Nightlife in Bologna is vibrant, but often underground (quite literally in the case of a number of clubs!). The best places to go are spread by word of mouth (and increasingly Social Media). Because it’s a university town, with a very young population you’re spoilt for choice – whether you want to go to a dance club, rock venue, or even just a late night bar.
The Cassero LGBT Centre, the hub of Bologna’s Gay community is also home to many of the city’s best club nights. Located in the picturesque ex-salt warehouse, around the corner from the MAMBO modern art gallery, it also has a great open air bar during the summer months.
Kinki, in the heart of the University zone, in Via Zamboni, is one of Bologna’s longest running clubs. There’s been a club here since 1958 (The Whiskey-a-go-go), with Kinki in its present format running since 1975.
Link, on the outskirts of the city, and run by a collective, is a large warehouse that runs big club nights as well as hosting various digital/multimedia events. It’s radical, rough and ready.
The Sottotetto Sound Club, again on the outskirts of the city, is the place to go if you like Reggae/Dub/Calypso/Rap/Drum’n’Bass.
The Ex-Forno Club, beside MAMBO, takes its name from the original use of the building, which was as a local authority Bakery (Forno). Now converted, with industrial design, into one of the cities coolest lounge bars – at the weekends and throughout the summer it plays host to many famous international djs.
You can also check out a full list of discos at the Bologna Welcome tourist info site here
Bologna is a great place to check out live music. Because it’s mid way between Milan and Rome, and because of a number of brilliant clubs, Bologna is a natural choice for lots of touring acts.
Estragon is Bologna’s largest rock club, and it’s where you’ll get to see a large variety of bands playing. It’s located in a large warehouse outside the city, but has parking.
The Covo Club, in Via Zagabria, is a legendary club run by a small group dedicated to bringing the best in Indie Rock to Bologna. The venue itself is tiny, but it’s played host to the likes of Mumford & Sons, The Libertines, The XX, Franz Ferdinand. It also runs great club nights (guest djs include the likes of Alan McGee).
Locomotiv, ten minutes from the main railway station, located in a small park area is another great spot for live gigs with both Italian and International acts playing.
The Freakout Club is a small, sweaty venue dedicated to punk, metal, and underground music – but it has an eclectic lineup also featuring internationally recognised dj’s. Well worth checking out.