Where to Stay in Bologna: A Complete Guide for First Timers

Planning a trip to Bologna, and wondering where to stay? We’ve got some good news for you. We’ve been to Bologna multiple times over the past several years – including just shy of a week on our latest trip, and we’re here to help you choose the best place to stay in Bologna for your particular travel style and budget. 

If you’ve spent any time at all reading our Italian travel guides in this little corner of the internet that we’ve carved out for ourselves, you might have noticed that there’s an Italian city that we’ve fallen head-over-heels in love with. 

That city is Bologna. 

We do our best to make sure that everyone going to Italy – whether it’s their first or fifteenth trip – at least considers adding a day or two in Bologna (to basically spend the entire time eating, drinking, and walking). 

In this guide, we’re going to do our best to walk you through all the information you need to figure out where to stay in Bologna for your particular style, budget, and preferences. 

We’ll go through four great areas to stay in Bologna, and give you the pros and cons for each as we see it. Then we’ll give you a few hotel, hostel, and apartment options that we came across and think would make a good home base for exploring the city. 

Our intention is that, by the end of this guide, you have everything you need to choose the right place to stay in Bologna for you and your travel companions. 

Sound good to you? Let’s get into it. 

Disclaimer: Some of the links in this post, like hotel links, are affiliate links, meaning at no additional cost to you, we make a little bit of money if you click through and book. That being said, we would never recommend something to you that we don’t stand behind 100%.

Where to Stay in Bologna: The 4 Best Areas for First Timers

We’re going to get right into the guide here. Sometimes, for bigger cities, we include a quick geography lesson to help orient you to the areas we’re about to talk about.

But Bologna is a relatively compact city, and that’s not really necessary here.

For each of the neighborhoods below, we’ve created a structure to help you figure out if it’s the right home base for you. Here’s what we’ll cover: 

  • An overview of the neighborhood and our experience with it. We’ve personally been to and explored (more than once) all of the areas on this list, so we’ll try to give you a little bit of our perspective on what makes each area special. 

  • Pros and cons of staying in this area. The things you need to know to make your decision. 

  • A collection of a few places to stay that stood out to us. Sometimes it’ll be because they have rooms with great views, sometimes it’s that the hotel offers a great value given the location.

In the guide below, we’ve written a comprehensive mini travel guide for each of the neighborhoods we’re covering, but we’re well aware that a few of you are currently ready to throw your left shoe at the screen, saying “I don’t have time to read all of that, JUST TELL ME THE BEST PLACE TO STAY!” 

Here is a quick summary of the guide, though we’d recommend reading the longer section for the area that you think fits best for some of our favorite places to eat and drink in the neighborhood! 

  • If it’s your first time in Bologna and you only have a 1-2 days, stay within walking distance of Piazza Maggiore. This is also our top recommendation. This is the beating heart of the city, and we find ourselves at Piazza Maggiore at least once a day (usually more) for one reason or another. Staying here puts you as central as possible, though you’ll be paying for the convenience and atmosphere associated with that. We stayed at Bibliò Rooms, a nice little guesthouse five minutes west of the Piazza, and enjoyed it. 

  • If you’re in town for a short stay (one night) or planning several day trips, stay near Bologna Centrale. It’s less convenient for exploring Bologna itself and less charming, but it is convenient for coming and going from the city, and it’s definitely cheaper than other parts of the city. We stayed at the Social Hub, which is sort of a hostel/hotel hybrid with great shared facilities and a youthful vibe that is a three minute walk to Bologna Centrale. 

  • If you want to be in a quieter, more residential area that’s still close to the main tourist attractions, stay near Porta Saragozza. This is the last place we’ve stayed, and it’s definitely more residential and a little quieter than some of the other places on this list. However, it’s at the southwest corner of the city center and is still just 5-10 minutes from Piazza Maggiore. Plus, it’s quite a bit cheaper (though there are definitely fewer accommodation options). 

Where We’ve Stayed in Bologna

As usual, we like to start these guides with our own experience in terms of specific places we’ve stayed in Bologna. 

I, Matt, spent a few nights solo on our last trip, and I stayed at Bibliò Rooms, a guesthouse that takes up a whole floor in a building a few blocks away from Piazza Maggiore in the center of Bologna. 

