Where to stay in Bologna: best areas and neighborhoods

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Are you thinking of spending a few days in Bologna to enjoy its beauties, but you don't know where to stay? Don't worry, fortunately Bologna has a circumscribed centre and is full of accommodation solutions.
The historic centre, formerly enclosed by the Circla Walls, has several areas recommended for young people and families.
Let's find out together the best areas to stay in Bologna.

Useful tips: the best neighbourhoods to stay in Bologna

where to sleep in bologna The ancient walls of the Circla (corresponding to the Viali di Circonvallazione) enclose the historic centre. This in turn is divided into several areas. The oldest area (circumscribed by the first city wall known as the Cerchia di Selenite) delimits the area between Piazza Maggiore and the intersection of via Rizzoli, Ugo Bassi and Indipendenza and is recommended for those with a higher budget. Just outside the ancient area, are the areas of Via Pratello and Via San Vitale, both lively and a little cheaper, therefore recommended for young people. Other important areas are the Jewish Ghetto and the university district. The latter (especially Via Zamboni) is lively and cheap, perfect for young people.

The only area outside the ring road that makes sense to stay is the fair area (in the San Donato district), suitable for business travellers and those who are in Bologna for events and fairs. Outside the city, Colli Bolognesi deserves a mention, perfect for families looking for farmhouses immersed in nature.

  • Recommended areas to stay on a budget: Via Pratello, Via San Vitale, University District, San Donato
  • Recommended areas for families with children: Old Town (Piazza Maggiore, Via Rizzoli, Via Ugo Bassi and Via dell'Indipendenza), Bologna hills (located outside the city but only 15 minutes from the centre of Bologna), Jewish Ghetto
  • Recommended areas for young people: University District (especially Via Zamboni), Via Pratello, San Vitale
  • Best accommodation: we have selected the best hotels, B&Bs and hostels in Bologna. Check out our recommendations and make your reservation on Booking.

Guide to the areas of Bologna

bologna neighborhoods Bologna is divided into 6 main districts: Borgo Panigale, Savena, Navile, Porto-Saragozza, Santo Stefano and San Donato-San Vitale. The city centre is outlined by the viali di Circonvallazione and is located at the intersection of the last 4 districts listed. Inside is the historic centre, which consists of Piazza Maggiore and the streets that intersect it. There are also other districts that are improperly called districts, some examples are Bolognina (multicultural area known for its large graffiti and ethnic food shops) and Borgo Panigale (famous for the Ducati Museum).

As already mentioned, the areas of greatest tourist interest are located in the city centre. Here you will find a wide range of accommodation, excellent connections to the historic centre are guaranteed, and there is no shortage of entertainment.

Not recommended areas: within the city centre, the only areas that are not recommended are Giardini della Montagnola and to a lesser extent Piazza Verdi late at night (both dealing areas). Outside the centre, it is not advisable to go out alone at night in the Bolognina and Borgo Panigale districts, or in the Navile and Savena districts.

Old Town

piazza grande municipio bologna 4 The historic centre is the best area to sleep in Bologna, both for the amount of accommodation and for convenience in moving around. Small and compact, this is where the main attractions of the city are concentrated, such as Piazza Maggiore, the Fountain of Neptune, the Church of San Petronio and much more.

The prices here are more expensive than in other areas, but the area is ideal for those who want to fully experience the city and for those visiting it for the first time. Via dell'Indipendenza is the main artery and place to be for shopping, while several medieval alleys with restaurants and clubs branch off from Piazza Maggiore.

Staying in the centre will also allow you to explore the streets and arcades of Bologna completely on foot. Piazza Maggiore is less than 20 minutes' walk from the central railway station.

Average prices in the neighbourhood range from about €50,00 for low-cost accommodation to €580,00 for more expensive options - compare the best accommodation on booking

Recommended accommodation

Accommodation Description
Hotel Corona D'Oro Historic 4-star hotel dating back to 1890, located in a pedestrian area 350 metres from Piazza Maggiore. Parking, free bicycles, large rooms equipped with all services, ideal for families and couples
Astoria Suite Apartments In the historic centre, apartments equipped with all comforts. Suitable for families, couples and business travellers. You can take advantage of a garage, bicycle rental service and a daily breakfast
Hotel Palace Bologna In the heart of the historic centre of Bologna and a 5-minute walk from Piazza Maggiore, it has suites with panoramic terraces and secure private parking
B&B Gran Suite Piazza Maggiore Free WIFI, shared lounge and garden, this B&B offers comfortable rooms and breakfast

Via Pratello

bologna portici pratello Just outside the historic centre, Via Pratello is one of the most famous streets in the city, an arcaded street that stretches for about 600 m. It is a succession of clubs, restaurants and shops. It is defined as the bohemian area of Bologna, alternative and full of life.

