Where to Stay in Lake Como 🇮🇹: Best Towns & Places to Stay

Updated on April 13, 2024
by Alex Miller

Lake Como has captivated visitors for centuries. When planning your getaway to this Italian district, choosing the right home base is key to making the most of your time.

Our Pick of the Best Hotels on Lake Como 🔝

The best place to stay depends largely on your travel style and interests. Those seeking peace and relaxation might opt for a tranquil retreat in one of the small lakeside towns like Varenna. Or if you want to mix sightseeing with hiking and water sports, a base in the northern towns like Gravedona puts you closest to the dramatic mountain scenery.

As you’ll soon discover, each town along its shores has its own unique flavor and attractions. So read on to choose the best home base to match your Italian lake getaway.

Quick Guide to the Best Towns to Stay in Lake Como 📋

1. Como – the Most Historic Lake Como Town 🏛

Como town is located about 30 miles north of Milan, making it an easy day trip to escape the hustle and bustle of the big city.

🚶‍♂️ On foot: Historic city center features beautiful piazzas, centuries-old churches and elegant architecture. Top attractions include:

  • The Gothic Como Cathedral – Dating back to the 14th century, don’t miss the chance to see church façade and carved main entrance.
  • Volta Temple – most famous neoclassical temple honoring scientist Alessandro Volta.
  • Brunate Funicular – Take a scenic 7 minute ride up the mountainside for panoramic views across the lake.
  • Villa Olmo – Stroll through gardens and admire art at this grand 18th century lakeside villa.

⛴ Scenic cruise: Public buses and ferries along the lake make accessing outer neighborhoods simple. And boats tours offer unique vantage points to appreciate Como’s beauty.

💖 Romantic charm: Whether you seek culture, nature, relaxation or romance, Como has it all. Also, town offers many accommodation options.

All hotels in Como →

Best Como hotels 🏨

Expensive Hotels:

  • Albergo del Duca – elegant hotel in a historic building with exquisite interiors and excellent service.
  • Como Luxury Rooms – luxury apartments with panoramic views of Lake Como and an excellent location in the city center.
  • AcquaTerraFuoco – stylish premium apartments with modern design and top-notch service.

Medium price category:

  • B&B Volta – cozy small hotel with friendly atmosphere and reasonable prices.
  • Le Stanze del Lago Villa Seta – a comfortable hotel in a picturesque location overlooking the lake.
  • Downtown Rooms – modern rooms with a good location in the city center at an affordable price.

Budget Hotels:

2. Tremezzina – Where to Stay on Lake Como for Local Vibe 🔮

Tremezzina, town on Lake Como’s western shore, directly accessible by public buses unlike other Lake Como destinations requiring driving or ferries.

🏰 Majestic sights: Tremezzina offers delightful scenery and attractions. Main highlights include:

  • 17th century Villa Carlotta with lavish botanical gardens and art museum;
  • picturesque Villa Balbianello on wooded lake promontory;
  • family-friendly Parco Mayer with swimming areas, woods, walking paths.

💆‍♀️ Laid-back vibes: Compared to glitzier neighbors, Tremezzina provides more relaxed, authentic small town Italian life. Visitors can meander waterfront promenade, have lakeside cafe espresso, relax with picnic in parks.

🍝 Local flavors: You can also explore winding back alleys to find traditional local restaurants, like Al Veluu Ristorante Suites.

🍦 Other Italian things to try are:

  • Gelato – The ice cream in Tremezzina is just as delicious as the rest of Lake Como
  • Wine and cheese tasting – Sample excellent northern Italian wines paired with regional cheeses
  • Water sports – Rent a boat, kayak, or stand up paddleboard to enjoy the lake

Either stay a few days to soak up natural beauty or just afternoon stroll along picturesque waterfront.

All hotels in Tremezzina →

Where to stay in Tremezzina? 🏨

Expensive Hotels:

  • Hotel Lario – cozy waterfront hotel with picturesque lake views, offers traditional Italian hospitality.
  • Grand Hotel Tremezzo – a luxurious historic hotel in refined neoclassical style with panoramic views and high level of service.
  • Casa Lumaca – a small guest house with a homely atmosphere and attentive staff in a quiet location.

Medium price category:

  • Albergo Rusall – a comfortable, classic-style hotel with an outdoor terrace restaurant and lake views.
  • La Darsena Boutique Hotel & Restaurant – a boutique hotel in a historic building with elegant interior design and an upscale restaurant.
  • Villa Lina – An elegant boutique hotel surrounded by gardens with lake views and personalized service.

Budget Hotels:

  • Albergo Villa Edy – a simple hotel with basic amenities at an affordable price.
  • Azzano Holidays B&B – cozy family-run mini hotel with simple rooms, warm welcome and reasonable prices.
  • La Filanda di Viano – a guest house in an authentic 19th century building with basic amenities at an affordable price.