I really enjoyed it – though there was a bar right outside the window on the street that was playing loud music well into the night on Saturday (not on Sunday or Monday, though). It was a very comfortable, convenient place to spend a few nights before other people showed up to join me. 

I also stayed one night at the Social Hub Bologna, which is a good location for day trips because it’s a three minute walk to Bologna Centrale, the main train station in town. However, it’s a little far from Piazza Maggiore and the center of Bologna, and I would probably choose to stay elsewhere for longer stints. 

We moved to an apartment closer to Porta Saragozza, which was a particularly convenient place for our purposes because it was close to the stadium (we went to see Bologna FC play) and close to the starting point for the walk up to the Santuario Madonna di San Luca (a must-do for your Bologna itinerary). 

If we were going to return to Bologna (we’re already making tentative plans for a summer 2025 trip back), we’d stay at Canonica Suites, which is in a great location just east of Piazza Maggiore and features apartments with kitchens (Matt has Celiac Disease, and we often need access to a kitchen for some meals). 

Piazza Maggiore: The Beating Heart of Bologna (Our Top Recommendation)

Sitting at the very heart of Bologna’s Centro Storico, Piazza Maggiore is the city’s main public square and its cultural and social hub. The area around the piazza is one of the best places to stay in Bologna if you want to be close to everything the city has to offer. 

The vibrant piazza is home to some of the city’s most magnificent architecture and famous cultural sites, including the mighty Palazzo d’Accursio (City Hall) and the unfinished facade of Basilica di San Petronio. 

The constant buzz of street performers on the square draws in crowds, infusing the area with a vibrant and lively atmosphere, no matter the time of day. 

The rest of Bologna’s Centro Storico is a maze of 16th century architecture connected by the UNESCO-protected porticoes that give the city its unique beauty. Most of Bologna’s main landmarks sit within a 10 minute walk of Piazza Maggiore, including the Cathedral, Neptune’s Fountain, and Asinelli Tower.

Via dell’Indipendenza, just off of Piazza Maggiore, is Bologna’s main shopping street, while Via Pratello to the west is a major nightlife hub.

The biggest advantage of staying in the Centro Storico is that you’ll be within easy walking distance (5-10 minutes) of all of the above. 

There are also plenty of great restaurants and food markets in the area, so you won’t have to go far to grab something delicious to eat. The city’s famous gourmet food quarter Quadrilatero sits just one street east of Piazza Maggiore. 

The Centro Storico is also one of the best areas to stay in Bologna for those wanting to fully immerse themselves in the city’s historic charm and culture. Bologna’s historic center isn’t overly touristy and has a far more authentic vibe than many other Italian cities.

Wandering around the ancient porticoed streets, you’ll notice many locals going about their daily lives, rather than huge tour groups clogging the narrow roads. 

However, being the most central area of Bologna, you will be paying a premium to stay around Piazza Maggiore. You won’t find many budget options in this area.

Pros and Cons of Staying near Piazza Maggiore

Here are the pros and cons of staying near Piazza Maggiore as we see them. 

Pros of Staying near Piazza Maggiore:

  • It’s central. By staying in the heart of Bologna, you’ll be within walking distance of the city’s top landmarks, attractions, restaurants, and bars. You’ll have everything you need right on your doorstep (including public transportation connections to the further out places you might venture to).

  • It’s authentic. Unlike many other big city centers in Europe, Bologna’s Centro Storico has retained a sense of authenthicity with its beautiful historic architecture and many locals going about their daily lives. In many of Italy’s bigger cities like Rome, Florence, and Milan, being in the main piazza is a zoo full of tour groups of 50+ people. Not so in Bologna!

  • There are lots of hotel options. There’s no shortage of hotels in the area around Piazza Maggiore, with a good range of accommodation options.

  • It’s easy to get to and from the airport. The journey from the airport to the city center can take as little as 15 minutes. The Marconi Express monorail takes you from the airport to Bologna Centrale station in just 7 minutes. Bologna Centrale is a 20 minute walk or a 5-10 minute bus ride from Piazza Maggiore. 

