280 km per hour by ICE
The fastest (but only the second best) way to get from Frankfurt to Bonn is to take the new high-speed InterCityExpress (ICE) railway line Frankfurt-Cologne, making sure you get a train that stops at Siegburg. There you have to change to the streetcar # 66 (which for some sort of crass commercial reasons has recently been dubbed the Telekom Express) to take you into the center of Bonn.
All the ICE trains on this new route stop at Frankfurt airport, which is an unnecessary detour in my opinion. The time wasted on the slow loop to the airport cancels out a good chunk of the time you save by going 280 kilometers per hour on the rest of the trip.
A few of the trains also stop at Limburg or at Montabaur, which is where I took the photos on this tip. And of course some of them stop at Siegburg, not far from Bonn.
Some of the newer ICE trains on this route now have wireless LAN, so you can turn on your laptop and go on line for part of the journey. This is why it says "Mobility Net" and "WWW im ICE" on the side of the train. I haven't tried this, but as far as I know it only works on certain parts of the route, and not in the tunnels. In any case, there is an electric outlet at each seat so you don't have to run down the battery of your laptop.
Second photo: Another ICE at Montabaur, advertising its onboard "Internet Hotspot".
Third photo: Only one or two trains an hour bother to stop in Montabaur. Most of them just barrel on through, like this one.
Fourth photo: Here are the taillights of an ICE leaving Montabaur on its way to Cologne.
Fifth photo: This new high-speed railway line runs roughly parallel to an Autobahn, so in some places if you pay attention you can see that your train is going much faster than all those Porsches and BMWs.
Scenic route along the Rhine
The best and most relaxing way to get from Frankfurt to Bonn is to take the train along the traditional Rhine Valley route via Mainz and Koblenz.
This takes 23 minutes longer than the new high speed route (1 hour 58 minutes instead of 1 hour 35 minutes), but the scenery is much better and you don't have the hassle of changing trains. And it is somewhat cheaper.
Second photo: The Rhine River and the town of Lorch, from the train.
Third photo: Small boat harbor on the Rhine River, from the train.
Fourth photo: Rhine River and the Burg Maus (Mouse Castle), from the train.
Fifth photo: A closer look at the Mouse Castle, from the train.
Bonn has its own airport, the Cologne/Bonn airport. But there are many nearby airports that are very accessible too, so it's worth shopping around for the best deal. Dusseldorf also has a major international airport, with destinations on four continents, and you can be in Bonn in about an hour from there. Less accessible is Weeze Airport, popular with budget airlines, especially Ryanair. Even Frankfurt airport, the second busiest in Europe, is only about an hour away by direct ICE express train.
Cologne/Bonn airport isn't as busy as Dusseldorf but it's a little more convenient and has a lot of destinations served by two of Germany's high quality budget airlines: Air Berlin and Germanwings. These serve a host of major European cities, including Budapest, London and Copenhagen. They are joined by a number of other budget airlines, like EasyJet and Wizz Air, as well as a small number of national airlines, including Turkish Airlines, Air France and even Iran Air.
To get to Bonn just take Bus SB60.
It is an interesting touristic train that starts from the center of the town Koningwinter and pass through Drachenburg Castle. I saw that it climbs the mountain but I’m not sure which the last stop is. The ticket from the main station to the Castle is 7 EUR but if you’re too tired it’s better give them as otherwise you have to climb for 30m on almost 45 degrees road. (See off the beaten path).
- Arts and Culture
That ferry goes from the left to the right coast of Rheine for only 2 minutes and is the main way to pass on the other side as the nearest bridge is at about 7 km far. And it is also at reasonable price – only 2 EUR per person, even with a bike. For cars should be a little bit more but not too much.
- Budget Travel
- Sailing and Boating
In Bonn Hauptbahnhof there is also the U-Bahn to be found. They are actually trams running underground.
Beware that the ticket machines are on the upper level but there was also a ticket machine in the tram but we didn't know that beforehand.
Bus 670 from Airport to Bonn
The easiest way to get into Bonn central by public transport is by taking bus 670 from outside the terminal. We arrived into terminal 2 and the charge was Euro 4 + Euro 2.10 also I believe this cost entitled us to get a free bus trip within the centre. Our driver explained the additional Euro 2.10 was because it was terminal 2.
The trip takes approx 30 / 40 min and the buses run mostly every half hour but it is best to check the timetable as on weekends things run differently.
The bus brings you right into the centre next to the train station and if you are lucky like us you may have the lovely VT'er Dewisri meet you.
Bonn effectively has two ICE train stations with superfast connections to all over Germany. The main train station is in the centre, but another with even faster trains run from Sieburg, a separate town but only a 20 minute tram ride across the river from Bonn. This gives you plenty of options for getting to and from Bonn.
