Download the minube app
and travel like never before
Where'd you like to go?
Do you like Bologna?
Share it with the world!
Enter with Google +

Things to do in Bologna

312 contributors

The top 130 attractions in Bologna

Historical Monuments in Bologna
Asinelli Tower
To me, any visit to Bologna should include going up the Asinelli Tower, with its 98 meters it is the highest of the medieval towers that were lifted above the city. From the highest pint you can enjoy a panoramic view of vertigo above the city where you can see the Saint Luke Basilica and, on clear days, you can see until the ALpes and the Adriatico Sea. The Asinelli Tower (constructed in 1109 and 1119), along with the Garisenda, are located strategically in the entrance of the city, for military reasons. Now you can go up the first (Asinelli), functioning as a viewpoint. Open hours: Everyday from 9.00 to 18:00h (in the summer), and from 9:00 to 17:00h (in the winter). TO arrive here you can take the bus lines 13, 14, 19, 25, and 27. It costs 3 Euros to enter.
Squares in Bologna
Piazza Maggiore
The Piazza Maggiore is the heart of Bologna, the heart of the city, and has the important buildings of the city, including the Palace of the Podesta (XIII century), Town Hall, rebuilt in the late fifteenth century, on the east side, the Palace of the Banks, built in the XVI century due to Vignola, next to the church, the Palace of the notaries (XIV-XV centuries), and on the west side there is the Palazzo Comunale (XIII-XV) , San Petronio and the Neptune Fountain Square. Although I visited on a Wednesday during the night, it was as if it were a Saturday! Really full of people!
Churches in Bologna
Sanctuary of the Madonna di San Luca
The Basilica of Saint Luke is one of the tourist attractions of this pretty city, named the red city, red for it´s roofs and for being, for years, one of the central roots of the Communist Party. To arrive from Bologne to this marvelous construction of 291meters on Colle Della Guardia, you have to cross the longest road in the workd, with 666 acres (funny number, haha), and more than 3.5 kilometers long (see photos.)
Historical Monuments in Bologna
Fountain of Neptune
In the heart of Bologna, in the Piazza Maggiore, is one of the most iconic symbols of the city - Neptune's Fountain. The Bolognese affectionately refer to him as "il Gigante" because of his size. The fountain was completed in 1565. Legend has it that before a big exam any student who wants to have luck on his side must spin twice clockwise around the fountain, just like John of Bologna did around the Neptune's projecting pedestal, thus initiating his fortune and his atonement for the "defeat Florentine".
Palaces in Bologna
Archiginnasio of Bologna
This is one of the most important buildings in Bologna, as it is the site of the first European university, in the eleventh century. On the walls of the gorgeous garden, you can see the shields of all the families who donated money to the university (I assume this was in exchange for their children to study). Very interesting.
Churches in Bologna
San Petronio Basilica
The construction of this basilica, dedicated to San Petronio (the patron of Bologna), began in 1392. It was originally planned to be larger than St Peter's in Rome, but a papal ban meant that the facade was never completed. The exterior offers a good example of Gothic architecture, and the interior is richly decorated with a central room at the back where you can see the original plans by the architect Palladio.
Train Stations in Bologna
Bologna Centrale Railway Station
If you're at Bologna airport, a bus that takes half an hour and costs 10 euros will drop you off in front of the train station. It's a good place to look for a hotel in the center that will suit you so you're able to visit different city monuments and artistic things from the Emilia Romagna, like Ravenna, Modena, Ferrara, etc. Even Florence or Venice which are about an hour and a half away. All those places are filled with art and culture, and on top of that, good food. I'll tell you about a little place in the Hotel Excelsior, but on the same sstreet from NH to Mercure. Also the city center is a few minutes' walk through the beautiful arched streets lined with shops.
Historical Monuments in Bologna
Piazza Santo Stefano
This is one of the oldest architectural gems in the city. The Abbazia di Santo Stefano is a set of four preserved medieval churches, the remains of a total of seven. All are located under one roof. The Crucifix Church (XI century), San Sepolcro, Santi Vitale e Agricola (V century) and Santa Trinita are the names of the four churches that house important works of art from different centuries. On the inside there is a small shop with handmade products made by the monks of the order.
Cities in Bologna
Bologna Old Town
The center of Bologna is a magical place where you can spend hours strolling around enjoying the sights. The towers and churches of this Italian city are magnificent, but certainly the most beautiful and striking are the streets of Bologna and its unique charm. The facades of the houses have a special color that remind me of houses in Rome, the difference is that while the predominant color of Roman buildings is yellow, here the predominant color is red, hence why it is also known as the red city. I loved walking around the streets because they are full of people and noise. In addition, there are hundreds of arcades everywhere, so if you are unlucky enough to go out when it's raining (as in my case) you will have no problem walking around without getting wet and without having to use an umbrella. There are a lot of young people living in Bologna due to its university. Bologna has the oldest university in the entire West. It was founded in 1088 and thousands of Italians come to live here each year to attend the university.
Palaces in Bologna
Palazzo del Podestà
The Podestà used to be the highest civil office for the government of the northern and central cities of medieval Italy. There are many palaces in these areas called "Palace of the Podestà". This one in Bologna was built around 1200, at the same time as Plaza Mayor to carry out public functions and as the headquarters for the Podesta and its officials. The current view of the palace is very different from the original one because of the later construction of King Enzo's Palace. It's a large building crossed by two streets which pass under the Podestà Voltone, under which stands the Tower dell'Arengo. The tower's bell used to warn the village residents during extraordinary events. Under the Voltone del Podesta, an extraordinary acoustic effect allows visitors to talk to each other even in a low voice from opposite angles. The lower part of the palace is decorated with hundreds of different floral tiles.
