Our Bologna Travel Essentials lays out the essential information you need to help planning your trip to one of the most popular destinations in Italy. No matter how frequently you travel, some questions will always need answers: What’s the weather like? How can I get from the airport to my hotel? What currency and type of plug do I need? We have all these answers plus other basic info about the best time to go, getting there, getting around, and a few useful travel tips. 

    It’s all compiled in this Bologna Travel Essentials. After reading this short and easy-to-read guide, you will be a little more prepared to start your trip in Bologna.


    When is the best time to travel to Bologna?

    Bologna has a humid subtropical climate, with average temperatures ranging from 3°C in winter to 25°C in summer. 

    • Rain is evenly distributed throughout the year, with an average of 6 rainy days per month.
    • The warmest time of the year is between May and September.
    • June–August is the most popular time to visit Bologna, but it’s peak season, so hotel and flight prices rise accordingly.
    • April–May and September–October are great times to visit Bologna. The weather and temperatures are fine, you’ll avoid the summer crowds, and hotel and flight prices are more affordable.

    Bologna basics

    • Languages: Primary: Italian 
    • Plug types: C, F and L 
    • Electricity: 230 V 
    • Currency: Euro (€) 
    • International dialling codes: +39 51 
    • Emergency telephone number: 112

    How to get to my hotel in Bologna?

    Bologna Guglielmo Marconi Airport 

    One of the busiest airports in Italy, Bologna Guglielmo Marconi Airport sits 6 km northwest of the city centre. Bologna Airport has 1 passenger terminal and 1 runway. The terminal is home to a good choice of dining and shopping options as well as facilities including free Wi-Fi, banking and currency exchange services. There are several transfer options to reach Downtown Bologna: 

    • A taxicab takes around 10–15 minutes. Taxi ranks can be found outside the Arrivals hall.
    • The Aerobus takes around 20 minutes. The bus stop is right outside the Arrivals hall. It’s the cheapest way to get to downtown Bologna. The bus’s last stop is at the main railway station.
    • Car rental agencies can be found within the terminal.

    Bologna by train 

    Bologna Centrale is the main railway station in Bologna. Located 1 km north of the city centre, it’s served by high-speed trains from most Italian cities, and even has international connections with Germany, France and Austria. Bologna Centrale is home to newsagents, shops and dining options. From here, you can get to your hotel by taxi, bus or rental car.

    photo by Marcomob (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified


    How to get around Bologna?

    Travel tips

    Covering roughly 4 sq km, Bologna city centre – the Old Town – is compact enough to be explored on foot. You’ll find many landmarks and attractions within walking distance of each other, such as St. Stephen's Basilica, the Archiginnasio Municipal Library, and the Two Towers, among others. The city centre is also home to a great choice of dining, shopping and nightlife entertainment options. For longer journeys, Bologna has a good choice of public and private transport services. 


    TPER – Public bus networks

    TPER – Trasporto Passeggeri Emilia-Romagna – is in charge of public transport in Bologna. It operates over 50 bus lines that cover the entire city and neighbouring towns. Most buses are air-conditioned, and all are very comfortable. 

    • A single ticket is valid for 75 minutes within the city.
    • Day passes are also available

    photo by Steve Morgan (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified


    Bologna Welcome Card

    Purchasing a Bologna Welcome Card is a good move if you plan to visit the city’s main places of interest. Valid for 48 or 72 hours, it gives you free entry to many attractions and museums, plus discounts in many shops and restaurants. 


    Taking a taxi

    Taxis cannot be hailed on the street in Bologna. There are cab stands throughout the city centre, generally outside hotels and near the main attractions. 

    • Rates are higher at night and on weekends.
    • You can directly call popular companies such as Radio Taxi Cotabo (051 372 727) or Taxi Auto Pubbliche (051 307 872), just to name a couple.
    • Taxis usually accept the payment of the fare by credit card, but it’s better to ask the driver before you get in.
    • If you don't speak Italian, have your address ready to show the driver.
    • Just in case, double-check that the driver starts the meter.
    • It’s not common to tip taxi drivers in Italy, but you can round up the bill if you’re happy with the service.

    photo by Threecharlie (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified


    Cycle around Bologna with Mobike

    Bologna has a bike-sharing scheme operated by Mobike. You just need to download their app, find a bike at one of the many stations at hand, and off you go. 


    What are the main annual events in Bologna?

    Il Cinema Ritrovato 

    • What: Il Cinema Ritrovato – The Rediscovered Cinema – is a summer festival where you can watch movies in a stunning setting. An open-air movie theatre is set up in Piazza Maggiore, the central square in the Old Town. A highlight of Il Cinema Ritrovato is that silent films are often screened with a full orchestra.
    • When: June–July
    • Where: Piazza Maggiore


    • What: Cioccoshow is the festival to go to if you’re a chocolate lover. Stalls are set up in the main squares of the Old Town where you can expect some delicious hand-made chocolate products created by artisans.
    • When: November
    • Where: In the main squares of the city centre

    The Feast of San Petronio 

    • What: The celebration of the patron saint of the city, the Feast of San Petronio is held in Piazza Maggiore, at the heart of Bologna. Expect music and dance shows, yummy street food, and a fireworks show in such a splendid setting that it will leave you with long-lasting memories.
    • When: 4 October 
    • Where: Piazza Maggiore

    photo by Zorro2212 (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified

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