The complete guide to Bologna’s 7 best neighbourhoods

Find the neighbourhood that’s right for you in Bologna based on the quality of life, rental prices, and internationality.

Sofia

6 minute read
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Updated on 17 Oct 2023
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Bologna is one of the coolest and most ancient cities in Italy. Located in the north of Italy, in Emilia Romagna, Bologna is popular for being a foodie’s heaven and for its historical buildings.

If you’re planning to move here to work or study, keep reading this guide to find the perfect area to relocate, based on the quality of life, the average rental price, and the internationality of the neighbourhoods.

What is it like living in Bologna?

Living in Bologna is great for expats who want to experience true Italian culture, a cheaper cost of living, and high quality of life. It’s a city where you’ll have access to all the amenities that any cosmopolitan city offers, without the hustle and bustle of a big city.

Life in Bologna is fun as you’ll be surrounded by plenty of young, international people – thousands of students come to Bologna to attend the world’s oldest university and plenty of young professionals move to Bologna to enjoy a good work-life balance. Not surprisingly, Bologna offers a thrilling nightlife scene.

There’s also no doubt that the city’s art, architecture, culture, and history will keep you delighted for months. After all, it’s not every day you get to walk under porticoes that are part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site or live in a city that’s recognised as Italy’s gastronomical capital.

Overall, Bologna is big enough to keep you busy, yet small enough that you can get around the city easily using the public transport system. It's also conveniently located, so you can easily travel to nearby cities such as Milan, Florence and Venice.

Safety in Bologna

Generally speaking, Bologna is a safe city at any time of the day. So no matter where you decide to live in Bologna, you’ll generally feel safe. However, like any big city, it’s always best to stay vigilant and keep an eye out for pickpocketing.

Bologna’s 7 best neighbourhoods for expats

Each neighbourhood in Bologna has something unique to offer. So to help you decide where you can live in Bologna, we’re sharing our top 7 neighbourhoods that are a great fit for different types of expats.

1. Bologna neighborhood: Centro Storico

Quality of life

Centro Storico is the heart and the most beautiful area of Bologna. You can expect that the quality of life is one of highest in the city.

Here you can find medieval buildings, narrow streets, roman arcades, and several excellent restaurants where you can eat local cuisine. Walking through the city centre you can reach Piazza Maggiore, where you can visit San Petronio’s church, Neptune Fountain and several markets.

Within walking distance from Centro Storico, you can reach the main train station and easily travel to other Italian cities.

Average rental prices

Bologna is cheap when compared to other big Italian cities, such as Milan. However, you'll find rental homes in Bologna's historic centre are among the highest in the city.

Here’s what you can expect:

  • Room: €600
  • Studio: €900
  • Apartment: €1,400

Internationality

Because of the area's central location, you can expect to see a great combination of locals and internationals gathering around in Centro Storico. You won't feel out of place here.

2. Bologna neighborhood: University district

Quality of life

The University District is located right next to Centro Storico, within the city's medieval walls. Università Di Bologna, the oldest university in the world, is located here. The university became one of the main attractions of the city and still welcomes thousands of Italian and international students every year.

Libraries and museums fill up this neighbourhood and are the main attractions. At night, the district turns into one of the main nightlife spots where people in their 20s-30s get together to drink and have fun in bars and clubs.

Average rental prices

Because of the high presence of students, this district is perfect for those looking to live on a student budget and close to the city centre. Here you can find an affordable student accommodation in Bologna.

The rental prices here are lower than Centro Storico, and you can expect to pay around:

  • Room: €350
  • Studio: €700
  • Apartment: €900

Internationality

Thanks to the university, this district is where you can find a diverse group of young international and Italian students.

3. Bologna neighborhood: Ghetto Ebraico

Quality of life

Located between Centro Storico and the university district, Ghetto Ebraico was Bologna’s Jewish district. Today, the neighbourhood is popular for its unique architecture and atmosphere in comparison to the rest of Bologna.

Ghetto Ebraico is one of the most picturesque areas of the city, with brightly coloured houses lining the alleys that lead to little piazzas where you can enjoy traditional Italian coffee.

