Dusseldorf to Bonn: By Train, Boat or Bus?

Updated on December 29, 2023  

dusseldorf to bonn

As I live near Cologne, friends visiting here often ask me about the most efficient and cost-effective way to travel to neighboring cities. One of the most common questions is "What's the best way to get from Düsseldorf to Bonn?"

Fortunately, there are plenty of options available from Düsseldorf, whether it is by train, bus, car rental and even flight! Each one has its pros and cons, which I'll outline below.

So keep reading to find out the best ways to get from Düsseldorf to Bonn!

Where is Bonn?

Bonn is a mid-sized city in western Germany, located on the banks of the Rhine River. It's in the North Rhine-Westphalia state and has easy access to other major German cities like Cologne.

As a modern city, Bonn is supported by an extensive transportation network. And I mean extensive. This includes highways, railways, and Cologne-Bonn Airport is one of the largest and busiest airports in Germany too.

How far is Bonn from Düsseldorf?

The two cities are approximately 75 kilometers (46 miles) apart, and well-connected to each other.

This makes Bonn an attractive travel option from Düsseldorf, as many affordable transportations take less than an hour.

For example, hopping on a train will whisk you from Düsseldorf to Bonn in about 45 min to 1 hour! If you prefer the freedom of driving, expect around 60 to 90 minutes depending on traffic conditions.

Düsseldorf to Bonn by Train

🕒 Time: 4/5
💶 Price: 4/5
😊 Comfort: 4/5

🔀 Convenience: 3/5

Ask anyone from here and they'll say getting from Düsseldorf to Bonn by train is the most convenient and efficient way to travel between these two cities. 

I don't wish to sound biased, but Germany has one of the most developed and reliable train transportation systems in the world. It's fast, punctual, and affordable - often nearly as affordable as taking the bus.

germany train scene

1. Departure from Düsseldorf: Your journey typically begins at Düsseldorf Hauptbahnhof or Düsseldorf Central Station.

In the city center, this station is easily accessible from other parts of Düsseldorf, wherever you're coming from. It has domestic, international, as well as regional train services.

2. Ticket Purchase: You'll need to buy tickets if you want to take the train.

Your options are purchasing a ticket through one of the authorized online platforms, or from the ticket machines at the station or the manual ticket counters.

I always advise booking your tickets in advance. Especially during peak travel times, you may waste time queueing up to buy tickets at the station!

Whenever I have purchase train tickets, I like to use Omio. It's my favorite platform to check for the best train tickets in Europe:

3. Train Options: Most will suggest taking a high-speed train like ICE, when traveling between Düsseldorf and Bonn. [1] This is the fastest train, and you can get a ticket under a few euros if you book early. 

Thereafter, you can connect to a regional train within Bonn to get to your final destination.

4. Scenic Journey: The train ride between Dusseldorf and Bonn offers pleasant views of the Rhine River, vineyards, historic towns, and occasional castles, making it a somewhat scenic journey, especially when traveling along the riverbank.

However, it may not be as visually striking as some other scenic train routes in Germany.

I remember a family trip I took from Cologne to Bonn, and my kids were absolutely delighted. They couldn't contain their excitement as the ICE train sped along, and they spent the entire journey with their faces pressed against the window.

So no matter what, I strongly suggest snagging a window seat if you have the chance!

5. Arrival in Dusseldorf: Your train will arrive at Bonn Hauptbahnhof, the central train station in Bonn.

Clear signs will guide you to the tram station or taxi stand, so don't worry about losing your way. The station also has a convenience store, which comes in handy for grabbing a snack for the road.

Düsseldorf to Bonn by Bus

🕒 Time: 2/5
💶 Price: 5/5
😊 Comfort: 3/5

🔀 Convenience: 4/5

The bus offers you the most budget-friendly option, with fares starting at just €10. The journey takes around 90 min, depending on the timing and bus route.

1. Departure from Düsseldorf: Your journey typically begins at Düsseldorf Bus Station.

In the city center, this station is easily accessible from other parts of Düsseldorf by public transport, wherever you're coming from.

2. Purchase Your Ticket: You can easily buy your bus tickets from Düsseldorf to Bonn online here. It's advisable to book your ticket in advance, especially during peak travel periods, to secure your seat and potentially snag lower fares.

