Considering a solo trip to Bologna, Italy? I am a solo female traveler and had the best time visiting Bologna on my own!
This post will give you tips, ideas, and inspiration to visit the food capital of Italy all by yourself! Here are all the best things to do in Bologna solo!
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Quick List of The Best Things to Do Solo in Bologna
🍷 Go Wine Tasting! Visit the oldest inns in Bologna for a 2 hour wine tasting!
🍕 Join a Food & Walking Tour of Bologna! A great thing to do solo is join a small group walking & food tour!
🍝 Take a Cooking Class! Bring a little bit of Italy home with you after taking this cooking class in Bologna!
Is Bologna Worth Visiting Solo?
With famous cities such as Rome, Florence, Venice, and Naples, you may wonder, is Bologna worth visiting? Bologna is a great destination to visit solo!
Foodie travelers would agree! Bologna is actually the food capital of Italy. What about solo travelers? Should I visit this Italian city if I am traveling alone?
Solo travel in Bologna is safe, more affordable, and less crowded than in the other big-name cities in Italy. When traveling alone there, affordability and safety are high on my list. I highly recommend visiting for several reasons!
Traveling to Bologna alone was a wonderful experience for me. Bologna was a good choice for someone who first cares about safety and affordability.
What I enjoyed most about visiting solo was there were several historic buildings to explore in the old town I was never once bored.
❤︎ Bologna City Walking Tour: Check Rates & Availability
Is Bologna Safe for Solo Female Travel?
Travel safety is a subject I take very seriously. When I travel alone, I want to ensure I stay where I feel safe to walk around at night, and the great city of Bologna provided me with a sense of safety.
Of course, you must have a little common sense not to put yourself in areas or situations like walking in a dark alley alone.
Violent crime is reported to be very low in Bologna. It is always important to research safety in more than one place, so I urge you to do more research for yourself.
Bologna is a city that values hospitality, and visitors can expect to be welcomed warmly. Plus, with its modern police force keeping an eye on the streets, you can rest assured that your stay in Bologna will be both enjoyable and secure.
Solo Female Travel Safety Gear
Emergency Number in Europe: Dial 112 & Emergency Number in the United States: Dial 911
Where is Bologna Located?
Bologna is located in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy and it’s the best place to base yourself if you are interested in seeing nearby smaller cities. The Emilia-Romagna region of Italy is considered Northern Italy at the northern foot of the Apennines.
You can fly directly into Bologna. The airport is located 7.5 km away from the city center. The journey is approximately 20 minutes by car or taxi.
I also recommend you visit the Tuscany region, located just south of Bologna.
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Arriving at the Bologna Airport
If you are arriving solo in Bologna with multiple bags, then take a taxi to your hotel. But if you are arriving with a manageable amount of luggage I recommend taking the Macroni Express into the city center of Bologna!
It is a stress-free and easy process for any solo traveller. Just look for the signs at the airport for the Macroni Express.
You will arrive at the kiosk and purchase a ticket for 11 euros that will take you into the city center. The express train runs every 7 minutes.
Public Transit in Bologna
Taking public transport solo in Bologna is safe and a great way to explore the city. I know that travelling on public transport alone can be daunting at first, especially if you are not familiar with the Italian language.
However, with some basic knowledge of the routes and train station names, it is easy to navigate the system. The bus network is extensive and covers most parts of the city, providing an easy way to get around.
I found using public transit a great way to save money when solo traveling.
The transport tickets can be bought from kiosks or vending machines located in most stations. There are multiple types of tickets available for single trips or daily passes depending on your needs. Bus tickets can be purchased on the bus with either card (on most buses) or cash. 📲 Bus Transit App
If you are feeling a bit adventurous and want to explore further out of Bologna, there is also an extensive train network that connects the city with many other Italian cities. With trains running around the clock, it is easy to get to any destination, no matter what time of day.
📲 Solo Travel Transit Tip: Download the Trainline App and get tickets for destinations outside Bologna
Things to Do Solo When Visiting Bologna
If you are looking for the top things to do in Bologna you are in the right place! Italy has always been my dream destination when it comes to food, so don’t be surprised if this list contains activities involving eating and drinking!
