By Train -- Bologna’s Stazione Centrale is at Piazza Medaglie d’Oro 2 (tel. 892-021). High-speed trains arrive hourly from Florence (trip time: about 30 min.) and Milan (about 1 hr.). Most service between Bologna and Florence and Milan is now via high-speed train; only a few slower and less expensive trains run on these routes. Bologna is well connected to nearby cities by train, making it easy to explore a lot of the region without a car. The station has a well-marked, staffed luggage storage facility on the ground floor, open daily 6am to midnight, where you can store baggage for 5€ for each piece for the first 5 hours, 1€ an hour after that, with lower rates for multi-day storage. This makes it easy to stash your bags, then make day trips to Ferrara, Ravenna, or Parma.
Bus nos. A, 25, and 30 run between the station and the historic core of Bologna, Piazza Maggiore; taxi trips into the center cost around 6€. However, it’s an easy 15-minute walk from the station to Piazza Maggiore down Via dell’Indipendenza, most of the way under covered loggias.
By Car -- If you are driving in from Florence, continue north along A1 until reaching the outskirts of Bologna, where signs direct you to the city center. From Milan, take A1 southeast along the Apennines. From Venice or Ferrara, follow A13 southwest. From Rimini, Ravenna, and the towns along the Adriatic, cut west on A14. See the note on p. ### about driving and parking in Bologna; if you have a choice, it’s much easier to arrive in Bologna without a car.
Central Bologna is easy to cover on foot; most of the major sights are in and around Piazza Maggiore, and most of the sidewalks are covered by porticos, a handy convenience during the rainy winters. City buses, operated by TPER (Trasporto Passeggeri Emilia-Romagna; www.tper.it), leave for most points from Piazza Nettuno or Piazza Maggiore in the city center and the train station. You can buy tickets at one of many booths and tabacchi in Bologna for 1.30€; they are valid for 1 hour. A day ticket valid until midnight on the day of validation costs 5€; a city pass—a single ticket that allows 10 rides—costs 12€. Once on board, you must validate your ticket or you’ll be fined up to 150€; many buses are equipped with machines from which you may buy a ticket for 1.50€, exact change required. A TPER office, with English-speaking staff dispensing info and selling tickets, is just outside the entrance to the train station in Piazza Medaglie d’Oro (open Mon–Sat 6am–7pm and Sun 7am–7pm).
Taxis are on 24-hour radio call at tel. 051/372-727 (Cooperativa Taxisti Bolognesiare; www.cotabo.it) or tel. 051/4590 (Consorzio Autonomo Taxisti; www.taxibologna.it). The meter starts at 4€ and goes up 1.08€ per kilometer.
The Bologna Welcome tourist office (www.bolognawelcome.com; tel. 051/658-3111), at Piazza Maggiore in the Palazzo del Podestà, is open Monday through Saturday 9am to 7pm and Sunday 10am to 5pm. There are other offices at the airport, in the arrivals hall (tel. 051/647-2201; open Mon–Sat 9am–7:30pm and Sun and holidays 9am–5pm) and at FICO Eataly World (open daily 10am–10pm). Helpful staff at these offices hand out free city maps, bus maps, and guides to sights and what’s happening around the city. The office leads a daily 2-hour walking tour around the historic center at 4:45pm, an excellent, informative introduction to the city (15€; leaves from Bologna Welcome office in Piazza Maggiore). The tour is included on a 25€ Bologna Welcome Card—a good investment if you plan on taking the tour, since the card also provides free admission to other sights including 4 must-sees: Museo Medievale, Museo Morandi, the church of Santa Maria della Vita, and the Pinacoteca Nazionale; individual admissions to these 4 sights alone adds up to 21€. You can also find 6 audio-guide walking routes at www.bolognawelcome.com/en/home/discover/itineraries/culture/audio-guides.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.