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Information for Guests

Information about housing and life in Germany

Emergency telephone numbers, medical services, doctors

Security service for the institute:

From any institute phone: 0 73 7444
From your mobile phone: +49 228 73 7444

Emergency telephone numbers
Emergency doctor
Fire service
Emergency medical services
Emergency medical services - medical call centre
0180-50 44 100
Poisons Centre for Bonn and NRW
0228-19 240
Children's medical emergency service
0228-24 25 444
Private medical emergency service
0228-19 257
Other emergency telephone numbers for the city of Bonn
Medical services / doctors


Childcare and schools

Consultation with us

We are happy to help our guests with questions about childcare and schools. When looking for the right childcare it always depends on the period of time and what kind of care is needed.
Below you will find general information and links about the topic of childcare and schools. Furthermore, we provide information about help that you can get from various counseling centers on the respective topics and especially from us.
In general, it is important that you take care of childcare matters as early as possible so that a suitable solution can be found for you and your family.

You are welcome to contact us through housing$@$mpim-bonn$.$mpg$.$de with any questions you might have.


The city of Bonn offers a Counseling center for family affairs (website only available in German).

Childcare facilities in Bonn

The city of Bonn provides detailed information about childcare facilities in Bonn and offers the Kita-Net, which allows a targeted search and application for kindergarten (or "Kindertagesstätten", short "Kita") places or other child care facilities. It is a Kita information and waiting list management system.

The school and Kita year starts in August and the decision on acceptance or rejection is usually made in January / February of the same year, mostly through the Kita-Net. If you apply later or would like to start in the middle of the Kita-year it is very unlikely that you will get a place in one of the public kitas. In this case, a private facility or another way of child care should be considered.

Sometimes, Kitas prefer to get to know the child / family before making a decision on admissions. As our guests are often still abroad at that point, it should be communicated whether and how it can be arranged.

Care by childminders (Tagesmutter/-vater)

For shorter stays in Bonn or if your stay does not begin around August, it is usually difficult to find a place in a childcare facility. A good alternative is therefore care by childminders / daycare parents. Here, a small group of four to five children is usually cared for by the childminders at home. The Netzwerk Kindertagespflege in Bonn ("Child daycare Network in Bonn", website only in German but flyers and consultation available in English.) is a consortium of six non-profit institutions in the city of Bonn and offers further information on daycare. Supported by the Office for Children, Youth and Families, the network has set itself the task of expanding the range of childcare options in line with demand.

International childcare in Bonn

There are several international facilities in Bonn that offer care for preschool children in English, French or Spanish and some of them bilingual. Here is a selection of the facilities we are familiar with:

Use of the pme family service for free

When it comes to childcare for children aged 0-14, we can rely on a cooperation with pme Familienservice, which helps to arrange childcare. As an institute, we cover the costs of this service for our guests, but not the childcare costs themselves.

Childcare services for non-school-age and school-age children

at the age from 0 to 14 years

  • Mediation of child care in the household (babysitter)
  • Placement of au-pair/granny to go
  • possibly mediation of KITA facility places or day care places for children
  • Procurement of vacation childcare places through pme or cooperating third-party providers
Arrangement of back-up emergency care
  • Emergency care for children aged 0-12 if required at pme service facilities (can be booked free of charge per employee per child for a maximum of 2 days per year).
Emergency care at home
  • for payment of the childcare costs by the parents. As a rule, the request must be received by pme by 6:00 p.m. the day before, e.g. by using the pme hotline 0800-801007080.
  • Cross-location counseling in the event of illness and need for care of close relatives
  • Individual comprehensive advice on alternative care solutions
  • Comprehensive advice on financing care, arranging care and domestic staff
  • Possibility of arranging care and domestic staff, outpatient services and possibly home care places
  • Under certain circumstances, short-term emergency care in a private household (care costs must be borne by the patient).

To use this service, you need a certificate of eligibility from us, which you can request at Please think about what kind of care you need before you contact pme family service.

For more information on this service, please refer to the associated flyer (see attachment at the end of the website) and the pme-website.

Child care during business travel

If you are planning a business trip and need to apply for reimbursement of additional childcare expenses, the application must be made together with the business travel application. Please contact us for further information on this.


Financial support for young female scientists: Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard-Foundation

"Buying time with money"
The Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard-Foundation supports gifted, young female scientists with children who want to create free space for their activities in science. The help goes towards female doctoral students in managing the daily balancing act between work and family.  This is where the monthly scholarship of up to 400 euros, which the foundation awards for a maximum of three years during the doctorate, is intended to help. The prerequisite is that the child's livelihood and full-time care are already guaranteed. Applications are possible twice a year - deadlines: 30 June and 31 December.



In Germany, school attendance is compulsory for children from the age of 6. The children must be registered accordingly at the school office, unless you want to attend an international school. In these cases, the contact persons of the respective schools should be contacted in advance. Attendance at public schools in Germany is free of charge. Private schools or international schools, on the other hand, usually charge a fee. Parents should inform themselves in advance about school hours, school types and vacation periods.

