Where to Stay in Bologna → 6 AMAZING Areas + Hotels

Bustling Piazza Maggiore in Bologna with the Neptune Fountain, historic buildings, and visitors enjoying the sunny square.

When planning a trip to Northern Italy, it’s more than likely that Bologna is on your travel itinerary, as it’s one of the most stunning European cities and boasts the best Italian cuisine. If so, you’ll find my guide on where to stay in Bologna extremely useful. 

I’m Italian and I did my Master’s in Bologna so I know the city very well. I can tell you that Centro Storico is the ultimate place to stay in Bologna, as you’ll be able to explore the entire city and stay in the best Bologna hotels. 

I also took the time to compare all the accommodation options in the city and handpicked the very best ones for you (and also sorted it by price!). This way anyone will be able to find their ideal place in a matter of a couple of clicks!

As Bologna is a relatively small city but a very popular one – hotels can fill up quicker than you think. That’s why you shouldn’t forget to make a booking in advance and get the best possible deals! 

Quick Picks for Your Stay

Here are the best hotels in Centro Storico, Bologna’s Old Town:

luxury hotel
Modern booth seating under a unique curved wooden lattice, complemented by potted plants, offering a stylish and private dining experience.
mid-range hotel
Contemporary hotel lobby with a green feature wall, chic leather couch, and clean white reception desk, providing a welcoming and modern atmosphere.

Zanhotel Regina

Best value for money

budget hotel
Simple twin bedroom with clean white bedding, light blue headboards, and framed artwork, ensuring a comfortable and no-frills stay.

Hotel Panorama

Best affordable accommodation in the center

Watch my video, it will give you a visual explanation of all the areas:

Here’s a map of Bologna showing the areas discussed in this post:

A colorful map highlighting the best areas to stay in Bologna, with numbered locations and labels for easy navigation
  1. Centro Storico: for first-timers
  2. Bolognina: for local experiences
  3. Fiera di Bologna for business travelers
  4. Ghetto Ebraico for history lovers
  5. Porta Saragozza: for a relaxing vacation
  6. University District: for budget travelers

1. Centro Storico (Old Town) – best place for first-timers

Spacious Piazza Maggiore in Bologna under a blue sky with clouds, showcasing the grandeur of surrounding medieval and renaissance architecture.

Bologna lies between the Po River and the Apennine Mountains in Northern Italy, and it’s one of the top cities to visit in Italy for its stunning architecture and delicious cuisine. However, if you wonder where to stay in Bologna for the first time, Centro Storico, the historic center, is the place where you’ll find many major attractions and feel the city’s authentic atmosphere.

This is THE place if you want to be close to everything! 

The best way to explore the city center is by walking along the historic streets, stopping to admire the beautiful buildings and the old city walls. When you roam around central Bologna, it’s inevitable to come across Piazza Maggiore, the city’s main square.

The square houses some of Bologna’s main attractions – the Basilica di San Petronio (map), Fontana del Nettuno (map), and Palazzo d’Accursio (map), a 14th-century palace that is now Bologna’s city hall. 

Once you’re done with Piazza Maggiore, your next stop should be at the Two Towers (map), the main symbols of the city, dating back to the 12th century. The taller of the 2, Asinelli Tower, is usually open to the public, and you can climb to the top for the best views of the city. But I have to warn you – there are 498 steps to the top! 

After you’ve seen all the sights, it’s time to go shopping at Via Indipendenza, Bologna’s main shopping street, lined with many upscale stores. Plus, it’s part of Bologna’s limited traffic zone, so you won’t need to worry about passing cars unless you visit before 7am or after 8 pm. For more shopping, check out the Old Market in the Quadrilatero neighborhood. 

NOTE: If you are staying in the area and rented a car, you will be allowed to drive in ZTL (Zona Traffico Limitato), but you will need to get a permit from your hotel first – so please contact your hotel before – they may request a temporary access for your car’s license plates for the time of your stay. 

Don’t worry foodies, I haven’t forgotten about you! Centro Storico is a food lover’s paradise. You will be able to find plenty of amazing local restaurants, like Osteria del Sole (map) and Ristorante da Nello al Montegrappa (map).

And, if you want to try the most delicious pasta bolognese, here are 2 spots I can’t recommend enough: Al Sangiovese Restaurant (map) and Trattoria Bertozzi (map) – both are yum!

Now, check out my hotel picks for where to stay in Bologna Centro Storico:

Luxury hotel
A collage of three hotel photos in Bologna: a sleek bedroom with a large mural over the bed, a view of the hotel’s modern exterior surrounded by greenery, and a stylish café area with contemporary lighting and seating.

