Lake Como Travel Guide: Como Tips

Lake Como Tips: Exciting travel guide for a holiday in Lombardy. / Lake Como Travel Guide: Como Tips

Where should the next vacation go? Are you looking for a scenic destination that you can easily reach by car? Then it is worth taking a look at northern Italy. In addition to Lake Garda, you should find out more about Lake Como. The lake in Lombardy is characterized by its Y-shape and fjord-like atmosphere with original, small shore towns and an incredible mountain panorama. Delicious food, unique hospitality, winding streets, beautiful promenades and lively scenery transform the region into one of the most popular holiday destinations in northern Italy. With the Lake Como tips you get a first impression of your stay in the foothills of the Alps.

Facts about Lake Como

As you have already learned, Lake Como is located in northern Italy, not far from Milan and Bergamo. In addition, you are in Switzerland in no time at all.

With its characteristic and unmistakable three lake basins and a size of 146 km², the “Lago di Como” is the third largest and deepest lake in Italy. The Adda river flows through the lake, which flows into the water around Colico and leaves it again at Lecco.

Before you travel, you need to think about what kind of vacation you want. Do you long for peace and seclusion or hustle and bustle?

First of all, you should know that the east of the lake, around the Lecco arm of the lake, is less touristy and you can enjoy an authentic ambience here. In contrast, the western part, around the well-known city of Como, has a lively atmosphere.

It is also important to note that it makes sense to avoid the main towns with their higher prices for accommodation. The price range on Lake Como tends to be a bit higher than in other areas, but you get the ultimate “La Dolce Vita” feeling and can also find inexpensive accommodation, restaurants and bars away from the hotspots.

Alternatively, you can go a little into the hinterland. Around the lake there are numerous dreamy villages, sunbathing areas by the water, pompous villas, vantage points or hiking opportunities – boredom cannot arise here and a perfect active holiday in Italy awaits you. And that’s exactly what stars like George Clooney appreciate.

Getting to Lake Como / By car

For many of you, the journey to Lake Como is probably mainly by car. Especially from the south of Germany you only need about six hours.

If you are coming from the north, you can also book accommodation in Bavaria and make a stop before you continue. Basically, Lake Como is conveniently located near the Bellinzona-Milan motorway (A2/A13) and you have to know when driving by car that you usually travel through Switzerland and have to buy a vignette there.

By plane / Lake Como Travel Guide

Do you want to save yourself the long journey by car? Then book a flight to Italy.

Milan and Bergamo are the best places to go here. From the major German airports you can fly directly to Italy in one and a half hours.

Once there, you either take a train from Milan to Como or you can of course book a rental car there, which is much more relaxed for traveling around.

By train / Lake Como Tips

Lake Como Tips

Lake Como Tips

Do you want to switch to a more sustainable means of transport? Then you should think about taking the train to Lake Como.

Especially if you are traveling alone or want to visit several places, it is worth taking a look at the train connections. From Munich, for example, you drive depending on the connection and change around eight to ten hours.

Or are you planning an adventure through Europe and want to get an Interrail ticket?

By bus

Of course you also have the chance to take the bus to Lake Como. Depending on the starting point, you can even get direct connections to the city of Como via the long-distance bus company Flixbus, for example from Munich for around €20.


Once you arrive on site, you will have to worry about getting around Lake Como. For many of you, it will probably continue by car.

But you have to keep in mind that the trip around the lake not only promises beautiful views, but can also take a lot of time. That’s why you should always use the public transport network and take the bus and ferry.

Alternatively, you can book private boat tours that will take you to remote locations and away from the travellers. Or you can rent a scooter – an adventure on two wheels.

Especially if you want to explore individual places in one day, it is worth taking a look at the ferry schedule of the “Navigazione del Lago di Como”. There is also an excellently developed bus network around Lake Como.

Campsites on Lake Como

Are you traveling with your van and looking for suitable parking spaces? This feeling of breathing in the fresh air with a coffee at sunrise and enjoying the last minutes of the day under the starry sky is indescribable.

Some of the campsites on Lake Como offer you direct access to the water and promise picturesque views. Speaking of which, the northern holiday resort of Domaso is one of the most well-known campsites in the area.

Camping Gardenia
Camping Spiaggia
Le Vele Camping
Camping Europe
El Logasc campsite
Camping Ranocchio
Camping North Wind & Apartments
Golden Sheep Camping
Camping La Breva
Camping Italia 90 Domaso & Glamping Experience

Best Time to Visit Lake Como

Of course, on the list of Lake Como tips, we also have to address the weather. So that you can decide on a suitable travel time, you should pay close attention now.

