Nightlife in Bologna: Nightclubs, bars, and events

Discover Bologna’s nightlife and all the lively nightlife areas where you can spend an unforgettable night.


6 minute read
Updated on 25 Nov 2022

Bologna is a young, eager, and international city that’s known throughout Italy as the hub of fun. The young, diverse people who make up the city, along with hundreds of international students attending the Bologna university, make Bologna and its nightlife feel dynamic, friendly, and vibrant.

When the sun goes down, the city comes alive, with the squares buzzing with locals and internationals enjoying their aperitivos, local wines, parties at nightclubs, or the occasional live music event. If you’re ready to experience Bologna’s nightlife, explore:

  • The best nightlife areas in Bologna
  • The best bars
  • The top 5 nightclubs
  • Live music venues in Bologna

Best nightlife areas in Bologna

Bologna has a fun and friendly nightlife, thanks to the city’s young population. No matter which neighbourhood of Bologna you decide to spend time in, you’ll find plenty of bars, trattorias, breweries, or clubs suited to different age groups and tastes.

If you want to be close to all the action, head to Centro Storico.

If you’re in your 20s and you’d like to have fun while on a budget, visit the university district. This area has plenty of student bars and clubs that are filled with people from all over the world, regardless of the day of the week. Walk-through Via Zamboni or Via Pratello for the budget-friendly, lively, and endless choice of pubs, wine bars, and osterie.

If you fancy something more alternative and trendy, Bologna’s historic centre, especially Via dell’Indipendenza is the perfect area!

Best bars in bologna

Bologna is not only known for its delicious cuisine but also for its amazing bars that attract hundreds of people every weekend. Here’re some of the best bars of Bologna that you shouldn’t miss:

1. Ruggine

Ruggine is a bar-restaurant that’s hidden away in a small alley in the heart of Bologna, in Vicolo Alemagna. Its chabby but chic decor, affordable menu and cocktails, along with the relaxing and young atmospheremake Ruggine a great place to enjoy the local nighthlife of Bologna.

The 4 young owners have a passion for bringing simple local delicacies, drinks, and people together. Enjoy their mouth-watering pasta dishes, aperitivo, and cocktails for €6 to €9. Coming back to Ruggine will never get boring as their drink list changes every 2 months.

2. Emporio 1920

Emporio 1920 is a must go! This place has been awarded the prize for the best bar in Emilia-Romagna and is in the top 10 of the best bars in Italy. It’s also snagged a few awards for its cocktails.

Located in the university district, Emporio 1920 is a popular destination for both locals and internationals. Once you step inside, you’ll be transported to the 20s, with vintage furniture, retro decor, and soft music in the background.

Try a cocktail from their award-winning bartender, which costs around €9. Or sample dishes made from local ingredients, prepared using experimental techniques. Both your taste and visual senses will thank you. Due to their exclusive vibe, they only allow entry after you’ve made a reservation.__

We recommend you try their best cocktail, Negroni Invecchiato in oak and cherry barrels, and one of their many delicious whiskeys.

3. Osteria del Sole

You’ll find that Osteria del Sole is recommended by everyone, and for a good reason. This historic, traditional, hole in the wall bar has been serving local wines, tap beers, and local digestives such as grappa since 1465. 500 years after, it’s still a crowd favourite. What makes this place unique is that allows you to bring your own food. So shop for yummy food in the Quadrilatero district and head over to Osteria del Sole for some drinks in their courtyard, canteen, or garden.

Rooftop bars in Bologna

Rooftop bars are a must if you love panoramic views and sunsets. Here’re the best rooftop bars in Bologna:

  1. Terrazza Teatro Comunale

Terrazza Teatro Comunale is a terrace located on the top floor of the theatre Comunale in the heart of Bologna.

Every week, especially in the summer season, the terrace comes alive with music and free concerts that’ll make your night memorable. Besides that, you can enjoy aperitivo for only €10 and enjoy the breathtaking view over the city of Bologna at sunset. Alternatively, visit after dinner to enjoy cocktails with friends on a rooftop terrace.

The terrace is open to anyone, and if you don’t grab anything to eat or drink, you’ll be able to enjoy the unmissable view without paying anything.

  1. Torre Prendiparte

What could be better than enjoying aperitivo or some fancy drinks on the terrace of a medieval castle tower? Whether it’s a romantic date, a get together with friends or a party to celebrate your birthday, Torre Prendiparte won’t let you down!

