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8 BEST Bologna Walking Tours (Selected by a Local!)

In this article, you’ll find amazing Bologna walking tours, selected by a local (me!) to help you enjoy the city in the best possible way. Check them out! 

Bologna is the capital of the Emilia-Romagna region in northern Italy, and the city I’ve called home for the first 25 years of my life.

It is a fascinating city, steeped in culture and history. It also holds a great variety of culinary delights (did you know Bologna is Italy’s foodie capital?!)

Bologna is not as famous as other cities such as nearby Florence, but there is a lot to visit and understand about it and its incredible past. To truly experience all that Bologna has to offer, I recommend taking a walking tour led by a local guide.

Even more if you’re only in Bologna for one day! With the insider knowledge of a guide, you’ll be able to discover the hidden gems of the city that you might otherwise miss.

It can be hard to choose what tour option is right for you. In this article, I’ve rounded up the seven best Bologna walking tours, so you can choose one that’s tailored to your interests and budget.

From historical and private tours to culinary experiences, there’s no shortage of options! So, put on your walking shoes and get ready to discover the beauty of Bologna with a local guide!

Why should you trust me? I was born and raised in Bologna, and I know what a tour should and should not include.

I only suggest tours that I would be comfortable recommending to my friends when they come to visit. So you can consider me a local friend who wants you to have the best possible experience in Bologna 🙂

I usually use Viator and Get Your Guide to book activities around the world. I especially recommend them for their fantastic cancellation policy. If your plans change, you can cancel most tours up to 24 hours in advance for a full refund. 

Limited time? These are the best tours

THE BEST TOURBologna: City Center Walking Tour
PRIVATE TOURPrivate Bologna Tours by Locals, Highlights & Hidden Gems
FOOD TOUR Bologna Food Tour from a Local Perspective

OUR PICK: The BEST Bologna Walking Tour

This Bologna: City Center Walking Tour offers first-hand insights and stories about the city’s customs, history, and secrets. 

Embark on a journey through the heart of the historic center, visiting lovely squares and main cultural attractions.

Take in the heights of the Asinelli Tower, marvel at the craftsmanship of the Neptune sculpture, and check out the Basilica of San Petronio. You’ll also get lost (metaphorically) in the bustling Quadrilatero Market. 

Learn about the delicious food and unique products that make Bologna special, and get insider tips on the best places to eat during your visit.

Why this tour? It’s the perfect introduction to the city, especially if it’s your first time in Bologna. Your guide is a local expert who’ll take you to the unmissable highlights while sharing off-the-beaten-path gems.

Read what the reviews say

Very interesting tour that takes you to visit the main attractions of Bologna. Our guide was very good, and made us discover some gems of the city. It was always interesting, we visited the statue of Neptune, San Petronio, the wireless telephone area, the donkey tower area…”

Matteo – Read more reviews

This tour includes: A guided 2-hour tour in Bologna and a local guide. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

Historical Tours of Bologna

▶️ History buffs – and anyone curious to learn about the city’s fascinating past – will delight in this Historical Tour of Bologna.

It’s a half-day experience led by a local with a passion for art, legends, and food. They’re thoroughly prepared to guide you through ancient Bologna, exploring its rich heritage. 

You’ll visit both popular landmarks and some of Bologna’s hidden gems. These include the world’s biggest sundial, impressive collections of coats of arms, and frescoes from the Medieval era. 

And of course, you’ll get to take in the towering Asinelli Tower, Piazza Maggiore, and the striking Basilica di San Petronio. Don’t miss out on this history-focused tour!

This Bologna city guided tour includes: A walking tour with a local guide. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

▶️ This Bologna Theme Tour: the Oldest University in Europe offers a fascinating insight into the past. You’ll delve into Bologna’s academic history as you tour the continent’s oldest university, which dates back to the 11th century.

Walk past the monuments of professors from the Middle Ages, and see the ancient Anatomy Theater and the Archiginnasio Palace. All the while, hear stories about the beginning of university education in Europe, and what it consisted of.

Powered by GetYourGuide

This tour includes: A private historical tour and a guide. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

Bologna Private Walking Tours

▶️ The Private Bologna Tours by Locals, Highlights & Hidden Gems, Custom can last anywhere between 2 hours and a full day. The choice is yours because the itinerary is entirely customizable to suit your interests.

Lace-up your shoes and hit the streets of this sprawling city. You’ll explore its lively Quadrilatero Market, the Piazza Maggiore, Due Torri, and the secret canals.

Your expert guide will take you to the best spots and provide insider recommendations for the rest of your stay in the city.

This Bologna walking tour includes: A private guide, and a customizable itinerary. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

▶️ Experience the city’s authentic side on this Bologna Custom Private Tours by Locals, Off-the-Beaten-Path. Your local guide will take you to their favorite spots away from the tourist trails, introducing you to the real Bologna.

Uncover the city’s best-kept secrets as you enjoy street art, pass by trendy bars, and explore local neighborhoods. Art galleries and vintage markets will replace the busy attractions as you see Bologna through the eyes of a native.

This walking tour of Bologna includes: A personalized tour with a private guide. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

Food & Wine Walking Tours of Bologna

Think that a food tour is the best way to explore a city? I tend to agree, and that’s why I also wrote a post about the best food tours in Bologna, AND the best wine tours from Bologna. Because you can’t relish an Italian meal properly without a glass of wine…right?

▶️ Get ready to tantalize your taste buds with one of the best foodie experiences: a Bologna Food Tour from a Local Perspective! Follow a local guide to six different historical shops and indulge in mouth-watering local specialties.

These include tortellini, ragù, parmigiano reggiano, aceto balsamico di Modena, mortadella, regional wine… The list goes on! Along the way, you’ll explore the main spots of Bologna, visit its bustling market, and hear fascinating legends and stories.

This small-group tour offers a personal experience, so let someone else plan your breakfast and lunch for the day. End the tour with an artisanal gelato to satisfy your sweet tooth!

This tour includes: All food and drink tastings and a guide. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

▶️ This Bologna: City Center Guided Wine Walking Tour is a fabulous experience for wine lovers. You’ll discover the city’s rich culinary heritage and history as you walk around the old town.

Walk around the historic center, and tour a few wineries to learn about the winemaking process. Taste different varieties of wine in an enoteca and an osteria, where you’ll be introduced to the Colli Bolognesi wine area.

Your tour ends in the oldest taverna in town, where you’ll enjoy a traditional snack.

Powered by GetYourGuide

This tour includes: A wine expert guide, 2-5 glasses of wine, and snacks. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

A Self-Guided Bologna City Tour & Scavenger Hunt

Feel like spicing up a little bit the concept of Bologna guided tours? Embark on a fabulous trip around the city…with a Self-Guided Highlights Scavenger Hunt and Tour!

Combining the excitement of a smartphone game with a Bologna tour, this fun activity takes you to the city’s most important attractions. All the while you’ll be solving riddles and uncovering interesting facts.

You’ll visit ten major and off-the-beaten-path sights, each of which will propose a unique riddle for you to unlock. This tour is ideal for first-time visitors, groups of friends, and especially families with children.

Start your adventure at the two leaning towers and explore the city at your own pace. 

This tour includes: A self-guided tour, and the mobile app with login details. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

  • Stefania Guglielmi

    Stefania Guglielmi is the founder of Every Steph. Originally from Bologna, Italy, she's been traveling full-time since 2016 and has visited over 50 countries across 6 continents. She believes sustainable travel and luxury travel can go hand in hand and has been advocating for responsible tourism since 2014. Stefania's advice and travel experiences have been featured in important publications such as Business Insider, Refinery29, and Yahoo Money.