Are you traveling to Lake Como and looking for a Lake Como Travel Guide? In this blog post, I tell you the top places to go and the top places to visit in Lake Como. Lake Como is one of the most beautiful destinations and a top place to visit in Italy.
Lake Como Travel Guide
I visited Lake Como for 4 nights over the summer after a work trip to Milan. I forgot how much I loved Europe as I hadn’t been on a European holiday/vacation in a number of years. The peacefulness of Lake Como was unbelievable. I have wanted to go there for some time so tagged it on to my Milan trip as it is so close (48 km north). Lake Como is picture perfect with the most amazing restaurants, tours and views. I can’t wait to go back to Lake Como again as there is so much to do and see in Lake Como. Prepare to be dazzled by the beauty of Lake Como.
How to get to Lake Como
I flew from San Francisco to Milan with Lufthansa in order to get to Lake Como. There were no direct flights from San Francisco so I stopped over in Germany first. I now realize how close I was to everywhere when living in Ireland! I stayed in Milan for almost a week with work and then took the train from Milan Centrale to Lake Como (Como Borghi stop) for less than one hour. Train tickets were only €5/$6 one way and the train is the perfect way to get from Milan to Lake Como in a low cost, quick way. The views of Lake Como as we whizzed by made me excited for the beauty that was to come.
Where we stayed in Lake Como
We based ourselves in the town of Como and stayed at Hotel Como. The hotel was a 3 minute walk from the train station and a ten minute walk from the heart of the town, Como. I would definitely stay here in Lake Como again. The hotel had a pool and bar on the top floor with beautiful views. The room, breakfast, facilities and staff were all great. There are lots of other hotels in Como by the Lake such as the Palace Hotel which is beautiful but wasn’t available for our stay as I booked last minute. There are lots of cheaper hotels also and Airbnb has great listings around the Lake. The hotel in Como was a little expensive as I booked last minute & it was peak season in July. Book your hotel in time when going to Lake Como.
What to do when in Lake Como
Firstly, I relaxed by the amazing pool at Hotel Como and took in the wonderful view of Lake Como. The Lake is so peaceful that we spent so much time relaxing in the sunshine by the Lake. Como is a beautiful town to wander about in and get lost. The cobbled streets in Como are full of boutiques, restaurants, cafes and shops with locally produced goods such as silk, jewelry, shoes and bags.
We took a cable car in Como up to the top of the mountain - the views and journey was incredible. The front of the cable car has the best views of Lake Como. The cable car is inexpensive and leaves every couple of minutes so if there is a line, it will move fast. At the top of the mountain, there are some restaurants and shops to wander through. The Cathedral in Como is beautiful and can be found in the heart of the town.
We took a 2.5 hour cruise on Lake Como which stopped at all of the little towns around the Lake. There are other ferries from the Ferry Pier that get you from town to town on Lake Como quickly (45-60 mins from Como to Bellagio) but we took the longer cruise which had an open top and bar on board - the perfect start to a weekend of adventuring. My favorite town that I visited on Lake Como was Bellagio which again offers amazing views of Lake Como, cobbled streets lined with shops, restaurants & gelaterias. This Lake Como town is incredibly pretty both during the day and at night. We kept wandering in this town and found the cutest churches, secret paths to Lake Como and views. Other beautiful Lake Como towns are Menaggio, Tremezzo Lenno and Varenna. Check the ferry services prior to your Lake Como trip to help you plan when you will visit each town. Not all ferries will stop at each town surrounding Lake Como as some are much busier than others.
Villa Carlotta is a short 15 minute ferry ride from Bellagio. It is the most visited villa on Lake Como that is open to the public as a museum. Allow 90 minutes to explore the villa and the beautiful gardens.
I only had 4 nights in Lake Como but could have spent much longer exploring the other smaller towns around Lake Como and relaxing. Other things to do in Lake Como that we didn’t have time for are:
Food tasting tour around Como, walking tour around Como, cycling around the Lake and trails, visiting Villa del Balbianello and visiting Giardini di Villa Melzi. Dinner cruises, Italian cooking classes, gelato making, kayaking on the lake and day trips to Switzerland are also to-dos when visiting Lake Como.
Where we dined at Lake Como
A lot of gelato, pizza, pasta and wine were consumed on our trip to Lake Como. Any meal we had was delicious and restaurants were reasonably priced which surprised me for Lake Como.
For gelato, my favorite was just off the Main Square and right by the waterfront; Gelateria Lariana. The small traditional gelateria had delicious flavors and also had some sorbets.
We returned to the beautiful restaurants along Lake Como each night as the views were too good to be missed. I enjoyed The Dock Restaurant, Ristorante Pizzeria Il Carrettiere, Restaurant Funicolare and Osteria Le Tana Dei Pescatori but there are many choices along Lake Como each evening.
There are lots of different cafes in Lake Como which serve great wine and desserts in the evenings. My favorite was the Palace Hotel’s outdoor area by the lake (the sundaes are quite the treat!)
I highly recommend a trip to Lake Como as there is so much to do and see as well as being a location where you can completely relax and enjoy the views. Hope you enjoyed the Lake Como Travel Guide & enjoy your Lake Como trip.