Lake Como is one of the most magical places in Northern Italy and once you are there you won’t believe how beautiful this view is! Imagine yourself looking at a scene with a gorgeous lake surrounded by lush green trees with a mountain backdrop while you are enjoying the best Italian wine from a beautiful villa or one of the countless luxury hotels. I’m sure you will be looking forward to coming back to Lake Como Italy!
In this post on where to stay in Lake Como, I will talk about the 6 best towns to stay in and give you an idea of the atmosphere of each as well as their best hotels for all budgets. I went through every single one of the hotels in the Lake Como area and hand-picked the best ones for you so I hope you will be able to choose your ideal hotel easily.
As Lake Como Italy is a very popular travel destination, I have to remind you that the hotels can be filled up quickly and I don’t want you to lose the chance of staying in the best hotels. That’s why you shouldn’t forget to make a booking in advance. By making an early reservation, you will also be able to get better deals and many of the hotels have a free cancelation, so don’t worry if you change your mind!
If you are ready, let’s hop on a boat and start cruising on Lake Como, Italy!
If you are in a hurry
Here are the best places to stay on the shores of Lake Como, with hotels from luxury to budget. They all have great reviews and great locations!
Grand Hotel Serbelloni
Best luxury hotel
Bellagio Cascina Luca
An Airbnb with amazing reviews
Hotel Garni Corona
Best value for money
Riva Al Lago
Best affordable accommodation in the center
Here is a map about where to stay in Lake Como with all the 6 best towns I will be talking about in this travel guide and giving hotels in each, so you can easily visualize them.
1. Como – where to stay in Lake Como for the first time
Como is located on the southern shore of Lake Como on the Italian-Swiss border and thanks to the train station it has easy access to Milan. Como is also the hub for ferries and busses so there is no better place to stay to explore the whole of Lake Como if you are visiting for the first time.
Como is of course also a very gorgeous town with its picturesque harbor, amazing Italian restaurants, nice shops, and historic buildings. The first thing you must do in Como is to hop on a boat to discover towns and villages around Coma Lake, take many photos and make stops at the cafes to have an Italian wine amongst stunning views. I know you will be impressed with this fairytale kind of town!
In Como, you can also visit many museums and historic landmarks such as the Cathedral of Coma and the Romanesque Belltower. Make sure to take the Brunate funicular to go up to the mountains to see amazing lake views from above, lastly, don’t forget to check out lively bars at night. You will be looking forward to coming back to Como asap!
Being the main connection hub of the lake, Como offers a great selection of hotels for all budgets. I just want to remind you to make your booking in advance to not miss these beautiful hotels I picked for you as the best hotels in this town tend to be filled up too fast.
Let’s check out the best places to stay in Como:
Lake Como Suites is one of the best hotels in Lake Como, get ready to have an unforgettable holiday! This luxurious 4-star hotel offers 2 amazing swimming pools right on the lake, a hot tub overlooking Lake Como, a nice hotel restaurant where you can have a great Italian wine with an epic view, and beautifully decorated rooms with a terrace. With a 5 minute walk, you can easily go to the ferry terminal to take the Lake Como boat tour.
Other accommodation options in Como
Since this is the most popular area to stay in Lake Como and the hotels I gave you above are the best of the best, they may book out quickly. For those of you like me who aren’t quite so organized, here are some other great options in Como town.
Things to do in Como
- Visit the beautiful Cathedral of Como
- Take Brunate funicular to go up and see the panoramic views
- Learn about the history at the Museo Storico Giuseppe Garibaldi
- Visit the Basilica di Sant’Abbondio
- Go to the Tempio Voltiano
- Take a boat trip to discover Lake Como’s towns and villages
- Have a good Italian coffee at Caffè dei Viaggiatori
- Visit the Civico Museo Archeologico Paolo Giovio
- Join a food tasting and bike tour
- Have a good Italian wine at Minimalismo Livingroom with a friendly atmosphere
2. Menaggio – the best town for sightseeing in Lake Como
Menaggio is the biggest town on the western shore of Lake Como and has good ferry connections from Switzerland. Thanks to its great connection to the towns, Menaggio is a great base for where to stay in Lake Como.
