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Top 10 Best Bologna Walking Tours

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If you’re looking for a fun and informative way to explore the culture of Bologna, look no further than these top 10 Bologna walking tours.

Rated by us and other visitors as some of the best in the city, these walks will take you through the city’s most famous landmarks.

Bologna is one of our favorite cities in Italy and is one that we have gone back to visit several times. One of the best things to do in the city is to take a walking tour and learning about its fascinating past.

You’ll get to see everything from the Piazza Maggiore to the Basilica of San Petronio while giving you an insider’s perspective on Italian life.

Whether you’re a first-time visitor or have visited Bologna before, there’s a tour for everyone! So what are you waiting for? Read on and let’s discover the best walking tour of Bologna and start exploring.

Our Top 3 Picks: Best Bologna Walking Tour

Don’t have time to read through the entire post? Here are our top 3 picks for Bologna walking tours.

Our #1 Pick

Bologna City Center Walking Tour

This affordable 2-hour walking tour takes you to the most famous sites in the city with an expert guide.

#2 Pick

Bologna City Walking Tour

This 2-hour group walking tour includes a visit to the old University of Bologna and to many of the most significant landmarks in the city.

#3 Pick

Basilica San Petronio Bologna
Historical Tour of Bologna

This 3-hour walking tour takes you through the history of Bologna and includes all fees and entry tickets.

10 Best Bologna Walking Tours

We’ve searched far and wide to bring you this comprehensive list of tours in Bologna based on our personal experience visiting the city. We’ve ranked them in order, starting with what we feel is the best Bologna walking tour right now.


1. Bologna: City Center Walking Tour

Rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars | Tour length: 2 hours | Check rates and availability

There’s a good reason why this is rated as the best walking tour of Bologna. During this small group tour, your guide will take you through the cobbled streets of Bologna and explore its history and cultural attractions.

You’ll get to admire the architecture, make a wish at the Neptune fountain, and explore the Quadrilatero Market. This classic walking tour takes you to iconic landmarks such as the Asinelli tower, Neptune fountain, and Basilica of San Petronio, all while your expert guide shares interesting historical facts about each site.

‘…the entire team of Albero, Esther, Pablo and the driver Antonio made this experience so much fun and memorable. We also loved hearing Pablo’s stories and the history of the region during the hike. Would highly recommend to those who want to see!’

GetYourGuide Traveler (See more reviews)

Languages available: Italian, French, Spanish or English


  • The Basilica of San Petronio
  • Towers of Bologna
  • Quadrilatero Market

2. Bologna City Walking Tour

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars | Tour length: 2 hours | Check rates and availability

Explore the ancient streets of Bologna and discover its captivating history on this classic Bologna walking tour. Your certified guide will take you through all the memorable sites, such as the Quadrilatero market area, the statue of Neptune, and the beautiful Basilica of San Petronio.

You’ll get to learn interesting facts about each location and soak in the culture of all the most popular attractions in Bologna.

“An enjoyable tour with an excellent guide. The audio equipment helps in that you can be taking pictures but still can enjoy the commentary. We especially enjoyed the sundial and the Roman and medieval remains under the library which we returned to visit again. Highly recommended tour.”

John A. (See more reviews)

Languages available: English, Italian, French, Spanish


  • Quadrilatero
  • Archiginnasio di Bologna
  • Basilica di San Petronio
  • Le Due Torri Torre degli Asinell
  • Piazza Santo Stefano

3. Historical Tour of Bologna

Basilica San Petronio Bologna

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars | Tour length: 3 – 3.5 hours | Check rates and availability

Your guide will take you on a journey through the city of Bologna and explore its art, history, and food culture. With your local art-loving guide at the helm, you’ll learn about architectural masterpieces such as Palazzo d’Accursio and Basilica di San Patronio, as well as traditions and legends that have been passed down for centuries.

You’ll get to wander through the streets of the city center to Piazza Maggiore, discover hidden gems, and gain a true appreciation for the unique beauty of the city.

“I had a very memorable and deeply historical one-on-one private tour around Bologna city center with Riccardo. In just 3.5 hours walking around with him I learned more not only about Bologna’s rich and unique history but about the historical forces that led to the Renaissance. Riccardo taught me things I would never have learned on other tours. Definitely, a worthwhile and unique experience to see Bologna through the eyes of someone so deeply knowledgeable about the history and art history of this beautiful city.”

Tim R. (See more reviews)

Languages available: English, Italian


  • Piazza Maggiore
  • Insight into the city from a local art lover
  • Discover the art, architecture, and food heritage of Bologna

4. Classic Walking Tour Bologna

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars | Tour length: 2 – 3 hours | Check rates and availability

Get the most out of your visit to Bologna with this classic guided walking tour! Learn about the city’s long history and unique architecture as you explore the top attractions like Piazza Maggiore and the Two Towers.

