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South Tyrol's capital surprises

Cultural melting pot and small cosmopolitan city. The largest city in South Tyrol is not only located in the heart of the region, but also at the crossroads of northern European and southern culture.

Bolzano/Bozen developed in the Middle Ages. Today, it’s THE city in South Tyrol where the Italian and the German cultures mix most intensely. The result is a fascinating and extraordinary cultural mix that is reflected in the language of people, in traffic signs, food and drink and of course in the historical and artistic attractions of the city.

South Tyrol's capital city boasts impressive artistic and cultural treasures. The historic old town and in particular the arches shopping area - the most important street in the city - were characterised for centuries as a place of trade between Italy and Germany. Today, they form the lively and modern centre of the city where tradition and modernity harmoniously unite.

South Tyrol's southernmost region is a melting pot of contrasts and cultures

This fascinating mixture is reflected in the way of life, the city’s languages German and Italian, in the city’s architecture and in its diverse cultural scene. And, of course, in the gastronomy: a quick espresso at the bar or a relaxed aperitif at the end of the day is just as natural as the traditional South Tyrolean inn culture. Bolzano/Bozen is part of the South Tyrolean Wine Road and is one of the largest wine-producing cities in Europe.

At the University of Bolzano/Bozen, students even study in three languages. Always known as a trading town, the historic arcades of Bolzano are lined with long-established, family-run businesses next to Italian boutiques and shops selling handicrafts. Thanks to the Mediterranean climate, magnolias are already in bloom in Bolzano in March. Sun worshippers enjoy the dolce far niente on a piazza with a view of the Dolomite mountains. The lively old town alleys and green promenades invite you to stroll, and the cycle paths want to take you for a spin. If you want to actively experience Bolzano's surroundings, use the  cable cars to the Ritten mountain’s high plateau and the Kohlerer Berg mountain. They take you up to over 1,000 m above sea level in a sustainable way within a matter of minutes.

Accommodations in Bolzano

From family-run bed and breakfasts to chic designer hotels and flats complete with roof terraces. Choose your favourite accommodation and let yourself be spoilt by the extraordinary mix of tradition, modernity and South Tyrolean hospitality.

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All accommodations in Bolzano

Nature lovers are in the right place here

Almost half of the city consists of green spaces, large and small parks and floodplains, vineyards in the middle of the city and on the surrounding hills. Promenades and cycle paths inspire excursions into nature.

St. Georgen/San Giorgio near Bolzano

Guided Tours in Bolzano

What makes the arcades different? What role does the peace monument play? And where can you buy the best Speck Alto Adige? The guided city walks introduce you to Bolzano and its special features.

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All guided tours in South Tyrol

Strolling tour through the city districts

Waltherplatz square with its cafés, the medieval arcades, the hustle and bustle of the Obstmarkt square. Continue to the Museion, the museum of contemporary art, while across the river, the buildings bear signs of the city's fascist past.

Culture throughout the year

Bolzano's cultural scene is colourful: theatre and opera, cabaret, the Bolzano Film Festival, Bolzano Danza, the South Tyrol Jazz Festival Alto Adige or the renowned Busoni Competition, which brings together famous pianists and young talents, take place every year.

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All cultural events in South Tyrol

On the trail of pleasure

The gastro scene offers something for every taste. South Tyrolean cuisine meets Italian classics, ethnic food meets gourmet dishes. Choose your favourite restaurant and sit down in a warm inn, on an airy roof terrace or in a hip, trendy establishment.

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Travel through time

Many streets and squares in old Bolzano were built in the 19th century and were characterised by typical elements of the Bavarian Baroque. They reflected the city’s German character. During the fascism of the 1930s, those in power set themselves the goal of “correcting” this appearance and significantly changing the look of the city. The intention was to instead emphasise the Italian character of the city – even in its historic centre. And so architects transformed Dominikanerplatz square, Sparkassenstraße street and Museumstraße street, to name but a few.

Fascist architecture, however, is most evident beyond the Talferbrücke bridge. Here, the two high columns with the Lion of St. Mark and the Capitoline Wolf as well as the Victory Monument of the architect Marcello Piacentini can be viewed. Today, the Victory Monument is home to an Underground Museum depicting the history of the structure. From here, visitors can easily access the Siegesplatz square, which is surrounded by buildings with typical fascist architecture, and the Freiheitsstraße street, which, with its high arcades and buildings, continues the medieval arcades of the old town, also with its fascist architecture.

Another important architectural exhibit from the time of fascism is the monumental Palace of Justice by the architect Paolo Rossi de 'Paoli: this forms together with the Palazzo del Littorio (now used as tax office) - with its monumental relief of Hans Piffrader, the "Duce" on horseback - as well as the Christkönigkirche church a sort of “Triad of the Forces."

The urban projects planned by the fascists endeavoured to divide Bolzano on a spatial as well as a social level. The old town and parts of the district Gries-Quirein were therefore reserved for the social and political elite. In the blocks of flats of Mailandstraße street, the Matteottiplatz square and Turiner-Straße street lived privileged workers (such as railroad workers), while on the periphery large working-class districts emerged: the Rione Littorio and the Rione Dux, better known as the Semirurali district. From this quarter, only one house has been preserved in which a museum is housed today.

One of the goals of fascism was the development of Bolzano's social structures. For this purpose, sports and leisure facilities were built, such as today's European Academy EURAC, which was built as the seat of the "Fascist Youth of Italy", the Drusus Stadium and the Lido Swimming Pool. These buildings have been preserved over the years and are still in public use today.

Today, Gries-Quirein is one of Bolzano’s city districts. This was not always the case though its history runs parallel to the history of the city. Up until 1925, Gries-San Quirino was an independent municipality. The village was founded in the High Middle Ages as an agricultural settlement around a fortress. Gradually, it developed into an important and increasingly well-known trade centre. In the 19th century, Gries-Quirein was also a climatic health resort. Then, in 1901, Emperor Franz Joseph I finally promoted it to the status of market town.