Palaces in Bologna
Palazzo d'Accursio - Palazzo Comunale
The Palazzo d'Accursio is also known as the Communal Palace because it is the seat of the Municipality of Bologna. The Palazzo d'Accursio includes a complex of buildings that have been united for centuries. In 1336, it became the headquarters of the Anziani ("old"), the highest magistrates of the community, and later the seat of government. In the 15th century, it was restored by Fioravante Fioravanti, adding, among other things, the Clock Tower. The facade features a 15th century terracotta Madonna and Child by Niccolò dell'Arca, up at the top. In the entrance you can see a large bronze statue of Pope Gregory XIII. It is one of the most beautiful buildings around the Piazza Maggiore, and definitely worth taking a look.
Palaces in Bologna
Palazzo Re Enzo
It sits right on the Large Square. It was constructed in 1245 as an extension of the buildings of the Palace del Podestà community. Three years after its construction it became the residence of King Enzo. He was captured during the battle of Fossalta and remained there until his death, after he spent 23 years in prison! He was buried in the Basilica di San Domenico. This is what he desired and where his tomb still lays to this day. In 1905 the building´s Gothic look was restored by Alfonso Rubbiani . To the right of the palace is the entrance to the chapel of Santa Maria dei Carcerati, which led prisoners to their death.
Historical Monuments in Bologna
Casa Seracchioli
Seracchioli House is one of the oldest buildings in the city of Bologna, dating from the thirteenth century. It has been restored over time, but it retains the original door and arched windows. The ground floor of the facade is modern brick, but inspired by the style of medieval Bologna, especially the windows.
Historical Monuments in Bologna
Porta Galliera
La Porta Galliera can be found in the north of the historic center of Bologna at the end of Independence Street. It is close to the railway station. First built in 1200, it protected the Papal fortress until the people of Bologna rebelled against church authorities and destroyed it. The door was also demolished and rebuilt several times. It was rebuilt with the characteristics seen today between 1660 and 1663 and restored in 2007.
Palaces in Bologna
Palazzo della Mercanzia
It was in an elegant brick Gothic building, constructed between the years 1391 and 1384. The project was designed by architect Antonio di Vincenzo, famous for having designed the Palace of the notaries, Palazzo Re Enzo and the Basilica of San Petronio. The Vincenzo had also directed the work, along with Lawrence Bagnomarino. The palace was home to the Merchants Forum and some businesses. It is in Piazza della Mercanzia, a zone with restaurants and clubs nearby. What can be highlighted is its beautiful balcony.
Churches in Bologna
Basilica di Santa Maria dei Servi
This basilica was founded in 1346 as the Church of the Community Servants of the Blessed Virgin Mary and was designed by Father Andrea da Faenza, whose work can also be seen in the Basilica of San Petronio in Bologna. It was elevated to the status of basilica by Pope Pius XII. The basilica is 100 meters long and 20 meters wide and shaped like a Latin cross. The most notable feature of the church is its courtyard or atrium. This is a feature that was common in the early Christian churches. You can tell you´re getting closer to the Church from the very beginning of the street.
Sports-Related in Bologna
Museo Ducati
Ducati started making electronic components in the wake of the findings like the Radio by Marconi. But war changed the business, and it started to make electrical appliances, only to later go back to engines. Since then, they have continued to evolve and win prizes. The visit can be described in two parts, the factory tour and museum visit. Both need booking in advance, and you cannot take pictures or record video. The factory is a journey through the entire process, from the motor assembly to the assembly of the bike itself, and all tests performed. It's interesting when they first put petrol in the bike, and you hear the roar of the engine for the first time. In part of the museum (photos allowed) is a tour through history, from the first motor 1 HP, 1 ml and 1 liter reaching a top speed of 50 km / h to the latest models. In addition to the bikes, there are genuine masterpieces like technical drawings done by hand, with pencil, compass, square, and bevel.
Churches in Bologna
Bologna Cathedral
San Pedro Church is the old cathedral of Bologna, built around the XI century in the beautiful Via de la Independencia. The spectacular baroque interior decorated with frescos is surprising.

The best things to do in Bologna

Piazza Maggiore first comes to mind when one thinks about the places to visit in Bologna, a town in northern Italy with channels that you can explore by boat. It really is the heart of the city. Its proximity to the university and its location means that it's always crowded. And within it is where the famous Neptune Fountain stands. Legend has it that before an important exam, any student who wants to have luck on their side should walk clockwise around the fountain twice, just like John of Bologna did around the pedestal reflecting Neptune, thus initiating his good fortune and his atonement for the "Florentine defeat." if you're a student, you should definitely put this on your list of what to do in Bologna. Asinelli tower is another one of the many attractions in Bologna that you shouldn't miss. It costs 3€ to reach the top and is surrounded by other buildings, monuments and
Bologna attractions. Afterwards, you should continue on to more things to see in Bologna, like the
Podesta Palace. The podesta was the highest civil office in the central and northern Italian cities during the Medieval Ages. Visiting the Basilica of Santa Maria dei Servi is another one of the many things to do in Bologna. It's 100 meters long and 20 meters wide. Other stuff to do in Bologna includes visiting the church of San Petronio, one of the city's largest churches, and the National Gallery. This city is perfect for the whole family and an immense historical and cultural destination. Use Minube's services and discover all the Bologna activities to experience today!