One of the first cities we visited when we first moved to Europe turned out to be one of my favorites to date – Bonn, Germany. Bonn sits right on the Rhein River and used to be the capital of West Germany. After doing a little digging and research, I realized our visit only scratched the surface of what this city has to offer. I need to get back there, stat!
The first thing that drew me to Bonn was that it is the birthplace of Ludwig von Beethoven. Sometimes I feel like classical music runs through my veins. I remember turning it on the stereo often as a little girl and dancing to it with my sisters, as well as playing classical piano since I was 6. We visited the house Beethoven was born in but weren’t allowed to take pictures, and I didn’t realize that he barely spent any time actually living in Bonn. Regardless, we were able to check out a ton of his sheet music, pianos, ear horns, and more while exploring the massive, rickety old house.
After perusing the numerous rooms and belongings, we joined a free walking tour, which was absolutely fabulous. Our tour guide was Daniel and if you visit Bonn, I highly recommend booking through them. We explored a few of the main city squares and heard interesting facts and stories about the history that fascinated me. Thom wasn’t too happy about the tour and we weren’t able to stay for the entire duration, but next time we’ll definitely check out the second option which takes you along the Rhein River instead of the main city area. I loved that the downtown area was small enough to explore in its entirety, while still feeling like a city with a range of interesting architecture and focal points.
We broke off in Münsterplatz, which had a large bronze statue of Beethoven and Bonner Münster, one of the oldest churches in Germany. This is the square where they have the Bonn Christmas Market so we’ll be back 🙂
A highlight of Bonn, for Nic at least, was the Haribo candy factory. Walls of scoopable treats lined the entire building and it was fun watching Nic be (literally) like a kid in a candy shop. They spoke really good English and were super friendly. You can’t miss it if you walk by! We then treated ourselves to crepes from a street vendor and visited an adorable coffee shop to get out of the cold, encountering one of the nicest baristas I’ve ever met.
As far as family travel goes, we didn’t have a stroller yet so just wore the carrier for Thom. A stroller would’ve been really good for the walking tour and I think the city itself would be fine with it; however, there are a lot of stairs and uneven ground if you visit the Beethoven Haus so we were happy to carry the baby (I can’t speak to the other museums yet).
For Next Time
We missed out on seeing a lot that Bonn offers. In my defense, it was freezing cold at the beginning of March and we were dealing with a crabby infant. Next time, some notable things to check out would be:
- Schloss Drachenburg – a newer, fairytale-like castle with stunning views. You can walk up or take a rail car. The nearby Drachenfels ruins are also worth checking out, I’ve heard.
- Museum Mile – there are so many museums in Bonn if you’re into that!
- Poppelsdorf Palace – a beautiful Baroque building that is now part of the University there.
- The cherry blossoms at the right time of year – I love cherry blossoms and Bonn is also known for its thousands of trees. They even have a “Cherry Blossom Avenue” that looks amazing!
Though Bonn is smaller than a lot of the more popular cities in Germany, it’s worth exploring if you’re nearby and has plenty to do and see! Overall, the vibe and history really captivated me.
What was your favorite thing about Bonn? Do you prefer smaller cities like I do?
Until next time,