Why stay in Bologna?
Bologna is the heart of the heart of Italy's food culture - in other words, the region it lies in (Emilia-Romagna) is the heart of Italy's food world, and Bologna is its main city. The bottom line is that you're going to eat well in Bologna.
Bologna is roughly midway between Venice and Florence, and most people who visit do so for only a brief stopover en route one way or the other. While it's true that Bologna isn't dripping with must-see sights the way some other Italian cities are, it's a real Italian working city. You won't find masses of tourists or postcard vendors in every piazza, which can be a nice change. What you will find is a city famous for its contributions to the culinary arts, its university (the oldest in the world) and, more regionally, its love for speed (Ferrari, Lamborghini and Ducati are all headquartered nearby). Wander Bologna's covered sidewalks, visit its beautiful churches and museums, crane your neck upwards at the city's symbol - the pair of precariously leaning towers - and just enjoy this genuine Italian city. Oh, and like in any good university town, the bars and clubs are busy places at night.
Bologna is primarily a city of business, not of tourism, so don't be surprised at the lack of hostels in the city. Italy's guesthouses and B&Bs sometimes offer similar prices as hostels, so look for those as well. And keep in mind that "hostels" are not just for the young backpacking crowd (even if the property has the word "backpacker" in the name!) - they're ideal for any budget traveler who's interested in meeting other travelers. A few Bologna hostels worth mentioning are highlighted below.
B&B Anna is in the old city center within one kilometer of the city's main sights. Hotel Imperial has 43 rooms and the building was once an old mill.
Hotel Il Guercino is on a quiet street behind the train station. Hotel Fiera is near the convention center.
If none of these hostels sounds like it's the right one for you, don't worry. There are other Bologna hostels listed here which you can choose from. Just keep browsing the descriptions until you find the one that suits your needs.
Need anything else for your trip? You can look for the best deals on international airfare to Italy and book your ticket now. You can also learn more about the area in our Bologna Travel Guide.