Boundary layer transition with and without transitional separation bubbles was investigated on a cylinder in cross flow. Measurements of the pressure distribution and hot-wire measurements within the boundary layer were carried out at two free-stream velocities and with different flow disturbances. The separation bubble reacts very sensitively to changes in inlet turbulence. Tollmien-Schlichting waves were observed in the separated shear layer just before transition, and their frequencies were in good agreement with stability theory. However, correlations concerning bubble length which were fitted using airfoil data are apparently not suitable for describing separation bubbles on cylinders. Finally, measurements in periodically disturbed flow show how the bubble reacts to this type of disturbance.