Where to Stay Lake Como: Best Towns, Areas and Hotels

lake como where to stay

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Lake Como (also called Lago di Como), the third largest of the Italian lakes, is one of the world’s most magnificent places. Keep reading this guide on where to stay in Lake Como to find the best areas and towns while traveling through this picture-perfect region.

Known for its upturned Y-shape, Lake Como sits below the majestic Alps, among unmatched natural beauty. It’s the ideal place if you love exploring charming towns while enjoying exciting vacation activities, whether you prefer to travel by car or train.

Keep in mind that Lake Como’s low season runs from the beginning of October until the end of May. Although ferry services are limited and have reduced schedules during this time, especially in the winter months, the low season is still the most affordable period. It’s one of the best times to visit Italy.

With that said, it’s time for you to find out where to stay when visiting Lake Como.

Como and Surrounds – Most Beautiful Areas

where to stay lake como

Lake Como town is one of the most popular areas in Lombardy. It is located on the lake’s southwestern tip. Como’s proximity to the country’s fashion capital solidifies it as a must-visit destination for many travelers. The convenient transport links make it easy for you to plan epic day trips from Milan, which is a mere hour and 30 minutes away by car.

A car isn’t always necessary when planning a stay in the Lake Como area. There are a few reliable options to get from Milan to Lake Como, including the bus and train. 

Italy has an excellent train system, one that is fast, efficient, and affordable. So chances are there will be a couple of opportunities for you to enjoy traveling by train in Italy during your Como adventures.

Having your own car, however, adds more convenience and the freedom to explore, with destinations like Lugano in Switzerland just an hour away.

READ: Our guide to Renting a car in Italy.

Lake Como is all about the water, and the easy access to ferries take you to the lake’s central part. Here, you can catch ferry rides to towns like Bellagio, Menaggio, and Varenna.

The belle of the ball in Como City, which sits on the lake’s southwestern branch, is Como Old Town. Its cobblestone alleyways will lead you to whimsical little eateries and shops where you can splurge on regional goods.

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There are numerous museums and landmarks that will enrich each of your daily excursions in this famous town. Como Cathedral, with its grand Gothic architectural stylings, is a must-see. Other attractions include Porta Torre, Villa Olmo, and the promenade.

Just 20 minutes from Como town is Brunate, one of the most attractive villages to visit if you want to behold the most spectacular views. You can explore Como and Brunate on the same day. The Como-Brunate funicular makes the seven-minute scenic trip between the two locations quick and pleasing.

In Brunate, the 95-foot Faro Voltiano (lighthouse) is an unmissable attraction on your list of remarkable landmarks to see. This Brunate lighthouse is dedicated to the electric battery’s inventor, Alessandro Volta. The lighthouse illuminates Como with the colors of the Italian flag at night.

Add a classic Lombardian culinary experience at the local eateries and sightseeing at the Church of Sant’Andrea and the scenic Punto Panoramico.

Luxury – Vista Palazzo

When looking for the best place to stay on Lake Como, Vista Palazzo tops the list. This luxury hotel on the lake’s shores sits near the ferry terminal. Enjoy convenient arrivals and departures when exploring Lake Como.

The hotel, with its exceptional service, is nothing short of regal, thanks to the design and decor. Vista Palazzo’s elegant rooms with air conditioning ooze class and sophistication. The spacious rooms offer stunning lake views.

The train and bus stations are within walking distance. This makes visiting nearby attractions like Baradello Castle easy >> Check Rates and Availability.

Mid-Range – Suites&Atelier Lake Como

With its Old Italy-inspired stone walls offset by modern accents, Suites&Atelier Lake Como offers boutique stays in a tranquil setting. Some of the hotel rooms have private balconies, but all have air conditioning. There are also rooms with dazzling lake views.

The sun terrace is the perfect spot for your continental breakfasts each morning. There are also lush gardens to meander in during your downtime. Other amenities include a bar and shared lounge. Como Cathedral and Como Nord Lago train station are no more than a 10-minute walk away >> Check Rates and Availability.

Budget – La Terrazza di Como

Although La Terrazza di Como is easy on the budget, it doesn’t skimp on the small details like air conditioning and complimentary toiletries. This stylish accommodation is a great option if you want the convenience of a prime location.

