ATB Bus Office
The ATB office will assist you in your enquiries for public bus transport around Bergamo. The office is located in one of the gate buildings at Largo Porta Nuova and is open Monday to Saturday from 07:20 to 19:15.
At the ticket counter, staff do not speak much English but they do at the information counter.
The extensive ATB website has information regarding various bus routes around Bergamo, including the airport bus (number 1) which connects passengers arriving at Orio al Serio to the train station at Bergamo within a short time.
- Budget Travel
Funicolare Citta Alta
The upper and lower cities are connected by footpaths, a bus line and this funicular railway. The funicular is not just a tourist thing and in fact is run by the ATB company who also operate the local bus services which means that any of the public transport tickets, including passes, are also valid.
The funicular has two cars, each with a capacity of about 50 people, and these shuttle up and down at intervals of about seven minutes from early until late - the last journey is usually midnight.
Tickets are available from the main ATB office at Porta Nuova, the billiteri or automatic machines at both the top and bottom stations of the funicular and from newsagents and tobacconists displaying the ATB logo. Note though that tickets bought from agents are slightly more expensive, 1.50 for a single-trip ticket rather than the 1.20 charged at the ATB offices. Having bought your ticket you just wait for the car to arrive and then put it into the turnstile machine to board. It's up a short flight of stairs but I did notice that there is a wheelchair lift (to the left in the pic) for those who may require it.
The journey last about three minutes and the views over Citta Bassa make the trip worth doing just as a trip in its own right. Also useful is that there are bars at both the top and bottom stations and so if you miss a train you can always drop in for a couple of beers until some later one comes along - well that's my excuse anyway - my record was missing 27 in a row ;-HIC!
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- Beer Tasting
Coming And Going By Train
Bergamo's railway station is fairly centrally located in the southeast corner of the Citta Bassa (Lower City) and has excellent public tranport links (by bus) to the Citta Alta from just off its forecourt. Also usefully located are the main tourist office and a handy city map.
Travelling from and too Milan, about a forty minute journey, was pleasantly relaxing with trains running roughly hourly and the fare, at 5.15 Euros (June 2012), an absolute bargain. On my return journey I had a bit of time to hang and so took advantage of the friendly, and cheap, station bar - but being breakfast time just stuck to espresso and a panino.
OK not in the same league as Milan's Central Station but perfectly functional with both a manned ticket office and the easy-to-use machines and remember to validate your ticket in the yellow machine before boarding.
Also useful were the newsagent shop which sold postcards and stamps and the post boxes are just outside the main entrance.
- Budget Travel
T1 BERGAMO - ALBINO TRAMWAY
Another means of transportation in Bergamo is the T1 BERGAMO - ALBINO TRAMWAY. It runs from Bergamo to Albino in the Lower Seriana Valley. The Tram Station can be found when you walk towards the Train Station. With McDonald's on the left, there is a road which leads to the Tram station.
The stops included are the following:
The ATB 3 Day or 72 Hour pass, purchased for 7 Euros, can be used for this Tram.
TRAIN TO VARENNA VIA LECCO
Saturday, June 2, 2012
Along wih Kate (Goodfish) and Jerry, Hans and I took the train to Varenna via Lecco. Tickets for the two of us return was 20,60 Euros. Our train was leaving around 9:00 a.m.
The very first thing we did, was validate our tickets on the train - heavy fines if caught without a ticket or validation. First stop was in Lecco and that took about 45 minutes. We had to change trains in Lecco, for the train to Varenna - direction Tirana. That took about 30 minutes . There were some beautiful views of Lake Como along the way. Before long we arrived at Varenna-Esina Perledo Station - about 10:30 a.m.
San Vigilio Funicular
The viewpoints on the hill of San Vigilio are best reached with the little funicular that takes you up the hill in a few minutes. The bottom station is outside Porta Sant'Alessandro at the Western end of Città Alta. This is just a few steps through the gate from the terminal station of bus line 1 A in Colle Aperta. The San Vigilio runs every 15 minutes in daytime hours but there is a pause between 13.00 and 15.00.
Of course you can walk up and down the hill of San Vigilio but the hill is steep and the distance is notable, so this cable car saves you quite some walking. The top station is not on the hilltop anyway so there are still some ways to walk and some stairs to climb after your arrival.
The top station has a viewing terrace with a great view of the old town.
The single car of this funicular is much smaller than those of Città Alta funicular, it is a cute little vehicle.
The funicular is part of ATB, the public transport network of Bergamo. Tickets are the same as for the buses; day/3 day passes and multi-trip tickets are valid.
Città Alta Funicular
The funicular connects the upper and lower town and saves you the strenuous walk up the stairways. It is a ride of two or three minutes.
