Bolzano (Italian) or Bozen (German), (Ladin: Balsan, Bulsan) is the capital city of South Tyrol, the German-speaking region in the northern part of Italy. Bolzano is the largest city in the region. Its archaeology museum is famous worldwide as the home of the alpine iceman "Ötzi". It is also known as the Italian Capital of Christmas thanks to its characteristic Christmas market. Bolzano's population is around 100,000 (140,000 including the metropolitan area). 25% of inhabitants speak German as their mother tongue; the population of German-speakers is much higher in the non-urban parts of the province (up to more than 90% in some areas), making the city and province officially bilingual.
Together with Innsbruck, Bolzano is the capital of the Alps because the seat of the Alpine Convention is there. The world-famous Museum of Archaeology with the Iceman and the Messner Mountain Museum's main seat make Bolzano a world city of mountaineering history and culture.
The city is administratively composed of 5 districts (City Centre - Bozner Boden/Piani di Bolzano-Rentsch/Rencio, Oberau/Oltrisarco-Haslach/Aslago, Europa-Neustift/Novacella, Don Bosco, Gries-St.Quirein/San Quirino). Alternatively, for tourism it can be divided into 6 areas:
- City Centre (Historical Centre-Altstadt-Dorf/Villa-Zwölfmalgreien/Dodiciville-Runkelstein Castle) Here there are the most important things to see, museums, theatres, restaurants, hotels and stores. The heart of the City Centre is Walther square.
- Rentsch-Rencio (Rentsch-Rencio/St. Magdalena-S. Maddalena/Bozner Boden-Piani di Bolzano) This is the most German part of the city with St. Magdalena on the hills with its vineyard and the nice Rentsch district centre. Behind the rail station isn't the Bozner Boden district. There are a lot of nice hotels, restaurants and guesthouses.
- Kohlern-Colle Bozen's/Bolzano's home mountain, nice mountain resort.
- Gries (Gries historical centre/Fagen-Fago/Guntschna-Guncina/Moritzing-San Maurizio/north-western Bozen's/Bolzano's countryside) Culture, art, nature and wine paradise in a small area. Gries was a "Kurort" (health resort) during the Habsburg's Empire.
- New City or West Bolzano (St.Quirein/Europa - Novacella-Neugries/Don Bosco with Kaiserau/Bivio countryside and Sigmundskron/Firmian Castle) The Italian Bolzano is here. A lot of restaurants.
- South Bolzano/Bozen (Oberau/Oltrisarco-Haslach/Aslago-Pfarrhof/Maso della Pieve-St Jakob/San Giacomo) Oberau is a nice districts built in 1900s with good restaurants. In Bolzano South area there is the airport and the fair.
First inhabited by the Rhaetians, the area was settled by the Romans in 15 BC, by General Nero Claudius Drusus, who gave his name to the first settlement in the area (an army camp with a bridge by the river Eisack-Isarco). The village founded nearby was called Bauzanum. The region of South Tyrol was historically settled by ethnic Germans and Ladins.
Bolzano has been a trading point since its foundation owing to its location between the two major cities of Venice and Augsburg. In 1262 it was elevated to a Stadt (city). In 1363 Bolzano became part of the Habsburg monarchy as part of the county of Tyrol. Four times a year a market was held and traders came from the south and the north. The mercantile magistrate was therefore founded in 1635. Every market season two Italian and two German officers (appointed from the traders who operated there) held this office. The city was a cultural crossroads at that time.
In 1919, after World War I, Bolzano was annexed by Italy against the will of the native population who had chosen to join the new German Republic of Austria. Starting in 1926, after the rise of fascism, the region's ethnic Germans were subjected to a policy of forced italianization. The fascist dictatorship encouraged the moving of many ethnic Italians to the city from other parts of Italy (primarily from Northern Italy) in an attempt to italianize the whole region. After World War II Bolzano was again assigned to Italy but this time the German-speaking population demanded self-determination and afterwards accepted the autonomy statute, which is ensured internationally. After decades of tension, particularly in the 1950s and the 1980s, (which included minor terrorist plots), Bolzano is now a multilingual European city open to the future, hosts students from all over the world and therefore hosts a lot of interesting cultural events. For this reason Bolzano sought to become European Capital of Culture in 2019.
Bolzano is constantly among the top-ranked cities in Italy when it comes to quality of life. It has one of Europe's lowest unemployment rates, excellent services and a wonderful landscape. Many Italians say they would like to live in Bolzano. However it is recognized that the city is a little expensive.
Bolzano has many special features: it's an Italian city with Austrian flair. In the city centre you will mostly hear people speak German or Austro-Bavarian. Nowadays, however, Italian- and German-speaking people are living together in bilingual Bolzano. Generally "Bozner" or "Bolzanini" are friendly and helpful. Most German-speaking people can speak Italian but Italian-speaking people are unlikely to be able to speak German. Nevertheless many young people can also speak English and a few can speak French too. In South Tyrolean schools the learning of the second language (Italian for German-speakers and vice-versa) and of English is compulsory.
|Climate chart (explanation)|
Local tourist guides often say that Bolzano has an incredible Mediterranean climate. That is not true. Bozen's/Bolzano's climate is continental, with very hot summers and very cold winters. In autumn and spring the Föhn often blows from the northern Alps. Whereas in Innsbruck it is a warm wind, in Bolzano there are moments when it's relatively warm and strong, and then the temperature may fall suddenly. The coldest month of the year is January (min -6.2°C/20.8°F, max 5.0°C/41.0°F, average 0.0°C/32.0°F), the warmest is July (min 15.1°C/59.2°F, max 29.4°C/84.9°F, average 22.0°C/71.6°F). The annual average is 11.6°C/52.9°F. The maximum and minima are -17°C and +40°C.
The city of Bolzano is in the Bolzano bowl at the confluence of three rivers (Talfer, Eisack, Adige) and extends about 6 km north to south and the same west to east and it's 3/4 surrounded by mountains. The historical centre is in the north-east in triangle formed by the Talfer in the west, the Eisack in the south-east and Mount Hörtenberg in the north-east. The modern areas (including the commercial and industrial area) are to the west and south. Most of the towns and villages of the metropolitan area are south of the city where the Bolzano bowl extends further. The River Adige flows through the westernmost suburbs.
