Modena It is one of the most beautiful cities in Northern Italy. The colorful old town is a maze of charming streets, squares and impressive architecture. But Modena is famous for something else: balsamic vinegar and Ferrari cars. I have all the information you need to decide where to stay in Modena.
All the best hotels in Modena are in or around Centro Historico: (Old city). It is a large district built around the impressive Piazza Grande. In ancient times, huge fortifications surrounded the area. Today, the same place is occupied by a lush green linear garden. Almost all of Modena’s attractions are here.
Modena also has less interesting neighborhoods. The only lively area outside of the old town is the southeast section of Via Emilia. The largest park in the city, Parco Enzo Ferrari, is located west of the Old Town. Two other great parks are Parco Giovanni Amendola and Parco della Resistenza.
The best hotels to stay in Modena
The best places to stay in Modena are the Centro Historico. It is the best hotel in the city Hotel Rua Frati 48 in San Francisco, south of the main square. The 16th-century palace offers large rooms, an elegant lobby, an upscale restaurant, and a full spa and fitness center. This is the only 5-star hotel in Modena.
It Best Western Premier Milano Palace Hotel It is one of the best luxury hotels in the center of Modena. The property is located between the Old Town, the train station and the Enzo Ferrari Museum. So it’s a great base for exploring the city. This is a modern hotel with comfortable rooms and a luxury spa.
If you love old world charm, you’ll love it Salotto delle Arti. It is probably the best boutique hotel in Modena. The hotel is the historic Palazzo Montagnani. It features 19th century frescoes and designer furniture. I loved their homemade cakes, brioche and focaccia.
Best places to stay in Modena
South of Piazza Grande
Modena has one UNESCO-listed site right in its heart. Yes, I am talking about the architectural ensemble Piazza Grande, which includes the Cathedral and the Torre della Ghrilandina. The cathedral and tower are among the most important examples of Romanesque art in all of Italy. The best area to stay in Modena is south of the piazza.
After admiring the square, visit the church and tower. If you think the cathedral looks beautiful from the outside, wait until you enter its 12th century nave. Another place in the square that you shouldn’t miss is the medieval Palazzo Comunale, or City Hall. In the palace of established houses is located one of the symbols of Modena.
Modena’s main pedestrian zone starts south of the square. Via Luigi Albinelli ends at the colorful historic market Albinelli. The whole town visits the market to eat, drink and buy groceries and flowers. Further southeast you will find one of Modena’s most beautiful churches. The 16th-century Church of San Pietro is a landmark.
The best hotels south of Piazza Grande.
PHI Hotel Canalgrande
It PHI Hotel Canalgrande is another fabulous historic hotel. It is very close to the square. The rooms are comfortable and stylish. The hotel lounge has an original 18th Murals of centuries. Everything is stylish and elegant at PHI Canalgrande.
Hotel Cervetta 5:
You can’t get any closer to the main square than the square Hotel Cervetta 5:. The three-star hotel has everything you need for a perfect stay: beautiful rooms and fantastic hosts. As the hotel does not have an elevator, do not bring heavy luggage.
Around the Palazzo dei Musei
Palazzo dei Musei It is the main cultural institution of Modena. This is where the famous Galleria Estense is located. The gallery features many works of art, including works by Bernini, Velázquez, Correggio and El Greco. The Bibiloteca Estense, the City Museum of Modena and the Archaeological Museum are also located inside the Palazzo.
The AGO Modena Fabbriche Culturali is located in front of the Pallazo del Musei. This is another cultural powerhouse favored by locals. The archeological site of Novi Tap is a few steps back. Between 2009 and 2011, archaeological artifacts were found here, which are now on display. This is a beautiful little park worth your time.
The surroundings of the Palazzo Musei are among the most spectacular in Modena. With its colorful medieval arcades, the streets of Sant’Agostino, Rua Muro and surrounding buildings. It’s the perfect place to walk under the arcades to escape the hot Italian sun. Don’t forget to visit the charming Piazza della Pomposa, home to the church of Santa Maria della Pomposa.
Best hotels around Palazzo dei Musei
Central Park Hotel Modena
Central Park Hotel Modena is located right next to the Palazzo. As the building is located on a quiet leafy street, it offers a respite from the busy atmosphere of Modena’s Old Town. It is a modern hotel with free parking. Definitely one of the best 4 star hotels to stay in Modena and this part of Italy.
