Travel guide Bologna (Italy): the best restaurants and things do to!

In this travel guide about Bologna, you will find the best sights, restaurants and hotspots for this beautiful Italian city! Perfect for a city trip in the spring or autumn to Bologna.

Travel guide: what to do in Bologna?

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.

Bologna: a student city in Italy

This city is full of students, a real student city. Bologna is known for having the oldest university in Europe and there are many young people to find. This gives the city a very nice vibe.

What Bologna in Italy is known for are the 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.

Where is Bologna in Italy located?

Bologna is located in the northeast of Italy, not far from Florence. The city is located in a hilly area about 80 kilometres from the sea. Below you will find the map of Italy with Bologna on it.

Bologna on the map of Italy

Map of Italy top attractions and sights

Another cool Italian city: Naples!

Ordering food in Bologna

Food hotspots in Bologna!

Food in Italy is always delicious, but in Bologna, food is of an even higher level. Characteristic food of Bologna 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, brunch and coffee hotspots 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. Click here for the location on Google Maps!

This 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! Click here for the location on Google Maps!

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. Click here for the location on Google Maps!

Where to have lunch in Bologna?

Mercato di Mezzo.
This beautiful indoor market has a great variety of delicious local food. Click here for the location on Google Maps!

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. Click here for the location on Google Maps!

Hot and Happening in Bologna: Aperitif!

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. Click here for the location on Google Maps!

Via Pescherie Vecchie.
This is thé place to be for an aperitif in Bologna! And it is also the nicest street in all of Bologna, with cosy bars everywhere. Click here for the location on Google Maps!

Italie: DSCF3648

The five best things to do in Bologna!

1. Climb the Torri Degli Asinelli or his little brother Garisenda.

A really cool thing to do in Bologna (Italy) is to climb the Torri Defku Asinella. 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.

2. Be a local in Bologna!

Get lost in the small quiet streets and have a drink on a nice terrace. Order an espresso in the morning, a limoncello in the afternoon and an aperitif a few hours later. Enjoy the sun on the dozens of beautiful squares or buy some fruit at the local market. One of our favorite squares is Piazzo Santa Stefano.Italie: Bologna

3. Experience the real Bologna: food tour!

Do you want to experience the real Bologna? Then there is only one way: by tasting Bologna. A really fun way to get to know the city, its inhabitants and its culture is through a food tour. In three hours you go to the best-hidden food hotspots, taste delicious pasta, wines, cheeses and even Italian ice cream. Click here for more information about this food tour!

Free travel guide for the perfect visit to Pompeii!

4. Take a walk to Basilica San Luca

Basilica San Luca is just outside the centre, on a hill overlooking Bologna. It is a bit of a climb, but a cool thing to do is a walk to this place. And of course, you will be rewarded with a great view!

5. Learn to cook Italian in Bologna: cooking class

How special: from a real Italian chef you get lessons in Italian cuisine at his home in Bologna. You learn to make pasta dough yourself, prepare a delicious meal together and eat it together while enjoying a glass of Italian wine. Click here for more information!

Where do you sleep in Bologna?

Below you will find the nicest accommodation in Bologna! These three hotels are in different price ranges. There is a budget hotel, a mid-range hotel in Bologna, and a luxury hotel. Please note, these are popular hotels, so book in time!

B&B Chez Moi €BB chez moi hotspots Bologona

This cozy guesthouse is perfect if you are traveling on a small budget. It is close to all hotspots, right in the center. You can sleep here from 68 euros (two people).

Book now

Steam House Steam House Room and Guesthouse Bologna Hotspots

The rooms of the Steam House hotel are furnished as if you were on a 20th-century steamboat. But with air conditioning and wifi! You can sleep here for as little as 86 euros including a delicious breakfast (two people).

Book now

Hotel Corona d’Oro Hotel Corona dOro

Sleeping in style? But also at a location right in the center. Then this classic style hotel is perfect! The staff is very friendly! You can sleep here for as little as 259 euros (two people).

Book now

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1 Comment

  1. by Ron on 26 January 2022  11:07 Reply

    "Climb the Torri Degli Asinelli or his little brother Garisenda..." The Graman poet Goethe did this 1786:

    "Toward evening I got out of this ancient, venerable, and learned city, and extricated myself from its crowds, who, protected from the sun and weather by the arched bowers which are to be seen in almost every street, walk about, gape about, or buy and sell, and transact whatever business they may have. I ascended the tower, and enjoyed the pure air. The view is glorious. To the north we see the hills of Padua; beyond them the Swiss, Tyrolese, and Friulian Alps,—in short, the whole northern chain, which at the time was enveloped in mist. Westward there stretched a boundless horizon, above which the towers of Modena alone stood out. Toward the east a similar plain, reaching to the shores of the Adriatic, whose waters might be discerned in the setting sun. Toward the south, the first hills of the Apennines, which, like the Vicentine Hills, are planted up to their summits, or covered with churches, palaces, and summer-houses. The sky was perfectly clear, not a cloud to be seen, only on the horizon a kind of haze. The keeper of the tower assured me, that, for six years, this mist had never left the distance. Otherwise, by the help of a telescope, you might easily discern the hills of Vicenza, with their houses and chapels, but now very rarely, even on the brightest days."

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