27 – 29TH AUGUST , 2016.
We were in Bonn, Cologne, Troisdorf, Wiesbaum and Düsseldorf last year as a part of personal work vacation for a week. I thought that I could fit all the travels in one post but Bonn is taking much space so I will split the other cities into another post.
We were comtemplating if we should stay in Bonn or Cologne. We both are not a big fan of super touristy places so we decided to head to a smaller city and stay in Bonn instead. It was the right choice because I didn’t like Cologne that much. Bonn lies by the Rhine and is the birthplace of Beethoven. If you are a history buff, there are plenty of museums for you. Bonn is a laid back city. It is pretty relaxing to walk aimlessly in the city with no plans. It has a bit of a rustic and modern elements sitting side by side hence why I like the city a lot. Cologne is easily reachable by train so you could make a day trip there like how we did it.
If you are in Bonn, get the Regio WelcomeCard so you don’t have to worry about buying tickets for public transportation in the city and free entry to many attractions. The Deutsche Bahn ticketing machines were complicated and not tourist friendly. Below are list of recommended places to visit and to eat. If you have been to Bonn and your favourite places are not in the list, let us know so we can expand the list!
BONN, GERMANY – PLACES TO GO
- Arithmeum (Recommended!)
This museum owned by University of Bonn. It is away from the core city centre of Bonn. The museum has an extensive display of calculating machines since Mesopotamia. Entrance fee: EUR3
Note: This museum is the highlight of our trip. The collection on display is astonishing and super cool. Unfortunately (or rather fortunately) it is not a favourite tourist spot. We were the only visitor at the museum and it was summer. Highlight recommended!
Art and Exhibition Hall is an art museum/exhibition hall. The hall hosted many temporary exhinitions and events since 1992. Entrance: EUR17 incl. audio guide.
Note: I love the contemporary architecture of the venue. However, we didn’t have a positive visit due to the unfriendly staff at the counter. The exhibition at that time was uninteresting for us. To be fair, I checked the website and at the time of writing, the current exhibition seems interesting.
Bonn is the birthplace of musical genius, Ludwig van Beethoven. The museum studies the life and work of the composer. Entrance: EUR6
Note: This highly recommended place was on our list. However when we arrived, there was a long queue and the interior were really heating up because of summer. We decided to skip and go to Arithmeum instead.
- Core city centre of Bonn
I won’t write down what you must see in this area. The safest bet is to go straight to the Bonn Tourist Information office, get a map and buy Bonn Regiocard. It is inexpensive (EUR10 to EUR27) and you get unlimited travel on public transportations and free entry to certain museums and attractions. The core centre is relatively small and pedestrian friendly. Just walk and explore as you go along.
- The Rhein
Go to Beethovenhalle Bonn and walk towards Alters Zoll along the river and have beer at the beer garden. Alternatively, book a boat ride along the Rhine.
There are a few parks in centre of Bonn – Stadtgarten, Hofgarten and one near Beethovenhalle. Buy a take away lunch or dinner and have your meal on the park bench while waiting the locals/tourist doing their things in the park.
Note: We had our lunch at Hofgarten after we visited Arithmeum. Some play football at the field, some train or play with their dogs, some play music, some just dating with their loved ones etc. It is really interesting way to see the Bonn way of life.
There are plenty more to see in Bonn. Bonn has some top rated museum in its city. We didn’t have time to visit them all but you should look it up if you have more time to spend in this relaxed city.
BONN, GERMANY – WHAT TO EAT?
- Tuscolo (Recommended!)
Tuscolo is an Italian restaurant & pizzeria. It is one of the highly recommended restaurant to dine in Bonn.
Note: We were lucky to get a small table near the bar. The restaurant was buzzing and had overflow of customers. Endless supply of pizzas going out the door for take aways and customers queueing and willing to wait for a place. The food was really good and the price was reasonable. We were completely caught by surprise. A highly recommended place!
Germany has a huge Turkish population so Döner/Kebab is a common street snack there and also in Switzerland.
Note: We have really mean Döner in Switzerland but the best Döner we had was the one in Bonn. Damn it was good! We order a Döner with yogurt sauce at Miran Kebap Haus at Maximilianstr. 4.
Note: Hipster burger joint. Apparently the best burger in the city. It was okay for us. The customer service wasn’t good. A bit of hipster arrogance there. Beware of the size, huge portion ahead! That means big portion with little price.
Note: This place was recommended by a local we shared a table at Burgermanufaktur. This is exactly what she said: The food is good and value for your money.
- Biergarten Alter Zoll
Note: An open air beer garden with scenic view of the Rhine. A perfect place to have a pint of Kölsch after a long walk on the promenade.
Note: It is a cute cosy little French cafe. A variety of good quality pastries and all Selbstgemacht (homemade) by their chef who worked in Marseille and London. We didn’t purchase the breakfast at our hotel so we came to C’est la Vie. The croissant was quite good. Love a good croisant!
- Currywurst – always!
Note: No explaination needed. Oddly, I really love the powdered curry taste.
Do you have any places you want to add to this list? Write in the comment box and we shall add them to the list. Suggest away!
Love, Frau Hallo 💘💘💘