I'm moving to Bonn! Where should I live?
May 12, 2014 6:17 AM   Subscribe

I will be moving to Bonn, Germany this coming August, for a year long research position. Where should I live?

This August, I being a year-long position at the Max Planck institute for Mathematics. I'm excited, but I don't know where I should look for housing. I've looked somewhat on Bonn e-rent, and the institute has quite a few links for housing, but the problem is that I don't know which parts of town are desirable.

In general, I prefer to live in highly walkable neighbourhoods with good-ish transit access to where I work, rather than close to work with nothing else nearby.

So where in Bonn is there a good collection of cafés, restaurants, pubs, grocery stores, all preferably close(ish) to the institute? What are the different neighbourhoods like?
posted by vernondalhart to Travel & Transportation around Bonn, Germany (3 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I used to live in Bonn while attending unversity there, but moved away about ten years ago. The Max Planck Institute for Mathematics is smack dab in the middle of downtown, right in the pedestrian area of the old town of Bonn, so living close to work would also mean living in a walkable area full of shops, cafés, restaurants etc. for you. (The only thing that isn't abundant downtown is large supermarkets, but you would absolutely be able to get everything you need day-to-day downtown.)

Bonn is not very large, and even if you live further outside the city center it's easy to navigate on foot or - like many of the students do - by bike. Using public transit is also easy: buses, streetcars/underground trains run regularly and quite often during the day, less often at night, so it's hard to end up living somewhere that's difficult to get away from.

The two parts of Bonn are separated by the river Rhine, and there are only three bridges (and a ferry) across, so for practical reasons I would advise you to stay on the left side of the river (linksrheinisch), where your workplace and the pedestrian area (and most of the institutes of the university, especially mathematics) are. For example, the Südstadt, Weststadt, Poppelsdorf, Endenich (and maybe Kessenich) would be areas I'd consider in your situation, but not Beuel, Pützchen, Oberkassel, Oberdollendorf (which are to the right of the Rhine, rechtsrheinisch).

Plittersdorf and Bad Godesberg used to be the area with all the foreign embassies while Bonn was the capital of Germany, but both are a bit further away from your workplace. However, it would be easy to use public transit to go downtown from there, but the area might be a bit too upscale for your taste. Bad Godesberg has it's own center and pedestrian area.

If you look at this Google map you can see the pedestrian area downtown (grey streets are pedestrians only, cars are allowed on the white ones) with the MPIM marked. The main university building, an old castle, is on the lower right.

As it's been a while since I've looked for apartments in Bonn I can't help you with specific tips, but a good address to look for apartments (and houses) to rent (and buy) in Germany is Immobilienscout24.de, but it's only available in German. None of my friends live in Bonn any more, or I'd ask them for leads, but if there's anything else you want to know about living in Bonn or need help with, feel free to contact me via MefiMail. I loved living in Bonn and would move back there in a heartbeat. Hope you'll like it as much as I did!
posted by amf at 7:19 AM on May 12, 2014

Bad Godesberg, a suburb, with trollies into Bonn. http://www.godesberg.de/
posted by Gungho at 8:07 AM on May 12, 2014

Though I really like Bad Godesberg, based on your information here, I think you would prefer living close to the centre. But most of Bonn is really livable.
posted by mumimor at 10:27 AM on May 12, 2014

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