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Where to Stay in Bologna, Italy: District and Area Guide

where to stay in bologna

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Deciding where to stay in Bologna can be tricky. Although Bologna is a small city in Northern Italy, you’ll find that there are many fantastic areas and neighborhoods to choose from. This can be especially overwhelming for first-time visitors to the region. 

Luckily, this guide will cover everything you need to know about where to stay in Bologna, offering everything from budget-friendly accommodation options to the best luxury hotels. If you’re the type of traveler that enjoys a little more independence, you can find the perfect luxury guesthouse or Airbnb right here too.

Plus, to complement your perfect accommodation, here’s our Emilia Romagna region travel guide.

Summary of the Best Places to Stay in Bologna, Italy

where to stay in bologna

Here is a quick look at where to stay in Bologna. If you need more information, keep reading for a detailed description of each area, including the major attractions and accommodation options.

  • Centro Storico – The perfect location for first-time visitors unsure of where to stay in Bologna. Centro Storico boasts most of Bologna’s most famous attractions and a vibrant atmosphere with terrific food.
  • Bologna Centrale Station – This area is ideal for short-stay visitors or travelers who plan on exploring Italy’s many regions by rail. Bologna Centrale is a busy transportation hub, and it’s very close to the airport.
  • Porta-Saragozza – If you’re looking for a quiet area just outside of the city, Porta-Saragozza is the best place to be. It is not as close to the city center but is generally more affordable.
  • Bolognina – The most charming of all Bologna’s neighborhoods, Bolognina boasts a colorful and culturally diverse international environment. Foodies will love the mix of worldly flavors here.
  • Fiera di Bologna – If you’re searching for where to stay in Bologna, which is closest to the center of business, look no further than Fiera di Bologna. Accommodation here can be pricey, but Fiera di Bologna is ideal for a short stay in Bologna and for business travelers. 
  • Ghetto Ebraico – Want to stay in the heart of Bologna’s historic center? Ghetto Ebraico is steeped in rich history and culture and overflowing with impressive medieval architecture.

Centro Storico

bologna hotels centro storico

Centro Storico, or “Old Town” for anyone who hasn’t brushed up on their Italian, is Bologna’s historic city center. For first-time visitors, this is the best place to stay in Bologna because of its close proximity to many of the city’s major tourist attractions.

Here, you’ll find Basilica di San Petronio, the Medieval Asinelli tower, and the Nettuno Fountain. Many more attractions are all within walking distance from the symbol of Bologna, Piazza Maggiore.

In Centro Storico, you might even stumble upon a few hidden gems. Most tourists don’t know that below the bustling streets of Bologna lies a network of underground canals. You can catch a glimpse of Bologna’s canals through the window on Via Piella. This corner of the city is appropriately named Little Venice. 

bologna accommodation

Staying in Centro Storico offers more than just popular attractions. Mercato di Mezzo, Bologna’s oldest food market, is the place to be if you want to immerse yourself in Italian cuisine. 

TIP: Take a guided walking tour of the city center to discover more about this beautiful area in Bologna.

Best for: All travelers, but especially for those visiting Bologna for the first time since it’s where you’ll find most of the city’s attractions.

Best Hotels Near Centro Storico

Luxury – Grand Hotel Majestic gia’ Baglioni – One of Bologna’s most popular luxury hotels, this five-star accommodation near Piazza Maggiore is nothing short of spectacular. This hotel’s main draws are its close proximity to Bologna’s attractions and opulent rooms, so you’ll have plenty to discover.

Mid-Range – Art Hotel Commercianti – Just a few steps from Piazza Maggiore, this hotel’s modern rooms with traditional flair offer affordable comfort and plenty of charm. Plus, there’s free WiFi, air conditioning, and a TV in every room.

Budget – Albergo Garisenda – For simple and cost-effective accommodation in a prime location, Albergo Garisenda is the best budget hotel in Bologna’s city center. This hotel is only a short walk from Piazza Maggiore and Bologna University.

Apartments and Airbnbs Near Centro Storico

Looking for the perfect Bologna apartment for your stay? Browse Plum Guide for accommodation located in the Centro Storico near the iconic Piazza Maggiore for the best, handpicked apartments and vacation rentals in Bologna. And, to make your Italian escape even better, you can get 5% off your Plum Guide reservation with the code – UNTOLD5.

Bologna Centrale Station

bologna centrale station hotels

Just north of Centro Storico lies Bologna’s main train station, Bologna Centrale. Staying near Bologna’s central train station is ideal if you plan on touring the Emilia Romagna region by rail. But, if you can’t handle the hustle and bustle of the city, staying in this area may not be a good idea. 

Many tourists begin or end their Bologna vacation here because it offers easy access to and from the airport via the Aerobus. Bologna Centrale Train Station is also only about 20 minutes from Piazza Maggiore. 

