Lake Como is without a doubt one of the most beautiful regions in Italy. Popular with travellers, it offers fresh air, pristine waters, spectacular mountain views, delicious food, and one of the richest and most interesting history in Italy.
But, there are a tonne of different towns in Lake Como and not all of them will appeal to all types of travellers. Budget Backpackers will look for something different than families on vacation – which is exactly why I put together this epic guide for where to stay in Lake Como.
Here I’ve collected the 5 best places to stay in Lake Como for you. It breaks down each town or village by interest and location, so you’ll know exactly where to stay based on your needs.
Here is the BEST guide for where to stay in Lake Como, Italy. Whether you want to relax, explore, sight-see or party, I’ve got you covered!
Let’s get right to it…
We’re going to be honest, having Lake Como on your backpacking Italy list is a no-brainer. The stunning views, beautiful nature, and calmness of the region make it an incredible place to stay in Italy.
Looking for a specific place to stay? These are the top recommendations for places to stay in Lake Como.
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Best Airbnb in Lake Como: Modern Studio Close to the Lake
With only the best amenities, this apartment close to the Lake is one of the best homes in Como. Prepare your meals in the luxury kitchen and explore the area from the heart of the city afterwards. The host will provide you with amazing recommendations and only the best services according to other guests’ reviews.
Best Hostel in Lake Como: Ostello Bello Lake Como
This hostel is located in the stunning town of Como. It is within walking distance of transportation, sightseeing, shopping and dining options. This hostel provides travellers with comfortable beds and free linens. They also host a free breakfast each morning and free tours of the area.
There are so many beautiful hostels in Lake Como!
Best Hotel in Lake Como: Hotel Olivedo
The spectacular Hotel Olivedo is our pick for the best hotel in Lake Como. It is located near charming Varenna and offers incredible views of the region. This three-star hotel boasts comfortable rooms with private bathrooms and cable/satellite channels. You’ll also enjoy free wifi, a library and an on-site restaurant.
Hotel Olivedo is one of our favourites in Lake Como but they’re not taking guests right now. We’re not sure if they’re closed for good but we hope they’ll come back soon.
Menaggio is the main town on the western shore of Lake Como. It is an attractive town with a laid-back atmosphere and plenty of things to do.
Como is an elegant resort town located at the southern end of Lake Como. The area’s main town, Como has a charming and laid-back atmosphere
Varenna is an attractive town on the eastern shore of Lake Como. It sits opposite bustling Menaggio and vibrant Bellagio and offers incredible views of the lake
Tremezzo is a beautiful small town centrally located in Lake Como. It sits on the western shores of the lake, across from Bellagio and just south of Menaggio, and is most well-known for its stunning waterfront and splendid botanical garden
Lake Como is one of the most scenic destinations to visit in Europe. It is the third-largest lake in Italy and one of the deepest lakes on the continent.
Within the Lombardy region of Northern Italy, Lake Como is surrounded by lush hills and towering mountains – giving it a unique and relaxed atmosphere. It boasts a variety of historic, cultural, and artistic attractions, as well as culinary options and watersports activities.
Lake Como covers a 146 square kilometre area. Surrounding the lake you’ll find a vast array of colourful towns and charming villages that cater to tourists of all styles.
Trying to fit all of the amazing things to see and do in Lake Como in just a short time is hard. Make sure you plan your time well.
In this guide, I’ll highlight the “can’t miss” activities and attractions in the 5 best towns and villages in and around Lake Como. This region is one of the best places to stay in Italy as it’s so stunning!
Area Overview of Lake Como
Starting with Como. Located at the southern end of the lake, this is the largest town in the region. It boasts interesting attractions, a charming atmosphere, and it’s home to one of the best hostels in Italy.
Travel north and you’ll arrive in Bellagio. One of the most famous towns in Lake Como, Bellagio offers a great number of cafes, bars, restaurants and shops.
Hop on the ferry and head west to Tremezzo. A beautiful small town, Tremezzo is known for its Botanical Gardens, lush villas and laid-back way of life.
Head north from here to Menaggio. A popular destination for travellers, Menaggio is bursting with activities and attractions, shops and restaurants, bars and cafes.
And finally, on the eastern side of the lake is Varenna. An attractive town with restaurants, shops and ancient sites, Varenna is one of the coolest towns in Lake Como.
Still not sure what’s the best place to stay on Lake Como? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered!
Lake Como’s 5 Best Towns and Villages to Stay in
In this next section, we’ll take a look, in detail, at Lake Como’s five best towns and villages to stay in. The place you choose will depend on your travel needs.
Getting this right makes Lake Como a top destination to stay in Italy. So read carefully and pick the village that’s the right fit for you.
1. Menaggio – Where to stay in Lake Como first time
Menaggio is the main town on the western shore of Lake Como. It is an attractive town with a laid-back atmosphere and plenty of things to do. It boasts shops and restaurants, gelaterias and arcades that will entertain all types of travellers. With a delightful pedestrian-only centre and a vast array of entertainment options, Menaggio is our pick for where to stay in Lake Como if you’re visiting for the first time.