In 1925 during the fascist period, Gries-Quirein was incorporated into Bolzano. Even today, however, the district maintains its village character with its old town centre, the Muri-Gries Benedictine Abbey, the St. Augustin Collegiate Church and - in the middle of a historic cemetery - there is an old Gothic Parish Church. Inside there is a wooden winged altar by the famous Tyrolean painter and carver Michael Pacher.

This altar was built between 1471–75 and is considered a masterpiece of Gothic art. It is one of the best-preserved wooden winged altars in the entire region. Additionally, one can visit the church a Romanesque wooden cross from the 13th Century, probably originating from supra-regional provenance.

The cable cars in Bolzano

From the centre of Bolzano, admiring the beauty of the surrounding mountains is easy. With the cable car you can be there in no time. Bolzano is surrounded by sunlit, picturesque plateaus and peaks: the Ritten high plateau, Jenesien/San Genesio Atesino and the Kohlern mountain. The Kohlerer Bahn cable car was built in 1908, making it the oldest passenger cable car in the world. At the valley station, you can visit one of the original cabins, which are over 100 years old. The Rittner Seilbahn cable car, a model for public transport worldwide, connects Bolzano with Oberbozen/Soprabolzano every four minutes.

Parking & mobility in Bolzano/Bozen

Discover for yourself the sunlit arches, the shiny roof tiles of the cathedral, the scent of smoked sausages that blows over from the shops, and the babble of voices in the piazza while you have an aperitif there. Whether it's just for a day trip or longer, when we arrive in a new city, we always ask ourselves the same questions: where do I park? How do I get to the city centre? Where do the low-traffic zones begin? Where can I leave my luggage? We have put together some helpful information for you so that the holiday feeling sets in as soon as you see the Bolzano/Bozen town sign.

A sustainable holiday is all the more relaxing when local transport is guaranteed. If you are travelling to South Tyrol without a car, you can be sure that you can easily reach your destination or accommodation by bus or train. The bus and train timetables are carefully coordinated so that there is always a connection from the train stations to the surrounding towns and villages and you can complete the last leg to your accommodation by public transport. Simply hop on board and enjoy the bus journey through the vineyards, villages and idyllic countryside.

>> Routes and timetables for buses in Bolzano/Bozen

    Can you guess which means of transport is most popular with locals in Bolzano? The bike of course! Small wonder that Bolzano is considered the bike capital of Italy.

    So hop on your bike and explore the city! Bolzano has more than 50 kilometres of cycle paths. For instance, you can drive along the Eisack and Talfer rivers protected from traffic. The cycle paths connect various residential areas of the city with the pedestrian area of the old town.

    You don’t even need to bring your own bike. The city municipality’s bike hire is located close to the railway station. In addition, with Bolzano bike-sharing bikes, you can pick up and drop off a rental bike at 11 different bike stations scattered around the city. So there's nothing standing in the way of your environmentally friendly exploration of the city's many cycle paths . 

    Want to have a stroll through the city without luggage? Want the security that your bike is safely secured? If you travel to Bolzano by train, you can leave your luggage at the Dolomites Base Camp luggage storage. Your bike can also be safely stored there. There are also sports equipment, prams and child carriers available for hire.

    Open 8 am to 8 pm during the main season. In the railway station, track 1. You can reserve this service online.

    Bahnhofsplatz, 39100 Bolzano/Bozen
    T +39 0471 971 733

    Caution, some areas of the city are traffic restricted and the corresponding access roads are automatically monitored with cameras. Take beautiful photos of the city, but be careful not to have a photograph of your license plate sent home.

    Have a look here  to see which areas are video monitored.

    Are you travelling to Bolzano by car or motor home? At the traffic junctions, an electronic parking guidance system will point you towards vacant parking spaces in the city. The easiest way is to park the car in a parking area outside the centre and to continue by public transport or to walk.

    How to arrive by car from the south(A22 Exit Bolzano Sud and State Road 12):
    There are parking spots at the Fiera Bolzano (800 spots on the roof of the trade fair/restaurant/bar); open Monday to Friday from 7:30 to 20:30. Parking is free unless there is a trade show or other event taking place on the premises.

    Connection to the centre:
    Urban buses  (every 12 minutes via lines 10a and 10b)
    Train  (Bolzano/Bozen-Meran/Merano connection: Bolzano Sud/Messe railway station – approx. every 30 minutes)

    Arrival by car from the north (A22 exit North Bolzano and state road 12):
    Bolzano-Mitte city centre car park via Josef Mayr Nusser Weg street. From here, it is a five-minute walk to the central Waltherplatz square.

    How to arrive by car from the west   (State Roads 42 and 38)
    ‘Tiefgarage Stadthalle’ underground parking (600 spots, enter via Mailandstraße street), connected to the centre by urban bus service  (every 10 minutes with line 5 to Mailandstraße street).

    Bolzano Bozen Guestcard

    With the Bolzano Bozen Guestcard, it is even easier and more convenient to discover the city. The card will be given to you by your host and authorises you to visit museums and use all public transport for free. 

    Sustainable journey

    If you fancy relaxation from the start, give it a try: take a train or bus instead. Once you get to South Tyrol, you have plenty of transfer options that will take you from the rail or bus station to your accommodation. And the excellent public transport network of the region will get you around your destination effortlessly.

    Weather in Bolzano/Bozen

    Check out our weather forecast in Bolzano and planning your vacation in South Tyrol will be easier. And if you want to go up in the mountains, our weather forecast informs you about visibility, sunrise, sunset and zero-degree isotherm.

    5-day forecast