Bonn, as the seat of the UN Climate Change Secretariat, has hosted more than twenty sessions of the UNFCCC negotiations (Subsidiary Bodies) and countless meetings and workshops. It has become a “second home” to many delegations and participants, who have their long-standing local hosts, favourite restaurants and beaten paths between hotels and meeting venues. Eager to return to Bonn, most participants have already made their arrangements for COP 23.
Bonn and the surrounding region offer a wide variety of accommodation, from five star hotels to bed-and-breakfast lodging and many homestay opportunities. Nine thousand hotel beds exist within Bonn city limits, and neighbouring counties and cities between Cologne to the north and Koblenz to the south offer another 56,000 beds within a radius of 50 km.
For participants who haven’t yet booked for COP 23, please note that the November sessions are attracting much larger numbers than the Subsidiary Bodies meeting, so it is high time to make arrangements.
Hotel capacities within the region of Bonn are still available. Please refer to Tourismus & Congress GmbH for booking, further information and comprehensive personal advice and assistance.
Tourismus & Congress, the tourism agency of Bonn and the region, has agreed with the Government of Germany to assist with the coordination of the supply of accommodation during COP 23. Accommodation can also be booked directly with hotels and other providers, or through travel agencies and online services.
Apart from helping participants find suitable hotels, bed and breakfasts, etc., Tourismus & Congress also facilitates contacts with Bonn citizens who volunteered to offer free homestay opportunities to COP participants (go to Private Host COP23 for more information).
The Government of Germany and the Climate Change Secretariat are working hard to ensure that COP 23 adheres to the highest possible international standards of sustainability. Tourismus & Congress will inform participants of green features and eco certifications of hotels within its portfolio, so participants can make educated choices and help reduce the conference’s environmental footprint.
The region is well connected through public transportation, with trains, metros/ trams and buses running at short intervals. From most places in the region, no more than one change of transport needs to be made to arrive at the conference centre. Railway reconstruction works going on in the region will affect travelling times and time tables, but the frequency of the schedule will be maintained.
City authorities are not encouraging private transportation arrangements. Considering the usual metropolitan heavy traffic especially during rush hours, the expected numbers of COP23 participants, and the security measures around the conference and throughout the city, cars, vans and coaches are not likely to be faster than buses, trams, metros and trains. In addition, they are less climate and environmentally friendly.
Transportation by bus, tram, metro and regional trains (RB, RE, S) will be free of charge in Bonn, Cologne and in between, including the Ahr valley, as well as by regional trains to/from Koblenz (but not buses within Koblenz). Free transportation applies to all participants who are registered for either of the two COP 23 zones - the Bonn Zone or the Bula Zone - except for registered technical staff. The tickets for free transportation will be valid from 4 November to 18 November 2017. The transportation tickets will be distributed at the information desks in the Bonn Zone and the Bula Zone, starting on 4 November. This free local transportation is provided to you courtesy of the States of North Rhine-Westphalia and the German Federal Government.
Metro/ trams and buses are usually the preferred choice of transport for conference participants staying in Bonn, plus in the areas of Siegburg, Sankt Augustin, Beuel, Koenigswinter, and Bad Honnef, and along the intercity tram lines between Bonn and Cologne, including in the southern districts of Cologne. The metro (U-Bahn) stop closest to the Bula Zone is “Heussallee”, located 500m from the main entrance to the World Conference Center Bonn; the “Deutsche Welle” bus stop (610, 611 and 630 lines) is 100m away. For access to the Bonn Zone, the closest metro (U-Bahn) stop is “Rheinaue” which is located 400m from the Bonn Zone entrances; the “Volksbank-Haus” bus stop (610, 611 and 631 lines) is 100m away.
Participants staying in downtown Cologne, west of Bonn towards Euskirchen, south of Bonn along the Rhine all the way to Koblenz, or in the picturesque wine-growing Ahr valley, can take any regional train (RE, RB, S) and will be able to get off at the brand-new train station “UN Campus” located only 800m from the Bula Zone’s main entrance. In addition, starting on 6 November, special one-way only coaches will be leaving the bus station at Cologne Central Station (Breslauer Platz/Köln Hauptbahnhof) for the new “UN Campus” train station every fifteen minutes between 6:30 a.m. and 8:30 a.m.
The “Clean Shuttle”, a fleet of frequent, dedicated electric buses, connects the new train station with the Bula Zone and the Bonn Zone from 6 to 17 November, from 7 a.m. to 10.30 p.m. In addition, smaller electric shuttles continually run between the two zones through the Rheinaue park. Also, several hundred bicycles are available at the Bula Zone and the Bonn Zone for free rental and use within the city – make sure you ride safely on the marked bicycle paths. Finally, Bonn and Bula Zones are only a 15-minute walk from each other on a marked pedestrian path through the picturesque Rheinaue park.
For airport transfer from Frankfurt airport or Dusseldorf airport, watch out for up-to date timetables and announcements at the airport train stations. To get to hotels in Bonn and surroundings, take any long-distance train (IC, EC, ICE) stopping at either Bonn Hauptbahnhof/Central Station, or Bonn-Beuel, or Siegburg/Bonn, and continue by metro, tram or bus from there. For hotels in and around Cologne, take any long-distance train stopping at either Cologne Central Station (Köln Hauptbahnhof) or Köln-Deutz, and continue by public transportation.
For a map of the region and directions to the United Nations Campus and the World Conference Centre Bonn, please see the Maps and Directions page on our website. The “Directions” and the “Schedule Explorer” tools in the map entitled “World Conference Centre Bonn” are most useful to learn about routes, commuting times and time schedules between the conference centre and any place in the region. (Note these have been updated mid-October to reflect changes owed to the railway construction works.)