The best hotels in Bologna city centre, including historic architecture and Michelin-starred restaurants

These are unusual times, and the state of affairs can change quickly. Please check the latest guidance before travelling. Our writer visited these hotels prior to the pandemic.

Bologna combines the welcoming cosiness of porticoed pavements and colourful food markets with the impressive grandeur of historic towers and majestic palazzi within a compact medieval heart. And, as befits Italy’s foodie capital, there’s an abundance of traditional trattorias and historic wine bars throughout. With most of the major sights and foodie hotspots clustered around Piazza Maggiore, the Two Towers and the university (Europe’s oldest), opting for a hotel in the centre means you’ll have it all on your doorstep. Here’s our pick of the best hotels in Bologna city centre.

Grand Hotel Majestic già Baglioni

Bologna, Italy

9
Telegraph expert rating

Rooted in the city’s history, yet projected onto the international scene, Bologna’s most prestigious hotel has been, since opening in 1912, the accommodation of choice for visiting royals, heads of state and high-profile celebrities. The hotel is near Bologna’s cathedral (opposite) on a busy shopping street that’s pedestrianised at weekends. The main square, Piazza Maggiore, is a two-minute stroll and the station is under a mile. This enviable position, sumptuous interiors furnished with antiques and precious works of art, an excellent restaurant, and a hospitable atmosphere all make for a memorable stay.


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£
295

per night

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Art Hotel Commercianti

Bologna, Italy

8
Telegraph expert rating

This family-owned hotel, housed in an 11th-century building, has gracefully maintained a historic feel (think wooden beams, frescoed walls, antiques, a suit of armour) highlighting its connection to Bologna’s past, while providing all modern comforts. It has one of the best locations in town, adjacent to Bologna’s main church, San Petronio, in a quiet lane just off the central Piazza Maggiore. Guests can drive through the limited traffic zone to the hotel and its on-site garage, which has 16 bookable spaces. The position is ideal for exploring the city on foot and the station is about a mile away.


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£
84

per night

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Hotel Corona d’Oro

Bologna, Italy

8
Telegraph expert rating

The Corona D’Oro is a peaceful and relaxing haven among the busy sights and shops of Bologna’s medieval centre, ideal for popping back to during a day around town. The classic yet comfortable rooms are well equipped – five have private balconies (a rarity for Bologna’s medieval centre) – and there’s a beautiful lobby lounge with antiques and orchids. Timings are generous, with breakfast available until 11am and a midday check-out. An inviting buffet of snacks and nibbles is laid out each day for early evening aperitivo time – an ideal moment to enjoy the lobby lounge and bar.


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£
105

per night

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Art Hotel Novecento

Bologna, Italy

8
Telegraph expert rating

This small and stylish design hotel near Piazza Maggiore offers comfortable and attractive rooms in a quiet yet very central location. The eye-catching Art Deco façade leads to a sleek and stylish interior where glossy black furnishings and dark copper features match well with shades of white and stone. There are a few tables outside under the front portico and the open-plan lounge/breakfast room is a good place to relax, read or work during the day; there are complimentary sweet or savoury nibbles here. For a really special stay, book into a top-floor suite or one of the exclusive design apartments across the piazza. Bicycles are free to rent.


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£
107

per night

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Art Hotel Orologio

Bologna, Italy

7
Telegraph expert rating

You can’t get much more central than this: the hotel is literally around the corner from Bologna’s main square and although it’s a pedestrianised zone, car access for luggage is permitted. A welcoming atmosphere with eclectic décor and an intriguing collection of clocks, in addition to the location and spacious rooms, makes it an appealing base for exploring. Despite a mix of styles, the general atmosphere of the hotel is rather old-fashioned but warm and homely, with details such as crocheted seat covers in the breakfast room contrasting with the chandeliers and a pleasant lounge with a deep yellow colour scheme.


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£
107

per night

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Hotel Touring

Bologna, Italy

8
Telegraph expert rating

Tucked on a quiet street in the historic centre of Bologna, 220 yards from the San Domenico church (which houses three little-known sculptures by Michelangelo), this family-owned and operated hotel has a welcoming homey feel and features a panoramic rooftop terrace. The décor has been considered carefully, resulting in a smart, contemporary yet comfortable look with thick-pile carpeting, large works of contemporary art, an open fire and reading material. The top-floor terrace has glorious views over Bologna’s red rooftops and medieval towers to the hills surrounding the city – a sweet spot in the summer. The 36 guest rooms all have an immediately relaxing appeal.


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£
66

per night

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Al Cappello Rosso

Bologna, Italy

9
Telegraph expert rating

Extraordinary bedrooms designed by contemporary artists, over 600 years of history and an unbeatable central location, not to mention delicious traditional food, make this an excellent choice for Bologna. The hotel (and restaurant) was already up and running by 1379, its first official mention, and guests receive a guide on its fascinating history. Open to non-residents for breakfast, lunch and dinner, all the pasta, bread and desserts at the Osteria, including the typical rice cake, are homemade and wines and beers, are exclusively from the region. Bicycles, laptops and even golf clubs are available to borrow for free.


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£
110

per night

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Casa Bertagni

Bologna, Italy

8
Telegraph expert rating

Casa Bertagni stands on a quiet street in Bologna’s university district, close to major attractions, such as the Pinacoteca Nazionale, the landmark Two Towers and Piazza Maggiore (15-minute walk). It began life as a private home, built by the grandparents of the current owner and architect, Guido Vincenzi, who has converted the building into a luxury guesthouse with great taste, care and attention to detail, while maintaining a cosy feel. Antiques and contemporary design blend harmoniously, with originality and a touch of irony. The antique pieces come from the private collection of Vincenzi’s grandparents; some of the objects on display can be purchased by guests.


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£
88

per night

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Hotel Metropolitan

Bologna, Italy

7
Telegraph expert rating

Hotel Metropolitan has a decidedly modern look, with a penchant for designer furniture. The lobby’s light and pastel colour scheme brightens the space and feels welcoming despite its small size. Black-and-white walls and furniture in most of the rooms create a pleasant contrast, and give the rooms a polished look. Careful attention to detail is evident in the 40 Standard and Superior rooms, which feature many Italian designer furniture pieces. The elegant rooftop terrace, open from March to October, offers great views over the red roofs of Bologna and surrounding hills, and is ideal for sipping a cocktail before dinner, or sunbathing in the day.


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£
80

per night

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Contributions by Silvia Donati & Yolanda Zappaterra