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When this 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 to Berlin, it shocked many, especially Bonn's own residents.

More than a generation later, Bonn is doing just fine, thank you. It has a healthy economy and lively urban vibe. For visitors, the birthplace of Ludwig van Beethoven has plenty of note, not least the great composer’s birth house, a string of top-rated museums, a lovely riverside setting and the nostalgic feel of the old government quarter. Expect a big line-up of special events in 2020 – Beethoven's 250th birthday.

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Bonn.

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