My flight home from Italy to the US leaves Bologna at 6am. I'm trying to figure out what to do the night before, because:
-The airport is 10km from the city center.
-Public transport doesn't seem to run before 6am.
-I'd assume that I'll be enjoying the prior day until at least 11pm or later.
-I'm budget conscious.
-I'll be there in February.
The low cost option is to stay in a hostel the night before, but I'm reluctant to rely on my ability to get a taxi from the hostel at 5am.
A pricier option is to get a hotel room near the airport, but why pay for a room that might be used only 4-5 hours?
A no-cost option is to wander the streets of Bologna all night, but I suspect that the temperature will be close to freezing.
I'm wondering if anyone else has ever had such a dilemma, and if you have any advice for the best experience.
Also: ever try an overnight in an airport? Is this permissible?
Thanks for your advice,
Having never flown from Bologna in specific please take this with a grain of salt. I have been marooned in airports overnight before, while I usually try to get a hotel close by there has been the inevitable instance where I sleep on the chairs by baggage claim... Most airports will let you slide with this as long you are there for a "pending flight." My advice in this is make sure you have your passport and ticket... and lock your carry-ons up in an airport locker.. You probably wont even get hassled as long as you are outside the "check in" area.. if you do simply show your passport and ticket.. if you are due to fly in the next several hours you are likely to be left alone. That being said, if Bologna is not an airport that offers "red eye" flights you're probably sol and you should see about staying in the hostel... Pre-Arranging a taxi is usually reliable as taxis tend to run 24hours a day, so 5am isn't such a push for them.
If you want to wait your flight without to take an hotel's room, maybe you can stay in the city centre and then to spend time at the central station; than to take a taxi there to the airport. The bus to the airport start the service only about 05.30 a.m..
If you are thinking of sleeping in the airport, have a quick look at some other people's experiences with the Bologna airport at sleepinginairports.net : http://www.sleepinginairports.net/europe/bologna.htm
It may be worth it to have a half-decent night's sleep though, in which case the taxi / hostel scenario sounds like a good option.