Bonn's central station has direct ICE connections to Berlin, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Stuttgart, Bremen, as well as international connections to Innsbruck and Vienna. There are many local trains connecting you to places like Dusseldorf, Cologne and towns and cities of the Rhine, like Mainz. You can also take a short train journey to Bruhl, home of two of Germany's most fabulous palaces.
Sieburg is on the ultrafast ICE line that connects Cologne to Frankfurt in just over an hour. It also shares many of the same big city destinations as Bonn's central station, with the addition of a few more direct international connections, like Paris, Amsterdam and Zurich. To get to Sieburg station, take tram 66 from Bonn. Sieburg ICE station is the last stop.
Metros and Trams
Bonn shares with Cologne the same massive regional network of trams, trains, buses and metros. The network extends beyond that into other parts of the great urban sprawl of North West Germany and you can even buy regional tickets to cities like Dusseldorf. For Bonn and Cologne you can buy daily and weekly tickets that cover both cities. Just remember that a ticket for Bonn city centre doesn't cover you for Cologne as well - you need a region 4 ticket for both.
Bonn railway station has the usual facilities with Service Center, left luggage, kiosks for snacks and newsagent. Mind you, some tram lines are to be found underground and some in front of the railway station.
When you come out of the station, cross the street, keep going and you are right in the center of town.
If you want to travel by train to Bonn please note that there is Bonn station where EC, IC and regional trains will take you. But if you travel by ICE there is a Bonn/Siegburg station which is actually in Siegburg. So, you will either take a S-Bahn from Siegburg/Bonn (leaves underground there) to Bonn or you travel via Cologne on the other side of the Rhine river.
Trains are expensive!!!
Trains in all Germany are very expensive, so if You want to go to Cologne or other places from Bonn take a subway. It will take a little longer, but much cheaper!!!
If You plan to cross a long distance, f.eg. if You want to go to Berlin or Frankfurt from Bonn take a plane! I'm not joking!
As many of us stated, it is amazing that this little station once served the capital of one of Europe's biggest countries! Little it may be, but it has lots of departures to fun places nevertheless, with several commuter trains to Bonn and Koblenz but also further away long distance trains to places like Luxemburg, Hamburg and Basel.
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
Cologne to Bonn on the Stadtbahn
Cologne's extensive Stadtbahn tram network not only covers the city and its suburbs, it also stretches as far as neighbouring Bonn.
I used the Stadtbahn in order to visit Bonn as a daytrip from Cologne in July 2006. The following information is correct as of that date:
Stadtbahn #18 makes the journey between Cologne's and Bonn's respective Hauptbahnhofs.
The journey between Cologne Hauptbahnhof and Bonn Hauptbahnhof is approximately 1 hour.
Tickets (price category 4) can be purchased from the machines at all Stadtbahn stations and must be validated on board the tram. The cost of a one-way ticket is 6.10 Euros.
The journey between Cologne and Bonn includes stops at Bruhl and Bornheim as well as dozens of smaller suburban stations.
It would be quicker to catch a train rather than the Stadtbahn between Cologne and Bonn, but I think it would also be more expensive.
Bicycling - a popular way to move around
Bicycling seems to be a very a popular way to move around Bonn. For a person like me that lives in Sofia it is very surprising to see that people are so keen on bicycling around the city. The reason is that bicycling in Sofia, with its crazy traffic and no bicycling infrastructure, almost equals a suicidal attempt although there are still some brave people who are testing their luck around the Sofia streets :)
I had seen tons of bicycles around the center of Bonn as you can see from the pictures. Also, I had seen that they have the relevant infrastructure for that kind of transportation. They have special lanes for bicycling and also marked paths in the pedestrian zones. I would assume that of the have all these bicycling lanes and paths, they would also have the relevant maps showing the routes around Bonn. So, if you are a fan of bicycling you would enjoy your stay there :)))
Getting from Bonn To Frankfurt By Train
Since the new ultra high speed ICE line between Cologne and Frankfurt Airport has been introduced, there now are two ways of getting from Bonn to Frankfurt. The traditional way would be to use Intercity trains from Bonn Hauptbahnhof. These take a very scenic route through the Rhine valley via Koblenz and Mainz. The trip to Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof takes about 2 hours; for Frankfurt Airport deduct 15 minutes. The other opportunity is to take the 66 tram bringing you to Siegburg's brand new ICE station. From there, it is only 39 minutes to Frankfurt Airport and about an hour to Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof. The ICE travels at a mind-blowing speed of 300 km/h, and the amazing thing is that when on it, it is smooth and quiet, you don't feel the speed at all.
Okay, which alternative is the better one? If it is easier for you to get to Bonn Hbf, I would strongly recommend sticking with the traditional Rhine valley route. It is much more scenic and it is also cheaper. Unless you can get to Siegburg ICE station quickly (like myself), you won't save much time anyway.