Bonn can be seen on an easy day trip from Cologne or as a stop on the busy Rhine railway line. There is a concentration of sights in the Altstadt, while the big museums along Museumsmeile are just a quick tram ride away.
You can easily explore all of Bonn's old town on foot.
Bonn's architecturally distinguished 'Museum Mile', with its fabulous exhibits of art, modern history and natural history, sits about 1.5km south of the Altstadt. Trams 16, 63 and 66 and 68 will take you there.
Also referred to as Northern Altstadt, Nordstadt is a former working-class quarter where the web of narrow streets has grown pockets of hipness. Cafes, restaurants, boutiques and galleries have sprouted along Breite Strasse, Heerstrasse and the connecting side streets. The quarter is prettiest in spring when the cherry trees are in bloom.
Poppelsdorf & Around
About 2km south of the Altstadt, elegant and leafy Poppelsdorf is anchored by Schloss Poppelsdorf, a palace now used by the university. Students and neighbourhood folk populate the bars and restaurants along Clemens-August-Strasse, which runs south of the palace towards the hillside Kreuzbergkirche.
The Former Government District
From 1949 to 1999, the nerve centre of West German political power lay in Bonn's Bundesviertel, about 1.5km southeast of the Altstadt along Adenauerallee. These days the former government quarter has reinvented itself as the home of the United Nations and other international and federal institutions. The airy and modern Plenary Hall, where the Bundestag (German parliament) used to convene, now hosts international conferences. Nearby, the high-rise nicknamed Langer Eugen (Tall Eugen), where members of parliament kept their offices, is now a UN campus. Officially retaining their former purposes are the stately Villa Hammerschmidt, now the secondary official seat and residence of the German president, and the neoclassical Palais Schaumburg, which has the same function for the German chancellor. Explore the district on the Weg der Demokratie self-guided tour.