How to travel around Lake Como

Planning tips for your trip to Lake Como

Planning a visit to the enchanting Lake Como? Get ready for a journey filled with breathtaking landscapes and cultural wonders. In this guide, we’ll unravel the secrets of traveling around Lake Como seamlessly, ensuring you make the most of your stay.

Traveling around Lake Como: unveiling the marvels

To truly savor the beauty of Lake Como, understanding the transportation options is key. We generally suggest to our clients to prefer private transfers over public transport if the budget allows it as it will make for a much more enjoyable experience, especially during peak season. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered… our guide goes beyond logistics and when you enquire with us we’ll provide you with insider tips by crafting the perfect itinerary for you. With years of experience as the leader DMC of Lake Como we know the best times to visit iconic sites, how to avoid crowds, and the must-try local delicacies along the way.

Transfer from airports to Lake Como: Starting your journey

Landing at Milan’s airports? Kickstart your Lake Como adventure with a seamless transfer, choose among train, bus or private car services for a comfortable journey to your lakeside destination. Remember that international flights mostly land in the early morning while hotel check-in is in the afternoon: this is why our private transfers often include the option to stop and explore before heading to the final destination. Don’t hesitate to write to us for advice!

Following are the must-know about transfers to and from the airport.

Linate Airport:

This airport is within the Metropolitan area of Milan, reaching the city center with tram, bus or taxi is quite easy. Getting to Lake Como involves reaching one of the main train stations (Centrale, Cadorna or Porta Garibaldi) , catching a train connection and, if you plan on staying in Bellagio or Menaggio, a ferry.

Malpensa Airport:

Here is where most international flights land. This airport is about 50 mins away from Lake Maggiore, Milan or the city of Como, while over an hour’s drive from Lecco, Varenna or Bellagio. Malpensa is very well connected by train with Milan and, through connections, with Lake Maggiore and Lake Como. Given this proximity, why not organising with us a stay in Milan first, to move then to Lake Maggiore and Lake Como? Check our tour catalog for inspiration.

Orio al Serio Airport:

Close to the enchanting city of Bergamo, in which we suggest a stop on the way to Lake Como, this airport is the closest to Lecco and the eastern shore of Lake Como from which you can catch connecting ferries to Bellagio and Menaggio. The airport is connected by bus to Bergamo train station from which trains to Lecco and Milan are frequent; or you may also catch a bus directly to Milan.

Want to start your journey hassle-free? Enquire about our private transfer services from airports to the desired location. If you’re still in doubt we can help you find the best option tailored to your needs.

Trains, Buses, and Ferries: public transport in Lake Como

Lake Como boasts an extensive and mostly efficient public transport system, including trains, buses and ferries criss-crossing the lake. Commuting or moving around Lake Como is quite easy but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it is the best way to get around Lake Como.

Milan has several train stations (Milano Centrale, Cadorna and Garibaldi are the main ones) with local trains to Como and Lecco and also has a train line (towards Sondrio – Tirano) that runs all along the eastern shore of the lake stopping in Monza, Lecco, Mandello and Varenna.
Local trains, buses and ferries are frequent and the journey is relatively short offering convenient access to all iconic landmarks, so they might be an option to consider BUT.. yes but… there are a few down sides:

  • Trains and buses are frequently packed as they are used mostly by commuters in and out of the main cities (Milan, Como and Lecco);
  • If you are traveling with heavy luggage, strollers or wheelchairs, know this: most train stations are old and have lots of stairs, sadly elevators are not always available.
  • Even though train stations are always located walking distance from the city center, reaching your hotel or final destination most likely will include a 15/20 min walk or catching a bus or ferry connection – this is especially true if your hotel is in Bellagio or Menaggio.
  • It’s internationally known that public transport in Italy is not exactly always on time… so missing the connections or having to run for it is definitely a risk…
  • Strikes are unfortunately frequent in Italy and while commuters are well informed and know how to avoid them, you might be caught unprepared.

Should I Rent a Car? Which is the best way to see Lake Como?

So if public transport is not the most comfortable way to get around Lake Como… should I rent a car? Renting a car offers flexibility, but it comes with its drawbacks: narrow roads, limited (and expensive) parking and traffic congestion can dampen the experience. Consider your itinerary and preferences before deciding.

NCC Rental & Private Boats: adding a touch of luxury

What is the best way to see Lake Como? For hassle-free travel we often suggest a combination of private transfers with a driver and in some rare cases public transport. For example, prefer a private driver to transfer you to and from the airport, a private boat ride during a full day tour of the Lake (you can browse ours here) or to enjoy a day trip to one of the many destinations we offer (browse them here).
From chauffeured rides to bespoke boat excursions, indulge in luxury while soaking in the breathtaking scenery. Yes to catching the ferry if you want to “live Lake Como like a local” and move around the main Lake towns on a relaxed day when your only objective is experiencing “la dolce vita” switching from Gelato tastings and Aperitivo time!

As you plan your Lake Como escapade, remember to prioritize convenience and comfort in order to enjoy the freedom to explore at your own pace, away from the crowds with our tours and private transfer options!

Best way to see Lake Como: A personalised approach

At Lake Como for You, we specialize in creating tailor-made experiences. Uncover the best-kept secrets of the region with our private and small group tours. Our boat excursions and exclusive villa visits promise a journey beyond the ordinary. Dive deeper into the Lake Como experience with our multi-day itineraries, meticulously crafted for a personalized and memorable stay.

Let us design your Adventure

As you map out your Lake Como adventure, think of Lake Como For You not just as a DMC but as your dedicated travel companion. Whether you have queries about logistics, desire bespoke experiences, or need assistance planning a single tour or a comprehensive itinerary, we’re here to transform your Lake Como dreams into reality. And the journey doesn’t stop there – venture beyond Lake Como with us, exploring enchanting destinations like Lake Maggiore, Milan, Bergamo, Monza, or the Valtellina wine region! Your exploration knows no bounds with us by your side.

Learn more here

Please remember that we are here to help you with any questions regarding Lake Como and its surroundings. We love designing incredible experiences for you all year round!

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