Where to stay in Lake Como? 4 Best Areas & My Favourite Places to Stay ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡น

In this guide, I'll share the 4 best areas to stay in Lake Como & recommend incredible hotels in different price ranges.

where to stay in lake como italy

Lake Como in northern Italy is probably one of the most beautiful places in Europe, and it’s undoubtedly the perfect place to vacation during the warmer months of the year.

Lake Como is also a great place to stay on a holiday, where you can relax and enjoy Italian culture and extremely beautiful nature. The lake is surrounded by mountains and small coastal towns that offer everything from luxury hotels to cosy boutique hotels.

In this guide, I’ll tell you about some of the best areas and towns along the shores of Lake Como and recommend good hotels in various price ranges.

So let’s start with the guide: where to stay in Lake Como?

Best Areas & Towns in Lake Como

If you are in a hurry or just want a quick overview of where to stay in Lake Como, here it is:

  • Bellagio โ€“ a Beautiful Town Perfect for Couples ๐Ÿ˜
  • Varenna โ€“ Best Area to Stay Without a Car ๐ŸšŠ
  • Moltrasio – Best Place to Stay for an Active Holiday & Excursions ๐Ÿฅพ
  • Menaggio – A Quiet Town with Local Charm ๐Ÿ

Click on the area’s name and see the best hotels.

Lake Como in Northern Italy is a beautiful area.
Look forward to experiencing one of Italy’s most beautiful areas.

The guide to the best places to stay in Lake Como continues below, where I also recommend specific hotels in the various areas.

1. Bellagio โ€“ a Beautiful Town Perfect for Couples ๐Ÿ˜

Bellagio is one of the most famous and luxurious holiday areas in Lake Como and is strategically located at the tip of the central “Y” part of the lake, where the two legs of the lake meet.

Bellagio, best area to stay for luxury hotels

This geographical feature gives the city a fantastic view of the entire lake and makes it a popular place to stay for those who want to enjoy the beauty to the fullest.

Bellagio is known for its elegant hotels and restaurants, which attract visitors seeking a more exclusive vacation experience.

In other words, it’s not the right place to look for cheap hotels ๐Ÿ˜€

See the best hotels in Bellagio here.

The town is ideal for couples or families looking to enjoy first-class amenities while exploring historic villas such as Villa Melzi and Villa Serbelloni, both within walking distance.

Bellagio and the mountains in Lake Como
Bellagio is beautiful on a sunny day.

The streets of Bellagio are narrow and cobbled, lined with shops selling local crafts and fine Italian products.

For active visitors, the area also offers opportunities for hiking and boat trips on the lake.

Bellagio is the best place to stay in Lake Como for those who want natural beauty and luxurious relaxation.

Places to stay in Bellagio

Bellagio is one of the most popular holiday destinations by Lake Como, and it certainly has a luxurious atmosphere.

So, naturally, you’ll also find some of the best hotels in the area here in Bellagio โ€“ let’s take a look at some of my favourite hotels.

Residence Lโ€™Ulivo possibly has the best view over Lake Como, making it the perfect place for those who want to enjoy breathtaking scenery from a comfortable luxury hotel.

The hotel boasts a well-maintained pool where you can relax and enjoy the spectacular view.

Residence Lโ€™Ulivo, luxury hotel in Bellagio

It’s centrally located in Bellagio, making it easy for you to explore the town’s attractions and restaurants. Previous guests often praise the hotel’s friendly staff and the clean, spacious rooms.

If you’re looking for luxury, comfort, and stunning views, Residence Lโ€™Ulivo is the ideal choice for you.

See more photos and book here.

Hotel Centrale Bellagio is an excellent choice if you’re seeking a more affordable hotel without compromising on quality.

Hotel Centrale Bellagio, cheaper hotel in Bellagio

It’s perfectly located in the heart of Bellagio, making it easy for you to explore the town’s charming streets and the beautiful lakefront.

The hotel is known for its cosy atmosphere and friendly service.

Previous guests often highlight the clean and comfortable accommodation and its convenient location close to restaurants and shopping opportunities.

See more photos and book here.

2. Varenna โ€“ Best Area to Stay Without a Car ๐ŸšŠ

Varenna, situated on the eastern shore of Lake Como, is smaller and quieter than Bellagio but no less charming.

Varenna, a beautiful town by Lake Como with a train station

It’s a great place to stay if you want a slightly more authentic Italian experience.

Varenna also has a train station, so it’s one of the places by Lake Como where you can stay without renting a car.

You can take a direct train from Milano Centrale to Varenna Esino in just 1 hour and 4 minutes.

You can check train times and get tickets here.

