Germany off the beaten track

Bonn is an adorable city on the banks of the Rhine river with a remarkable history. © historicgermany

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Bonn

Beethoven’s city on the mighty River Rhine

Beethoven Memorial, Bonn ©Danetzki und Weidner
Ludwig van Beethoven is indisputably Bonn's most illustrious son, and the city is proud to present the largest Beethoven collection in the world with original scores and instruments in the house where he was born. Visitors to Bonn in September or October have the opportunity to listen to his wonderful music at the annual Beethoven Festival. Numerous music-loving guests are already looking forward to 2020, when Bonn will celebrate the 250th anniversary of Beethoven´s birth throughout the whole year.

You’ll find Beethoven's birthplace in the Bonngasse in the heart of the historic town centre. Here, the Romanesque cathedral with its roughly 900-year old cloister, the rococo-style Old Town Hall, the Electoral Palace - now home to the University of Bonn - and the imposing Wilhelminian-style buildings together form a magnificent backdrop for your stroll through the town. The northern end of the historic city centre merges into the old town. A bustling district with cobblestone streets where you will find small stores, nostalgic book shops, cosy cafes and charming taverns. In spring, Japan sends its greetings when the Heer and Breite Strasse become awash in a sea of pink cherry blossoms. Another spectacular highlight is watching the Rose Monday carnival procession in the old town.

Minster Church, Bonn ©historicgermany
The 2,000-year old city has also made plenty of history in modern times. For 50 years, Bonn was the capital of the Federal Republic of Germany before parts of the government moved to Berlin. In the "Bundesviertel" - the government quarter - you can tread the "Path of Democracy" with informative picture panels that, among other locations, guide you to the Palais Schaumburg - the Chancellor's second official residence - and Villa Hammerschmidt, the Bonn domicile of the German President.

Art and culture aficionados should make sure to take in the "Museum Mile". Here, the Art and Exhibition Hall of the Federal Republic of Germany presents exhibitions of international renown. In the Bonn Art Museum, itself an architectural masterpiece, 20th-century modern art wows visitors. The House of History of the Federal Republic of Germany offers an interactive insight into German politics and everyday life. Fans of technology are sure to get their money's worth at the Deutsches Museum, while the Alexander Koenig Zoological Research Museum is a paradise for natural history enthusiasts.

The stunning location of the city on the river Rhine also makes it an ideal starting point for a lovely walk along the water, or for a romantic boat trip in the Rhine valley. Cast off for a wonderful day in Bonn!

Our tip for your rendezvous of the senses:
Combine three typical Bonn specialities into one exceptional menu: An eggnog as an aperitif, then "Himmel un Ääd" (dialect for "heaven and earth") with black pudding, liver sausage, mashed potatoes and apple sauce, followed by colourful gummy bears as a sweet finale.