Photo of Bologna

About Bologna

Bologna’s famously elegant arcades arc around the peaceful pedestrianised centre, the covered porticoes of pale marble and stone adding romance to the city’s simple, medieval grid. This is a beautiful city, known for that, and for its fine dining, restaurants, and bars, inspiring cultural life. Many of our Gurus’ recommendations for the best places to stay in Bologna can be found in the pedestrianised centre of town, and many of those hotels have been converted from elegant palazzos, villas and townhouses, some retaining their classical Italian decor, and some with chic contemporary design. It’s not all fine living, though, Bologna has plenty of great value accommodation as well, and is just as well known for its ancient university, penchant for philosophical debate, and hip student population.

The best way to get around Bologna is definitely on foot — or by bike — and many of the best places to stay in Bologna have a fleet of hotel bikes at the ready for you. The sheer number of bikes, and the lack of cars, makes this an easy city to cycle in, even for less experienced, and it’s a great way to shoot between sites if you don’t have time to walk. Though strollers will definitely be rewarded with a myriad of treasures to discover between points A and B. Start your explorations on the Via Rizzoli or the Piazza Maggiore and don’t skip the Fountain of Neptune or the any of the 666 porticoes, which begin at the Porta Saragozza at the end of the Via Saragozza. If you’re looking for a lively cafe or bar head to the 900 year old University Quarter around Via Zamboni.

Many of our recommendations for the best places to stay in Bologna are within a very pleasant stroll of Bologna’s Gothic Basilica, which is an amazing masterpiece that, despite being started in 1390, is still unfinished. The Abbazia di Santo Stefano is another very centrally located architectural marvel, with its labyrinth of structures connecting four separate churches, and Bologna has numerous museums and art museums. Just don't forget to book well ahead if you're planning a city break, Bologna is a popular year-round destiation.

The Best Places to Stay in Bologna

For a City Centre Stay

  • Luxurious and well positioned within Bologna’s pedestrianised centre, while also being very affordable, the Hotel Corona d'Oro is a traditional choice. Its 40 rooms and suites — including some family-sized suites — are dressed with classical furnishings, parquet floors, stucco work and original exposed beams. And the communal spaces are even more elegantly decorated. The hotel bikes and chic bar are great extras.
  • The Hotel Commercianti is another charming choice within Bologna’s pedestrianised centre, which also offers the use of hotel bikes to guests. It’s a similar size to the Corona d’Ora, with 35 rooms and suites, but the decor is from an earlier era, think tiled floors, original oak beams, and frescoes. They also have a couple of family-sized suites. What the Commercianti doesn’t have is a restaurant, but they do lay out a very hearty breakfast, and run cooking classes.

For Romantics

  • Another historic choice In the pedestrianised part of the city, the Hotel Orologio is a traditional Italian-style hotel with decor incorporating beautiful slabs of marble, luxurious fabrics, mood lighting, large mirrors and huge sash windows. There’s no restaurant, but they do offer breakfast, and hotel bikes to help you explore the city.

For Luxury

  • Converted from an 18th century palazzo in the heart of Bologna’s elegant arcaded centre, the Grand Hotel Majestic offers a fabulous level of opulence, complete with grandly draped beds, fancy parquet and tile flooring, pillars, chandeliers, plenty of marble, damask, gilt and velvet, and four-poster beds if you want one. The idea is to make you feel as regal as the original palazzo owners, and toward that end they offer a smashing breakfast with complimentary prosecco, and a fine dining restaurant decorated with photos of famous former-diners.

For Great Value

  • I Portici is an elegant, all-round choice, with a grand grey and pink facade complete with the portico arcades Bologna is known for. The scale of the public areas is as grand as the facade, and the 89 rooms and suites are of a good size, with a choice of room styles, and decor in minimalist pale greys and neutral shades. Our favourite rooms have small balconies overlooking the Via dell-Indipendenza. There are two restaurants, one with a Michelin star.
  • The Hotel Touring offers stylish yet unfussy accommodation almost hidden along a quiet street right around the corner from some of Bologna’s most historic vias and piazzas. The 38 rooms and suites are compact but very well thought out, and even some of the single rooms have private balconies and space for a double bed. One of the hotel’s nicest features is its roof terrace with a view — and hot tub.
  • The Hotel Porta San Mamolo offers more traditional Italian hotel decor in its 28 spacious rooms: think feature wallpaper, exposed beams, and elegant lighting. Our Gurus appreciate the buffet breakfast, courtyard garden, and hotel bikes to borrow.

Prefer a Private Apartment or Villa?

  • If you'd prefer the privacy of a self-catering option then browse through the wide variety available online with our partner, Booking.com.

Travel Information

  • Bologna has its own airport, Bologna Airport, which is only 11 minutes from the centre of town by Aerobus. Alternatively, Florence’s Amerigo Vespucci international airport is only about an hour away from central Bologna by car or taxi, or just over an hour away by train.
  • If you want to hire a car we recommend you visit our online partner, Rentalcars.
  • There’s not really a bad time to plan a city break to Bologna, but, sitting between Venice and Florence, Bologna gets the same heat as Florence, and humidity as Venice, so it’s hot and damp in the summer, and chilly in winter. If you’re hoping to visit with pleasant weather, then from mid-April onwards Bologna’s spring gets more predictable, with plenty of sunshine to combat the cool breezes — plus spring blooms! Bologna’s hot, humid summers are the most popular time to visit, but largely because this is when Italy gets most of its visitors. Come July and August temperatures get up to 35°C, with 100% humidity. Autumn is Bologna’s rainiest season, but the first few months are still mild and pleasant, and this is plum time for food festivals, both in Bologna and in the hill towns that surround it. Christmas is Italy is always quite special, and Bologna is known for its Christmas markets and beautiful lights, and evenings in December and January are lively, despite the low temperatures.

