Things to do in Bergamo: Enjoy the view from Parco delle Rimembranze

The Ultimate Guide To The 20 Best Things To Do In Bergamo, Italy

Are you dreaming of an authentic Italian getaway?

Look no further than the charming city of Bergamo!

Bergamo has been overlooked by tourism until it was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

And this year, 2023, it has been granted an additional honour as the Italian Capital of Culture, sharing this title with Brescia.

Bergamo beckons with its timeless charm and enchanting landscapes.

This hidden gem is a treasure trove of culture and natural beauty.

Revel in the exquisite Renaissance architecture of the old town, meander through the winding medieval streets, and savor authentic Italian cuisine.

Explore ancient landmarks and museums for glimpses into Bergamo’s fascinating past.

Enjoy the Venetian walls or a cup of espresso at a cozy café – Bergamo promises an unforgettable experience!

Ascend to Città Alta, the upper city, on the funicular railway.

Marvel at the stunning views of hills and valleys.

Lose yourself in this well-preserved medieval paradise.

Don’t miss Rocca di Bergamo – a fortress offering panoramic vistas of the city.

Indulge in culinary delights – trattorias serving “casoncelli pasta” with meat and breadcrumbs or “polenta e osei,” a delectable dessert.

Sip locally produced wine for the ultimate taste of Bergamo’s gastronomy.

So, let’s find out the best things to do in Bergamo, Italy!

Best Things To Do In Bergamo, Italy

Are you planning a last minute trip to Bergamo?

Be sure to book your accommodation and tours in Bergamo ahead of time to ensure availability!

Here are my top Bergamo recommendations:

And here are my top Bergamo recommendations for accommodation:


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About Bergamo, Italy

Things to do in Bergamo: Piazza Vecchia and Palazzo del Podestà
Piazza Vecchia

Bergamo’s history dates back to ancient times when it was settled by the Celts.

It’s been ruled by many empires and kingdoms over the years, leaving its mark on architecture and culture.

This city is divided into two parts – upper town (Città Alta) and lower town (Città Bassa).

Città Alta is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with mediaeval streets and buildings.

Città Bassa is more modern, with elegant shops and bustling squares.

Bergamo’s strategic location between Milan and Venice made it an important trade hub in the Middle Ages.

This brought wealth and prosperity, enabling the growth of palaces, churches and art.

Start your journey at La Rocca di Bergamo, a fortress with views of both Città Alta and Città Bassa.

Climb the towers and gain insight into the city’s importance throughout history.

Visit Piazza Vecchia in Città Alta.

Marvel at the Palazzo della Ragione – a seat of government during medieval times.

Wander the narrow streets to find Santa Maria Maggiore Basilica with its Renaissance frescoes.

Don’t miss Accademia Carrara, an art gallery with works by Botticelli and Raphael.

Get an understanding of Bergamo’s artistic heritage.

For a unique appreciation of Bergamo’s past and present, explore its attractions.

Take pictures and pretend to know art history for the perfect Instagram feed.

The Top 20 Things to Do in Bergamo

I’ve created this list in order to be done in a single day.

I’ve also included some extra activities in case you have more time in the city of Bergamo.

So, get ready to embark on a whirlwind exploration of the best Bergamo has to offer!

Here are the top ten things to do in Bergamo:

Take the funicular up to the Città Alta (Upper Town)

Embarking on a journey through Bergamo’s enchanting sights, the famous funicular railway stands proudly as the starting point.

With its lower station situated in the lower town, this delightful mode of transportation swiftly whisks you away to Piazza Mercato delle Scarpe in the upper town, completing the ascent in just a matter of minutes.

Why should you choose the funicular, you might wonder?

Well, since the late nineteenth century, it has been the customary means of connecting the vibrant lower town with the charming upper town.

So, hop aboard and immerse yourself in this historical experience.

You can conveniently purchase your tickets at the funicular station.

If you like, you can walk to Upper Town (Bergamo Città Alta) through a beautiful green landscape.

To embark on this adventure, head to the right of the funicular.

