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The best things to do in Bergamo, Italy - Blog voyage Découvrir Ensemble

The best things to do in Bergamo, Italy

Last update : 25 February 2024

You want to visit Bergamo in Italy and are looking for the best addresses in the city and region? We’ve just discovered this pretty Lombardy town, less than an hour from Milan. Bergamo has just been elected Cultural Capital 2023, a perfect opportunity to visit! We really enjoyed exploring the city, discovering its heritage and history, and then setting off to visit its region. Visiting Bergamo is also a short drive into the heart of the Italian mountains, and a chance to visit nearby villages like Clusone.

In this article, we give you all our good addresses and ideas for activities to do when visiting Bergamo in Italy. We hope it helps you to know what to do in Bergamo! All that’s left is to wish you happy reading and a great holiday in Italy.

What to do in Bergamo, Italy? Our must-sees

what to do Bergamo
 

Visit Bergamo and its upper town, the Città Alta

The city of Bergamo is made up of two parts, the upper part called Città Alta, which corresponds to the historical and cultural center, and the lower part, more built up with residential districts. We only visited the upper part, which is more picturesque. First of all, we advise you to let yourself be carried away by the cobbled streets, so that you can immediately appreciate the gentle atmosphere and the journey back in time that Bergamo has to offer. Then, follow our list of must-sees if you don’t want to miss out on any of the places of interest! 

what to do Bergamo
 

The Piazza Vecchia Bergamo

We suggest you start your tour of the old town with Piazza Vecchia. In this superb square in Bergamo’s city center, you’ll find a chapel, a basilica and a cathedral, no less! If you’re a fan of Baroque architecture, you’re in for a real treat. Although the architecture on the outside is impressive, you’ll really realize the scale of the decor once you get inside the buildings. The square can quickly become overcrowded with guided groups, so make sure you get there early enough in the morning to enjoy it. Architect Le Corbusier is even quoted as saying that it’s the most beautiful square in Europe, no less! We had lunch on this square while picking up takeaway pizzas right next door, find the address a little further down in the article.

Piazza Vecchia Bergame

Bergamo’s Santa Maria Maggiore basilica and the Colleoni Chapel

Wahoo effect guaranteed when you walk through the door of this Basilica…. The Baroque aspect has taken over the façade, the high ceilings are phenomenal and the gilded decorations impressive. It’s a must-see!

Basilica Santa Maria Maggiore
 

Duomo di Bergamo

Pass by Bergamo Cathedral to admire its paintings, sculptures, gilding and architecture. It’s one of the reasons we love Italy! It’s a feast for the eyes.

Duomo Di Bergamo
 

Porta San Giacomo and the city walls

Go to the gates of the walled city to admire the view over the rest of Bergamo and its surroundings. Here you can admire the extremely well-preserved Venetian walls built in 1561. You can also stroll along the impressive viaduct, for photography lovers, you’ll be happy here!

Porta San Giacomo visit Bergamo
 

Piazza Mercato delle Scarpe

This pretty square is worth a visit for its architecture, and you can also take the funicular that links the upper part of the city with the lower part. We recommend you enter the small station and walk through the on-site café to admire the view from the terrace. A great place to enjoy a coffee with a view!

Piazza Mercato delle Scarpe
 

Fortress Castello di Rocca Bergamo

At the eastern end of the city, you can enter to discover Bergamo’s fortress di Rocca. Stroll through the garden at the heart of the walls. Continue to the far end for a panoramic view of the city’s rooftops. A must-see address if you want to visit Bergamo.

visit Bergamo
 

Where to eat in Bergamo’s upper town?

  • Il Fornaio: a great place to grab a slice of delicious pizza to go or to eat in. For our part, we decided to set up in Bergamo’s main square to enjoy the view!
ou manger Bergame
  • Babilonia 1907: the ideal address for a good Stracciatella ice cream, and did you know that it was invented in this town?
ou manger Bergame
 

Visit Bergamo and its lower town

If you want to visit Bergamo’s lower town, be aware that it’s much more modern and built-up than the upper part. Let yourself be carried along its streets, which often overlook the historic part! In this part of Bergamo, you’ll also find some great cafés and restaurants.

Visiting Bergamo in Italy, where to stay?

GombitHotel

If you want to sleep in the heart of Bergamo’s old town, we recommend GombitHotel. This 4-star hotel is very well located, and offers very comfortable rooms which are ideal for visiting Bergamo on foot.

