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  Executive class lounge

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  People mover to Bologna airport

small bullet point  Hotels near the station

Bologna Centrale station entrance

Bologna Centrale forecourt, looking westwards across it with the main station entrance on the right.

Bologna Centrale station

Bologna Centrale forecourt, taken from across the main road.

Bologna Centrale main hall

The main hall, in the main station building.  Here's the main departure board and (on the right) Trenitalia & Italo ticket offices.

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 mainline platforms at ground level.  The photo below was taken from platform 1.

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, ICN sleeper trains, the Nightjet sleeper train to Munich & Vienna, many regional trains and one or two daily EuroCity trains to Innsbruck & Munich.

Three pedestrian subways (eastern, central & western) run from the main station hall under all these tracks, with escalators & 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 dead-end platforms 1-4 East and 1-7 West, they are different.

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, 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.  East is Est in Italian.

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.  West is Ovest in Italian.  The concourse area in front of platforms 1-7 West is known as the Piazzale Ovest, pictured below.

Bologna Centrale left luggage & west platforms

Piazzale Ovest, looking towards platforms 1-7 West.  The white arrow indicates the left luggage office.

Bologna Centrale piazzale ovest

Piazzale Ovest.  There is an Italo ticket office here and the Sala Blu disability assistance office.  In the photo above, platforms 1-7 West are behind the camera.  The doors visible at the far end go through to the hall shown below.

Bologna Centrale left luggage & west platforms

On the west side of the station forecourt there's a separate entrance into this hall, which then leads into the Piazzale Ovest.

Underground AV 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 past a parking/drop-off level to a high-speed concourse & waiting area, then down again to platforms 16-19, some 23m (75 feet) underground.

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

Go through this subway from the main station building underneath platforms 1-11.  At the far end, go down the escalator to platforms 16-19.

 

The escalator goes to a parking level, take another down to the concourse level shown above.  Then take another escalator down to either platforms 16/17 or 18/19.

Bologna Centrale platforms 16-19

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 www.viaggiatreno.it/infomobilita/index.jsp 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 www.rfi.it/en/stations/station-page/quality-services/Public-information/Live-departures-Arrivals-Monitor.html.

Ticket offices

You'll find a Trenitalia ticket office (Biglietteria) and an Italo ticket office in the main station hall.  There's also an Italo ticket office in the Piazzale Ovest.

Left luggage

There's a staffed left luggage office located next to platform 7 West, run by KiPoint/KiBag, www.kipoint.it/deposito-bagagli See the left luggage page for opening hours & prices.  The location is marked by the arrow in the platforms 1-7 West photo above

Bologna Centrale left luggage office

Executive class class lounge

There is a Freccia Club lounge (below) with complimentary drinks & snacks for passengers with a Trenitalia Executive class ticket or a Trenitalia loyalty card plus business class ticket.  From the main hall, walk onto platform 1 and turn left, it's a little way along the platform.

Bologna Centrale Freccia Lounge

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 ristoranti.rossopomodoro.it.  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, www.facebook.com/BarRiverBologna.

Bologna Centrale memorial

On the front of the station building is a memorial to 85 people who died in the bombing of Bologna Centrale on 2 August 1980, with a list of names.

Bologna Centrale bombing list of names   Bologna Centrale bombing memorial

Local transport

Taxis:  There are plenty of taxis available outside the station, the taxi rank is in the forecourt.

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.

People mover to Bologna airport

There is a people mover (an automated metro-train running on a concrete track, above ground) between Bologna Centrale and Bologna airport called the Marconi Express, see www.marconiexpress.it.  At Bologna Centrale, the entrance is on the north side of the tracks, the opposite side from the main station building so head through the subway under the tracks or use the station's northern entrance.  You can tap in and out with a contactless bank card or buy tickets from the machines.  It runs every 7-15 minutes, early morning until late at night, journey time 7 minutes.

Bologna Centrale people mover to airport

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.

Hotels 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