Visit beautiful Bonn, the birthplace of Beethoven and you’ll find a relaxed, pretty city built along the Rhine River. Home to a well-respected university, Bonn prides itself on its intellectual and musical history. Beethoven is not the city’s only famous resident; the Romantic-Era composer Schumann and his pianist wife both lived here, and philosopher Karl Marx attended the University of Bonn.
Following World War II, Bonn was made the capital of West Germany (also known as the Federal Republic of Germany) in place of Berlin, raising its international status. In 1991, when the country was unified, Berlin once again became the capital. The large, modern government buildings stand as a reminder of Bonn’s past.
Like many cities along the Rhine, Bonn is home to baroque churches, museums, galleries, traditional restaurants and a romantic Old Town. Amongst its museums, you’ll find Beethoven Haus, a museum dedicated to the city’s most famous resident.
The dramatic peaks of the Seven Mountains (known as Siebenbirge to locals) dominate the Rhine’s eastern bank. Bonn is famous for growing one of Germany’s best red wines across this chain of mountains: Drachenblut (which translates as “dragon’s blood”). Thanks to Beethoven, the local wines and stunning river and mountain views, Bonn is a popular port of call for Rhine River cruises.
Cruise ships dock along the Brassertufer on the Rhine River, approximately one kilometre from the city centre.
Facilities near the port in Bonn include:
- Tourist information centres
- Public toilets.
How To Get Around
The Old Town is small and compact, and easily navigated on foot. For travelling further afield, Bonn has an efficient public transport network of buses, trams and trains.
Travel times from the cruise ship dock in Bonn:
- It is an 10 minute journey to Beethoven-Haus
- It is a 21 minute journey to Museum Koenig
- It is a 31 minute journey to Haus der Geschichte.
- It is a 3 minute journey to Beethoven-Haus
- It is a 4 minute journey to Museum Koenig
- It is a 6 minute journey to Haus der Geschichte.
- It is a 10 minute journey to Beethoven-Haus
- It is an 11 minute journey to Museum Koenig
- It is a 14 minute journey to Haus der Geschichte.
- It is an 4 minute journey to Beethoven-Haus
- It is an 6 minute journey to Museum Koenig
- It is a 9 minute journey to Haus der Geschichte.
Currency – The currency in Bonn is the Euro (€). Notes come in €5, €10, €20, €50, €100, €200 and €500 denominations. Coins come in 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 cent and €1 and €2 denominations.
Time Zone – Bonn follows Central European Time (CET), which is one hour ahead of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). Between March and October, the time difference grows to two hours ahead of UTC while daylight savings is observed.
Weather – Bonn enjoys a mild, humid temperate climate with warmer summers than most of Western Europe. July is the hottest month in Bonn, with temperatures averaging at 18 degrees Celsius. January is the coldest month, with an average temperature of 2 degrees Celsius.
Beethoven Haus – Beethoven House Museum is Bonn’s most popular attraction. In 1770, the baby who would grow to be one of the world’s greatest composers was born on the second storey of this modest townhouse house. This museum preserves many of his possessions, including instruments, manuscripts, letters, scores and the ear trumpets he used as he grew increasingly deaf. Your ticket will also grant you entry to an interactive multimedia show at the Digital Archives building next door.
Haus der Geschichte der Bundesrepublik Deutschland – Named after the German naturalist and zoologist Alexander Koenig, who donated his private collections to the museum, history lessons become great entertainment in this clever, engaging establishment. Permanent exhibits cover Germany’s recent history, starting from the last shot fired in World War II. With classic 1950s films showing in the movie theatre and entire cars and aircraft on display, this is a fascinating place to spend a few hours and learn a little history in the process.
Museum Koenig – This natural history museum is filled with giant, life-like exhibits of animals from all around the world as though frozen in time in their natural terrain. One exhibit shows African animals as they stalk their prey, with vultures circling high above. Many of the interactive elements for children are in German, but you’ll find plenty to keep young and old entertained for a few hours.