Bologna Car Hire

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Bologna is the capital of Emilia Romagna, Italy’s stomach and most delicious region. The city has earned a reputation as a gastronomic paradise thanks to its rich ragu and hearty pasta dishes, though it’s easy enough to work up an appetite here, with dozens of brilliant museums, miles of picturesque porticoes and leaning towers. It’s a pretty city too, built in deep terracotta stone, hence its nickname La Rossa (The Red One). You could happily spend a few days here without leaving the city centre, though many people prefer to use it as a convenient base for a longer trip around the region. From here, you can visit Modena, Parma, Ferrara and Ravenna in little more than an hour. In between, there are vineyards, farms and cheese cellars to explore too.

For a smoother trip, book your Bologna car hire in advance with Enjoy Travel!

Guide of Bologna


Bologna is located in the centre of Emilia Romagna, around halfway between Florence and Milan. It lies at the northern foot of the Apennines, on the ancient Via Aemilia.

Climate in Bologna

Bologna has a warm and temperate climate, with hot and muggy summers. The hottest months are July and August, where average temperatures average 31°C. Most locals evacuate the city in August, choosing to holiday further south or in the mountains. Restaurants and many businesses close down for at least part of the month too.

The coldest month is January, with average temperatures of 10°C, though temperatures often plummet to 1°C. Winters tend to be rainy too, with occasional snow. November is the wettest month, though rain is common in October, December, March and April as well. Spring and early autumn are the most pleasant times to travel to the city.


Bologna can trace its roots back to the Bronze Age. By the 6th century, it had become one of the Po Valley’s most important settlements and eventually fell to the Romans, who named it Bononia. Under the Romans, Bologna became a flourishing city which continued to thrive well into the thirteenth century. The university was founded in the 11th century and became home to some of Europe’s most eminent teachers. Since then, it has gained a reputation as La Dotta (“The Learned One”). Much of the city – including its walls – was built in the 14th century. Since World War One, Bologna has become an important industrial centre too, particularly in cars, chemicals and shoes.

Bologna was also famously anti-fascist during the rise of Mussolini and elements of this ‘red’ culture are still very visible today in the city’s local politics, lively student protests and vibrant street art scene.

Things To Do in Bologna

Take in a view

Le Due Torre – Le Torre degli Asinelli and Le Torre Garisenda – are two of Bologna’s most iconic sights. For an uninterrupted view of the city, climb the 498 steps of the Torre Asinelli. From here, you’ll be able to see how Bologna got its nickname La Turrita (“City of Towers”). There are 20 left today, but its heyday the city boasted more than 100.

Wander around pretty porticoes

One of the city’s most distinctive features is its 40 km of covered porticoes, which have gained Bologna UNESCO World Heritage status. Via Senza is the smallest of the lot at less than a metre long, while the 4 km Portico di San Luca stretches all the way to San Luca Basilica at the top of the hill.

Explore Bologna’s best museums

Bologna is home to some showstopping museums and galleries, including the oldest university in the world. The Pinacoteca Nazionale is home to some of Italy’s finest Renaissance masterpieces and the Museo Civicale Medieval is home to thousands of Medieval treasures. The Teatro Anatomic, the old heart of the medical school, hosts a fascinating historical collection of anatomy too.

People watch in Piazza Maggiore

Piazza Maggiore is the spiritual and social hub of the city – and has been since the 13th century. The square is lined with red stone porticoes and flanked by impressive medieval palazzi. The centrepiece is the Basilica di San Petronio, one of the largest churches in Italy. The Fountain of Neptune, commissioned by Pope Pius IV in the mid-16th century, is just around the corner in the Piazza Nel Nettuno.

Eating Out in Bologna

Bologna boasts a rich culinary tradition, which explains why it is nicknamed La Grassa (“The Fat One). The city has been considered one of the country’s food capitals since the Middle Ages and is home to many of the country’s most famous delicacies and dishes – ragu, mortadella, prosciutto and balsamic vinegar. The tangle of medieval streets behind the Piazza Maggiore, known as the Quadrilatero, is the best spot to pick up fresh produce and sample locally cured meats.

