When we first started booking our trip to Italy our original plan was to fly into Milan and it was by pure mistake that we ended up in Bergamo – but it still goes down as the best travel ‘mistake’ we’ve ever made. The flight price to Orio al Serio Airport from the UK was incredibly cheap and it was only after the flights were booked that we realised the airport was about an hour outside of Milan City Centre.
After some further research, we noticed that a number of online blogs were telling us we should not miss out on the opportunity to instead stay in Bergamo (located just a 15-minute drive away from the airport) and so that’s exactly what we did – and we were not disappointed!
How to get there
The most convenient, quickest and comfiest option is to jump into a taxi from the Airport straight to Bergamo town centre/your accommodation of choice. It costs around 15 euros and takes only 15-minutes.
Alternatively, take the airport bus (ATB bus network, bus number 1) which will take you to Bergamo central station (and will stop at some of the main hotels) before proceeding to the old town. There’s no luggage storage on the bus and it can get quite crowded so do bear this in mind when making your transport choice.
How to get around
Bergamo is fairly compact and is separated into 2 distinct areas (the new and old town) so the best option is to explore the area on foot before taking the Funicular up to the old town, most commonly known as La Città Alta.
Bergamo is well connected by train to the major Italian cities such as Milan and Verona so makes a great base for exploring further afield.
What to do
Take the funicular up to old town and head to the old city gate to marvel at the far-reaching views from the old city walls. Get lost wandering the winding narrow cobbled streets and stumble upon impressive churches and piazzas. Soak it all in with a glass of prosecco and an aperitivo.
If you have time, dedicate a day (or even half day) trip to Lake Como by taking a direct train from Bergamo to Lecco, which takes just 40 minutes and costs around 4 euros each way. Definitely a highlight of our trip.
Where to eat
For a pre or post-dinner beverage, pop to The Tucans Irish Pub, located in La Città Alta. Super cosy and friendly atmosphere – and you can sit in the window watching the world go by. Great drink selection and you can grab food here too.
For a more authentic Italian experience, head further up into the old town where you’ll be spoilt for choice with some great Italian restaurants either in the main Piazza or tucked in close to the old Venetian walls.
Where to stay
We stayed at the 4* Best Western Hotel Cappello D’Oro which is centrally located in the new town, about a 5-minute walk from the train station. Rooms were comfortable and traditional, and we particularly enjoyed our night cap (whisky coffee and baileys) each evening out in the courtyard!
Room prices average at £70 per room per night so a super affordable place to stay given the location.
Hopefully we’ve given you a little food for thought if you’re planning a trip to the North of Italy. Bergamo should definitely feature on your list for a night or 2, even if just to escape the madness of Milan Malpensa airport!