Follow the path along Via Salita della Scaletta, and it will lead you directly to the majestic Porta San Giacomo.

By continuing along the street to your right, you will find yourself in the very area where the funicular gracefully arrives.

So, whether you choose the swift ascent of the funicular or the scenic path through nature, prepare to be captivated by the wonders that await you in Bergamo’s Upper Town.

Step back in time as you enter the enchanting narrow streets of the Città Alta.

Lose yourself in the medieval charm, admire the historic architecture, and soak in the breathtaking panoramas from the ancient city walls.

Step Back in Time at the Rocca di Bergamo Fortress

Things to do in Bergamo: Visit La Rocca Di Bergamo for amazing views
Rocca di Bergamo entrance

If you’re willing to experience an awe-inspiring view of Bergamo’s upper city, venture onto the small uphill road located on the right side of “Piazza Mercato delle Scarpe.”

This charming pathway will lead you directly to the magnificent Rocca di Bergamo, an imposing defensive structure with the most recent reconstruction dating back to the city’s Habsburg era.

Within the Rocca, you’ll discover one of the sections of the city’s history museum, offering a fascinating glimpse into Bergamo’s rich past.

Additionally, I highly recommend taking a leisurely tour around the Parco delle Rimembranze, a park that envelops the Rocca and showcases cannons and memorials from the Great War.

It’s a poignant and worthwhile experience.

But I’ve brought you here for a reason: Brace yourself for an absolutely breathtaking sight—the panoramic view from the Rocca’s vantage point, overlooking the rooftops and towers of Bergamo’s upper city, is simply stunning and, in my opinion, one of the best in the city!

Cloister of St. Francesco Convent

Make your way to the Cloisters of the Convent of San Francesco, following a descent from the Rocca and navigating through charming side alleys.

What remains of the convent is now confined to these serene cloisters, which now house the Museum of Photography. 

The paintings adorning the Chiostro delle Arche, Chiostro del Pozzo, and Sala Capitolare offer a captivating glimpse into the rich history of the building.

These cycles of paintings, depicted between the 14th and 17th centuries, serve as a tribute to the location’s ongoing significance.

You can still catch glimpses of frescoes and burial arches that were once utilised by the noble families of Bergamo.

Each brush stroke captures the character of the era it represents, allowing you to become immersed in the past.

The panoramic terrace provides an unmistakable horizon that

stretches out with unparalleled beauty, as the two valleys, Brembana and Seriana, merge in perfect harmony.

This vantage point offers a mesmerizing sight that truly showcases the natural splendor of the surroundings.

Things to do in Bergamo: Case Torri (Tower Houses) in Piazza Mercato del Fieno
Tower Houses in Piazza Mercato del Fieno

See The mediaeval Tower Houses of “Piazza Mercato Del Fieno”

As you continue along Via Solata, you eventually arrive at Piazza Mercato del Fieno, where a collection of mediaeval-style tower residences awaits.

These structures have undergone a transformation and now stand as beautiful homes.

However, in the past, they stood even taller and more imposing, serving as symbols of wealth and power for rival families.

Interestingly, one of these tower houses still harbors a blacksmith’s workshop beneath it. If you happen to pass by during the week, you may see him at work.

Climb up Torre del Gombito

Things to do in Bergamo: Climb up the Gombito Tower
Gombito Tower seen from Parco delle Rimembranze looks like a Mediaeval skyscraper

Torre del Gombito stands as a remarkable structure that can be seen as a true precursor to the modern-day skyscrapers we admire.

Its name, “Gombito,” derives from its location, which is “ad compitum,” meaning it is situated at the crossroads of the two main highways of the Roman city.

Built in the 12th century by the Ghibelline Del Zoppo family, this tower held great significance.

It served as a strategic point for controlling access to Piazza Vecchia from the valley roads, ensuring preparedness in case of any enemy troop arrivals. The tower’s importance was further emphasized when it was deliberately lowered under Austrian authority.

This measure aimed to safeguard it against attacks from Bergamo rebels, who had utilized cannons to target the nearby Rocca.

