Welcome to our handwritten guide to the best hostels in Bologna. We have visited all listed hostels personally. On top of that, we added all hostels as well as our secret tips on our map. This will help you to plan your trip easier and faster. I even added my personal, favorite restaurant (which is super tasty and affordable!)
Money-saving tip: Compare hostel prices with Hostelz.com. They compare prices from Hostelworld, Booking.com and others with 1 click.
Italy has always been one of Europe’s most desired travelling destinations year-round because of its expansive culture and history. Today, our destination is Northern Italy’s gem – Bologna! We have visited the city several times. And oh boy, you have to come here to explore a much less touristy city inbetween Venice and Florence.
I have no doubt you have Venice and Florence on your list. Again, as mentioned we recommend taking a stop in Bologna. It might be the most authentic city in Italy you will experience. I recommend staying 2 nights.
Bologna is a city that many travellers often overlook, but trust us; it is a location that is absolutely worth visiting! One of the first things you may notice about it is that it has a handful of nicknames – La Rossa, La Grassa, and La Dotta are usually the ones you will hear the most. The names by themselves are enough to peak one’s curiosity, but there’s so much more to know about this historic destination.
Additionally, it offers a vibrant atmosphere, attracting all kinds of young crowds.
We have compiled a list of some of the best backpacker hostels in Bologna to ensure you get the most out of your adventure! As we’ve mentioned before, there’s something for everyone in the city, so take a peek a chose something that best suits your needs.
Check-In and Check Out: The average check-in time is from 15:00 (3pm), while the Check-Out time is before 11:00 (11am). Hostels usually offer luggage storage in case you arrive earlier or leave later. Make sure you check if luggage storage is free or if there is an extra cost.
Day Trips: You can easily get to both Florence or Venice by train, which only takes a bit more than one hour.
How to get around: The main train station is already quite central. And the city itself is small and walkable. Personally, I absolutely loved it when we rent a bike. It was so easy to go around the city center, and even go up Sanctuary of the Madonna di San Luca. You can also just park at the bottom and walk up or take the mini-train up.
So much Food: Don’t stuff yourself with food! In order to truly taste what Bologna has to offer, make sure not to overeat, since there are plenty of things to sample and delight your taste buds. We added our personal favorite restaurants in the map below.
Perfect time to visit the city: from June through October there is less rainfall and the number of tourists greatly decreases. Hostels will also be cheaper then. Additionally, these months present an excellent opportunity for a road trip through Northern Italy.
To start off, our list of the best youth hostels in Bologna is Combo Bologna! This modern accommodation is located in the quiet part of the city with the central station just a few minutes away. The facility prides itself on the most helpful staff, ensuring you have everything you need during your stay and providing information about activities you can do in the area.
The Combo might not be ideal for solo female backpackers, as the area is not fully lit up. The overall vibe is nice and peaceful, and it is safe, but we have been told that some of the fellow travelers did not like the walking distance to the cneter. The garden and social areas are must-visits, especially during the summer, since there are many live events hosted throughout the entire week. That being said, you can easily grab a drink or two, listen to good music and start meeting fellow travellers! Groups of backpackers are greatly accepted, and small pets are also a-ok!
The hostel offers two- or four-bed rooms with en-suite bathrooms, air conditioning, and Wi-Fi. Additionally, there are options for rooms with double beds, so make sure to ask the friendly reception staff whether they are available. Towel and bedding services are also included, and the cleanliness of the accommodation is superb!
Location: However, what many travellers dislike about this hostel is the location – it’s around 15 to 20 minutes from the centre of Bologna. We do not agree, actually. First, you can rent a bike at the hostel, which is the absolute best way to explore Bologna. Wherever you stay, we highly recommend renting a bike! There is also a bus station nearby, therefore you’ll have to plan your schedule ahead if you want to go out in the town. Still, if peace and quiet are more to your liking, you’ll find that the Combo is one of the best hostels in Bologna.
Also, you are near the club Binario 69, one of the coolest clubs in town to have a night out.
The Dopa Hostel is an incredible hostel, located in the heart of Bologna! It is surrounded by all the city’s famous landmarks, so you’ll probably find yourself busy sightseeing the entire day. In addition to that, the accommodation is a perfect community hub for people all around the world.
What makes the Dopa extra special is that its interior is 99% handmade! The owners wanted to bring a slice of Bologna’s traditional culture mixed with an authentic style and striking pattern. A multitude of guests have said that they feel really cosy upon entry, let alone their entire stay.
Dopa is perfect for both solo travellers and groups, with additional discounts for the latter. There’s even a special set of private, family and shared dorm rooms, ideal for up to 8 people. Security is of utmost importance for this locale, so you can feel free to create your own space even if you’re sleeping with someone else. In addition, you can have a rich breakfast with various foods, chill in the lounge area playing board games or reading a book and enjoy free Wi-Fi in all areas of the hostel.
What about the location?
The location is the main highlight of this accommodation since there are so many iconic landmarks nearby! For example, you can head to the first university in the world, Piazza Maggiore, Pallazo Fava, Torre Degli Asinelli, and so much more! Check our handmade map below. The fun doesn’t stop there – because it’s located in a vibrant area, you’ll find lots of cocktail bars, restaurants and live music bars providing entertainment all night long!
Actually, DOPA is located at the popular street called „Via Mascarella“. This street is the best place in Bologna to go for an Aperitivo. A place we recommend specifically is Modo Infoshop. It is an actual Book shop and bar with great cocktails. Try the „Moscow mule“ with real ginger, thank us later!