- Bozen Tourist Office, Waltherplatz 8, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. The Bozen's Tourism Board has an information office right in the Walther square on the right. You can get information about the city and the neighbouring areas and also take some free brochures and maps of the city (ask also for the free cityguide). The tourism board's web site has been recently renewed and now it's a well-designed web site which provides a lot of useful information. On the web site is possible to download some brochures and the city map.
The web site of the Bolzano Surroundings Tourist Association has information about the city and Southern South Tyrol (the holiday region is promoted in English under the name 'South of Südtirol' on logos and 'South of South Tyrol' on written publications).
Passes and discounts
Those who stay three or more nights in a hotel in Bozen or Jenesien mountain village receive a free Guest Pass with a free guided tour of the city and some discounts in museums, castles and swimming pools.
If you want to visit all Bozen's museums and the Runkelstein Castle you can buy the MuseumCard (€2.50), with which you have discounts in all the entrances (you can save up to €16.50).
If you want to visit Bolzano and discover the surrounding area of Southern South Tyrol you can get the South of Südtirol Card for €1.50 and you will have discounts in visiting museums or in sport activities.
Magazines, events calendars
BM - Bolzano Bozen Magazine the Tourism Board publishes this trilingual (English, German, Italian) magazine with a lot of information about the city. You can find it in the tourism office, in the railway station and hotels. Free.
Inside - Events in South Tyrol bilingual (German, Italian) pocket calendar with all events in Bozen and in South Tyrol. The index is written in English. You can find it everywhere. Free. Also online available.
The South of Südtirol Magazine is published yearly by the tourist association of the Bolzano metropolitan area which useful including events also in the surrounding area. You can find it in tourism offices and in hotels for free.
Everyday local newspapers in German (Dolomiten, Neue Südtiroler Tageszeitung) or Italian (Alto Adige, Corriere dell'Alto Adige) publish all the events, theatrical performances, films at cinema and other useful (if you understand German or Italian) information.
Bolzano is on the crossroads between Northern and Southern Europe, just south of the Brenner Pass. It is well-connected, possessing a small international airport and forming a major hub of the railway system in Central Alps.
Airports within reasonable distance from Bolzano with scheduled flights include those in Innsbruck, Verona and Venice. Munich and Milan Malpensa are the nearest airports with intercontinental connections.
There are no direct transport links with the city apart from taxis. Buses 10A and 10B stop 1 km north of the terminal. A rapid-transit system is planned, which will connect the airport to the city centre.
All trains from Germany and Austria and other parts of Italy stop at 2 Bolzano Central Rail Station. There are connections with several cities. Useful websites are that of Trenitalia (Italian Railway Company), Österreichische Bundesbahnen (Austrian Federal Railway Company) and Deutsche Bahn (German Railway Company). Once a week there is a train connection to Moscow Belorusskaya and Nice operated by the Russian Railways (with stops also in Minsk, Warsaw, Katowice, Vienna, Milan and other places en route). There is a left-luggage office run by a private company on the main platform.
Bolzano is very well connected by bus with Central Europe. Bus connections are frequent from/to Germany, Poland, Czechia, Slovakia and Romania. Traveling by bus is cheaper than by train, especially from Eastern Central Europe. Gross organizes up to 22 bus connections every month between Bolzano and Munich (one-way ticket for €20). Almost every important city in Poland is connected with Bolzano through international bus connections - normally arrival is in Genoa. If you are coming from Romania your reference could be the Romanian CentroTrans travel agency which has also offices in England. Coaches from Romania stops in Bolzano but also in Brixen. On the Romanian website about bus stations , you can find arrivals and departures from Romania/to South Tyrol at the Bolzano bus station. Connections with Slovakia from/to Bratislava are operated by the Eurolines agency in Bratislava. Connections with the Czech Republic are operated by the Tourbus agency (web site also in English available) with buses from Prague or Brno and other places. Prices are cheap - a return ticket from Brno to Bolzano costs €94. Tourist connections are also available from Germany - this connections are operated by the German travel agency Südtirol Tours.
Bolzano is also the major regional bus hub and all the main regional bus routes terminate in the capital. For information about regional connections check on the regional bus company SAD web site (in Italian and German).
When not to go to Bolzano by car
If you are staying on holiday elsewhere in South Tyrol and there is rainy (or snowy) weather well, you shouldn't decide to go on a trip to Bolzano by car because 90% of the people like you have the same idea. All city access roads get congested already early in the morning and finding a parking space results a forlorn hope.
Highway A22 (Autostrada del Brennero/Brennerautobahn) from south and from north lead to Bolzano, however they get congested during the Christmas market and especially during the ski season. Highway has two exits in Bolzano, normally if you're coming from the north it's better to choose the Bolzano Nord/Bozen Nord (North) exit, while from South it's better the Bolzano Sud/Bozen Süd exit. Follow the direction on the signs in order to reach the city centre or your accommodation. If you're coming from Meran you the better way is taking the MeBo freeway - there are two exits in Bolzano (Eppan/Appiano exit for West Bolzano and Gries, and Bozen Süd/Bolzano final exit for Bolzano South and the city centre). For day trips to Bolzano it's probably better to leave your car in the Parking "Centro BZ Mitte". Normally every hotel has its own parking.
The city centre is not big and so it can be discovered on foot. The best way to discover every corner of the city is on foot but in order to reach other areas inside the city using the public system is a good idea - also because the public transport system is efficient and the means of transport run on time and are clean.
By bus, train and cableway
Bolzano has an excellent public transport system, which includes buses, cableways and commuter rail. Within Bolzano, you can get a single trip ticket (including a second trip, if within 45 minutes after the printing) for the bus for €1.50. If you want to use the bus many times and/or with other people, you can buy the "Value Card" ("Wertkarte" or "Carta Valore") for €5, €10 or €25. In city buses the trip will cost just €1.20 and you can use this card on all types of transport system in South Tyrol: on the interurban buses, on the cableways of the SAD System, on the "Mendelbahn" and on all the trains from Innsbruck to Trento and on all urban buses in 14 other towns (Meran, Brixen, Schlanders, Bruneck, Laives/Bronzolo/Vadena, Mals, Toblach, Kaltern, Algund, Lana, Eppan, Neumarkt, Sterzing and Sand in Taufers) and in Innsbruck (here you have to stamp your ticket at the green stamping machines at the train station). Tickets can be bought at the ticket machine directly on the bus, which sell single trip tickets and €5 value cards. It accepts coins only if you are likely to buy a value card - and bus drivers will not change banknotes for money. Ticket can be bought also in a few tobacco and newspapers shops throughout the city.
