If you are planning a vacation in Northern Italy, Bologna makes an excellent home base for exploring the Emilia-Romagna region.
Whether you visit for the food, the history or the architecture, you will find many places to stay in Bologna that suit your travel style. Using our Bologna accommodation guide, we’ll help you choose where to stay in Bologna and suggest several Bologna hotels for a range of budgets.
We will cover off all types of Bologna accommodation options from Hostels to luxury Bologna hotels as well as how to decide where to stay in Bologna Italy 2024.
This guide shows off the best Bologna hotels, best places in Bologna to visit, the best places to stay in Bologna, hotels near Bologna attractions, Bologna neighborhood guide and many more.
Below are 6 of the best neighborhoods in Bologna to help you make the right decision when trying to work out best places to stay in Bologna for you. We have tried to make the guide as easy to follow as possible.
We have also included some things to do or places to visit as well as some eatery suggestions of either our favourite places or some funky places to eat at within the areas in Bologna so you can use this as a go to guide.
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Bologna Historic Centre – Where to stay in Bologna for First Timers
As with many European cities, the historic center, or old town, is the best area for tourists who only have a few days to see the city.
Starting with Piazza Maggiore, Bologna’s main square, many of the best attractions and hotels in Bologna Italy are in the Bologna historic centre, it’s the best area to stay in Bologna.
Not only can you wander the streets and take in the architecture which includes elaborate fountains and churches while sampling delicious Italian food along the way.
The historic centre is well connected to other parts of the city via bus, and the train station is about a 20-minute walk, should you wish to take a few day trips from Bologna. You can also find some of the best hostels in Bologna not far from the city centre.
Wondering where to stay in bologna without a car? The city centre is perfect as you can easily walk around.
Why Stay in Bologna Historic Centre
Arriving in Bologna for the first time, you will want to be at the center of all the action. Major attractions such as Piazza Maggiore, which holds the Fountain of Neptune, and the Basilica di San Petronio, along with shops and cafes in this arched colonial design, are a must-see when in Bologna Historic Center.
Can not decide where to eat with so many options available. Take a food tour and sample some of the best in the city.
With the many attractions within, and easy access to public transportation to explore, Bologna Historic Centre is a perfect choice for first-time visitors.
Things To Do in Bologna Historic Centre
- Experience Piazza Maggiore
Piazza Maggiore is Bologna Historic Centre’s main square. With shops and cafes tucked into the arches and buildings of this 13th-century historic square gives you a medieval renaissance vibe as you explore.
Located in the square are Bologna City Hall, The Fountain of Neptune and the Basilica di San Petronio, among other historical buildings. Shopping, dining and being in the middle of history in the making are what you will experience when you visit Piazza Maggiore.
- Tour Palazzo Boncompagni
Just steps away from Piazza Maggiore is Palazzo Boncompagni. A palace built for a 16th-century Pope.
This excellent example of Bolognese Renaissance architecture was built by Pope Gregory XIII’s father while he was still Cardinal Ugo Boncompagni in the early 1500s.
Be caught up in the beauty of the Hall of Papal Audiences and behold the art and sculptures that adorn the palace. Take a guided tour and hear the stories of this beautiful palace and what secrets its rooms hold.
- Enjoy a Walking Tour of Bologna Historic Centre
Take a Free Walking Tour with a guide and learn not only the history of this beautiful city but also how wonderfully history and present-day co-exist.
Discover some of the best local cuisines in historical venues on this unique and palate-pleasing tour. Touring the city streets alone or with a group will give you a great experience to take when visiting Bologna Historic Centre.
Best places to stay in Bologna Historic Centre
Cheapest Backpacking Hostels in Bologna Historic Centre
Budget accommodation in Bologna Historic Centre
Mid range accommodation in Bologna Historic Centre
Family Friendly accommodation in Bologna Historic Centre
Affordable Luxury accommodation in Bologna Historic Centre
Fiera di Bologna – Where to stay in Bologna for Business Travellers
Just northeast of the city centre is Fiera di Bologna, a large exhibition hall and business area. This area is most popular with business travelers, but if you like to travel on hotel points and use chain hotels, then this is a good option.
It’s also possible to find some budget-friendly accommodation when there isn’t anything scheduled at the Fiera.
There are good public transportation connections to the rest of the city, and the Piazza Maggiore is 30 minutes walking distance or 15 minutes by car.
Why Stay in Fiera di Bologna
Staying in Fiera di Bologna when travelling for business is the best option while staying in Bologna. With a good selection of name-brand hotels, all the modern amenities, and close to event venues, it is the perfect choice for business travellers.
Major attractions are not far away for those off days, and restaurants and bars are plentiful in the area for a relaxing drink and dinner after work. Everything you need to get the job done and get in a little relaxation, while you are in Bologna.
Things To Do in Fiera di Bologna
- Take a Walk in Park
Pack a picnic lunch and take a stroll in Parco Don Bosco for an enjoyable moment away from a hectic work day.
Have a fun game of basketball, or take a jog in Parco San Donnino for some city park fun. Walk, jog, or sit and enjoy the many city parks in Fiera di Bologna.