This 4-star hotel is situated in the historic city center and offers comfortable, air-conditioned rooms with satellite TV, free Wi-Fi, and a garden. Guests also get access to a garden, and they can enjoy a large, sweet and savory buffet breakfast each morning. Secure private parking is also available at a surcharge.

Other accommodation options in Centro Storico

Hotel lounge area with a greenery-themed wall, a classic tufted leather sofa, and modern chairs, creating a vibrant yet elegant space for guests.

A 3-star hotel within walking distance of the city’s attractions, with family rooms, a bar, and 24/7 front desk

Cozy hotel room with a soft pink bedspread, vintage-style furnishings, and modest decor, radiating a quaint and homey ambiance.

Centrally located in the historic city center, this hotel offers clean rooms, private parking, and a buffet breakfast

Cozy living room with a beige sofa, wooden shelves, and a large canvas print of a serene outdoor scene, creating a warm and inviting interior.

This cozy, open-plan studio is within walking distance of Piazza Maggiore and the main attractions of the historic center

Bologna’s historic center is the most popular tourist spot in the city, so hotels are often booked far in advance. If you didn’t manage to find availability for your dates in the hotels recommended above, I recommend 3 other Bologna hotels for all budgets. 

  • Hotel Touring (€€€) – This is one of the best luxury hotels in the city, with a rooftop terrace, a hot tub, and a delicious free breakfast
  • Hotel Cavour (€€) – The hotel has rooms with elegant furnishings, an inner courtyard, and a small terrace where you can enjoy your breakfast
  • Mitodea – Historic Residence (€) – This baroque-style B&B offers air-conditioned rooms, luggage storage, and express check-out

Things to do in Centro Storico

  • Stop by La Piccola Venezia (map) and snap some photos
  • Visit the Archaeological Museum of Bologna
  • Admire the architecture at Piazza Santo Stefano
  • Shop for fresh food at Mercato delle Erbe (map)

2. Bolognina & Bologna Centrale Station – for a local vibe

Charming alley in Bologna with traditional porticoes, cobblestone pavement, and glowing street lights, evoking a sense of old-world Europe.

Bolognina is located North of the historic center, bordering the area around Bologna Centrale Station and 4 km (2 mi) away from Piazza Maggiore. The name of the neighborhood, Bolognina (pronounced as bo-lo-NEE-nah), literally translates to ‘little Bologna’ and is the best place to experience local life in a relaxing atmosphere

Both are located about 15 min walking away from the Historic Center. 

I decided to recommend Bologna Centrale Station together with Bolognina, as this is a very small area around the main train station, nestled between Bolognina and the city center. Although it’s not the most appealing part of the city, it can be very convenient to stay near the train station, especially if you want to visit nearby towns like Venice or Pisa

The main cultural landmark in Bolognina is the Museum for the Memory of Ustica, an impressive history museum dedicated to an unsolved plane crash. However, if you head South towards the central station, you’ll find MAMbo – Museo d’Arte Moderna di Bologna, an art museum with a permanent collection and temporary exhibits. 

Here, you will also find a vibrant nightlife scene, with many clubs and bars. I suggest the Locomotiv Club, a popular live music venue where you can attend anything from comedy shows to rock concerts. 

Finally, I have a recommendation for car lovers! Head to the central train station, catch the next train to Modena and pay a visit to the Ferrari Museum to learn more about the history of these legendary Italian cars and see some of the coolest cars ever created. 

Luxury hotel
A collage of three hotel photos in Bologna: a tranquil spa area with mood lighting and a wall of candles, a colorful living room with eclectic artwork and furnishings, and a warm, inviting bedroom featuring patterned tiles and rich, terracotta-colored walls.

This upscale boutique hotel features individually furnished rooms, a full-service spa, an on-site bar, and a coffee shop. While staying here, you can benefit from perks like free bicycle rentals, a limo service, a front desk safe, and a buffet breakfast for a small additional charge.

Other accommodation options in Bolognina & Centrale Station

A cozy bedroom with an inviting bed, crumpled linens, suspended Edison bulbs, and a dusky rose accent wall for a relaxed, contemporary feel.

All rooms at this B&B have private bathrooms and flat-screen TVs, and guests get an amazing free breakfast

Modern and inviting hostel exterior with vibrant orange accents, wooden benches, and lush green trees, welcoming travelers to a friendly space.

Near the central station, this hotel offers a nice terrace, both private rooms and shared dormitories, and laundry services

Minimalist living space with a grey sofa bed, colorful throw pillows, and a chic blue vase, emphasizing a clean and modern aesthetic.