Please find here some general information on the school system in Germany and on research stays with the family in Germany. The city of Bonn has summarized some information regarding schools and education. You can also find a list of all schools in Bonn (in German).

You are welcome to contact us if you have questions or need help with finding the right school for your child.

International schools

In Bonn there are multiple international or bilingual schools that teach in English, French or Spanish. Please find here a selection:

Elementary schools
Secondary schools / high schools
Counseling for school-age children and adolescents without sufficient knowledge of German

The city of Bonn has also set up a counseling center for school-age children and adolescents without sufficient knowledge of German at the Education Authority for the City of Bonn to help them find a suitable school place for their children. Counseling is available in German, English, Spanish, French (by phone or e-mail).


0159 - 01 91 30 17
0228 - 77 57 84

Telephone office hours:
Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.


Family benefits

Under certain circumstances, you could claim some financial benefits. Child benefit (Kindergeld) and child allowance (Kinderzuschlag) is a payment made by the state to parents or guardians, calculated according to the number and age of the children. It is the responsibility of the family benefits department (Familienkasse) within the Employment Agency Bonn/Rhein-Sieg (Agentur für Arbeit Bonn/Rhein-Sieg).

File Flyer pme deutsch_0.pdf540.26 KB

Living in Bonn

General information on looking for somewhere to live in Bonn

As Bonn is home to a number of international research facilities and companies, short-let furnished accommodation is in great demand. Furnished apartments in a central location are very much sought after on the Bonn accommodation market, so we advise you to begin looking in good time before you arrive. The following list of abbreviations may be useful when looking at adverts for accommodation.

You can use the following options when looking for accommodation in Bonn:
Looking for accommodation through the MPIM

The MPIM provides help for all visiting scientists at the Institute in their search for accommodation in Bonn. We can provide apartments of different sizes, level of furnishing and price in and around Bonn from a pool of properties offered by private landlords primarily to people visiting the MPIM and other research facilities. Most of the apartments are located in the city center.

Apartments from our contingent can only be rented on a monthly basis. The apartments we offer are usually fully furnished and include bedding, towels and complete kitchen facilities. For longer periods we can arrange flat sharing in order to help reduce costs if required.

We only help with the mediation between tenant and landlord. We are not a contractual partner and do not take responsibility for the content of the rental contract. When you get a rental contract, please make sure you understand the conditions and agree with everything in the contract before signing it.

If you would like our help in finding somewhere to live, please complete our accomodation application form, then sign it and e-mail (housing$@$mpim-bonn$.$mpg$.$de) it back to us. You will then receive further information on finding accommodation through the MPI.

Looking for accommodation on the free market
Renting privately

You can rent short-let furnished accommodation privately from the following:

Shared accommodation

You can use the following websites when searching specifically for rooms in shared accommodation or apartments for short-term rental:

Local daily newspapers

You can also find adverts for accommodation in the Wednesday and Saturday editions of the local daily newspapers.

Renting through an agency

The following estate agents currently offer furnished accommodation in the Bonn area. Please read the general terms and conditions.


Guest houses in Bonn

The international guest house in Bonn is always very popular, so you should start making enquiries as soon as possible. The main advantage of these is that they offer the option of also renting apartments on a daily basis, i.e. also just for short stays and for visits of less than a month.


BONNOX Boardinghouse
In der Raste 5-7
53129 Bonn


Derag Livinghotel Kanzler
Adenauerallee 148
53113 Bonn, Deutschland


University Club Bonn
Konviktstr. 9
53113 Bonn

Hotels in Bonn

For shorter stays in Bonn, we have compiled a list of hotels. We do not guarantee the quality of this information or that it is complete.

As an alternative to the international guest houses, there are several hotels in Bonn offering apartments with cooking facilities. These are suitable for short stays of a few days up to a month. These hotels are marked in our list with a *.



File List_of_abbrevations.pdf73.58 KB
File Hotelliste.pdf50.77 KB
File Accommodation request form 2023.pdf123.3 KB

Visa regulations and regulations on residence

Visa and travel to Germany

The internet page of the "Foreign Office" provides detailed information on visa guidelines for travel to Germany. You can also find further useful information via the "Welcome Center" of Bonn University

After arrival - residence

On arrival, you must report to the Citizen Centre of Bonn City Council. At the Foreigners' Office, your visa, which is only applicable for entry into the country, will later be replaced by a residence permit.

For residence lasting more than three months, you will in each case require a "residence permit"; the residence permit will be issued by the "Foreigners Registration Office of Bonn City Council".

For further information please contact Ms. Svenja Beljaars or Ms. Maren Plugge (Personnel office).

Health insurance, medical services and doctors

Health insurance

You and any family members travelling with you will need adequate health insurance for the whole of your stay as a visiting researcher.

Your research stay in Bonn at our institute is based on our fellowship or financed privately, so you are not subject to statutory social insurance. Nevertheless, in any case you are required to have sufficient health insurance coverage - preferably - with a full assumption of costs for any medical assistance.

