Advices from a local tourist guide!

One thing that tourists who take part in Traveling with Laia tours often ask us is what to do for free in Bologna. That’s why I decided to sit down and write the best things to do in Bologna for free in 2022.

So, let’s immediately start with one of the most hidden but completely free things and located right in the city center, a stone’s throw from Piazza Maggiore, are the archaeological excavations of Sala Borsa, the city’s central library overlooking Piazza Maggiore.

Fotos de grupo de un freetour en la iglesia de Santo Stefano. Tour's group photo in Saint Steven church
Fotos de grupo de un freetour en San Petronio. Tour's group photo in San Petronio.

Then there are some free churches to see:

  1. San Petronio, the central iglesia y más famosa de la ciudad con vistas a Piazza Maggiore


  1. Santo Stefano, also known as the 7 churches, an architectural complex full of history and secrets in one of the most exclusive areas of the city.


  1. San Pietro, the cathedral of the city and seat of the archbishopric, a special note is that here you can find a free copy of crying to the Dead Christ of Nicolló dell? Ark.


  1. Santa Maria della Vita, a very fascinating example of the Italian Baroque in the heart of the city (here is preserved the original crying to the Dead Christ of Niccolo dell?Ark, but you have to pay 5 euros to see it)


  1. San Francesco is a rare example of Italian Gothic, a style very different from the other churches of the city in a square that has a particular charm and that at night comes alive with people celebrating.
Santuario de San Luca. Tour de San Luca. Freetour Bologna.

For those who love to walk?

Climb the sanctuary of San Luca, a walk of about 3.5 km from the center completely covered by the longest portico in the world, therefore ideal even if it was a rainy day and leading to the place most loved by the Bolognese. The whole route is full of charm and history and so Travel with Laia has dedicated a special freetour to the San Luca sanctuary.


Pasear por las callejuelas del cuadrilátero, un barrio muy céntrico que conserva todo el encanto medieval de la ciudad junto a su vivacidad y buen gusto. Una mezcla de antiguo y moderno donde se mezclan bares históricos y para todos los bolsillos, como la taberna del sol, librerías y pescaderías y mucho más en unos pocos pasos.


Galleria Cavour: por muy libre que sea pasear Galleria Cavour es el escaparate del lujo en la ciudad donde puedes conocer las boutiques de alto standing para los amantes de la moda puede ser un buen lugar de paso.


Portico of the Bank of Italy, here what you need to see is not the bank but the domes between the arches, decorated to make it the most precious portico of Bologna.


The parks of Villa Spada and Villa Ghigi, for those who want to immerse themselves in the vegetation and take a walk, these two parks, in the hills near the city, offer this and many other hidden attractions. In fact, in Villa Spada you can relax in a small but charming Italian-style garden where manicured plants and classic statues alternate. While in Villa Ghigi you can walk among fruit trees, especially cherry and fig trees, and if it is the season eat something


Corte Isolani: we return to the center to cross a gallery, now full of shops and restaurants, but that will give us an idea of how big and impressive the buildings of the great Bolognese families were. Considering that from one side of the gallery you are always inside the historical building of the same family, but you have to see it to understand it. The Isolani Court begins in Piazza Santo Stefano next to the seven churches and ends with the oldest preserved portico of the city, under whose wooden arches hides one of the seven secrets of Bologna.

But what are the seven secrets?

The seven secrets are free and hidden by the city, to discover them you can search for yourself among the legends and stories that are told about them, since there is also much confusion about what the true secrets are. Otherwise, you can sign up for freetour dedicated to the seven secrets of Bologna from Travel with Laia.


In any case, I hope that this little guide of free attractions of Bologna has been useful and allows you to discover this magical city, full of history, legends and traditions that range from architecture to gastronomy. And who knows, maybe we’ll see each other soon on the busy streets of the ring, eating a bologna sandwich or drinking a spritz!