WHERE TO STAY NEAR LAKE COMO
The nearest cities to Lake Como by distance are Lugano (Switzerland), Bergamo, Milan, Verona and Venice.
Lugano: 28.1 km by road and the journey by car takes 44 minutes. The distance by train is 24 km and takes 44 minutes. Check out places to stay in Lugano.
Bergamo: 66.8 km. It takes about two hours of journey by car and 1 hour 51 minutes by train. Bergamo is a destination in itself and offers a great many things to do. You can find a huge selection of hotels in Bergamo for a fabulous stay.
Milan: 82 km by road and the car journey takes approximately 1 hour 40 minutes. The better option is to take the fast Trenitalia trains where the journey time is just 40 minutes. Milan is a great city to use as a base to explore the northern region of Italy. There are hotels in Milan and self-catering accommodations as well. You may want to consider some specific places to stay that offer some unique properties which are near to some landmarks. For inspiration on what to do in Milan, take a look at my City of Milan Travel Guide page, you may like my suggestions and tips here.
Cities a little further away from Lake Como
Verona: 232 km by road and takes a little over 4 hours. The distance by train is 194 km and takes 2 hours 10 minutes with a direct train. Verona is a beautiful city that warrants a couple of days visit. This historic town has some really nice places to stay with the best views of the Arena and Juliet’s balcony. For a wider choice, peruse hotels in Verona to suit your itinerary.
Venice: 343.7 km by road and the journey takes a little over 4 hours via the A4. Train journeys are much quicker, covering a distance of 257 km in 3 hours 25 minutes but it involves a change in Milan Centrale Station. Venice is highly touristy and if you want to stay here, ensure you book well in advance of your trip. There is a great selection of hotels in Venice which you could take a look at.
LAKE COMO IN WINTER: WHERE TO STAY
While large crowds take their vacation in Lake Como during the summer months, the winter months also draw visitors to this region.
Lake Como is a splendid winter destination. The region retains its local charm, less crowds at the local restaurants, accommodations are less expensive and there are greater choices as well.
Lake Como never really freezes up in winter, so the ferries run all year round, albeit at a reduced service. You can still explore the towns and enjoy the breathtaking scenery of snow-capped mountaintops of the Alps, the silver winter light off the shimmering waters and the crisp air. However, you do need to be prepared as the winter temperatures do drop suddenly and it does get cold, so do the daylight hours.
While you can still explore Lake Como towns, you need to know that most of the hotels in the towns close for winter and the choices in accommodations are limited. For this reason, I’d suggest that the best place to stay during winter in Lake Como is at Como city.
Como city is larger and more vibrant than the other towns. Most hotels, restaurants and cafes stay open during the winter months here. Como Pier also runs a good water transport schedule and you can take the speedy hydrofoil to the popular towns to sight-see. Read my guide about our visit to Lake Como in November, you may like the ideas on what to do and places to see.
Frequently Asked Questions about Where to Stay in Lake Como
Como v. Bellagio = A difficult choice!
Bellagio is definitely more charming and has a prime location on Lake Como. The hilly backdrop, walking up the stone-stairs, and discovering hidden little cafes are all experiences unique to this pretty town. The town is vibrant in the summer months and is more expensive. Bellagio is really quiet in winter and you may have the entire lane of stone-stairs all to yourself! If you are in Lake Como to relax, unwind and enjoy the quiet lakeside living, then Bellagio is definitely where you should consider staying.
On the other hand, Como has its own charm too. As a historic town, it is rich in architecture and there are many things to do throughout the year. You can still experience lakeside living and watch sunsets disappear behind the mountains. Como is definitely one to top a winter vacation to Lake Como.
Having visited both towns, I would easily go for Varenna as a destination to stay at. Besides, Bellagio can be easily reached in 20 minutes from Varenna to explore and sight-see.
While Bellagio is really nice and more popular among tourists, Varenna is quaint, colourful and much quieter. There is a wide range of accommodations here and much cheaper than in Bellagio.
Varenna offers the feel of a small town in an absolutely beautiful setting. The town has a laid-back charm and is characteristic of colourful houses and some of the most incredible views of the lake.
Would you like to visit another famous Italian lake?
If so, here’s my guide to places to visit in Lake Garda:
That is all I have about the best towns to stay in Lake Como along with the best hotels and properties to stay at. My sincere wish is that this has given you a better idea of where to stay and help you choose a place to stay when you visit this region.
Depending on how long your trip is for, and if it is for more than a couple of days, you don’t have to stay in one town all the time. You can move around the towns and spend a night or a couple of nights at each. If you wish to do this, I would suggest that you begin your trip in Como, then move on to Bellagio or Varenna.
Take a look at our article about how to travel around Lake Como. This is a comprehensive guide to transportation and includes experienced and practical tips to help you plan your journeys around the lake.
You may want to check our guide for travel information and tips to Lake Como in our Lake Como travel page. For more about other cities in Italy, navigate via the links below:
Have a great time exploring Lake Como, Italy.