Cologne is one of Germany’s biggest and most historic cities, while Bonn is the former capital of West Germany, prior to reunification in 1990. Both cities are more or less joined at the hip by massive urbanisation, while they’re also close to the Ruhr, Germany’s largest conurbation. Cologne in particular is a place where the old and new combine to create something wonderful. In the 1950’s, many of the old buildings which made Cologne so picturesque were rebuilt to help keep its unique atmosphere intact. Today, it’s a major cultural and commercial destination, while Bonn has its fair share of visitors too. The former capital is home to many impressive former government buildings as well as a few peaceful municipal parks where you can chill out.
Although the roads in both cities are in excellent condition, to ensure you can drive in the city centres without worry, something small and economical is advisable.
Driving in Cologne Bonn
Road Driving Side
Urban Speed Limit
Rural Speed Limit
Motorway Speed Limit
Important things to note
All cars driving into Cologne’s city centre must have a ‘Low Emissions’ sticker. They can be bought from any tourist information office.
Due to ongoing road works, driving in the centre of Cologne during rush hour can be a little tricky. Mid-mornings and afternoons on weekdays are fine.
Traffic in Bonn, the smaller of the two cities, is a little less heavy. Nevertheless, rush hours can be a little hectic, especially when international conferences take place.
Highlights & Hotspots
Cologne’s major landmark is Cologne Cathedral. One of the biggest and most impressive in Europe, it’s worth touring the building and the grounds to learn about the city and its links with Catholicism through the ages. It has the second tallest spires in Europe.
Staying in Cologne, the Roman-Germanic Museum is home to many examples of classical art from all over the world. Also, you should expect to see artefacts from the region’s rich and interesting history. It’s a good place to take the family.
Football is very popular in this part of the world. No more than a dozen miles north of Cologne, Bundesliga side Bayer Leverkusen play at the BayArena. Meanwhile, local side FC Koln play in the Bundesliga 2 in front of crowds of over 40,000 some games.
The Beethovenhalle in Bonn is a music venue names after the city’s most famous son, Ludwig Von Beethoven. Many of his most famous compositions are performed here, as well as more contemporary shows from aspiring Beethovens.
Cologne/Bonn Airport is just over nine miles southeast of Cologne City centre and 16 miles north of Bonn. The airport has two passenger terminals and is a hub for a number of low-cost airlines serving destinations throughout Europe as well as North America.
The airport is accessible via the A59 Autobahn via a link road. From there, you can go north to Cologne and south towards Bonn, as well as further up towards the Ruhr.