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Arts, sports and leisure

Bonn regularly hosts large events and festivals, including carnival parades in spring, the Rhine in flames firework display in May, traditional Christmas markets in winter, and a range of international arts and music festivals throughout the year.

Several cinemas screen international films in their original language. There is also a wealth of bars, clubs and restaurants to choose from, as well as a range of local delicacies to try, including cured meats, cheeses, and beers.

Bonn’s rich history stretches back more than two thousand years and can be explored through a variety of walking tours. The city’s museum mile runs close to the international district and attracts two million visitors each year. Twenty additional museums and art galleries, including the birthplace of the renowned composer Ludwig van Beethoven, can be found in and around the city centre. The Beethoven theatre, opera, and orchestra offer year round programmes, and the Beethoven Festival attracts visitors from all over the world each September. 

Cologne, just 25 minutes away by train, has over 70 clubs and party hot spots, and more pubs per capita than any other city in Germany. At around 1 million inhabitants, Cologne is Germany’s fourth largest city and is known for its concentration of media professionals, lively LGBTQ+ scene, and nightlife. About an hour by train from Bonn, Dusseldorf, considered Germany’s fashion capital, offers an active arts and music scene. Both cities have a broad range of dining, entertainment and shopping options. Thanks to Bonn’s central location, other destinations in Germany and Europe are also readily accessible for holidays and weekend getaways by rail, road and air. 

Shopping in Bonn is a pleasure thanks to its pedestrianized historic centre and the range of shops available within a short distance. The city contains all the usual high-street outlets, shopping malls, boutiques and second-hand stores, as well as regular markets, including food and farmer’s markets, flea markets, and antique and fabric markets. There is also a large selection of coffee shops and bakeries, where you can enjoy traditional German cakes and pastries. 

Bonn has an abundance of sports and leisure facilities, including health clubs, golf courses, gyms, and in and outdoor swimming pools. Around 300 sports clubs covering the full range of sports can be joined for a minimal fee. Many locals enjoy an outdoor lifestyle; jogging along the banks of the Rhine, swimming or boating on nearby lakes, or hiking through local hills and forests.