Our advice for Bologna really depends largely on how you are getting to Bologna in the first place – the city has previously had two active international airports, yet in recent years, all the flights have been concentrated on the main Bologna International airport (BLQ).
It’s also quite possible that you might already be travelling around Italy by train, and as ever, the Carornocar advice is about arriving in the city and then deciding on whether or not to get a hire car, as opposed to advising on whether or not to drive here in the first place.
Reasons why you need a car in Bologna
Visiting Bologna without a car
James says - a few trip notes:
Bologna – at the cross-roads of Italy
The simple fact is that Bologna is one of those cities that tends to be overlooked, especially as it stands between Milan and Florence to the north-west and south-east respectively, and also as it’s a natural changing point between Pisa or the Cinque Terre in the west and Verona or Venice to the north east. Given that there is such a wealth of world-famous destinations around Bologna on all sides, it’s a shame that the delightful redbrick city of Bologna is often missed out, but we have to comment on the reality.
So as far as the city centre goes, Bologna is inherently walkable, and an attractive city centre with many pedestrian areas closed off to through traffic.
Beyond Bologna, the well-documented urban destinations of Milan, Venice, Verona, Florence and Pisa need no introduction, but if you are looking at using Bologna as a reasonably good value base when compared to these other cities, and then travelling out to any of the above cities from here, it’s far easier to do this by train than by car.
So do you need a car in Bologna? Ultimately, our Bologna car hire advice has to consider a focus on the local area, rather than looking at using Bologna as a base to explore other Italian cities, each of which has its own car hire advice page (use links above). For this, we’d recommend looking at getting a hire car, but it’s a marginal case.
Do you need a car in Bologna? Verdict – yes