Still not sure where to stay?


Monthly Weather in Bologna

Best Hotels in Bologna

  • Hotel Touring Bologna 38 rooms from £93

    Sights nearby  -  Well located for major sights.

    If you're looking for peace, quiet and value for money only a stone's throw from Bologna's historic heart, this small and at first sight unassuming family-run hotel fits the bill. See More

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  • Hotel Porta San Mamolo Bologna 28 rooms from £103

    Value chic  -  A quaint stay with a great price tag
    Local markets  -  Head to the Mercato di Mezza to check out the wonderful array of food at their stalls and experience the lively atmosphere
    Sights nearby  -  The Church San Domenico, Via Indipendenza and Palazzo Comunale are all situates less than a mile away
    Full of character
    GardenPet friendlyDisabled accessParking
    Recommended by  -  Michelin Travel

    Located in a quiet location ten minutes outside Bologna's centre. Featuring spacious, elegantly decorated rooms with period wallpaper and exposed beams. Be sure to enjoy the buffet breakfast served each morning before going off exploring. An intimate and traditional city spot. See More

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  • I Portici Bologna 89 rooms from £104

    Restaurant  -  Michelin starred restaurant
    Sights nearby  -  Bologna Towers, Piazza Maggiore and historic Quadrilatero diistrict, all nearby
    Designer  -  Uniquely designed interiors.
    Air conditioningRestaurantPet friendlyParking
    Recommended by  -  Small Luxury Hotels

    Behind its very grand grey and pink facade, sheltered by the vaults of Bologna's famed arcades, (from which it takes its name) I Portici looks promisingly stylish from the moment you enter its huge, atrium-style lobby. Surprisingly good value for money and very convenient for exploring the city. See More

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  • Hotel Corona d'Oro Bologna 40 rooms from £129

    City Style  -  With its central location in the heart of Bologna you're in an ideal spot from which to explore the city
    Local exploring  -  The hotel's in a pedestrian-only zone so you can easily wander around and get to know your surroundings
    Sights nearby  -  Less than a mile away from the Bologna Towers, Piazza Maggiore and the Basilica of San Petronio-ideal for a spot of sightseeing
    Local markets  -  Visit Mercato di Mezza to indulge in the wonderful food their stalls sell and experience the lively atmosphere
    Air conditioningRestaurantPet friendlyDisabled accessParking
    Recommended by  -  CN Traveller

    This luxurious hotel is situated in Bologna's city centre a short distance away from the sights. It features beautiful, elegantly decorated rooms and suites whilst the communal areas have stunning traditionally Italian decor. Make use of the free bikes to get to know Bologna. A classy city stay. See More

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  • Hotel Commercianti Bologna 35 rooms from £161

    Local exploring  -  Located right in the heart of Bologna and bikes are even provided to make city exploration even easier.
    Local markets  -  Wander the streets of the Quadrilatero, the medieval market, where you can sample local delicacies.
    Sights nearby  -  Located next to the San Petronio Basilica and the Fountain of Neptune.
    Cooking classes  -  Learn how to make regional dishes at “Il salotto di Penelope”.
    Air conditioningPet friendlyParking

    A characterful property located in the heart of Bologna. Individually styled rooms are traditional in style with beamed ceilings, chintz fabrics and some feature frescoes. Hearty breakfasts served. An ideal base for city exploring. See More

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  • Hotel Orologio Bologna 33 rooms from £171

    Local exploring  -  Well situated overlooking Bologna's historic centre and walking distance from many of its sights.
    Sights nearby  -  The Piazza Maggiore and Clock Tower are just steps from the hotel.
    Full of character
    Views  -  Great views from hotel
    Air conditioningRestaurantPet friendlyViewsParking

    An excellently located property in the pedestrianised area of Bologna. Individually designed rooms, traditional in style, with typical Italian opulence. Heavy draped curtains, warm hues and large sash windows. Bicycles for hire to whizz around the city. An ideal base for exploring the city. See More

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  • Grand Hotel Majestic Bologna 109 rooms from £199

    Local exploring  -  Being only 800 feet from Piazza Maggiore and Bologna's Two Towers there's no excuse to not indulge in a little sightseeing!
    Romantic Break  -  Feel like royalty in their palatial rooms and spend the day leisurely wandering around beautiful Bologna together
    City Style  -  The hotel enjoys a wonderful location right in the heart of Bologna
    Local markets  -  Be sure to visit the Mercato di Mezza to experience its lively energy and try some of the delicious food being sold
    Air conditioningRestaurantPet friendlyParking

    This velvet-lined 18th century palace is situated right in the heart of Bologna. Rooms and suites are decorated in an opulent, elegant manner and some adorned with unique frescoes. The restaurant serves traditional regional dishes and has an excellent wine list. An upmarket stay. See More

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