Cost of living in Bologna

Housing costs

When compared to some of the other cities in Italy often chosen for international exchanges, student accommodation in Bologna does rank among some of the most expensive. Students also spend a fair amount of money on utilities, transportation and essential items, not to mention activities and entertainment.

Typically, rent for a single room can run about €350, with utilities, such as electricity and rent, for one person at an additional €40.

Of course, a big factor in your monthly rent in Bologna will be the location of your housing. We have covered some of Bologna best neighborhoods and the most popular student areas in the housing section of the guide.

Additionally, you may also opt to share a room or an apartment (which rents for between €600 and €750 per month) in Bologna, which can be a big help when trying to stick to a student’s budget.

Food costs

Trying to shop for groceries in a new city can be difficult at first. It may take you a few weeks to look around and decide which supermarkets or shops offer the items that you need at the most competitive prices.

Most students spend about 100€ per month on meals that they can cook at home. Of course, if you are sharing an apartment, you can split food expenses with your roommates and cook your meals together.

If you enjoy eating out, or it’s more convenient when you’re out exploring the city to grab something on-the-go, you’ll usually pay about €3.50 for a kebab or two slices of pizza from a street vendor. This can even sometimes be just as economical as preparing your meals at home.

In the evenings, be sure to take advantage of the traditional aperitivo, which usually includes a tasty buffet and a drink for between 7€ and 10€. This can typically be found at many pubs and bars, as well as laid-back restaurants.

If after dinner you’d like to check out a disco, entrance fees are typically at least €10, with cocktails ranging between €5 and €7. You’ll also need the Arci card, which is priced at €10 and is required for entrance to many venues throughout Italy.

Transportation сosts

TPER manages the public transportation in Bologna, which consists primarily of bus routes that connect the city with suburban areas. A single ticket is priced at €1,50 for travel within an hour. You can also save a little bit by purchasing the 12-ticket pack for €12.

However, if you plan to be in Bologna for a year, the university arranged a special deal with the Municipality of Bologna. Students can pay €180 annually, rather than €330, and there is a symbolic price of €10 for Erasmus and International students.

There is no tram or underground in Bologna, but neither are necessary. You can easily reach any part of the city via bike or bus in under half an hour.

Bologna is also a convenient home base for exploring other nearby cities. There are three different types of trains: Frecciarossa, Inter-city Trains and the Regionale.

Frecciarossa is the fastest, but it is also the most expensive. It links to the country’s largest cities, such Rome or Venice. Pricing can be a little more affordable if you book in advance, and they range between €20 and €60.

Inter-city Trains also offer long journeys, but they stop in a lot of other cities along the way. While these trains are slower, they do cost less, at prices between 10€ and 40€.

The Regionale Train is the cheapest, but it only offers connections within 100km. Tickets range between €2 and €15, depending on the distance traveled.

One thing to always remember is to validate your rail ticket at one of the machines located on the platform. If you forget to do this, you can be fined up to €50.

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