Bologna on a Budget: The Ultimate 2 Day Guide

Bologna on a budget: Discover Italy's culinary capital without breaking the bank.

21 June 2023

Exploring Bologna on a limited budget doesn't have to be a daunting task. The city has an outstanding array of free activities and places to visit, including museums, parks, and churches. Additionally, you can enjoy the city's world-renowned cuisine by indulging in budget-friendly alternatives such as street food and local trattorias.

Travel plan

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Day 1

Exploring the Old City

  • -Check-in at Hotel Roma: Affordable rates and great location, walking distance to all the city sights.
  • -Stroll through Piazza Maggiore: Start your day with the main square, marvelling at the architecture of the surrounding buildings.
  • -Climb the tower of Torre degli Asinelli: a fantastic panoramic view of the city from atop the building.
  • -Visit the Mercato di Mezzo: This old market has been transformed into a fabulous foodie paradise where you can sample authentic local cuisine.
  • -Discover Basilica di San Petronio: then head to this beautiful cathedral with its impressive façade and stunning interior.
  • -Treat your sweet tooth at Gelateria Gianni: No trip to Italy is fulfilled unless you treat your self to some fantastic local gelato.
Day 2

Hidden Gems & Culinary Delights

  • -Grab breakfast at Pasticceria il Bar Marinaio: A perfect start to the day in this cosy cafe, with freshly baked sweet and savoury pastries.
  • -Discover Santo Stefano Church and Museum: This is a real gem; a series of interconnected churches with stunning art and architecture.
  • -Have lunch at Trattoria Montanara: Relish typical Bolognese dishes in a charming atmosphere.
  • -Visit the hidden gem of Corte Isolani: A medieval-style alleyway that takes you back in time perfect for a souvenir picture.
  • -Explore the Museum of Modern Art: The city has its contemporary art museum filled with tasteful exhibits.
  • -Enjoy an evening aperitivo: End your trip with an Aperol Spritz and some typical finger food in one of the trendy bars in the fashionable neighbourhood of Via del Pratello.
  • There you have it, a comprehensive 2 day itinerary that will guide you through the charming city of Bologna, with fantastic budget accommodation, local cuisine and tourist attractions to keep you entertained.

How to get there

Plane

The best way to get to Bologna by plane is to fly into Bologna Guglielmo Marconi Airport, which is located approximately 6 kilometers from the city center. Many major airlines offer direct flights to Bologna from cities across Europe, including London, Paris, and Frankfurt.

Car

If you prefer to drive, Bologna is easily accessible from several major highways, including the A1, which runs from Milan to Bologna and on to Rome. You can rent a car from major providers at Bologna Guglielmo Marconi Airport, or you can drive your own car and park in one of the city's public parking lots.

Train

Traveling to Bologna by train is easy thanks to the city's central location and excellent rail connections. Bologna Centrale is the main train station in the city, and it operates high-speed trains to destinations throughout Italy, including Rome, Florence, and Venice.

Boat

While there is no direct ferry service to Bologna, it is possible to take a ferry to nearby coastal cities such as Ravenna and Ancona and then travel to Bologna by train or bus. Alternatively, you can charter a private boat to travel to one of the marinas located on nearby bodies of water such as Lake Garda or the Adriatic Sea.

Bus

There are several bus companies that provide services to Bologna from other Italian cities such as Florence, Pisa, and Milan. The main bus station in Bologna is located next to the train station, making it easy to connect to other destinations. Tickets can usually be purchased online or at the bus station.

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