You’ll also get to see the Archiginnasio courtyard to Piazza Santo Stefano and the Sala Borsa library. Discover hidden gems and get to know the city like a local on this classic tour. You’ll finish in a local delicatessen, where you can sample regional wines and Emilia Romagna foods. This is the perfect way to round off your memorable experience.

This tour can also be booked as a private tour where you can adjust the itinerary and pace to suit your group’s needs.

“We thoroughly enjoyed this tour. After three hours of walking through Bologna learning about the history and the culture we felt like we were locals. I recommend you take this tour the first day you’re in bologna so that you’ll feel comfortable moving around the city center. I grade this tour A+.”

Edward D. (See more reviews)

Languages available: English, German, Italian, French, Spanish


  • Piazza Maggiore and the Two Towers
  • Basilica di San Petronio
  • Sampling local wine and delicacies
  • Sala Borsa library
  • Piazza Santo Stefano

5. Walking tour of the historic center of Bologna

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars | Tour length: 2 hours | Check rates and availability

During this tour, you’ll get to explore the best of Bologna. This guided walking tour visits all the city’s best sights. You’ll get to wander your way beneath the UNESCO-listed porticoes to Piazza Maggiore, gaze up at its twin medieval towers, visit the University of Bologna – the oldest university in the world – and learn about its long history as you walk.

Your guide will also give you insights into other major landmarks like the Basilica of San Petronio and the Fountain of Neptune while admiring their architecture and pointing out unique features.

This is a small group experience, giving you more time to savor it all.

“Highly recommend this tour by a true local. She was very knowledgeable and managed to add extra background and context to the things we saw and threw in some “secrets” to make the tour even more enjoyable. You will not be disappointed!”

Laurens V. (See more reviews)

Languages available: English, Italian


  • Piazza Maggiore
  • Biblioteca Salaborsa
  • Palazzo d’Accursio
  • Basilica di San Petronio
  • Mercato di Mezzo

6. Private Bologna Tours by Locals, Highlights & Hidden Gems, Custom

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars | Tour length: 2 – 8 hours | Check rates and availability

This fully customized walking experience allows you to enjoy Bologna with your own personal host. Choose from 2, 4, 6, or 8 hours to explore the city. In addition to all the main city highlight attractions like Piazza Maggiore and the Due Torri, your host can suggest other places to suit your personal interest.

Take in unique sights, sample delicious eateries, and discover grand landmarks as well as little-known gems. With your personalized itinerary your guide will give you local insights, this tour is sure to be an unforgettable experience.

“We had a lovely private tour of Bologna with Antonia on 11 august 2022. It was 2 hours, probably should have booked for 4 hours as there is so much to see. Antonia packed in a lot of history in 120 minutes. We asked to focus on the university of Bologna. She showed us the historical seat of the University and ended up showing us the university bookshop to buy souvenir gear as requested. She talked in both Italian and English per the needs of our group.”

Alicia T. (See more reviews)

Languages available: English, Italian


This tour can be fully customizable but would typically include:

  • Basilica di San Petronio
  • Mercato delle Erbe or Mercato di Mezzo
  • Fontana del Nettuno
  • Piazza Maggiore and the Towers

7. Bologna: Guided Walking Tour

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars | Tour length: 3 hours | Check rates and availability

During this guided walking tour of Bologna, you’ll get to visit Piazza Maggiore, a grand square that is home to the Fountain of Neptune and Palazzo del Podestà. These two historic landmarks offer insights into Bologna’s name as “The Learned”, “The Fat” and “The Red”.

You’ll get to venture inside the unique anatomical theater within Archiginnasio and admire Torre Galluzzi, one of the city’s oldest towers. Then you’ll walk along Via Farini and explore Piazza Santo Stefano with its world’s renowned porticoes. You’ll then get to take in the Court Isolani passageway before heading to Via Strada Maggiore. Here you’ll get to chat with the locals at Mercato di Mezzo to find out why food is so important in Bologna.

“From the moment I met my tour leader Manuela, I knew this was going to be a time well spent. All in all, I learned a lot from one who exudes an enormous sense of pride in her city and culture. She spoke from her heart and saw Bologna as an integral part of who she was. She invested a good part of her life into teaching others about her traditions, and one could tell she was honest, sincere, and passionate.”

GetYourGuide Traveler (See more reviews)

Languages available: English, Spanish, Italian, German


  • Admire the main monuments of Bologna, including Piazza Maggiore
  • See the 2 leaning towers
  • Wander the photogenic porticoes of Bologna
  • Discover the longest sundial in the Basilica of Saint Petronio
  • Discover the food of Mercato di Mezzo

8. Bologna: Private Walking Tour with a Guide

Rating: 4.9 out of 5 stars | Tour length: 2 hours | Check rates and availability

Explore the picturesque city of Bologna and its stunning architecture on this private walking tour of Bologna. Take in the vibrant atmosphere, and remains from past periods with your personal expert guide.