Outdoor adventurers will also love staying in Menaggio. The town makes for an excellent base for intrepid explorers who are keen to explore places in Italy: hike into the hills, cruise the shores by bike, or hop across the border and visit the glorious Swiss Alps.
Things to See and Do in Menaggio
- Eat amazing local food at Trattoria la Vecchia Magnolia.
- Enjoy a refreshing cone of delicious gelato at Gelateria Edo.
- Lounge in the sun or enjoy a refreshing dip at the Lido di Menaggio.
- Marvel at the small but beautiful Chiesa di S. Marta.
- Sample tasty dishes at Ristorante il Vapore.
- Sip cocktails in the sun at Il Ristorante di Paolo.
- Snack on savoury Italian dishes at La Baita.
- Take a stroll through the lush and manicured grounds of the Villa Mylius Vigoni.
- Visit the Chiesa di San Stefano, a 17th-century church with an ornate frescoed ceiling.
Amazing House in Menaggio: Charming Home with Stunning Lake View
Make the most of your first time visiting the Lake Como area and go full-on with the region’s rich and glitz vibe. With panoramic lake views on the sun terrace, it’s great for socialising, and we’d personally love soaking in the views that straight through the window from the queen size bed. Well situated just on the edge of town, you’ll have no problem exploring the town centre on foot.
Best Hotel in Menaggio: Hotel Du Lac Menaggio
Hotel Du Lac Menaggio is our top choice for where to stay in Menaggio. This family-run hotel is ideally located in Lake Como and there are plenty of restaurants, shops, and attractions nearby. This hotel provides relaxing accommodations with a terrace with lake views, luggage storage, a lounge bar and a cosy café. It’s a great spot to explore lake Como’s towns when you visit Italy.
Cute Historic Studio Loft: Explore Menaggio from the Heart of the Town
This stunning little studio in the heart of the famous town is the perfect spot to explore the entire Lake Como area in detail. Designed with a cute Italian charm, you’ll fall in love with this Airbnb instantly. Having lived there for years, the host can provide amazing insider tips and recommendations to make your stay even better.
Explore Menaggio from the Heart of the Town is one of our favourites in Lake Como but they’re not taking guests right now. We’re not sure if they’re closed for good but we hope they’ll come back soon.
Best Budget Hotel in Menaggio: Hotel Sonenga
This charming budget hotel is located in Menaggio. It is within walking distance of Lake Como and is an easy drive to shops, restaurants and tourist attractions. This hotel offers free wifi, a sun terrace with lake views, airport transfers and babysitting services. The hotel rooms are well-equipped, spacious and comfortable. A satisfying continental breakfast buffet is also available at the hotel restaurant.
Hotel Sonenga is one of our favourites in Lake Como but they’re not taking guests right now. We’re not sure if they’re closed for good but we hope they’ll come back soon.
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2. Como – Where to stay in Lake Como on a budget
Como is an elegant resort town located at the southern end of Lake Como. The area’s main town, Como, has a charming and laid-back atmosphere and is probably the most famous town – so don’t miss it off your Lake Como Itinerary. You’ll find a vast array of historic attractions, cultural institutions, delicious Italian restaurants, and chic lounge bars.
This is the top recommendation for where to stay in Lake Como if you’re travelling on a budget. Tucked throughout Como’s winding streets and cobbled alleyways are a myriad of affordable and good value accommodations.
From self-catering apartments and hostels to hotels and resorts, there’s something for every budget in Como. It’s a great spot to explore the Italian lakes on a budget.
Things to See and Do in Como
- Be amazed by the intricate Cathedral of Como.
- Browse the exhibits at the Civico Museo Archeologico Paolo Giovio.
- Dive deep into history at the Museo Storico Giuseppe Garibaldi.
- Eat delicious Italian seafood dishes at La Colombetta.
- Enjoy a cappuccino at Caffe dei Viaggiatori.
- Explore the Templo Voltiano, a museum dedicated to the inventor of the electric battery.
- Indulge at La Vita è Bella.
- Marvel at the stunning Faro Voltiano.
- Ride the funicular to Brunate and enjoy the view.
- Sip tasty cocktails at Minimalismo Livingroom.
- Visit the Basilica di Sant’Abbondio.
Chic Apartment in Como: Modern Studio Close to the Lake
With only the best amenities, this apartment close to the Lake is one of the best homes in Como. Prepare your meals in the luxury kitchen and explore the area from the heart of the city afterwards. The host will provide you with amazing recommendations for exploring Lake Como and only the best services according to other guests’ reviews.
Best Hostel in Como: Ostello Bello Lake Como
This hostel is located in the stunning town of Como. It is within walking distance of transportation, sightseeing, shopping and dining options. This hostel provides travellers with comfortable beds and free linens. They also host a free breakfast each morning and free tours of the area so you can easily explore Lake Como.
Affordable home in Como: Lake view room with terrace and private bathroom
The Como region is a favourite retreat of Europe’s rich and famous, and as usual, when this is the case, it can make things a challenge for the budget traveller. Homestays like this one in the south end of the lake are a great solution, and you’ll get to see a more authentic Como, away from the mega villa superyacht crowd.