This 1-bedroom studio can accommodate up to 3 people and has a clean bathroom and a small but functional kitchen

Things to do in Bolognina & Bologna Centrale Station 

  • Check out the street art around the market (map)
  • Spend a relaxing afternoon at Parco della Montagnola (map)
  • Have a nice Italian dinner at Trattoria di Via Serra
  • Stop by the impressive Porta Galliera (map)

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3. Fiera di Bologna – where to stay in Bologna on business

A pedestrian crossing a zebra crossing on a quiet street in Bologna, lined with historic buildings in the warm light of a setting sun.

Situated 4 km (2 miles) East of the city center, Fiera di Bologna is part of the San Donato-San Vitale borough and is Bologna’s main business district. If you’re in Bologna on business or just want to visit one of the many fairs hosted in the city, this is THE place to stay, with a lively atmosphere, plenty of festivals and events, cool eateries, and modern accommodations. 

Even though it’s a bit further from the center, Bologna Fiera has very good public transportation connections, but since Bologna is a very walkable city, you can also reach the top attractions on foot. 

Piazza Maggiore is within a 30-minute walking distance so this area can serve for tourists trying to get a more wallet-friendly place as well. 

One of the coolest spots you can visit in Fiera Bologna is The Space Cinema, where, besides seeing a movie, you can dine at the Old Wild West restaurant that specializes in steaks. Another great place to eat is FICO World Eataly, a food theme park that features a variety of restaurants, many cool shops, and some exhibits. 

NOTE: if you plan to visit Bologna in spring, keep in mind that Cosmoprof Bologna, one of the largest beauty fairs in the world, takes place at the end of March/beginning of April. Over 250,000 (!!) people visit the city for the fair, so all hotels are fully booked, and at a significantly higher price. If you’ve planned a trip around the same dates, book as soon as possible! 

Lastly, I want to mention that Fiera Bologna is a great choice for budget travelers as well as businessmen, as it has a great variety of hotels for all budgets – see my recommendations below!

Luxury hotel
A collage of three hotel photos in Bologna: a minimalist hotel room with a comfortable bed and art above the headboard, a modern hotel exterior with a bold red carpet entrance, and a tranquil wooden pathway leading through a serene garden setting.

This luxurious hotel offers spacious rooms decorated in modern style, private parking, a great fitness center, a bar, and a restaurant that serves delicious regional cuisine. Plus, it has a great location, just a 15-minute walk away from the Bologna Central Station.

Other accommodation options in Fiera di Bologna

Intimate hotel room with a white bed, red accent wall, flat-screen TV, and a vase of red flowers, offering a cozy stay for visitors.

This 3-star hotel has an outdoor pool and offers air-conditioned rooms, a generous breakfast, and free private parking

An outdoor patio area with a sheltered dining space, brick BBQ setup, and comfortable seating surrounded by lush potted plants for a homely garden ambiance.

This B&B apartment features an outdoor dining area and an outdoor fireplace and offers free Wi-Fi and parking

Elegant living room with beige striped sofas, vibrant throw pillows, and an array of framed paintings, creating a sophisticated and inviting space.

This modern-style Airbnb has 2 bedrooms plus a full kitchen and is within walking distance of the central train station

Things to do in Fiera di Bologna

4. Ghetto Ebraico – where to stay in Bologna for history lovers

Aerial view of Piazza Maggiore in Bologna, highlighting the historic buildings, bustling squares, and terracotta rooftops.

Ghetto Ebraico, also called the Jewish ghetto, is located in central Bologna, and it’s actually part of the larger historic city center. Don’t let the name scare you off – this is no longer a ghetto! The neighborhood got its name back in the 16th century when the Jewish community of the city was confined to the area. 

Today, you can still feel the rich history as you walk along the narrow streets full of historic buildings, but also many trendy cafes that blend perfectly with the historical background, giving the neighborhood its unique charm

The neighborhood itself is very small and it is basically part of Centro Storico, it is only 8 min walking away from Piazza Maggiore. So, if you were wondering where to stay in Bologna without a car, Ghetto Ebraico may be a choice. The one must-visit in the neighborhood is Museo Ebraico di Bologna, a museum dedicated to Bologna’s Jewish community. Other cool museums around Ghetto Ebraico include the Bologna Municipal Theater and the International Museum and Library of Music.

Luxury hotel
A collage of three hotel photos in Bologna: an opulent lounge with classical architecture and a glass roof, a cozy living area with a red sofa and elegant decor, and a refined bedroom with a blue headboard and a view of the city’s traditional rooftops.

