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Where to Stay in Lake Como in 2024 – 7 Best Areas

Discover the most scenic places to stay in Lake Como - Your perfect getaway awaits by the picturesque shores of Lake Como.
Where to Stay in Lake Como

Lake Como, or Lago di Como in Italian, is a tranquil glacial lake in Lombardy, Northern Italy, nestled near the Swiss border. It’s a picturesque setting right out of a storybook. Around the lake, characterized by its unique ‘Y’ shape, you’ll find charming towns and villages that are perennial favorites among tourists.

A journey to Lake Como offers a glimpse into breathtaking landscapes, local wildlife, and the region’s natural spa baths. You can also explore the local farms, known for their delightful produce like honey, olive oil, and cheese. For a comprehensive experience, why not plan a road trip around the lake?

With over fifteen different accommodation options, Lake Como caters to all preferences, whether you seek peace and quiet, vibrant nightlife, or luxurious stays. So, let’s explore the best places for a memorable stay at Lake Como.

1. Como, where to stay in Lake Como for nightlife and shopping

Como
Como / photo: wikipedia

Como is the central hub near Lake Como, a place you’ll likely pass through regardless of where you’re staying. It’s home to the main train and bus stations, making it a convenient access point. Here, you’ll find the Como Cathedral and a funicular that travels up to the village of Brunate in Lombardy.

Often overlooked as just a gateway city to Lake Como, Como is actually a hidden gem for staying. Sure, it’s a bit farther from the other villages, but I think that’s part of its charm. It’s a picturesque spot with a rich history and, in my opinion, offers the most vibrant nightlife compared to other areas around the lake.

Staying in Como is a great choice. You’ll never find yourself bored, with more affordable accommodation options and the convenience of being close to major transit points. It’s a place that combines the excitement of a lively city with the serene beauty of the lake.

Best Hotels in Como

2. Bellagio, the best place to stay for sightseeing and exploring other villages

Bellagio
Bellagio

Bellagio is one of the most sought-after towns for staying near Lake Como. Its central location in the heart of the lake makes it a prime spot for easy travel to other nearby settlements, which is why it’s such a popular choice in the area. Despite its small size, Bellagio is bursting with things to do and see. Highlights include the Basilica of St. James, built between 1075–1125, and the Church of San Giorgio.

The beauty of Bellagio is limitless, making it a photographer’s paradise and perfect for those Instagram-worthy shots! Along its shores, you’ll find stunning villas surrounded by lush parks and gardens.

As the most famous town near Lake Como, Bellagio attracts the largest number of tourists. So, if you’re looking for a more laid-back vacation away from the crowds, I’d suggest choosing a different area. But if Bellagio is your pick, be sure to book your accommodation well in advance—it’s a hot spot for travelers!

Best Hotels in Bellagio

3. Varenna, the best place to stay in Lake Como for a relaxing holiday

Varenna
Varenna

Nestled on the eastern shores of Lake Como, just 60 kilometers from Milan, Varenna is a picturesque town often favored by couples seeking a romantic weekend escape.

Varenna rich history, first established by the Gauls and later redesigned by the Romans, makes it architecturally fascinating. It’s home to several noteworthy sights, like Villa Cipressi, rebuilt between the 15th and 19th centuries, Villa Monastero from 1897-1909, the 17th-18th century Villa Venini, the 16th-century Villa Capoana Sfondrati Galimberti, and the 11th-century Castello di Vezio.

The town’s churches are equally captivating, including the medieval Church of St. George, St. John the Baptist, Santa Maria delle Grazie, the former church of Santa Marta, and the cemetery church.

Varenna is a splendid choice for a stay with your significant other. However, if you’re visiting in summer, be ready for the crowds—it’s a popular spot!

Best Hotels in Varenna

4. Lecco, the best place to stay in Lake Como for luxury and dining

Lecco
Lecco

Lecco, nestled at the southern tip of Lake Como’s eastern branch, where the Adda River flows, might require a bit more effort to reach, but it’s a hidden gem that’s well worth the journey. Surrounded by sections of the Alps, the city offers breathtaking views.

Lecco has seen significant growth since the 18th century, becoming one of Northern Italy’s industrial hubs, specializing in metallurgy, machinery, textiles, and canning.

Notable buildings in the city include the neoclassical Teatro della Società, the arcades in Piazza 20 Settembre, Torre Viscontea, also known as the medieval tower, and the Cathedral of Saint Nicholas.

Staying in Lecco offers a touch of luxury at affordable prices, given the amenities it provides. Moreover, you’ll discover some of the finest dining establishments in the area, making it a food lover’s paradise along the shores of the lake.

Best Hotels in Lecco

5. Cernobbio, where to stay in Lake Como for relaxation

Cernobbio
Cernobbio / photo: wikipedia

Cernobbio, Lake Como’s hidden gem, awaits just 40 kilometers from Milan, offering a convenient stop for buses and ferries. It also serves as the starting point for the long-distance trail known as La Via dei Monti Lariani.

Tourism in the town of Cernobbio remains pleasantly undiscovered, often providing a tranquil escape. Observing its architecture and buildings, you’ll notice that many homes belong to the well-to-do.

While Cernobbio boasts a variety of shops and restaurants, it isn’t overflowing with other activities. The atmosphere here is serene, radiating Italian charm, and accommodations come at very reasonable prices. If your ideal getaway involves peaceful seclusion, yet proximity to Lake Como and its surrounding areas, this is the place to be.

Best Hotels in Cernobbio

6. Bellano, best area to stay in Lake Como for culture and history enthusiasts

Bellano
Bellano

Nestled on the eastern shores of Lake Como and part of the Lecco province, Bellano is a small town with a rich history, steeped in culture, and even hosts an opera festival.

The town’s main attraction is the Orrido, a narrow gorge formed by the erosion of the Pioverna River. Additionally, a visit to the Gothic church of Santi Nazario e Celso is highly recommended.

Bellano draws a considerable number of visitors, so if you plan to stay here, it’s wise to make reservations well in advance to find numerous affordable options. I’d suggest opting for a room with a view of the enchanting Lake Como to enhance your experience.

Best Hotels in Bellano

7. Menaggio, best place to stay in Lake Como for families and kids

Menaggio
Menaggio

Nestled on the western shores of Lake Como, at the confluence of the Senagra River, Menaggio is a beloved summer resort adorned with grand hotels and a plethora of seasonal events, including the Menaggio Guitar Festival.

Its strategic location, approximately in the middle of the lake, makes it effortlessly accessible from other towns. With its ample size, Menaggio offers an array of activities, from watersports to hiking trails. If you’re traveling with children, they’ll delight in the numerous family-friendly activities this area has to offer.

While some argue that it may not exude the same level of romance as other towns in the region, I believe this is because Menaggio enjoys a constant influx of visitors year-round. Nevertheless, you’ll undoubtedly stumble upon charming narrow streets brimming with authentic Italian charm and captivating architecture.

Best Hotels in Menaggio

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