Cons of Staying near Piazza Maggiore:

  • It’s relatively expensive (at least for Bologna). The central location makes the area around Piazza Maggiore one of the more expensive areas to stay in Bologna. You can get better value for money elsewhere in the city, but it won’t be as convenient.

  • It can be noisy. Depending on where you stay, the Centro Storico can get fairly lively at night. Bars spill out into the streets, while students and tourists congregate around Piazza Maggiore into the early hours. If you’re staying on a main street, you may want to bring earplugs to drown out the noise.

  • It’s in a limited traffic zone (ZTL). Bologna’s Centro Storico is a ZTL (limited traffic zone), meaning only residents with permits can drive inside the old city walls between 7am and 8pm. You can end up with a large fine if you enter this area without a permit. We think it’s probably best to avoid driving within the city center at all.

  • Parking is a nightmare. Even if you do drive into Bologna’s city center outside of ZTL hours, parking is limited and expensive. Most hotels don’t have free parking for guests. You’ll need to look for private parking or the blue lines on the street where you’ll pay an hourly parking fee.

The Best Places to Stay near Piazza Maggiore

Here are a few of our picks for the best places to stay near Piazza Maggiore in Bologna’s historic city center. 

Art Hotel Orologio

Located right on the corner of Piazza Maggiore, overlooking the clock tower of the grand City Hall, Art Hotel Orologio is a tasteful and traditional family-run boutique hotel in a beautiful 19th century building. 

The hotel’s super central location puts you right in the heart of everything, with many of Bologna’s top attractions literally on your doorstep. However, the square can get a little noisy at night, so it’s best to keep the windows shut.

The rooms are comfortable and elegant, decorated with classic dark wood furniture, stuccos, wall tapestries, and antique features. Despite its traditional atmosphere, it still has all the modern amenities you could need, including aircon, a smart TV, a safe, and a minibar.

Standard rooms and suites can be configured with double or twin beds. Breakfast is included in the room price and served buffet style in the communal living space, while the on-site bar opens to guests each afternoon and evening.

The property also has several larger apartments in a separate building just a few meters away. These come with a small kitchenette, living and dining space, and a balcony. The largest apartment can sleep 5 adults so is ideal for groups and families.

Residence Le Porte

If you’re looking for an apartment right in the center of Bologna, Residence Le Porte would be one of our top picks. 

It’s hard to imagine a better location. The apartments are in a building a block away from le Due Torri (some of the apartments actually have a view out towards them), and a five minute walk to Piazza Maggiore and Quadrilatero.

There are six apartments in total – four one bedroom apartments (with sofa beds to accommodate up to four) and two apartments with two bedrooms – all of which have full kitchen facilities and in-unit washer/dryers.  

It’s worth remembering that if you have a car, you won’t be able to drive here because the building is in a no-car zone. They have a couple of garages 5-8 minutes away on foot that they suggest that are close (ish) to the location. 

Art Hotel Commercianti

Sister hotel to Orologio above, Art Hotel Commercianti sits just to the south of Piazza Maggiore, with up-close views of the iconic Basilica di San Petronio.

Originally a 13th-century guild hall, the elegant 4* hotel has retained much of the building’s medieval charm, with vaulted ceilings, wooden beams, historic frescoes, and Gothic stained glass windows.

Rooms are cozy and refined, with bold colors and traditional decor. Standard rooms can sleep two, while the large suites can hold two additional guests on a sofa bed.

The hotel also offers three modern apartments in the building’s annex, with a more chic and contemporary design than the rest of the hotel. The stylish apartments have their own kitchenette and a spacious living and dining area.

A fantastic international buffet breakfast is included in the room price, while free bike rental is also offered for guests. 

Art Hotel Commercianti is one of the few hotels in the city center with its own private parking garage, which can be used for an extra fee, and is even equipped with an charging station for electric vehicles.

Porta Saragozza: A Convenient (More Residential) Alternative 

Porta Saragozza is a charming local neighborhood surrounding one of Bologna’s ancient city gates. The area is located to the southwest of the Centro Storico.

We stayed in Porta Saragozza for a couple of nights on our last stint in Bologna and found it to be the perfect balance between being fairly central but in a slightly quieter and low-key part of town. 

