Airbnb Bologna: Going Local in Bologna’s Historic Old Town

Italy is truly one of my favourite destinations in the world. We’re talking ancient cities of Rome, Milan, Florence and Venice and small Italian towns like Sorrento, Capri and Lake Com.  Bologna may not be the first tourist destination people think of when they think of Italy, but this city which is the seventh largest in the country is truly magical and mustn’t be overlooked! A foodie haven with lots of unique places to stay, this guide to Airbnb Bologna should help you pick the best place to rest your head. 

If, however, you’re looking to get outside of the city to explore further, I highly recommend a few days hiking on the Path of Gods, an incredible hiking path that runs all the way from Florence to Bologna – the perfect place to end up and gorge on delicious local cuisine

Why visit Bologna?

The city is home to the oldest university in the world making it popular with students and young people, thus offering much in the way of nightlife and other fun after-school activities.

There are so many beautiful things see in Bologna including its largest tower, Asinelli Tower and the charming Basilica of San Petronio. There’s always something going on at the Piazza Maggiore too such as art fairs, open-air cinemas, and live music. We just love this buzzing spot!

As elsewhere in Italy, you have to eat…and Bologna is one of the top foodie destinations in the world. There is so much delicious food in this city that food might well be the only thing on your mind.  It’s time to forget about the waistline and just relax as you experience the wonders of carbs galore!

Best neighborhoods in Bologna

If you’ve already decided to visit this magical and vibrant city then you’ve made the right choice! Let this quick guide on where to stay in Bologna help you plan your trip, including the best neighborhoods in the city and some of our favorite Airbnbs in Bologna.

University District

Bologna is a pretty big student city which means the streets and full of students during term time. If you’re young and looking for fun, then staying close to the University district is your best bet. The University also happens to be right in the center of the historic old town, minutes away from the main square, Bologna towers and lots of the best pizzerias and gelaterias in the city, You really can’t go wrong here! (

Centro Storico / Historic Old Town

Thanks to the thousands of beautiful porticos that cover almost all streets in the city, most of Bologna falls under the “historic old town” district. Think faded red-painted buildings, gorgeous architecture and more cute cafes than you can shake a stick at. This is where many of the Airbnbs listed can be found and is where I stayed when in Bologna in June, overlooking Piazza Maggiore.

porticos bologna

Bologna Centrale / Train station vicinity

If you plan to do a lot of day trips, such as to the cute town of Brisighella just outside the city, then I would recommend staying in Bologna Centrale next to the train station. While it’s NOT the prettiest part of the city, myself and my friend Dan kind of wished we had stayed closer to the station as we did a lot of day trips and it meant we had a long walk (more like a run!!) to the station every morning trying to catch trains to nearby villages and cities. This is also where the buses to the airport leave from, so good to stay here the night before flying out.

Why choose an Airbnb in Bologna?

Bologna is an extremely popular place for tourists from within Italy which means there’s a heap of different accommodation options available for you. You can, for example, stay in a classy hotel or save your money by staying in a budget youth hostel. But our opinion is that Airbnb is – as the song goes – simply the best! If you stay in Airbnb in Bologna you have the opportunity to stay in some really authentic and beautiful local homes and get a true experience of local life here. You can also save money by availing of my €35 free Airbnb credit if you sign up for the first time with my sign up link here.

As they say… “When in Rome” (or Bologna…), so we’ve compiled a list of the top 8 Airbnb Bologna apartments and experiences in the city to help you with your planning!

Airbnb Bologna: Top 8 places to stay

Charming and quiet loft

This apartment is both charming and spacious. It has a balcony that overlooks the garden of the famous painter Giorgio Morandi and such an authentic feel of a real Italian apartment. By staying here you might even be able to imagine you’re Italian yourself as it has a real Italian charm about it. Ciao Bella!

It’s close to everything and you can simply walk back from all the bustling bars and restaurants close by. It’s the perfect place to stay whether you’re in a couple, with a friend or travelling alone. Our only tip is to be careful of your head on the low beams in the apartment…not suitable for us tall people! Prices from €75 a night for the whole apartment.

St. Stefano’s apartment

We absolutely adore the design of this apartment located centrally in the old town of Bologna on the beautiful Piazza Santo Stefano! Although it’s close to everything you’ll find that at night it’s very quiet, calm and peaceful meaning you wake up after an amazing sleep feeling ready to explore this awesome city! It might only be a studio but it is really spacious and can accommodate up to 4 guests. The high wooden ceilings and the modern feel combined with the beautiful artsy designs in the apartment make it a fabulous place to be.

The excellent host is one of the most accommodating people you can meet and is always there to help you with any queries you might have as well! From €80 a night.

Historic home in the old town

If you want to add a historic feel to your trip then we definitely recommend Villa Dacia. The stunning house dates back to 1540 when it was owned by the great lords Modenesi! This place really has it all including a Turkish bath with both chromotherapy and aromatherapy, 50-inch plasma screen TV, an outdoor and indoor grill, a wood burning stove, a fireplace, a swimming pool and bicycles for guests to use! Wow!

The design of the house is amazing with its marble floors and rustic Provencal style. A total of 6 guests can be hosted in this 2 bedroom property. Tiziano, the host is also fantastic and that’s the reason he has received many positive reviews on Airbnb. From €150 a night.

La Casetta dell’Artista

Here’s our top pick for artsy types. This lovely apartment is so cute, quirky and beautifully designed. It’s an art studio that has been created by the fabulous artist Giulia Sollai. There is a lot of great wall art and artifacts and much of the furniture in the artist’s wonderful home has been made from recyclable material.

The building has a lovely courtyard which is a plus too! Giulia herself acts as a wonderful and kind host offering a delicious breakfast in the morning! The apartment is very conveniently located close to the main piazza in the city. From €55 a night.

Cozy attic with a view

This is a nice and cozy little apartment approximately 15 minutes’ walk from Bologna centre. It’s a bit of a trek for those who don’t like stairs to get all the way to the top but the reward makes it well worth the effort. The attic is spacious and has everything you could possibly need for your stay in Bologna.

The best thing about the apartment is the beautiful little area on the roof upstairs which has a lovely little table and chairs. This makes it the perfect place to sit and enjoy a meal, some snacks or a drink or all three at basically any time of the day! From €60 a night.

bright quirky airbnb in bologna centre

Attic with a view in the city centre

We absolutely adore this apartment for its funky design. The apartment itself is super comfortable and located in a truly charming building. This is another apartment on our list to get top marks for its incredible rooftop deck which offers outstanding views of Bologna’s hills. It is one of the best places that you can sit watching the sunset.

The apartment is very centrally located with the main attractions of the city within a short walking distance as well as amazing bars and restaurants. The host Carolina is very welcoming and fantastic overall and if you stay here once you’ll definitely be wanting to come back if you ever return again to this magical city. From €81 a night.

where to stay in bologna

best airbnb in bologna

Garden loft close to town

This apartment is just so cute, cozy and colorful that we absolutely had to include it in our list of best Airbnbs in Bologna. It is a real homely type of apartment. One of the best things about the apartment is its spacious patio. It’s the perfect place to eat a snack or have something to drink if the weather’s nice. It takes only 15 to 20 minutes to walk to the centre from the apartment but it’s also located close to public transport and you can take the bus. We absolutely adore the cute and quirky furniture and deco in this awesome apartment. From €59 per night.


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