7 tricks to living in Bologna on a Budget

Lisa Giovetti

If any other student ever told you about living in Bologna, you would know that it is a big, fun, campus. During term time, university students fill the streets making this town one of the best places to live as a foreigner, especially because it is cheap. This city is known to be relatively inexpensive compared to others in the country that host prestigious universities, however it is useful to know a couple of tricks to make sure you exploit all it has to offer.

Bologna on a Budget Trick #1

Bologna on a Budget Cycling

Forget the bus, buy a bicycle

Bologna’s center is very small, taking only one and a half mile to cross. Even though buses work fairly well, it is advisable to by a (cheap) bicycle to ride around the center of town. It won’t take you more than 20 to 25 minutes to ride across the center, and this will save you a lot of money on transport. However, be careful! Bologna’s bicycle thieves may very well be the most skilled and determined of the entire country! It is not uncommon to spend more money on a lock than on the bicycle itself!

Bologna on a Budget Trick #2

bologna on a budget aperitivo

Have an Aperitivos Dinner

The word “aperitivo” is starting to be well known abroad, even if I have never seen anything of the sort in other countries. Aperitivos are supposed to be pre-dinner happy hours where friends drink and have a small snack. Forget about snacks, because in Bologna you will enjoy full dinners at a relatively low price (7 or 8 euros) in almost all bars of town from 6:30 to 9:30 PM approximately. The buffets are waiting for you, and all you have to do is order a drink and help yourself! This will save you a lot of money when you want to eat out with some friends!

Bologna on a Budget Trick #3

bologna on a budget cooking

Learn to Cook

I know many are reluctant to do so, but if you’re moving to Italy, this is a good time to sharpen your cooking skills. It doesn’t take much to make simple meals and Italians love to cook. You will save a lot of money on restaurants and at the same time learn a bit more about Italian cuisine. You don’t have to do it alone, if you’re a university student, you can eat with your friends. If everyone brings something to eat, you’ll have the best meals of your life at a fabulous price. Another option is eating at the university cafeterias and canteens, where you can eat for low prices and still experience Italian meals.

Bologna on a Budget Trick #4

bologna on a student budget pizza

Use Pizzabo

Of course, everyone wants to eat Italian pizza and there are many pizzerias in Bologna. One of the best tips for eating cheap but good pizza is to use Pizzabo. This website is great to order pizza: all you have to do is select the pizzeria you like and order your pizzas online. They will be delivered directly to your home, and you will know exactly how much you are spending and how long delivery will take. By ordering with Pizzabo, you can gather points and very frequently collect prizes as free drinks or free pizzas.

Bologna on a Budget Trick #5

bologna on a budget cinema

Learn Cinema’s student nights

As you may know, cinemas often differentiate prices depending on categories. Students of course will receive discounts in many occasions but, if we’re talking about movies in Bologna, things can hardly get any better. Every cinema has a student night, and generally the price of a movie is 3 or 4 euros. If you’re planning on attending these events, make sure you get there early to book your seats.

Bologna on a Budget Trick #6

bologna on a budget montagnola

Shop at Montagnola

Fridays and Saturdays are famous for being the Montagnola days. This term describes the huge street market that starts from Piazza VII Agosto and expands to the Montagnola park. You can find almost any category of clothing that exists, from vintage to the latest trends, at very low prices.

Bologna on a Budget Trick #7

bologna on a budget shots

Buy Alcohol in the right places

Bologna’s just a fun city to hang out with your friends in. Being a student on a budget can be tough when you dream of having many parties and spend your nights out. No problem, Bologna’s the place for you. In fact, many bars of the center will provide you with 1 euro shots every night, and hopefully you’ll find your wallet almost full the day after!

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