Where to sleep in Bologna: the best neighborhoods to stay

Bologna is the most visited city in Emilia Romagna, as well as being the capital of the region. It has been recognized as an intellectual center for centuries, as it is home to the oldest university in Europe.

Considered as the capital of food in ItalyThanks to its gastronomic “masterpieces”, this beautiful red brick city, full of palaces and arcades, also has a wide range of cultural choices suitable for any visitor. However, knowing where to sleep in Bologna can be a difficult task, especially during the high season, when prices tend to rise and the choice of accommodation shrinks.

Bologna began its life as an Etruscan city and the relics of the first phase of the city's development can be admired in the city's archaeological museum, the Civic Archaeological Museum. The tourist attractions of Bologna are concentrated around the main square of the city, Piazza Maggiore, and the adjacent Piazza Nettuno. Dominating the square is the large and never finished one Basilica of San Petronio.

Do not miss Two Towers of Bologna, built in 1119, the Garisenda Tower and the Tower of the Asinelli, and the National Art Gallery, the main art gallery in the city that contains works by artists such as Guido Reni, Raphael, Giotto, Tiziano and Perugino.

Il transport to Bologna it is effective, thanks to the bus system that runs through every corner of the city. Regional and interurban trains connect Bologna with many of the other main Italian cities in the south and north.

Historic center of Bologna, Emilia Romagna - Photo from Istock

Undoubtedly spring and autumn are the best times to visit Bologna. The climate is good, the prices are cheaper and there are several accommodations available in the best areas of Bologna.

Below is a guide with the best areas to sleep in Bologna.

Where to sleep in Bologna

There are several important areas where to sleep in Bologna. Undoubtedly the most suitable for tourists is the Old Town thanks to its convenience and proximity to the main attractions of the city. It is the most beautiful part of the city, full of medieval buildings, narrow streets and beautiful squares.

Next to the historic center there is the university district. This is where the oldest university in Europe is located, having been built in 1088. Many restaurants and bars can be found in this area, making it a great place to stay if you love the vibrant nightlife.

To the north, the area of ​​the Bolognina boasts a multicultural environment of immigrants, families and students. It is quieter than the old town and offers a relaxing environment for families.

La Bologna Fair, the business district, is located directly east of the Bolognina. Thanks to its location, in the low season (when there are no fairs) it offers cheaper accommodation than the city center and is a good option if you are traveling on a budget.

Let's take a more detailed look at the best neighborhoods to stay in Bologna.

Historic Centre

Piazza Nettuno in Bologna -

The historic center is quite compact and can be explored on foot. The heart of the historic center is undoubtedly Piazza Maggiore. Here are the most important buildings of the city, such as the municipal buildings, the ancient libraries, the baroque cathedral of San Pietro, the medieval museum and the unfinished Basilica of San Petronio. It is a basilica whose construction stopped in the sixteenth century, when the Pope asked to stop the works to prevent it from exceeding the majesty of St. Peter's Basilica in Rome.

The streets in the historic center are covered by a 'intricate network of decorated arcades. The architecture of the buildings is also quite interesting.

The Historic Center is the best area to sleep in Bologna. Almost all of Bologna's sights are grouped within a ten-minute walk from Piazza Maggiore. Museums, churches and beautiful streets stretch in every direction.

The heart of the city is also the best place to eat and drink - there is a very high concentration of restaurants, bars and food shops in the area called Quadrilateral, on the eastern side of Piazza Maggiore.

Shoppers can head to the Street of Independence, the main shopping street of Bologna. Via Pratello instead is the street of bars, ideal for those who love to party. For a walk, you can go to the Montagnola Park, north of the historic center.

The only negative point is that there are not many parking lots and several streets are pedestrianized. So for those traveling by car it is better if they choose another area to stay in Bologna.

Find accommodation in the historic center of Bologna

Around Piazza Verdi, the student district

The university district of Bologna is located within the medieval city walls, right next to the historic center. It is home to the oldest university in Europe, built in 1088, and today welcomes students from all over the world.

There are several tours organized to visit the university, which is not only one of the oldest in Europe, but is also one of the most beautiful. Libraries are particularly impressive. Within the university area, Poggi Palace it is now home to an art and science museum.

This is one of the liveliest and cheapest neighborhoods in Bologna. At night, the area comes alive with the many bars and restaurants that fill up with students and visitors. Via Zamboni is the main street, where most of the fun takes place.

In addition to being festive, it is also an alternative area that hosts numerous cultural and political events. It is a great neighborhood to sleep in in Bologna.

Find a hotel in the university district of Bologna

Near the Bologna train station

Bologna Central Station is the fifth largest station in Italy, and one of the busiest, crossed by over 159 people every day. Dynamic area and in constant activity, it is located north of the historic center and connects directly with the major cities of the peninsula such as Rome, Milan, Firenze, Venezia o Rimini.

Choosing the surroundings of the Central Station to sleep in Bologna has its advantages: it offers excellent rail connections, hotels in this area generally have lower prices than the central area, while Piazza Maggiore is only 20 minutes away on foot.

Furthermore, adjacent to the train station there is also the bus station which with numerous urban and extra-urban bus lines guarantees easy movement throughout the city and ensures that the rest of Italy is always at hand.

Find accommodation near the Central Station

Around the Bologna Fair 

The Bologna exhibition center is located north-east of the historic center, about 3 km from the center. If it is a business trip, this area is ideal for any entrepreneur. It is in the commercial complex of the Fiera di Bologna that most of the commercial events in the city take place, such as conventions, congresses or exhibitions.

This neighborhood is a favorite with business travelers and more. The area is also great for those on a tight budget. The hotels they are of very good quality and are cheaper than those in the center, so you can stay here and move to the historic center for a hassle-free sightseeing tour. Public transport is reliable and punctual and the train station is about 2 km away.

Find a hotel in the Bologna exhibition center

Bolognina - best neighborhood to sleep in Bologna for families

Bolognina, is the area located north of the main railway station. Slightly away from the main hustle and bustle of the city, it offers a slightly quieter atmosphere that is ideal for families with children.

It is a multicultural neighborhood which mixes immigrants and families, students and artists, achieving a truly interesting eclectic result. Do not miss theFormer Fruit and Vegetable Market, the old fruit and vegetable market, where you can see the best street art in town.

Those who love more traditional attractions can visit the Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, a historic church of great artistic value. It was built in the late XNUMXth century and is now run by Salesian fathers.

Find accommodation in Bolognina


add a comment of Where to sleep in Bologna: the best neighborhoods to stay
Comment sent successfully! We will review it in the next few hours.