Relish the triple splendor of stunning mountain, lake, and city views from one location. Within walking distance from the property is the convenient Como Funicular. Volta Temple, a terrific neoclassical museum dedicated to Alessandro Volta, is a 15-minute stroll away >> Check Rates and Availability.

READ: Planning a visit to Italy with Milan as your base? Enjoy a Lake Como day trip during your enchanting three-day Milan itinerary.


lake como hotels

Nicknamed the “Pearl of Lake Como,” Bellagio is where Italy truly shows off its unending natural beauty. This famous town, one of the most striking in the Lake Como area, is where the lake’s two southern branches meet. It has countless points for enjoying panoramic lake views.

Expect lush gardens and parks, gorgeous villas, bright buildings, and cobblestone paths acting as passageways to delightful boutiques, shops, and restaurants.

Bellagio town center, with its undeniable prettiness, is a fine mix of old charm and contemporary grandeur. The marvelous century-old architecture and luxury dwellings are absolutely enchanting. At night, Bellagio comes alive with bustling restaurants and bars.

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Private transfers from Milan are the most comfortable and convenient way to get to Bellagio, especially when traveling in a group or with a lot of luggage. Let an expert driver worry about the two essential aspects of driving in Lake Como: navigation and finding free parking.

You can also rent a car in Italy and journey from Milan to Bellagio at your own pace in the comfort of your own private vehicle. As goes with many Italian destinations, navigating the narrow streets of Bellagio can be tricky. If you can keep your wits about yourself and practice a fair amount of patience, having a car will work just fine for you.

The efficient ferry system allows you to go villa-spotting and explore nearby towns with ease. 

Luxury – Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni

Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni is easily one of the best places to stay in Lake Como. This opulent family-owned luxury hotel provides dazzling rooms with supreme home comforts and air conditioning. The finest units present amazing lake views.

The amenities are stellar. Revel in the privilege of a Michelin-star on-site restaurant, two lush gardens, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, a spa, and a wellness center. You even get access to a private beach area.

With chandeliers hanging from fresco-adorned ceilings, classic touches of wooden furnishings, soft carpet, and bespoke detailing, Villa Serbelloni is a glamorous haven >> Check Rates and Availability.

Mid-Range – Charming Bellagio Boutique Hotel

Within walking distance of the lake’s shores is the Charming Bellagio Boutique Hotel, your ideal option for an intimate hotel atmosphere.

The rooms, all with air conditioning and private patios or balconies, have garden vistas or stunning views of the lake. The on-site spa and wellness center ensures you get all the relaxation and recreation you need during your Como vacation.

Fair weather warrants leisure time at the outdoor swimming pool, sun terrace, and garden. For your offsite activities, take a short walk from the property to the Bellagio town center and ferry terminal >> Check Rates and Availability.

Budget – Albergo Ristorante Silvio

Here’s another family-managed Lake Como hotel that is budget-friendly, Albergo Ristorante Silvio. Coming in by bus from Bellagio town? Your stop will be San Giovanni Al Ponte — in front of the hotel.

The prime rooms have air conditioning and a private balcony or, better yet, those much-desired scenic lake views. What makes Albergo Ristorante Silvio popular is the hotel restaurant, serving delectable local dishes made from the freshest regional ingredients.

A guest veranda overlooks the lake, and the property also boasts a charming pergola >> Check Rates and Availability.


lake como towns

If you’re seeking a quieter alternative to the bustle of Bellagio, Varenna offers a tranquil space for a more slow-paced vacation.

When based in Varenna, you can still enjoy the stunning views of the Lake Como towns and the picturesque vistas of the Alps in the background. Varenna is known as one of the most romantic places in Italy.

The town center is an eclectic collection of narrow, café-lined streets with lovely trattorie and vintage shops. It’s easy to get from Milan to Varenna by train via the Milan Centrale station to the Varenna-Esino station route.

lake como where to stay varenna

Car hire is another excellent alternative for independent travel from Milan to Varenna. The trip will take around an hour and a half with steady traffic. Remember to factor in compact streets and minimal parking.