Hotel Corona d’Oro is one of the best luxury hotels near Piazza Maggiore. It offers elegantly decorated rooms, a very good breakfast, a chic bar, and family-friendly rooms. You can rent a bike from the hotel for free and go on day trips to explore the main attractions, and the staff can help you with tour reservations.

Other accommodation options in Ghetto Ebraico

Bright and spacious bedroom with an orange headboard, crisp white linens, and flowing curtains that offer a cheerful and restful environment.

This boutique hotel can arrange airport transfers, provides free Wi-Fi and serves a daily Italian breakfast

A refined living room space featuring a grand piano, leather seating, and candelabras, set against intricate floor tiling for an elegant, musical retreat.

Situated just opposite the Towers of Bologna, the hotel offers functional rooms, luggage storage, and safety deposit boxes

Charming interior with a blue sofa, unique terrazzo flooring, and decorative mirrors, blending classic and contemporary Italian design.

Centrally located Airbnb with amazing decoration, air conditioning, unlimited Wi-Fi, and comfortable beds, within walking distance of Piazza Maggiore

Things to do in Ghetto Ebraico

  • Take a stroll at the lovely park Giardina Margherita (map)
  • Go for a glass of delicious Italian wine at Camera A Sud
  • Have a unique gastronomic experience at Bottega Portici 

5. Porta Saragozza – a quiet place to stay in Bologna

The historical Porta Saragozza of Bologna, showcasing the ancient city gate with its arches and watchtowers against a clear blue sky.

Porta Saragozza or just Saragozza, is a large residential neighborhood that borders the city center to the West. This part of Bologna is quieter than the rest of the city and has a more laid-back vibe to it, a perfect spot if you want to be close to the city’s attractions without all the hustle and bustle of the center. 

Porta Saragozza (map) is the main point of interest in the neighborhood, a massive gate that once was a part of the city walls. Near the gate, you’ll find Villa Cassarini Gardens (map), sprawling palace gardens where you can spend a relaxing afternoon. 

In case you want to discover some more of the best things to do in Bologna, you’ll have to venture to the outskirts of the neighborhood and visit Santuario Madonna di San Luca (map). This impressive Roman Catholic sanctuary is not too far (2 km / 1.2 miles) from the center of the neighborhood, so you can have a pleasant walk and spend some more time in nature. 

This area is also very close to Bologna University so this is where I stayed for 2 years while doing my Masters – I loved my time there! 

Since there are so many lovely parks where you can have a romantic picnic, I recommend Porta Saragozza as the best place for couples in all of Bologna. But it’s a large neighborhood, so it’s also one of the top spots to stay in Bologna with a car. Plus, you can easily reach Bologna Guglielmo Marconi Airport by car, as it’s just 8 km (5 miles) away from Porta Saragozza. 

Luxury hotel
A collage of three hotel photos in Bologna: a modern bedroom with a minimalist design and balcony access, a cozy hotel bar with velvet seating and chic decor, and an elegant lounge with a classic fireplace and traditional art pieces.

Guests at this 4-star hotel can order room service, enjoy a breakfast buffet, use free Wi-Fi, or turn to the 24-hour front desk for anything else. All hotel rooms are air-conditioned, with a private bathroom, a flat-screen TV, a coffee maker, and, most importantly, a comfortable bed with crisp, clean linens. 

Other accommodation options in Porta Saragozza

Modern bedroom with a large bed against a green accent wall, abstract art, and minimalist furnishings, providing a clean and contemporary stay.

Situated in a 19th-century building, this residence offers modern amenities like air conditioning, Wi-Fi, cable TV, and kitchen appliances

A vibrant hostel lounge with colorful sofas, eclectic wall art, and a playful comic-strip mural, creating a lively and social atmosphere.

The hostel offers accommodation in shared dormitories, access to communal bathrooms, a kitchen, and a good breakfast free of charge 

A neat dining room in a residence with a large dining table set with a red cloth, black chairs, and a kitchenette in the background, offering a homely space for meals.

A 1-bedroom apartment with a living area and a fully functional kitchen, as well as air conditioning and central heating

Things to do in Porta Saragozza

  • Visit the Arco Del Meloncello (map)
  • Stop by the Renato Dall’Ara Stadium (map)
  • Find and take photos of Porta San Felice (map)
  • Try the craft beers at Osteria La Frasca

6. Città Universitaria – where to stay in Bologna on a budget

The elegant arcade of the University of Bologna with a grand clock tower, showcasing the institution's historic architecture and academic heritage.

