Bologna Vacations

La cucina Bolognese (Bolognese cuisine) characterizes this medieval city in the Emilia-Romagna region of northeast Italy. Tortellini stuffed with spinach and cheese, gnocco fritto (giant puffed dough balls served with succulent cured meats) and, of course, bolognese meat sauce are just some of the ever-so-light fare you will be tempted with. The ... Read more
central square is characterized by two leaning towers which you can climb for a panoramic view of the city, perhaps catching a glimpse of the students hanging out in the piazza, or a communist flag (Bologna is a stronghold of Italy’s communist left). Gaze up while strolling the covered sidewalks, which all have ornate ceilings, and were designed to allow dry passage through one of Italy’s more rainy cities. Visit the oldest university in Europe, or just wander the historical center where you’ll find gardens, monasteries, and, at night, a thriving nightlife animated by the young Italian students who still flock here to study.

Bologna places to stay and top hotels

Bologna things to do and experiences

  • Torre degli Asinelli
    9.235 reviews
    Sights and Museums, Historic Site, Landmark
    Popular withHistoryAdventure
  • Piazza del Nettuno
    9.018 reviews
    Sights and Museums, Historic Site, Plaza
    Popular withOutdoorsyArtsy
  • Piazza Maggiore
    9.615 reviews
    Sights and Museums, Historic Site, Plaza
    Popular withHistoryFamilies
  • Piazza Santo Stefano
    9.315 reviews
    Sights and Museums, Shopping, Historic Site, Landmark, Plaza
    Popular withHistoryOutdoorsy




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Bologna reviews & trip reports

  • 9.8
  • 9.7
    History Buffs
  • 7.2
    Family Travelers
  • 7.2
    Art & Design Lovers
  • 7.0
    Nightlife Lovers

Member Reviews(135)

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A lovely small city, not too touristy, easy to get around. Amazing food and great value, not overpriced at all. Lots of beautiful buildings. Aperitivo is a must! And the gelato.

Recommended for:Budget TravelersFoodiesLGBTQBackpackers

It was a small city, but rich in culture and spiritual aspects beacause of the old churches that lifts your faith. Beautiful architecture from the buildings, the food, the people, it was a great experience.

Recommended for:Family TravelersHistory BuffsAdventure TravelersNightlife Lovers
Edinburgh, UK

An amazing city filled with culture and a vibrant night life. It’s a shame that the local government doesn’t do more to keep the older buildings in better condition, as quite a few are falling apart. When I visited the streets would heave at night, and there’s an abundance of local spots to explore.

Recommended for:Budget TravelersStudentsHistory BuffsNightlife Lovers
Miami, Florida, USA

Bologna is a very charming city that has a very local vibe compared to other tourist locations in Italy. The food is amazing so be prepared to eat most of tortellini, bolognese sauce, and lost of mortadella meat. I would recommend one night at most to see the main sights unless the museums seem interesting.

Recommended for:FoodiesHistory BuffsNightlife Lovers
Local from Bologna, Italy

Bologna is a beautiful town. Only recently discovered by the international tourism, it hosts the oldest university in the world (A.D 1089) and an incredible amount of ancient buildings, museums, views and, yes, restaurants. Just turn off your electronic devices and dive in its medieval streets and "portici".

Recommended for:FoodiesLGBTQHistory BuffsNightlife Lovers
Redwood City, California, USA

I am so happy we got to stop in Bologna! What a gorgeous city with impressive architecture, food, and shopping! There are covered walkways, unique to this Italian gem and very upbeat feeling to this college-clad city!

Recommended for:FoodiesStudentsArt & Design Lovers

The capital of the area, full of life and events, it has one of the oldest universities in the world. ALso famous for its pasta dish TORTELLINI.

Recommended for:Family TravelersFoodiesArt & Design Lovers
Detroit, Michigan, USA

If you haven't had the chance, Italy is the place to go. It's not only a country filled with history, culture, and food, the general aesthetic is one that is calming and communal. Many people will tell you to go see Rome, Firenze, or Venice and while I agree that those are lovely places, they are not on the top of my list. If you're going to Italy, you need to check out Bologna.

Bologna is a city that serves as a happy medium between the large cities of Rome and Firenze and the small coastal towns. It is the home of the world's first university, a building which houses seven churches, and a land with an influx of refugees. It also was the place, in my opinion, that helped me to better understand Italian culture as it is not overly touristy. If you have time, definitely go see Bologna!

Recommended for:Family TravelersVegetarian
London, UK

Bologna is home to a very old university, the students of which still spill into the streets at night. The covered sidewalks make umbrellas largely unnecessary. Climb up the two leaning towers in the center for a rickety experience and great view. If you can escape into the hills for a meal, do, as the emilia-romagnan cuisine is arguably some of Italy's best, and it's always at its most authentic and abundant outside of the city walls.

Recommended for:Art & Design LoversBackpackersFoodiesStudents
Basingstoke, UK

Bologna is the seventh largest city in Italy, like its neighbours in the north, the food and wine are fantastic. The eldest university in the world is located near to the city centre and it helps keep a young and vibrant feel to everything. Its ranked as one of the most affluent and most pleasant cities in Italy.

With around one million people ( 85,000 of who are students ) the city is modern, vast and wide. The main centre is however fairly small and stands with in the old city walls and the circular dual carriage road.

It has a range of large and impressive buildings, a cathedral that was to be bigger than St Peters in Rome and some lovely squares.

The most noticeable thing about the city to a visitor is its covered walkways and many towers. With over 24 miles of covered walkways / porticoes, you can traverse the city in most directions without being exposed unduly to the wet or the sun. It is odd at first, but in the heat of the day or in the rain, rather nice to be covered. The many towers ( once over 120 ) dot the landscape and from the hills around make a wonderful spectacle. Some of the towers have public access and some are leaning so much I cant see them standing for much longer.

The city is home to the eldest university in the world and this gives the city a feeling of youth and sophistication.

Its not heavily visited, with tourists choosing to head to Verona and Florence which is very understandable as they are wonderful places, but for a few days its well worth a trip.

It has a good airport very nearby with a cheap bus service ( BLQ ) serving the city every 15 minutes or so.

Recommended for:FoodiesHistory BuffsStudents