A Little Trip to Bonn

Authored By:

Zoe S.

Bonn will always have a special place in my heart. Strolling through the city and looking at all the beautiful architecture and the thought that was put into the details of the city truly made me stop and think. You can spend hours just wandering the cobblestone streets with no destination in mind. I have been to Bonn a few times with my host family, but a few weeks ago I got the chance to visit with my fellow CBYXers, KT and Meredith. Every time I go to Bonn I find something completely new, it’s such a lovely city.

The first thing we found on our trip to Bonn was an American burger shop. Obviously American food is not really a highlight of Bonn as a city, but those burgers and fries hit so hard after the dull, grey train ride. They were so yummy. For cultural enrichment purposes I would recommend branching out a little bit from burgers, maybe try to find some cultural food in Bonn. But if you really are craving burgers, go for it.

After a short burger break, we continued to the Zentrum, near the Altes Rathaus. Right in front of the Rathaus there is a charming farmer‘s market set up. There are flower stand, food stands, and fresh fruit and vegetable stands that line the edges of the center of the city. Although strawberries are very out of season at the moment, I couldn't help myself from buying a small carton to munch on while we walked. In addition to the many things that surround the Zentrum, there is also a large bookstore called Thalia, which is very popular in Germany.

The Thalia in Bonn had to have been one of the biggest bookstores I’ve been in. I’m sure I counted at least four levels, the staircases just kept going up. The store seems to be a lot smaller from the outside. On the very top level, there is a small balcony you can step on with a view of the entire town square including the Rathaus. It was such a nice place, I could have stayed in that bookstore forever. It was a miracle I even managed to leave. Every book you really could ever want was there. My favorites were the pretty classics, with embroidered flowers on the hardcovers. Compared to stores like Barnes and Noble in the US, the prices for hardcover books were much more affordable.

Our trip to Bonn couldn’t be complete without visiting the Beethoven-Haus, only a short walk away from the Hauptbahnhof. Ludwig van Beethoven was born in Bonn, and his small pink house with its small green windows is easy to miss when walking in the street. Before exploring the house, we stopped by shop across the street to buy our tickets and a few other things. The Beethoven-Haus has a crazy collection of postcards, CDs, and music books, which is so my thing. I would definitely take the time to look around a little if you have the chance.

The actual Beethoven-Haus is beautiful. The house is so full of history, with Beethoven‘s original manuscripts displayed in many rooms of the house. Many of his instruments, including a harpsichord, are placed everywhere. In one room you can sit and listen to his music with headphones, and in another room you can hear his music and follow along with the original sheet music, which is displayed on the wall. The famous portrait that everyone remembers Beethoven by is also in one of the first rooms on the ground level of the house. Finally, in the „backyard“ of the Beethoven-Haus is a secret concert hall with red, velveted seats and a small stage. Maybe it isn’t so secret, but the only reason I know it’s there is because every time I visit the Beethoven-Haus I have to peek through these tinted windows from the garden to see into the hall, and it isn’t on Google Maps. If you’re lucky, the small quartet groups that practice there will smile and wave at you. I have yet to discover how I can one day infiltrate that concert hall.

We ended our day in Bonn at a small café and drank tea while waiting for our trains. There is only so much one can explore in one day, but I was so glad we could catch up and discover new things together. The architecture and history of Bonn is so amazing, and I would say it is one of the most beautiful cities in Northern Germany.

So until my next adventure…

Ciao ciao for now :)
Zoe Schauder