3. Bus Options: Several bus companies operate the Düsseldorf-Bonn route, offering varying levels of comfort and amenities. Some buses may provide Wi-Fi, power outlets, and comfortable seating, so be sure to check the features of each bus service when making your reservation.

4. Enjoy the Scenic Route: While the bus journey may not match the speed of a train, it can still be an enjoyable experience. You'll get to admire the passing scenery, including picturesque countryside and charming towns along the way.

5. Arrive in Bonn: Your bus will drop you off at one of the bus terminals or stops in Bonn, depending on the bus company and route. Bonn boasts a well-connected public transportation system, giving you various options to reach your final destination within the city.

Düsseldorf to Bonn by Private Transfer

🕒 Time: 3/5
💶 Price: 3/5
😊 Comfort: 5/5

🔀 Convenience: 5/5

While private transfers may cost a bit more than other options, I find them well worth it, especially when more flexibility and comfort is needed.

When we traveled with my elderly in-laws, with a fair amount of luggage, we always opted for private transfer. Our driver not only picked us up from home but also helped with our bags. We didn't have to worry about navigating our group to or from a train station or airport!

You can also choose a smaller or bigger vehicle depending on how many seats and luggage you have. There's a variety of choices, from SUVs and sedans to bigger minibuses and vans.

However, take note that a private transfer won't be as fast as a high-speed train. Depending on traffic, it can take around 55 mins or more.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

RECOMMENDED FOR PRIVATE TRANSFER

This private transfer platform has the best prices around. I've found deals that cost similar to a train ticket. Plus they price-match if you can find a lower price anywhere else!

Düsseldorf to Bonn by Taxi

🕒 Time: 3/5
💶 Price: 2/5
😊 Comfort: 5/5

🔀 Convenience: 3/5

The benefits of taking a taxi are similar to those of a private transfer. However, there are some potential downsides.

One major concern is price. Taxi meter fares can rack up depending on the route and traffic, and I don't like worrying about what I'll end up paying.

A couple of times, I've even found myself struggling to even get a cab, which is frustrating when we're traveling on a schedule.

So if I had to choose, I'd still choose private transfer. Every thing is pre-arranged. There's usually better rates, and you don't have to worry about flagging down a taxi or deal with climbing fares.

Rent A Car: Driving from Düsseldorf to Bonn

🕒 Time: 3/5
💶 Price: 3/5
😊 Comfort: 5/5

🔀 Convenience: 5/5

If your goal is simply to get from Düsseldorf to Bonn, you might want to skip the car rental. However, the most enjoyable part of renting a car is the freedom to make spontaneous stops!

Pop by traditional German towns like Siegburg and Aachen, or make a detour to visit Monschau, Eifel National Park, or visit the beautiful Burg Eltz... there are countless worthy spots to stop by before landing in Bonn.

car rental lot

When choosing a car rental company, I suggest finding a trusted website that helps you compare rental options from various companies.

I remember a road trip that quickly turned into a nightmare due to a really bad car rental experience. Basically, the agent informed me that they had overbooked their cars and didn't have the one I had reserved. I was offered a much smaller car, which wasn't big enough for my luggage...

So these days, I only use Discover Cars. They source from highly-rated car rental companies (so you avoid those with a bad reputation) and give you a breakdown of their rental rates and vehicle types. 

And applying for German car insurance through Discover Cars during your booking can save you half of what typical rental companies charge.

OUR PICK

renting-a-car-in-cologne-germany

BEST GERMANY CAR RENTAL COMPANY: DISCOVER CARS

I never fail to recommend Discover Cars. After looking everywhere, I've found that they consistently offer the best deals around. To top it off, they also throw in free cancellation!

How much are Düsseldorf car rentals?

Renting a car in Düsseldorf comes with varying costs, depending on factors like the rental company, car type, and the time of year.

For an economy car with full coverage insurance, budget around €28 per day.

While online prices may seem as low as €4, it's essential to note that these rates only account for the car rental itself.

Additional expenses such as insurance, taxes, and fees are not included, and they can accumulate. To be on the safe side, anticipate the total daily cost to be at least €28 or potentially higher.

Do I need a Germany car insurance?

Yes, when renting a car, having third-party liability insurance is a must as per the law. This insurance safeguards you from any responsibility arising from damage to property, injuries, or fatalities caused to individuals or objects outside of your rented car in Germany.

