Bonn Regio Welcome Card

The more cities we visit, the more I appreciate it when city cards are available. They usually represent good value for money, and allow you to see more of a city’s attractions and use its public transport network than you would if you were paying for each thing separately.

Price varies wildly, with Florence’s card being the most expensive we’ve encountered so far, at €50 — and even that’s pretty good value when you look at how much it costs to visit the Uffizi and the Accademia. But on the other end of the scale you’ll find some surprisingly cheap options, like Bonn’s 24-hour ticket, which costs just €9.

There are other varieties of Bonn Regio Welcome Card; the price increases as the zone covered gets bigger, and there’s an individual and family version for each zone. We had the most-basic option: single tickets for the Bonn city area. This gave us access to the public transport network of the city, free admission to about 15 museums, and discounts on several others. Of course it wasn’t possible to visit everything during the 24 hours of the pass’s validity, but even if you just visit two or three attractions, the card represents value for money.

In fact, our first drop was the Kunsthalle art gallery, where the card gave us access to one of the exhibitions; we chose to visit the Iroquois one as it had been recommended to us. The normal entrance price was €10, so the pass proved its worth immediately — and that’s not even mentioning the public transport we took to get there.

You can visit Beethoven's house with the Bonn Welcome Card.

You can visit Beethoven’s house with the Bonn Welcome Card.

We’d validated our cards quite late in the day, so we still had most of the second day to use them. We started at Beethoven’s house, then later dropped into the Stadt Museum and Egyptian Museum before catching a tram to the König Museum. I wouldn’t have visited some of these if I hadn’t had the card, so it was nice to have a chance to drop in and see what they were like.

You can buy a Welcome Card from a train or tram ticket machine, but it’s worth dropping into the tourist office to get it so that you can pick up an information brochure (which is also available online). This brochure lists the attractions covered by the card, with opening hours and the name of the nearest public transport stop. Annoyingly, though, it doesn’t tell you the entrance price of each attraction, so it’s hard to know which things to visit first and which you could just pay for if you can’t fit it in before the pass expires. And, somewhat misleadingly, the brochure lists the Haus der Geschichte as covered by the card — actually, entrance is free for all. Luckily our friendly tourism officer told us this as she gave us the cards, otherwise we might have tried to visit within the period of validity of our card.

On the whole, if you’re planning on visiting more than one museum and use the public transport as well, a Bonn Welcome Card represents great value for money.

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