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Headed to the Bologna train station? We’ve taken the train to and from Bologna dozens of times and want to share everything you need to know about the Bologna train station for a successful journey.
Whether you’re arriving, departing, transferring, or having a long layover at the Bologna train station, we’ve got you covered.
Here is your essential FAQ guide for first-time visitors to the Bologna train station that covers everything from how to buy tickets, the distance to the city center, nearby hotels, restaurants, car rentals, and more. So read on and find out all you need to know about the Bologna train station.
What is the Bologna Train Station Called?
The main train station in Bologna, Italy is called Bologna Centrale Railway Station. It is located on the northern edge of the city center.
The address is Piazza delle Medaglie d’Oro, 40121 Bologna BO, Italy.
This is the only train station in Bologna, Italy.
Is the Bologna Train Station Big?
Yes, Bologna Centrale is a large train station. The station has one ground level and three below-ground levels with 27 platforms in total.
- Ground Level (Piano 0): Train platforms, ticket office, customer service, restaurants, exits, and bag storage.
- Level -1 (Piano -1): Pedestrian underpass to reach platforms
- Level -2 (Piano -2): Taxi pickup
- Level -3 (Piano -3): New high-speed train hall
- Level -4 (Piano -4): High-speed platforms level
Due to Bologna’s central location, Bologna Centrale is one of Italy’s busiest train stations. It serves as the intersection for train lines running north-south and on east-west routes. On average, around 800 trains pass through Bologna per day totaling nearly 58 million passengers passing through the station over the course of the year.
All major cities in Italy have daily train services to Bologna Centrale train station.
How Many Platforms are at the Bologna Train Station?
The Bologna train station has 27 platforms.
- 23 platforms are located on the main ground level. To access many of the platforms, you’ll need to take the underground walkway that connects platforms to each other. Some of these platforms are for regional travel and may be located on side tracks.
- Tracks 16 – 19 are the new high-speed tracks located 3 floors underground. You’ll need to walk to the far side of the train station to get to these platforms and take the elevators or escalators all the way to the bottom.
To find out which platform your train departs from, you can check one of the many departure boards located throughout the station.
Read also: Emilia Romagna Travel Guide
How Do You Say “Train Platform” in Italian?
Train platforms are called Binario in Italian. Follow the signs for Binario to get to your assigned platform.
How Early Should I Arrive at the Bologna Train Station Before My Scheduled Departure?
We recommend arriving at Bologna Centrale at a minimum of 15 – 20 minutes before your train is scheduled to depart.
If you are traveling on a regional train, it can take 5 – 10 minutes to walk to your platform from the outside of the train station.
If you are traveling on a high-speed train, it can take up to 10 – 15 minutes to arrive at your platform and specified train coach.
How Long Does it Take to Transfer from One Platform to Another?
Transfers at Bologna Centrale can be busy. Since Bologna serves as the intersection for so many train lines, it is a popular transfer point. This means that many people will be exiting your train with you as you transfer.
If you are transferring from one regional train to another, it should take anywhere between 5 – 10 minutes to exit your train, go down to the subterranean passage, and back up to your new platform.
If you are transferring to or from the high-speed platforms, it can take a total of 10 – 15 minutes to exit your train and arrive at your new platform.
How Far is the Bologna Train Station from the City Center?
Bologna Centrale is conveniently situated near the northern edge of Bologna’s city center, so you can easily explore the city on a short trip. In this FAQ, we will use Piazza Maggiore, the main square of Bologna, as a reference point for the travel time from the train station to the heart of the city.
You can reach the city center from Bologna train station by:
- Walking: It takes about 20 – 25 minutes on foot.
- Bus: It takes about 10 – 16 minutes by local bus. Note that some central streets are pedestrian-only on weekends and holidays.
- Car/Taxi: It takes about 6 – 10 minutes by car or taxi. Note that you cannot drive to Piazza Maggiore on weekends and holidays.
- Bike: It takes about 6 – 10 minutes by bike.
Can You Buy Train Tickets at the Bologna Train Station?
Yes, the Bologna train station has self-serve ticket machines located throughout the station. The station also offers an in-person ticket office where you can buy your tickets at the service counter.
How to Buy Tickets at Bologna Centrale Train Station
There are 3 ways to buy tickets at Bologna’s train station.
- At the ticket office
- From the self-serve ticket kiosks.
- On your phone with the Trenitalia app.
We will explain how to buy tickets from all three options.
