Planning a trip to Lake Como

Lake Como, Italy’s third largest and perhaps most beautiful lake, is just a short drive from Milan. And with so many budget airlines operating flights to Milan at unbeatable prices, trips to Milan are more attractive than ever.

Milan is perfect for a great city break. Stunning architecture, hours of shopping and, of course, some of the best food in the world. However, if you are in Milan, you should definitely reserve a day to visit Lake Como. Just an hour by train from Milan, it’s affordable and offers some of the most spectacular scenery in all of Europe. How to get from Milan to Lake Como

Before delving into how to get from Milan to Lake Como, it’s important to note that Lake Como is a big lake. Some tourist cities are easier to get to than others, so it’s helpful to have a destination in mind before planning your trip (especially if he only has one day).

The so-called ‘Golden Triangle’ (the towns of Bellagio, Varenna and Menaggio) is arguably a must-visit on any Lake Como day trip as it is relatively easy to reach from the town and offers one of Como’s best attractions. The perfect place for What the Lake offers:

Turquoise waters, beautiful landscapes, stunning villas and quaint villages.

Take the train from Milan Central Station to Varenna Edina Station. Varenna can be reached in just over an hour. From there you can take a boat to Bellagio and Menaggio (see details below). Some blogs recommend going to Como city first and taking the bus from there, but it’s much more time consuming and cumbersome than simply taking the train to Varenna Esina station. Como is a nice place to visit, but if you don’t have a lot of time, it’s better to go directly to Varenna.

Also, if you’re wondering how to get to Lake Como from Milan Airport, it’s best to head into the city first and travel from there.

From Milan to Lake Como by train

The train from Milan is probably the easiest, fastest (and quite affordable) way to get to Lake Como. There are no trains from Milan to Bellagio, so the best option is to take the train from Milan Central Station to Varenna Edina Station. The 80 km journey takes just over an hour and costs around 6-7 euros each way. Half of the trip is along Lake Como, so you can enjoy the amazing scenery from the train.

Varenna-Esina station is just a few minutes’ walk from Lake Como and the city of Varenna. Varenna itself is a wonderful little town. Take your time to stroll around and enjoy the scenery. If you want to continue your journey visiting the rest of Lake Como’s ‘Golden Triangle’ (Bellagio and Menaggio), take a ferry from Varenna. Boat tickets can be purchased at the pier and cost around €4-5 each way.

From Milan to Lake Como by car

When renting a car for your trip to Italy, driving from Milan to Lake Como is a good idea. It’s very easy to get to and just like taking a train, you can enjoy the beautiful scenery along the way.

From Milan to Bellagio takes about an hour and a half (71 km) and to Varenna (76 km) as well. Please note that there are not many parking options in these cities. As mentioned earlier, ferries between the three towns in Lake Como’s ‘Golden Triangle’ are frequent and cost a few euros each way. It is possible to bring your car onto the ferry (although it costs a little more).

Bus from Milan to Lake Como

You can also take a bus from Milan to Lake Como, but this is by far the slowest option (it takes over two hours and you may have to change trains along the way). Yes, it’s a bit cheaper, but train tickets aren’t really that expensive, so I highly recommend taking the train instead.

Day trip to Lake Como

If you don’t want to customize your day trip to Lake Como, you can also book a day trip to Lake Como. That way, you don’t have to worry about public transport or plan your own itinerary.

How to get around Lake Como

Once you arrive in one of the Lake Como towns, the best way to travel is by ferry. The “Golden Triangle” (Bellagio, Varenna, Menaggio) can be easily reached by boat. Boats run frequently and tickets cost just a few euros each way. 

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