Best areas to stay in Bologna, Italy
Best areas to stay in Bologna, Italy

Best Areas to Stay in Bologna, Italy

Where to stay in Bologna – A guide to the Italian food capital

Benvenuti a Bologna, historical cradle of Emilia Romagna and gastronomic capital of Italy.

Monuments of gods and baroque pieces decorate the traditional streets of “La Rossa”.

Not all monuments are still standing, but the city still retains its historic porticos. Some of its old watchtowers, such as the Asineli and Garisenda Towers, allow you to climb to their top at any time of the year to have a look at the beauty of this, somewhat hidden, Italian gem.

Summer and spring are the busiest time of the year to visit Bologna, they are usually the favorite seasons for a weekend trip.

Bologna winters are cold and summers are very warm. In the fall, there can be some fog, but spring brings out the best in Bologna, it is the ideal time to visit the city.

Transport around Bologna is effective, thanks to its bus system, which reached practically every corner of the city. Regional and long-distance trains (including Trenitalia’s Frecciarossa high-speed trains) from Bologna Centrale connect Bologna with many of the other important Italian cities to the south and north. On the other hand, taking a taxi is helpful for tourists, or you can always choose to rent a car.

The only thing that remains to be solved is to find a place to stay, which seems an almost impossible task during the high season in the summer, Christmas, Easter or New Year.

Student residences are usually much cheaper than traditional hotels, but they are only available during university holidays. Without a doubt, spring and autumn have the best climate, the most affordable rates and the most beds available in the best locations of Bologna such as the busy Centro Storico. (See accommodation in Bologna’s Old Town).

This is a guide with the best districts to stay in Bologna.

Best areas to stay in Bologna, Italy

Our favourite district: Centro Storico

Centro Storico, Bologna’s Old Town and historic quarter is the best area to stay in Bologna.

It is easy to find and can be explored on foot to enjoy a little history, business or amazing food.

If you take Via dell’Indipendenza you will get to Via Rizzoli and Ugo Bassi, of course it is tempting to walk around and contemplate the beautiful Piazza Nettuno, with its famous fountain of Neptune, symbol of papal power, or the stunning Piazza Maggiore and the unfinished San Petronio Basilica.

The starting point of the Centro Storico is the long portico on Indipendenza and the Piazza VIII Agosto, a very commercial street full of outlets, traditional food places and, on Fridays and Saturdays, home to the Piazzola Food Market.

Centro Storico is the best district to stay in Bologna if you want to sample delicious food, go shopping or admire stunning architecture.

As expected, accommodation options in Centro Storico tend to be more expensive than anywhere else in the city, but you can still find some cheap hotels and B&Bs. Booking in advance is highly recommended.

Best district to stay in Bologna - Centro Storico
Best district to stay in Bologna – Centro Storico
Staying in Centro Storico, Bologna - Click on the map to see all accommodation in this area
Staying in Centro Storico, Bologna – Click on the map to see all accommodation in this area

Why we love this area:

  • True heart of the cit
  • Amazing architecture
  • Accessible on foot
  • Great shopping and the best food
  • Very accessible from anywhere in town
  • All types of accommodation


2. Around Bologna Centrale Railway Station

More than 159 thousand people pass through it daily, making it the fifth largest train station in all of Italy.

Bologna Centrale has direct connections with Rome, Milan, Florence, Venice or Rimini, among other important cities in the Italian peninsula.

It also has regional services to several cities and towns within Emilia Romagna and neighboring Tuscany.

Staying in this area has its advantages, above all because it is cheaper than the central area, in addition, having 500 trains and urban and extra-urban bus lines ensures an efficient transport throughout the entire city.

Also, the rest of Italy is very reachable by train or bus from this point.

From Bologna Centrale, you can reach Piazza Maggiore in 20 minutes on foot.

It is an excellent area to stay in Bologna if you are looking for economy and at the same time being close to everything.

Best area to stay in Bologna - Near Bologna Centrale train station
Best area to stay in Bologna – Near Bologna Centrale train station
Staying around Bologna Centrale Railway Station - Click on the map to see all accommodation in this area
Staying around Bologna Centrale Railway Station – Click on the map to see all accommodation in this area

Why we love this area:

  • Budget hotels
  • Close to Centro Storico
  • Activity 24/7
  • Easy connections to other towns and cities

3. Around Bologna Fairgrounds (Fiera di Bologna)

When it comes to business, this area is ideal for any business traveller, as it is close to the convention, exhibitions and congresses center.

Although it is a little far out from Bologna city centre, this area as a whole is the favorite for business travelers as most hotels are business style and tend to be much cheaper than the ones found in Centro Storico.

If you aren’t travelling to Bologna for business, the good news is that hotels in this area are of excellent quality and at affordable prices, so you can also stay here and move to the Centro Storico for some sightseeing without problems.

Bologna’s main train station is approximately 2 km away and public transport is reliable and mostly on time.

Where to stay in Bologna - Near the Fairgrounds
Where to stay in Bologna – Near the Fairgrounds
Staying around Bologna Fiere - Click on the map to see all accommodation in this area
Staying around Bologna Fiere – Click on the map to see all accommodation in this area

Why we love this area:

  • Great for business travellers
  • Business style hotels

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