Start your day in Menaggio with a stroll along the cobbled stone streets and first check out the historic buildings in the old town, then head to the lake and take a boat trip to see spectacular views of Lake Como. After this romantic boat ride, it is time to have a delicious Italian meal in one of the best restaurants in the town.
By the end of the day, you will be wondering “can it get any better!?” Well if you don’t want to head home after your magical Lake Como visit, you might want to explore more beautiful cities in Italy and I would say that Trento could be a great choice!
Menaggio is one of the prettiest towns on Lake Como and home to some private celebrity holiday homes owned by the likes of Robert Pattinson and nearby to George Clooney’s mansions!
Menaggio is a very romantic town offering very nice accommodation options. Due to its great connection between Italy and Switzerland, it is a very popular town to stay in Lake Como. That being said, I highly recommend you make your reservation in months advance to not miss your dreamy hotel.
This 5-star hotel is right on Como Lake and features 2 amazing swimming pools, spacious rooms with a terrace overlooking the lake, a spa, and a fabulous breakfast. You can have a nice dinner in the luxurious hotel’s restaurant and enjoy the charming view. The old town is within walking distance of the hotel.
Other accommodation options in Menaggio
Things to do in Menaggio
- Visit the beautiful Chiesa di San Stefano
- Hike to Percorso salute Parco Val Sanagra
- Have a delicious Italian meal at Trattoria la Vecchia Magnolia
- Enjoy swimming by the lake and having snacks at Lido di Menaggio
- See the historic church Chiesa di S. Marta
- Visit the Villa Mylius Vigoni and marvel at the amazing architecture
- Visit gorgeous Villa Balbianello and see amazing lake view
3. Bellagio – best place to stay for luxury
It is no surprise that this picturesque town, Bellagio, is called “the pearl of the lake”. Bellagio is located on the north shore of Lake Como and with its classy vibe is my answer to where to stay in Lake Como for luxury travelers.
This town is often frequented by a-list celebrities such as Jon Bon Jovi so you never know who you might bump into!
The best way to discover the town during your stay in Bellagio is simply to walk through the beautiful streets, watch amazing views of Lake Como, check out upscale shops, and dine in fancy restaurants. Bellagio also offers the best nightlife in Lake Como with its nice bars and nightclubs. You will love this glamorous town for sure!
There are so many fun activities to do in Bellagio. If you want to discover the surroundings of Bellagio and spend some time in nature, you can do kayaking and water skiing in the lake. Even though Bellagio is an upscale town, I found the best hotels for all budgets for those who want to stay in this beautiful town.
Grand Hotel Serbelloni is located at the heart of Bellagio and right on the Lake Como so you can imagine how beautiful the view is. The luxurious hotel offers a large swimming pool, a private beach, a hot tub, and rooms with elegant decoration. You can have a mouthwatering dinner in their Michelin star awarded restaurant. This hotel dates back to the 19th century and is the best place to stay in Bellagio. You won’t want to leave this hotel!
Other accommodation options in Bellagio
Things to do in Bellagio
- See stunning gardens at Giardini di Villa Melzi
- Try different kinds of wines and spirits at Angolo DiVino
- Check out chic shops in Bellagio
- Go hiking at Punta Spartivento to see the beautiful views of the lake
- Take touristic train Bellagio Express for sightseeing in the town
- Head to beautiful Pescallo Village for kayaking
- Spend time at the public beach San Giovanni
- Visit the beautiful museum Villa del Balbianello on the opposite side of the lake
4. Varenna – where to stay in Lake Como to relax
Located on the northeastern shore of Lake Como, Varenna is a very picturesque town offering amazing lake views with cool cafes, and delicious restaurants. Stay in Varenna and you will be able to see beautiful botanical gardens, charming buildings with great architecture, and even some museums!
The best way to enjoy Varenna is to have a stroll on the waterfront, enjoy the scenic lake views and pick a nice cafe by the lake to have an Italian wine. You don’t need to rush anything in Varenna. As Italians say, “dolce far niente” which means the art of doing nothing, just fits here. All you need to do is to enjoy the panoramic views of Lake Como and relax!
