Bonn was founded in the 1st century BC and is one of the oldest cities in Germany. It is located on the banks of the Rhine River and has a population of about 300,000 people. Bonn is considered a very important administrative city and is considered the second unofficial capital of the country. The city is home to plenty of universities and ministerial offices. Both domestic and international institutions have offices and headquarters in the city including 20 United Nations Institutions. Any expat thinking of moving to Germany should seriously consider Bonn as a residential town.
Is Bonn a good place to live? Bonn is an administrative town and a former capital city. It has a rich history with the attributes to support it. Many tourists pass through the city and locals report being happy living there. The city is secure, has excellent facilities and has a picturesque location making it a good place to live.
As an expat moving to Bonn, you will soon discover that it is a city of amazing cultural richness, stunningly beautiful architecture with an intriguing history and the residents have a surprisingly high degree of friendliness. Though it is a large busy city, there are plenty of green spaces and countryside that provide a semblance of calm. If you are moving to Germany for professional reasons, you will find plenty of great employers in Bonn. Many tourists visit the town so you are always meeting new people. You can be sure to enjoy this relaxed, compact city where everything is within easy reach.
Is Bonn a good place to live?
Bonn is a great city with numerous neighbourhoods in which to live. However, just like any city there are some neighbourhoods that are better than others when judged by standards like safety, cleanliness, scenery and infrastructure among others. Living in Bonn can be quite expensive so most houses are bought by way of a mortgage. Good neighbourhoods in Bonn include Südstadt, Poppelsdorf, Musikerviertel, Kessenich, Weststadt, Endenich, Beuel and Plittersdorf. Bad neighbourhoods in Bonn include areas like Tannenbusch, Dransdorf, Bad Godesberg, Auerberg and Nordstadt.
Bonn has had a moderate increase in criminal activities for the past few years. Still, living in Bonn is surprisingly safe for such a large city. About 4/5th of Bonn residents say they feel comfortable walking alone during the day and 60% are comfortable walking alone at night. Drug related crimes and property crimes such as vandalism and theft are the most prevalent crimes in Bonn. Therefore, moving to Bonn as an expat should be a safe relocation.
Top things to do
Biergarten Alter Zoll
Here’s a Bonn drinking game: every time a barge passes below this beer garden with gorgeous views of the Rhine, have a drink. You won’t last an hour. It’s in Bonn’s Stadtgarten, a little leafy gem next to the Altstadt with an old bastion overlooking the river. The beer and sausages here are standard but the surroundings are anything but.
Beyond its dramatic foyer, the Kunstmuseum Bonn presents 20th-century works, especially by August Macke and other Rhenish expressionists, as well as such post-WWII avant-gardists as Beuys, Baselitz and Kiefer. It has a vigorous schedule of special exhibitions showcasing various facets of contemporary art.
Competing with the art is the stark beauty of the building itself. Blueprinted by Axel Schultes, a Berlin-based architect, it juxtaposes airiness with strict geometric structures that play with light and shadow. Note especially the dramatic main staircase, the shape of which resembles an hourglass.
Adjoining the Kunstmuseum Bonn, the Bundeskunsthalle (Federal Art Hall) is another striking space that brings in blockbuster exhibits from around the world. Despite the name, the hall doesn’t necessarily showcase serious art; it also has exhibits that delve into the realms of history, science, technology and the environment.
The building itself, by Viennese architect Gustav Peichl, is striking and easily recognised by the three sky-blue glass-tipped cones jutting from the rooftop garden. The 16 columns represent the 16 states of Germany.