Walking through Via dell’ìnferno, where the synagogue used to be, you’ll find a variety of local artisan stores. Here you can buy unique jewellery and ancient paintings or visit the Jewish museum which regularly displays temporary exhibitions.

Average rental prices

The average rental prices in Ghetto Ebraico are:

  • Room: €600
  • Studio: €900
  • Apartment: €1,300

Internationality

This neighbourhood is one of the most traditional and local of Bologna. It’s difficult to find Internationals living here, mostly because the area hosts commercial activities.

4. Bologna neighborhood: Bolognina

Quality of life

If you want to live in a peaceful neighbourhood away from the city noises, Bolognina is the place to go. This cosmopolitan neighbourhood at the north of Bologna is home to both natives and immigrants, as well as families and students.

Despite its distance from the city centre, this neighbourhood is vibrant. Many taverns, clubs, traditional Bolognese trattorias, and ethnic eateries can be found here.

Average rental prices

Due to its location, rental prices are lower compared to the other neighbourhoods. This is what you can expect from the average rental prices in Bolognina:

  • Room: €600
  • Studio: €800
  • Apartment: €1,300

Internationality

Bolognina is a multi-ethnic and culturally varied area that attracts both foreigners and locals. Locals, immigrant families, and seniors coexist with students and young professionals in this neighbourhood.

5. Bologna neighborhood: Fiera di Bologna

Quality of life

Fiera di Bologna is located near the railway station and the city centre. This area is the economic district of the city and is mostly frequented by businessmen due to the local fairs, events, and business festivals. Overall, it’s the ideal place for workers, as well as people looking for low-cost accommodations.

One of the most intriguing things to do in Fiera di Bologna is to visit FICO Italy World, the world's largest food park. The culinary park is an in-person tutorial in Italian cuisine and gourmet. Factories allow you to see how some of Italy's most famous meals are prepared.

Average rental prices

You should be prepared to pay the following rental prices:

  • Room: €400
  • Studio: €700
  • Apartment: €1,000

Internationality

Bologna Fiere is one of the most popular Bologna neighbourhoods for international and local professionals, thanks to the events and fairs. You’ll find people and professionals coming from many parts of the world.

6. Bologna neighborhood: Colli Bolognesi

Quality of life

Colli Bolognesi is the richest and most elegant neighbourhood of Bologna. If you want to live close to the city, but in a quiet and peaceful natural environment, this is your neighbourhood to go to!

Colli Bolognesi is located in the Hills of Bologna. It’s rich in rural landscapes, parks, and bushes, despite being only 15 minutes away from the city centre.

Average rental prices

Here’s the average rental price in Colli Bolognesi:

  • Room: €600
  • Studio: €900
  • Apartment: €1,500

Internationality

Colli Bolognesi is mostly a residential neighbourhood, popular with students with a high budget, successful young professionals, and families.

7 Bologna neighborhood: Borgo Panigale

Quality of life

Borgo Panigale is one of the most expensive neighbourhoods in Bologna. It’s located between the airport and the historic centre and is home to some of the most luxurious Italian brands, such as Ducati.

Average rental prices

The prices that you can expect when searching for accommodation in Borgo Panigale are:

  • Room: €400
  • Studio: €800
  • Apartment: €1,100

Internationality

Despite its manufacturing roots, this is still a fantastic neighbourhood for young internationals, particularly those who want a more urban location.

An overview: which is the best neighbourhood in Bologna for me?

Do you want to live in the heart of the city and don’t mind paying more for convenience? You can settle down in Bologna's Centro Storico neighbourhood.

For students and young professionals on a tight budget who wish to live nearby the city centre, University District is the place to go. Here you’ll find anything you need at a reasonable price.

Living close to the city centre but in a quiet area is possible in Bolognina and Colli Bolognesi. But keep in mind that these quiet residential areas require a generous budget.

Borgo Panigale and Bologna Fiere are a fit for those looking for a metropolitan vibe. Professionals with a high income might find their dream home here.

Now that you know what each district in Bologna has to offer and which one best suits your needs, you can start looking for your next place to stay in this historic and welcoming city!

Please reach out to content@housinganywhere.com if you have any suggestions or inquiries about the content on this page.

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