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Trains to Bologna

If you are exploring Italy by train, you’ll end up sooner or later in Bologna. Italy’s seventh-largest city is the country’s greatest rail hub. Bologna Centrale railway station has more long-distance departures than any other station in Italy. But Bologna is more than merely a place to change trains. The city is a premier-league destination in its own right.

This left-leaning university city has a very fine centre, notable for its striking piazzas and its covered walkways (which offer protection from winter rain and summer sun). It is a great place just to wander. Take time to explore the Archiginnasio - that's the oldest part of the university - where each morning some buildings, including the venerable library and the old anatomical theatre, are open to the public. Then head to the Palazzo Pepoli, which houses a very fine museum recounting the history of Bologna.

Rail connectivity supported the rapid growth of Bologna in the late 19th century. The original station building is a fanciful mock-Renaissance piece that looks like a Florentine villa. It’s still in use today, but Bologna Centrale has of course expanded massively since the station opened in 1864. The main station clock is fixed forever at 10.25, the moment on a summer morning in 1980 when fascists detonated a bomb which caused terrible loss of life and injury. The scars of the Bologna massacre are still raw today. Trains come and go, most of them serving subterranean platforms these days, while up above visitors reflect on the memorial to the victims of the attack.

Bologna Centrale has trains at least hourly to Milan, Rome, Venice and a dozen other Italian cities. Florence, Ravenna and Verona can all be reached within an hour. On many high-speed routes from Bologna, you'll have a choice of travelling either on Trenitalia's sleek Frecciarossa trains or on the equally posh trains of private-sector rival NTV Italo.

There are direct trains from Bologna to Munich, Innsbruck and Vienna. The journey from London to Bologna can be completed in a single day, but many travellers favour the overnight option, using the Thello night train from Paris to Verona and connecting there onto a direct train to Bologna.

Travel to Bologna by train from anywhere in the UK or across Europe.

London to Bologna by train

from $110.57

Avg 2 changes 11hr 57m

Paris to Bologna by train

from $45.64

Avg 1 change 7hr 56m

Milan to Bologna by train

from $8.95

Avg 0 changes 49m

Rome to Bologna by train

from $12.48

Avg 0 changes 1hr 55m

Turin to Bologna by train

from $12.48

Avg 0 changes 1hr 57m

Verona to Bologna by train

from $11.35

Avg 0 changes 50m

Naples to Bologna by train

from $13.62

Avg 0 changes 3hr 15m

Pisa to Bologna by train

from $16.01

Avg 1 change 1hr 38m

Geneva to Bologna by train

from $106.41

Avg 1 change 5hr 40m

Zurich to Bologna by train

from $52.58

Avg 1 change 4hr 50m

Nice to Bologna by train

from $40.35

Avg 1 change 6hr 7m

La Spezia to Bologna by train

from $21.43

Avg 1 change 2hr 34m

Ravenna to Bologna by train

from $16.77

Avg 0 changes 59m

Venice to Bologna by train

from $11.10

Avg 0 changes 1hr 13m

Florence to Bologna by train

from $8.95

Avg 0 changes 35m

Country guide

Trains to Italy

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Child and youth passengers

The definition of "Child" and "Youth" varies by country and operator. This is why we ask for the age of young passengers.

Sometimes children below a certain age can travel without a seat for free. If you want to guarantee a seat for child passengers, enter '6' as the age of the child.

Read more about child and youth passenger ages. See also youth discounts and railcards.