Make the most of your Sunday in Bologna by exploring local flea markets, visiting historical churches, enjoying art galleries and museums, catching a movie at Cinema Modernissimo, or taking a scenic walk to San Luca Basilica. These activities provide a diverse and enriching experience for tourists of all ages in the beautiful city of Bologna.
You had the chance to enjoy the city for a week or a weekend, but Sundays are tricky days for tourists in Italy and you have no clue what to do in beautiful Bologna.

No problem, keep on scrolling and find 7 things to do in Bologna on Sunday, from art galleries to open-air quality time, for any weather, season and ages.

In a nutshell:

  1. Go to a local flea market
  2. Visit a museum or Art gallery
  3. Visit a historical church – Basilica di Santo Stefano
  4. Rainy day? Cinema Modernissimo!
  5. Walk to the unique San Luca Basilica (or take the special San Luca Express)
  6. Go to the stadium and cheer for BFC, Bologna football club!
  7. Go to a park and enjoy a picnic or event (Giardini Margherita, villa Ghigi, villa Spada)
1. Go to a local flea market

Bologna antiquaries market, Piazza Santo Stefano, what to do in Bologna on Sunday

Flea Markets and arts and crafts Markets are a must of Bologna, and the city welcomes many of them at least twice or three times per month.

The main ones are:

  • Piazzola e Mercato della Montagnola, every Friday, Saturday and the first Sunday of the month
  • Mercato delle Pulci di Bologna (at Tettoia Nervi), every first Sunday of the month
  • Mercato antiquariato Santo Stefano, every second Sunday of the month
  • Rail Market (at DumBO), every second Sunday of the month
  • ERA ORA Market (at Labàs), flexible dates, always on Sunday


PIAZZOLA E MERCATO DELLA MONTAGNOLA: with second-hand clothes and accessories at great prices, t-shirts of the best rock and metal bands that ever existed, 60s vintage clothes, and deals from 1 euro on, Piazzola is the oldest Bolognese market in the city, welcoming curious buyers every Friday and Saturday.
Since 1251, Piazza VIII Agosto housed a cattle market, and today the most colorful and varied market of the city extends till the park of the Montagnola.
There, in MONTAGNOLA, the multi-ethnic part pops out with incense smells, gadgets, clothes, and accessories from Africa to Asia, along with books, handmade jewelry, and music from the world.

What are you waiting for? Go find your next great deal, if you are visiting Bologna and it’s the first Sunday of the month.

vinyl collections, second-hand clothes and more in Bologna Rail market - what to do in Bologna on Sunday

Looking for a “bazza”: the slang word for a great deal, often to be found in such markets Photos of Rail Market at DumBO, by @greenliup


“Free your basement or come looking for a lost treasure” This is instead the motto of the Bologna flea market “Mercato delle Pulci di Bologna” hosted at Tettoia Nervi.

A Sunday between clothing stands, second-hand, collections, vintage clothes, arts and crafts and street food awaits you there, in one of the most original and modern squares of Bologna. In fact, this market extends next to Piazza Liber Paradisus, “the paradise book” square, with a tall mirrored building and a downhill fountain, a skate park, and green space for picnics and relaxation. Its name is dedicated to the law book of Bologna City Council where it was stated that all slaves would have been freed.
Liber Paradisus, a stone’s throw from the back entrance of Bologna railway station, is for sure a different and original place to discover.
This covered market is definitely an opportunity to spend a different Sunday afternoon in the city, supporting a grassroots initiative.

Finally, if you want to take home an illustration, a postcard, a knitted accessory, a handmade jewel done by young Italian artists, or want a tarot reading, then be sure you won’t miss ERA ORA market and Rail market, both independent art and design markets organized by young people in the city.