The bottom station is in the curve at the end of the main street of Città Bassa, here named Via Vittorio Emanuele II. The top station is inside an old palazzo in Mercato delle Scarpe.
The cars are surprisingly small but carry surprisingly many people.
The funicular is part of ATB, the public transport network of Bergamo. Tickets are the same as for the buses; day/3 day passes and multi-trip tickets are valid. Single tickets for just one funicular ride are 1.20 € and can be obtained from the ticket machines at top and bottom station.
Most public transport in Bergamo is done by city buses. The major lines run every 10 minutes in the daytime, very convenient.
To visitors, the bus line 1 A is the most important one. These buses run from the train station along the main street axis of Città Bassa, via the bottom station of the funicular and in a curve through Porta Sant'Agostino up to Città Alta, continue along Viale delle Mura (the top of the Southern city wall) past the top station of the funicular and on to Colle Aperto, the Western end of the old town next to Porta Sant'Alessandro and the San Vigilio funicular. There is no need to change for the funicular to reach Città Alta, just stay on the bus.
The line 1 also connects to Orio al Serio airport, but check the timetable carefully, there are the line varieties A, B and C which take different routes into the Southern suburbs.
The bus line 3 might also be of interest. This line begins at Mercato delle Scarpe in front of the funicular station and stops at different locations around Città Alta before it continues to the Northern suburbs.
- Budget Travel
Buy a Ticket... Campaign against Dodgers
Bergamo's public transport network are durrently running an advertising campaign against dodgers with this funny picture. The text says:
"We are playing clean. Without a ticket, it is you who is playing dirty."
The 'clean' blokes are the local rugby team, by the way.
They also appear on the ATB website.
Will calls for "honesty, responsability and trust" work? Let's hope best. Due to human nature, strict controls and high fines usually promise more success, unfortunately.
ATB Point in Largo Porta Nuova
The "ATB Point" in Largo Porta Nuova is the central ticket and information office of Bergamo's public transport network in Città Bassa. It is located in one of the two little "temples", the former guardhouses of Porta Nuova. There you can do about everything that clients might need to do concerning public transport.
From the ATB website:
"The ATB Point, where we meet our customers, offers a wide range of services to help you travel better with us.
•Find all the information you need about public transport in the city, timetables, fares and promotional initiatives;
•Apply for your B Card, buy and renew all types of season tickets. The ticket office at the bus station offers the same services;
•Find any type of ticket, multi-trip or group travel ticket;
•Pick up a Mobility card, map of the transport network, tourist map and guide to the tariff zone system;
•Pay travel fines;
•Send us complaints or suggestions about the service or about our website;
•Receive information about management of parking and car parks , buy parking cards and set up BergamoTeleparking, the parking payment system that operates by text message;
•Join BiGi, the Bergamo bike sharing system;
•Find out whether your lost property has been found on board and collect it.
The ATB Point is located at 16, Largo Porta Nuova, and is open to the public every weekday from Monday to Friday, from 8 am. to 6.45 pm. and on Saturdays from 9.30 am. to 2.30 pm."
Source: ATB website
In the long list there are two entries which are of particular interest to tourists:
a) Sale of tickets/passes like the 3-day-pass and the multitrip card with 10 rides. Depends on the duration of your stay and whether you are on your own or with someone else which one is more suitable for you.
Tickets are sold at the counters on the left. However, only one of the 3 or 4 counters actually sells these tickets ("biglietti"), those marked "abonnamenti" only deal with subscriptions for monthly and annual passes.
b) Grab the free map of the city with the public transport lines.
A useful item to have: a map of the entire city with all bus, funicular, tram lines marked, including the stops.A pile of these maps is displayed on the shelves among all their advertising material but you would never find it on your own: the folded leaflet with the map is just plain grey on the outside, with no title printed on it. Enquire about it at the information desk on the right.
The stone steps of the building's pedestal are, by the way, also useful for taking group photos.
- Budget Travel
Atb is the company that runs the buses and some trams throughout Bergamo and surrounding towns. They have an information point (Atb point) at Porta Nuova, which is in one the neoclassical buildings pictured in photo 1 above. It is the building on the right if the train station is behind you.
You can buy bus tickets here, which are sold in minutes and hours, not per journey (as in England).
And you can find out which bus to take where. You will also be directed to which bus stop you need if you ask.
The website below lists which number buses go where, and where they stop along the way.
Using the Funicular train in Bergamo
Bergamo is divided into upper and lower cities - Citta Alta and Citta Bassa. The bus from the airport will drop you right at the funicular stop in the lower city and then a five minute ride by Funicular will bring you to the centre of the upper city. The funicular is tiny and really old-fashioned. It goes up almot perpendicularly and the views as you look back are terrific. However, when you reach the upper city at Piazza Mercato delle Scarpe you need to climb again. This time a little foot slog is involved as you have to walk uphill, right through the town, to reach the second funicular station. This second trip brings you even higher to San Vigilio Hill and the castle. On this leg of the funicular you will get some superb photos of the Citta Alta below and the surrounding countryside.
