This is the ULTIMATE TRAVEL GUIDE FOR LAKE COMO AND COMO CITY you are looking for when planning a trip to the beautiful region of Lombardy in Italy.
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Located at the foothills of the Italian Alps and of glacial origin, Lake Como is most famous for its upscale vacation resorts. Gorgeous villas with beautiful gardens attract visitors from all over the world. The most visited places at Lake Como are Bellagio in the center and the identically named city “Como” at the southwestern tip of the lake.
This travel guide includes all basic and essential information you need to know about Lake Como and the city of Como. In other words, this travel guide is perfect for getting an overview of the region and its most famous sights.
Read also our full blog post about our travel tips & hacks for Lake Como and Italy!
How to get to and around Como
Luckily, there are plenty of different options to get to Como and travel around Lake Como, depending on your travel needs and style.
Due to the long shoreline of Lake Como (about 160km or 100mi), one should wisely plan where to go and how to get there.
Travel Lake Como By Car
Nonetheless, the fastest and most comfortable way to get to Como and travel around Lake Como is by car.
Be aware: due to the mountainous landscape, the streets are very narrow, and parking spaces are minimal. But traveling by car is our personal tip for a vacation at Lake Como in the off-season.
Travel Lake Como By Public Transport
Even if you prefer to travel by car, we recommend considering taking public transport during the peak tourist season. Especially during the summer the traffic is heavy and finding a parking space can be a real struggle.
In general, the town of Como is well connected with Milan and Bergamo by public transport. For instance, several bus lines are frequently running to the most popular places around the lake.
How to get from Milan to Como City
Obviously, the region’s metropole of the region – Milan – is the most popular entrance gate to Como City and Lake Como. The reason for that is the three railways that connect Milano and Como City. In general, it takes around 1h from Milano to Como City and costs around 5-12€.
- Milano Porta Garibaldi – Como S. Giovanni (cheap)
- Milano Centrale – Como S. Giovanni (fast)
- Milano Cadorna – Como Nord Lago (best to continue to Bellagio)
From the arrival point Como S. Giovanni, it is just a five-minute walk to the town center of Como City.
For your interest: We have visited Milan on a day trip and therefore created the perfect One-Day-Itinerary for Milan.
How to get From Malpensa to Como City
- Rent a car (1h drive to Como City)
- By train: the Malpensa Express goes to Saronno, change there and take the train to Como (around 11€ in total)
How to get From Bergamo/Orio al Serio to Como City
Again two options:
- Rent a car (around 1,5h drive)
- Shuttle bus to Milan (around 6€) and train (5-12€) – we haven’t found a direct connection
How to get Como City to Bellagio
Como Nord Lago is only a few steps from Piazza Matteotti. This is the bus stop where the C30 bus line is going to Bellagio.
how to travel around Lake Como
The 3 most popular bus routes are:
- C10 Como-Menaggio-Colico (western branch)
Location: west side of Lake Como
Duration: Como-Menaggio >1h and Como-Colico ~3h
- C30 Como-Nesso-Bellagio:
Location: inner side of the lakes western branch
- D10 Lecco-Bellagio:
Location: inner side of the lakes eastern branch
Duration: around 1h
The most common way to move from Lecco to Varenna is by train (around1h). However, there is also a bus route from Lecco to Mandello (around 30 min).
Our best hotel and accommodation tips
Personal Choice: Fagetto Fantastico
We stayed at this apartment and can only recommend it. Find it on booking.com!
We also wrote a full blog post about our experience in the apartment!
Hotel IN Bellagio
Hotel Du Lac
Apparently, the reviews about this boutique hotel are excellent throughout. The guests especially love the location and the view over the lake.
Check the rates and availability of the Hotel du Lac on booking.com!
This hotel is located bit outside the city center but one of the cheapest options for a private room for two.
Check the rates and availability of the Hotel Mirabeau on booking.com!
Como Town center:
Sole&Luna Comolake Apartments
The boutique-style apartments are in an excellent location and are very clean.
Check the rates and availability of the Sole&Luna Comolake Apartments on booking.com!
In Riva Al Lago – Guesthouse
Above all, the perfect location to the center and the funicular to Bromo are the absolute highlights of the budget hotel. Previous guests of the hotel also emphasis the breakfast and friendly staff.
Check the rates and availability of the In Riva Al Lago guesthouse on booking.com!
Lake Como, also known as Lario, is an iconic lake with dramatic scenery and beautiful mountain vistas. It is the third-largest lake of Italy and super deep (approximately 410 meters).
1 Day at Lake Como: Como City and Bellagio
If you only have one day at Lake Como, then this might be your One-Day-Itinerary for Lake Como (at the same time, this can be considered as the must-dos at Como and Bellagio):
Start your day early in the morning at the Torre Gattoni and explore the town center of Como City. Make sure to visit the Porta Torre, the Basilica di S. Fedele, and the Duomo di Como.