The interplay of mountains, mild atmosphere and water makes the region a popular travel destination, especially in the months from April to October.

When the mountain peaks are free of snow, the vegetation is in bloom and short clothes can be worn, the best time to travel to Lake Como begins. The average warmest months are June, July and August.

But this time of year is also high season at the lake and accordingly many vacationers cavort in the picturesque places. If you are not dependent on the holiday periods, you should rather look at the months of May, the end of August and September.

Then warm temperatures are still guaranteed and you avoid the masses of travelers.

Places on Lake Como / Menaggio

Menaggio is one of the most beautiful and well-known Lake Como tips. But what exactly makes the destination a special stopover?

Located on the western shore, the town is considered the intersection of the three arms of the lake and is an excellent starting point for numerous boat trips along the coast. During your stay you should keep your camera ready and let the colorful house facades with the endless, palm-lined promenade in the foreground work their magic on you.

Before venturing out into the hustle and bustle of the streets, Menaggio’s lido is a great place to relax on a hot summer’s day.

Bellagio / Lake Como Travel Guide

Continue to popular vacation spot Bellagio. Due to its location between the two arms of Como and Lecco, the travel destination offers you a fantastic panoramic view of Lake Como.

The place is visited by many travelers mainly because of the many magnificent villas located directly on the lake. In addition, you can soak up the cozy scenery in the middle of the beautiful alleys and discover cute cafés.

Here you will encounter the typical architecture of colorful houses, noble summer residences and lush green parks. Between cypresses, palm trees and azure waters, the Mediterranean atmosphere will immediately captivate you.

If you are already in the area, you must visit one of the top Lake Como tips, the botanical garden I Giardini di Villa Melzi.

And did you know that the grounds surrounding the famous luxury hotel Bellagio in Las Vegas are inspired by the landscapes of Lake Como?

Varenna / Lake Como Tips

Varenna is definitely one of the picturesque places on Lake Como. As one of the destinations in the so-called “Golden Triangle”, a stopover is an absolute must on your to-do list.

This region is also called “Centro Lago” and forms the center of the lake with the aforementioned towns of Menaggio, Bellagio, Varenna and Tremezzo. In one of the romantic areas you can look forward to picture book atmospheres and discover old fishermen’s houses.

If you want to immerse yourself in the tradition of the area and are looking for a small oasis of peace, the botanical garden of Villa Monastero is a welcome destination.


At the southern end of the lake shore you will find the eponymous city of Como. With almost 85,000 inhabitants, this is the largest excursion destination on the lake and is home to numerous opportunities for an unforgettable day.

In the historic city center you can get a taste of the medieval ambience, discover exciting sights (Como Cathedral or Piazza Duomo square) or stroll through the varied shops. Due to the chessboard-like layout of the old town, you will find your way around quickly and you are guaranteed not to get lost – a legacy from the time of the Roman Empire.

In addition, you cannot escape the picturesque villas on Lake Como – Villa Olmo is also a great destination. And you can still feel the long tradition of the silk industry today and should take your time and enjoy the romantic ambience along the promenade of Como.

Before moving on to the next resort, you need to find out more about the Como-Brunate funicular. If you long for breathtaking views and magical scenery, the villa district of Brunate is one of the top Lake Como tips.

Lecco / Como Travel Guide

Finally, you will get to know the holiday resort of Lecco a little better. On the eastern shore of the lake you can experience a mixture of relaxation and action.

If you don’t just want to lie by the water, but want to be active, you’ve come to the right place in the region. Because in Lecco you can climb fascinating mountains and spend an unforgettable day in the midst of untouched nature.

Around the Piani d’Erna plateau and the Resegone mountain there are countless hiking routes, which are characterized by different levels of difficulty. But you will also make some discoveries in the center itself next to the fortified tower Campanile San Nicolò.

Other places on Lake Como:

Municipality of Moltrasio
Municipality of Tremezzina
Medieval scenes in Nesso
Sala Comacina
Mandello del Lario

The Best Beaches on Lake Como

Lake Como Travel Guide - Beaches

Lake Como Travel Guide – Beaches

Before you start your journey, you will probably also ask yourself where you can go swimming on Lake Como. The short answer: there is usually a wide range of bathing spots, most of which consist of pebble beaches (there are also a few stretches of beach).

