Is Bologna safe to visit? A comprehensive safety guide

Published by: Bounce13 March, 2023
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Bologna is the capital city of the Emilia-Romagna region in Northern Italy. This historical city is known around the world for several reasons, including the fact that it is home to the oldest university in the whole Western world. It is a popular university city with lots of students coming here to study but has many landmarks that attract tourists too. Some of its top sites include the Basilica of San Petronio and the Palazzo d'Accursio found by the Piazza Maggiore, the Municipal Public Library, the Sanctuary of the Madonna di San Luca, the Anatomical Theatre and the Two Towers; the Asinelli Tower and the Garisenda. It is also called the food capital of Italy and has plenty of good food for you to try.

In a year Bologna, Italy will see at least 1.5 million tourists and often more, with the majority of them visiting between the months of September and November. This is a great time to travel here with the colder weather slowly creeping in, and plenty of autumn-related festivals and events going on. Bologna's current population is a bit over 800,000.

Although it isn't a small town, crowded places are common here and that means that, as a tourist, you'll need to be careful of your belongings. If you want a stress-free trip you can always trust your valuables to a suitcase locker in Bologna. Bounce luggage storage is a convenient and easy service to use. With an app that can be downloaded on both iOS and Android, plus locations scattered all over the city, what could be easier?

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Is Bologna safe to visit right now?

As a traveler, it is your responsibility to check to see if a city and country are safe for you to visit. We'll help you make that decision, but it doesn't hurt to read some other safety guides as well. No matter your level of experience, being informed is key to a marvelous time in a new city. Looking at the travel restrictions, we can deem Italy safe for travel as long as you take the necessary precautions. You should still check to see if your own government has any advisories in place, too.

No city is completely safe, and even Bologna has common crime stats that tourists should know about. Scams are a big problem here and natural disasters can also pose a threat. If you know what to do you can still have a very fun and safe vacation in Bologna. Italy is also a safe country in general with a ranking of 32 on the 2021 Global Peace Index.

Top petty crimes and scams in Bologna affecting tourists

Here are the most common kinds of petty crime in Bologna and a couple of things that you can do to make yourself less of a target. With the Bologna safety tips we've outlined below, you'll be prepared for a terrific trip.


Scammers can be seen frequently in Bologna, especially around the popular tourist sites where lots of foreign visitors usually go. They will take advantage of unassuming tourists by trying to sell them things, overcharge for souvenirs or services, or even steal belongings in some cases.

You can definitely avoid a street scam if you use common sense and are wary of strangers who approach you. You should trust your gut if someone seems suspicious or is trying to distract you since another person could be snatching your things while you aren't looking. Also, be cautious of locals offering unsolicited advice or directions as they may be trying to lead you into a scam.


Just like scammers, pickpockets love to hang out around busy areas in big cities. In Bologna, you'll need to be careful around tourist attractions and also in public transport hubs where thieves might consider visitors to be an easy target. Aside from being aware of thieves, you can lower your chances of having your valuables stolen by leaving them with Bounce.

The things that you do bring with you should be kept in a secure bag that zips up and preferably attaches across your body so that bag snatchers can't take it from you as easily. It is also wise to keep some cash in a separate pocket outside of your wallet, just so you'll have some money if it ever gets stolen.

Natural disasters

Sometimes cities can be more dangerous because of where they are located, and Bologna experiences a fair share of natural catastrophes that are beyond anyone's control. Before you visit Bologna you should familiarize yourself with the proper safety steps for earthquakes.

Although not a common occurrence, as a general guide, you should immediately stop what you're doing, get low to the ground and find a desk or table to hide under if you ever feel an earthquake happening. It is not advised to go outside during these disasters, but to instead stay put and wait it out. Floods can also be a problem in Bologna and will sometimes cause road closures.

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Is Bologna safe to travel alone

Bologna is considered to be safe for anyone to visit, even if you're traveling solo. That being said, solo travelers will have to be more careful than those who are vacationing as a group. This just means sticking to the central areas where there are more people and not wandering the streets alone at night. There are also a few areas that should be avoided altogether, although it will be safe to visit most places during daylight hours.

Women who are vacationing alone should take a look at the Bounce Women Travel Safety Index which will give you a good idea of a country's safety for solo female travelers. The index ranks Italy 23rd and it is a generally secure place to visit by yourself. Of course, this still means that you'll have to stay alert when making your way around the city alone. Try to stick to the main streets and well-lit areas if you're going for a walk after dark.

Safest neighborhoods in Bologna

As the largest city in its region, you might think that you've got plenty of places to choose from when looking for somewhere to stay in Bologna. However, the city center has some unsafe places that you may think twice about booking a hotel in or even visiting. To start, here are some areas that will be fine for you to explore.


Colli is a trendy and elegant neighborhood found near the south side of the city. It is nicknamed the Beverly Hills of Bologna and is a great place to stay.

Bologna Fiere

This neighborhood is known to be the business hub of the city, although anyone can stay here. Accommodations are affordable and plenty of fairs and special events happen in the area.

Borgo Panigale

This area might not seem as exciting as some of the other places around Bologna, but it can be the perfect place for tourists to stay. Not only is it safe but it is also a great location between the historic center and the international airport.

It is just as important to know about the dangerous areas in a city as the safe ones. There are a couple of places that you may want to pass on. This includes Pratello, as well as Bolognina and Pilastro. Be aware that the University District is always frequented by young people and can be noisy. The university area is also home to a major party street which can get rowdy at night when the partygoers are out.

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Is Bologna public transportation safe?

People in big cities rely on a public transport network to get from one place to another, and Bologna is no different. Aside from the airport bus, Bologna offers public buses and commuter trains that you can use when to get between districts or even to visit any other city nearby. They are said to be mostly safe so you won't have to worry when using them.

Of course, this doesn't mean that you can relax completely. You'll need to be careful of pickpockets when you're waiting in a train station, especially the more popular ones like the Central station. Remember to buy tickets in advance and be alert when using any ATMs or machines. You can also rent your own car to get around but make sure to always lock the doors and hide any objects left inside the vehicle so they don't get broken into.

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Emergency numbers in Bologna

Although Bologna is a safe city, crime definitely still exists. Keep these numbers, as well as your embassy number, close by during your trip.

  • Carabinieri: 112
  • Emergency Police: 113
  • Fire Brigade: 115
  • Medical Emergency: 118

Safe travels to Bologna, Italy

No city is completely safe, but you can definitely visit Bologna without worrying since most common crime instances can be avoided by practicing basic precautions. Now that you know how to be safe you're almost ready for a vacation in Bologna. There is a hidden gem around every corner just waiting for you to discover. To prepare yourself even more for a trip to this Italian city you can read these guides on How to Get Around Bologna and Where to Stay in Bologna: The Ultimate Guide.

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