- Wine and Dine in Fiera di Bologna
There are a plethora of bars and restaurants to enjoy a good meal and a great beer. Stop in at Hostaria Re Artu for burgers and beer and grab a quick lunch at Pizzaria Bar in Blue.
Enjoy a good drink at Bar Texas or have a great steak dinner at Old Wild West. Enjoy some great ambiance and elegant dining at La Porta Restaurant. Whatever your palate desires, you can find in Fiera di Bologna.
Best places to stay in Fiera di Bologna
Budget accommodation in Fiera di Bologna
Mid range accommodation in Fiera di Bologna
Family Friendly accommodation in Fiera di Bologna
Affordable Luxury accommodation in Fiera di Bologna
Bolognina – Where to stay in Bologna on a Budget
Just north of the city centre on the other side of the train station is the residential area known as Bolognina.
This densely populated multicultural area is known for eclectic street art and ethnic food. This area is much more budget-friendly than a hotel in metropolitan Bologna, and you’ll get a much more local flavor by staying here instead of the tourist areas.
Bolognina is one of the younger areas of Bologna and has a lot of bars and nightclubs to explore.
The area has a past reputation that is not always positive, as it’s sometimes known for petty crimes, but if you use your usual street smarts as you would in any city, you will enjoy a stay in Bolognina.
Why Stay in Bolognina
When you are looking for a place to stay that is close to the action at a reasonable cost, look towards staying in the Bolognina neighbourhood of Bologna.
Along with a great cultural experience of staying in Bolognina, there are accommodations here that are easy on the wallet. Centrally located, with public transit at your fingertips, it is a great place to make your base for seeing all the beautiful attractions in Bologna.
While you are in the neighbourhood, stop in and watch a horse race at Ippodromo Bologna Arcoveggio and walk the streets to take in the culture and beauty of this truly Italian neighborhood.
Things To Do in Bolognina
- Horse Racing at Ippodromo Bologna Arcoveggio
Cheer on your favourite horse at Ippodromo Bologna Arcoveggio Horse Racing Track. Since 1932 horses have become champions at this historic race track.
Stop in for lunch at Treatment – Bar of the Scuderia on the side of the racetrack, and visit the Club House Restaurant to enjoy a buffet lunch overlooking the racetrack. Catch a race and a snack at Ippodoromo Bologna Arcoveggio.
- Walk the Streets of Bolognina
Share in the culture and visit with the locals while admiring the street art that is adorned within this part of the city. Peruse the many markets that are offered and get some homegrown produce and local wares while mixing with the local culture.
Stop in at the Museum for the Memory of Ustica. A museum that houses the recovered parts of a 1980 unsolved plane crash. Staying in Bolignina will keep you busy at a budget-friendly price.
Best places to stay in Bolognina
Cheapest Backpacking Hostels in Bolognina
Budget accommodation in Bolognina
Mid range accommodation in Bolognina
Family Friendly accommodation in Bolognina
Affordable Luxury accommodation in Bolognina
Porta Castiglione – Where to stay in Bologna with Family
On the south side of the city centre is Porta Castiglione, one of the towers built as part of the city walls in the 13th century.
A beautiful part of this neighborhood is Giardini Margherita, one of the largest parks in Bologna, covering 26 hectares of land.
The park includes tree-lined boulevards, a lake, some market stalls and a couple of cafes, making this a family-friendly area to stay in Bologna.
Centro Historico is about 20 minutes walking distance from the park. Travellers will find many hotels in this area to choose from.
Why Stay in Porta Castiglione
Walk through Porta Castiglione to the family-friendly neighbourhood of Castiglione. The perfect mix of urban, nature and history to keep everyone entertained.
Visit the sprawling park of Giardini Margherita. Walk the trails of this piece of nature within the city. Stop for a drink at Chalet dei Giardini and view the lighted white lion at Boschetto doquerce.
Within walking distance of Centro Historico and all the major attractions but out of the city feeling, allows everyone to unwind. Castiglione will be a great stay for the family when staying in Bologna.
Thing To Do in Porta Castiglione
- Giardini Margherita
Take a picnic lunch or go for a stroll in this expansive green space in Castiglione. Over 26 hectares of greenspace, historic attractions and even a couple of cafes to quench your thirst.
Sit and enjoy the sounds of the water at the small lake within Giardini Margherita and stop and admire the historical elements within this natural oasis in the city.
A nice place to unwind from a very busy day of touring or take a day and spend it in the park.
- Walk through Porta Castiglione
To get to the Bologna Historic Centre from Castiglione, you can walk through Porta Castiglione. This medieval gate was built in the 13th century and rebuilt in the 15th century.
Now located on a main roadway, it was once beside the Savena Canal, which created hydraulic power feeding the city of Bologna.
Once a part of the medieval city walls that surrounded Bologna, it now stands as a gate to a land that once was.
- Explore Villa Aldrovandi Mazzacorati
Villa Aldrovandi Massacorati is a fine example of a private theatre found in Bologna in the 18th century. As you enter the tree lines paths with fountains dotting the landscape an exceptional theatre experience awaits you.
