Italy’s seventh-largest city is Bologna, which brings you the best of the traditional and modern country. It has yet to become a booming tourist area, giving it a more exclusive, quieter atmosphere. The city is also home to the world’s oldest university, and has a youthful, energetic student population of around 1,000.
From luxury 5-star to budget cheap accommodation, Bologna hotels offer you a lot of variety. International chain hotels that you’ll recognise from home have popped up in the city.
Ragú alla bolognese, or bolognese sauce, was created in Bologna. It’s also home to the mortadella sausage and fresh pasta. These firsts gave the city the nickname ‘La Grassa’ – ‘the fat one’. It’s not hard to find trademark Italian dishes such as pizza and pasta at the many trattorias and ristorantes.
A lot of places to eat in Bologna can be found within the city’s central ring road. The currency exchange rate and generally low prices mean that overly expensive restaurants are rare.
The increasing popularity of the city with tourists is shown in the presence of Asian restaurants, particularly Japanese. Sakura, Haiku, and Asian Fusion Muzuumi are just outside the ring road.
Bologna art and architecture
There are visible traces of the Celts and Romans having settled in Bologna. According to legend, the artist Leonardo da Vinci painted the Mona Lisa here. In 2006, the city was a UNESCO Creative City of Music.
The Two Towers of Bologna are the two largest parts of a cluster of sculptures. Named the towers of Asinelli and Garisenda, they act as symbols of the city. As you might expect from a famous Italian tower, both of them lean.
When you cross the Piazza Maggiore, you can’t miss the San Petronio Basilica. It’s an imposing example of Italian Gothic architecture. Construction of the basilica took close to three centuries to complete.
Buy Bologna’s Museum Card (Carta Bologna de Musei) to get discounted or free access to the city’s museums. There are modern art galleries, archaeology exhibitions and photography museums. The university also encompasses six museums.
‘People watching’ is a popular Bologna pastime. Order a cappuccino at a pavement café, take an outdoor table and see life unfold around you.
The Italian obsession with coffee is well known. “Fancy a coffee?” is the standard greeting here. Do as the locals do: order something simple, only drink black coffee after meals and, in most places, pay after you drink.
We search from 120,000 hotels worldwide to find you the best deals.
Price Match Guarantee
Find the same hotel cheaper within 24hrs when booking with us and we'll give you the difference.
Need help with your booking?
Call us on 0800 093 5555