Since 2005, the Gombito Tower has been home to the tourist information office (IAT) of Bergamo Municipality, and you have the opportunity to explore its fascinating history.

By making a reservation at the office, you can gain access to the tower.

Climb up the 263 steps to the top and enjoy the best view of the city.

The pinnacle of the tower acts as a privileged belvedere, providing a panoramic vista of Bergamo in all its glory.

On clear days, the terrace offers an astonishing 360-degree view that stretches as far as Milan and the majestic Alps.

Please note that reaching the tower’s summit can only be done on foot, adding an extra touch of adventure to your visit. 

You may need to check the official website for updated information as the tour availability may vary.

Take a glimpse into the past at Piazzetta Luigi Angelini

Things to do in Bergamo: Wash house in Piazzetta Luigi Angelini
Late 19th century wash house in Piazzetta Luigi Angelini

Just beyond the tower, you’ll discover the charming and distinctive Piazzetta Luigi Angelini, an upper Bergamo corner that exudes a unique character. One notable feature found here is a recently reconstructed late-nineteenth-century washhouse, which holds a fascinating history.

In times gone by, this very spot was frequented by housewives and servant women who sought to cleanse their soiled laundry.

It’s quite intriguing to learn that these industrious women would purchase hot water from the local baker, who conveniently heated it near his oven. Armed with their heated water, they would then proceed to undertake the task of washing their garments.

Exploring this corner of Bergamo’s Città Alta offers an opportunity to immerse oneself in its historical fabric and to appreciate the everyday activities and unique traditions of its inhabitants.

It reminds us how life has changed over time and gives us a glimpse into the creativity of those who lived in this thriving city.

Explore the Historic Piazza Vecchia

Things To do in Bergamo: Explore Piazza Vecchia
Piazza Vecchia

At the heart of the Città Alta lies Piazza Vecchia, a picturesque square adorned with majestic and impressive buildings that capture your attention, such as Palazzo della Ragione, a historical gem that dates back to the late 1100s.

Remarkably, it stands as the oldest municipal seat in Lombardy, boasting a rich heritage that spans centuries.

As you gaze upon the square, your eyes are drawn to the Civic Tower, affectionately known as ‘il Campanone’, adding a touch of elegance and charm to the surroundings.

At the heart of Piazza Vecchia, you’ll discover the Contarini Fountain, a delightful centerpiece gifted to the city in 1780 by Podestà Alvise Contarini.

This enchanting fountain will surely captivate you with its graceful design and soothing water flow, creating a serene atmosphere amidst the bustling square. 

Palazzo Nuovo, on the opposite side of the Piazza, served as the Municipality’s seat until 1873.

Things to do in Bergamo: Palazzo Nuovo (Angelo Mai Library opposite Piazza Vecchia
Palazzo Nuovo / Angelo Mai Library

Today, it houses the Angelo Mai Library, an esteemed institution that holds a treasure trove of knowledge.

Within its walls, you’ll find an incredible collection of rare books, including incunabula, cinquecentine, prints, manuscripts, and various priceless artifacts.

Angelo Mai Library stands proudly as one of Italy’s most significant libraries, offering a haven for scholars and book lovers alike.

And if you find yourself with a little extra time on your hands, I highly recommend taking the lift up to the magnificent Campanone.

From its vantage point, you’ll be rewarded with a truly breathtaking panoramic view of the rooftops that grace upper Bergamo.

Things to do in Bergamo: Palazzo del Podestà
Palazzo del Podestà

For a nominal fee of just €5, you gain access not only to this awe-inspiring vista but also to an interactive museum housed within the former Palazzo del Podestà.

This captivating museum is dedicated to the illustrious reign of the Serenissima, allowing you to delve into the rich history and heritage of the region.

If you happen to be in the square around 10 p.m., expect to hear the chimes of the Campanone,

As the hour strikes, the Campanone comes to life, filling the air with the melodious chimes that have echoed through the square for centuries. 