The neighborhood is filled with historic villas sitting along tree-lined streets and picturesque cafes tucked under ancient porticoes. While not as busy as the Centro Storico, it still has a pleasant and lively atmosphere, with locals sipping coffee and wine on restaurant terraces and kids playing in the area’s many green spaces.

Despite its quieter atmosphere, Porta Saragozza sits just a 15-20 minute walk to Piazza Maggiore, putting you within easy reach of the many attractions of the Centro Storico.

It’s also the starting point of the famous walk up to Santuario Madonna di San Luca, the grand baroque church that sits on a hilltop above the city. From the historic city gate, you can stroll down Via Saragozza and through 666 porticoes (it’s the longest covered walkway in the world) up towards the iconic church. 

So what’s the downside? Well, the neighborhood does sit on the opposite side of the city to Bologna Centrale. You’ll need to either catch a bus or walk at least 40 minutes to reach the train station. So the location isn’t ideal if you arrive early or late or plan to take a few day trips by train.

Porta Saragozza is also a residential neighborhood, meaning accommodation options are a little more limited than in the city center. This is why we’re stretching the definition here to include the area a little to the east too.

Pros and Cons of Staying near Porta Saragozza

Here are the pros and cons of staying near Porta Saragozza as we see them. 

Pros of Staying near Porta Saragozza

  • It’s close to Piazza Maggiore. The neighborhood sits just a 15-20 minute walk to the main piazza and many of Bologna’s main sites and attractions.

  • It’s more low-key and quiet. If it’s an uninterrupted night’s sleep you’re looking for, Porta Saragozza is quieter than the busy Centro Storico.

  • It’s beautiful. Porta Saragozza has no shortage of picturesque streets and cozy cafes and restaurants nestled within the porticoes.

Cons of Staying near Porta Saragozza:

  • There are fewer accommodation options. Porta Saragozza is a residential neighborhood, so there aren’t very many places to stay – which is why we’ve included the area to the east too.

  • It’s far from the main train station. The neighborhood sits on the opposite edge of the city to the main train station. It takes around 40 minutes to walk between the two. Although, several local buses do run throughout the day. 

The Best Places to Stay Near Porta Saragozza

Here are a few of our picks for the best places to stay near Porta Saragozza.

Hostel Il Nosadillo – Bologna

Hostel Il Nosadillo is a small, cozy hostel on the outskirts of the Centro Storico. It’s a great option for budget backpackers looking for an affordable and peaceful place to stay in Bologna. If you’re looking for a lively party hostel, this isn’t it.

Set on a quiet street to the east of Porta Saragozza, just a 10 minute walk to Piazza Maggiore, the simple hostel doesn’t have any fancy thrills, but does offer fantastic value for money in a great location.

You can choose between 4, 5, and 8 bed mixed dorm rooms, while solo female travelers may prefer the 5 bed female dorm. There are no privacy curtains, but lights and plugs by every bed and a large locker for each guest. 

Other amenities include a cozy communal living space with sofas, a fully equipped kitchen, and a laundry machine (extra fee). A small free breakfast is provided for all guests. The hostel also offers bike rental and they can help you book activities and tours.

I 4 Gatti

I 4 Gatti (which translates to “The 4 Cats”) is a charming local guesthouse in a historic family villa close to Porta Saragozza.

Surrounded by a beautiful private garden, the guesthouse offers a homey and authentic Bolognese experience, with its traditional decor and original antique furnishings. The gracious hospitality of owner Filippo also helps create a warm and welcoming atmosphere.

Six rooms are spread across the property’s three floors. Most are doubles, while one room also has a bunk bed for an affordable family stay. None of the rooms are ensuite, but there are three large bathrooms for all rooms to share.  

The property also has plenty of spacious communal areas, including a fully equipped kitchen, dining room, and living room with a piano, TV, and even a PS3. During the warmer months, you can enjoy the large garden, with plenty of outdoor seating, a hammock, and a table tennis table. It’s easy to feel right at home here.

Attico di Via d’Azeglio

Attico di Via d’Azeglio sits in a quiet local area to the east of Porta Saragozza, a short distance south of the Centro Storico. Piazza Maggiore is less than a 10 minute walk away.

The modern bed and breakfast has a handful of luxurious double and family rooms with bold colorful decor and quirky features. The large family rooms can sleep up to four people in a double bed and sofa bed. 

