Where to Stay in Lake Como: Top Towns + Hotels


the picturesque town of Lugano, Switzerland
the picturesque town of Lugano, just across the Italy-Swiss border

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, Italy
the beautiful city of Bergamo, Italy

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.

Santa Maria delle Grazie, Milan, Italy timelesstravelsteps.com
Santa Maria delle Grazie, Milan, Italy

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, Italy at sunset
Venice, Italy at sunset

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, Italy in winter

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.

Recommended read: Lake Como Itinerary for 5 days: November Visit

Frequently Asked Questions about Where to Stay in Lake Como

Is it better to stay in Como or Bellagio?

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.

Is it better to stay in Bellagio or Varenna?

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.


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:

Lake Como

17+ Best Things to do in Como City, Italy

18 Best Things to Do See in Bellagio, Italy

10 Best Things to do in Vareena, Italy

Argegno: The Perfect Off-beat Charm in Lake Como

The Best Lake Como Towns, Italy

Lake Como Itinerary for 5 Days 

City of Milan

Where to Stay in Milan

12 Very Best Day Trips from Milan

An Overview of Milan Centrale Station

Milan Bucket List: 19 Ideas

The Best of Milan Cathedral

The Best of Milan: Sunset from the Rooftop of Milan Cathedral

Arco della Pace

Parco Sempione Milan

Sforza Castle and Museums

Quotes about Milan that makes the City Irressistible

About the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II

Getting around Milan like a Local: Best Guide to Public Transportation in Milan

Best of Milan in One Day

Verona City Guide

7 Beautiful Places to Stay in Verona

The Best 16 Traditional Food in Verona to Try or to Know About

Verona Wine: 11 Best Garda Wines

31 Best Things to do in Verona

3 Best Food Tours in Verona

9 Charming Walking Tours in Verona

Romeo & Juliet in Fair Verona

Verona by Bike

Piazza delle Erbe, Verona

About Piazza Bra, Verona

The Lamberti Tower, Verona

Mazzanti House, Verona

Palazzo Maffei, Verona

Getting around Verona: Public Transport and best Ways to Explore

Verona at a Glance

Take a look at my Italy Travel page for travel resources about the best time to travel, people & culture and travel tips about the country.

Me in Como, admiring the gorgeous view
me in Como: aren’t the views simply gorgeous!

Have a great time exploring Lake Como, Italy.


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