Bonn was founded in the 1st century BC and is one of the oldest cities in Germany. It is located on the banks of the Rhine River and has a population of about 300,000 people. Bonn is considered a very important administrative city and is considered the second unofficial capital of the country. The city is home to plenty of universities and ministerial offices. Both domestic and international institutions have offices and headquarters in the city including 20 United Nations Institutions. Any expat thinking of moving to Germany should seriously consider Bonn as a residential town.
Is Bonn a good place to live? Bonn is an administrative town and a former capital city. It has a rich history with the attributes to support it. Many tourists pass through the city and locals report being happy living there. The city is secure, has excellent facilities and has a picturesque location making it a good place to live.
As an expat moving to Bonn, you will soon discover that it is a city of amazing cultural richness, stunningly beautiful architecture with an intriguing history and the residents have a surprisingly high degree of friendliness. Though it is a large busy city, there are plenty of green spaces and countryside that provide a semblance of calm. If you are moving to Germany for professional reasons, you will find plenty of great employers in Bonn. Many tourists visit the town so you are always meeting new people. You can be sure to enjoy this relaxed, compact city where everything is within easy reach.
Is Bonn a good place to live?
Bonn is a great city with numerous neighbourhoods in which to live. However, just like any city there are some neighbourhoods that are better than others when judged by standards like safety, cleanliness, scenery and infrastructure among others. Living in Bonn can be quite expensive so most houses are bought by way of a mortgage. Good neighbourhoods in Bonn include Südstadt, Poppelsdorf, Musikerviertel, Kessenich, Weststadt, Endenich, Beuel and Plittersdorf. Bad neighbourhoods in Bonn include areas like Tannenbusch, Dransdorf, Bad Godesberg, Auerberg and Nordstadt.
Bonn has had a moderate increase in criminal activities for the past few years. Still, living in Bonn is surprisingly safe for such a large city. About 4/5th of Bonn residents say they feel comfortable walking alone during the day and 60% are comfortable walking alone at night. Drug related crimes and property crimes such as vandalism and theft are the most prevalent crimes in Bonn. Therefore, moving to Bonn as an expat should be a safe relocation.
The education system in Bonn is excellent. The prominent educational institutions in the city are predominantly private and include institutions such as Bonn International School (BIS) and Kardinal-Frings-Gymnasium. Most private schools are run by religious organisations and have a choice of either boarding school or day school. As far as higher education is concerned, the University of Bonn is the major institution in the city and is one of the largest universities in the country. The university is home to the German Academic Exchange Service and has exchange programs for many of its degree programs.
The two most popular methods of transportation in Bonn are buses and trams. Bonn’s bus system consists of thirty lines that are in regular operation. You can buy tickets for both buses and trams from vending machines located all over the city. Bonn’s central railway station serves both the S-Bahn and U-Bahn with trains transporting Bonn residents to regional and long distance destinations like Paris, Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, Zurich, Vienna, Brussels and Amsterdam. Over 67,000 people use the Bonn Hauptbahnhof every single day. Bonn has four major roads running through or close to it including the A59, A562, A555 and A565. Bonn is divided into two by the Rhine meaning that bridges are crucial for inner city transportation. There are also ferries transporting people across the river. The Cologne Bonn airport is the seventh largest airport in the country and is located just 15km north of the city centre.
Bonn’s social life is very active and includes attractions that are as old as two millennia old. Landmarks such as the German National Museum of Contemporary History and the Beethoven House are attractions that make people appreciate the city’s history. There are also many art galleries, gardens and cathedrals where birds of a feather can agglomerate. Bonn has a buzzing nightlife with music festivals, pubs and bars constantly full and assuring residents of a good time.
Is Bonn a good place to work?
Bonn is a good place to work for plenty of reasons the first being higher salaries. The average salary an employee in Bonn makes is €50,000 which is significantly higher than the national average salary of €37,000. Another reason is that there are plenty of administrative related jobs in Bonn which are assured of existence unless the government collapses. Not many places have that sort of job insurance since many industries collapse leaving many jobless.