Food Tours: Walking & Eating Tour of Bologna
Italy is well known for its cuisine, and Bologna is an extra special city for foodies. It is most famous for its thick egg noodle pasta and ragu sauce. You can also find some incredible pizza on the streets of Bologna.
The best way to find all the incredible local food is by joining a tour. It is the perfect activity if you are solo.
Why not try a tour of Bologna on this 3-hour walking and eating tour? Surround yourself with like-minded people who love food!
Walking Food Tour in Bologna ❤︎ What to Expect
🍝 Pasta tasting at the famous Sfoglia Rina!
🍕 Pizza sampling within the Mercato delle Erbe
🇮🇹 Try Meatballs made with the famous secret recipes of Bologna
🍦 Finish with some homemade gelato!
🍷 Wine tasting add-on available as well as vegetarian options on this tour.
Visit The Two Towers (Le Due Torri)
The Two Towers of Bologna, known as Le Due Torri (The Two Towers), are two of the most iconic landmarks in the city. The taller tower stands 97.2 meters tall and is believed to have been built sometime during the 12th century. The shorter tower stands at 84 meters and was added later during the 16th century. Both towers have been designated as UNESCO World Heritage Sites and are a popular attraction for both locals and tourists alike.
The taller of the two towers is known as Asinelli Tower, named after its original builder Giovanni di Simone Asinelli in the year 1109. It was originally constructed to serve as a fortress during battles between Bologna and Modena. The shorter tower, known as Garisenda Tower, was built by Azzone Visconti in 1181. It is said to be leaning due to a foundation issue that occurred in the early 1300s.
These medieval towers have been part of Bologna’s skyline for centuries and are featured prominently on city maps and postcards. It is said that you can see as far as the Apennine Mountains from the top of Asinelli Tower, which is open to tourists for a small fee.
Visitors must climb over 500 steps in order to reach the top of the tower, making it an exciting challenge! If visiting Bologna in the summer it is a great idea to climb these towers early in the day before the heat becomes unbearable!
Today, the Two Towers are an important part of Bologna’s history and offer remarkable views of the city below. They remain a beloved symbol in the city and continue to draw visitors from near and far. Le Due Torri stands as a powerful reminder of the beauty and strength of this historic Italian city.
Basilica of San Petronio
The Basilica of San Petronio in Bologna is definitely worth visiting! It is the main attraction in the heart of the city, Piazza Maggiore.
The Basilica of San Petronio is an immense and awe-inspiring example of Italian Gothic architecture that stands tall in Bologna, Italy. Built between 1390 and 1450, the Church of San Petronio is the fifth-largest church and is one of the most important monuments in all of Northern Italy.
Inside, visitors will be able to admire the marble inlaid floor, which was designed by Francesco di Simone and took 11 years to complete. The Basilica also houses priceless works of art, including a beautiful fresco depicting the Last Judgement by Jacopo della Quercia.
The main attraction at San Petronio is the astronomical clock, which was designed by Giovanni dei Dondi in 1344 and still functions today. This incredibly intricate device features several moving bronze statues as well as a rotating armillary sphere that displays the time of day and the positions of various planets in the sky. The clock also has two sundials, an astrolabe, and an automaton that strikes the hour.
Visitors to the Basilica of San Petronio should also take time to admire the stunning facade, which was completed in 1657 by Carlo Francesco Dotti. The facade is decorated with a number of statues and sculptures depicting various religious scenes, such as St. Petronius. A great way to see all of the must-sees in Bologna is to do an organized walking tour.
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Take A Cooking Class
As a solo traveler, there is nothing more exciting than discovering an incredible new destination and learning something unique while exploring. A great way to do this is by joining a cooking class in Bologna, Italy – one of the culinary capitals of the world!
In this cooking class, learn all the secrets of traditional Italian cooking in a warm and welcoming atmosphere. During your class, you’ll have the chance to learn how to make classic dishes such as pasta alla Bolognese or gnocchi, as well as how to prepare fresh vegetables and select the best Italian cheeses.
Not only will you have the opportunity to learn some delicious new recipes, but you’ll also get to know different people from all over the world who share your same passion for food. And of course, you’ll also get to enjoy the fruits of your labor afterward with a delicious meal!
