Working in Bonn
Bonn - the German UNO city on the Rhine

Working in Bonn - Panoramic view Bonn

Universities, research institutions and national science policy bodies work together closely in Bonn © Didgeman /

The former capital of the German Federal Republic located in North Rhine-Westfalia has become the German capital for development cooperation. Business, academic and cultural organisations work together closely in the United Nations city of Bonn.

Published: 2024-01-09

By: Maike Mintelowsky, Maike Schade

Bonn offers academics a broad choice of places to work. Besides a wide and diverse range of universities and universities of applied sciences, large research organisations are located here such as the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, the Max Planck Society, the European Academy and many other important institutions like the Max Planck Institute for Neurobiology of Behavior – caesar, or the German Aerospace Centre DLR, for example.

The University of Bonn receives support for its collaborative research centres, research groups and postgraduate programme from the German Research Foundation. Among others, the University of Bonn has produced two Nobel Prize winners, numerous winners of the Leibniz Prize and two winners of the Fields Medals.

Business, academia, politics and the administration pull together in Bonn to facilitate extensive networking between companies in the Bonn Science Region

The history of Bonn dates back over 2,000 years when 'Bonna' was established as a Roman camp in around 20 BC. Over the centuries the camp became a settlement, fortified town and eventually the residence of a prince elector. 

From 1949 to 1990, Bonn was the capital of West Germany and the official seat of government. When Berlin regained its status as capital, the national parliament and many national government institutions relocated from Bonn to Berlin in 1994. Since then Bonn has remained a political centre and is now home to six out of fifteen ministries as well as to international organizations, foundations and research institutions and several DAX companies and media houses.

Bonn's famous skyscraper, the Langer Eugen, which housed offices of members of parliament until they moved to Berlin, is now used by 25 organisations within the United Nations. It forms the centre of the UN campus. 

Culturally speaking, Bonn has a lot to offer. The Museum Mile features the art and exhibition hall with a sculpture garden on the roof, the House of History, the Museum König Bonn (one of Germany's best natural history museums) and more. 

As the birthplace of Ludwig van Beethoven, Bonn has established the annual Beethoven Festival which attracts thousands of visitors from both Germany and abroad in September. 

The Rhine promenade affords a wonderful view of the Siebengebirge hills including Castle Drachenburg or Nightingale Valley. Cologne and the Ruhr area are just a short distance away, providing a variety of options for taking trips as well as the benefits of proximity to Cologne Airport, good infrastructure and international connections. By nationwide comparison rents are relatively low. 

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The Posttower of the Deutsche Post is the city's tallest building and dominates the skyline (162,5 metres). 

As a Rhineland city, carnival is naturally a very important occasion in Bonn. Once a year the revellers take over and wear colorful costumes and throw sweets as decorated floats parade through the streets. 

Due to having no more than round about 330,000 residents, Bonn is jokingly referred to as the 'Federal Village'. The locals are relaxed enough to take such banter in their stride. 


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