ERA ORA Market: Labàs, Vicolo Bolognetti 2
Rail Market: DumBO space, via Casarini 19


2. Visit a historical church – Basilica di Santo Stefano

Basilica di Santo Stefano in Bologna, historical church. What to do in Bologna on Sunday

While taking advantage of the Sunday antiquaries market of Piazza Santo Stefano (every second weekend of the month) go visit the unique Church of the Square: “Basilica di Santo Stefano, complesso delle sette chiese” meaning 7 churches in one, is a spectacular jewel of the city, based on intertwined Romanesque architecture, making every corner humble yet fascinating.

After your visit, you’ll get the chance of an aperitivo with a view during the sunny season. Little bistros with salumi platters and fresh local wine will wait for you around Piazza Santo Stefano, which still holds the charm of how Bologna used to be.


3. Visit an art gallery or a Modern Art museum

MAST Foundation in Bologna, Visit an art gallery or a Modern Art museum, What to do in Bologna on Sunday. People interacting with an artwork in MAST.

Bologna is full of vital artistic creation and network and again, every first Sunday of the month it’s a lucky day: the museums of the city are free to enter, and it’s your best chance to enjoy special places like:

  • MAMBO, Bologna Museum of Modern Art: great to discover the latest centuries through art. Holding a permanent collection of Italian performance art of the 60s /70s, contemporary experimental art is MAMBO’s signature, and the nearby Mambo bar can chill you out after your visit. The museum in Via Don Minzoni 14, in the heart of the cultural district of “Manifattura delle Arti”, is dedicated to research and innovation.
  • Palazzo Albergati: this historical museum is now hosting a special exhibition: “Animali fantastici – il giardino delle meraviglie” (Fantastic animals – the Garden of Wonders).
    The museum is transformed into an immense open space of sculptures, paintings, and interactive artworks, perfect for the whole family and curious animal lovers. Over 90 animals made by 23 contemporary artists wait for you there until 5th May 2024.
    Palazzo Albergati: Via Saragozza 28. (Sundays: 10-8 p.m)
  • DumBO space: a visit here cannot be missed! DumBO is the main artistic multifunctional space to visit in Bologna.
    Art gallery, concert place, colorful basketball court, and a coworking space wait for you there, in a former railway area, now completely painted of mural art and renewed. The space is so original that’s been used as a movie location, and it collaborates with great art fairs such as ARTEFIERA of Bologna, in February, with PH Museum days, in September/October, both open on Sunday until late evenings. Check their current events here
  • BOLOGNA FOTOGRAFATA exhibition: want to discover Bologna’s history through photographs? Check out this special exhibition.

Bologna fotografata exhibition, Bologna underground, What to do in Bologna on Sunday

21,608 archival images, historical and modern photos of the city and its heart: Bologna’s social and political dedication to community and arts is the key here.
Starting from Bologna’s social aid campaigns during the World Wars, you’ll step into Jazz Festival’s historical editions and see Bologna through the eye of amateur photographers, making evidence of a century of history.
The exhibition, whose deadline keeps on being postponed because of its growing fame, is hidden in the heart of the city, between the two towers and the main square. Go find it!
BOLOGNA FOTOGRAFATA is a way to learn more about the city, passing through a subsoil of one of the most ancient and important streets of the city, via Rizzoli. Info and location here.


4. Cinema Modernissimo

Cinema modernissimo screen and spectators, Cinema in Bologna, what to do in Bologna on Sunday

Speaking of unexpected subsoils, another underground space is right under Piazza Re Enzo, 1/1, Cinema Modernissimo.

Did the rain take you by surprise and is the weather not on your side? Enjoy a magical time at Cinema Modernissimo, surrounded by its elegant Art Nouveau architecture. This cinema, which dates back to 1914, has recently reopened and still holds the magic of the old times. Its program gives you the chance to watch movies in original language with subtitles, perfect for an international audience!