3. Bellagio – Best Town in Lake Como for Nightlife & Luxury 💃🏻

The picturesque town of Bellagio is considered the pearl of the lake for its charming atmosphere.

🚢 Well-connected: Bellagio is located at the intersection of three arms of the Y-shaped Lake Como, making it easy to explore. To the north along the lakeshore lie the towns of Varenna (30 mins by ferry) and Menaggio (1 hour by ferry). To the south one can take a ferry to Cadenabbia and Tremezzo (30-45 min) or a scenic drive along the coast which connects to Como town (1 hour).

🚶🏻‍♂️ Walkable joy: The easy walkability makes the town a joy to explore on foot. Mornings are especially peaceful before day-trippers arrive from Milan and other cities.

👀 Must-see: Attractions not to be missed:

  • Punta Spartivento: Relax on the park’s benches
  • Basilica of St. Giacomo: Gaze up at the 12th century church’s ornate ceiling and take in treasures like 14th century tapestries.
  • Lido di Bellagio: Take a refreshing dip, rent a beach chair or enjoy lunch at the lakefront beach

Centered around the Piazza della Chiesa, the old town is filled with restaurants, wine bars, elegant boutiques, and shops selling Italian leather goods or locally produced olive oil. The piazza also hosts a weekly market on Wednesdays that bursts with stalls selling fresh fruits and regional delicacies.

🚗 Parking limited: While driving provides more flexibility, parking can be difficult, so I recommended using public transportation.

All hotels in Bellagio →

Where to stay in Bellagio? 🏨

Expensive hotels:

  • Bellagio Apartment – luxury apartment with panoramic lake view in the historic center of Bellagio.
  • Aqua&Co Bellagio – premium eco-friendly boutique hotel with its own SPA.
  • Orchidea Apartment – chic apartments with lake and mountain views, decorated in a modern style.

Hotels of medium price category:

4. Menaggio – Best Area to Stay in Lake Como for Alpine Views 🏔

⛰️ Alpine charm: Menaggio, a picturesque resort town, known for Alpine views and charming villages. It serves as popular base to explore Central Lake Como area and access famous villages and attractions.

🍽️ Lively piazza: Main piazza (Piazza Garibaldi) and promenade feature cafés, shops, restaurants. Narrow cobblestone streets weave up hillside through rustic cottages, villas, churches. Be sure to add these attractions to your Lake Como itinerary:

  • Piazza Garibaldi, lively main square with fountain and cafés;
  • Menaggio Promenade, over one mile of lakeshore path with Lake Como and Alpine views;
  • 17th century Chiesa di Santa Marta with impressive frescoes;
  • 19th century Villa Vigoni estate and gardens open for public tours.

🚢 Well-connected: With population of approximately 3,100, Menaggio balances small-town charm and good transportation connections. Two ferry terminals and bus stops provide convenient access to destinations like Bellagio, Varenna, Villa Carlotta. And the mild climate also makes Menaggio lovely spot for swimming, boating, lakeside strolls year-round.

Piazza Garibaldi
Piazza Garibaldi
Chiesa di Santa Marta
Chiesa di Santa Marta
Chiesa di Santa Marta
Chiesa di Santa Marta
Villa Vigoni
Villa Vigoni

🏠 Charming stays: When it comes to accommodation, Menaggio offers a good range of hotels, B&Bs, and holiday apartments to suit different tastes and budgets. Along the shore are large international hotels, and a little farther out are charming mom-and-pop type establishments.

All hotels in Menaggio →

Where to stay in Menaggio? 🏨

Expensive Hotels:

Medium price category:

  • Hotel Garni Corona – cozy family hotel with comfortable rooms in the city center at reasonable prices.
  • Hotel Adler – a modern mid-range hotel with good value for money, located close to the waterfront.
  • Apartment Nicole – an apartment with all amenities and a beautiful lake view at an affordable price.

5. Lezzeno – Away from the Hustle and Bustle 🕊

Though overshadowed by its more famous neighbor, Bellagio, Lezzeno exudes a peaceful atmosphere with its poetic alleys and family-run trattorias serving mouthwatering local cuisine.

🚗 Easy access: It is easily accessible via car, about a 45 minute drive from Como city.

🚢 Lakeside attractions: Once there, attractions like Villa Melzi and Villa Balbianello are just a quick ferry ride across the lake. The regular public ferry also stops in Lezzeno, connecting it to all the dreamy waterfront villages lining Lake Como.

🏛️ Historic church: The rich history here goes back centuries, seen in landmarks like the Chiesa di S. Antonio church.

