Verona or Bologna? Which City Should You Choose?

Are you wondering if you should travel to Verona or Bologna and which city is more for you? Then you’ve come to the right place. I will help make it clear to you which city is worth visiting more. Really it depends on your personal preferences so if you LOVE food then Bologna is a no brainer, it’s the foodie capital of the world! If you are looking for more photography opportunities and a romantic city, then Verona might be right for you.

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Pros: Verona vs. Bologna

Verona ProsBologna Pros
Delicious foodInsane food scene
Picturesque cityLess touristy
Many cultural events (ex. Verona Opera Festival)Home to the Oldest University
Accessible to Lake Garda, Venice, and moreAccessible to many nearby cities like Parma and Modena
Great Nightlife Great Nightlife
Amazing shoppingMore affordable
Romantic atmosphereChill atmosphere
well-preserved Roman ruinBeautiful Renaissance architecture

Cons: Verona vs. Bologna

Verona ConsBologna Cons
Very touristyNot as scenic
More expensiveLess iconic landmarks
Limited green spaceLimited green space

Quick Facts Before Visiting Italy:
💱Currency: Euro €
💶 Budget for a trip to Italy: The average daily cost for a trip to Verona is €168 a night and for Bologna is €159.
💜 Is tipping required in Italy? Tipping in Italy is not required. Sometimes you will find it included in your bill as coperto which is a flat, fixed cover charge. It usually covers the price of bread that is brought out to the table ahead of the meal.
☀️Best time to Visit: April or May if you want to avoid peak tourist time and very hot summers or September to October when the weather is mild.
🏥 Travel Insurance in Italy: I recommend SafetyWing which will cover you in case of trip cancellations or any accidents during your travels.
📱Mobile E-sim card to stay connected while traveling without the hassle of changing out your sim card!

Does Verona or Bologna have more things to do?

Verona Things to Do

Verona offers a lot to do with highlights including a visit to the famous Juliet’s House and the views of the city are impeccable.

Verona is better for having many museums to see. Pro-tip: You can get free entry to many museums using a Verona Card.

Here are some of the best things to do in Verona:

  1. Visit Juliet’s House (Casa di Giulietta): This iconic location, made famous by Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet,” is a must-see attraction in Verona. Take this Romeo and Juliet Guided Walking Tour
  2. Wander around Piazza delle Erbe, a bustling square in the heart of Verona’s historic center.
  3. Explore the Arena (Roman amphitheater) Tickets can be purchased here
  4. Visit Piazza Bra.
  5. Walk along the riverbank and cross the Ponte Pietra Bridge. 
  6. At the end of the bridge, climb the stairs for stunning views of the city. 
  7. Try a regional specialty dish, wine risotto. I had mine at Monte Baldo and it was great! 

Bologna Things to Do

Bologna also has a lot to do and if you love a good food scene, you’ll definitely want to visit.

Here are the best things to do in Bologna:

  1. Eat, eat, and eat! This is the foodie capital of the world. Try Tigella sandwiches at 051 Zerocinquantuno and Tagliatelle al ragù at Osteria Dellorsa.
  2. Stroll the Piazza Maggiore, Bologna’s main square.
  3. Admire the Basilica di San Petronio, one of the largest churches in Italy.
  4. Climb the Two Towers for stunning views of the city.
  5. Go to the Archiginnasio of Bologna, a historic building that was once home to the University of Bologna.
  6. Check out the “Secret” window to a canal: located on Via Piella this window opens up to a canal resembling Venice.
  7. See the many Porticos (covered walkways), a distinctive architectural feature of the city that have been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

🏆 Winner: Bologna

Both cities have amazing things to do but if you have to pick one, Bologna has a little more to offer and it’s bigger. You can also day trip to many amazing cities in the Emilia-Romagna region.

Which City is More Beautiful, Verona or Bologna?

Both Verona and Bologna are super beautiful cities in Italy but there’s something about Verona that makes it even more picturesque, in my opinion, than Bologna.

Verona is known for its romantic atmosphere, especially since it’s famous for Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet.” Its well-preserved medieval architecture, including the famous Arena di Verona, creates a special ambiance in the city. The picturesque streets, adorned with historic buildings, bustling piazzas, and the scenic Adige River flowing through it, add to its allure. Climbing the stairs next to the bridge and being rewarded with panoramic views of Verona left me in awe!

On the other hand, Bologna, often referred to as “La Dotta, La Grassa, La Rossa” (The Learned, The Fat, The Red), boasts a distinct character shaped by its university, culinary scene, and lively atmosphere. The city’s extensive porticoes, which line its streets, create a unique architectural feature, adding to its charm. Bologna also features a well-preserved historic center, medieval towers, elegant squares, and stunning churches.

🏆 Winner: Verona

Verona is more picturesque and instagrammable than Bologna.

Is Bologna or Verona Cheaper?