This Cinema often focuses on classic movies, restored films, Disney classics and animations on Sunday as well as contemporary films and meetings with artists and cinematographers.
For its reopening, Cineteca di Bologna, who’s the local film society head of the project, has invited special guests for the occasion, such as Wes Anderson and Martin Scorsese.


5. Walk to San Luca Basilica (or take the San Luca Express)

San luca Basilica, walk to San Luca Basilica, what to do in Bologna on Sunday

San Luca is a big symbol of Bologna: a little sanctuary visible on Bolognesi hills and the protagonist of a saying related to pasta sfoglia.

As you may know, the bolognese pasta tradition dictates that as for fresh pasta, the dough must be rolled with a rolling pin: “until it’s thin and semi-transparent, enough to allow you to glimpse the Basilica of San Luca on the horizon on the other side”.
San Luca is in fact a symbolic spot on the horizon, the first thing you see from the plane when approaching Bologna.
The Basilica has a great city view and it’s where most university students go after graduation, as a symbol of conquering a journey.

It is said that it is bad luck to go up to the sanctuary before obtaining your degree, due to the 666 steps, linked to a sign of bad luck.
According to Bolognese tradition, however, workers are somehow immune from this misfortune, which like other Bolognese superstitions focuses mainly on students.

Situated on Monte Guardia, San Luca connects to the city center through the longest continuous portico in the world, 4 km.
The whole climb has to be done with comfortable shoes and clothes and can be tiring. For those with reduced mobility and if you have small kids, a specific train, San Luca Express is the best option.

Full price of a ride: 13 euros (including: San Luca Express tour 1 day with multilingual Audio Guide in 10 different languages)

San Luca Express info here

6. Go to Bologna stadium

Bologna Dall'Ara stadium, what to do in Bologna on Sunday, Bologna FC, Bologna football club

Another “Tradizione della Domenica”, a Sunday tradition of the city, is to go to the stadium in the afternoon to enjoy a soccer game.
While climbing to San Luca or even walking in the city center, you might encounter some “rossoblu” fans, with red and blue scarves and clothes, supporting the Bologna local football team.

Stadio Dall’Ara is only 3,5 km far from Piazza Maggiore and many local families spend their time here cheering for Bologna FC, Bologna Football club.
There is a lot of enthusiasm in the air for the team: this season is going very well and after many years we are going to qualify for the European Champions League! Make sure you won’t miss the chance to see them playing!


7. Go to a park and enjoy a picnic or event (Giardini Margherita, villa Ghigi and more)

Go to a park and enjoy a picnic or event, what to do in Bologna on Sunday, Le serre dei giardini margherita

With the good Season approaching, Bologna Is also a great place where to enjoy open-air time in green areas. The most fascinating and socially vibrant Park of the city Is “Giardini Margherita”, pretty closeby to the city center.

There, people of all ages hang out every hour for a drink, a picnic, yoga or dance gatherings, and improvised basketball matches in the dedicated area. Giardini Margherita is also perfect for kids, who can jump on big trampolines or ride mini bikes and automatic cars and then enjoy a great gelato at gardenBO kiosk.

“Le Serre” is also a special garden area not to be missed when visiting Bologna! It’s an actual greenhouse and bar on the North-east side of the park, where some movie screenings, meetings, and little concerts are held in spring and summer and where to chill out, study, and learn the basics of aquaponics surrounded by small fishes and plants on the bigger tables of the greenhouse. KILOWATT is the head of this greenhouse regeneration and the synergic socially engaging events that will satisfy all ages!

If you prefer a longer walk in a deferred area, then head to Villa Ghigi, Villa Spada, or the 300 Scalini Park to explore three of the larger green areas of Bologna and enjoy some quiet and nice flora.

300 scalini is especially astonishing because of its close view of San Luca Basilica on one side and of the whole city on the other.

The easiest solution to reach and enjoy those parks is by car, although public transport also works, with a pretty limited timetable on Sundays.

Wondering where to eat dinner in Bologna on Sunday? Check our recommendations here!