In times gone by, these 100 chimes served as a poignant reminder that the city gates were closing for the night, a tradition steeped in history and nostalgia.

Marvel at the Beauty of Piazza Duomo

Things to do in Bergamo: Piazza Duomo
Piazza Duomo

Among the things to see in Bergamo, you absolutely must not miss Piazza Duomo.

Just stroll beneath the charming loggia that extends from the Palazzo della Ragione, and you’ll find yourself standing in this quaint square.

It’s smaller than Piazza Vecchia, but possesses an equal measure of beauty and allure.

In mediaeval times, Piazza Duomo served as the focal point for the city’s main public and religious buildings.

Today, you can admire the “back” of the Palazzo della Ragione, which once stood as its main facade.

Things to do in Bergamo: The back of Palazzo Del Podestà in Piazza Duomo
Palazzo della Ragione seen from Piazza Duomo

Bergamo Cathedral, commonly known as the Duomo, will undoubtedly capture you with its magnificent white facade. 

The polychrome marble Baptistery, which was previously located within the Basilica, gives a touch of opulence nearby. 

In addition, the magnificent Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore graces this square, along with the awe-inspiring Colleoni Chapel. 

Don’t miss the “gnomone,” a sundial set within the loggia of the Palazzo della Ragione that was built over two centuries ago.

Remarkably, a sunbeam still precisely marks the local noon time and date by casting its light onto the sundial etched into the marble floor.

Admire the Grandeur of the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore

Things to do in Bergamo: Admire the grandeur of Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore
Santa Maria Maggiore Basilica

Unlike traditional churches, Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore is unique in that it lacks a central entrance and instead shares a seamless façade with the adjoining buildings.

You’ll find four side entrances to the Basilica, each serving as a church door.

These entrances are guarded by red and white marble lions, standing at the base of Giovanni da Campione’s fourteenth-century prothyrs.

These intricately designed porticoes were constructed to protect and conceal the main entrance of the church.

The northern side opens onto Piazza Duomo through the Red Lions gate, while the southern side faces Piazza Rosate through the White Lions gate.

The variation in colors is attributed to the type of stone used.

The red hue comes from Verona marble, while the white lions stand on Candoglia marble sourced from the Piedmontese Val d’Ossola.

The inside of the Basilica will leave you absolutely speechless.

As you step in, prepare to be overwhelmed by the abundance of breathtaking paintings, intricate stuccoes, and exquisite tapestries.

It’s an experience that will make your head spin and your senses soar for a few precious moments.

The stark contrast between the interior opulence and the modest exterior is the result of Baroque-era repairs, undertaken to counter the simplicity championed by the French Reformists.

And don’t miss the burial monument to Gaetano Donizetti, the renowned composer, beloved icon, and esteemed ambassador of Bergamo worldwide.

It finds its place within the sacred walls of Santa Maria Maggiore, adding another layer of significance to this remarkable basilica.

Another curiosity of the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore in Bergamo Alta is that it has always been held by the Municipality rather than the Church itself.

This unique arrangement further contributes to the allure and enigma that surrounds this extraordinary place of worship.

Admire the Captivating Colleoni Chapel

Things to do in Bergamo: Colleoni Chapel seen from Palazzo della Ragione
Colleoni Chapel seen from Palazzo Della Regione

Adjacent to the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore stands the captivating Colleoni Chapel, forming a harmonious duo of architectural marvels.

As your gaze sweeps over its striking Renaissance facade, crafted from mesmerizing polychrome marble, you’ll be instantly captivated.

Step inside, and you’ll discover a world of wonder beneath the frescoed dome skillfully painted by Tiepolo.

Nestled within these hallowed walls lie the remains of the famed Bergamo warlord, Bartolomeo Colleoni.

Known for his controversial persona and unwavering self-confidence, Colleoni made a bold decision towards the close of the 15th century.

He resolved to use the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore’s sacristy as the foundation for his own burial chapel.

Unsurprisingly, the canons of the Church of Santa Maria Maggiore resisted the notion of granting him space for his grand structure.