Whether you’re looking for an unforgettable experience as a solo traveler or just want to brush up on your Italian cooking skills, joining a cooking class in Bologna is sure to be an incredible experience.
❤︎ Check rates & availability for a cooking class!
Go Wine Tasting
If cooking isn’t your passion, but you just love a glass of wine, then go wine-tasting! Bologna is worth visiting for the wine alone!
Northern Italian wines are my absolute favorite varietal. This wine tour will teach you all about winemaking and taste delicious wines in a group setting.
This wine-tasting experience is in one of the oldest inns in Bologna. You will learn all about local grape varieties and the history of wine production in the area from an expert guide.
The tour includes tasting 3 delicious DOC wines paired with delightful local treats.
This building was once the main building of the University of Bologna. Now it stands as the Municipal Library and Anatomical Theatre.
Visiting the Archiginnasio of Bologna is a must for any solo traveler interested in Italian culture and history.
Built-in the 16th century, it was originally used as an auditorium and library for students of the University of Bologna.
Today, it houses one of Europe’s oldest collections of books, manuscripts, and documents, as well as the ancient wooden desks and benches of former students.
The ceiling is covered in frescoes depicting scenes from classical mythology, which are beautifully illuminated by natural light coming through the glass-paneled windows. It is a truly stunning sight!
Visitors can also explore the library to see some of its oldest books and manuscripts or take a guided tour of the building to learn about its fascinating history. The Archiginnasio of Bologna is a must-see for anyone visiting this beautiful city.
❤︎ Get your tickets here to visit this important building in Bologna.
Private Tour of the Sanctuary of the Madonna di San Luca
Start the day by meeting in Piazza Maggiore and taking a little train ride to the Sanctuary of the Madonna di San Luca.
You will visit the monastery and enjoy panoramic views of Bologna. This tour can be booked online here.
Visit Torre Prendiparte
Bologna is worth visiting just to stay in the Torre Prendiparte! Originally constructed as a defense post for the Prendiparte family.
Now, a place you can actually stay! If you are traveling solo and looking to splurge, this would be the place to do it!
Visit Basilica di Santo Stefano
A true piece of history and a UNESCO World Heritage site in Bologna is the Basilica di Santo Stefano, known as “sette chiese”. There were originally seven churches of its kind, but today only four remain.
Located in Piazza Santo Stefano and is used today for concerts, markets, and other cultural events.
This Piazza is also a wonderful place to enjoy an Aperol spritz or cappuccino while you people watch.
Relax in the Parco della Montagnola
Visiting Parco della Montagnola in Bologna is a fantastic way to spend solo time. Located in the heart of the city, this park offers plenty of activities for visitors looking to explore and enjoy some peace and quiet.
I took a leisurely stroll through the lush gardens, admiring the vibrant flowers and exotic plants. You can even take a break and have a picnic on the grass, whether it’s with some prepared food or whatever you picked up from one of the city’s markets.
Pack a book to read while sitting on one of the park’s many benches, or bring along your sketchpad and let yourself be inspired by the tranquil atmosphere.
If you’re looking to stay active, rent a bike and go for a ride around the park’s perimeters or take part in one of the many fitness classes that are available there.
The park also features an open-air theatre where performances are held throughout the summer months. Whether it’s opera, theatre plays, or live music, there’s always something to delight your senses!
Where Should I Stay in Bologna Solo?
When researching my visit to Bologna I wanted to make sure I chose the right neighborhood. All the neighborhoods below I have personally visited, at night, and felt safe.
The first time I visited Bologna solo I stayed in Centro Storico. Staying in this neighborhood was a great way to get an immersive city experience.
Centro Storico is home to many of Bologna’s iconic landmarks, such as Piazza Maggiore and the Torre degli Asinelli. Here you will find some of Bologna’s famous local restaurants, cafés, and bars, as well as some of the best shopping opportunities in the city.
Staying in the centro storico is also a great way to experience authentic Italian culture and lifestyle. You will find narrow winding streets, tiny piazzas where you can people-watch while enjoying an espresso or gelato, and many hidden treasures.