Città Universitaria, or the University District, starts at the border of the historic city center, so if you’re staying here, you’ll have easy access to the bustling city center and the train station. But better yet, this district is home to the legendary Bologna University and the hub of student life

The University of Bologna was established in 1088 and is the oldest university in the world!

Besides being the oldest university, Bologna is a very popular university and still attracts plenty of young people. So naturally, the University District has a very lively atmosphere, great spots for nightlife, and many budget-friendly accommodation options, which is why I recommend it for people looking for a city break on a budget. 

Some of the best attractions in the area include the Pinacoteca Nazionale art museum, Porta San Donato (map), and the famous street, Via Zamboni, where the Alma Mater Studiorum, the main university building, is situated. 

And finally, the University District has some of the best hotels in the city – check out my selection below. 

Luxury hotel
A collage of three elegant hotel spaces in Bologna: a classic lounge area adorned with an array of framed paintings and deep blue armchairs, a sophisticated bedroom featuring an upholstered headboard and a freestanding bathtub, and a stylish sitting area with a white fireplace surrounded by velvet poufs and patterned wallpaper.

A luxurious hotel located within a short distance of Bologna’s main attractions, with a business corner and a lounge where you can relax by the fireplace. Each of the rooms has air conditioning, a TV, and a dedicated workspace, plus Wi-Fi access – great if you’re traveling on business. Best of all, the hotel serves a delicious continental breakfast. 

Other accommodation options in Città Universitaria

A spacious living area with exposed wooden beams, a plush sofa, and a cozy fireplace, blending rustic charm with modern comforts.

The hotel is situated in a historic building, boasts colorful rooms and also provides air conditioning and Wi-Fi access 

A bedroom with a unique wall decorated with wooden slices, a double bed, and minimalist furniture, for a nature-inspired restful retreat.

At this hostel, you can choose between private rooms and dormitory accommodation, enjoy city views, and have a fabulous breakfast

A quaint corner with a patterned sofa, kitchenette, and a simple dining setup, offering a comfortable and practical living space.

Conveniently located 1-bedroom studio with a private entrance and an en suite bathroom, a workspace, and Wi-Fi

Things to do in Città Universitaria

👑 Luxury price:€180
💵 Mid-range hotel:€130
🛏️ Budget:€80
📍 Best area:Centro Storico
🛎️ Best luxury hotel:Mercure Bologna Centro
🧳 Best mid-range hotel:Zanhotel Regina
👛 Best budget hotel:Hotel Panorama

FAQs about where to stay in Bologna

Broad aerial perspective of Bologna's cityscape, showcasing the dense urban layout, historic architecture, and the distant rolling hills.

🤔 Is Bologna, Italy, worth visiting?

Yes, Bologna is definitely worth visiting with its beautiful medieval streets, historical city center, and the oldest University!

🛏️ Where can I sleep in Bologna?

If you are visiting Bologna for the first time, the best area to stay in is Centro Storico, and the best hotels in the area are Mercure Bologna Centro and Zanhotel Regina.

🚶‍♀️ Is Bologna walkable?

Yes, Bologna is a walkable city, but if you stay in an area further away, like Fiera di Bologna or Bolognina, you can find the nearest train station and reach the city center even more quickly.

❓ Is Bologna a safe city?

Bologna, Italy is a very safe city, and you can safely walk on the streets in touristy areas at night. Some areas to avoid in Bologna are Borgo Panigale, Savena, and Pilastro. 

🚶‍♂️ Where to stay in Bologna without a car?

The best area to stay in Bologna without a car is the historic centre, or Centro Storico because you’ll have easy access to all the attractions and the best hotels in the city centre.

👪 What is the best hotel for families in Bologna?

Hotel Corona d’Oro and UNAHOTELS Bologna Fiera are the best Bologna hotels for families.

🕐 How many days do you need in Bologna, Italy?

3 days would be enough to explore the city centre, see the main attractions, try local foods and visit museums.

📍 Which part of Bologna is best to stay?

If you’re visiting Bologna for the first time, the best place to stay is Centro Storico, while Fiera di Bologna is the best for business travelers, and the University District is great if you’re traveling on a budget.


Evening view of Bologna featuring the prominent Asinelli Tower, with the city's warm lights against a twilight sky.

We’ve reached the end of my comprehensive Bologna guide, and I hope that by now you’ve decided where to stay in Bologna and which hotel to book. 

But in case you haven’t, these are my 2 favorite hotels in the historic center of Bologna: 

One last reminder – hurry up and book your Bologna accommodation! Now you know why the city is so popular, you won’t want to miss out. 

If you have any other suggestions or questions on Bologna, please leave me a comment. I’m happy to get back to you!

Enjoy your time in Bologna,


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