However, Bartolomeo handled the situation with the diplomatic finesse of a seasoned mercenary from six centuries ago.

History whispers that he deployed his warriors to remove the basilica’s ancient sacristy.

While the veracity of this anecdote remains uncertain, what endures is the awe-inspiring beauty of this remarkable architectural masterpiece.

Here’s an intriguing tidbit for you: it is believed that touching the heraldic sign on the chapel’s gate at the stroke of midnight bestows good fortune. Whether rooted in truth or mere folklore, it presents a delightful excuse for a nighttime stroll through the enchanting Città Alta.

So why not indulge in this charming ritual and soak in the mystical ambiance?

Stroll along Via Colleoni Also known as “Corsarola”

Things to do in Bergamo: Stroll along Via Colleoni, also know as "Corsarola"
Via Colleoni, also known as “La Corsarola”

Let’s set off from Piazza del Duomo and Piazza Vecchia, and head west along Via Colleoni, the main street of Città Alta.

Corsarola is another name for this tiny alleyway between upper Bergamo’s mediaeval structures.

This lively alleyway is always bustling with activity.

You can meet university students, tourists, and locals who frequent the stores, pubs, and restaurants that line the street.

It’s a vibrant atmosphere filled with the energy of people enjoying their time.

If you’re feeling hungry, I highly recommend making a pit stop at the Circolino di Città Alta for lunch or dinner.

This restaurant offers delicious local cuisine at affordable prices.

What’s more, the restaurant includes a spacious and beautiful outdoor seating area in the summer.

Once you’ve satisfied your appetite, continue your journey towards Piazza Mascheroni.

This square holds its own unique charm, and it’s worth exploring before moving on to your next destination.

Step back in Time at Cittadella Viscontea

Continuing along Via Colleoni, you will arrive at Piazza Mascheroni.

Things to do in Bergamo: Piazza Lorendo Mascheroni
Piazza Lorenzo Mascheroni

This square holds a significant historical role as it used to serve as the market during the Venetian sovereignty.

It’s fascinating to imagine the bustling activity that once took place here.

While exploring the area, make sure to visit one of the nearby buildings, where you’ll discover a hidden gem—an impressive collection of medieval and Renaissance cellar structures and building floors.

Passing beneath the Torre della Campanella, you’ll soon reach the Cittadella Viscontea.

The Visconti family, who ruled Bergamo from 1332 to 1428, built this formidable fortress in the centre of Bergamo Alta.

Its purpose was to safeguard against enemy invasions and to serve as a stronghold during potential uprisings.

Today, not much of its former splendour remains except for the great arches and a few traces of frescoes.

Within the Cittadella Viscontea, you’ll find the Museum of Natural Sciences and the Bergamo Archaeological Museum, which add further layers of historical and educational significance to the site.

Indulge in the Original Stracciatella Gelato at “La Marianna”

Continue through Passaggio Torre di Adalberto (Adalberto Tower Passage) until you reach Largo Colle Aperto.

Here you’ll find “La Marianna,” a historic ice cream parlour renowned for inventing the award-winning stracciatella-flavoured ice cream.

I highly recommend you make a delightful stop.

While you’re in the vicinity, don’t miss the opportunity to visit Porta di Sant’Alessandro, one of the four monumental gates that grant access to upper Bergamo, which is also a must-see.

Take a Leisurely Stroll Along the Venetian Walls

Things to do in Bergamo: Stroll along Viale Delle Mura, the Venetian Walls
Viale delle Mura

At this point, you’ll reach Viale delle Mura (Venetian Walls,) which is a beloved promenade in Bergamo.

Enjoy a leisurely walk along these centuries-old Venetian walls surrounding the Città Alta.

They are an iconic symbol of the city and can be seen as soon as you arrive in Bergamo and were constructed in the 16th century to protect the historic city under the watchful eye of the Serenissima Republic of Venice.