Hotel du Lac Varenna is just across from the lake and offers rooms with a Lake Como view, a very good breakfast, charming rooms, a bar, and a great restaurant. With its central location in Varenna, this beautiful hotel is a great place to stay for exploring Lake Como and the restaurants and museums are within walking distance.
Other accommodation options in Varenna
Things to do in Varenna
- Visit the beautiful Villa Monastero
- Visit the Civic Museum of Ornithology and Natural Sciences
- Have a glass of Italian wine at Bar Il Molo
- Go for a walk at the Villa Cipressi gardens
- Take a day trip to Sentiero del Viandante
- Go to the ruins of Vezio Castle and check out the amazing views
- Have an Italian meal with epic views of the lake at Vecchia Varenna
- Start your day with a nice coffee at Varenna Caffe
5. Lecco – for those on a budget
Lecco is located on the southeastern shore of Como Lake and is a less touristy town. It is a bit far from the popular sites of Como but, here you will be able to find relatively cheaper accommodation options compared to Bellagio and Varenna and don’t worry Lecco still has easy ferry access to other towns.
Like many parts of Lake Como, in Lecco, a very nice picturesque view will welcome you as well with a lush green area by the lake and mountains in the background. Lecco offers nice hiking trails for outdoor lovers. Especially if you are visiting Lake Como in the wintertime and you don’t want to spend all your time on the beach, you can go hiking in the mountains and enjoy beautiful snowy views. There are also some interesting museums and nice restaurants to explore in Lecco too.
Accommodation prices can be expensive in Lake Como depending on the season but it shouldn’t stop you from visiting this beautiful town. By staying in Lecco you can get better deals on hotels and I’ve already found the best hotels here for you.
Located right on the lake, this 4-star hotel has one of Lake Como’s best views. The beautiful hotel offers spacious rooms with a terrace overlooking Lake Como, a bar where you can enjoy Italian wines, and a great breakfast. You can rent a bike from the hotel and take a trip to Lake Como. The Town center and historic places are within walking distance.
Other accommodation options in Lecco
Things to do in Lecco
- Visit the beautiful Palace of Fears
- See Basilica di San Nicolò
- Visit Manzoni Museum Municipal Art Gallery
- Enjoy the adorable lake views at Lungolago di Lecco
- Hike at Monte Resegone
- Take a day trip to Abbazia di San Pietro al Monte
- Have fun in nature at Parco Avventura Resinelli
- Go for a stroll at Parco di Villa Gomes
- Explore the Alpinistic Observatory Lecco
6. Tremezzina – where to stay in Lake Como for families
Tremezzina is located western shore of Lake Como and is famous for its lush waterfront areas, beautiful botanical gardens, and famous villas such as Villa Charlotta, Villa Serbelloni, and Villa del Balbianello. It is a great area to stay for families offering large parks, family-friendly hotels, and nice beaches.
FUN FACT: Star Wars Episode 2 and James Bond Casino Royale were shot in Villa del Balbianello!
Thanks to the center lake shuttle ferry it is very easy to reach Tremezzina and the surrounding towns. Tremezzina offers nice beach areas and parks which are perfect for families to enjoy time with their kids. You can go on a hike by the lake, check out gorgeous villas such as Villa Carlotta, enjoy beautiful views of the lake, have delicious meals in great restaurants, and pack a picnic for the parks.
In Tremezzina you will be able to find a lot of family-friendly accommodations with more space and facilities like a private beach and convenient location. Let’s check out the best places to stay in Lake Como for families.
Grand Hotel Tremezzo offers 5-star accommodation right on Lake Como. The luxury hotel offers a large swimming pool overlooking the lake, a nice sun terrace, beautifully decorated rooms, a hot tub, a spa, and a great restaurant and bar. The town center and famous Villa Charlotta are within walking distance. For those who want to have a glamorous stay in Lake Como I highly recommend this hotel.
