Bologna On a Budget

Advice Blog

Bologna is a university city, and an ideal destination for a budget traveller. There are many places that cater mainly for university students and offer cheap meals and drinks. There are some budget hotels especially in the university areas, and some affordable hotels and holiday apartments even in the city centre. Before travelling to Italy, make sure to consider car rental excess insurance  which can protect your trip from expensive excess premiums often charged by car hire companies in Bologna.

Piazza Maggiore, Bologna

Piazza Maggiore, Bologna

Budget Eating in Bologna

For a budget traveller the best part of visiting Bologna is the food. Many traditional trattorias have affordable lunch menus, and in Italy lunch always includes several courses. Find out where university students go, and you can find affordable drinks and cheap meals, including happy hour deals in bars. These cheap places to eat and drink are often near the universities, including the areas around Via Mascarella and Via Zamboni.

Cheap and Free Tourist Attractions

It is easy to get around on foot in Bologna, and you can walk between many main tourist attractions. You can also enjoy the city’s sights for free by walking around Piazza Maggiore, the large square in the old city. The old city is a beautiful area to walk around admiring the architecture. Another easy way to keep fit and to see the city is to hire a bicycle. These are available in many locations including the railway station.

Some tourist attractions are free to enter. The Archaeological Museum on Via dell’Archiginnasio has free entrance and contains many fascinating Roman and Egyptian artefacts. If you are planning to visit several museums, it is a good idea to get the Carta Bologna dei Musei: this card lets you visit all the main museums for free or for a discounted price.

Affordable Places to Stay

The city centre has a few relatively affordable hotels. Although there is a lack of cheap hostels in Bologna, look carefully through hotel listings and you can find budget places to stay. Piazza Maggiore in the old city is the most expensive area, but the university areas are good neighbourhoods to look for cheap accommodation.

One option is to rent a private room for your stay in Bologna. There are rooms in family houses and there are also spacious apartments and studio flats to rent for few days or a week. A stay in a private house also allows you a glimpse into the everyday life in Bologna.


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