In 2017, the Venetian walls of Bergamo were rightfully recognized and included as part of the Lombardy UNESCO heritage site, known as the “Venetian defense works during the 16th and 17th centuries: Stato da Terra-Stato da Mar occidentale.” This prestigious acknowledgment underscores the historical significance and architectural marvel of these walls.

Pro tip: Along the way, you’ll come across telescopes that offer breathtaking views.

On clear days, you might even catch a glimpse of Milan, and if you’re lucky, you might spot the Madonnina del Duomo di Milano.

Porta San Giacomo, the most captivating historic gate

Things to do in Bergamo: Porta San Giacomo one of the mediaeval entry gate
San Giacomo gate

Take a leisurely stroll along the Venetian walls until you reach the magnificent Porta San Giacomo, Bergamo’s most captivating historic gate.

As you wander, you’ll be captivated by the elegance and grandeur of Bergamo Alta’s defensive system.

But the true magic happens when you step onto the causeway that connects Porta San Giacomo to the lower city.

At the end of the causeway, you can either take the flight of stairs to your left, leading you to the lower station of Bergamo Alta’s funicular railway.

You’ll reach the lower town in just 5 -10 minutes, enjoying breathtaking views along the way.

Or, you can cross Porta San Giacomo and make your way towards Piazza Mercato delle Scarpe.

From there, you can hop on the funicular and effortlessly return to the lower town.

It’s worth noting that “Scalette” (stairways) are an integral part of Bergamo’s charm, connecting the old and new parts of the city.

There are a lot of them all across the ancient town.

More Things To Do in Bergamo

The things to do in Bergamo described thus far are easily doable in a single day.

Of course, how you plan your time depends on your personal travel preferences.

A lot depends on your travel style, such as how much time you would like to spend in museums, exploring indoor attractions, or at taking leisurely breaks.

On average, a day is sufficient to experience everything listed so far.

If you have more days in Bergamo, here are some additional things to do and see:

Discover the Hidden Gems of the San Vigilio Hill

Things to do in Bergamo: explore the hidden gems in San Vigilio
San Vigilio Hill

Embark on an exhilarating hike or hop aboard the funicular to ascend San Vigilio Hill, where a haven of tranquility and breathtaking nature awaits you.

Explore the ancient ruins of the Castle of San Vigilio and enjoy panoramic views of Bergamo’s cityscape.

Perched 496 meters above sea level on its eponymous hill, the castle has long held a significant role in safeguarding the Upper Town against potential enemy attacks.

Its unique architectural design, resembling a star, is truly remarkable.

Four towers—Castagneta, Belvedere, Del Ponte, and San Vigilio—stand proudly as a testament to its historical prominence.

Delve deeper into the castle’s secrets, and you’ll discover a network of intricate underground channels.

These channels include a remarkable tunnel, some sections of which are even navigable.

This tunnel serves as a direct link, leading from the castle to the northern half of the hill’s fortified wall, precisely within the confines of Fort San Marco.

Marvel at the Beauty of the Botanic Garden Lorenzo Rota

In the heart of the Città Alta lies a peaceful oasis—the Botanic Garden Lorenzo Rota.

Explore an amazing variety of plant species and look for a quiet spot to rest and soak up the atmosphere.

Take your time to appreciate the diversity and marvel at the intricate details of nature’s creations.

To reach this hidden gem, lace up your walking shoes as it can only be reached on foot.

Ascend the 141-step stairway that leads you to the garden’s entrance.

As you make your way up, the effort will be rewarded with a truly breathtaking sight.

Feast your eyes on a spectacular view that stretches across the rooftops and landmarks of the Upper City, while also offering glimpses of the magnificent Bergamo Alps foothills in the distance.

Things to do in Bergamo Bassa (Lower Bergamo)

Discover the vibrant charm of Bergamo Bassa (Lower Bergamo), a district that has evolved from humble settlements into a thriving metropolis over the past two centuries.

Immerse yourself in its rich history and explore the array of noteworthy landmarks that have shaped its character.

One of the highlights is Piazza Vittorio Veneto, where a collection of remarkable public and private buildings proudly stand.