Since the station is so close to the city center, there is plenty to do and see in the surrounding area. Make sure to explore all the nearby restaurants, bars, landmarks, and outdoor spaces like Parco della Montagnola. Alternatively, head back to the station and hop on a train to one of Bologna’s neighboring cities like Florence or Milan.

As the area around the station sees so much traffic, there is a wide selection of places to stay, including some of the best Bologna hotels and apartments.

Best for: Enthusiastic travelers who want to make the most of their time in Italy by exploring the country by rail.

Best Hotels Near Bologna Central Station

Luxury – Starhotels Excelsior – One of the top hotels near Bologna Centrale, this hotel provides convenience, comfort, and more. Most bookings at this luxurious hotel include a free breakfast every morning.

Mid-Range – NH Bologna De La Gare – This accommodation is only a five-minute walk from Bologna Centrale. Situated in Bologna’s shopping district, NH Bologna De La Gare offers convenience along with tastefully decorated rooms. Plus, the hotel’s common areas are lovely spaces to relax in.

Budget – Hotel Marconi Express – For travelers spending a short time in the city, Hotel Marconi Express is the best budget hotel in Bologna to rest your head. Also only five minutes from Bologna Centrale and a short drive from Bologna Guglielmo Marconi Airport, this three-star stay is worth every penny.

Apartments and Airbnbs Near Bologna Centrale Train Station

There is no shortage of fantastic apartments near this transportation hub. Browse for Bologna Centrale Station stays on Plum Guide for the best, handpicked apartments and vacation rentals in Bologna. And, to make your Italian escape even better, you can get 5% off your Plum Guide reservation with the code – UNTOLD5.

Porta-Saragozza

where to stay bologna porticos

Porto and Saragozza are two of Bologna’s six main districts. The area of Porto-Saragozza includes the entire district of Porto and the northern parts of the Saragozza district. You might come across this combined name while making your way through the city or while searching the internet for where to stay in Bologna. 

While the district of Porto includes part of the northern half of the city center, Porta-Saragozza lies just outside of all the action. So, it is much quieter and generally more affordable than staying in the city’s heart, but you won’t be within walking distance of Bologna’s main attractions. 

Deciding where to stay in Bologna can be difficult. But if you’re looking for an area with plenty of green spaces, you should definitely consider staying in Porta-Saragozza. Besides attractions such as the Porta Saragozza medieval wall, you’ll find parks, tennis courts, and theaters around too.

Best for: Travelers looking for quiet, longer-term accommodation who don’t mind being further than walking distance from Bologna’s tourist attractions. 

Best Hotels Near Porta-Saragozza

Luxury – GetTheKey Lenzi Suites – This property is located on the quiet outskirts of the city center. Rooms at GetTheKey Lenzi Suites are spacious and each equipped with a kitchen, sofa, small dining area, and a private bathroom.

Mid-Range – Muà Bologna – If you’re looking for where to stay in Bologna on a mid-range budget, Muà is ideal. Located near the Porta-Saragozza region, this hotel is modern, affordable, and only a short distance from the city center.

Budget – 8 Colonne Apartments – This well-equipped property is ideal for longer stays. Sleeping up to four guests, each apartment here is kitted with a kitchenette, TV, dining area, free WiFi, and a private bathroom.

Apartments and Airbnbs Near Porta-Saragozza

This district in Bologna boasts plenty of wonderful places to stay. Browse for Porto-Saragozza stays on Plum Guide for the best, handpicked apartments and vacation rentals in Bologna. Enjoy 5% off your Plum Guide reservation with our code – UNTOLD5.

Bolognina

bologna accommodation

If you want to meet friendly locals and explore the city’s international environment, the best place to stay in Bologna is the neighborhood of Bolognina. This neighborhood is ideal for longer stays and great for young solo travelers or families.

Of course, with people from around the world populating Bolognina’s streets comes outstanding international cuisine. It’s unlikely that you’ll run out of traditional Italian dishes to try, but if you’re in the mood for something different, Bolognina offers a range of cuisines like Chinese, Arabic, and more. 

Bolognina is also ideal for young travelers because of its fantastic nightlife. This neighborhood’s alternative rock scene is not something you want to miss out on, and there are many bars and clubs in the area. 

Besides the food and the nightlife, you’ll also find a plethora of attractions around Bolognina. Make sure to visit Bolognina’s markets, the Museo per la Memoria di Ustica, and the Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Best for: Everyone. But especially young solo travelers who would like to meet friendly locals and immerse themselves in the neighborhood’s culture and nightlife.

Best Hotels Near Bolognina

Luxury – The Social Hub Bologna – This hotel is best suited for young solo travelers and boasts outstanding facilities. You’ll find it’s the perfect environment to lay back and relax or meet some like-minded globe trekkers. 

Mid-Range – Hotel II Guercino – Located on the outskirts of Bolognina, Hotel II Guercino offers clean and comfortable accommodation at an affordable price. This hotel is situated in a quiet area but is still within walking distance of attractions like Piazza Maggiore.