Varenna’s atmosphere is relaxed, and the colourful houses and picturesque waterfront create a cosy vibe.

However, remember that it’s still Lake Como, not without other tourists.

See the best hotels in Varenna here.

Varenna is an excellent choice for art and history lovers. It offers attractions like Castello di Vezio, an old castle overlooking the lake, and the beautiful botanical garden at Villa Monastero.

Villa Monastero, famous place in Lake Como
Villa Monastero in Varenna.

Varenna is also a great base for hiking, with several trails leading into the surrounding mountains.

Varenna is the best place to stay by Lake Como if you want peace, beauty, and a deeper connection to local life.

Places to stay in Varenna

Varenna is one of the larger towns by Lake Como, so you’ll find many good hotels.

Hotel Royal Victoria is a lovely hotel that exudes class and has a genuinely phenomenal location.

Hotel Royal Victoria, a hotel with a view over Lake Como

This hotel offers a magnificent view over Lake Como, making it a perfect setting for both relaxation and romance.

The hotel is known for its elegant decor and first-class amenities, including an outdoor pool overlooking the lake.

Previous guests praise the hotel’s welcoming staff and excellent location.

See more photos and book here.

Hotel du Lac Varenna is perfect if you want a comfortable experience with views of Lake Como without breaking the bank.

Hotel du Lac Varenna Como

The rooms are comfortable, and many have direct views of the lake, making your stay both picturesque and relaxing.

Previous guests particularly appreciate the hotel’s clean facilities, friendly service, and central location.

See more photos and book here.

And let’s also highlight a significantly cheaper hotel by Lake Como.

Hotel Olivedo is an affordable option that still offers a charming and authentic experience.

It’s located right where you take the ferry from Varenna, for example, to Bellagio or Menaggio, so it’s perfect for staying here and taking trips on the lake.

Hotel Olivedo in Varenna, a cheap hotel by Lake Como

This family-run hotel is right by the lake, giving easy access to both the ferry terminal and local attractions. The hotel is known for its cosy atmosphere and personal service.

See more photos and book here.

3. Menaggio โ€“ Best Place to Stay for an Active Holiday & Excursions ๐Ÿฅพ

Now, let’s move over to the western shore of Lake Como โ€“ to the town of Menaggio, which is actually located directly “across” from Varenna.

Menaggio, best place to stay in Como for an active holiday

Menaggio attracts a diverse crowd of travellers with its relaxed atmosphere and beautiful location.

See the best hotels in Menaggio here.

The town is especially popular among families and those seeking an active holiday, as it offers easy access to golf, hiking, and water sports.

Menaggio’s promenade is perfect for evening strolls, and the central piazza with its cafes and shops is the social heart of the town.

Menaggio, a cosy town by Lake Como

Menaggio is an excellent base if you want to explore more of Lake Como and go on day trips. There are regular ferry connections to Bellagio and Varenna.

The town also has its own website with plenty of good information.

Places to stay in Menaggio

Let’s take a look at a couple of great places to stay in Menaggio by Lake Como.

Hotel Bellavista is known for its outstanding swimming pool, which offers a delightful view over Lake Como.

Hotel Bellavista Como

This makes it a popular choice for those who want to enjoy sun and swimming with a unique panoramic view.

The rooms at Hotel Bellavista are well-furnished, and many have balconies, allowing you to wake up to the beauty of the lake every morning.

Previous guests especially praise the hotel’s clean and comfortable facilities as well as the friendly service.

See more photos and book here.

Hotel Loveno is a slightly different hotel as it is located a bit up the hills away from Lake Como.

However, itโ€™s still just a 15-minute walk down to the town.

Hotel Loveno Como, cheap hotel in Menaggio

It’s a good choice for those seeking value for money without compromising the experience.

From Hotel Loveno, you can enjoy the magnificent panoramic view while avoiding the busier tourist areas by the lakeside.

See more photos and book here.

4. Moltrasio โ€“ A Quiet Town with Local Charm ๐Ÿ

Moltrasio is a more secluded and tranquil town on the western shore of Lake Como.

Moltrasio, a quiet town by Lake Como

It’s the perfect area to stay during your holiday if you’re seeking peace and relaxation away from the more touristy areas.

The town is surrounded by steep mountain sides and lush vegetation, creating an almost secretive atmosphere.

Moltrasio is an excellent place to stay if you want to experience authentic Italy with a relaxed lifestyle and local charm.

See the best hotels in Moltrasio here.

In Moltrasio, you can enjoy your day by strolling along the small, cobblestone streets or taking a swim in the lake from one of the public bathing areas.