Be sure to admire the Centro Piacentiniano, an impressive structure that showcases the artistic and cultural heritage of Bergamo.

Another noteworthy feature is the Sentierone, a beloved promenade that invites leisurely strolls and delightful people-watching.

As you continue your exploration, don’t miss the opportunity to pass through the captivating Propilei of Porta Nuova.

These majestic gateways serve as a distinct symbol of the lower town, welcoming you with their grandeur and historical significance.

Ascend the Torre dei Caduti for Panoramic Views

For awe-inspiring views of the city and surrounding landscapes, climb the Torre dei Caduti.

Located at the heart of the lower city, just beyond the Porta Nuova Propylaeum, stands a monument dedicated to the fallen heroes of the Great War.

Step inside, and you’ll embark on an intriguing journey that recounts the inception of Piacentiniano’s center and the vibrant life that thrived around the Tower—an iconic symbol of modern Bergamo.

As you traverse the six-story path, you’ll uncover captivating tales and historical insights.

And when you reach the terrace, a breathtaking panorama of Bergamo unfolds before your eyes.

Indulge in a Shopping Spree on Via XX Settembre

While wandering through the lower town, you’ll also come across Via XX Settembre, a delightful shopping street that emanates charm. Although not particularly lengthy, its quaint beauty leaves a lasting impression.

Browse through charming boutiques, designer stores, and local shops, and perhaps find the perfect Italian keepsake to bring back home.

Wander Through the Accademia Carrara Art Gallery

Art enthusiasts will be delighted by the superb art collection housed within the Accademia Carrara.

Marvel at masterpieces by Botticelli, Raphael, and Caravaggio, among others.

To reach the gallery from upper Bergamo, follow the walls until you arrive at Porta Sant’Agostino. From there, simply take the Noca steps on your left, and they will lead you directly to the gallery.

Learn more about the things to do in Bergamo here!

Day Trips from Bergamo

Discover Bergamo’s unique surroundings with these exciting day trips!

Visit Lake Como for its stunning scenery and charming villages.

Admire the history of Verona, where Romeo and Juliet’s love story is famously set.

Explore Sirmione‘s enchanting Scaliger Castle and medieval streets, located on Lake Garda.

Finally, indulge in Milan‘s fashion, art, and culinary delights.

These day trips offer a unique perspective and allow you to explore the diverse attractions Northern Italy has to offer.

So pack your bags and get ready to embark on these amazing adventures from Bergamo! 

When is the Best Time to Visit Bergamo?

Bergamo enjoys a Mediterranean climate, with mild winters and warm summers. 

Temperatures do not reach high peaks throughout the year, and they descend below zero only slightly in winter.

If you’re planning a visit to Bergamo, summer emerges as the most budget-friendly season, particularly during the latter half, spanning from August to September

Opting for a summer trip could potentially slash your expenses in half compared to a fall (autumn) stay.

Additionally, the temperatures soar during these months, providing the perfect opportunity to fully enjoy your vacation.

Overall, Summer and spring are the best seasons because of the milder temperatures, with a preference for June and September.

It’s preferable to avoid winter and fall because the days are shorter and grayer.

How to Get to Bergamo

There are several convenient ways to reach Bergamo, whether you prefer traveling by train, plane, or car.

By Train:
Bergamo is easily reached by train, with direct trains departing from Milan every hour.

Additionally, the city is well-connected by train to Lecco and Brescia.

The journey from Milan and Brescia takes approximately 50 minutes, while the journey from Lecco takes around 40 minutes.

The city’s railway station is conveniently located in the city center on Piazzale Guglielmo Marconi.

From there, you can catch an ATB bus (Line 1) that departs every ten minutes and takes you to the lower station of the funicular, which will transport you to Bergamo Alta.

By Plane:
If you prefer flying, Bergamo is served by the Orio al Serio airport, which is only two kilometers away from the city.

A shuttle service operates between the airport and Bergamo’s FS train station, providing a convenient connection.

For reference, the distance from Milan Malpensa Airport is approximately 90 kilometers, while Milan Linate Airport is around 40 kilometers away.