Almost every trattoria, bar and osteria offers an excellent menu, but for a particularly good bowl of tagliatelle al ragu or lasagne verde, try Trattoria Anna Maria. The restaurant opened nearly 50 years ago and many of the recipes have been handed down for generations. All’Osteria Bottega is another culinary hotspot, well known for its Gramigna a la Salsiccia and tiramisu.



Bologna Guglielmo Marconi Airport (BLQ) is the main airport in Emilia Romagna, though there are also airports in Rimini and Parma. This small international airport is located around 6 km northwest of the city centre and easily accessible by bus, shuttle bus or car. Alternatively, you can take the Marconi Express train, which runs directly from the airport to Bologna city centre in just 7 minutes.

At least 45 international airlines fly to Bologna airport, including some of the largest airlines in Europe.

Getting Around Bologna

Bologna is a highly walkable city and most of the main attractions are accessible by foot. The Old Town, which is encircled by the city walls, features narrow and busy streets, so it might be best to leave the car outside of the city walls.

The train station runs regional and long-distance trains regularly and reliably. However, if you’re looking to explore more of the region – particularly the wineries outside Bologna – we recommend hiring a car.

Top Tips when hiring a car in Bologna

● A big number of users encountered rental cars in Bologna for less than £36 per day.

● Booking your rental car in Bologna in advance even if it's by at least 1 day before your trip ensures you'll get cheap car hire deals.

● Compact hire car models in Bologna are cheaper and more popular than other car types.

● When visiting Bologna, consider car hire options to explore the city and its surroundings conveniently. Look for car hire services at Bologna Airport or the Bologna train station.

● Research different car hire companies in Bologna to compare prices, services, and available vehicle options. Look for reputable car rental companies that offer competitive rates and good customer reviews.

● Take advantage of the best car hire deals by booking in advance or comparing prices online. This can help you find affordable rates and discounts for your rental car in Bologna.

● Within Italy car rent, it is common to refer to car rental as "car hire." So, when searching for services, use both terms interchangeably to find relevant information.

● Bologna Airport car hire offers various car hire companies within the terminal. You can easily find a rental car upon arrival, allowing you to start your journey without delays.

● If you prefer to rent a car from the city center, consider the Bologna train station. It often has car hire services available, providing you with convenience and flexibility.

● Familiarize yourself with speed limits in Italy to ensure a safe and compliant driving experience. Speed limits typically range from 50 km/h in urban areas to 130 km/h on highways, but always follow the posted signage.

● Bologna is one of the Italian cities strategically located in northern Italy, making it a great starting point for exploring the region. Within just an hour drive, you can reach various attractions and destinations.

● When driving around with your Bologna car hire, you may come across the Tangenziale Nord di Bologna, which is the northern ring road. It provides easy access to different parts of the city and serves as a convenient route for traveling around northern Italy.

● Remember to check if the car hire at Bologna company offers ground floor pick-up or drop-off options. This information can be useful if you have heavy luggage or prefer easy accessibility.

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FAQs about car hire in Bologna

Most frequently asked questions about hiring a car in Bologna

It’s hard to say for sure but Bologna leans towards the inexpensive side. On average you’ll spend €141 per day while visiting.
Depending on the use you’re planning to give it, it could turn our more economic than public transport.
The best way to get to know this city is by starting from the centre and the most important buildings that surround it, such as the Basilica of San Petronio, the San Esteban Square and the Communal Palace.
The ideal dates are the weeks of late September and early October. You will find warm temperatures and greater tranquillity, since it is not usually a popular time with tourists.
The most economic options begin at €43 for a week, which is €6 per day.
Likewise the cheapest cars for a month begin at €1163, or €38 per day.
The average price of a litre of fuel in Bologna can vary between EUR 1.32 and EUR 1.18.

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