Via Pratello, and especially Piazza San Francesco located at its end, is an area full of places to have an aperitif and pubs open until late at night, therefore recommended for young people.

Staying here means being a stone's throw from the main attractions: in just 10 minutes you will be in Piazza Maggiore, or 20 minutes on foot from Bologna Central train station.

Average prices in the neighbourhood range from about €50,00 for low-cost accommodation to €130,00 for more expensive options - compare the best accommodation on booking

Recommended accommodation

Accommodation Description
Albergo Panorama Bologna Hotel 2-min walk from Via Pratello. These rooms feature WiFi, an LCD TV and private or shared bathroom. Ideal for couples
La Corte del Pratello Apartments available for up to 5 people. Equipped with kitchen, parking, garden. Pets allowed. Ideal for groups of friends
B&B Pratello B&B with rooms with shared bathroom, WiFi and luggage storage service. Ideal for couples
San Francesco Luxury Suite Elegant and luxurious 54 sqm apartment, for up to 4 people. Equipped with kitchen, washing machine, city views and private parking. Ideal for couples and small groups of friends

University District

beige concrete building Bologna is home to one of the oldest universities in Europe and today attracts students from all over Italy and abroad. The university district is located in the city centre, and the main artery is Via Zamboni. This part of Bologna is very characteristic, and hosts some evocative corners as well as late Renaissance palaces, the Basilica of San Giacomo Maggiore and the National Picture Gallery.

An area with accommodation more suitable for young people looking for nightlife thanks to the presence of pubs, clubs and restaurants, compared to couples and families who may prefer something else. Here you can go to the places that university students frequent and mingle with them.

The area is very central, and you can easily get around on foot. The University is only a 15-minute walk from Piazza Maggiore (1.2 km) and 23 minutes from Central Station (1.8 km). Bologna Zanolini station is also only a few steps away.

Average prices in the neighbourhood range from about €40,00 for low-cost accommodation to €450,00 for more expensive options - compare the best accommodation on booking

Recommended accommodation

Accommodation Description
San Leonardo House Bologna Small 35sqm apartment with one bedroom, equipped kitchen and one bathroom. Ideal for families or couples
Casa Marsili 55 sqm apartment for up to 4 people, with one bedroom, living room, equipped kitchen and bathroom. Ideal for small groups of friends and young people
Skyline 1/7 B&B B&B with rooms with terrace. Common room, dining area, parking and pets allowed. Ideal for couples and families
Aemilia Hotel 4-star hotel with modern, air-conditioned rooms with free WiFi and LCD TV. Parking, restaurant and pets allowed. Ideal for couples and families

San Vitale

bologna canale a san vitale Close to the San Donato district and the university, not far from the historic centre, this area takes its name from the street of the same name that connected Bologna to Ravenna and Ferrara. The most central part is characterized by arcades and ancient buildings, where today there are bars and restaurants. Also here, are the International Museum and Library of Music, the Basilica of Santa Maria dei Servi and the Teatro Comunale of Bologna. Moving away towards the outskirts, the buildings are more modern and there are several businesses.

San Vitale is an area suitable for those looking for simple, cheap accommodation, therefore young people. From here, getting to the centre is very simple, as via Vitale reaches the two famous Towers of Bologna, Garisenda and degli Asinelli.

