I went to Bonn to see the famous cherry blossoms, but I was one week too late, and I missed it. However, I still had around 3 hours to explore the city and I tried to make most out of it.
Normally, if you visit a new place it is good to “get lost” and just wander around. But since I had so little time, I couldn’t afford loosing any minute. So as always I recommend starting at tourist information, get some maps and a guide to know where to start.
On my way to the Tourist Information I found an antique market with a lot of furniture, old albums, books, and home decor. Generally, flea-markets are very popular in Germany and it is always worth to have a look, cause they often offer valuable items for very low prices.
Read about my flea market experience in Mainz in a previous post: Treasure hunting at Saturday flea market in Mainz
First 30 min
- Muenster Platz
- Bonn Minster
- Beethoven House
I started at the Muenster Platz with the impressive Bonn Minster (Bonner Muenster) – one of Germany’s oldest churches – from 11th century! What is definitely worth seeing is a cloister with a restful garden and a fontain.
In the middle of the square there is a Beethoven Monument. Bonn is known as a city of Beethoven. It is his birthplace and still you can visit the Beethoven House where he spend his first years, which was turned into a museum. The collection includes original manuscripts and his instruments, but also a lot of art pieces. When you enter, first you find yourself in a little store, where you can get CDs, notes and plenty of souvenirs.
If Beethoven House isn’t enough for you, why not going for a city tour “Tracing the Footsteps of the Great Composer” or to a concert of Beethoven Orchester?
30 min – 1,5 hour
- Old Town Hall
- Rhine River
Just few steps from the Beethoven House you find yourself at the Bonn Marktplatz with the Old Town Hall. During the time when Bonn used to be a capital city many high rank guests were visitors here, i.e. John F. Kennedy and Queen Elizabeth II.
Don’t forget you are in the Romantic Rhine Valley, so seeing a river is a must. Go to the Rhine promenade with a view to the surrounding hills. You can take a boat trip, have some refreshments in a beer garden or have a pickning in the park – Freizeitpark Rheinaue.
If you come to Bonn on the first Saturday of May, you can enjoy the Rhine in Flames event, with great fireworks displays.
Coming back to the city centre I crossed the Hofgarten. It is a huge park from which you can enjoy a view to the The Electoral Palace. It belongs to the University of Bonn. A lot of people sit there on the grass and make a picnic, play games or study. Inside the Palace there are administrative departments of university and a small Egyptian Museum.
I also found a live-webcam from Hofgarten.
1,5 – 3 hours
- chestnut trees
- Botanic Garden
Everywhere around the Hofgarten were gorgeous chestnut trees blooming. Their flowers are one of my favourite, both in white and pink. From there I went towards the Botanic Garden down the Poppelsdorfer Allee, which was also full of those trees. In between two roads for cars, there is a green area with paths for pedestrians, so it is a pleasant walk. It is about 600 m long and at the end the Botanic Garden with charming Poppelsdorf Palace awaits.
The palace was built in the place of ruined castle in the 18th century. Now, together with surrounding garden, it belongs to the University of Bonn. It hosts the Mineralogical-Petrological Museum, which is opened from Monday to Friday.
The entrance to the garden is not too obvious and it is easy to miss it. If you approach the garden from Poppelsdorfer Allee go to your right towards Meckenheimer Allee. The gate is behind the palace.
The collection in this garden constists of around 11 000 species! They have the biggest waterlilies in the world and the largest flower of 306 cm hight. You can have a walk around the park or sit by the fontain and listen to the birds singing. If you are lucky you see can meet a duck with little babies. My favourite part was a collection of rhododendrons. Alternatively, greenhouses are a great option for rainy days – warm and covered.
After all the walking you might get tired so you can also have a rest in a little restaurant – Nees, in front of a palace. It has a terrace with a view to the garden.
Before visiting the Botanic Garden check the opening hours, because they are quite strict especially in winter season and it is not opened on Saturdays.
Overall, Bonn has so much to offer and 3 hours are definitely not enough to experience all of it. I hope my post inspired you for a longer visit in this pretty city.