Bologna Centrale:  Location map

Bologna Centrale is the main railway station in Bologna and a major railway junction where the lines from Milan, Verona and Venice join up, then split again either to Florence, Rome & Naples or to Ancona and the Adriatic coast.  There's been a station here since 1859, the current station building on the south side of the tracks closest to the city centre dates from around 1876.  The four underground high-speed platforms were opened in 2013.

small bullet point  Which platform?

small bullet point  Ticket offices

small bullet point  Left luggage

small bullet point  A meal, coffee or beer before your train  

small bullet point  Taxi, bus or walking to the city centre

small bullet point  Hotels near the station

Bologna Centrale station entrance

Bologna Centrale main station entrance, looking west across the large station forecourt.  Photo courtesy of @AnValenteyn.

Which platform for your train?

Bologna Centrale consists of a conventional station at ground level and four underground platforms for high-speed trains built alongside.

Main platforms 1-11

Platforms 1 to 11 are the original main through platforms at ground level.  Platform 1 is next to the station building on the south (city centre) side of the station and platform 11 is on the north side of the station.  These platforms are used by Intercity trains, many regional trains, ICN sleeper trains, the Nightjet sleeper train to/from Munich & Vienna, and one or two daily EuroCity trains to/from Innsbruck & Munich.

Three pedestrian passageways (eastern, central & western) run from the main station hall under these tracks, with escalators and steps up to each platform.  The eastern passageway (the one with its entrance in the main station hall) has lifts as well as escalators.

Do not confuse these main platforms 1-11 with secondary platforms 1-4 East and 1-7 West, they are completely different.

Pictured below, platforms 1-11, viewed from platform 1 next to the main station building.  Photo courtesy of @baron_r.

Bologna Centrale platforms 1-11

Platforms 1-4 East

Platforms 1 to 4 East are terminus (dead-end) platforms on the east side of the station, they're a few minutes walk from the main station hall along platform 1.  They're used by regional trains to/from the south which start or terminate at Bologna.  In Italian, East is Est.

Platforms 1-7 West

Platforms 1 to 7 West are terminus (dead-end) platforms on the west side of the station, more or less adjacent to the main station building.  They're used by regional trains to/from the north which start or terminate at Bologna.  In Italian, West is Ovest.  The concourse area immediately in front of platforms 1-7 West is known as the Piazzale Ovest.

Pictured below, platform 7 West, the white arrow indicates the left luggage office.  Photos courtesy of

Bologna Centrale left luggage & west platforms   Bologna Centrale main hall

Underground platforms 16-19

These are the modern underground platforms opened in 2013 and used by Frecciarossa & Italo high-speed trains on the high-speed line.  These platforms are sometimes known as Bologna Centrale (AV) where AV stands for Alta Velocita, high-speed.

Platforms 16 & 17 are either side of one island platform and usually handle northbound trains to Milan, Turin & Venice.

Platforms 18 & 19 are either side of another island platform and usually handle southbound trains to Florence, Rome & Naples.

Although most Frecciarossa high-speed trains use these platforms, an occasional Frecciarossa uses platforms 1-11, for example those to/from Bari & Lecce.

To reach the high-speed platforms from the main hall, go down the escalator or lift into the pedestrian subway under the tracks and follow it to the far side of the station beyond platform 11.  Then take a lift or a series of escalators down two more levels (a parking/drop-off level and a shopping arcade level) to high-speed platforms 16-19, some 23m (75 feet) underground.

Bologna Centrale platforms 16-19

Above, a northbound Trenitalia Frecciarossa (left) calls at platform 17 while a southbound Italo calls at platform 18.  Courtesy of David Eerdmans.

Bologna Centrale high-speed train underground platforms   Bologna Centrale high-speed train underground platforms

More shots of underground platforms 16-19 for high-speed trains.  Photos courtesy of David Eerdmans.

Changing trains at Bologna...

It only takes 2-3 minutes to step off one train, walk to another and step on, but always allow more than that in case of delay.  Online systems will not suggest impossible connections.

Tip 1, if you are changing between a high-speed train using the modern underground platforms 16-19 and a train using one of the ground level platforms, it will take an extra few minutes to take the escalators or lifts to or from the underground part of the station.

Tip 2, don't get confused between the main platforms 1-11 and platforms 1-4 East and 1-7 West.  Platform 1 is different from Platform 1 West which is different from Platform 1 East, and so on.

Check departure platforms on your phone...

Stay one step ahead!  If you go to on your phone and select Bologna Centrale you'll see a list of departures with the planned platform number (Binario previsto) for Trenitalia trains (but not Italo trains) even before the actual platform (Binario reale) is announced on the station departure boards.  Just remember that they can sometimes switch platforms on the day.  Tip:  If you see 'AV' it means platforms 16-19.

Alternatively, you can see actual departure platforms for all trains including Italo by selecting Bologna Centrale at

Ticket offices

In the main hall you'll find the Trenitalia ticket office (marked Biglietteria) and a separate Italo ticket office.

Luggage lockers & ATMs

There is a staffed left luggage office at Bologna Centrale located next to platform 7 West, see the left luggage page for opening hours & prices.

First class lounge

There is a Freccia Club lounge, only for passengers with a Trenitalia executive class ticket or with a Trenitalia loyalty card plus business class ticket.

Food & drink

There are various cafes & restaurants at the station.  There is a Burger King and a KFC on either side of the forecourt, and a Rossopomodoro pizza place inside the station itself open early till late, see  If you find a particularly good place to wait for a train, let me know!

One seat61 correspondent suggests the friendly Bar River, 3 minutes walk from the main station exit, see walking map.  It's an authentic Italian bakery and coffee place with sandwiches and hot dishes, open 07:00-20:00 Mon-Fri, 07:00-15:30 Sat, closed Sundays,

Local transportTaxis, walking into town

Taxis:  There are plenty of taxis available outside the station.

Walking:  It's a 20 minute 1.5 km walk (just under 1 mile) from the station to the Piazza Maggiore & Piazza Nettuno in the heart of the city centre, see walking map.

Hotels near the station

If you're staying only briefly between trains, hotels near the station with good or great reviews include the Starhotels Excelsior & Unahotels Bologna Centro, both directly across the road from the station.  For somewhere cheaper, try the B&B Aurelia, 3 minutes walk away.

...and in the city centre

For a longer stay, hotels in the city centre near the sights with great reviews include the Hotel Roma right on the Piazza Maggiore itself, or the Casa Isolani a stone's throw from the Piazza Maggiore.  For somewhere cheaper, try B&B Gran Suite Piazza Maggiore.  Or at the top end also near the Piazza Maggiore, push the boat oput and stay at the Grand Hotel Majestic gia' Baglioni.

Back to top

Back to home page