The biggest downside of the Dopa is the pricing. It usually costs more compared to other Bologna hostels. By going here, you can expect a lovely atmosphere, helpful staff and friendly people. If you’re backpacking alone, don’t think twice about booking a room!
Our last entry for the best hostels in Bologna is the Il Nosadillo, situated in the city’s medieval centre, just a few minutes from the Piazza Maggiore.
This can be a great choice for the solo backpacker because there is a group chat where people can organise trips together, creating the perfect opportunity to meet new people! The staff is also incredibly friendly and helpful, so they can help you with just about anything you might need. Since the general atmosphere is pretty laid back and chill, if you’re not keen on going out partying, you can spend your nights in the common area for some friendly chats or watching Netflix on the projector.
Travellers can enjoy the commodity of spacious rooms, which come with large lockers and power sockets for each bed. The rooms are either all female or mixed, so you can choose an option you’re most comfortable with. Additionally, there’s free towel service, complimentary breakfast and a strong Wi-Fi connection in every hostel area.
The downside, the dorms are the most basic compare with DOPA and COMBO hostel above. There are no privacy curtains in the dorms. However, if these things don’t bother you, you can expect an excellent experience for your money’s worth!
What about the location, you wonder?
Foodies will especially enjoy this accommodation since the iconic hipster street – Via del Pratello, is only 5 minutes away! You are only 3 minutes away from one of our favorite restaurants called Trattoria Fantoni (check the map below for more details). Additionally, you can visit a lot of sightseeing spots that are in the local vicinity.
Keep in mind, though, that the Nosadillo is not very quiet because of its central location, so you can expect noisy crowds, especially during peak season. The solution as always: bring ear plugs!
There are no real, crazy party hostels in Bologna Italy. Not in the sense of hardcore party at least!
The good news is, you can stay at any of the 3 hostels mentioned above and head out to explore the Bologna nightlife. Bologna is a students city and there are plenty of cool bars and clubs around. Just check out the Hipster area around Via del Pratello.
Personally, we most enjoyed Combo Hostel Bologna. It is easy to meet people, big, super clean, and they organize events where even locals join. Loved that! During our stay there was a concert taking place.
In our map below we added our own tips for bars and restaurants, too.
What about the cheapest hostels in Bologna?
Of course, there are always cheap hostels. But how do you actually find them? When you are traveling on a shoe-string budget and you want to save every dollar, there are ways to find the cheapest places in Bologna.
Open Hostelz.com with a full list of all hostels in Bologna
add your dates
Order the listings by price
Simple as that.
Hostelz.com is a price comparison site for hostels. They list every single one in the world and tells you exactly which website is cheaper to use.
Another smart Tip: Check what is actually included, and what is excluded. Take a closer look at the location, too. A further location might mean more costs in transport.
The two most popular booking platforms are Booking.com and Hostelworld.com. They both list numerous hostels and cheap accommodation. We wrote a detailed guide on the best booking sites for hostels.
The coolest App you need for Hostels comes as well from Hostelworld. It comes with super cool features like you can contact your hostel mates beforehand and make plans together. Download the Hostelworld App here.
All 3 Hostels put on a map + sights
Ohhhh here we are. Our famous map we mentioned already 17 times.
Personally, we love to plan our trips with a map having all sights and potential hostels on it. We thought this map will help you with planning your trip too. And since it is most famous for its mouth-watering food and historical centres, we added our own foody tips here as well. Once you try them, you will thank us!
As you know, Bologna is situated in the Northern part of Italy, between two other famous cities, Venice and Florence.
It will be a crime if we don’t go a bit into detail about the city’s nicknames, since they give a perfect example of what to expect!
La Rossa – or “the red” in Italian – refers to the red rooftops and buildings you can see across the entire city. Another meaning would be referring to Bologna being the communist bastion during WWII, as it supported left ideologies.
La Grassa – or “the fat and the food”, it is obvious that this one requires no further explanation. Once you get a taste of the delicious Bolognian food, you’ll surely want to come back for more!
La Dotta – or “the studied one”- is the oldest university in the world. Normally, many schools were present at the time, but Bologna was the first to use the official term.
Here we share with you the most asked question:
What are the best hostels in Bologna for Solo-Traveler?
The best hostels for solo-traveler in Bologna, Italy are:
Combo Bologna - best for social gatherings , Solo-Traveler, and Groups
Dopa Hostel - best for Social Butterflies, Female Solo-Traveler
It is pretty obvious that we also wrote a big guide on the absolute coolest hostels in Italy. We go into detail which destinations we enjoy the most and which ones could be skipped. And yes, we have even more handwritten guides for you. We know Italy quite well, so there is no doubt in our mind that our guides will inrich your Italy backpacking trip.
Besides hostel guides with juicy budget travel tips, we also wrote up some city guides with secret tips. You can find them all here.
Hopefully, our recommendations of the best hostels in Bologna will come to your assistance when travelling to this amazing city. We also want to mention that Bologna is not that busy compared to the rest of the Italian cities, but you can still expect some crowds during peak season. Don’t forget to go out hungry – the food is just unforgettable and reasonably priced too!
Over to you
Do you have any questions left, maybe doubts? Then please leave it in the comment below. We are very keen to help you - and actually you would even do us a favor!
Your question will help us to improve this Bologna guide.
Last note: Our commitment
This is a genuine article to help you travel a bit smarter, and find the best place on a budget! We will never recommend you any place we haven’t evaluated or are not convinced by. We are constantly updating all our guides to keep them as fresh and accurate as possible.
Safe travels, The Hostelgeeks
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