Welcome to Bonn : Housing

Bonn and the surrounding area offers many choices for quality living. And alot of interesting rules when it comes to garbage...

General Rental Information

The word for rental is 'Vermietung'. A real estate agent (‘Immobilienmakler’) can assist you in finding a place to live. You will find agency names and addresses in the Yellow pages under ‘Immobilien’. The newspapers, surfing on the internet and word of mouth from colleagues are also excellent ways to find a flat or a house in which to live.

The ‘General-Anzeiger’ (especially the Saturday and Wednesday editions), is a good source for housing put on the market directly by the owner. Real Estate is listed under the heading of ‘Wohnungsmarkt’, houses and apartments for rent are found under ‘Vermietung’.

Here is a list of terms and abbreviations frequently used in classified advertisements.


Electricity: The electricity in Germany is 220 volts AC, 50 cycles, 2 phases. The wall sockets are 2-pin/prong. Large electrical appliances over 3 KW require 380 volts, 3 phase. To use appliances from elsewhere, you will need to get transformers. They can be found at large appliance stores and electrical shops. Using plug adapters, you can use non-European lamps with German bulbs in the wall sockets.

Note also that the standard bulbs in Germany use a screw rather than a bayonet fitting. If you are coming from UK and have lamps using bayonet bulbs, bring spare bulbs.

Dual voltage appliances can be plugged directly into the socket, provided you have the proper plug or adapter.

Waste: Bonn has a very well developed system for waste collection where glass, paper, bio-degradable, etc. are separated. There are strict laws for waste disposal and fines for violating them. Plastic, metal, paper, compost and hazardous waste are collected separately and the tenant or homeowner pays the costs. For information in English or French you may contact a “waste advisor”; Tel.: (0228) 772 588

The exact system differs from one municipality to another, so if you live outside Bonn check for variations. All homes receive an “Abfallplaner” with basic information on the local system and an “Abfallkalender” which gives you the dates when the different bins will be emptied. If you are missing your Abfallkalender you can download it here.

  1. Click on the first letter of your street name
  2. Click “Straße”, go down with the arrow until you find the name of your street.
  3. Click on your street name
  4. Add your house number
  5. Click "weiter", you will see your street waste collection plan for the year to print it out:
  6. Click on „Seite drucken“, then
  7. Click on „Drucken“ – it’s done.

More information in English you’ll find here

The exact system differs from one municipality to another, so if you live outside Bonn check for variations.

For more information for the Rhein-Sieg-Kreis, check this link.

Hazardous waste and electronics, old TV’s, etc. have to be brought to special collection points or can be collected on request (refer to your “Abfallplaner”).

Pharmacies will take care of old medicines, etc. Most major shops have boxes for used batteries. Packaging waste, such as shoe boxes, may be left in the shop where the product is purchased.

Any clothes/shoes (clean and in good condition) that are unwanted can be put into the large containerss with a Red Cross on them (or other signs e.g. Malteser Cross, etc.) They are usually found in car parks or just by the side of the road, often next to glass recycling bins..

Most bottles (even plastic ones) and drink cans have a deposit on them. Look for the word “Pfand” which will indicate that there is a deposit on the container. These can be returned to supermarkets or “Getränke” shops (drink merchants) where you will be issued a money receipt for your returned bottles. Present this receipt at the cash register and it will be put toward your purchases.

Water: Water is soft in many parts of Bonn: less washing powder is needed