The South Tyrolean Transport and Fare System offers a 7-day travel card called Mobilcard for €18 and a 3-day travel card for €13 which allows the free use of all city buses in Bolzano and the entire South Tyrol transport system.
There is also a 7-day travel card for one of three areas for €15. South Tyrol is divided in a western, a central and an eastern area, but the Bolzano bus network is included in all of them. If you are also planning to visit the metropolitan area, the Mobilcard for the Central area is the best option. There is a 50% young person's discount.
For all information about costs and tickets on the South Tyrolean Integrated Transport and Fare System web site (also complete in English). About timetable and bus maps of Bolzano's/Bozen's city transport service on the SASA web site (Italian and German) and of South Tyrol region on the SAD web site (in Italian and German).
In Bolzano there are 17 bus lines (generally 06:00-21:0/) and three of them have also a night service (bus lines 153 -journey of the day lines 1, 5 and 3-, 2 and 10A) from 21:00 until 01:00. Buses pass very frequently - you will not wait more than 10–15 minutes between two buses of a single line. Buses run always on time.
Stamp your ticket at the start of its first use (there are green - on new buses yellow - stamping machines on the buses or near the entrances to the stations). You have to stamp your ticket also if you are buying it at the ticket machine. You have to buy another ticket if you stop and you catch a bus after 45 minutes after the printing (only with single trip ticket or spent value card). Payment is by the honor system and inspectors check for valid tickets. If you don't have one, it's an instant €25 fine (plus the fare you were supposed to have paid). All timetables and bus maps you can find free in the tourist offices or in the bus station.
All urban buses stops are request stops (except end of the line): If you want to get off press the red (in some buses blue) button, while if you want to get on a bus you have to wave your hand. Especially if you are alone at the bus stop or generally in South Bolzano (Fair Quarter) and in the night you should signal well in advance.
Bolzano also has two small urban rail stations (Bolzano South-Fair Quarter and Sigmundskron-Ponte Adige). Also here you can use the "Value Card". A single trip ticket from the Central Station to the Bolzano South-Fair Quarter costs €1.50 (€0.65 with value card).
You have to stamp your ticket in the rail station's entrance at the green stamping machines.
Bolzano is also connected with three mountain villages around the city by three cableways. If you want to go to Ritten/Renon or Jenesien/San Genesio you can use the "Value Card": a one-way ticket for Ritten costs €2.50 (€2.28 with Value Card) and for Jenesien costs €2 (€1.90 with Value Card). On the Ritten there is also a trolley car which brings from Oberbozen at the cableway station to Klobenstein which is the main place on the plateau. A one-way ticket from Bolzano to Klobenstein (cableway+trolley car) costs €5 (€3.90 with Value Card).
If you want to go to Kohlern-Colle you have to buy an extra ticket - trips every 30 minutes from 07:00 until 19:00 in winter and 07:30 in summer during the week (08:00-19:00 in winter and 08:00-19:30 in summer with a break 12:00-13:30 in winter and 12:00-13:00 in summer).
In Bolzano taxis are not so common, and sometimes at night getting a taxi can be difficult because there is no bus service and everyone will use them. There are taxi ranks in front of the railway stations, on Walther Square, Gries Square and other major squares and places. Taxis are only on call available. Bozen's taxi service is powered by Radio Taxi Funk 24hr ☏ . Taxis in Bolzano can be very expensive (airport to city centre about €30).
In Italy the city has one of the most developed network of cycle paths with about 30 km composed of 8 main routes. Guided tours are available. Maps are available in tourist offices and online.
Rentals are available in the following places:
- Station avenue (Bahnhofsallee/viale Stazione) close to Walther square
- main square of Gries
The service  is available from 4 April until 31 October 07:30-20:00 (October until 19:00) and is very cheap: €1 for 6 hours, €2 for more than 6 hours. Deposit €10.
Cycles can be rented all year round from Bolzano Tourist Board for €5 a day.
In the fahrradfreundliches Bozen/Bolzano città della bicicletta (bike friendly Bozen, the bike's city) there are specific road signs that help the city biker. A lot of big table maps are placed in many parts of the city. On the bike trail #1 after crossed the Talfer river direction city centre is placed an electronic table which obtains the number of passed bikes. On the city website  there is a map which can be helpful for reaching specific places.
Driving inside the city makes no sense - the public transport system is more than enough for traveling inside Bolzano. In the rush hours traffic is intense. However the main streets for car circulation are ring road along the Eisack river in the South, the Drusus road from West to the centre, the Italy avenue, the Freedom avenue, and the Rome street in the new city.
Driving in the historic centre is forbidden and the city centre is forbidden for the EURO 0 cars. In winter (from November to March) the whole city is forbidden for the EURO 0 cars in order to prevent air pollution. In cases of high concentration of polluted substances the streets are forbidden also for EURO 1 cars. On the website of the City of Bolzano there is a map of the areas concerned  and other infos (only in German and Italian).
There are a lot of pay car parks in the city and car parks for people with disabilities have special signs. However in Bolzano parking on white-striped streets is only for residents in that area with a special permit. Non-residents may park their cars there free only from 13:00 on Saturday until 08:00 on Monday. Fares for covered car parks are around €1 per hour. If you are coming from the surrounding areas it's better to park on the outskirts - parking e.g. in the Milan street (only €0.30 per hour) or in the Fair Quarter.
In Bolzano car sharing is also a possibility for long stays in the city. The annual fee is of €150 and in addition to this one hour costs €1.80 and every kilometer €0.34. There is a web site  (Italian only). For car pooling check the web site  with the offers (German and Italian).