Each room has a coffee machine and kettle, while the deluxe rooms also feature a small kitchen with a stovetop, refrigerator, and dishwasher. Ideal for making meals at home using ingredients from the local market.

While there’s an option to add breakfast to your stay, it is not served at the property itself. Instead, you’ll receive a €5 voucher for a coffee and pastry at the local cafe just 100 meters along the street.

Hotel Porta San Mamolo

Also situated to the south of the Centro Storico, Hotel Porta San Mamolo sits closer to Porta Castiglione than Porta Saragozza. But the picturesque local neighborhood is similar so we’ve included it anyway. Plus this hotel offers a comfortable and luxurious stay at a pretty reasonable price tag.

This boutique hotel blends modern style with traditional charm to create an elegant base in southern Bologna. The rooms are warm, welcoming, and tastefully decorated, with spacious doubles, triples, and quadruples available.

Breakfast is included each morning in the small breakfast room or out in the hotel’s peaceful central courtyard and garden. A private on-site parking garage is also available for an additional nightly fee. 

Bologna Centrale: A Convenient Spot for Short Trips & Day Trips

Sitting to the north of the Centro Storico, Bologna Centrale is the city’s main train station and a major transport hub within Italy. 

The main reason to stay near Bologna Centrale is purely practicality.

The central station is the best area to stay in Bologna if you plan on using the city as a base to explore the wider region on day trips and don’t want to constantly trek back and forth to the station. 

Bologna Centrale is well-connected to most other cities and towns within the Emilia-Romagna region by local train. You can also reach many other Italian cities by fast train in under 90 mins, including Florence, Milan, Verona, and Venice. 

By staying close to the main station, you’re also less than 10 minutes from Bologna Airport via the convenient Marconi Express, which is ideal if you’re arriving in the city late at night or leaving early in the morning. 

Other than its convenient location, Bologna Centrale doesn’t have much else going for it. It’s not the most attractive neighborhood and there’s a lack of good restaurants and bars (though there are some just to the northeast in Bolognina). 

However, accommodations do tend to be a little more affordable here.

If you plan on staying near the train station, you’ll need to be ready to travel into the Centro Storico to enjoy the city’s iconic attractions and famous food scene. Fortunately, Piazza Maggiore is only a 15-20 minute walk away. Local buses are also cheap and plentiful.

Basing yourself around Bologna Centrale is a budget-friendly alternative to staying in the city center, with convenient transportation connections and a quieter atmosphere, while still being easily accessible to the city’s top attractions.

Pros and Cons of Staying near Bologna Centrale

Here are the pros and cons of staying near Bologna Centrale as we see them. 

Pros of Staying near Bologna Centrale: 

  • It’s Utilitarian. Conveniently located near the main train station for taking day trips from Bologna. There are also plenty of buses to move around the city. 

  • It’s relatively affordable. Being further from the main attractions of the city center, accommodation around the station is more affordable and better value for money. Great for those on a budget.

  • It’s close enough to the Centro Storico. From the station, you can easily walk to Piazza Maggiore in around 15-20 minutes (or take a crowded 5-10 minute bus ride).

Cons of Staying near Bologna Centrale: 

  • It’s not the nicest neighborhood. Compared to the Centro Storico, the station area is not the most charming or historic part of town. Our walking tour guide pointed out a couple of buildings that were outfitted with a bolted on facade to make them look more attractive as you step out of the train station, which is kind of funny to us. 

  • There aren’t a whole lot of good places to eat. Amenities here are more limited than closer in to Piazza Maggiore, though Bolognina is known for its well established food scene. 

The Best Places to Stay near Bologna Centrale

Here are a few of our picks for the best places to stay near Bologna Centrale. 

UNAHOTELS Bologna Centro

UNAHOTELS Bologna Centro is a sleek and modern hotel located just across the road from Bologna Centrale. It’s one of the closest hotels to the station, making it super quick and easy to jump on a train whenever you need.

Rooms are spacious and stylish, with bold colors and simple yet contemporary design features. Most rooms are doubles or twins, while a small bed can be added to some rooms to accommodate an extra child.