La Bella Modena Centro
If you are looking for a quite private apartment close to the main attractions of the city, I highly recommend staying there La Bella Modena Centro. The beautiful villa is located near the Palazzo. The apartments are fully furnished and spacious. There is a coffee machine and a water dispenser.
Around Piazza Roma
You’ll find the most private accommodations in Modena in the area north of Piazza Grande. Pedestrian streets leading to Piazza Roma are among the most famous in the city. The whole area is full of nice cafes, bars and restaurants.
Piazza Roma is one of the main squares of Modena. You’ll know you’re there when you spot the impressive Palazzo Ducale. The late 17th century building housed the Court of Este for over 200 years. Today it is the headquarters of the military academy. However, it is open for visits several times a week.
My favorite park in Modena is just around the corner. Of course, we are talking about Parco Giardino Ducale Estense. It is an oasis of peace in this bustling city. The area is also home to the iconic Pavarotti-Freni Theater. The world-famous opera singer was a proud native of Modena.
The best hotels around Piazza Roma.
Best Western Hotel Liberta
Best Western has a smaller hotel in downtown Modena. Liberta is a three-star hotel on the street that connects Piazza Grande and Piazza Roma. The Synagogue of Modena is located next door. The rooms are clean and comfortable.
If you are traveling with family and friends, I suggest you make a reservation La Campanella own apartment. The spacious apartment has two fully furnished bedrooms, a living room, a bathroom and a small kitchen. It is perfect for a group of up to six people.
Near the railway station
If you plan to visit others places in Emilia Romagnait makes sense to book a room nearby central railway station. Direct trains connect Modena Bologna, Parma, Reggio Emilia, Ravenna and: Milan. If you are looking for a central location close to the Old Town of Modena, this is the place to stay.
Many people visit Modena because of its importance in the automotive world. The city is associated with world famous brands such as Ferrari, De Tomaso, Maserati and Paganini. Modena’s most famous museum, the Museo Enzo Ferrari, is an iconic yellow aluminum building that hosts the Motor Museum. Part of the museum is located in the house where the legend of the Grand Prix was born.
The rest of the neighborhood is beautiful as well. The area south of the Ferrari Museum is mostly residential with green yards and lush trees. One of Modena’s largest churches, the Tempio Monumentale di San Giuseppe ai Caduti in Guerra, is also here.
The best hotels near the railway station.
Hotel Principe is another excellent four-star hotel. The property is located at the corner of two major avenues. That is, between the Old Town and the railway station. This is a luxurious modern hotel with extra comfortable beds.
R&B La Pomposa dei Motori
It R&B La Pomposa dei Motori is a nice little guest house a few steps away from the Ferrari Museum. The space has three private bedrooms with private internal or external bathrooms. Some of their rooms require a two night minimum stay. You’ll love her host Teresa.
How long to stay in Modena?
I go to Modena all the time and always discover something new. The city has so much to offer that you could spend weeks and never have a dull moment. However, no body has that much time, so you’re probably wondering how many days are needed to cover the basics in Modena. I believe you should spend at least two nights. You can spend the first day visiting the main sites and the second day indulging in local food and delicacies.
Modena is still somewhat off the beaten path. Of course, you won’t be the only tourist around, but the city is much less crowded than Bologna, Milan or Florence. So you will be able to walk the streets of the Old Town with less people around. Especially at night.
If you decide to spend two nights in the city, you can go on day trips to the province or nearby regions. For example, it’s only half an hour from Parma. If you like cute little towns with a castle, go on a day trip Rocca di Vinola. If you’re a music lover, visit Pavarotti’s house outside the city.
Getting around Modena
The best way to get around Modena is by road to walk. The city is flat, there are wide sidewalks all around. The old town is almost entirely pedestrianized, with only a few cars around. If you’re visiting in summer, don’t forget a hat and sunscreen. You need a coat in winter.
You can walk from the train station to the old town. It’s an easy 8 minute walk through the beautiful leafy streets. Another great walk is south of the old town along the former city wall. It’s a linear park with some nice outdoor cafes. Take your time and have coffee and cake in one of them.
If you are too lazy or traveling with heavy luggage, take one of Modena’s city buses. Lines 7 and 11 connect the train station with Piazza Grande. To visit other places in the province, take one of the frequent local buses. You can buy your ticket on the bus.