Additionally, certain rental car companies include fire insurance in the rental rate when you make a booking.

This is also why I always choose Discover Cars for my car rentals because they provide full coverage for around €6.50 per day. For me, it's an easy decision because it gives me peace of mind.

Is it safe to drive from Düsseldorf to Bonn?

Driving from Düsseldorf to Bonn is a safe and convenient option for travel.

The route from Düsseldorf to Bonn provides you with glimpses of Germany's diverse landscapes. It offers a mix of urban areas, countryside, and the scenic Rhine River, making it an interesting and varied journey for those on the road.

There are a few local cafes and restaurants along the way where you can stop for lunch or enjoy a cup of coffee.

driving-on-highway

By the way, both cities have low emission zones, so it's important to have an environmental badge if you plan on driving in the inner parts of Düsseldorf or Bonn. [2]

Lastly, make sure to obey traffic rules and drive responsibly!

Düsseldorf to Bonn by Flight

🕒 Time: 2/5
💶 Price: 2/5
😊 Comfort: 3/5

🔀 Convenience: 2/5

While you can take a flight from Düsseldorf to Bonn, it's not a good choice. That's because many of them are flights that connect via other stops, like Munich.

In fact, the flights take longer than the buses.

Anyway, the Cologne Bonn and Düsseldorf airports can be far from the cities, and the time you spend getting through the airport can be longer than the actual flight too. Short flights like this can also harm the environment.

To put it simply, you're better off taking the train or driving to Düsseldorf!

Tips for Traveling from Düsseldorf to Bonn

Plan ahead and book tickets in advance

When you're planning your travel in Germany, be sure to grab the discounts and special offers that come with booking your train ticket or rental car early. If you want to cut costs, don't delay; make your travel arrangements in advance!

Booking in advance not only helps you save money but also spares you from the hassle of dealing with crowded ticket machines at the station.

The thought of waiting in line while others struggle with those machines can be quite unnerving.

Purchase a transportation pass for convenience

With a zone ticket or tourist pass, you can jump on and off trains whenever you want, no need to deal with separate tickets each time. The best part is it lets you be spontaneous and explore different places along the way.

If you're planning to travel from Düsseldorf to Bonn, as well as other countries in Europe, consider getting a transportation pass like the Eurail Pass. This can save you both time and money by providing unlimited access to trains rides.

Allow extra time for unexpected delays

While German punctuality is impressive... it's always a smart move to build some wiggle room into your schedule, just in case life decides to throw you a curveball.

I used to plan my trips down to the minute, but unexpected train track maintenance or flight delays still managed to throw a wrench into my plans.

As an "experienced" traveler, these days I've learned to allow for some extra time in my itinerary.

Conclusion: Düsseldorf to Bonn

In conclusion, getting from Bonn to Düsseldorf is quick and convenient with multiple ways to do it!

If you want the fastest route - book tickets to take an InterCity Express train.

For the cheapest option (but longest), book tickets for a bus ride.

If you want a more comfortable ride and are carrying lots of luggage - maybe a private transfer suits you more.

If you're planning to make a day trips or a few pitstops along the way - renting a car is your best bet.

No matter what you pick – train, taxi, or renting a car – the trip won't eat up more than an hour. So, there's really no excuse not to go for it. I'd say go ahead and start prepping now!

Related:

FAQs

1. What are the transportation options for getting from Düsseldorf to Bonn?

You can travel by train, plane or car to get from Düsseldorf to Bonn.

2. How long does it take to travel from Düsseldorf to Bonn by train?

The travel time from Düsseldorf to Bonn is approximately 45-60 minutes.

3. Are there direct trains available between Düsseldorf and Bonn?

Yes, there are direct trains available that connect Düsseldorf and Bonn.

4. How much does it cost to travel from Düsseldorf to Bonn by train?

The ticket prices for a one-way journey from Düsseldorf to Bonn vary depending on the type of train and class you choose. It typically ranges between $18-25.

5. Can I use public transportation like buses within Bonn after arriving?

Yes, there is an extensive network of buses and trams in Bonn that you can use for local transportation once you arrive in the city.


References:

1: Germany's ICE Trains, retrieved from https://europeforvisitors.com/germany/trains/ice-trains.htm
2: Overview of low-emission zones, retrieved from https://www.germanemissionssticker.com/zones/