A buffet breakfast is provided each morning in the main dining room, with pastries, cakes, fruit, and a selection of hot food. You can also enjoy an afternoon aperitif at the hotel bar or out on the summer terrace.

Starhotels Excelsior

Sitting right next door to UNAHOTELS, Starhotels Excelsior is another big hotel, but with a slightly more classic and sophisticated vibe than its neighbor. 

It’s also one of the best accommodation options in Bologna for families. 

Family rooms can sleep up to four people, which is great for those with younger children. Plus under 16s stay for free in the same room. Amenities such as cribs, high chairs, potty seats, and playpens are available on request.

Those with older kids and teens can make the most of the interconnecting rooms for a little extra space and privacy. 

While the rooms have a classic and elegant style, the rest of the hotel has been newly refurbished with a modern and stylish design. 

The fashionable restaurant serves a daily breakfast buffet, as well as a menu of regional delicacies throughout the day. The hotel also has a casual cocktail bar and an on-site fitness center.

NH Bologna De La Gare

NH Bologna De La Gare sits a few minutes south of the central station, right on the end of Via dell’Indipendenza, Bologna’s main shopping street, and overlooking Parco della Montagnola, the city’s oldest public park.

The large hotel offers modern rooms with a clean and minimalist design, plus plenty of essential amenities like a flat-screen TV, minibar, hairdryer, and safe. 

While the standard rooms are a little on the compact side, the deluxe and superior rooms are only a small amount more and offer plenty of space, including a small seating area and desk. A handful of spacious suites sit on the top floor and have large terraces with amazing views over the city.

The on-site Amarcord Restaurant is a stylish all-day spot featuring plenty of colorful modern art and bold furnishings. 

In the morning you can enjoy a varied breakfast buffet (extra fee). Then for lunch and dinner, the restaurant offers a fantastic menu of traditional specialties like homemade pasta, alongside many international dishes. 

There’s also an elegant lobby bar for drinks and light snacks.

The Social Hub (Where We’ve Stayed)

The Social Hub (formerly The Student Hotel) is a cool, modern hotel to the north of Bologna Centrale. It’s an affordable and social option for young people, remote workers who are doing a work/travel hybrid, or those considering an extended stay in Bologna.  

Despite being further from the main attractions of the Centro Storico, the hotel is still worth considering for its unique design, young and vibrant atmosphere, and innovative range of amenities. 

The hotel rooms are designed to resemble college dorms, with bright and colorful decor, banners above the bed, and a pinboard filled with quotes over the desk. 

The standard rooms are surprisingly affordable for their size. Spacious and quirky suites are also available for cheaper than most basic rooms in the Centro Storico.

One of the things we love most is that The Social Hub isn’t just a hotel. Known as a “hub for the creative and bold,” the cool community space attracts locals, tourists, students, and entrepreneurs to enjoy its many public spaces and events. 

You can get some work done in the coworking area, go for a soak in the large rooftop pool, hang out at one of the restaurants and bars, or enjoy the weekly schedule of events and workshops. 

Other hotel facilities include a large modern gym, games room, laundry room, communal kitchens, and bike rental for guests.

The hotel attracts many local university students and long-term guests, making it a great place to meet other people during an extended stay. 

The University District: A Lively, Young Area

As the name suggests, the University District is home to Bologna’s historic university. Established in 1088, Bologna’s University is the world’s oldest university in continuous operation. 

Today, the neighborhood is still where you’ll find much of the city’s large student population, giving it a youthful and vibrant atmosphere. 

The university district is perfect for young budget travelers looking for an affordable and lively place to stay that’s still close enough to the attractions of the city center.  

During the day, you can explore the many libraries and museums (don’t miss Museo di Palazzo Poggi). Then by night, immerse yourself in the area’s lively nightlife scene, with countless pubs and bars frequented by students and tourists alike.  

Many of the bars stay open late, with groups drinking on the terraces and streets into the early hours. Don’t expect an early night if you’re staying around here – or make sure to bring some earplugs.

Located to the east of the Centro Storico, the neighborhood offers budget-friendly accommodation within easy reach of the city’s main attractions and amenities. Piazza Maggiore sits just a 15 minute walk away, while Bologna Centrale station is roughly a 15-20 minute walk. 