One of the stand-out Varenna attractions is Castello di Vezio, a fortress built around the 11th and 12th centuries. Expect breathtaking panoramic views of the Lake Como area from the castle. This venue is also the site for various exhibitions, events, and festivals.

Put the ferry system to good use by visiting some of the gorgeous villas in the area or go on an exclusive full-day tour of Varenna and Bellagio. The lake’s southeastern wing and many of the areas at the top of the Lake Como towns, which are perfect for hiking too, are well-connected by the ferry network.

Luxury – Varenna Castle Amazing Lake View

It’s all in the name. Varenna Castle Amazing Lake View is a go-to when searching for the best place to stay in Lake Como, and the scenic lake views are truly amazing.

Varenna’s accommodations are understated. They aren’t as grandiose as some hotels in Bellagio or Como but display subtle luxury where the small comforts make all the difference.

Practice making delicious regional fare in the apartment’s fully-equipped kitchen. The outside includes a garden, terrace, multiple seating areas, and barbecue facilities. The little perks, like free parking, sweeten the deal >> Check Rates and Availability.

Mid-Range – Villa Monti

Villa Monti faces the lake to afford you stunning sights when you stay in one of the self-catering apartments, each with air conditioning and panoramic views of Varenna and Lake Como.

Over and above the comfortable stylings of the lodging itself, Villa Monti has an outdoor swimming pool, plush garden area, sun terrace, and private balconies.

Villa Monastero, Varenna’s beloved museum and botanical garden complex, is just a short walk from the property >> Check Rates and Availability.

Budget – Casa Aidee

Casa Aidee is a budget hotel most suitable for no-fuss, no-frills travelers, who prefer a quiet area with a neighborhood feel. The apartment has everything you need, including two bedrooms, a full kitchen, a lounge area, and free parking.

While you can catch decent glimpses of Lake Como’s serene waters from the private balcony, the stunning mountain views are also a treat. The decor is simple and classic, and Varenna’s train and ferry stations are within walking distance >> Check Rates and Availability.

Other Central Lake Como Towns

where to stay lake como menaggio

There are other towns in the lake’s central “district” that make for a rewarding stay in Lake Como. More villas await you, made easy to visit by the smooth ferry services. A private car or transfer arrangements are also necessary for some of these sites.

The first notable mention is Menaggio, found on Lake Como’s western shore. If you know anything about food and eating in Italy, Menaggio’s gastronomy contributions will be appreciable. They come in the form of good-quality polenta, seafood, and delicious wines.

When the sun’s out, the sand and the sea call. Frolic on Lido di Menaggio’s private shoreline or the pebbled Spiaggia Lerai. Feeling adventurous? A bit of independent sightseeing around town will hit the spot.

best places to stay lake como tremezzo

The next great location is Tremezzo, the ultimate family destination near Lenno. Spend your time in this part of the Lake Como area getting a slice of Italian culture, literally and figuratively.

There are pretty little patisseries where you can sample tasty treats, quaint boutiques for shopping, and outstanding architectural landmarks to explore. Villa Carlotta is one of them, and it doubles as an expansive botanical garden as well.

In Lenno, the savoring of good food and wine continues. Beyond Villa Balbianello, consider wandering the streets in town — meeting the locals and getting a few souvenirs, like a stunning silk scarf.

Mid-Range – Hotel Garni Corona

Menaggio’s Hotel Garni Corona is one of those places to stay in Lake Como if you want to blend affordable accommodation with a great location near shops, restaurants, bars, and public transport.

The spacious rooms, with air conditioning, are well-appointed and modern. The most spectacular ones allow stunning lake views. Care to enjoy a sundowner (or two)? Your private sun terrace is the place to unwind.

When it’s time to explore Lake Como and the surrounding areas of interest, you can access ferries and buses about 10 minutes away from the hotel >> Check Rates and Availability.

Mid-Range – Hotel Loveno

Relax and reset while staying at Hotel Loveno. Set in a serene location, this minimalist Lake Como stay offers rooms with a private balcony and stunning views of the lake.

