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Parma

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About Parma

If you enjoy your cheese, ham, and wine full of flavour, your fashion smart, your streets old and cobbled and your architecture dramatic, then Parma is the place for you. Most of Parma's highlights are within a leisurely stroll of the centre of town, with just a little more effort required to reach the attractions on the far side of the river. Most of our Guru’s recommendations for the best places to stay in Parma are within the medieval heart of town, with one converted palazzo on the central square itself. Our Gurus have also recommended a magically romantic castle estate in the hills outside Parma.

Parma has a real Italian air, but with more cyclists. In summer the air wafts with classical music — this is Verdi's home town — and people sip brightly coloured aperitivos on Via Farini. In winter, there are numerous cosy cafes and restaurants in which to escape from the dazzling splendour of the white light against glorious architecture. Whatever the season, our Gurus recommend the best places to stay in Parma to foodies, of course, but also to anyone looking for an unusual Italian shopping destination.

But many visitors are here to see the sights. Parma’s Piazza Duomo with its fresco filled cathedral and pink marble baptistery is of the most famous medieval buildings in Italy, and a good place to start your explorations. Garibaldi Square is where you'll find the Governor's Palace, and where the original Roman colony had its forum, if you come upon that first. Make sure you swing by the Palazzo della Pilotta, a wonderful Renaissance palace, the Galleria Nazionale and the Teatro Regio — the opera house — and see a Verdi opera if it's at all possible. The Galleria Nazionale houses a fabulous collection of late medieval and early Renaissance paintings, so the best places to stay in Parma are worth considering for art lovers too. Obviously you'll also want to eat. But as well as fitting in as many stops for cheese and ham as you can, it's also worth trying the local stuffed pasta.

The Best Places to Stay in Parma

For Romantics

  • The Antico Borgo di Tabiano Castello is a wonderfully romantic castle-hotel nestled in the hills just outside Parma. The castle has 40 elegant rooms and suites, all individually decorated with antiques and details in keeping with the castle-atmosphere — expect exposed beams, dark wood and beautiful original floors. You can also enjoy wonderful views from the castle’s many terraces, plus there's a pool, a hammam, and an excellent restaurant serving local specialities.

For Great Value

  • The Palazzo Dalla Rosa Prati is an elegant guesthouse ideally located in the medieval centre of town. Its accommodation includes both hotel rooms and suites, and larger apartments, which are idea for families. Each of the 11 options has been uniquely designed and decorated, but they all have well chosen furnishings and magical views of Parma.

For a Private apartment or villa

  • If you’re looking for a self-catering option browse through the wide variety available online with our partner, Booking.com.

Travel Information

  • Parma’s closest international airport is Bologna Airport, which is under an hour away by car or taxi, and about an hour and a half from central Parma by train. Alternatively, Florence’s Amerigo Vespucci international airport is only about an hour and a half away by road, or about two and a half hours by train; and Milan Malpensa Airport, is about two hours away by car, or two and a half by public transport.
  • 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 Parma, but the most popular months for visitors are June, July and August. Being inland, Parma gets the same intense summer heat as Florence, and humidity as Venice, so it can be hot and damp during the summer, as well as busy, so you might want to consider visiting slightly earlier or later. From mid-April onwards Parma enjoys plenty of sunshine to combat the cool breezes — plus spring blooms! While late autumn can be rainy, September and October are very mild and pleasant, and this is peak time for food festivals, both in Parma and in the hill towns that surround it.

Still not sure where to stay?

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Best Hotels in Parma

  • Palazzo dalla Rosa Prati Parma 11 rooms from £77

    City Style  -  The hotel is situated in Parma's medieval square, a perfect base to explore the city from
    Value chic  -  Large rooms, ideal for families, are great value
    Local markets  -  There are plenty of local markets to check out, most notably on Wednesday and Saturday mornings in Piazza Della Ghiaia
    Sights nearby  -  Only a short walk from many of the city's sights such as the Parco Ducale, Stadio Ennio Tardini and Piazza Duomo Parma
    Pet friendlyViewsParking
    Recommended by  -  Michelin Travel

    Elegant guesthouse featuring traditionally decorated rooms and apartments in the heart of Parma. Grab a coffee at the café before setting off for a spot of sightseeing and unwind at the end of a busy day by booking yourself a massage. Smart rooms feature colourful palettes and are great value. See More

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