If you require a visa to enter Germany, you will be asked, when you apply at the German agency abroad, for appropriate, adequate health insurance and return travel to your home country for medical reasons.

The Max Planck Society has arranged framework contracts with private health insurers, which are set up especially for the needs of visiting researchers/grantees. Some of the health insurance arrangements also contain private liability insurance.

Please check before you travel to Germany whether your current health insurance is appropriate for the period of your residence as a visiting researcher in Germany. If you do not have adequate health insurance, please contact the Institute's personnel administration (Ms. Svenja Beljaars or Ms. Maren Plugge).

If you (and your family) have voluntary or mandatory insurance in your own EU country, you can claim health services in the EU country abroad and be reimbursed the costs by your medical insurance company in your own country.

However, if you claim hospital services, you must obtain prior approval from your medical insurance company. This may only be refused if the same treatment or treatment that is just as effective for the insured person based on the general level of medical knowledge can be provided in time at a hospital in your own country.

To facilitate treatment during your stay as a visiting researcher, your legal medical insurance company is obliged to issue you with a European health insurance card.

The European health insurance card, however, has limited validity:

  • only for temporary residence abroad,
  • only for necessary medical services,
  • not for specific journeys for treatment abroad and
  • not for costs of return travel due to illness.

   We recommend strongly that you also take out insurance in addition to cover these costs.

The European health insurance card

Please find more information about the EU health insurance.

Medical services and doctors

You can find addresses of doctors and hospitals through Weisse-Liste.


Banking and financial services


Generally, it is advisable to open a bank account for your stay in Germany. Alternatively, a bank account in your own EU country using the euro can be used.

If you have further queries, contact Ms. Svenja Beljaars or Ms. Maren Plugge in Administration.

Language courses

German courses at the MPIM

The MPIM offers a weekly private German course in small groups to all visitors to the Institute.
If you are interested, please contact Marianna Mäkelä.

German courses at the University of Bonn

The Welcome Centre at the University of Bonn, in collaboration with the Pro-Integration Association, offers German
courses for visiting scientists and their partners. For current courses at the University please see:


Contact at the University:

For questions concerning the registration process at the University, please contact:
Welcome Center for International Researchers
Jessica Greis-Mills
Phone: +49 (0)228 73-4040

For questions concerning the course content and anything related directly to the course
at the University, please contact:
German as a Foreign Language
Sonja Hammer
Phone: +49 (0)228 73-7708

Private language schools in Bonn

Many private language schools in Bonn offer German courses. Several of them are located within
a walking distance of our Institute. You can find further information and details of the course providers
(Goethe Institut, Steinke Institut, IFS Bonn-Berlin, Bonn Lingua, Deutsche Welle (online), amongst others) 
if you google "Deutschunterricht in Bonn".


Getting around in Bonn

Local public transport

The city of Bonn has an excellent local public transport system, with good links to various parts of the city by bus, tram and underground or by Deutsche Bahn.

You can find further information on timetables, prices and online booking services on the homepages of the various transport companies.

You can obtain personal information from

Private cars

Required documents

Please ensure that if you bring your own car, you have all the necessary papers (driving licence, vehicle registration document etc.) and that they are valid. You can obtain details from Bonn City Council's licensing authority or vehicle registration authority which also provide copies of all the necessary forms. The Welcome Centre at the University of Bonn has compiled detailed information on bringing your private car to Germany

Bonn environmental zone

Environmental zones have been set up in several German towns and cities since 1 January 2008 (Bonn since 01.01.2010) to protect health and the environment. Only vehicles that meet certain emission standards and have a badge on the windscreen may enter the designated environmental zones. Awarding a badge to the vehicle depends on the pollutant groups stipulated. Detailed information on the setting up of environmental zones in German towns and cities is given on the homepage of the German Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Development. You can find details of where you can obtain the appropriate pollutant badges locally here.


Free parking places in the centre of Bonn are very restricted, so cycling is a practical alternative means of transport. offers a lot of useful information about cycling in Bonn and the surrounding area.

Buying a bicycle

Apart from buying new, you can also find second-hand bicycles for sale for example from notice boards, newspaper adverts or one of the bicycle markets that are held several times a semester at the main university building. Visiting scientists at the MPIM also often offer their bicycles for sale before they leave.

Hiring a bicycle

  • Radstation at the main station, Quantiusstraße (opposite house no. 4-6), 53115 Bonn, tel.: 02 28-98 14 63 6
  • Fahrradverleih Kurscheid, Römerstr. 4, 53111 Bonn, tel.: 0228-631433
  • Fahrradladen Südstadt, Bonner Talweg 121, 53113 Bonn, tel.: 0228-2423233 (hiring and buying)
  • City Bike, Oxfordstr. 15, 53111 Bonn, tel.: 0228-9816112
  • Fahrradhaus Sauerborn, Wittelsbacherring 40 a, 53115 Bonn (near Viktoriabrücke), tel. 0228-634332
  • Klingeling, Belderberg 32, 53113 Bonn, tel.: 0228-886523-65
Other useful links for transport and getting around in Bonn


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