Is a city trip to Bonn with kids worth it? Basically, you can certainly take a weekend trip to Bonn, but it’s best to combine a visit to Bonn with a day to Cologne with the family or a day at an amusement park. In the city itself, you will have seen most of the sights in a day. Located a 2.5-hour drive from Utrecht, it is a medium-sized city in Germany with a population of just over 300,000. The city is also known as the birthplace of Beethoven, and you also have several statues of the composer in the city. We list the best sights and activities in Bonn with kids for you.
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Bonn with kids #1: exploring the city
You can explore Bonn with kids in several ways. For example, downtown Bonn is quite compact, making walking through the city a great option. The city center has many stores, cafes and restaurants as well as one of the largest pedestrian areas in Germany. One of the most famous stores in town is the Haribo candy store. In fact, the brand was founded here in the city in 1920. A 20-minute streetcar ride away, you can also visit the Haribo Factory Sale store.
The city’s two main squares are Marktplatz and Münsterplatz. This is a great place to grab a terrace with your kids in the summer. The Munsterkerk and Beethoven’s memorial are also well-known downtown sights. A nice walk from the center is to Hofgarten City Park. Here you have a large sunbathing area where in summer dozens of families picnic and enjoy the sunshine, and there is also a playground in the park.
Besides walking through the city, you can also explore the city by bike. The Dutch company BajaBikes organizes bike tours with a Dutch private guide. These bike tours are very pricey for one family, though. If you are short on time and still want to see much of the city and its surroundings, you can take advantage of the hop on hop off buses that run through the city. These buses stop at 11 stops in the city and surrounding areas, and a full round trip takes about 2 hours.
Bonn with kids #2: venusberg wildlife park
One of the best places to go hiking in Bonn with kids is Wildpark Venusberg. From downtown, it is about a 20-minute streetcar ride to the park. You have well-maintained trails here and in the park you can admire various animals for free such as various deer and boars.
The park has a visitor center (Haus der Natur) and also a nice large playground with lots of climbing equipment and fine sand to play in. You can have a great time here for a few hours. Most trails in the park are passable with a baby carriage. It is also fun to visit Wald und Wildpark Rolandseck with kids. This park is a 22-minute drive from downtown Bonn.
Bonn with kids #3: museum koenig
Located just outside the city center, this museum can be reached on foot in half an hour (the streetcar will get you there in 5 minutes). The museum is in a beautiful historic building and you will find many stuffed animals placed in their natural habitat.
The museum consists of three floors and you will encounter many different animals such as the deer, the elephant, the camel and many more animals. One drawback of the museum is that most of the text is in German. There is also a section where you can admire the skeletons of various dinosaurs.
In the basement you will also find a number of aquariums with live fish. The museum is not super big and you will have seen it in an hour or two. This museum can be an option if, for example, the weather is not so good in Bonn and you still want to do something with your kids. Your kids must be a fan of this or we wouldn’t visit the museum. For more information on opening hours, admission prices and exhibits check out the museum’s website.
Bonn with kids #4: gardens in Bonn
Bonn has some beautiful gardens. For example, you can walk from the center to the city’s Botanical Gardens in about 20 minutes. These gardens are free during the week. Please note that on Saturdays the gardens are closed. You will find many different types of flowers and plants in these gardens, and there are also some beautiful ponds with fountains in the gardens.
Another beautiful garden in Bonn are the Japanese gardens. These can be reached in 15 minutes by streetcar from the center and are located on the banks of the Rhine River. These gardens were donated by the Japanese government to the city of Bonn. The gardens are not large, but look beautiful with caged carp in the garden’s pond. This garden is also free to visit.
This Japanese garden is located in a much larger park (Freizeitpark Rheinaue). This park also offers excellent hiking and there are several playgrounds in this park. The largest playground is Spielplatz Rheinaue. There is also a labyrinth for kids in this park and you can have a drink at one of the long tables at Restaurant Rheinaue.
Bonn with kids: Day trips from Bonn
You can take several day trips from Bonn with kids from the city. We list the best ones for you.
#5 Drachenburg Castle: if you want to see a castle with your kids, a 15-minute drive from the city center will find this castle on the edge of river Rhine. Today, the castle is a museum and you can visit different rooms of the castle. You can also climb one of the towers of the castle and here you will have a wonderful view of the Rhine River. You can combine a visit to the castle with a visit to Sea life Konigswinter. In fact, Sea Life is 5 minutes away by car from the castle.
#6 Sea Life Konigswinter: here you will find a lot of sea animals in different aquariums. You will find Sea Life’s famous animals such as sharks, large rays, luminous jellyfish and the NEMO fish. One of the highlights of Sea Life Konigswinter is the 15-meter-long tunnel, where you have the aquarium completely surrounding you. Sea Life also has a restaurant where you can get something to eat and drink.
#7 Day trip to Cologne: you can get to Cologne from Bonn in less than 20 minutes by train. In Cologne you can visit the zoo, the science museum and you can take the cable car to see the city from the air. If you want to know more about what to do in Cologne, check out our blog Cologne with kids.
#8 Phantasialand amusement park: 20 minutes away by car from Bonn is the great amusement park Phantasialand. It is one of the largest amusement parks in Europe. The park has different themes, each with its own attractions and shows. So you have the themes of Berlin, Chinatown, Deep in Africa, Mexico, Fantasy and Mystery. You have enough attractions here for both young and older kids to keep you entertained for a whole day at this amusement park. In that regard, Bonn is the city closest to the amusement park.
Where to sleep in Bonn with kids
Budget hotel: Hotel Europa
Mid-range hotel: Hilton Bonn
Luxury hotel: Maritim Hotel Bonn
To search for other hotels in Bonn with kids click here for the whole list of hotels.
Further information Bonn with kids
Christmas market: like most cities in Germany, Bonn also has a Christmas market from mid-November until Christmas. On four different squares in downtown you will find stalls selling all kinds of Christmas goodies. The market is not the largest Christmas market in Germany, but it still has more than 170 stalls.
Bonn card: Bonn, like most German cities, has a tourist card that you can buy from the city that allows unlimited travel on public transportation, free admission to more than 20 museums and discounts at other city attractions. They sell both individual and family tickets. Check beforehand what you want to do in Bonn with kids and then calculate if the card is advantageous for your family.
Environmental sticker: if you are visiting the city of Bonn by car, you will need an environmental sticker. These can be ordered from the ANWB website and will be sent to you within 5 days. To do this, you need to enter the car’s registration number and report code (found on the registration certificate) and then the correct color will be selected.