City guide for Bologna

Last Updated on by Charlotte van de Sande

Sizzling in the July sun we spent 36 hours in Bologna. Bologna is a beautiful old town in the north of Italy. At the end of July, it’s very quiet, most of the inhabitants are out of town and not many tourists come to Bologna. This meant that we were able to wander around for 36 hours and were able to view everything at ease. In this blog I will tell you everything you need to know for a wonderful weekend in Bologna!

Bologna: food heaven and student city!

Bologna is a real student city. Here the oldest university in Europe is located and there are many young people to find. This gives the city a very nice vibe.

What is more striking is that there are hundreds of colonnades throughout the city to walk under. Really great with this heat because since they always provide shade. These galleries, which are over 40 km long, protect the inhabitants of Bologna not only for the sun but also for the rain.

Below you will find all my tips for Bologna! What will stand out is the many food tips… Italy is and will remain the country of food! And well, those 36 hours were spend mainly eating!

Where to eat in Bologna?

Food in Italy is always delicious, but in Bologna, I think it’s of an even higher level. Characteristic food of this city is, of course, the Pasta Bolognese, which originated from here. We also noticed how many trendy restaurants there are and how many different dieters there are catered. They even have vegetarian ánd vegan options. Something you don’t expect in Italy. It probably has something to do with the many students living here. Below a selection of our favourite places!

The best breakfast and coffeeshops in Bologna!

  • Caffe Rubik was a big surprise for us. We passed by on our way to another place but decided to have breakfast here instead. Delicious coffee (they have Soy milk!!) and great focaccia’s, croissants and sandwiches. The ambience is great and tranquil, with very good music. You can even pick your favourite music from one of the hundreds of cassette tapes hanging on the wall.
  • Pappare’ is a typical hip, tasty brunch hotspot that you won’t encounter much further in Italy. We took the ‘fruit garden’ a well-filled salad, the vegan croissant and toast with scrambled eggs and avocado cream. Really delightful!
  • Fragola. Thé hotspot for healthy and tasty food. You can even order an Acai bowl here. In addition, it is not expensive. Unfortunately, we were not able to have any food here, they were still closed when we wanted to have breakfast.

Where to have lunch in Bologna?

  • Mercato di Mezzo. This beautiful indoor market has a great variety of delicious local food.
  • Trattoria del Rosso. One of the oldest restaurants in Bologna. You will find typical Italian food here: simple and so good! During lunch, you can get a menu del dia here for only € 10 per person. Be careful though since there is always a waiting line.

Cool dinner restaurants in Bologna

We asked the barista at this nice bar we were sitting, what was distinctive of Bologna, and she immediately answered: “Bologna is the city of the aperitif, it is always time for an aperitif here.” This completely summarizes the atmosphere in Bologna and explains why there are so many bars throughout the city. Aperitif means in Italy ordering an (alcoholic) drink, and with that, receiving a plate full of finger food. Sometimes, instead of getting a plate, you can select your own food from a big buffet. Aperitif is meant to satisfy a bit your hunger, after which you will have a normal dinner. But to be very honest, we did not get beyond the aperitif. That was so delicious and filling, and thanks to our big Italian lunches, aperitif wás our dinner.

  • Slumaria Simoni. Very nice store full of cheeses, hams and wine. Here you can drink delicious prosecco with a well-filled plate of meat, cheese and bread.
  • Via Pescherie Vecchie. This is the street where Slumaria Simoni is also located. As far as we are concerned, it is the nicest street in all of Bologna, with cosy bars for aperitif everywhere!

Italie: DSCF3648

Awesome activities in Bologna

  • Climb the Torri Degli Asinelli or his little brother Garisenda. From here you have the most beautiful view over the whole city. If you walk towards it, you will notice how crooked the tower is.
  • Get lost in the small, quiet streets and sit down on a nice terrace. One of the most beautiful squares is Piazzo Santa Stefano.
  • Unfortunately, we have not been able to do this because of the short time, but the walk from the city centre to Basilica San Luca seems to be great. This basilica stands on top of a hill so you have a great view of Bologna.

Italie: Bologna

Where to sleep in Bologna?

I Love My House
We slept in a very nice apartment in the middle of the city. We rented this via and we were the first tenants ever. The landlord did not speak a word of English, but with google translate, we managed to communicate! In addition, it was the sweetest landlord ever, we got a bottle of wine from him and he told us at least three times where everything was located. I can definitely recommend this place. It was also very affordable (we only paid € 50 a night)!

Hotel Al Cappello Rosso €€€
Beautiful luxurious hotel. You simply can not get more central than this place. The rooms are beautiful and large and from what we have heard the staff are incredibly hospitable!

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