The water quality and the opportunity for swimming tend to be best from the middle to the northern end of the lake. The beach sections in Bellagio, Cernobbio or Domaso are predestined for a holiday by the water.

If you have any other insider tips for Lake Como, please leave us a comment. Where have you let your soul dangle so far?

Beach in Dongo
Spiaggia di Gravedona
San Vito beach – Cremia
Domaso beach
colico beach
Spiaggia Santa Maria Rezzonico
Moltrasio Beach
Spiaggia di Lierna
Spiaggia di Abbadia Lariana
Beach in Lecco

Sights on Lake Como / Villas on Lake Como

The numerous villas on Lake Como give the region its extraordinary ambience and sometimes offer exciting activities, exhibitions and retreats for a few hours away from the hustle and bustle. Others have been converted into hotels over the years.

A little info: in the past, Lake Como lay on important trade routes, such as the Via Regina, and was therefore a special destination for numerous merchants and wealthy families. Accordingly, the pompous architectural buildings are lined up almost like a string of pearls along the lake shore.

The Villa del Balbianello is one of the top Lake Como sights. On site you can not only admire a fascinating garden, but also take a close look at numerous art collections.

And the facility keeps getting international attention through film shoots. This is also the case with the “James Bond Film Casino Royale” or the comedy “A Summer by the Lake”.

Alternatively, you can visit the neoclassical building Villa Olmo. In addition, the Villa Carlotta with its botanical garden and art museum worth seeing is one of the top Lake Como tips.

In the former monastery of the Villa Monastero you can enjoy incredible views over the lake, marvel at a colorful splendor of flowers or discover interiors worth seeing. On the other hand, you take a closer look at the Villa Erba during events.

Other sights on Lake Como

In addition to the villas, there are other sights that blend into the magical landscapes around Lake Como. The botanical garden I Giardini di Villa Melzi is a well-kept garden complex worth seeing in the holiday resort of Bellagio.

In contrast, the Gothic Cathedral of Como is one of the architectural highlights of the area, which promises you a detour into history. Or are you looking for the fantastic vantage points on Lake Como?

The ruins of Castello di Vezio offer a fantastic panorama over the lake and the surrounding mountains and is considered one of the most beautiful photo spots. If you are traveling with the whole family, you should visit the falconry air show and embark on a playful journey into the Middle Ages.

In addition, the Orrido di Bellano gorge is a roaring destination near the small town of Bellano. The deep gorge shows you the power of nature and provides impressive atmospheres.

The steep ascent to the Faro Voltiano lighthouse rewards you with a fantastic panoramic view of Lake Como. It’s really incredible and you should definitely pay the small entrance fee of just under €2 to the tower and climb the steps to the viewpoint.

Abbey of Piona
Isola Comacina Island
Volta Temple
Forte Montecchio North
Museum of Silk Production: Museo della Seta di Como
Basilica of Sant’Abbondio

Cycling Museum Museo del Ciclismo Madonna del Ghisallo

Activities on Lake Como / Water sports on Lake Como

Do you want to do sports during your vacation? Lake Como is an Eldorado for wind and kite surfing and sailing, with the best wind conditions in the northern part.

Between the towns of Colico and Gera Lario and in Domaso or Gravedona you can rent your equipment, book courses or put your skills to the test. And if there is less wind, you absolutely have to rent a canoe.

Water sports Domaso Lake Como Swiss kitesurfing school
Bomboklat Surf School
funsurf center – windsurf
Soul Surfer Windsurf Center
Jordan’ Surf & Kitezoo
BUENAONDASURF – Kitesurf School
414 Kitesurf School

Hiking on Lake Como

One of the top activities on Lake Como are endless hikes through the limitless vegetation of lush green shore landscapes, bright cypresses, colorful rhododendrons, alpine anemones or triplet flowers and imposing mountains. You should definitely explore the dramatic landscapes from the perspective of the hiking trails.

One of the top Lake Como tips is the Dorsale del Triangolo Lariano high-altitude hiking trail, which ideally leads you in two stages across the region’s mountains and promises an adventure. But individual tours on the numerous mountains such as Monte Grona, Monte Legnone or Monte Boletto are also perfect.

The route from the Church of San Bartolomeo to the Monte Berlinghera mountain is considered an easy hike that you can also do with the youngest members of the family. You should also find out more about the almost five-hour route from Brunate to Torno.