Car rentals like by Hertz, Europcar, Sixt or Maggiore which are all at the Airport (Maggiore has a branch also in the Garibaldi street, 32), and Buchbinder in the Schlachthofstraße, 29. Other local rentals also throughout the city. The average price for a day rental is about €60 for the cheapest car.
Museums and galleries
Every year in November all Bolzano's museums offer special exhibitions and entertainment. The last Saturday of November or the first of December museums are open until 01:00 (the Long Night of Museums) and the admission is free.
- 1 South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology. The most famous and visited museum in South Tyrol. It's home of the Iceman Ötzi. €9 (reduced €7, children up to 6 years free).
- 2 Museion - Museum for Modern and Contemporary Art. New building by Studio KSV Krüger Schuberth Vandreike from Berlin.
- 3 Messner Mountain Museum Firmian. The main seat of the MMMs realized by the famous South Tyrolean mountaineer Reinhold Messner. €8 (reduced €6, children up to 6 years free).
- 4 South Tyrol Museum of Natural Science. It explains the geological origins of the region and organizes a lot of interesting temporary exhibitions. €5 (reduced €3, children up to 6 years free).
- 5 Municipal Museum. The oldest museum in South Tyrol.
- City Gallery. important temporary art exhibitions.
- Cathedral Gothic-Romanesque building dedicated to Our Lady of the Assumption built between the 13th and the 16th century with a lot of important frescoes and sacred arts. It's supposed that the church was built over a Roman basilica. It was partly damaged during World War II, and was renovated after the war.
- Dominican's church The first Gothic building in South Tyrol contains frescoes of the Giotto School.
- St Augustine Church The church located in Gries is one of the most important examples of baroque in South Tyrol. Before the secularization it was a church of the Augustinian order - now it belongs to the Order of Saint Benedict from Muri in Aargau, Switzerland. Valuable paintings of local painter from Wipptal Martin Knoller. It forms a single complex with the annexed older Abbey of Muri-Gries.
Palaces and castles
- 6 Runkelstein Castle. One of the most important castles for non-sacred art in Europe with a scene of Tristan and Isolde. The castle was built in the 13th century and it has interesting temporary exhibitions. €8 (reduced €5.50).
- 7 Maretsch Castle. A castle on the valley near the city centre surrounded by beautiful vineyards. Now it's a conference centre. Visits on Tuesday.
- 8 Mercantile Palace. Built between 1708 and 1716 by the architect Francesco Pedrotti from Verona, it's an important piece of Baroque architecture. It holds the Mercantile Museum.
Squares and memorials
- 9 Walter Square / Monument of Walther von der Vogelweide. Walther Square is called the gute Stube or salotto buono (good parlour) is the most famous square of the city. The square is surrounded by buildings in Austrian style. At centre of the square is situated the statue of Walther von der Vogelweide. The square was built in 1808 during Bavaro-Napoleon's domination. The square changed name five times: Maximilan square dedicated to the King of Bavaria (1808-1815), Johannes square dedicated to the Kaiser's brother Archduke Johann (1815-1901), finally Walther square (1901-1925). During the Fascist period the name was changed and the square took the name of Victor Emmanuel III of Italy. In 1946 the name changed for the last time (Our Lady square) before becoming Walther square in 1947. Walther came back to the Walther square only in 1984. In 1985 the first McDonald's in Italy opened on Walther square, in the place of the current Stadtcafé (a more modern McDonald's is now located in South Bolzano/Bozen).
- 10 Victory Monument and Square. A controversial monument on the other bank of the Talfer river and was built by the Fascist Italy in 1928 as a nationalist symbol and for celebrate the Italian victory during World War I. On the front, written in Latin, is a sentence which affirms the Italic superiority over the Germanic people. During the 1960s and 1970s some South Tyrolean activists attempted to damage the monument but without effects. In 2002 the city administration wanted to reconcile the population of the two ethnic groups changing the name to Peace Square. The majority of the Italians didn't appreciate the gesture and opposed. The Italian right wing parties (for the name dedicated to the Italian victory during World War I) wanted a referendum which was won by the old name. Now the tables display the name Victory Square (formerly Peace Square). Now the monument is under protection of the Italian state. There is a table on the way from the Talfer Bridge that explains how the City of Bozen feels about the monument. The Italian Ministry for Conservation of Ancient Monuments would not allow the city to post the tables on the grilles in front of the Monument.
Parks and promenades
For more parks and promenades see district articles
- Talferwiesen/Prati del Talvera are the green lung of the city and extends on both banks of the Talfer river. In summer it's full of people and also during the cold winter people like to go around the promenades.
- Ducal park is a nice park in the Gries area.
- Eisackufer/Lungoisarco Park is a big park on the right hand side of the Eisack river.
- Henry's promenade the Heinrichspromenade is known also as Guncina promenade and is the oldest promenade of Bozen in the former Kurort of Gries. There is a lot of flora.
- Bolzano Festival Bozen. Concerts of the Gustav Mahler and European Union Youth Orchestra in Concert Houses and in the squares of the city, the International "Ferruccio Busoni" Piano Competition and the shows of Antiqua (Renaissance and Baroque music). Every summer.
- Transart. A regional event of contemporary music and arts.
- Bolzano Danza - Tanzsommer Bozen. A dance/ballet event in summer.
- Südtirol Jazz Festival (International Jazz Festival Bolzano-Bozen). An important summer jazz festival.
- Wintermezzo. A Richard Strauss festival held in January.
- Upload - Music Contest + Festival. A song contest with participants under 26 held in May/June.
Theater, opera, and music
- New City Theatre, Verdiplatz, 40, ☏ , fax: , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Box office: Tu-F 10:00-13:00 and 15:00-19:00; Sa 10:00-13:00. Tickets are to be bought almost one day before the show. It is the biggest theatre of the region in importance and activity. It shows a lot of plays, opera, ballets and musicals. Plays in German and Italian. Maximum €72, minimum €13, students €10.
- Haydn Concert Hall, Dantestraße 15, ☏ , fax: , ✉ email@example.com. The concert hall holds classical music concerts. In summer it has a big activity with the EUYO, Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra and the International
- Kulturhaus Walther von der Vogelweide (Waltherhaus), Schlernstraße 1, ☏ , fax: , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. It is the biggest German-speaking theatre of South Tyrol. It shows a lot of plays in German Maximum €25-38, Minimum €8-15.