Staying in Bologna’s university district is a great way to get up close and personal with the city’s vibrant student culture. Home to both the University of Bologna, Europe’s oldest university, and numerous other campuses, this area is safe for solo travelers.
There are plenty of coffee shops where students come to study, bars and clubs to party in, and many cultural events going on. You can also find some great places to eat, with a variety of restaurants ranging from traditional Italian fare to international cuisine.
Plus, there are plenty of museums and galleries nearby for those who want to explore Bologna’s history and culture.
Staying solo in Bologna’s university district is the perfect way to get a taste of student life and all that Bologna has to offer.
Here is a quick list of the top three choices for staying in Bologna!
Staying solo in Bologna’s Piazza Maggiore neighborhood is a good option for those who want to be close to the city’s main attractions.
Located in the center of the city, this historic area is home to many of Bologna’s most famous sites and landmarks including the Palazzo Comunale, the Basilica of San Petronio, and the Fountain of Neptune.
The area also boasts some of Bologna’s best restaurants, bars, and cafes as well as markets, boutique stores, and galleries. Staying in this part of the city will allow you to walk along the ancient city walls to visit the famous towers. You can also explore some of the more off-the-beaten-path areas like the historic Jewish Ghetto and Porta Maggiore, which date back centuries.
Santo Stefano is one of the most budget-friendly and colorful neighborhoods in Bologna. Located near the city center, its narrow cobblestone streets are lined with traditional buildings that have been around for centuries.
The neighborhood is filled with hidden gems like local cafés, restaurants, bars, shops, and markets offering unique experiences. Visitors can explore historical landmarks such as the Basilica di Santo Stefano and Palazzo dell Unione, or take a stroll down Via del Pratello to enjoy the lively atmosphere.
Additionally, there are numerous museums and galleries to explore that showcase Bologna’s art and culture.
Staying in Santo Stefano allows visitors to get a taste of old-world charm while still proximity to the city center. Santo Stefano is a great place for travelers looking for an authentic Italian experience.
The area also has plenty of options for accommodation, from budget-friendly hostels and apartments to luxurious five-star hotels. Whether you’re looking for a cheap place to crash for the night or a luxurious hotel with all the amenities, Santo Stefano has something for everyone.
Top Rated Hotels in Bologna
Top Rated Tours for Solos in Bologna
- Bologna City Walking Tour
- Bologna: City Center Guided Wine Walking Tour
- Bologna: Self-Guided Historical Audio Tour
Bologna Solo Travel Packing Tips
When considering clothing items, pack lightweight layers you can easily add or remove as needed. Lastly, don’t forget to pack an adapter for your electronics—Italy runs on a different voltage than the U.S., so you’ll need one in order to plug in any devices!
In addition to the basics, there are some items you may want to think about bringing along if they fit in your bag. A small, lightweight daypack is great for carrying around extra items you’ll need throughout the day (snacks, water bottle, camera).
Pack a few scarves or shawls—they can double as blankets during chilly evenings and provide some extra modesty when visiting churches. Bring along a refillable water bottle so you can stay hydrated throughout the day.
Lastly, consider packing a few lightweight souvenirs to bring home as reminders of your time in Bologna.
Where Else Is Worth Visiting Near Bologna?
Bologna is close enough to visit a couple of Italy’s most beautiful cities. Located less than 2 hours by train is the romantic city of Verona.
If you decide to visit Florence, as I did, I would recommend you stay a couple of nights.
Florence is a large and impressive city that you need more than just a day to explore. I felt that even though I wanted more time in Verona, I saw a lot in a short time.
Final Thoughts On Things To Do Solo in Bologna
If you are traveling to Italy alone you will have a great time in Bologna! This city has some of the friendliest locals of all the places I have been to in Italy.
Bologna is a well-situated city offering many options for day trips to surrounding areas in Italy! I hope you found this guide to the best things to do solo in Bologna helpful!
FAQs for Solo Travel in Bologna
If you are traveling to Bologna alone you should be able to see a good amount of the city in 2 full days and nights.
Bologna is a very safe city for solo travelers. But keep in my for all cities, you should always be aware of your surroundings and keep your personal items close.
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