Best Things To Do in Bologna, Italy

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Neighbourhoods and Parks

  • Piazza Maggiore: 15th century square surrounded by terrific architecture.
  • Santo Stefano: A complex of religious edifices, some from Late Antiquity.
  • Via dell'Indipendenza.
  • Via Rizzoli: Bologna’s main street.
  • University Quarter: Europe’s oldest University at 900 years.
  • Margherita Gardens
  • Orto Botanico: The Botanical Gardens.


  • Santuario di Madonna di San Luca: A beautiful Baroque Basilica.
  • Basilica di San Petronio: Bologna’s main church, 15th largest in the world.
  • Santa Maria della Vita: Stunning Gothic/Renaissance/Baroque Church.
  • Cattedrale di San Pietro: 12th century cathedral that’s the seat of the Archbishop.
  • Chiesa di San Francesco: 13th century Romanesque Church and UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Basilica di San Domenico: Prototype of Dominican Chruches.
  • Chiesa di San Giacomo Maggiore.


  • Museo per la Memoria di Ustica: A commemoration of the massacre at Ustica.
  • Compianto sul Cristo Morto: An incredible painting.    
  • Archiginnasio di Bologna: Important library and former 16th century university building.
  • Museo di Palazzo Poggi: University HQ and excellent science museum.
  • Museum of the History of Bologna.
  • Biblioteca Salaborsa: A rich library.
  • Pinacoteca Nazionale: National Art Gallery filled with masterworks.
  • San Colombano: Collezione Tagliavini – a collection of ancient musical instruments.
  • Museo Civico Archeologico: Civic archeology.
  • Lambhorgini Museum: No explanation needed.
  • Ducatti Museum: No explanation needed.
  • Palazzo Fava: Site of the famous Girl with a Pearl Earring painting.
  • Museo Internazionale e Biblioteca della Musica: A library of music.
  • Medieval Museum
  • Museo Ebraico: A Jewish Museum.
  • Philharmonic Academy: The works of Mozart, Verdi and Beethoven are preserved here.
  • Palazzo Comunale: Rennaisance paintings.

Monuments and History

  • Towers of the Asinelli and Garisenda: Two distinct, leaning towers with a rich history.
  • Fontana del Nettuno: Bronze 16th century Fountain of Neptune.   
  • Oratorio di Santa Cecilia.
  • Teatro Anatomico: 17th century Inquisition body dissection theatre.
  • Torre Prendiparte: 900 year old tower and Bed and Breakfast (for couples).
  • Certosa di Bologna: A beautiful monumental cemetery.

Below we have a list of things to do in Bologna and the places where you want to spend the best moments of your trip. At the same time, the city offers you the best neighborhoods to explore and new foods to try.

This list should help you in deciding and prioritizing what you should plan on your Bologna getaway. Find a mix of must-see tourist spots, underrated local hangouts, and maybe even a few new experiences you can try out.

Make the most of your trip to Bologna with confidence.

Tourist Attractions in Bologna

Here is the list of things to do in Bologna and tourist attractions in city.

  1. The Two Towers

    4.7 (1866 Votes)
    The Two Towers

    View Point, Historical Site, Tower, Architecture

    If Bologna was to be called the Manhattan of medieval era, Torri degli Asinelli e Garisenda would definitely be the twin towers. Critically located at the entrance of the city, the towers displayed the family’s prestige and served military functions back then. Built in the 11th century Tower of Asinelli is over 97 metres and the tallest in Bologna. Climb a hefty 498 steps only to find yo...Read more
  2. Fontana Del Nettuno

    4.6 (1845 Votes)
    Fontana Del Nettuno

    Landmark, Monument, Statue, Fountain

    The grand statue in the Piazza Maggiore cannot go unnoticed! Designed by Jean de boulone also known as Giambologna, he razed the entire block to make the fountain. It beautifully displays a bronze figure of Lord Neptune along with four angels at the steps signifying the river of 4 continents: Amazon, Dandu, Nile and Ganges. The fountain once signified the power of the pope who ruled just like ...Read more
  3. Archiginnasio Of Bologna

    4.7 (1365 Votes)
    Archiginnasio Of Bologna

    Estate, Walking Area, Historical Site, Statue

    Bologna was the first European town to have a university and this being the first university of bologna brings you to the intellectual side of this red city. Though heavily destroyed by bombing the Archiginnasio was restored to its present form and is now the seat of the Municipal library. As in most of the Bolognese architecture there is a portico at the entrance which opens to the main build...Read more
  4. Sanctuary Of The Madonna Di San Luca

    Art And Culture, Church, Religious Site, View Point

    In the outskirts of bologna is this tranquil church on the hilltop which houses representation of the Virgin Mary transported from the Middle East to bologna in the 12th century. The basilica is connected to the city through the world’s longest portico; resting on 666 arches and starting from Piazza di Porta Saragozza- stunning architecture! The place is easily accessible from city throu...Read more
  5. Compianto Sul Cristo Morto