Built for amateur actor and playwright Giovan Francesco Aldrovandi, its first performance in 1763 was a play entitled “Alzira”.
The auditorium contains two balconies and can hold up to 80 people. Today it is home to the Historical Museum of Toy Soldiers, as well as a regional health clinic.
Best places to stay in Porta Castiglion
Budget accommodation in Porta Castiglione
Mid range accommodation in Porta Castiglione
Family Friendly accommodation in Porta Castiglione
Quartiere Saragozza – Where to stay in Bologna for the Outdoors
On the west side of the city centre, you’ll find the Quartiere Saragozza. This is a nice family-friendly area with parks and attractions to explore.
Sports fans looking for a hotel for touring Bologna may want to stay in Quartiere Saragozza as it is the home of Renato Dall’Ara Stadium, home of the Bologna Football Club.
At about three kilometres from the centro historico, Quartiere Saragozza is just far enough out to have plenty of budget-friendly accommodation options. It’s also where to stay in Bologna with a car, parking will be a breeze.
Why Stay in Quartiere Saragozza
Sitting beside the Reno River this quiet traditional Italian neighbourhood is a great place to stay for people who enjoy nature but want to be close to the main attractions. Visit Parco della Chiusa to get back to nature and also enjoy some historic villas.
Miles of trails for walking, jogging and biking, with accommodations available inside the park, make for a great nature stay within the city.
Take in the game at Renato Dall’Ara Stadium or take in the view at Curva Orfanelle San Luca. It is the best of both worlds while staying in Quartiere Saragozza.
Things To Do in Quartiere Sarragozza
- Parco della Chiusa
Parco della Chiusa sits quietly alongside the Reno River. Within the forested area are hidden gems to come upon as you stroll and hike the trails of this beautiful park.
Experiencing the beautiful views and historical villas throughout the park, your walk will be invigorating. You can also stay in a holiday house within the park at Montagnola di Mezzo to truly have a nature vacation in the city.
- Renato Dall’Ara Stadium
For sports fans, a special treat awaits you in Quartiere Sarragozza. Renato Dall’Ara Stadium is a 40,000-seat soccer stadium.
Starting as a small patch of grass with the pitch fenced in with wooden pegs in 1913, adding stands in 1921, and the construction of an arena in 1927, Renato Dall’Ara Stadium has steadily grown into a state-of-the-art soccer stadium.
Go out and enjoy a game of soccer and feel the excitement with 40,000 people cheering in the stands. A soccer game that will be remembered for years to come.
- Visit the Various Attractions
While being close to the major attractions of Bologna Quartiere, Sarragozza has a few attractions of its own.
Visit the highest visit-able dome in Europe, the Dome of San Luca. Enjoy a 180-degree view of the city and landscape at the top of the dome.
Explore the historical Sanctuary of the Madonna di San Luca or take in the view of the city at Curva Orfanelle San Luca. Quartiere Saragozza will keep you busy as well as comfortable.
Best places to stay in Quartiere Saragozza
Budget accommodation in Quartiere Saragozza
Mid range accommodation in Quartiere Saragozza
Family Friendly accommodation in Quartiere Saragozza
Cirenaica – Where to stay in Bologna for an authentic experience
On the east side of Bologna is the area called Cirenaica, a quaint neighborhood that not many tourists venture into.
Cirenaica is a relatively small neighborhood, but filled with lively street scenes and street art. While there are fewer Bologna hotels in this area, you’ll find a few, in addition to apartment rentals.
This is a great area to have a local experience, and there are many cafes and shops to explore, while the city center is just ten minutes away by car.
Why Stay in Cirenaica
The quiet neighbourhood of Cirenaica is the perfect place to get that truly Italian experience. Stroll the avenues and shop the small boutiques that dot this little suburban neighbourhood.
Marvel at the various street art and indulge in that delicious Italian cuisine. With major attractions and tourist areas not far away, Cirenaica is a nice place to come back to.
Things To Do in Cirenaica
- See a Show at Teatro Dehon
Experiencing a live stage production is magical. Here in the neighbourhood of Cirenaica, Teatro Dehon gives you that opportunity.
An interesting array of shows is offered, and a perfect seat every time guarantees you a beautiful, fun evening in Cirenaica.
- Shop and Dine in Cirenaica
Stroll the streets of this traditional Italian neighbourhood and browse the shops as you admire the street art that decorates the buildings.
Stop in for a little record shopping at Tito Shop or stop in for some fresh produce at Masia Market.
Best places to stay in Cirenaica
Budget accommodation in Cirenaica
Mid range accommodation in Cirenaica
Family Friendly accommodation in Cirenaica
Affordable Luxury accommodation in Cirenaica
Top 5 favorites accommodation options for Bologna
|❤️ Best Area first timers||Bologna Historic Centre|
|💸 Best Luxury Hotel||Aemilia Hotel Bologna|
|👪 Best Hotel for For Families||Villa Savioli Room & Breakfast|
|🏨 Best Mid-Range Hotel||Hotel San Donato – Bologna centro|
|🛏️ Best Budget Hotel||Room and Breakfast San Marco|
|✨ Best Hostel||Combo Bologna|