You’re wondering what to do in Bologna. Because you loved our magical intriguing opening blog post about Bologna, you now want to visit the culinary capital of Italy. (We think culinary capital of the world, but hey, that’s just us)
But you’re a planner!
You’re a where, when, how, what, type of traveller. And you’re now wanting to know what to do in Bologna when you visit.
Well, you’re going to need some help where to stay in Bologna, what to do in Bologna, places to eat in Bologna – you get the idea.
That’s why we created a top 10 things to do in Bologna.
I know we are so kind.
Top 10 things to do in Bologna
1. Piazza Maggiore
This is a must for things to do in Bologna. Surrounded by the beauty of the old and very typically Bolognese buildings, it’s like stepping back in time.
Take a stroll through the main square..
Top tip – this is a great spot for photographers. We only had our iPhone with us at the time.
Enjoy the warmth of the midday sun with an espresso doppio.
Or visit Palazzo del Podesta- which is only open on exhibition days.
A great way to start you off if you’re looking for things to do in Bologna.
2. Get lost in the Quadrilatero
Visiting Bologna, Italy in general for that matter?
It’s all about one thing –
You’ll never be lost for places to eat in Bologna.
Leaving the tall buildings of the beautiful Piazza Maggiore, you’ll find yourself getting lost in the narrow alley ways of the old medieval market.
This has to be one of Bologna, Italy for that matter (again) top points of interest.
Remember we said it was all about the food?
Rather than looking for restaurants in Bologna- take the time to get lost in the typically Italian atmosphere the old town in Bologna.
Wondering what to do in Bologna that’s entered around culture?
You’ll find noisy meat and veg sellers scattered along the tight streets.
In here you’ll find the best food Bologna has to offer.
The best food in Bologna:
- Parmigiano Reggiano
Aaaah….Take us back.
If you’re looking what to do in Bologna in a day, visit the Quadrilatero.
3. Climb Torre Asinelli
If you’re looking what to do in Bologna in a day – climb to the top of the Asinelli Tower.
After eating all of that food, you’ll have to burn some calories for your next culinary stop – when you visit places to eat in Bologna.
But the views are amazing…
Il Due Torre (the two towers), the Asinelli Tower and the Garisenda are the symbol of Bologna.
So this is one of the best things to do in Bologna.
Built at the latter part part of the 11th century, it’s got a staggering 498 steep and narrow steps leading to the best view in Bologna.
Overlooking the red roofs, surrounded by the beautiful mountains in the distance, it’s worth the journey to the top.
4. Places to eat in Bologna
This has to be top of your list if you don’t know what to do in Bologna.
Italy is all about the food.
Find the best restaurants in Bologna to really get what being an Italian means.
Remember – it’s all about the food.
Visit the bars in Bologna near to the student areas or just outside of Piazza Maggiore.
If you’re from the Uk, you’ll know ham and cheap meat, wrapped in a packet is a regular sight.
Fill your boots.
Enjoy the strong tastes of Mortadella, with Parma ham on a cold meat board with Birra Moretti on side.
Or how about Crescentine with cold cuts and cheese.
What to do in Bologna: Food
- Tagliatelle al ragu
We recommend – De Cesari for the best restaurants in Bologna.
So if you’re wondering what to do in Bologna, eat!
5. Eat Pizza
Yes – Food again
Where is the best pizza in Italy?
According to travel giants cntraveller.com – they’re gunning for Bologna on their top ten best pizzerias in Italy.
“The best Pizza in Italy” – according to ‘Dave M’ – trip advisor.
To find it, navigate here.
Still wondering what to do in Bologna?
6. Visit the Archaeological Civic Museum of Bologna
MCA for short
Cost: 5 euros
For cultural things to do in Bologna, visit here.
Museo Civico Archeologico (Bologna, Italy) known as “The hospital of Death”.
You’ll find it in the 15th Century Palazzo Galvani building. Located here.
If you’re unsure what to do in Bologna you’ll find this very interesting.
We loved it.
Inside there’s a large amount of finds from archaeological digs from 1860. The finds date back to the Roman and even prehistoric times.
If you’re interested in Egyptology – the museums ancient Egyptian finds are amongst the best in Europe.
Looking for art in Bologna?
The museum focuses on the arts – in particular the large naked statues!
7. Train from Bologna to Florence
Or tren de Bologna a Firenze!
What to do in Bologna in a day – or get the train from Bologna to Florence and find what to do in Florence in a day.
We had one day to visit Florence.
The train journey is a top must in itself.
The journey on the train from Bologna to Florence is around 1.5 hours long. But the views are worth it.
Enjoy the views of the hills in the Emilia Romagna region.
Looking for things to do in Florence?
Points of interest Florence include the Piazza del Michelangelo, Piazza del Duomo. Historical walk areas such as Cathedral di Santa Maria del Fiore.
Or a walk along the bridge of Ponte Vecchio.
How to get from Bologna to Florence?
Trenitalia is the best way to get from Bologna to Florence.
Book a ticket online one day prior to travel. The train departs from the end of the main platform (to the right of the station entrance) at Bologna Centrale
Tickets cost 18 euros per person return.
It takes 15 to 20 minutes walking to the station from the centre of Bologna. If you walk quite quick.
8. Canale delle Moline (Moline Channel)
Reminiscent of Venice.
The waterways of Bologna were originally a rival to Venice’s canals.
This area has actually been described as “little Venice”.
Best of all, it’s completely FREE!
Walking from the walls of Trecento, it’s now visible from small bridges you’ll find walking around Bologna.
You can see the channel from small windows in Via Oberdan, Malcontenti and Piella. Find them here.
The water channel is from an old plumbing system dating back to 1100’s.
Wondering what to do in Bologna if you’re a photographer?
Visiting the Channel is one of the best things to do in Bologna for photographers – it takes a great shot!
Walk a little further and it’s also a great spot for the best food in Bologna and some of the quieter bars in Bologna.
If you’re looking where to stay in Bologna, this area is a great place to stay within the action.
9. Visit the museum of the History of Bologna
Looking what to do in Bologna that centres around culture?
Looking for history related things to do in Bologna?
You’ll find this great museum in Palazzo Pepoli.
The museum is a time warp of the whole history of Bologna.
This is a popular place for university students looking what to do in Bologna.
You’ll expect to find history from ancient times, medieval era, politics, music and modern times. Basically anything and everything from the history of Bologna.
If it’s a short trip and you are looking for things to do in Bologna in a day, the History of Bologna Museum is a must visit.
10. The Whispering Walls
Walls that whisper in Bologna?
If you see people talking to a wall in Bologna, don’t worry, they’re not mad.
Unless it’s a totally different wall, then that is weird. Walk away from them, slowly.
You have to visit.
Where are the Whispering walls?
The whispering walls are located near Piazza Maggiore, entering through Palazzo de Podesta.
There will be four corners at the intersection of the Bologna Welcome Tourist Office.
The corners are right there.
Click here to find where the whispering walls are.
Stand in one corner while a friend stands in the other (has to be diagonally opposite your corner)
Then get as close to the wall as you can and start talking.
Can you hear it?
The walls are whispering.
Originally, it was a safe way for lepers to confess their sins and the clever acoustics of the walls allow this effect.
So if you’re stuck for things to do in Bologna, talk to a wall.
Top things to remember:
What to do in Bologna?
- Follow your nose
- Visit museums
- Talk to a wall
- Eat, a lot
- Go to a channel