There’s a garden where you can enjoy some quiet time, read, or even exercise. For a nightcap at the end of a long day exploring Lake Como, the on-site bar has you covered. Nearby attractions include Villa Carlotta and Menaggio town >> Check Rates and Availability.

Off the Beaten Path – Lake Como’s Hidden Gems

lake como hotels bellano

The advantage of taking the road less traveled is that you get to avoid the crowds and relax in an oftentimes quiet, remote, but enriching escape. Lake Como’s hidden gems are where you can experience all of this. But, a car in these parts is necessary to ensure easier exploration (with the exception of Lecco).

Lecco, with its glorious mountain setting, is only one hour away from Milan by train or car. It’s one of the top destinations for an enthralling Italian hike in the summer (June – September) and skiing adventures in the winter (November – February).

lake como resorts dervio

Bellano is equally as entertaining when planning to visit Lake Como. There are beaches, unique buildings, and the Orrido di Bellano — a 15-million-year-old natural gorge.

Dervio and Domaso sit on Lake Como’s northern branch. Both small towns are culturally rich and most cherished for their laid-back appeal. Enjoy activities like hikes, cycling, horse riding, and quintessential culinary experiences in either destination.

Mid-Range – Luxury Suites Rocopom

Luxury Suites Rocopom is an affordable mid-range establishment that delivers a luxury hotel experience. This Lecco stunner has bright, chic, spacious rooms. The units with air conditioning, lake views, and a private balcony are first rate.

Amenities include an on-site hotel restaurant (serving brilliant à la carte options), a sun terrace, and a bar. The area around the property is a great location for morning and afternoon strolls, and the ferry is a short walk away when it’s time to explore Lake Como >> Check Rates and Availability.

Mid-Range – Villa Marina – Como Lake

Villa Marina in Bellano is a superb 20th-century building with vintage-styled rooms and stunning views of Lake Como, which are quite something to wake up to. The property has two cozy lake-facing terraces, an outdoor hot tub, a garden, and a private beach area.

When you’re feeling up for a bit of activity, why not hire a bike at the property and explore Bellano on two wheels? With a private car, you can take a day trip to Como and Lecco >> Check Rates and Availability.

Where to Stay in Lake Como – FAQs

stay lake como towns

Still have some questions about where to stay in Lake Como? These answers to commonly asked questions will help you plan an unforgettable Italian vacation.

What Is the Most Beautiful Town on Lake Como?

For the most sensational views, head to Bellagio and Varenna. In both towns, you can enjoy majestic vistas that overlook the lake’s glistening waters. There are also marvelous mountain backdrops to provide perfect vacation pictures. Not to mention all the pretty villas that are wonderful to behold and explore.

Where Is the Ideal Base on Lake Como?

lake como where to stay resorts

The ideal base in Lake Como depends on what you’re looking to get out of your time in this part of Italy:

  • To be at the center of it all, with the ease and convenience of train travel — Como town is the one.
  • For a lively vibe, endless activities and attractions, and easy connections via the central port — Bellagio is for you.
  • For quieter stays in a charming setting with the benefit of stress-free transport links when needed — Varenna and Bellano will do the trick.

How Many Days To Spend on Lake Como?

Your budget permitting, three to four days is the sweet spot on Lake Como. This is just enough time to visit a few of the lake’s charming towns, go on some sightseeing tours, enjoy your favorite vacation activities, and go shopping.

LISTEN: To our podcast on Visiting and Cruising Lake Como.

Final Thoughts on Where to Stay on Lake Como

where to stay lake como hotels

Whether you want to soak up the rich history and culture of Como town’s historic center or wake up to scenic lake views from Bellagio, Lake Como has an accommodation for you. And with so much variety, there’s a stay for every budget. 

Whatever your dream Italian retreat looks like, there are many Lake Como hotels to make your ideal base while vacationing in one of the most idyllic regions of Italy. A stay in Lombardy’s Lake Como will ensure you relish breathtaking scenery, tranquility, exquisite attractions, and enjoyable activities.

You’ve probably heard of Italy’s other lake attraction, Lago di Garda. If you’re wondering which destination to choose, read this comparison guide to help you decide if Lake Como or Lake Garda is better for your next lakeside vacation.

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