Buying Train Tickets from the Ticket Office
Before you march up to the service counter, you’ll need to grab a number from a little ticket dispenser. This ticket is your number and will be called when a service representative is available to serve you. When it is your turn, your number will display on a screen in the ticket office.
Once your number has been called, a service agent will help you get your ticket. Tell them your destination and if you want a return ticket. You can then pay with any major credit card or cash.
Upon leaving and throughout the train station, you’ll see little green punch card boxes attached to the wall. To validate your ticket, you’ll need to stamp them with these machines. Keep your ticket with you for the duration of your train ride.
Buying Train Tickets from the Self-Serve Ticket Kiosks
The self-serve ticket machines are one of the easiest ways to buy tickets at the train station. Located in the entrances and throughout the station, you can walk up to any available machine and start your order.
Get started by selecting your preferred language. The machines offer English, French, German, and Italian.
Search for your destination on the screen and select the time you wish to leave.
Click to purchase your ticket. The machine will then print out a paper ticket that you’ll need to validate with the validation boxes located next to the self-serve machines or on the platforms.
Buying Train Tickets on the Trenitalia App
The most convenient way to purchase your train tickets is through the Trenitalia app. You can purchase your tickets minutes, hours, days, weeks, or months ahead of time. Simply download the Trenitialia app for iPhone or Android and create an account.
You can select your destination, the time you wish to depart, and return tickets on the app. Once you purchase your tickets by entering your card information, your tickets will stay in the app. They will display as a QR code.
When you are on the train, a ticket agent may stop by and ask to see your ticket. Show them this QR code.
Is Bologna AV and Bologna Centrale the Same?
Yes, Bologna AV and Bologna Centrale are the same train station.
Bologna AV (Alta Velocità) refers to the high-speed train platforms which are located three floors underground.
Bologna Centrale refers to the entire station.
If your train tickets say Bologna AV, you’ll still need to head to the Bologna Centrale train station.
Where to Get a Taxi at the Bologna Train Station?
The Bologna train station has a separate kiss-and-ride taxi pickup located one level below the ground floor. If you have reserved a taxi ahead of time, head downstairs to the designated taxi area.
If you didn’t reserve a taxi ahead of time, don’t fret. The same downstairs taxi area has a designated taxi stand where you can get in line to catch a taxi into the city.
Follow the signs in the station to level -2 Piano Kiss & Ride.
Does Bologna Airport have a Train Station?
No, Bologna airport does not have a train station. However, it does have an express rail connection that connects you to Bologna’s main train station, Bologna Centrale. The connection is a short 10-minute ride.
How to Get from Bologna Airport to Bologna Train Station
You can get to the Bologna Airport from the Bologna Centrale train station via the Marconi Express. This new monorail train line is a direct line between Guglielmo Marconi airport and Bologna Centrale. The ride takes under 10 minutes and carries up to 48 passengers
The Marconi Express stop is located at the far North end of the Bologna train station.
Is there Luggage Storage at the Bologna Train Station
Yes! There is only one luggage storage facility inside the Bologna train station. It is called Deposito KiPoint Bologna Centrale.
KiPoint luggage storage is located in the West Yard of the train station, called “Piazzale Ovest” in Italian.
With KiPoint, you don’t need to worry if your luggage will fit in a locker because the KiPoint is managed by an attendant, similar to the front desk of a hotel. This allows you to quickly drop off and pick up your bags so you can travel easily through Bologna.
All luggage storage areas inside the stations are covered by insurance that is included in the price.
Costs start at €6.00 per bag for up to 5 hours. They are open from 7:00 am to 9:00 pm.
Are there Bathrooms at Bologna Centrale?
Yes, restrooms are located on the central underpass and are clearly marked throughout the entire train station. If not at the station, all high-speed trains and most regional trains have restrooms you can use while in transit.
Restaurants Near Bologna Centrale
If you need a quick bite to eat while waiting for your transfer, or as you are heading into the Bologna train station to catch your train, there is a wide variety of restaurants nearby. If you have time, we recommend eating traditional Bolognese food and trying a couple of gelato shops in the city.
Restaurants in the Bologna Train Station
- Dispensa Emilia: Serving up local Bolognese specialties, Dispensa Emilia is a great option if you don’t have time to leave the train station and want to pick up some regional cuisine.
- Rossopomodoro: Small pizza joint located on the Northeast side of the main entrance.
- Vecchia Bologna Panini: This little sandwich stall is a great option if you want to pick up a sandwich to take with you on the train.