 🔝 Top things to see and do in Lezzeno:

  • Take in panoramic lake views from Belvedere di Lezzeno and Punta di Bagnana
  • Have an Aperol spritz and watch the sunset from one of the lakefront bars
  • Take a ferry to Bellagio or Villa Carlotta

Or sample local dishes like missultin (polenta with fish) and risottos in Osteria Il Governo 1801 or Ittiturismo Da Abate.

In short, Lezzeno offers visitors a magical escape from bustling city life.

All hotels in Lezzeno →

6. Varenna – Where to Stay for the Best Lake Views 🌅

Nestled on the eastern shores of Como, the village of Varenna offers visitors a taste of old-world Italian life. Many believe this is where you can enjoy the best views of the lake.

🪞 Reflective lanes: The village is centered around a small harbor and Piazza San Giorgio. The narrow alleys are linked by stone steps and arched passageways, revealing great vistas at every turn.

🚶‍♂️ Walkable size: Getting around Varenna is easily done on foot given its compact size. However, as the village is built on a steep slope, be prepared for some hiking up and down stairs and inclines. The main sights can be seen in just a few hours, making Varenna ideal for a relaxed day trip from other points on Lake Como.

🔥 Key attractions and sights:

  • Piazza San Giorgio – main town square with cafes and restaurants
  • Villa Monastero – elegant gardens and museum in a former monastery
  • Church of San Giorgio and Santa Maria delle Grazie

Be sure to check out the town’s Lido di Varenna beach and lakeside promenade.

Villa Monastero
Villa Monastero
Villa Monastero
Villa Monastero
Villa Monastero
Villa Monastero
Villa Monastero
Villa Monastero
Church of San Giorgio
Church of San Giorgio
Church of San Giorgio
Church of San Giorgio
Church of San Giorgio
Church of San Giorgio
Church of San Giorgio
Church of San Giorgio
Church of S. Maria delle Grazie
Church of S. Maria delle Grazie

🚞 Convenient trains: For travelers not renting a car, the train is the most convenient option. Direct trains from Milan or Como arrive at Varenna-Esino station just a short walk from the center. Taxis are also available at the station for those who prefer not to walk.

All hotels in Varenna →

Where to stay in Varenna? 🏨

Expensive Hotels:

Medium price category:

  • Villa Torretta – a luxurious villa in traditional Italian style with a large garden and excellent service.
  • Hotel Olivedo – cozy family-run hotel with comfortable rooms and friendly staff.
  • Varennahouse – a guest house with spacious apartments and terraces overlooking the lake.

Budget Hotels:

  • Orange House – charming small hotel in the center of town with attentive service.
  • Fiò & Giò – simple and clean rooms at a reasonable price a few minutes from the lake.

7. Cernobbio – Best Part of the Lake for Nature and History Lovers 🌳

🌄 Idyllic: Town of Cernobbio provides a convenient base for exploring the area’s natural beauty, history, and culture. Located just 5 kilometers from the city of Como, Cernobbio is easily accessible by car, bus, or train, yet retains a peaceful small-town atmosphere.

💧 Lakeside charm: Upon arrival, visitors are immediately struck by the Lake Como vistas from the town’s lakefront promenade. The scenic walking path links central Cernobbio to the magnificent 18th century Villa d’Este luxury hotel and its spectacular botanical gardens, a must-see for any visitor. Also be sure not to miss:

  • Piazza Risorgimento – Cernobbio’s lively main square, lined with cafes and shops
  • Weekly market – Every Saturday along the lakefront, featuring regional food, crafts, and more
  • Boat tours – Departing frequently from Cernobbio’s pier to explore Lake Como by water

Despite its small size, Cernobbio packs in plenty of history. Narrow cobblestone streets lead to elegant villas and the Romanesque bell tower atop Basilica Sant’Agata, parts of which date back to the 11th century.

🍕 Modern conveniences: Yet Cernobbio also offers a good range of modern conveniences, from gelato shops and pizzerias to clothing boutiques, making it an ideal home base.

All hotels in Cernobbio →

Where to stay in Cernobbio? 🏨

Luxury Hotels:

  • Hotel Centrale – elegant hotel in the city center with a gourmet restaurant and magnificent lake views.
  • Hotel Asnigo – chic hotel in a historic building with luxurious interiors and excellent service.
  • Hotel Terzo Crotto – stylish boutique hotel with modern design, panoramic terrace and gourmet restaurant.

Hotels of medium price category:

Budget Hotels:

8. Moltrasio – Where to Stay in Lake Como on a Budget 💸

🚗 Scenic drive: Moltrasio can be reached by car via the scenic lakefront road that connects its neighbors – drive times are around 10 minutes from Cernobbio or 20 minutes from the city of Como.