Start at the central square of Piazza Maggiore to discover the iconic landmarks: Basilica of San Petronio, Palazzo d’Accursio, Palazzo del Podestà, and the Fountain of Neptune with its late Renaissance sculptures by Giambologna. Then you’ll move to the university district and admire the main buildings like the Aechiginnasio Library and Palazzo Poggi.

Finally, you’ll get to walk through the ancient Mercato di Mezzo, an old market dotted with fabulous food stalls – before exploring Quadrilatero’s unique ancient shops.

“Stella was fantastic as our guide. Her insight and knowledge of Bologna was exactly what we needed as we had just arrived. The tour gave us a great understanding of the area, and places to revisit once the tour was over. Thanks, Stella- we had a great time.”

Peter (See more reviews)

Languages available: English, Spanish


  • Admire the Fountain of Neptune, Piazza Maggiore, Basilica of San Petronio, and Palazzo d’Accursio
  • Discover Bologna and its neighborhoods through the eyes of a local
  • Explore Quadrilatero market and its elegant shops
  • See the iconic leaning towers
  • Wander through famous porticoes of Bologna

9. Bologna with a Local: Customized Private Meet-Up

Rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars | Tour length: 2-6 hours | Check rates and availability

Explore the best of Bologna with a private tour tailored to your interests and preferences. Your hosts will contact you within 24 hours of booking to discuss your interests and carefully match you with the right profile, assign a local guide, and put together a bespoke itinerary.

This is one of the best ways to explore Bologna, get off the beaten track, and explore sights not usually covered in guidebooks. Get insightful local knowledge and discover a side to Bologna that you’ll truly love.

The great thing about booking a private tour is that you can adapt it as the day goes on. Feel free to tweak the itinerary and change direction during the day and take advice from your knowledgeable guide.

“Great private tour of Bologna. We walked our feet off, but saw such interesting places, especially the sun passing the Meridian inside the church (can’t remember the name). Claudio’s recommendations for art, history, and dining were wonderful. Such a gentleman, knowledgeable and respectful.”

GetYourGuide Traveler (See more reviews)

Languages available: English, Italian


This tour can be fully customizable and can include:

  • The best experiences you want to get out of the city
  • Iconic attractions or off-the-beaten-track places
  • Immersion into the cultural diversity of Bologna

10. Bologna: Private and Personalised Walking Tour

Rating: 4.8 out of 5 stars | Tour length: 3-8 hours | Check rates and availability

Experience the best of Bologna with a private and personalized tour with a local host. They will take you on a journey to discover the original charm and lively character of this vibrant city.

Tailor your itinerary to suit your interests. Perhaps start with an espresso in a bar under the ‘portici’ like the locals, before going on to explore the Jewish ghetto streets to discover tiny houses and come out beneath two iconic towers.

Discover amazing spots that are difficult to find in any guidebook. Your guide will suggest places of interest, but you’ll also have complete freedom to change direction during the tour at any point with your host’s advice.

“Lorenza met my every request and need. I wanted a tour focused on medieval life, culture, and history. No church and no art. She kept my full attention for the entire 6 hours!”

GetYourGuide Traveler (See more reviews)

Language available: English, Italian


This tour can be fully customizable so discuss with your guide what you’re interested in. This can include:

  • Specific interests, such as art, food, religion, architecture, etc
  • The must-see landmarks
  • Off-the-beaten-track places or places where just the locals go

FAQ: Bologna Walking Tours

Can you visit Bologna University?

Yes, you can visit the old Bologna university on either a guided or self-guided tour. Many of the guided city walking tours make a stop at the university where you can learn first-hand knowledge about one of the oldest universities in the world. Otherwise, on the self-guided tour, you can read plaques throughout the building.

What is the famous square in Bologna?

The main square in Bologna is the Piazza Maggiore. This square is surrounded by the Quadrilatero (the old market), the town hall, and many cafes.

Is Bologna a walking city?

Yes, Bologna is a fantastic city to walk around and most of the main sites can be reached by foot within 10-15 minutes.

Final thoughts: Best Bologna Walking Tours

So which Bologna walking tour are you going to opt for?

Regardless of your travel style, walking tours are a great way to discover a city. Small group tours are a great option if you’re on a budget and want to see the highlights efficiently, whereas private tours are the best if you have a specific interest and want more flexibility.

No matter which type of Bologna walking tour you choose, all of these tours offer a great way to explore the city.


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