    4.7 (1315 Votes)
    Compianto Sul Cristo Morto

    Art And Culture, Church, Religious Site, Historical Site

    The Lamentation over the Dead Christ or Compianto sul Cristo Morto are a set of terracotta sculptures housed in the church of Santa Maria Della Vita. The work shows seven life size figures, with dead Christ at the centre with his head resting on the pillow. Around him we have two Marys filled with pain of her loss and the distress displayed through her torn clothes. After which we have the Mad...Read more
  6. Museo Ducati Or Ducati Museum

    Museum, Educational Site, Specialty Museum

    With the mission to educate youth and give a totally new dimension to the word ‘museum’ in 2001 the Ducati museum came into being. The museum in its true sense gives you the luxury of remembering the past and see the production line of the future. One can see the entire range of Ducati motorcycles all of which showcases stunning authenticity and simplicity, at the same time visit t...Read more
  7. Museum Of The History Of Bologna Or Museo Della Storia Di Bologna

    Museum, History Museum, Educational Site, Historical Site

    A remarkably educational the Museo della Storia di Bologna (Museum of the history of Bologna) is very well focused on the history of the red city. Behind the ancient facade is a courtyard housing a transparent rectangular structure connecting the two floors and serves as an additional exhibition space. The structure of the museum is divided The painted city The Tower of Tim Bologna in anc...Read more
  8. Santa Maria Della Vita Bologna

    Church, Religious Site, Historical Site, Statue

    Wrapped away in via calvature is the church of Santa Maria della Vita housing bologna’s most exquisite work of art. Known for Baroque architecture and the terracotta sculptures, the church will leave you amazed. Founded in 13th century by Battuti of S. Maria della Vita the church is a part of a sanctuary with a portico at the entrance and elegant and breezy interiors which takes you to a...Read more
  9. Pinacoteca Nazionale Di Bologna

    Art And Culture, Art Museum, Art Gallery, Museum

    Bologna’s national art gallery, houses collection from over 13the century is a delight for the ones with an eye for paintings. These paintings are majorly curated from churches and monasteries that were abolished by Napoleonic army and was moved to this picture gallery. By the 19th century many other important art work were added to this wonderful collection. The massive augmentation was...Read more
  10. Palazzo Fava

    4.5 (940 Votes)
    Palazzo Fava

    Art And Culture, Art Museum, Art Gallery, Museum

    The breathtaking museum is nestled in a Renaissance mansion given over by the Fava family in their will. Spread over 2600 sq. m it is regularly used as an exhibition centre; include works from the Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio in Bologna and other organisations. What makes Palazzo Fava so attractive are- The cycle of paintings, The Argonautica and the stories of Medea in Jason's room. A very sk...Read more
  11. Museo Di Palazzo Poggi

    4.8 (243 Votes)
    Museo Di Palazzo Poggi

    Art Museum, Science Museum, History Museum, Historical Site

    Unlike all other art and architectural centric museums in Bologna, the museum of palazzo poggi covers numerous intriguing topics like the military sciences, zoology, astronomy and genecology etc. Built in 1560, the building is a former house of Alessandro Poggi and Giovanni Poggi. In 1714 it became the institute of sciences with the addition of tower of observatory (1725) and the library in (17...Read more
  12. Basilica San Francesco Or Chiesa Di San Francesco

    Church, Religious Site, Historical Site, Statue

    The church of St. Francis is beautiful example of Gothic-Romanesque architecture, being the first example of French-gothic style in Italy. Structured with a remarkably high facade and interiors housing marvellous statues in white marble the church is as charming as it can get! To the right of the facade are a convent and a cloister, dedicated to San Francis. The cloister is a very pleasing atmo...Read more
  13. Oratorio Di Santa Cecilia

    Art And Culture, Church, Religious Site, Performance

    With blatantly bold imagery and lively colours this church showcases the life and times of St Cecilia along with her husband Valeriano. If your visit to Bologna is a short one you would not want to miss the church of St. Cecilia- this is undoubtedly a hidden gem! Found in the year 1267, the church flaunts exquisite Renaissances art work along with 15th century architecture. The façade di...Read more
  14. San Colombano - Collezione Tagliavini

    Art And Culture, Church, Religious Site, Performance

    This delightfully re discovered church with original frescos and paintings hosts a wonderful collection of over 80 musical instruments assembled by Luigi Tagliavini. Many of the assembled harpsichords, pianos and oboes date back in 1500s and are fully functional! The church and the monastery still retain a great ancient painting representing the Virgin with St. Columban and other saints.Th...Read more
  15. Lamborghini Museum

    4.5 (513 Votes)
    Lamborghini Museum

    Museum, History Museum, Educational Site, Exhibition

    Car lover or not we all have heard this name, one of the leading brands amongst the automobile industry Lamborghini! Yes, there is a whole museum dedicated to the skillfully structured cars and for all you car nuts a visit to the factory can be arranged with prior booking. Started in 2001 this museum is operated by Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A. The museum is divided into two levels adjoining th...Read more

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  • Is Bologna good for fish dihes

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    • Yes, there are various seafood restaurants in Bologna and its proximity to the sea makes it a hub for fish lovers. Some famous restaurants include Banco 32, Osteria Bartolini, Scacco Matto and various others which offer delicious fish dishes. 

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