On the way to the Giardini del Tempio Voltiano, you can stop at the Alessandro Volta Statue.
Continue to the Pier of Como and enjoy the sun at The Life Electric. Include the Volta Museum, the War Memorial Monument, and the Piazza Cavour to your walk at the lakefront.
After that, take the Funicular Como-Brunate up the hill and get the best view over Como City with a bowl of Italian Gelato. From there you can also spot the Villa Olmo among many other attractions of Como City
If you make it back down to Como at midday, you can take one of the boat trips to Bellagio (in less than an hour with the hydrofoil (red) or the slower motor ships but with better scenery) or drive along the scenic coast with your car.
Afterward, stroll along the “Via Roma” and make a detour to the Porticciolo Della Punta. Then return to the single main road of Bellagio “Via Giuseppe Garibaldi” with dozens of restaurants, cafes, shops, and the Chiesa San Giacomo. Continue on the “Salita Camillo Benso Conte Di Cavour” back down to the lakeside
Return to Como and end your day in an Italian Restaurant with your favorite Pizza or Pasta.
Top 10 things to do at Lake Como
This is our ultimate bucket list for Lake Como. In other words, your Como Trip is only complete when you ticked off this bucket list:
- visit one of the numerous historic villas and gardens
- go hiking and for a great view over the lake
- take one of the boat trips on the lake (public or private)
- explore the most beautiful towns around the lake
- enjoy the sun at one of the beaches at Lake Como
- visit historical sights and museums in Como City
- go on a road trip along the scenic serpentines of Lake Como
- take the scenic funicular between Como City and Brunate
- taste the local Italian food
- visit the metropole of Milan
The 9 Most Beautiful Towns around the Lake
The top 5 most popular villas at Lake Como
- Lenno, west side: Villa Balbianello
- Como City, southwest: Villa Olmo
- Bellagio, center: Villa Melzi
- Tremezzina, west side: Villa Carlotta
- Varenna, east side: Villa Monastero
Top 3 Hikes at Lake Como:
The mountainous terrain offers numerous opportunities for spectacular panoramas of the lake and its towns. In short, walkers of all levels can explore the surprisingly untouched country areas. We did some research and selected these beautiful three hikes:
- Long-distance hike: Ridge Walk from Brunate over Monte Bolettone to Fagetto Lario (8h bus return to Como)
- Mid-distance hike: Monte Grona (5h hike near Menaggio)
- Short-distance hike: Monte San Primo Ridge Walk (3,5h round walk near Bellagio)
The town of Como
The city of Como located at the southwestern tip of Lake Como in northern Italy. Green hills surround Como creating beautiful scenery. The town is best known for its dome in the city center, a scenic funicular railway up to Brunate, and a gorgeous lakefront promenade.
Whether you visit Como for one day only or multiple days, we researched all the historical must-see attractions inside the medieval center for you. In addition, we found out what is best to do and see near the city.
Top 10 historical Must-See Attractions in Como
The following tourist attractions are all located inside the medieval city center of Como City, therefore only a few minutes walk from each other (no transportation needed):
- Duomo di Como (Cathedral of Como)
- Basilica di San Fedele
- Piazza Cavour
- Porta Torre
- Torre Gattoni (Gattoni Tower)
- Alessandro Volta Statue
- Teatro Sociale
- Museo Archeologico
- Torre di San Vitale
The all-time top sight of Como City is the Cathedral of Como, hence not to miss!
Top 10 things to do near the town of Como
If you are looking for the best things to do outside, but near the medieval city center of Como City, then this is the top 10 list for you:
- Boat Trip on Lake Como
- Funicolare Como-Brunate
- Villa Olmo
- Volta’s Lighthouse
- Basilica of Sant’Abbondino
- Villa Geno
- Castello Baradello
- Silk Museum
- Villa del Gurmello
- Piazza Vittoria
What to See on the Lakeside of Como City:
Perfect for a leisurely walk along the promenade. Stroll, relax, take a sunbath and don’t miss a single sight on the lakeside of Como City with this bucket list:
- Tempio Voltiano
- War Memorial Monumentum
- Giardini del Tempio Voltiano
- Monumento alla Resistenza Europea
- The Life Electric
- Piazza Cavour
- The Palace Hotel
The 5 best City trips near lake Como
Are you looking for more Italian city experience near Como? Here are the top 5 most beautiful towns and metropoles in the region:
- At the center of Lake Como: Bellagio
- Varenna City Trip
- Day trip to Lake Lugano and its equally named town
- Bergamo City Trip
- The region’s metropole: Milan
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