Brief history

Reconstruction of Roman Bonna

Bonn as a city has enjoyed a long history. Founded by the Romans as a legionary camp in the late first century BC, it is one of the oldest cities in Germany. The Romans appreciated Bonn’s easy accessibility on the banks of the Rhine and the mild climate.

The town grew considerably at the time it became the seat of the Archdiocese of Cologne, which happened at the end of the 16th century. A series of Baroque buildings was constructed, the beautiful Palatial Residence being only one example. In 1818 it was converted to house the Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-University, which was founded that year. In 1770 Ludwig van Beethoven was born in Bonn, where he worked until 1792. Today, his birthplace is a particular attraction in the city.

The baroque city hall

From 1949 until 1990 Bonn was the capital of the newly formed Federal Republic of Germany and, until 1999, the seat of the German federal government. During this time the city experienced a huge economic, social and political boom, but was able to retain its unique traditional spirit and tranquillity.

Since then Bonn has successfully mastered a transition from a spot dominated by governmental functions and duties to an internationally recognized centre of business. The appearance of multiple globally operating companies such as Deutsche Post AG or Telekom, and of smaller and medium-sized enterprises, symbolizes this change. Bonn has emerged as an internationally respected city not only in the field of business: since 1996 it has been home to the United Nations in Germany. Nearly 1000 people work for 18 UN organisations on the UN campus.

The old Bundestag

Due to this political profile and its rich history of over 2000 years, the city of Bonn is a great tourist attraction, offering an old and well preserved historic nucleus, well-known museums of science and art, marvellous parks and gardens, the Rhine and the nearby Siebengebirge, with a breathtaking view across the city and the whole area.

Public transport

Cologne and Bonn are included within the Rhein-Sieg transportation alliance (VRS). This means that standardized tickets and prices (VRS tariff), harmonized timetables, and jointly provided information and services by transportation companies within the VRS apply in both cities.

Within Bonn, you can use two tariffs on means of transport provided by the Bonn municipal utilities (SWB):

Short haul ticket (Kurzstreckenticket): Valid including the station you board from plus up to four stops. Valid independently of city and municipality limits. Not valid on local trains (S-Bahn), RegionalBahn and RegionalExpress trains. Not valid on certain express bus lines and subsections of lines. Price €1.90

Tariff level 1b (CityTicket): Valid for journeys within Bonn from six stations onwards (including boarding). Price €2.80

To travel to Cologne, choose the following ticket:

Tariff level 4 (RegioTicket): Valid for journeys through a larger number of cities and municipalities. Valid among others for Bonn to Cologne. Price €7.70

Further ticket and tariff information

(Copyright: Michael Sondermann)