- Vyta: This little cafe in the station is the perfect spot to pick up a coffee and pastry for your journey.
- KFC: The KFC is located on the west side of the train station near the Dispensa Emilia.
Restaurants Near the Bologna Train Station
- Supermercato Despar: This little grocery store is located just outside of the Bologna train station in the Piazza delle Megdaglie D’oro. This provides easy access to a wide variety of snacks, drinks, and other food options.
- Mortadella Shop: Located across the street from Bologna Centrale, the Mortadella Shop offers high-quality mortadella sandwiches, a local specialty of Bologna.
- Ristorante Bolognese: Located a quick 3-minute walk from the train station, this restaurant serves up typical bolognese cuisine from tortellini in brodo and tagliatelle al ragu to lasagna. This is a good location if you have a bit of time in between your trains, but don’t have enough time to venture into the city.
- Il Veliero Ristorante Pizzeria: This traditional pizza restaurant is only a 6-minute walk from the train station and serves as a great choice on your way to or from the train station, or in between train rides.
- Trattoria Da Romano: Only 5 minutes from the train station, Trattoria Da Romano has a traditional homey feel to the entire restaurant. They serve up traditional Bolognese cuisine as well.
Hotels Near the Bologna Train Station
The hotels in this list are sorted from nearest to farthest from the Bologna train station.
UNAHOTELS Bologna Centro – UNAHOTELS Bologna Centro is a 4-star hotel situated directly across the street from Bologna Centrale Train Station that offers a restaurant featuring Emilia Romagna cuisine and unlimited free Wi-Fi. The rooms are air-conditioned, tastefully furnished, and equipped with a TV, mini-bar, and private bathroom. The hotel has a trendy bar, a large summer terrace, and serves breakfast every morning. The hotel is conveniently located near restaurants, bars, and stores and the city center is only 20 minutes away.
Starhotels Excelsior – Starhotels Excelsior is a 4-star superior hotel located across the street from the Bologna train station, offering free Wi-Fi throughout, spacious and elegant rooms with natural hues, and an exquisite restaurant. The hotel also features a free gym and a bar offering drinks throughout the day. Located next to the gardens of Parco della Montagnola, the hotel is a quick 15-minute walk to Piazza Maggiore, and the Bologna Exhibition Center is 1.2 miles away.
Amendola16 – Amendola16 is a centrally located accommodation in Bologna offering city views and free Wi-Fi. Each unit has a private bathroom, air conditioning, a flat-screen TV, a fridge, a microwave, a minibar, and a coffee machine. The bed and breakfast is only 3 minutes from the train station and only a short distance from many of Bologna’s landmarks.
Hotel NH Bologna De La Gare – NH Bologna De La Gare is a hotel located in Bologna’s shopping district, just 950 feet from the Bologna train station, featuring large rooms with minibar and satellite TV, free Wi-Fi, and a continental buffet spread. The hotel also has an on-site restaurant, Amarcord, which serves local specialties, and has plenty of options for vegetarians and children. Located next to the Parco della Montagnola gardens, the hotel is a 10-minute walk to the city center.
Royal Hotel Carlton – The Royal Hotel Carlton is a 4-star hotel located in the historic center of Bologna, near the Bologna train station and the airport. It offers a spa with saunas, Turkish baths, and wellness treatments, a restaurant serving neoclassical cuisine, and elegant rooms with flat-screen satellite TV and free Wi-Fi.
Are There Car Rentals Near the Bologna Train Station?
There are many car rental locations located within minutes of the Bologna train station. If you are planning on renting a car from Bologna Centrale to explore the region, we recommend using Discover Cars to get the best prices.
Things to do Near Bologna Centrale Station
Bologna is a charming medieval city with plenty of things to see and do. Here are some of the top sights to see in Bologna.
The Two Towers
One of the most iconic sights of Bologna is the two towers, Asinelli and Garisenda, which stand at the intersection of five ancient streets. These towers are among the few remaining examples of the many medieval towers that once dotted the city skyline. You can climb up the 498 steps of Asinelli Tower and enjoy a panoramic view of Bologna from 97 meters high. The two towers are Bologna’s most iconic sights and a must-see for any visitor.
The two towers are about 1 mile (1.5 km) away from Bologna Centrale Station, which means you can walk there in about 22 minutes, ride the bus there in about 13 minutes, or take a taxi in about 10 minutes. The bus lines that connect the station with the square are 25, 27, and 30, but they may take longer due to traffic.
