will want to check out what exhibits they have, and find one that more interests you!
Lovely Persian Garden
Zoological Research Museum
The Zoological Research Museum was one of the coolest museums I visited in Bonn. Also known as Museum Koenig, this place is both a natural history museum and a zoological research institution in one. Through life-sized exhibits of different biomes of the world, visitors learn about the flora and fauna of Earth. My favorite exhibit was the Savannah exhibit, where all the animals were unmarked. There were booklets to use to help identify animals based on observations you made about them. It was a great way to learn about how different species are categorized. Your Bonn Regio Welcome Card will get you into this interesting place for free!
Old calculatey stuff!
Now, I am a chronic math-hater, but I found Bonn’s Arithmeum to be fairly interesting. This museum is all about the historical evolution of mathematical calculations. Each floor demonstrates the progression of calculations through history, from stone tablets used in Mesopotamia, to today’s lightning fast computers. There are many available to use yourself and get a taste of how easy we have it now! With over 10,000 calculating machines in its collection, the Arithmeum will add something unique to your travel itinerary. Free entry with your Bonn Regio Welcome Card.
You know that super famous music composer, Beethoven? He was born in the city of Bonn in 1770. The Beethoven Haus is the actual home where Beethoven was born. It has been preserved and turned into a museum you can visit. The squeaky floorboards and smell of the old house transport you back in time, while recordings of Beethoven’s music floats through the air. See interesting artifacts from Beethoven’s life and career, such as his personal violin, his organ, and many of his original compositions written in his handwriting. Entry to the Beethoven Haus is free with your Bonn Regio Welcome Card.
No photos allowed on the inside, though…
The Haribo Store
So how amped was I to discover that some of my favorite gummy candies are made in Bonn?! Very. The answer is very. The factory itself is not really open to tourists, but the main Haribo store is located right in the heart of Bonn and filled to the brim with delicious gummies! You can buy all different types of Haribo gummies at the store- some I’d never even heard of! You can also fill a bag with just your favorite flavors! The Haribo Store had me just like Steve from Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs.
Note: The shop charges for a bag to take away all your purchases. To avoid this fee, bring your own small carrying tote. I definitely had about 5 bags of gummy bears bulging out of my small purse for a few hours!
See the Cherry Blossoms
Unfortunately, I JUST missed cherry blossom time in Bonn. I was told they usually come some time from April to May, but it depends on what the weather decides to do. The best place to see the cherry blossoms in Bonn is the Altstadt area. The trees line the narrow streets and create beautiful pink arches that make lovely photos…when you’re there at the right time!
I mean…you can see the remnants of the blossoms on the ground…
Schloss Drachenburg & Drachenfels Castle
My personal favorite part of visiting Bonn was going to Schloss Drachenburg and Drachenfels Castle. You can easily spend a half or full day here, but I would budget at least three hours to enjoy this area. You can either take a
steep and miserable long hike up the mountain, or use your Bonn Regio Welcome Card discount for a train trip to the top. At the top, you’ll find incredible views of Bonn, the Rhine River, and the surrounding area. You’ll also find the ruins of Drachenfels Castle.
A scenic 20-30 minute hike down the mountain will bring you to Schloss Drachenburg– a gorgeous castle built in the late 1800’s. You can venture inside and imagine yourself a wealthy inhabitant of the castle. The rooms are set up with posh furniture and decor, and walking the elegant staircases will make you feel like royalty.
Spend some time on the outer grounds of Schloss Drachenburg. The gardens are full of lovely colors, and the views of the Rhine River are breathtaking.
Budget-Friendly Places to Eat in Bonn
I’ll be honest here. I kind of…forgot to eat while I was in Bonn. I was just so busy with all the museums and things to see that I never even noticed my empty tummy. I did do some research on budget-friendly eats before I visited, and here are my notes:
Currywurst and fries from a small Mom & Pop restaurant I ducked into.
The most popular Biergarten in Bonn, Alter Zoll is the place to go! This open air establishment is located along the Rhine River making it a favorite among visitors. Go for the German beers and light snacks.
This small sandwich shop is a great place for a quick, yet filling meal that doesn’t break your budget. Choose from sandwiches, salads, and the ever cheap, but satisfying pizza baguette.
Turns out, curry is a big deal in Germany- particularly a dish called Currywurst. Curry Time is a great little shack where you can get your currywurst fix on the go! They also have sausages and fries available.
One of the best ways to save on your dough is to get food from Bonn’s many bakeries. (Hehehe…dough…bakeries…) At Mr. Baker, you can get bread and rolls for less than one Euro. Salads and sandwiches are also available, between €2-4.
Where to Stay in Bonn
There is no cooler place to stay in Bonn than BaseCamp Bonn. Find out all the reasons why this place is so cool!
*Note: Thanks to Region Bonn for providing me with a complimentary Welcome Card and helping me plan my trip. As always, all opinions expressed are 100% my own.