The unemployment rate in Bonn is about 6% which is double the national average of 3.1%. Despite such grim statistics, there are many great employers in Bonn. The major industries employing residents in Bonn are Logistics Services, Shipping, Transportation, Warehousing, Logistics, and Telecommunications. Popular job titles include Financial Controller, Software Engineer and Project Manager. The major firms employing people in Bonn include DHL Global, T-Systems, Deutsche Telekom, Deutsche Post and Solar world.
Is Bonn a good place to buy a house?
Bonn’s real estate market deserves credit for being relatively stable which is good news for expats moving to Bonn. The property prices and rental rates are on the higher end of the scale but it quite easy to find good properties in Bonn even close to the city centre. Most residents in Bonn will not take out a mortgage to own a piece of property but will rent instead. There is no substitute for insurance, however, if you manage to acquire property in Bonn. Good neighbourhoods in Bonn include Südstadt, Poppelsdorf, Musikerviertel, Kessenich, Weststadt, Endenich, Beuel and Plittersdorf. Bad neighbourhoods in Bonn include areas like Tannenbusch, Dransdorf, Bad Godesberg, Auerberg and Nordstadt.
The average monthly rent for a one bedroom apartment in Bonn is €725. The average rent for a two bedroom apartment is €900 per month while the average monthly rent for a three bedroom apartment is €1370. The average rent per month for a four bedroom apartment is €1745 and the average rent for a five bedroom apartment is €1990 per month.
The average price of a one bedroom property in Bonn is €150,500 while the average price of a two bedroom property is €182,450. The average price of a three bedroom apartment is € 210,360 while for a four bedroom property is €263,770. The average price of a five bedroom property is €306,850.
Is Bonn a good place to retire?
Bonn is a great place to retire. First and foremost Bonn has a small population for such a big city. Although the larger metropolitan area is densely populated, Bonn is not. Retirees can hence enjoy a calm and relaxed environment with little foot traffic. Another reason why Bonn is a great retirement is its picturesque surroundings. Bonn has received credit for being one of the most beautiful places in Germany with the Rhine cutting the city into two with one side being the CBD and the other rural and countryside. Moreover, there are few universities in Bonn unlike in many other cities in the country so the average population age in Bonn is over 50 which add to the city’s aura of maturity. Good neighbourhoods in Bonn include Südstadt, Poppelsdorf, Musikerviertel, Kessenich, Weststadt, Endenich, Beuel and Plittersdorf. Bad neighbourhoods in Bonn include areas like Tannenbusch, Dransdorf, Bad Godesberg, Auerberg and Nordstadt.
There are many retirement properties in Bonn many of which are priced like normal properties in terms of rent and price. However, senior assisted living expenses are priced seperately so retirees should use regular property prices and rents as a guide for their property search in Bonn.
Is Bonn a good place to visit?
Thousands of tourists pass through Bonn every year. There are plenty of landmarks and short break attractions in the city. Some must see scenes in the city include Haus der Geschichte, Bundeskunsthalle, Bonn Minster, Rheinisches Landesmuseum Bonn, Poppelsdorf Palace and the Wildpark Venusberg.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the cost of living in Bonn, Germany?
Out of 446 cities in the world surveyed by Numbeo, Bonn was ranked 149th in terms of cost of living. A single person in Bonn spends about €777 a month minus rent. A typical four family household will spend about €2,648 each month minus rent.
Is Bonn a good place to invest in property?
Bonn is a good place to invest in real estate because the market is quite stable. The sheer number of administrative jobs in the town can assure investors of constant demand. The prices are also quite high so investors can expect high returns. However, investors should acquire insurance for investments to protect them against economic downturns.
Is Bonn a good place to raise a family?
Bonn is a great place to raise a family. There are excellent schools in the area, both local and international. The town is beautiful with great parks and countryside where your kids can play and get involved in various activities. Bonn is quite safe so you rarely have to worry about your children’s safety.
About the author: Marta Kovachek is the author of this article. She graduated from the University of Chicago with a master’s degree in Economics. Marta enjoys writing about the current economic situation and loves helping our readers to find their next "destination". From places to live to complex social and economic topics, we always enjoy Marta's work. Please contact us in case of any questions.