🥾 Outdoor adventures: Though Moltrasio itself is a sleepy locale, visitors will find plenty to occupy them during their stay:

  • Hike and bike – Trails lead up into the mountains behind town for scenic hikes and mountain biking routes with stunning lake views. The central ferry means you can hike one way and return by boat.
  • Relax by the lake – With a series of beaches, pebbly coves and lakefront piazzas, Moltrasio offers spots to sunbathe, picnic and simply soak up the classic Lake Como scenery
  • Explore villas and gardens – Moltrasio’s shores are lined with aristocratic villas, many with beautifully manicured gardens. Villa Passalacqua and Villa Fontanelle are among the finest.

💎 Hidden gem: The combination of natural and manmade charm makes this tiny haven one of the area’s most irresistible destinations. Moltrasio offers a handful of accommodation from lakeview hotels to holiday apartment rentals.

All hotels in Moltrasio →

9. Argegno – Best Place on Lake Como for Hiking 🚶🏻‍♂️

Overlooked by mountains, Argegno shores provides a picturesque, convenient home base to explore the region.

🚢 Well-connected: Located 30 minutes north of Como along the SS340, Argegno offers easy access to central lake attractions. From the pier, take ferries and hydrofoils to destinations like Bellagio, Varenna, and Menaggio.

In the Piazza Roma and along the Lungo Telo di Sinistra promenade, spend time lakeside.

🔝 Some top sights and activities in Argegno include:

  • Chiesa Sant’Anna Church – Beautiful Baroque architecture and lake views
  • Funicular Cable Car – Ride up to the village of Pigra for panoramic views
  • Lido di Argegno – Lakefront beach with lounge chairs and a cafe

Also make time for hiking and mountain biking.

🛍️ Local flavors: I also recommend checking out the weekly Wednesday market. Here you can taste Italian delicacies, or buy a memorable souvenir.

All hotels in Argegno →

Where to stay in Argegno? 🏨

Expensive Hotels:

Mid-range hotels:

  • La Griglia – cozy family hotel with restaurant, terrace and lake view.
  • Hotel Argegno – comfortable hotel in the city center with a panoramic rooftop restaurant.
  • Locanda Posta – traditional style hotel with Italian restaurant.

Best Hotels in Lake Como for Family Vacations 👨‍👩‍👧‍👦

1. Grand Hotel Tremezzo

With spacious family suites offering breathtaking views of the lake and surrounding mountains, you’ll find the perfect blend of comfort and elegance. The hotel’s attentive staff goes above and beyond to ensure your family’s needs are not just met but exceeded.

As you stroll through the meticulously manicured gardens, you’ll discover a dedicated children’s play area and a pool designed with the little ones in mind. The hotel’s commitment to family-friendly amenities extends to their dining options, with a diverse menu that caters to both sophisticated palates and younger taste buds.

2. Hilton Lake Como

Discover the perfect blend of lakeside tranquility and family-focused features at the Hilton Lake Como. Nestled on the shores of the lake, this upscale hotel offers a serene escape while providing a host of amenities tailored for families.

The attentive staff ensures that families feel welcomed and accommodated throughout their stay. With a private beach area and a shimmering pool, the hotel provides delightful spaces for the entire family to unwind and enjoy the stunning surroundings.

3. Sheraton Lake Como Hotel

Situated near the heart of Como, this contemporary hotel offers spacious family suites equipped with all the conveniences you need for a relaxing stay.

Sheraton Lake Como takes pride in its diverse dining options, catering to both adults and children with a range of culinary delights. The comfortable and modern ambiance, coupled with personalized service, ensures that every family member can enjoy their stay to the fullest.

Best Places to Stay in Lake Como on a Map 🗺

FAQs about Visiting Lake Como ❔

Which part of Lake Como is the best to stay?

When deciding where to stay on Lake Como, consider that each part offers a unique experience. The town of Bellagio, situated at the intersection of the lake’s three branches, is often regarded as one of the best places to stay.

Where is the most beautiful place on Lake Como?

Many would argue that Varenna, located on the eastern shore, holds this title. Its romantic atmosphere, colorful waterfront houses, and the lush gardens of Villa Monastero create a captivating setting.

Is Lake Como and Bellagio same?

While Lake Como and Bellagio are distinct entities, Bellagio is indeed a town situated on the shores of Lake Como. It stands out for its elegance and has become synonymous with the lake’s charm and sophistication.

Where do celebrities stay in lake Como?

If you’re curious about where celebrities stay on Lake Como, one popular choice is the village of Cernobbio. The luxurious Villa d’Este, a historic hotel set in a breathtaking estate, has hosted numerous celebrities seeking both privacy and opulence.