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Bergamo, Europe, Italy

Bergamo: the perfect base destination to travel Italy by train 🇮🇹

This charming Italian city is often overlooked by travellers who bypass it for Milan, but there are plenty of reasons to make Bergamo the base for your next Italy trip.

It's less overcrowded by tourists, has a more authentic Italian charm, is steeped in history, and it's the perfect base to explore more of Italy by train while enjoying a slow travel experience in Bergamo.

Published by
Caitlin Moore·24/05/2024

Why visit Bergamo?

Bergamo, located in Lombardy, Italy, is a stunning city that is often overlooked by travellers who are on their way to Milan. But, we actually think Bergamo should be the main base of your next Italy trip.

In fact, two of our very own Pirates have recently returned from Bergamo (on separate trips), using it as a base to explore other Italian cities by train or bus. They found it to be a much more affordable alternative to the more touristy cities, that had fewer crowds, a more laid-back feel and boasted so much authentic Italian charm.

The city is split into two areas, Città Alta or Città Bassa. The Città Alta is the historic upper city and connects to the more modern Città Bassa (lower city) via a funicular, bus or multiple walking trails. If you're a lover of history, hole-in-the-wall restaurants and bakeries, and amazing views, you'll be spoilt for choice in the Alta.

Slow travel and solo travel in Bergamo

Bergamo is great for perfect option for slow travel, as you can take things easy, shop locally, enjoy authentic cuisine, find cheaper accommodation for long-term stays, and take public transport options to explore more of Italy at your own pace.

It's also a great option for solo travel. Our Pirate, Caitlin, took a solo trip to Bergamo in October.

"Bergamo was such a great city to explore as a solo female as there was so much to do and see. Local restaurants were perfect to enjoy solo meals and I had booked an Airbnb so could also cook my own meals. On occasion, I felt a little on edge at the train station at night, but it was busy enough for it to not feel too scary. I would 100% recommend it to anyone wanting to explore Northern Italy by train"

How to get there

By plane

It couldn't be easier to get to Bergamo, Ryanair and other low-cost airlines fly into Milan Bergamo Airport (BGY) frequently. It's often a cheaper alternative airport to fly to than Milan–Malpensa Airport (MXP). You can find flights from multiple UK departure airports from under £50 return in most months. We've seen them from as low as £13 return from London in the past.

You can then take the Airport bus for a few euros, to get from Bergamo Airport to the city, which runs every 20 minutes to Bergamo city centre, train station and the Città Alta.

By train

Not arriving by plane? Perhaps you're already on a slow travel journey in Italy and want Bergamo to be your next stop. You can get trains from all over Italy to Stazione di Bergamo (Bergamo railway station). The station is right in the centre, so it's easy walking distance to most places. Alternatively, there are buses right outside the station.


You'll find more affordable accommodation options in Bergamo, when compared to Milan or other main cities that are overrun with tourists.

Airbnb is a great option if you're looking for a longer stay, you'll save money compared to hotels and can find apartments that have cooking facilities.

There are also decent rates on hotels if you're staying short term. Hotels within walking distance from the train station are usually available for under £100 per night.

Explore Italy by train

There are loads of places you can travel to from Bergamo using trains, but here are a few of our favourite pirate-picked routes that are affordable and easy to reach.

Lake Como

You can take a train from Bergamo to Lecco from as little as £3 one-way which takes an hour. From here, we recommend grabbing another quick train to Varenna, one of the most beautiful spots on the lake, in our opinion. You can take regular ferries to Bellagio and Menaggio from here to explore even more of Lake Como.


Trains to Milan run frequently from Bergamo railway station. Look for options without stops to Milano Centrale which will set you back around £5-7, and take about 48 minutes.


Find yourself at Juliet's balcony by taking a train to Verona. It'll take around 2 hours from Bergamo with one change and costs less than £10 one-way. We recommend looking at Trainline for the cheapest and quickest routes for your journey.

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