Bologna is a town of about 390,000 inhabitants, the capital of the Emilia Romagna region, and dominates a rather large urban and district area.
Defined by many as “human-sized city“, Bologna allows to fully enjoy its cultural and artistic heritage even on foot or by bicycle. The old town is in fact enclosed within the wall belt.
This makes it easy to visit the main monuments and squares of the city and to move with ease.
But let’s see what to do when arriving in Bologna, how to move to get to the center in the best way, the transport links and how to move around the city.
ARRIVING IN BOLOGNA
Bologna can be reached in different ways.
Bologna’s Guglielmo Marconi Airport, for both national and international flights, is located 6 km from the city center.
It is reachable by car from the center directly via the ring road (exit 4 bis) and via motorway, either from Milan (A1 exit Bologna Borgo Panigale), from Padua (A13 exit Bologna Arcoveggio) and from Ancona (A14 Bologna San Lazzaro).
To get closer to the center when arriving in Bologna, it is better to travel by car along via Saffi and get to the city’s inner ring streets (bordering the historic center). You can then find parking outside the city walls or in one of the many toll parking spaces in the city (be careful when entering the center by car because many accesses are subject to traffic restrictions with cameras and checkpoints with the Sirio System).
You can also get to the center by taxi from the airport. The cost of the route, depending on the timetable and the point of arrival, can fluctuate between 15 and 25 euros.
The advice is of course to get there by public transport.
We’re hinting at the BLQ.
The BLQ shuttle service, departing from the train station, connects the center to the airport in about 25 minutes (40 minutes at peak times). The bus frequency is very high, about 11 minutes, and the first bus from the station leaves at 5:00 in the morning (the last at 23:35).
It does not make many stops in the historic center (Ospedale Maggiore and Via dei Mille) but it is true that the point of arrival at the train station is itself in the center. Also, do not underestimate the savings compared to the taxi (the ticket costs € 6).
The train station of Bologna, from which run both regional and long-distance trains, is located in the center.
Consider it is basically attached to via Indipendenza, the shopping street of Bologna, and about 15 minutes walk from Piazza Maggiore.
Here you will find, as we said. long-distance trains, including high-speed. The latter allows you to reach Florence in 40 minutes, Milan in 60 minutes and Rome and Turin in just over two hours.
The station is also well connected to the airport with the BLQ shuttle service.
For information and timetables, please visit Trenitalia
Click here to see the location of the station of Bologna.
The bus station is located in the center, just a short walk from the main train station.
Buses to the main Italian and European cities depart and arrive there. It can be a viable alternative of travel, and to arrive in the city, just because it’s in a very favorable position.
See the location of the Bologna’s bus station
GETTING AROUND BOLOGNA
Bologna doesn’t have and underground but has a very efficient bus system managed by TPER (multiple lines 75 minutes: ordinary ticket € 1,30; on board ticket € 1,50).
To get from the station to the center buses no. 21 and n. 30 are comfortable for example.
But Piazza Maggiore itself, one of the most central points of the city, is also reachable by foot at 15 minutes walking distance.
The city center, which holds the city’s main sightseeing spots, is accessible by foot. The only exception is the basilica of San Luca, located on the Colle della Guardia. For the latter, although tradition wants for it to be reached by foot, it is equally recommended to climb up by public transport as it is outside the center on the side of the Saragozza area. And above all because the climb is constant on the steps of the longest portico in the world!
It is also very pleasant to visit the city by bike (the city center has no altitude difference), while the car and the motorcycle are not recommended. The old town is in fact off-limits to private traffic and therefore it is very easy to run into fines, even pricey, operated by cameras active at various points of access to the center.
So welcome and there’s nothing left to say except to wish you a good stay in Bologna!