Vt member Maurizio, has just pointed out to me that you can of course get to the Citta Alta by bus as well. This is true but I think for most visitors, the trip on the funicular would be more enjoyable. Thank's for the info Maurizio.
2012 update :
Four year's later I seem to be happier to take Maurizio's advice. this time I mostly took the 1A bus to the level of the second funicular station and explore the city while walking downhill. Much easier on the legs and lungs and you can enjoy the views from the funicular on the trip back down to Citta Bassa.
- Budget Travel
Getting to Bergamo from Orio al Serio
I went straight to the Orio al Serio airport from Milan, dropped off my lugage and then, unencumbered , caught the bus into Bergamo. Finding where to buy the bus ticket was a little confusing so finally I went into the Tourist office at the airport and they sold me an all -in-one ticket. This ticket costs EUR 3.50 and is excellent value. It covers the bus to and from the aiport to Bergamo, as well as the funicular train which you must take to reach the Citta Alta. It stops at the railway station in Bergamo, passes through the Citta Bassa and eventually, drops you off, right at the Funicular stop. This makes the trip remarkably uncomplicated and easy.
Important to remember that you CAN'T buy this ticket on the bus, you must buy it before you leave the airport and validate it when you get on the bus. The same ticket then does you for the rest of the day.
The details below are for the tourist office at Orio al Serio, where I bought my ticket.
Surprisingly, four years later the price of the 1A bus from the airport had gone up by less then one Euro. A three day travel ticket, for buses, trams funicular and bus to and from the airport, costs only EUR 7. Excellent value and being able to take the 1A bus right to the top of the Citta Alta is a great help to those of us who are not so great at climbing hills.
- Road Trip
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BERGAMO TRAIN STATION
The BERGAMO TRAIN STATION (Pic#4)is located in Lower Bergamo, on Piazza Guglielmo Maroni. It was a short ten minute walk from our Hotel ARLI. The Trains are directly connected to Milan, Lecco and Brescia (with connections for Lake Garda, Verona and Venice).
The journey from Bergamo to Lecco takes about 40 minutes. Hans and I, along with Kate (goodfish) and hubby Jerry, took the train to Lecco on Saturday, as we wanted to visit Varrena and Bellagio for the afternoon.
Tickets to Varrena were 20,60 Euros for the two of us, return.
We took the 9:00 a.m. train and got into Varenna about 10:30 a.m. Things went very smoothly going, but on our return trip - that is another story!. We planned on taking the 3:00 train back, and we were at the station at 2:45 p.m., but because it was a public holiday, trains were running on a different schedule. We waited and waited in Varrena for the train to come. Finally an hour and a half later it finally came. The same thing in Lecco. Bottom line, we didn't get into Bergamo until 6:30 p.m.
ATB #1 AEROPORTO BUS
OK. So we arrive at the Orio al Serio Airport and we need to get to our Hotel ARLI in Bergamo. After picking up our luggage, we headed for the ground transportation area - easy to find as the airport is not that big. We find the ticket vending machinges, but as I was not familiar yet with using them, I simply bought two tickets at the ticket booth. The Aeroporto Bus tickets were 2 Euros each. We then walked outside the airport and saw the area where the ATB #1 AEROPORTO BUS stop is. We boarded the bus with our luggage, validated our tickets in one of the machines, located at the front and rear of the bus. The ticket is stamped with time and date and is good for 90 minutes. It's about 15 minutes to reach the Bergamo Train Station which is the first stop. We got off at the Best Western stop, which is one stop further than the train station. We got off, crossed the street and our ARLI Hotel was just a few meters from the corner. I have to thank Sue, Suvanki, for her most excellent instructions.
Later in the week, Friday, I went to the ATB (Azienda Transporti Bergamo) Office at Largo Porta Nuova and bought a 3 day - 3 Giorni - ticket for 7 Euros. It is good for a 72 hour period, from the time you first validate it. There is also a 24 hour ticket available for 4,50 Euros. The ticket is good for ATB Buses, including the Aeroporto Bus, both funiculars and Trams - so excellent value.
Buses run 6:00 a.m. to midnight.
Since the Aeroporto Buses don't run until 6:00 a.m. and we had an early flight Tuesday morning (6:30 a.m.), we needed to take a taxi to the airport. Our hotel made arrangements for us to be picked up at 5:00 a.m. Our driver was right on time and was very courteous and helped us load our luggage. He charged us 25 Euros.