- Cristallo Theatre, Dalmatienstraße 30, ☏ , fax: , ✉ email@example.com. It is a new theatre with plays and festivals in Italian language
- Municipal Theatre of Gries, Telser Galerie 13, ☏ , fax: . It shows plays in German and Italian
- Carambolage, Silbergasse 19, ☏ , , fax: , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. It is a very small theatre (99 places) but it's important for the large number of plays and cabaret in German, Italian and other languages
- Theater im Hof, Obstmarkt 37'' phone=, fax: , ✉ email@example.com. Theatre with just 70 places in a courtyard behind the fruit market and well, the German name means Theatre in the Court. It shows plays mainly in German and in Italian.
Bolzano has a long fair tradition and it host an important and modern fair quarter, which is in South Bolzano.
During the year there are 18 fairs and a lot of meetings, having a congress centre and a four-star Sheraton Hotel.
Here the most important trade fairs are listed:
- Arredo (specialized trade fair for interior design)
- Prowinter (specialized in winter sports)
- Alpitec (specialized in mountain and winter technologies)
- Tempo Libero/Freizeit (specialized in sports, hobbies and leisure)
- kunStart (specialized in modern and contemporary art)
- Herbstmesse/Fiera d'Autunno (Autumn Trade Fair, since 1947)
The Showtime Agency is the most important events organizer in the region - every year Bolzano host a big number of concerts with groups or singers from Italy, Austria or Germany and internationally known artists. For tickets information please contact the agency.
If you want to go to underground concert (Alternative-Punk-Indie-Metal), Poison For Souls is the right choice for you!
In Bolzano there are 3 movie theatres with a total of 11 screens:
- Cineplexx Bolzano Bozen, Schlachthofstraße 53/A, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Last screening: M-F 08:00-20:45, Sa Su 23:00-23:15. Brand new multiplex (7 screens, 1,500 capacity) with movies in German and Italian. €8, under 14 €6, under 18 & students under 25 €7, Wednesdays €6.
- Filmclub (Capitol), Dr.-Streiter-Straße, 8d, ☏ , (for ticket reservations), fax: , ✉ email@example.com. Small multiplex (3 screens, 417 capacity) movies in German and Italian. A lot of essay movies or in original language with subtitles (generally German, Italian or English). Movies for kids €6.50, students and over 60 €5, on Tuesday €4.
- Contact the Bolzano Tourist Board for information about city guided tours, excursions on the mountains or in the surrounding area or for bike tours.
- Passepartour. Organizes tours in order to discover Bolzano and surroundings by bike.
- Skiing. South Tyrol is full of ski resorts. The more 'Bolzanian' ski resorts are the Rittnerhorn (20 km from Bozen) and Reinswald (30 km). Both web sites are in English available. Other nearby ski resorts are Carezza (25 km), Meran 2000 (30–35 km) or the very well known Val Gargena(40 km) which is part of the Sella Ronda ski circuit.
- Ice hockey. Home sport of Bolzano is ice hockey. HC Bolzano/Bozen Interspar Foxies is the local professional hockey club in Bozen and winner of the Italian hockey season 2007/2008 (it plays in the Italian premier league and it won 17 times the national championship - Italian record). They play at the Eiswelle/Palaonda ice palace.
- Soccer. The most important football team of the region plays in the 'Serie C2' and its name is FC Südtirol Alto Adige and plays in the Drusus stadion. In July/August test matches with renowned team such as the Internazionale Milan, Monaco, Stuttgart and others.
- Ice rinks. In Bozen there are four ice rinks: one near to the Runkelstein castle, one in the Genua street (Via Genova/Genuastraße in the Don Bosco district/New City), one in the Sport City in the area of Pfarrhof/Maso della Pieve in the Oberau-Haslach/Oltrisarco-Aslago district/South Bolzano/Bozen and one on the Talvera promenade.
- Swimming. In summer the Lido in the Trieste street is the favourite place of the people: open-air swimming pools and a big park with bar and restaurant. Admission €5. In winter there is the swimming & fitness centre Karl Dibiasi just behind the Lido. Admission €4.50/5.20.
Bolzano is the ideal place if you want to study German and Italian, or German or Italian after having studied one of the two.
- Free University of Bozen-Bolzano International trilingual (Italian, German, English) university. It's ranked as one of the best no statal universities in Italy. It is a private university but it's financed by the Autonomous Province.
- Claudio Monteverdi Provincial Academy of Music Like the university it is ranked as one of the best academies of music in Italy (in Italy academies of music are considered at university level). It is controlled by the Autonomous Province instead of the State and it is expecting a big development because of that.
- European Academy
- ZeLIG School for Documentary, Television and New Media
- Claudiana Province College for Health-Care Professions
Bozen is a congress, financial and business centre. School of languages and institutions could look for English teachers/speakers and new minds are requested in some technical sectors. If both German and Italian are known everybody can find a job in a restaurant, shop or hotel if it had some job experiences.
- Convention Bureau South Tyrol
- Techno Innovation South Tyrol
- Bolzano Trade Fair
- Autonomous Province of South Tyrol - Office for Bilingualism and Foreign Languages It has also a library with books, dictionaries and language courses on book, CD, DVD and a lot of films in German, Italian, English, French, Spanish, Russian, Arab and Portuguese in the Capucin's street (28, Kapuzinergasse/via Cappuccini)
- Job finder powered by the Autonomous Province of South Tyrol - Job service
For single shops see district articles
Every district has its own shopping area but the shopping paradise is the historical centre. Bolzano is the city in which the small ceramics sculptures Thun are made. You can find Tyrolean and Italian fashion in the same place and local delicatessen have to be chosen.
- Arcades (Lauben): One of the most famous shopping streets in Italy with both traditional and international chains.
- Greif Center: A modern and luxurious gallery near Walther square.
- Dr Streiter Lane: It's the opposite and parallel street of the Arcades (Lauben) with traditional chains.
- Arcades of Freedom's avenue: The Corso is composed by the 'Italian' arcades.