Piazza Maggiore is the main square of Bologna and one of the most beautiful in Italy. It is surrounded by impressive buildings that reflect the history and culture of the city, such as Palazzo d’Accursio, Palazzo dei Notai, Basilica of San Petronio, and Palazzo dei Banchi. You can admire the architecture, enjoy a coffee or a gelato at one of the cafes, watch people go by or join a guided tour to learn more about the monuments.
Piazza Maggiore is about 1 mile (1.5 km) away from the Bologna train station, which means you can walk there in about 20 minutes, take a bus in about 10 minutes, or a taxi in about 8 minutes. The bus lines that connect the station with the square are 25, 27, and T2.
Mercado delle Erbe
Mercato delle Erbe is a historic market in Bologna that offers a variety of fresh and local products, such as fruits, vegetables, cheese, meat, bread, and more. It is also a place where you can enjoy delicious food and drinks at one of the many restaurants and wine bars inside the market. You can taste traditional dishes like tortellini and tagliatelle al ragù, or try some street food like pizza or piadina. Mercato delle Erbe is a great place to experience the authentic flavors and atmosphere of Bologna.
Mercato delle Erbe is a little over half a mile (1 km) away from Bologna Centrale Station, which means you can walk there in about 15 minutes, take a bus in about 9 minutes, or a taxi in 5 minutes. The bus lines that connect the station with the market are 25 and T21.
Parco della Montagnola
Parco della Montagnola is the oldest park in Bologna and a place of historical and cultural significance. It was built on the ruins of a 14th-century castle and has been used as a theater, and a site for performances and sports competitions. It has a scenic staircase decorated with statues and reliefs inspired by the history of Bologna, a central basin with a fountain, and many trees and flowers. You can relax on the benches, enjoy the views, or visit the market that takes place every Friday and Saturday.
Parco della Montagnola is about 1,600 feet (500 meters) away from Bologna Centrale Station, which means you can walk there in about 10 minutes or take a local bus in about 5 minutes. The bus lines that connect the station with the park are 25 and T2.
Popular Destinations to and from Bologna Train Station
Bologna Centrale train station offers many daily routes to some of the most popular Italian cities.
Bologna Centrale to Florence
Thanks to the new high-speed train system in Italy, the journey from Bologna Centrale to Florence only takes about 37 minutes. This makes for one of the easiest day trips in Italy as Firenze Santa Maria Novella, the main train station in Florence, is located right in the heart of the old town of Florence.
Bologna Centrale to Milano Centrale
The journey to and from Milan is common, as the bustling city is home to two international airports. On the highspeed line, the distance from Milano Centrale to Bologna Centrale train station is only about 1 hour and 15 minutes. You can easily explore Milan as you plan out your day trips from Bologna.
Bologna Centrale to Rome Termini
The train ride from Bologna to Rome takes an average of 2 hours and 20 minutes on the high-speed train lines. This makes for an easy transfer to Italy’s historic capital.
Bologna Centrale to Venice
Venice is one of the world’s most unique cities. Having been built on man-made islands off the coast of Northern Italy, this incredible city is one of Italy’s most visited destinations. Fortunately, for travelers, Venice is also easily accessible via train. The journey from Venice to the Bologna train station on a high-speed train takes 1 hour and 30 minutes on average.
Final Thoughts on the Bologna Train Station
Hopefully, this guide answers all of your questions about traveling to and from Bologna’s main train station.
If we missed something, let us know in the comments below!
ITALY TRAVEL PLANNING GUIDE
Italy Travel Insurance – Should you get travel insurance for Italy? YES! We always get travel insurance before all of our trips for peace of mind. Check out Travel Insurance Master to find the best plan for you.
Italy Rental Cars – Is it safe to rent a car in Italy? Yes! We’ve rented a car in Italy too many times to count, and it’s definitely the most convenient way to get around the countryside. We rented our car through Discover Cars (our go-to rental agency), which helps you find the best rates no matter where you are traveling.
Italy Phone Plans – If your phone plan does not offer free coverage in Italy, then we suggest getting an eSIM. We used Airalo during our trip to Italy, and we had fantastic coverage the entire time. It’s easy to download and you can even top up via the app if needed.
Italy Hotels – Wondering where to book your accommodations for Italy? We’ve been reserving all of our hotels through Booking for years. Their messaging tool makes it easy to communicate with the hotels, and there are endless options to choose from.