The town also has some fine examples of architecture, such as Villa Passalacqua (more about it in the hotel section) and Villa Salterio, adding a sense of historical richness to the area.

Moltrasio town and mountains

Moltrasio town If you’re interested in exploring more, the hiking trails in the mountains behind the town are ready for adventure.

Moltrasio is a great base for experiencing the natural beauty of Lake Como at a relaxed pace while still having easy access to the nearby larger towns via car or ferry.

Places to stay in Moltrasio

There are fewer accommodation options in Moltrasio compared to the larger tourist areas around Lake Como, but there is one place I can’t write a guide to Como without mentioning. Here it is:

Passalacqua is the definition of ultimate luxury by Lake Como.

Passalacqua, a luxury hotel by Lake Como

This hotel, which truly looks like it’s out of a film, offers an extraordinary experience with its lavish architecture and beautifully landscaped gardens that slope down towards the lake.

If you’re looking for something truly special and are willing to pay for it, Passalacqua is the place for you.

Passalacqua luxury hotel

The hotel is decorated with attention to detail and history, creating an authentic and luxurious atmosphere.

Previous guests also praise the exquisite design, excellent dining options, and outstanding service that makes everyone feel like royalty.

See more photos and book here.

And let’s also mention a hotel in Moltrasio that doesn’t break the budget for most travellers ๐Ÿ˜€

Hotel Posta is an excellent choice for those seeking an authentic local experience without breaking the bank.

Hotel Posta Moltrasio

The hotel is located in the heart of the town and is known for its hospitality and homely atmosphere, where the staff goes out of their way to ensure guests feel welcome and comfortable.

The rooms at Hotel Posta are neat and practical, with everything you need for a pleasant stay โ€“ without the grand luxury.

See more photos and book here.

Why I Don’t Recommend Staying in Como Town ๐Ÿšง

What about Como town itself, I hear you ask โ€“ why shouldn’t you stay in the town that literally gave Lake Como its name? Good question!

Como town is indeed the most significant town around Lake Como and serves as a central hub for transport and commerce.

Como Town
Como town is right by the lake.

The town certainly has its charm with its historical architecture, cathedral, and lively market, but it also has a more urban feel compared to the smaller villages around the lake.

This naturally has its advantages, but I think you’re travelling to Lake Como to experience something a bit different โ€“ otherwise, you could go to Milan, Rome, or Naples.

While it can be convenient to stay in Como town due to the excellent transport links to Milan and the rest of the region, the town lacks the unique charm that the smaller towns around the lake have.

However, Como town can be a good choice for a day trip, where you can explore its sights and perhaps take the funicular up to Brunate for a spectacular view over the lake and the Alps.

One of the best advantages of staying in Como town is that there are many hotels to choose from.

See the best hotels in Como here.

How to Get from Milan to Lake Como

Como is about 45 kilometers north of Milan, and it’s quite easy to get from Milan to Como. Here are four options:

Train

The cheapest and most popular method is to take the train from Milan to Como. Trains frequently depart from Milano Centrale and Milano Porta Garibaldi to Como San Giovanni station.

The travel time is about 40 minutes, and it’s a comfortable and efficient way to travel.

Train from Milan to Lake Como Varenna
Screenshot from the train website.

If your destination is the eastern part of the lake (and you’re staying in, for example, Varenna), you can also take a train to Varenna-Esino.

The journey to Varenna takes about an hour and provides direct access to this picturesque town and its beautiful surroundings.

You can check times and buy train tickets online here.

Bus

Buses also run from Milan to various points along Lake Como. Itโ€™s a cheaper option but can take a bit longer than the train, depending on traffic.

Car

If you prefer more flexibility, you can rent a car and drive yourself. It takes about an hour, depending on traffic, and allows you to stop and explore small towns on the way to the lake.

Parking can be challenging in the more popular towns like Bellagio and Varenna. It’s similar to driving on the Amalfi Coast or popular areas in Sardinia โ€“ it’s not for beginners.

I hope you find this guide helpful and that you now have a better overview of the different towns. No matter where you choose to stay around Lake Como, you can look forward to experiencing one of the most beautiful areas in Italy.

If you have any questions or are unsure where to stay in Lake Como, leave a comment below.

Websites I use to book my trips ๐Ÿ‘‡

โ€ข Booking.com has the best offers on hotels and unique places to stay
โ€ข GetYourGuide is the best place to book tours & activities with free cancellation
โ€ข This power bank is the only thing (apart from my passport) that I always bring on trips
โ€ข Welcome Pickups is the best & safest place to pre-book airport transfers

Psst ๐Ÿ‘€ Have you subscribed to my Youtube channel and my Instagram where I provide more useful travel tips?