Other accommodation options in Tremezzina
Things to do in Tremezzina
- Visit the botanical garden at the Villa Carlotta
- Join a guided walking tour to discover Tremezzina
- Try nice Italian wines and foods at Red & White Wine Bar
- Take a private taxi to enjoy a fun boat ride with kids
- Go for a stroll at beautiful Parco Civico Teresio Olivelli
- Have a family dinner at Trattoria Rana
|👑 Luxury price:||€230|
|💵 Mid-range hotel:||€150|
|💰 Accommodation prices:||Medium|
|📍 Best Area:||Como|
|🛎️ Best luxury hotel:||Grand Hotel Serbelloni|
|👛 Best budget hotel:||Riva Al Lago|
BONUS: The best 5 beaches for swimming in Lake Como
If you are visiting Lake Como during the summer you should definitely spend at least 1 day on the beautiful beaches getting a suntan and watching the beautiful view of Lake Como.
On Lake Como, there are 2 kinds of beaches. Private beaches are called “Lido” which is a paid beach with sun loungers, water access, swimming pools, bars, and nightclubs, and the public beaches are called Spiagge.
So depending on how you prefer to spend your time, here are some of the best places to swim on Lake Como:
1. Lido of Bellagio
Located in Bellagio town and a 10-minute walk from Bellagio town center, Lido of Bellagio is one of the most beautiful beaches on Como Lake. You can also access the beach by private boat or boat taxi from other towns. It is a fancy beach club offering nice sunbeds and gazebos, a restaurant, and a bar. You need to rent a sun lounger in order to gain entrance here and prices start from €15 per lounger per day. Cocktails (which are optional but recommended) are priced at €8.
You can chill on the large sandy beach and watch amazing lake views, or, there is also a nightclub which is open on Friday and Saturday nights. So why not party the night away by Lake Como?
2. Lido di Cernobbio
Lido di Cernobbio is located 6 km (4 mi) north of Como Town and is a paradise for relaxing.
It has a beach with a very beautiful swimming pool overlooking Como Lake, with a large sun terrace where you can enjoy getting a suntan with the amazing views. With sun loungers starting from just €2.80 this is one of the more affordable beaches in Lake Como.
There is also a nice restaurant inside Lido di Cernobbio where you can have delicious Italian foods and drinks. If you stay till the night you can enjoy the nice music and have fun at their disco.
3. Lenno Beach
Lenno is 5 km (3 mi) away from Tremezzina and also can be reached by taxi boat. It is a public beach offering free parking and a nice sunbathing area.
Lenno Beach gives you the best of both worlds as there is also a beach club here – Lido di Lenno. If you decide you want a little more luxury you can pay to access sunbeds, and a nice restaurant with an epic view. You should definitely add Lenno Beach to your Lake Como itinerary to have this fairytale experience.
4. Lido di Menaggio
This beach club is located in Menaggio and has a very large swimming pool overlooking Lake Como. Lido di Menaggio offers a beautiful sun terrace as well as a lush lawn area where you can chill and get a suntan. Entrance here costs €8 per person without a sun lounger.
The beach club also has a kids swimming pool, a nice restaurant famous for its pizza and hamburgers, and a bar where you can have good cocktails and Italian wines accompanied by nice music. Perfecto!
5. Griante Beach
Griante Beach is 5 minutes drive from Tremezzina town center. It is a public pebble beach where you can rent sunbeds and umbrellas or just simply enjoy sunbathing on the lawn! Free parking is available and there is one beach bar offering nice snacks. You can also rent canoes on the beach and enjoy discovering the surroundings of Lake Como.
BONUS 2: How to travel to Lake Como with or without a car
Lake Como has a very convenient location and most of the towns have easy access by car, train, and ferry. The best way to discover Lake Como is by taking a boat as most of the towns have boat access. However, if you are visiting Lake Como during the winter, there will be limited ferries so it might be a good idea to rent a car to get around the lake. It will also give you more freedom to make day trips.
Before you get excited about traveling across the water to your Villa by the lake, you first need to get to the area. Here are the all options to reach Lake Como so you can choose the most convenient one for you.
Flying to Como
If you are flying in from another country or elsewhere in Italy, the closest airport to Lake Como is the Malpensa Airport in Milan which is the largest international flight hub in the region and has numerous flights from all over the world.
Malpensa Airport is actually 55 km (35 miles) northwest of Milan and halfway between the city and Como. From Malpensa Airport you can easily take the airport shuttles or use one of the following transport options to reach Lake Como.