The only major Bologna attraction that’s not as accessible from the university district is the walk up to Santuario Madonna di San Luca. The famous porticoed walkway begins on the opposite edge of the city, adding an extra 30 minute walk each way onto the iconic pilgrimage.

Pros and Cons of Staying Near the University

Here are the pros and cons of staying near the university as we see them. 

Pros of Staying Near the University:

  • It’s cheaper than other parts of Bologna. The district offers more budget-friendly accommodation options than other parts of the city center.

  • It’s lively. With its large student population, the neighborhood is one of the busiest and liveliest in all of Bologna, especially at night.

  • Good food and drinks. There’s a great selection of restaurants and bars, especially on the cheaper end of the spectrum.

Cons of Staying Near the University:

  • It’s loud and boisterous. If it’s a peaceful and low-key stay you’re looking for, this probably isn’t the area for you. The university district can be pretty loud and lively throughout the day and night.

  • It’s a little further away from some attractions. The neighborhood is far from the southern and western areas of the historic center, putting you further from some big attractions such as the porticoed walk up to the Sanctuary of San Luca.

The Best Places to Stay Near the University

Here are a few of our picks for the best places to stay near Bologna University.

Good Morning Bologna

Good Morning Bologna is a small, locally owned guesthouse (they call it “Room and Breakfast” or “R&B,” which we got a kick out of) with a location on Via Marsala near the University. 

The location here is great because it’s on the edge between the University and main city center around Piazza Maggiore, so you can get the youthful vibes and convenience of staying in central Bologna at a comparatively lower price than staying within a few blocks of the main piazza. 

This location has a mix of hotel-style rooms in different configurations, and they also have an annex with apartments that have kitchens, if that’s what you’re looking for.

The rooms are stylish and compact, and the rate includes a breakfast buffet with sweet and savory options, along with light snacks and tea and coffee throughout the day. 

 It’s worth noting that all of their rooms do include some sort of secondary seating (other than the bed), which we always appreciate. 


For a more private stay in Bologna’s university district, Almarossa offers a variety of affordable rooms and apartments just 500 meters from Bologna’s University.

All situated within the same building, Almarossa has cozy double rooms, as well as modern studios and spacious one-bedroom apartments. 

Each of the apartments comes with a well-equipped kitchenette, dining table, and seating area. While nothing too flashy, the apartments offer fantastic value for money for those who enjoy having a little extra space to make themselves at home. 

Some rooms have a private balcony. But even if you don’t have your own balcony, you can still enjoy the sunshine in the building’s shared garden and terrace.

Aemilia Hotel

Aemilia Hotel sits across the main ring road (the road that encircles Bologna’s city center) from the university district, a little further away from the Centro Storico. But despite being further out, the hotel is highly rated and worth considering if a quieter local area appeals to you. 

The 4* hotel is modern and sophisticated, with a refined and elegant design that underwent extensive recent renovations. 

As well as its spacious and stylish rooms, the property features a high-end Italian restaurant, a welcoming lounge bar, and two terraces – one of which boasts amazing views over the city’s rooftops

The hotel is located just outside the ZTL (limited traffic zone), making it a great option if you’re traveling with a car. A private parking garage is available below the hotel for an extra fee.

From the hotel, you can easily walk to Piazza Maggiore in around 20-25 minutes. 

Dopa Hostel

Dopa Hostel is a cool and cozy hostel located inside a historic building in the heart of the university district. It has a homey and welcoming vibe and is filled with rustic handmade furniture using local wood and iron.

For the most affordable stay, you can get a bed in a 4, 6, or 8 bed mixed dorm or a 6 bed female dorm. The bunk beds are spacious and offer a good level of privacy, with a high wooden separator and full-length curtain. Each guest gets a locker and a private cabinet with clothes hangers.

Some double and triple rooms are also available for a little more privacy. Only the doubles have an en-suite bathroom.   

The hostel’s cozy lounge area will make you feel right at home, with board games, books, and musical instruments to enjoy. You can prepare your own meals in the common kitchen, while the hostel often organizes group dinners to help you meet other travelers. 

An Italian-style breakfast is offered for free to all guests (think pastries, fruit, yogurt, and things like that), while tea and coffee are available throughout the day.

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