Average prices in the neighbourhood range from about €43,00 for low-cost accommodation to €190,00 for more expensive options - compare the best accommodation on Booking

Recommended accommodation

Accommodation Description
Cantarana apartment Apartment with a view, complete with all comforts and pets allowed. Ideal for families, couples and small groups
Garisenda Lodge Entire 120 square metre apartment, ideal for families or groups of up to 5 people. Equipped with two bedrooms, flat screen TV, kitchen and bathroom
Opera Residence Bologna Accommodation with rooms of different sizes equipped with kitchenette, air conditioning and private parking. Ideal for couples, families and groups of friends.
Room & Breakfast H & Ercolani Elegant and refined historic house offering various accommodation options (double, triple and quadruple rooms), serves an excellent breakfast

Jewish Ghetto

italia bologna tours 1 A few steps from the Two Towers, Garisenda and degli Asinelli, is the characterful Jewish Ghetto, one of the most picturesque neighbourhoods in the city. It is a fairly quiet area, located between the historic centre (Piazza Maggiore) and the university area. In the district there is, of course, the Jewish Museum of Bologna.

Given its characteristics, it is an ideal area for families, as there are many apartments and B&Bs, and the area is very quiet in the evening. Therefore, it is ideal for anyone looking for tranquillity, also recommended for couples looking for a romantic and authentic atmosphere.

Another advantage of the Jewish Ghetto is its wonderful location: just a few steps from the Towers and a 5-minute walk from Piazza Maggiore.

Average prices in the neighbourhood range from about €50,00 for low-cost accommodation to €150,00 for more expensive options - compare the best accommodation on booking

Recommended accommodation

Accommodation Description
Acquaderni Rooms Guest house with air-conditioned rooms and terrace, shared kitchen and lounge. Family rooms available. Ideal for couples and families
B&B SpeakEasy - Due Torri B&B with bar, shared lounge and air-conditioned rooms with balcony, there is also a children's play area. Ideal for couples and families
Oberdan Apartment Small, air-conditioned apartment with bedroom, living room, kitchen and bathroom. Ideal for couples
Best Western Hotel San Donato 4-star hotel, large and elegant rooms with a classic design. Rooftop terrace bar overlooking the towers. Ideal for couples and families

Bologna Fair Area (San Donato District)

Just outside the circla walls and not far from the train station, is the San Donato district, which encompasses the Bologna Fiere area. Not far away is the famous FICO Eataly World, the food-themed space with restaurants, shops and many activities.

Although this area is not attractive from an artistic point of view, it is equipped with parks and is suitable for those who travel mainly for work. It is also an area recommended for those who do not want to spend excessively, but still want excellent services.

It is also an area suitable for those who do not want to use the car: it is well connected to the centre whether you travel by public transport or on foot. To reach the cente it takes about 30 minutes on foot or 20 minutes by bus. The area is also served by the Bologna Fiere railway station.

Average prices in the neighbourhood range from €50,00 for low-cost accommodation to €200,00 for more expensive options - compare the best places to stay on booking

Recommended accommodation

Accommodation Description
Savoia Hotel Regency A 5-minute drive from the trade fair, this beautiful hotel in an old villa features a park, outdoor swimming pool and indoor restaurant
Beva Fiera Bologna 40 sqm apartment, equipped with all comforts and free WiFi. Garden, terrace and free private parking, ideal for those who want home comforts
AB Suite Innovative Design B&B B&B just a few minutes from the fair, offers comfortable rooms, free parking and WiFi

Places to stay near Bologna: Colli Bolognesi

albero colline bologna panorama 2 Just outside the city, 15 minutes by car from the historic centre, the "Colli Bolognesi" (hills of Bologna) are a valid alternative for those who want to visit Bologna but stay out of the chaos. This area is especially suitable for those who want to alternate historical visits with relaxation in rural landscapes and for families with children who need space and open air.

The Colli area is very extensive and surrounds a large part of Bologna. To stay as close as possible to the city, the best municipalities to stay are Casalecchio di Reno (9 km), Monte San Pietro (20 km), Sasso Marconi (20 km) and the surroundings of Valsamoggia (24 km). These locations are a great compromise due to their close range to the city.

The hills are especially recommended if you travel during the summer, and if you travel with your own vehicle, you can park outside Bologna's Limited Traffic Zone. The farmhouses, inns and hotels that you can find here offer different alternatives, with different services and prices according to your needs.

The average prices range from about €45,00 for low-cost accommodation to €190,00 for more expensive options - compare the best accommodation on booking

If you are in Bologna for business or as a one-day stopover to other destinations, consider sleeping near the airport. Find the best solutions and selected hotels on Booking.com

Bologna accommodation price map


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