Hotel Bergame

© Photos Hôtel GombitHotel – Booking

 

Visiting Bergamo and the surrounding area

The town of Clusone

Visiting Bergamo also means taking the time to discover its surroundings. If you have the time, we recommend a visit to Clusone. This pretty town nestled in the heart of the mountains is surprisingly charming. We visited it with a guide from the Tourist Office, which gave the various monuments their full meaning. A must-see is the Piazza dell’Orologio, or Clock Square. This planetary clock indicates the days, months and hours, as well as the evolution of the moon and the signs of the zodiac. It’s a must-see monument that’s been meticulously restored. Stroll through the streets of the town center before beginning your ascent to the Church of Clusone, which is well worth a visit. Here you’ll discover an impressive monument and fairly well-preserved frescoes, revealing Clusone’s religious life.

visit Clusone clusone italie

Where to stay in Clusone? Hotel Garden

We stayed at the Hotel Garden, a handsome establishment offering several renovated rooms, beautiful communal areas and a tastefully furnished exterior. Breakfast is included in the price and served as a buffet, the ideal way to start a good day.

Hotel Clusone Italie

Unusual experience at the fattoria della felicità

Looking for an unusual experience on your trip to the Bergamo region? Foncez à la fattoria della felicità for a 100% Italian cooking lesson! We had the chance to make our own pasta with the help of the chef, and had a lot of fun doing it. Afterwards, we enjoyed our dishes in a lovely rustic atmosphere. An experience we thoroughly enjoyed. Just so you know, you can come and eat at the farm restaurant without taking a cooking class.

fattoria della felicità
 

Lake di Gleno hike

What about taking advantage of being in the area to go hiking and immerse yourself in Italian nature? We decided to head for Lac di Gleno, at an altitude of 1530 meters. This is a place with a heavy past, as it was a dam that collapsed and was very deadly for the region. Today, a lake has been created here, and a beautiful hike is offered to access it and the ruins of the dam.

The hike takes about 1h30 one way from the village of Pianezza, where you can park easily. Be aware that it’s constantly uphill, so you’ll need to be in good physical condition. At the end of the trail, you’ll start to see the dam. It’s a very impressive sight! When we came there was a very thick mist so visibility was limited, but in fine weather it must be magnificent.

lago del gleno barrage de Gleno barrage de gleno
 

Lake Iseo

Far less touristy than Lake Como, Lake Iseo has many points of interest, starting with its charming villages. Not to be missed are Pisogne and Iseo. The lake is less than an hour from Bergamo and only 20 minutes from Cluzone. We recommend a trip there when you visit Bergamo.

lac d'Iseo lac d'Iseo
 

Lake Como

What if you took advantage of being in northern Italy to extend your stay by going to Lake Como? That’s what we did, and we recommend this combo. Read all our advice on Lake Como in our dedicated article;

lac de Côme
 

Visiting Bergamo in Italy, how to organize your trip well?

Visiting Bergamo, how to get here?

To find the best mode of transport to Bergamo for your budget, we recommend you always look on the OMIO comparator. This will give you an overview of all available modes of transport. You’ll be able to compare prices very easily.

How to rent a rental car at the best price in Bergamo

If you’re looking to rent a car on your trip to Bergamo to visit this beautiful corner of Italy, we recommend you take a look at the RentalCars website. This will enable you to find the best prices and conditions for your rental.

Visiting Bergamo, how to find the best hotels?

In order to find the best hotels and benefit from the best conditions (security, cancellation…) we go almost exclusively through Booking.com for our trips. We recommend that you take a look at the available hotels before you leave. You can filter them according to their ratings. The customer reviews are very numerous and recent, which means you can avoid unpleasant surprises when traveling!

Visiting Bergamo and the region, how to find ideas for things to do

If you want to get ideas for activities to do on your vacation and want to book in advance, we also recommend taking a look at the GetYourGuide website. This will give you an overview of the activities on offer in your destination, so you don’t have to wait until you get there to book your places.

Visit Bergamo

This trip is the result of a collaboration with the Tourist Office of Valseriana e Val di Scalve.We would like to thank them warmly. We remain totally free in what we say, so our opinions are personal and sincere.

 

Thank you for reading

We hope the tips and good addresses on our travel blog will help you visit Bergamo, Italy!

You can also follow our daily adventures on Instagram 🙂
Clem & Alex

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