The tower has 12 floors and once you’re at the top, the historic terrace will gift you a beautiful view over the red-roofed city of Bologna. Take amazing photos, enjoy some drinks, or taste local Bolognese cuisine, such as the delicious Lasagna.

The tower also works as a B&B and hosts events and private parties. Way to make your time in Bologna unforgettable!

Top 5 Bologna nightclubs

Bologna's nightlife is vibrant, energetic and mostly underground. Because of the university, clubs are usually packed with youngsters and people in their 20s. Here’re the 5 best clubs in Bologna.

  1. Numa club Bologna

Located in the suburb of Bologna, Numa holds a prominent position as one of the best clubs in Bologna. Every Saturday night, the club is home to numerous DJs from all over the globe, whether from the world of pop, techno or even reggaeton music.

From the outside, Numa looks like a simple warehouse. However, as soon as you step in, you’ll find yourself in one of the biggest and most revolutionary Bolognese clubs, with a restaurant on the inside and a large garden that's open in the summer. This club is perfect for people in their late 20s and university students who’re ready to dance the night away until 4 a.m.!

Price: Ticket prices vary depending on the event the club hosts.

  1. Link

If you love techno, Link will be your favourite club! It’s considered one of the best clubs for techno since 1994, not only in Bologna but also around Italy. The club has hosted some of the most international and popular DJs, such as Liebing, Ricardo Villalobos, and Amelie Lens.

Link is also famous for its promotion of art, theatre, and workshops, which are held when the warehouse doesn’t transform into a club.

The club provides a shuttle service to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to celebrate in one of Italy's best nightlife spots.

Price: The entry fee varies on the event the club hosts.

  1. Soda Pops

Looking for a club that’s open every day of the week and has free entry? Visit Soda Pops! Located in the historic centre, the club is an unmissable stop for university students.

No night at Soda Pops is the same as they play a different genre of music every night of the week. On Tuesdays, the club hosts a special Erasmus Night, where students dance the night away.

Whether you just want to start the night by drinking delicious and affordable drinks with friends or dance the night away, Soda Pops will satisfy you!

Price: Free

4.Cassero LGBTI Centre

Cassero was the first cultural centre in Italy — in the ‘80s — to support the rights of homosexual people in the country.

During the week, Cassero offers cultural, political and artistic events. But by the weekend, it turns into one of the most popular clubs in the city. This is the place to visit if you’re after an eccentric and alternative night. People come to Cassero to party in the garden during those hot summer nights. Have a drink at the open-air bar or enjoy the different types of shows put up by performing artists, such as drag queens. Whenever you come, you’ll find a vibrant and friendly atmosphere.

Price: The entry cost is usually €8.

  1. Qubò

What would be cooler than dancing inside a 14th-century medieval prison?.

For a unique and budget-friendly night out, head to Qubò, which was once the prison of Palazzo Pepoli. There aren’t many places on earth where you can dance the night away, next to large brick vaults which belong to a medieval prison.

The club is popular with youngsters as there’s a vibrant and young atmosphere along with free entry on most nights. Just make sure to check the schedule beforehand as the club is also popular for hosting a variety of events and private parties.

Price: Free entry most nights. Tickets for special events start from €7 and include a drink.

Places known for live music in Bologna

© Cantina Bentivoglio Official Page

Bologna is popular in Italy for its singers and musicians that perform on the street and squares of the city. Musicians often organise live music at local bars, making it easy to enjoy going a fun evening with your friends or loved ones. Here’re the best places to listen to live music in Bologna:

  1. Cantina Bentivoglio: Not only have they been playing live music since 1987 but also been serving traditional Bolognese food. It’s also recognised as the top 100 most important Jazz clubs in the world by the magazine “DownBeat”.
  2. L’altro Spazio: The perfect place if you love bands and rock music.
  3. Friday Night Blues: Listen to artists play blues, R&B, funk and jazz music, while enjoying the big tasty buffet. Visit in summer to enjoy concerts held in the large park next to the bar.
  4. Take Five: This elegant and relaxing place is one of the locals’ favourite places for live music! Enjoy their wide selection of wines, cocktails, and gastronomic food.

Now that you know everything about Bologna’s nightlife, it’s time to grab your friends and make the most of this vibrant city! It’s very easy to get started, as you can walk or take the city’s trusted public transport. If you’re new to this city, check out the other fun things to do in Bologna.

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