- Saturday market Every Saturday in the Victory square and border streets.
- 1 Fruit market. It is one of the oldest squares of Bozen and now like in the past holds the fruit market.
The 'Christkindlmarkt' takes place every year from the last Friday of November to 23 December in the Walther square with 80 stands. A second Christmas market called 'Winterwald' (Winter wood) takes place near Walther square in Palais Campofranco's yard with 14 stands. In the same period in the historical centre take place other markets too: the 'Handwerksmarkt' in the Municipal square and the Christmas market of solidarity in some streets of the historical centre. Occasionally there are smaller 'Christkindlmärkte' or Advent markets in other parts of the city.
Bolzano Sauce (Bozner Sauce)
For more places please see district articles.
You can find all kinds of restaurant - cuisine, typical, Italian, international, ethnic specialties - and fast foods - typical Würstlstandln (hot dog stands), döner kebab, sliced pizza, Chinese take-away, sushi, or McDonald's and Burger King.
In the following list are included some of the most known traditional or important restaurants in the city center.
South Tyrolean cuisine is typically Austrian (Tyrolean) with Mediterranean influences but also Italian and other international specialties have to be found. Typical South Tyrolean products include Speck (a kind of smoked ham), a lot of sorts of bread, strudel, apples and a lot of pastries. During Christmas typical cakes are Bozner Zelten and Christstollen.
Entries include specialties such as Herrengröstl (potatoes, beef, onions, speck), Kaiserschmarrn (omelette with raisin and sugar), Gulaschsuppe, Schlutzkrapfen (a kind of dumpling with spinach or other ingredients), Spätzle (a kind of spinach dumpling), Knödel (bread balls with speck or other ingredients), pork roast with sauerkrauts.
- Subito, Museumstraße, 54. Everyday open. Fast food with sliced pizza of a South Tyrolean chain with locations also in Innsbruck and Dresden. A second smaller location down of Museum street at the crossroad with the fruit market. under €10.
- Weißes Rössl, Bindergasse, 6, ☏ . Saturday at dinner & Sunday closed. The White Little Horse is an excellent Gasthof with Tyrolean specialties and atmosphere. Reasonable prices. It doesn't accept reservations. It's possible (and common) to share your table with other people. €10-20.
- Torgglhaus (Casa al Torchio), Museumstraße, 2, ☏ . Saturday closed. Famous restaurant near the fruit market with Tyrolean and Italian specialties and pizza. Credit cards accepted. €10-20.
- Batzenhäusl (Ca' de Bezzi), Andreas-Hofer-Straße, 30, ☏ , fax: , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Very old.
- Spizzico, Museumstraße, 54. Everyday open. Fast food with sliced pizza of a South Tyrolean chain with locations also in Innsbruck and Dresden. A second smaller location down of Museum street at the crossroad with the fruit market. under €10.
- Vögele, Goethestraße 3, ☏ , fax: , ✉ email@example.com. Typical Tyrolean/Austrian-style. €20-30.
- Stadt Cafè Città, Waltherplatz 21. A small snack or a full meal. price=€20-30.
- Laurin Belle Époque, Laurinstraße, 4, ☏ , fax: , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Open everyday. It's considered as the top restaurant in the city. Very elegant. Local and international cuisine. over €30.
- Zur Kaiserkron', Mustergasse, 1, ☏ . The restaurant to the Emperor's crown has one of the most prominent cooks of South Tyrol. Very elegant. Local and international cuisine. over €30.
Bolzano is an important wine producer in South Tyrol - it's included in the South Tyrolean Wine Road. Typical drink in South Tyrol is beer too - the most famous brewing company is Forst which is produced near Meran. A pub in the historical centre produces its own beer. Very popular soft drinks are Spezi (pronounce: "sh-peh-tzi") which is a cola-lemonade mix and Spuma which is an aromatic soda. If you like coffee you can drink Italian espresso or cappuccino but also Viennese or German (American) coffee.
Beer & wine gardens, halls & cellars
For the price explanation please see the "Eat" section
- Cantina Bolzano - Kellerei Bozen www.cantinabolzano.com, Piazza Gries, 2, +39 0471 270909. The classical wines of Bolzano: Lagrein, St.Magdalener, Pinot Bianco, Gewuerztraminer.
- Forsterbräu Central Goethestraße, 6 (+39 0471 977243)
South Tyrolean Forst Brewing company runs a really nice restaurant with outdoor seating right in the Altstadt (Historical Centre). Good beer and food and the prices are reasonable. Try the Sixtus ale, goes right to your head. €10-20
- Paulaner Bräuhaus Bozen Silbergasse/Lauben-Portici (Arcades) (two entrances)
Bavarian Paulaner Brewing company's first Bräuhaus in Italy. Good beer and food. €10-20
- Hopfen & Co Wirtshaus & Brauerei Obstplatz, 17 (Fruit market) (+39 0471 300788, email@example.com)
Here you can drink the original Bozner Bier (Bozen's beer) and eat typical Tyrolean food. €10-20
Pubs are mainly full on Saturday night - the Red Bull with Vodka mix is called here Flieger and it can be red (with red vodka), black or white (€3.50-5). Many people drink an aperitif also in the night - the most common drinka are Veneziano with Aperol and white wine (€1.50-2.50) and Estivo with sparkling water and white wine. Prices go from cheap (€) to expensive (€€€). Generally not more than €5 for a drink.
- Temple Bar Genuine Irish Pub, Piazza Domenicani 20. Irish-owned pub with that traditional style of an Irish pub found throughout the small villages of Ireland. Large beer garden on the square ideal for people watching while sipping a pint of Guinness, Sky Sports, live music and karaoke. Open Tu-Su 10:30-01:00. Monday closed. Phone 0471 324631 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Pogue Mahones Vicolo Erbe 10 (+39 0471 978339) Very nice Irish pub in the historical centre and also oldest Irish Pub in town (est. 1964). Local and foreign beers, paninis, and toasties, smoking area inside, Open M-Sa 17:00-01:30. Sunday closed.
- New Pub Freiheitsstraße 54 (+39 0471 263695) One of the oldest pubs in the city. Under the arcades of the New City's central area.
