How To Spend 24 Hours in Bologna

Bologna | ©DEZALB/Pixabay
Francesca Masotti

Bologna is a city you can easily reach from the main cultural Italian towns, such as Florence, Pisa or Venice. A single day isn’t enough to see everything that it has to offer to visitors, but the itinerary below will help at least get to the most famous spots of Bologna in 24 hours.

8:00 a.m.

Start your trip with a typical Italian breakfast of cappuccino and croissant. Bologna is one of the most famous towns in Italy for gastronomy: The town has plenty of nice places to eat, just choose one and order your meal. Remember that, like in the rest of Italy, many locales ask an extra charge for sitting, so be careful and, if you don’t want to waste your money, just sip your cappuccino at the bar. Don’t eat too much at breakfast, or later you’ll not be able to enjoy so many more excellent delicacies.

Italian Breakfast

9:00 a.m.

Torre degli Asinelli

11:00 a.m.

The other not-to-miss place in Bologna is Piazza Maggiore, also called the heart of the city. Here, you’ll find the most important buildings of the town: Palazzo del Podestà, Palazzo Comunale, Neptune fountain and Basilica of Saint Petronious. This is the largest church of Bologna and Emilia Romagna region, which was supposed to be, in the medieval times, the biggest church of the world. When the Vatican heard about that, it halted construction, and the basilica was left unfinished. Still today the façade is not completed and even if it’s not beautiful like other Italian churches, it has its charm and is worth a visit.

View of Piazza Grande

1:00 p.m.

After all this traipsing, you really deserve to rest your feet and eat. Bologna is one of the best destination for food enthusiasts, so you are lucky: It’s not hard to find great food at good price. You can sit in a restaurant and order lasagna, spaghetti al ragù (bolognese sauce), tortellini, or if you prefer you can taste its gorgeous street food, such as panino with mortadella and piadina, flatbread with ham and cheese. No matter your decision, everything in Bologna is fabulous. One of the coolest places to eat typical delicacies is La Piazzola, the oldest open-air market of the town.


3:00 p.m.

If you need to spend some time relaxing, you only have to get out of the city and reach the amazing Sanctuary of Saint Luke, Santuario di San Luca. This spectacular religious building is located outside of the city centre atop on the Guardia hill, one of the most famous hills of Bologna. It is situated about 300 meters above the city and offers terrific views over Bologna. Another thing you can do is rent a car and ride through the gorgeous hills which surround the city.

Sanctuary of Saint Luke

5:00 p.m.

Bologna is a university town, thuus, it’s a very lively city. It has also a vibrant cultural life. Bologna is home to many well-known museums and art galleries. The most famous in town is MamBo, museum of modern art of Bologna, which is one of the coolest contemporary art galleries in Italy. It displays a large collection of artworks by Giorgio Morandi (one of the greatest Italian painters of the 20th century) and other artists, such as Renato Guttuso.


7:00 p.m.

There is nothing better than starting your night out with a cool aperitivo in one of the pubs frequented by students. Bologna has plenty of these kind of places, but the best and cheapest are located in Via Augusto Righi, the main street of the student district.

Aperitivo Time

9:00 p.m.

If you are asking yourself what to do at night in this ancient town in the middle of Italy, don’t worry, Bologna is one of the liveliest Italian cities with a lot of things to do. You can drink a cocktail in one of the several pubs located in the historical centre, spend some fun moments in a discotheque, or simply stroll through the city centre and admire the beauties of the town when the sun goes down.

Palazzo del Podestà by Night
landscape with balloons floating in the air


Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.

Winter Sale Offers on Our Trips

Incredible Savings

Edit article