On the east bank, the Sentiero del Viandante path from Abbadia Lariana is one of the top Lake Como tips. Seclusion and tranquility are guaranteed here.

Are you looking for incredible panorama? Then take the cable car towards Piani d’Erna or visit the town of Piani dei Resinelli.

If you are planning your vacation on the west bank, you should hike from Como along the old Antica Strada Regina trade route. Alternatively, the popular 10-kilometer Greenway del Lago di Como hiking trail offers you the chance to explore picturesque places on foot.

Finally, the Valsassina valley is one of the insider tips on Lake Como. 30 minutes southeast of Varenna, you can immerse yourself in another world and forget everything around you.

More activities on Lake Como

The landscapes along the lake, which appear like in a picture book, are best observed from the water. Either you book a private tour across the lake (the skippers know the paradisiacal, remote spots) or even better, you rent your own boat.

Because in Italy you first need a boat license for vehicles from 40 hp, everything below that you can drive yourself under the Italian flag and a short briefing by the rental company. There are a few other factors, like distance from the coast, but that doesn’t play a crucial role on Lake Como.

On the other hand, you can rent bicycles and cycle around the lake. Or you can plan a visit to the Lake Como Adventure Park high ropes course with your kids.

In addition, you have to take the opportunity in the overcrowded holiday resorts in the high season and visit the old towns and narrow streets in the early morning hours or at dusk.

Excursion destinations from Lake Como

If you are ever traveling in northern Italy, you should also check out some excursion destinations around Lake Como. Because you might be arriving via Milan anyway, it’s worth a stopover of about two days in the beautiful fashion metropolis with highlights such as the Milan Cathedral or the Santa Maria delle Grazie church.

And you will be pleasantly surprised by the city of Bergamo. The gem with its medieval center and Venetian walls is considered one of the most beautiful travel destinations in Italy.

Or are you traveling by car via Switzerland? Then a few days in the beautiful canton of Ticino are an absolute must. The sunny region around the Mediterranean Lake Lugano with the paradisiacal Verzasca Valley, quaint villages and charming towns has a number of attractions in store for you.

Are you looking for peace and seclusion? Then visit the lake Lago di Mezzola to the north or explore the regional park Parco delle Orobie Bergamasche.

Eating and drinking on Lake Como

You will traditionally encounter many fish dishes on the menus at Lake Como. But in addition to the typical pasta dishes and pizzas, there are also some specialties that you may not know yet.

Maybe the menu will also offer you the savoy stew cassoeula, the soup zuppa pavese (with poached eggs) or the stew osso buco.

In addition to the modern, international cuisine on Lake Como, in some places you also have the opportunity to taste the traditional, rustic dishes of the area and to get a glimpse of the culinary art of the mountain area.

In many places, the porridge polenta plays an important basis for dishes. Or you try the delicious cheeses. And for dessert you can treat yourself to the delicious Miascia fruit cake.

Do you like drinking Italian wine? There is also an exciting and relatively unknown cultivation area around Lake Como, which still flies a little “under the radar” of travelers.

In the Valtellina valley you can marvel at centuries-old wine terraces, enjoy incredible views and taste delicious red wine. One of the top Lake Como tips is home to really good wineries that you have to check out: Nino Negri, Cantina Leusciatti di Bruno Leusciatti, Marsetti Alberto, Arpepe and Casa Vinicola Aldo Rainoldi.

Recommended restaurants on Lake Como:

Pronobis Como
Acienda Agricola Sorsasso
Locanda Capolago
Home Restaurant Palanzo
Osteria Monti Domaso
Locanda La Tirlindana
Antica Trattoria del Risorgimento
La Cucina della Marianna
Il Caminetto
Since Abate
Ristorante Aurora Lezzeno
La Vita è Bella Ristorante – Insalateria
Osteria del Bumbardin
Stone House Restaurant Food & Wine
La Breva
Al Prato
La Fontana Bellagio

Tipping on Lake Como / Como Tips

During your holiday you will probably also ask yourself the question of tipping in Italy, right? In principle, no tip is expected from the waiters on site, since you usually also pay for the cover, “coperto”.

If this flat rate is not calculated, you can give around five to ten percent and leave it on the table after paying.

Tap water at Lake Como / Lake Como Travel Guide

Before you drink the tap water in foreign countries, you should find out about the general quality and whether, for example, it can cause an upset stomach. So basically you can drink the tap water at Lake Como, because the condition is checked regularly, you just have to expect a higher chlorine content.

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