Budget – Hotel Arcoveggio – Hotel Arcoveggio is one of the best hotels in Bologna, Italy, for an affordable stay. Although private hotel gardens are rare in the neighborhoods that surround the city, outdoor lovers can soak up the sun in this hotel’s green space.

Apartments and Airbnbs Near Bolognina

The neighborhood of Bolognina is the perfect place to find spacious accommodation. Browse for Bolognina stays on Plum Guide for the best, handpicked apartments and vacation rentals in Bologna. You’ll get 5% off your Plum Guide booking when you use our code – UNTOLD5.

Fiera di Bologna

where to stay in bologna

Fiera di Bologna is the city’s main business district. You’ll find that the accommodation in this area is ideal for short stays and business travelers. This district is home to Emilia Romagna’s regional government, the trade exhibition center, and many of Bologna’s private companies.

While it’s very close to Centro Storico — just over a mile away — there is undoubtedly a difference in the vibrance and culture of this district. So, it is not recommended for first-time visitors to Bologna or for long stays in the city.

READ: Where to go and what to do in our 3 day Bologna itinerary.

However, due to the corporate nature of Fiera di Bologna, this district offers its visitors some of the most exquisite luxury hotels in Bologna and outstanding apartments.

Best for: Business travelers and short stays. This area is close to Bologna’s most popular sights, but most visitors to the area are mainly here for business.

Best Hotels Near Fiera di Bologna

Luxury – Savoia Hotel Regency – One of the best Bologna hotels, the Savoia Hotel Regency offers class and comfort near Fiera di Bologna. Decorated with a rich and modern style, this four-star hotel is perfect for short stays around the business district. 

Mid-Range – Elizabeth Lifestyle Hotel – This accommodation near Fiera di Bologna is nothing short of chic. Boasting modern and quirky decor, Elizabeth Lifestyle Hotel is a fantastic option for any type of traveler. There are a variety of room types available here, some even have a kitchenette with a fridge and stove.

Budget – Savhotel – If you’re searching for a quiet and intimate stay in Bologna, Savhotel’s elegant and spacious rooms might tick all the right boxes. Plus, it’s only a few steps away from many gardens and green spaces. 

Apartments and Airbnbs Near Fiera di Bologna

For short stays or business trips, apartments in Fiera di Bologna are ideal. Browse for Fiera di Bologna stays on Plum Guide for the best, handpicked apartments and vacation rentals in Bologna. Enjoy 5% off your Plum Guide rental with the code – UNTOLD5.

Ghetto Ebraico

where to stay in bologna ghetto ebraico

If you want to know where to stay in Bologna to experience the region’s rich culture and history, Ghetto Ebraico is a wonderful choice. This area is part of the historic city center and was once home to Bologna’s Jewish community before their expulsion in 1593. 

More than two hundred years later, the Jewish community returned to the region. Now, Ghetto Ebraico is home to people from all walks of life, but you’ll still find many plaques and monuments commemorating the persecutions suffered by the Jews. 

This area draws in a lot of tourists thanks to its architectural charm and important history. As a result, you’ll find that there are many places to stay in and around Ghetto Ebraico. 

And, to remember your time in the city of Bologna, head over to the Via dell’Inferno. It was once the site of Ghetto Ebraico’s synagogue but now boasts a collection of quaint artisan stores selling trinkets and foods. 

Best for: History and architecture appreciators. Almost every corner of Ghetto Ebraico has historical significance.

Best Hotels Near Ghetto Ebraico

Luxury – Hotel Corona d’Oro – If you want to feel like royalty, book a few nights at Hotel Corona d’Oro. The classically decorated rooms and superior service will undoubtedly blow you away. Oh, and the food is unforgettable.

Mid-Range – Albergo Rossini – Offering simple, clean, and affordable accommodation near Bologna’s University District, this hotel has everything you’ll need for a comfortable stay. Albergo Rossini also offers both à la carte and buffet breakfast every morning. 

Budget – Hotel Cavour – One of Bologna’s best budget hotels, this three-star accommodation is in a convenient location near Ghetto Ebraico and Bologna Centrale train station. 

Apartments and Airbnbs Near Ghetto Ebraico

Enjoy the lock-up-and-go lifestyle in this culture-rich area in Bologna. Browse for Ghetto Ebraico stays on Plum Guide for the best, handpicked apartments and vacation rentals in Bologna. Use our code UNTOLD5 to get 5% off your Plum Guide reservation.

Final Say on Where to Stay in Bologna

where to stay in bologna

The city of Bologna offers visitors an unforgettable experience filled with culture, history, architecture, and food. But, with so many things to see and an array of vibrant neighborhoods to choose from, you’ll be spoilt for choice when deciding where to stay in Bologna.

At the end of the day, no matter which neighborhood or district you decide to stay in Bologna, you are guaranteed to have a memorable time in the city. While you’re there, be sure to try these delicious dishes in Bologna

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