From Milan to Lake Como:
Taking the Train
The main train station in Lake Como is located in Como Town and is called Como San Giovanni. During the weekdays, trains operated by Trenitalia leave Milan Central and Milan Malpensa Airport for Como every half hour and the trip takes about 1.5 hours.
Como San Giovanni is also on the main transit network throughout Europe so there are also good connections with other cities in Italy and further afield. If you are coming to Lake Como from Switzerland you can also take Swiss Rail which operates trains from Lugano to Milan with stops in Como a few times daily.
Driving to Lake Como
For those who like to enjoy road trips, you can easily rent a car to drive to Lake Como from Milan and Switzerland. In the high season you will be looking at paying from around €50 per day but in the low season you can find prices from €30 per day. The landscapes on the road are super nice and in perfect condition so no need to worry about that.
During the summertime, you might encounter a traffic jam so try to hit the road in the early hours. Also, finding a parking lot is a bit tricky in the Lake Como area so make sure to check with your hotel if they have a private parking area.
Riding the Bus
There are regular buses that operate to Como from all over Italy and in some cities in Europe. In Italy, like the train, most of the buses will pass through Milan and often the airport before going to Como. From other areas of Europe, you can use the Eurolines and check the timetables and routes on their website. From Milan, there are six buses departing for Como per day, the trip takes about half an hour and costs around €5.
Getting around in Lake Como
Once you have arrived at Como itself, now you might need to travel to a different town on the lake or simply want to go sightseeing for the day. The easiest and most fun way to travel between the towns in Lake Como is by taking a boat (how cool is that!).
Depending on where you are traveling, you may have different options. Ferries which take both passengers and cars are only available to Bellagio, Varenna, Menaggio and Cadenabbia however there are smaller public and private boats which run to pretty much everywhere else. Tickets from Como to Bellagio cost around €10 for a foot passenger but you can find all the info you need about boats on Lake Como and where to check time and book your tickets online.
There are also public busses available. You can check the timetables on Lake Como’s Tourism website.
Frequently asked questions about Lake Como
🗺️ Which is the best town to stay in Lake Como?
🤔 Is it better to stay in Como or Bellagio?
📸 Where do celebrities stay in Lake Como?
Some of the celebrity houses in Lake Como are, Villa Oleandra owned by George Clooney located in Lugia, and Villa La Cassinella owned by Sir Richard Branson in Tremezzo. Also Grand Hotel Tremezzo is one of the famous hotels preferred by celebrities.
⏱️ How many days is enough in Lake Como?
In order to enjoy the beautiful atmosphere of Lake Como, I suggest you stay a minimum of 2 days. 3-4 days are better so that you could relax and enjoy the place with no rush.
🛏️ What are the best Lake Como hotels?
✨ Which part of Lake Como is the most beautiful?
The best towns to stay at Lake Como if you’re looking for the classic picturesque views are, Bellagio and Varenna.
I have no doubt that you will have a magical time in Lake Como. It is time for me to say goodbye to you fellow travelers. I hope you enjoyed this tour around Lake Como and this blog post helped you understand the best towns where you’ve already found your ideal hotel!
In this blog post, I covered the best places to stay in Lake Como Italy, and mentioned the top hotels as well as Airbnbs in each town from luxury to budget. As I said earlier, Como town is the best area to stay in for first-timers but, all of the towns I talked about offer beautiful views and a great atmosphere so you can choose your favorite hotel and take a boat to see other areas of Lake Como.
I would also like to remind you of the importance of making a booking in advance as Lake Como hotels always have a high demand. This will help you to get better deals on hotels and guarantee to stay in your favorite hotel.
Even though I gave many hotel options in the best towns, to sum up, here are the best 2 places to stay in Lake Como with a great location around the lake as well as good reviews. I definitely recommend you to stay in one of these if you can’t decide between the awesome options in this list!
- Grand Hotel Serbelloni – 5-star hotel right on Lake Como with an epic swimming pool
- Hotel Garni Corona – Centrally located hotel with great rooms and facilities
If you have any other suggestions or questions about Lake Como Italy please do not hesitate to leave a comment below. I’ll be happy to leave a reply to them!
Have an amazing time in Italy Lake Como,