By Car:
While it is possible to reach Bergamo by car via the A4 Milan-Venice motorway (Bergamo exit), I would not recommend this option.

The upper town is mostly pedestrianized, and access by car is limited to locals or those with reserved hotel parking.
You usually exit in the lower town, where I recommend parking your car and then use the funicular to the upper town.
This will help you avoid any fines associated with the ZTL (Limited Traffic Zone).

I hope this information helps you plan your journey to Bergamo smoothly.

Where and What to Eat in Bergamo

Things to do in Bergamo: indulge in the delicious Polenta e Osei, a local cake made from polenta that is very famous in the city.
Polenta E Osei cake

Prepare your taste buds for a gastronomic adventure in Bergamo!

Delight your taste buds with unique local specialties such as casoncelli (dumplings filled with meat, breadcrumbs, cheese), polenta e osei (cornmeal with small marzipan birds), and the famous stracciatella gelato.

Don’t forget to try the famous Taleggio cheese, which pairs perfectly with honey or fig jam.

For an unforgettable dining experience, head to “Circolino di Città Alta,” known for its warm ambiance and mouthwatering traditional dishes.

If you’re like me and love to get off the beaten track, just a 15 minute walk outside Bergamo Alta you find the “Trattoria Parietti,” where you can savour excellent traditional Lombardy cuisine.

For a quick bite on the go, visit “Piadella in via Gombito, delicious and fresh “piadine” to eat while enjoying the great view at the Citta Alta main square.

Or, if you fancy an Italian style tasty burger go to “Goss Quality Burger” in via Colleoni.

And of course, La Marianna pastry shop, the birthplace of stracciatella gelato, for a delicious ice cream.

Or, take a cooking class in a local home to learn the secrets behind the city’s favorite recipes.

Where to Stay in Bergamo

Finding the perfect place to stay in Bergamo is key to enjoying your visit to the fullest.

The city has a variety of lodging alternatives, ranging from lovely bed & breakfasts to expensive hotels.

If you’re looking to immerse yourself in the rich history and charm of the city, consider staying in Città Alta (Upper Town).

The narrow cobblestone streets and medieval atmosphere make this area a favourite among visitors.

The Hotel Piazza Vecchia offers stunning views of the Piazza Vecchia, while the “Relais San Vigilio offers luxury.

For a truly distinctive experience, the GombitHotel—a design hotel situated a mere 20 meters away from the Lavatoio on Via Mario Lupo, which happens to be one of Città Alta’s most Instagrammed attractions.

What sets this hotel apart is its unique characteristic—it is connected to the Torre del Gombito, sharing a wall that you can even find within one of its rooms.

Alternatively, the Città Bassa (Lower Town) provides a more modern vibe with bustling streets, trendy shops, and a wide range of hotels.

B&B Bergamo Bassa offers comfortable rooms and a central location, perfect for exploring all that Bergamo has to offer.

Things to do in Bergamo: In a Nutshell

To cap off your trip, Bergamo has something for you!

Explore the timeless Città Alta.

Enjoy the local gastronomy.

Savour traditional Italian cuisine.

Don’t forget to pair your meal with some local wine.

Meander through Piazza Vecchia’s stunning architecture.

Witness the grandeur of the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore.

Escape to the tranquil Parco dei Colli di Bergamo.

Shop at Via XX settembre.

You won’t be disappointed!

So, don’t wait another moment—start planning your trip to Bergamo and discover the magic of this captivating city!

Ciao e Buon Viaggio!

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I'm a freelance travel designer and writer, and I absolutely love what I do. Writing has always been a passion of mine, and traveling is the ultimate source of inspiration for me. In fact, I became particularly drawn to planning travel experiences in Italy back in 2015, and I've been hooked ever since! I'm what you might call a "slow traveler" - someone who likes to take their time exploring new places and soaking up different cultures. And when I started writing about my travels a few years ago, I was blown away by the incredible opportunity it gave me to share my experiences with others and learn from them in turn. It's truly an amazing thing!