When this friendly, relaxed city on the Rhine became West Germany's ‘temporary’ capital in 1949 it surprised many, including its own residents. When in 1991 a reunited German government decided to move back to Berlin, it shocked many, especially its own residents. More than 15 years later, no-one need feel sorry for Bonn. Change brings opportunity, and rather than plunge into the dark depths of provincialism, the ex-capital has reinvented itself with creativity and vigor. Its cosmopolitan openness has attracted an international cast of businesses, students, scientists and even such world organizations such as the UN.
For visitors, the birthplace of Ludwig van Beethoven has plenty in store, not the least the great composer’s birth house, a string of top-rated museums, a lovely riverside setting, castles, and the nostalgic flair of the old government quarter.
Yikes! Well, what can I say! Find a schedule and know what you are getting into. We thought we could go from Bonn to Mainz....... Nope, it doesn't go that far on one boat. So, we took a train to Koblenz, you have to catch the 9:30 to go all the way to Mainz, so we ended up in Bingen and took another train to get to Mainz. Turned out to be a Royal hassle. But the ride on the Rhine itself was stunning. We were on the boat for 6 Hours. much too long. I would probably take a train to a city much farther south and see the major castles and Die Loreley and spend less time on the boat.
The boat cruise was enjoyable but I would recommend buying tickets from some other tour agent.
Unfortunately we were sold tickets for a trip that did not leave from Bonn but did not find this out until we were at the launch point in Bonn. We had to re arrange are plans, lose a day of our travel itinerary and incur additional expense to travel to Koblenz for departure for the route we wanted to take. I booked this trip with a Live Agent - not online- so this was doubly annoying as I was very clear about the route we wanted to take and was assured that was what I was purchasing. This could have been avoided if the agent that sold me the tickets actually knew what they were selling.
Bonn can be seen on an easy day trip from Cologne but also makes for an excellent jumping-off point to the Siebengebirge nature reserve and other attractions that can be found in the area.