- Dublin Pub Negrellistraße 13 (+39 347 8810382) Irish pub with restaurant in the Bolzano South area. Sky Sports & darts. €
- Café Schubert. Silbergasse 18 pub & restaurant in the historical centre. €€
- Blue Moon Silbergasse Very popular meeting point for aperitivo. It's also a dinner bar.
- Cafè Latino Via Marconi Nice Bar-Pub with special evenings near the historical city center, crowded on week ends €€
- Birreria Romagnola Piazza Matteotti in the New City. Local and foreign beers, very good pub food, Sky Sports, Darts. Open daily 07:00-01:00. €
- Murphys Pub Via Milano Nice Irish pub in the New City. €
- Assenzio Laubengasse 30 One of the few places in Italy in which you can drink (true) absinthe. €€
- Nadamas Obstplatz 43/44 Nice pub-bar-restaurant. €€€
'Konditoreien', cafés & 'gelaterie'
- Stadtcafé Waltherplatz 21 (+39 0471 975221) Viennese style café with original Sachertorte.
- Café Theiner Museumstraße 62 (+39 0471 971893) In front of the Talfer bridge. Delicious ice-creams.
- Bar Walther Waltherplatz 2 Modern style café. Sunday closed.
- Aida Café Konditorei Pfarrplatz 3 Austrian style 'Konditorei'. Seats also in Walther square.
- Monika Konditorei Goethestraße 13 Austrian style 'Konditorei' with Italian style 'Gelati'.
- Gelateria Eccetera Weintraubengasse 23 Around 60 ice crem flavours.
- L'Oasi del Gelato Museumstraße Big ice-creams and 'granatine'.
- Gelateria Avalon. Freiheitsstraße 44 in the New City. Self-made waffle cones.
Before the beginning of the 21st century, Bolzano was known as the 'Sleeping Beauty', but in the meantime it has been transformed in the regional capital for nightlife so much that also young people from neighbouring Trentino come to Bolzano on Friday and Saturday night and the Bolzano's nightlife is known as the 'movida bolzanina', which was reported also in Italian national magazines. Now on weekend nights the historical centre is full of young and less-young people and pubs are crowded.
Look also on South Tyrol's portal for fun and night-life .
- HALLE28 Via del Macello. Local and international DJs, within walking distance from the city center. Entrance: €12-20 (1 drink included)
- Okey, Via Gilm. Club within 10-minute walk from the historical city center. Crowded on weekends. €3.
- Martini Club, Vicolo Erbe. Club in the City Center of Bolzano. Local DJs, live music and special events, no admission, drinks from €4-8.
- Mirò, Dominikanerplatz, 3b. Club in the heart of the city. €8-14 (1 drink included).
- Life Club, Marie-Curie-Straße 13. From 20:00. Special guests, entertainment and dj music. The disco is in the South Bolzano area.
- Alumix, Voltastraße, 9. Entertainment, sometimes live music, alternative. The disco is in the South Bolzano area. €9 (1 drink included).
- Après Club, Hauptstraße, 20, Gargazon/Gargazzone (The disco is 15 km out of Bozen, in the small village of Gargazon, between Bozen and Meran, on the statal road.). Special guests, entertainment, events. Free entry.
- Keope Disco Club Brennerstraße, 6, Steinmannwald/Pineta di Laives. Entertainment, DJ music and Cuban dance. In the outskirt of Bozen on the statal road.
- Baila Discopub Boznerstraße, 5a, Eppan/Appiano. Entertainment, special guests and dj music. The disco is in Eppan near Bozen. One of the most crowded places to go on weekends. Entrance: €8 (1 drink includeed).
- Zentis Discopub Tannstraße, 12, Ritten/Renon. Discopub, live music, DJ music. The discopub is in Klobenstein/Ritten near Bozen.
Please see district articles.
The city and its metropolitan area are well developed for tourism and you can find all kinds of accommodation: luxury, international, typical, big, small, cheap hotels, B&Bs, apartments, youth hostels, campings and you can spend your holidays also in a farm in the surrounding countryside. Tourist offices can help you in finding your ideal accommodation. During the Christmas market period accommodations are full in fast all the region - advanced reservation is required.
In the following list are included some accommodations in order to make an idea about hotels and others. Category is given in stars and the service corresponds in all cases to the category.
- Youth Hostel Bolzano, Rittnerstraße, 23, ☏ , fax: , ✉ email@example.com. The hostel is near the city centre and the Central Station. €20.50 group room, €24 single room.
- Kolpinghaus Bozen, Adolph-Kolping-Straße, 3, ☏ , fax: , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. In the city centre. €50-60 single room, €80-90 double room.
- Best Western Hotel Alpi, Südtirolerstraße, 35, ☏ , fax: , ✉ email@example.com. In the city centre €92-114 single room, €130-170 double room.
- Hotel Post Gries, Freiheitsstraße, 117, ☏ , fax: , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. In the Gries district centre. €55-70 single room, €90-120 double room.
- Stadthotel Città, Waltherplatz, 21, ☏ , fax: , ✉ email@example.com. In the heart of Bolzano. €90-104 single room, €125-190 double room.
- Four Points by Sheraton, Bruno-Buozzi-Straße, 35, ☏ , fax: , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Business and tourist hotel located in the fair quarter. €120-150 single room, €150-190 double room.
- Hotel Greif, Raingasse, 28, ☏ , fax: , ✉ email@example.com. Small five-star hotel in the heart of the city. No restaurant - it's a so-called garni hotel. €132-350 single room, €170-350 double room.
- Hotel Laurins, Laurinstraße, 4, ☏ , fax: , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. In the city centre. €112-280 single room, €170-280 double room.
- Palast Wellness Hotel, Via Farber 1 - Colle Isarco, ☏ , fax: , ✉ email@example.com.
- Palast Wellness Hotel, Via Farber 1 - Colle Isarco, ☏ , fax: , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bolzano is one of the safest cities in Italy and generally tourist don't have problems.
Beware of African migrant vendors in the streets: most of the merchandise they sell is imitation luxury goods. You can get a very high fine in Italy for purchasing imitation goods.
