Living in Bonn

Bonn, the region and the University offer many opportunities to attend events, play sports, visit theatres and museums - and more. We offer information about leisure activities, German courses, events and much more in Bonn. We also provide practical tips for dealing with everyday issues. If you are staying for an extended period, you will be facing further organizational challenges. For example, if you move, you must inform the Citizens Service Center of your new address (‘Ummeldung’).

Campus life

The Bonn University and State Library (ULB) is accessible for employees as well as for international visiting researchers. You will need a library card to use the facility. Employees submit their employment contract for this purpose, visiting researchers or scholarship holders without an employment contract can obtain an ID for guest researchers (see above) in the Welcome Center, with which you will be able to receive a library card.

The various canteens - Mensa - of the Studierendenwerk Bonn take care of your physical well-being on site. For payment you need a canteen card - Mensa Card - which you can get for a deposit of 5.00 EUR in all canteens and at the info.point at the canteen Nassestraße. Employees present their employment contract for this purpose. Upon request, visiting scientists and scholarship holders without an employment contract can obtain an ID for visiting scientists in the Welcome Center, with which they can receive a canteen card.

The University Computer Center can help you with all IT issues at the University of Bonn. The IT help desk set up for this purpose is open from Monday to Friday, from 7.30 a.m. to 9.30 p.m.

During your research stay in Bonn you can of course also participate in the university sports program of the University of Bonn. The offer includes more than 150 sports at all levels. The university also has its own gym and other great sports facilities and grounds.

University of Bonn employees (with a work contract)

1) Visit the website  https://www.sport.uni-bonn.de and find out about the general conditions of participation
2) Book a semester ticket at:  https://www.sportangebot.uni-bonn.de/angebote/aktueller_zeitraum
3) Choose a sport course at:  https://www.sportangebot.uni-bonn.de/angebote/aktueller_zeitraum
4) Book the desired sports course on the respective page and select the status "Beschäftigte Uni Bonn"

Visiting researchers / scholarship holders (without a work contract)

1) Visit the website  https://www.sport.uni-bonn.de and find out about the general conditions of participation
2) Fill in the declaration of participation for external people, which you can find here: https://www.sport.uni-bonn.de/download/formular-teilnahmeerklaerung-externe.pdf
3) Send an email to hochschulsport@uni-bonn.de with the subject "Visiting Researcher Card" and state your name and contact details. Please attach a scan of your Visiting Researcher Card and the declaration of participation for external students to the email. You can request a Visiting Researcher Card from the Welcome Center.
4) You will receive the participant card by post, which entitles you to book your desired sports course.
5) Choose a sports offfer at:  https://www.sportangebot.uni-bonn.de/angebote/aktueller_zeitraum 
6) Enrol in the desired sports activity on the respective page and select the "Inhaber Teilnehmerausweis" status.

The Culture forum forms the common roof of the cultural activities at the University of Bonn. The manifold events are an important part of the University of Bonn's campus life. You are cordially invited to participate in the music groups, orchestras or choirs. Or do you prefer playing theater?

litterarium and atelier

The rich spectrum of the litterarium includes readings, literary-musical evenings, scenic and musical productions such as jazz sessions or literary concerts, as well as theater courses and literary circles.

In the atelier, courses in painting, photography, sculpture, nude or portrait drawing are offered every semester.

Music and dance forum

The music and dance forum forum offers all music-loving students, professors, employees and external parties the opportunity to pursue their enthusiasm and curiosity for music. In weekly rehearsals, programs are usually developed every semester, which are then performed in the context of university concerts and events in Bonn and .y

If you want to be regularly informed about events, you can leave your e-mail address with a note at musik@uni-bonn.de.

  • Learn more: Music and Dance Forum (tba)

Practical advice for living in Bonn

Medical care in Bonn is very good. There are around 20 hospitals, specialist outpatient clinics and day clinics in Bonn, as well as the University Hospital Bonn with 32 clinics and 23 institutes. More than 2,800 doctors, who represent over 40 specialist areas in Bonn's hospitals and medical practices, care for the residents of Bonn and also large parts of the neighboring districts.

Are you accompanied by your family during your stay in Bonn? Maybe you are bringing your children as well? We want your relatives to feel comfortable in Bonn right from the beginning. The University of Bonn has its own family office, which is your first point of contact for all questions relating to family (e.g. school, kindergarten, parental allowance).

Public transport

Bonn and the region have a very well developed network of local public transport. Whether train, bus, tram, rental bike or e-scooter - everything is available. You don't really need a car for city traffic. And even better: As an employee of the University of Bonn, you can get a JobTicket if you want, which allows you to use local public transport at a discount.


Bicycle

In many cases, the bicycle is the most suitable means of getting from A to B in Bonn. For longer stays, it is therefore worth buying or bringing your own bike. There are bike shops all over the city. You can also find used bicycles at local bicycle dealers or via eBay Kleinanzeigen. Other alternatives, especially for shorter stays, are rental and leasing bicycles.


Driving license and car

If you want to drive a car yourself during your stay in Germany, you need a valid driver's license. Driving licenses from EU or EEA countries are valid indefinitely in Germany. An international driver's license is also recognized in Germany. Driving licenses from non-European countries (with German translation) lose their validity after six months. You must then apply for a German driver's license from the driver's license office at the Citizens' Office in Bonn. Depending on the country of origin, you have to take another driving test (theoretical and / or practical). Whether you are allowed to drive a vehicle with a foreign driving license in Germany and under what conditions a transfer is possible must be clarified in each individual case based on the country of origin. You should apply for the transfer of the driver's license as early as possible, at least three months before the deadline.

Depending on your personal circumstances, it may be necessary to register your motor vehicle in Germany. To register, you must contact the motor vehicle registration office of the City of Bonn.

If you want to use your time in Germany to improve your German skills, a language course can be very helpful. Both the University and numerous language institutes in the city offer German courses at all levels. The language tandems of the language learning center or the online courses of Deutsche Welle and the German Adult Education Association - Volkshochschule/VHS - are also popular.

If you change apartments within Bonn during your stay, you should notify various authorities. The Welcome Center will be glad to assist you. If this applies to you, you should inform the following offices:

It may be advisable to request a redirection service from Deutsche Post.

Discovering Bonn and the Rhineland

You can find a wide range of ideas for recreational activities in Bonn on the city's website.

Learn more:

If you would like to get to know other people from all over the world, then the offers from BONNEXPAT may be of interest to you.

Would you like to discover the city with a real Bonn native? Then take a look at what Bonn Greeters have to offer:

Bonn is located in the most populous and very diverse state of North Rhine-Westphalia. The big cities of Cologne and Düsseldorf, the imperial city of Aachen, the Ruhr area as one of the largest metropolitan areas in Germany, wonderful natural landscapes and national parks, art and culture at world level - all of this is here to be discovered and is waiting for you.

If you need ideas and suggestions, please visit the website of NRW Tourism. It is worth it!

Bonn is located in an extremely charming region. The rivers Rhine, Sieg and Ahr, the Eifel National Park, the Bergisches Land and the fantastic Siebengebirge - all are easily and quickly accessible. So if you want to get out of the city: there are many options! Tips are available from Bonn Information or, of course, from the Welcome Center.

  • More information: Bonn Information
  • Good hiking trails in the region: Traumpfade

The UNESCO World Heritage Upper Middle Rhine Valley extends from Rüdesheim and Bingen in the south to Koblenz in the north. At 67 kilometers, it only represents around five percent of the entire course of the river, but is often referred to as the most beautiful stretch of the entire Rhine between the Alps and the North Sea. Absolutely worth seeing!

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