Bologna is a bit cheaper than Verona although they are similar in cost. If you were to visit Bologna, you’d spend on average €159 per person while in Verona you’d spend €168. This includes both food and accommodation. If you’re traveling Italy on a budget Bologna is a great option.

🏆 Winner: Bologna

Bologna is the more affordable option to visit

Which city has better food?

Without a doubt, Bologna has a better food scene than Verona. Although Verona has excellent food, nothing can beat Bologna. Bologna is the best foodie city in Italy and possibly the world!

Bologna is known for tagliatelle al ragù (Bolognese sauce) and tortellini. It’s also home to delicious cured meats like mortadella and prosciutto. Some of the best places to eat include 051 Zerocinquantuno for tigelle sandwiches and Osteria Dellorsa for Tagliatelle al ragù.

Verona also has amazing food don’t get me wrong. I had the best EVER
tortellini and tagliatelle at La Bottega della Gina. I still dream about it. I also had amazing wine risotto, a specialty of the area, at Monte Baldo.

🏆 Winner: Bologna

Bologna is known for its food scene and is the culinary capital of Italy

Take an amazing food tour in Bologna! or even a cooking class

Which city is less touristy? Bologna or Verona?

Bologna is definitely less touristy. It is not as famous as Verona. You will find fewer crowds in Bologna making it keep its authenticity.

I visited Verona 3 times and it was once my favorite city in Italy. However, the last time I went, I just felt it got super popular. Especially if you visit Juliet’s House, the crowds become immense. To me, that takes away from a place.

I am all about exploring the lesser known places away from the tourists. While I still love Verona so much, if you’re looking for a more peaceful escape then Bologna will be right for you.

🏆 Winner: Bologna

Bologna is less touristy than Verona!

Which city is best for solo travelers?

Both Verona and Bologna are perfect for solo travelers. These Italian cities are easy to navigate and safe for traveling alone. Many people know English in both places and there are endless things to do on your own.

Bologna offers the great food scene and you can participate in group food tours to meet people. Dining solo is also not super hard in Bologna as there’s so many amazing casual eateries and food markets.

Verona is known for its museums and you can easily spend your time solo here walking the charming streets, shopping, hiking to see viewpoints, and more.

🏆 Winner: Equal!

Both cities are great for solo travel in Italy.

Which city has better day trips?

Both Bologna and Verona serve as excellent bases for day trips to explore the surrounding region.

Bologna is strategically located in the Emilia-Romagna region, known for its culinary scene, historic towns, and scenic countryside. From Bologna, you can easily go to cities like Modena, famous for its balsamic vinegar and Ferrari museum, or Ravenna, known for its stunning Byzantine mosaics.

Try this Parmesan and Balsamic Food Tasting Tour with Ferrari Museum

Additionally, you can explore the picturesque hills of the Emilia-Romagna countryside, visiting charming towns like Parma, home to Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and Parma ham. The region also offers opportunities for outdoor activities such as hiking and wine tasting in the vineyards of the nearby hills.

Verona, situated in the Veneto region, also offers a plethora of day trip options. You can explore the magical city of Venice, known for its romantic canals, historic architecture, and lively atmosphere. You can get there by train from Verona in only 1 hour. Alternatively, you can visit the gorgeous towns of Lake Garda, such as Sirmione with its medieval castle and thermal baths. Then, there’s also the UNESCO World Heritage site of Vicenza, best known for its Palladian architecture. Verona’s is also super close to the Dolomite Mountains.

Take this Sirmione and Lake Garda Day Trip from Verona

If you’re looking for the perfect Northern Italy Itinerary Ideas check out my dedicated blog post.

🏆 Winner: Equal!

Ultimately, both Bologna and Verona offer great day trip options. The choice of day trips may depend on personal interests, whether you’re drawn to the culinary experiences of Emilia-Romagna or the historic cities and natural landscapes of the Veneto region.

Bottom line: Which city should you visit Bologna or Verona?

When debating over Bologna vs. Verona, the answer ultimately depends on your preferences and interests as well as how it fits in your itinerary.

If you’re a foodie looking for a lively atmosphere, Bologna will be for you. On the other hand, if you’re drawn to romance, history, and picturesque places, Verona might be the best for you.

Whether you choose to explore Bologna or Verona, one thing is certain: both cities will not let you down. I loved both places honestly! If I was forced to choose one, I’d pick Bologna. I’m a foodie and my passion is to travel more off-the-beaten-path, Bologna was definitely less busy than Verona. I loved Verona because of how stunning the views were don’t get me wrong but it seems to be getting super busy with tourists lately!

If you have the chance to visit both cities, I’d do it!

🏆 Winner: Bologna (my vote!)

Bologna is less touristy and has an insane food scene

However, Verona did blow me away by its beauty. The last time I visited it was an especially touristy time and took away from my love for the city.

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