Stay away from the area around the central railway station and the surrounding area (Via Garibaldi, Piazza Verdi, Viale Trento) at night. Especially in the Station Park and the Garibaldi Street - drug dealers, homeless people and illegal immigrants are often seen. However, common sense should be enough when you will stay in Bolzano saftely.
Pickpocketing is not usual but prevent it putting your money and other values in a safe place.
Beware of groups of youths in the areas of South Bolzano and the New City but also in the City Center (especially on Piazza dell'Erba where most of the pubs, bars and clubs are - especially on week-ends, when alcohol level is high and the inhibition threshold low pub-fights can break out, and young drunks can molest you but people usually will not harm you when they see that you are not from Bolzano.
Bolzano is officially a bilingual city - That means there is most likely a German and Italian name for everything! Some tourists could have problems understanding the city's unique character. Guests interested in the (recent) history of South Tyrol are appreciated, but try to stay neutral discussing this with locals and always avoid asking the German-speaking people to explain why German is official language in a region belonging to Italy, and definitely don't say things like 'But this is Italy!' Bolzano/Bozen is an international model of bilingualism and multicultural understanding, and major ethnic tensions are a thing of the past.
In Bolzano there are a lot of call centres which are used mainly by immigrants who wish to connect to their relatives. There are a lot of telephone boxes in which you can use Italian and International phone cards. Cell phone coverage in the city is excellent. A lot of hotels offer wireless connections. The area code is 0471 (that of Italy is +39) while the postcode is I-39100.
Internet cafes are scarce, with virtually no open Wi-Fi connections in the centrum.
In Bolzano there is at least one post office in each district. The two main post offices are open from M-F 08:00-18:30 and Sa 08:00-12:00 - on Sunday closed. Other post offices are open from M-F 08:00-13:30 and Sa 08:00-12:30. The post office at Fair Quarter is open from M-F 08:00-14:00.
- Main Post Office Bolzano, Pfarrplatz/Piazza Parrocchia, 13 In the city centre near the Cathedral.
- Post Office, Duca-d'Aosta-Straße/Via Duca d'Aosta, 104 In the new city in front of Hadrianplatz/Piazza Adriano.
There are above 60 bank branch offices. The most important banks in South Tyrol are the Südtiroler Sparkasse (Savings Bank), the Südtiroler Volksbank (People's Bank), the Raiffeisen Bank and the Bank für Trient und Bozen (Bank of Trento and Bolzano). The offices are open normally 08:05–12:55 and 14:45-16:00/16:30PM. Banks are closed on Saturday and Sunday (a few banks are open on Saturday). At every bank and other places you can find simply an ATM.
The majority of consulate generals are located in Milan and other nearest consulates are in Verona or Innsbruck.
- Honorary Consulate of the Federal Republic of Germany, Dr.-Streiter-Gasse 12. +39 0471 972118
- Honorary Consulate of the Russian Federation, Dr.-Streiter-Gasse 20. +39 0471 974075
- Consulate General of the Republic of Austria - Office of Bolzano, Silbergasse 6. (Mercantile Palace) +39 0471 970394.
United States of America, Canada, Australia, United Kingdom, New Zealand all have their Consulate General in Milan.
Most of the fitness centres are located outside from the city centre. A lot of hotels have fitness centres too - notably that at Sheraton Hotel.
- Club Tonic, Galvanistraße 3. South Tyrol's largest fitness centre (3,500 m2) at Centrum mall in South Bolzano. Open everyday (M-F 07:30-23:00, Sa 08:30-20:00, Su 09:00-15:00).
- Fit-Star, Pacinottistraße 4. Very large fitness centre (2,000 m2) in South Bolzano. Open 24 hours a day and 365 days a year.
- Energym, Reschenstraße 84. Very known gym in the new city in the Don Bosco district.
- Eden 2000, Cesare-Battisti-Straße 25. Equipped fitness centre in the new city.
- City Fitness, Wangergasse 77. Fitness centre in the city centre.
Here some address for computer assistance in Bolzano:
- Ma-Ko, Drususallee, 189. Store located in the Drusus road on the New City side.
- Mitas, Einsteinstraße, 1. This international distributor and producer of PCs housed in South Bolzano has an assistance centre.
- Computer Center, Hörtenbergstraße, 1/C. Store located in the city centre.
- Computer 3000, Lancia-Straße 10. Store located in South Bolzano.
Considering that most of DVDs are American movies and that they offer the language selection, you can virtually consider to rend a DVD. Pay attention only to the fact that the European system is different from the American (U.S. & Canada) one (if DVDs show the regional code 2 for Europe they don't work on American PCs or DVD recorders).
- Pianeta Video is a company with its headquarters in Meran. There are locations in Bolzano (self-service 24 hr):
- Freiheitsstraße 16 - in the New City
- Vigilstraße 62 - in the Haslach area in South Bolzano
- Brennerstraße 29 - in the Zwölfmalgreien area near the City Centre
- Sassaristraße - in the Don Bosco area in the New City
- Blockbuster, Turinstraße 94 - in the New City (open Su-Sa 09:00-23:00)
- Bolzano Central Hospital, Lorenz-Böhler-Straße, 5. +39 0471 908111 or dial 118 for emergency phone assistance (in German and Italian).
- Marienklinik, Claudia-de-Medici-Straße, 2. +39 0471 310600. It's a smaller hospital without emergency assistance.
- Pharmacy Service. An online service provided by the Autonomous Province of South Tyrol lists all the pharmacies in South Tyrol including the pharmacies which are open during the night or in non-working days. There are 25 pharmacies throughout the city.
- South Tyrol, a lot of towns, valleys and mountains have to be visited
- Innsbruck, Austria, is an easy day trip from Bozen. 120 km (1hr 15min)
- Verona is an easy trip from Bozen. 150 km (1hr 30min)
- Lake Garda the famous lake with mediterranean climate is not far from Bozen. Nearest centres: 100 km (Riva del Garda) - 135 km (Lazise) (1hr 20min-1hr 40min)
- Munich, Germany, if you have a few days to spare, this is the perfect trip, it can be also a day trip. 250 km (3hr)
- Venice, if you have a few days to spare, this is the perfect trip, it can be also a day trip (by train). 250–300 km (3hr 30min)