Bonn's claims to fame are varied and numerous; it's the birthplace of both Ludvig von Beethoven and Haribo sweets, it's the gateway to Germany's celebrated Ahr wine region, and it's overlooked by the nearby Drachenburg Castle (Schloss Drachenburg), one of the most whimsical, fairytale-esque palaces in the world. Thanks to its picturesque setting on the Rhine river just 30 minutes south of Cologne, Bonn is truly a traveller's dream at any time of year. In springtime, the dozens of Japanese cherry trees lining Bonn's streets burst into bloom, turning the city into a pretty pink paradise. When winter hits, two delightful Christmas markets add a festive cheer to the town. And if you're after history and culture, there's no shortage of events to discover and fascinating museums to explore year-round.
In 2020, Bonn will celebrate Beethoven's 250th birthday, with lots of festivities and parties planned. If you're a fan of classical music, sweets, high-quality wine or stunning scenery (or all of the above), a visit to Bonn will not disappoint!
Attracting more than a million visitors every year, Bonn's Museum Mile is a collection of five well-respected museums dedicated to art, science, history and technology. It includes:
Fun fact of the day: Haribo is not just a made up word; it's actually an acronym for Hans Riegel Bonn, the founder of those colourful jelly sweets and the town where he brought them into being back in 1920. Today the original Haribo factory is shut, but visitors can check out the Haribo factory outlet, a sprawling sweets shop selling a massive variety of candies at a discounted price. Picture Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory, but for Haribo. Whether you've got a sweet tooth yourself or you're travelling with kids, it would be silly not to visit!
When winter rolls around, Bonn plays host to not one but two charming Christmas markets. The first is a weekend fair that takes place inside Drachenburg Castle itself, featuring storytellers, sweet treats and mulled wine. (Adults get in for €7, children for €5).
The city itself also hosts a bigger Christmas market with more than 100 vendors between the historic Minster and the Bottlerplatz. Expect exotic foods, pretty Christmas tree ornaments, beeswax candles and cosy knitwear.