Lake view room with terrace and private bathroom is one of our favourites in Lake Como but they’re not taking guests right now. We’re not sure if they’re closed for good but we hope they’ll come back soon.
Best Hotel in Como: Borgovico Hotel
The Borgovico Hotel is our number one choice for where to stay in Como. It offers easy access to the city’s most famous tourist attractions, restaurants, shops and bars. This elegant hotel has modern rooms with en-suite bathrooms, air conditioning and flat-screen TVs. It also has an on-site bar, perfect for unwinding after a long day. For luxury hotels in the area is a great price.
Borgovico Hotel is one of our favourites in Lake Como but they’re not taking guests right now. We’re not sure if they’re closed for good but we hope they’ll come back soon.
3. Bellagio – The best area to stay in Lake Como for nightlife
Set at the centre of Lake Como, where the two legs of the lake split, is Bellagio. It’s the busiest and one of the best-known towns in the region.
Bellagio is a tourist hot spot that caters to travellers of all ages and styles looking for a fun weekend in Italy. It is an attractive town that boasts a good selection of bars and cafes, as well as delicious restaurants and indulgent gelaterias.
Bellagio is also where you’ll find the best nightlife options in Lake Como. Tucked throughout this stunning Italian oasis are a vast array of bars, pubs, nightclubs and dance floors as well as stylish wine bars and relaxing lounges. No matter what you’re looking for, you’ll find it in stunning Bellagio.
Things to See and Do in Bellagio
- Amble throughout the lush landscape of Villa Serbelloni.
- Drink wine at cosy Aperitivo et Al Bar.
- Eat fresh and delicious fare at the Riverside Snack Bar.
- Enjoy a wide selection of wines and grappa at Angolo DiVino, an 18th-century cellar located at the centre of town.
- Excite your taste buds with unique flavour combinations at Gelateria del Borgo.
- Explore Villa Melzi, a national monument and private garden built-in 1808.
- Grab a quick drink at quirky and charming style Bellagio.
- Indulge in local dishes at La Divina Commedia.
- Lounge on the beach at the Lido di Bellagio.
Cosy Loft in Bellagio: Lake Views from your Private Garden
Enjoying the lake views from your private garden – sounds good, right? This stunning home offers only the best amenities and a top location in Bellagio. The apartment is part of an ancient villa, but your privacy is guaranteed. The host is known for going above and beyond for their guests so you’ll be taken care of.
Best Guest House in Bellagio: Andirivieni Bellagio Guest House
This charming guesthouse is in a great location in Bellagio and a good alternative to a budget hotel. It’s close to shops, restaurants, and plenty of natural scenery. It has five spacious rooms that come with air conditioning and essential amenities. You’ll also enjoy a terrace, a relaxing bar and a satisfying breakfast each morning.
Cute home in Bellagio: Self-contained flat on the famous peninsula
The name ‘Bellagio’ echos around the world as a synonym for relaxation and indulgence, lending its name to some of the world’s biggest hotels and casinos as they try to capitalise on the vibe of this peninsula town. It’s not the cheapest night out in the world, so make use of the amenities in this apartment to help keep costs down and spirits up.
Self-contained flat on the famous peninsula is one of our favourites in Lake Como but they’re not taking guests right now. We’re not sure if they’re closed for good but we hope they’ll come back soon.
Best Hotel in Bellagio: Albergo Ristorante Silvio
The Albergo Ristorante Silvio is our recommendation for where to stay in Bellagio. It offers incredible lake views and there are plenty of dining, shopping and nightlife options nearby. They provide a terrace, bike rentals and a golf course. You’ll also enjoy free wifi and a delicious daily breakfast.
Albergo Ristorante Silvio is one of our favourites in Lake Como but they’re not taking guests right now. We’re not sure if they’re closed for good but we hope they’ll come back soon.
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4. Varenna – Coolest place to stay in Lake Como
Varenna is an attractive town on the eastern shore of Lake Como. It sits opposite bustling Menaggio and vibrant Bellagio. It offers some of the best vacation rentals in Italy with incredible views of the lake. One of the best-connected towns in Lake Como, Varenna is an ideal base for travellers looking to explore the region by train, car or boat, on foot or by bike.
This stunning Italian village is also our pick for the coolest area in Lake Como. Here you can enjoy a relaxing and laid back atmosphere, as well as unique and diverse events. From hiking and biking to falconry and beyond, Varenna is packed with activities and attractions that will make for an unforgettable time in Italy.
Things to See and Do in Varenna
- Admire the beautiful Villa Monastero.
- Browse the Civic Museum of Ornithology and Natural Sciences, perfect for fans of birds
- Eat fresh and delicious seafood at Al Prato.
- Enjoy a romantic walk as you make your way to the charming 14th-century Church of San Giorgio.
- Go for a stroll through the Villa Cipressi gardens.
- Hike along the Sentiero del Viandante.
- Indulge in Italian dishes at Vecchia Varenna.
- Sample local wines at Bar Il Molo.
- See incredible views as you explore the ruins of Vezio Castle.
- Sip espresso lakeside at Varenna Caffe.
Luxury Airbnb in Varenna – Resort Style Apartment
Once you step into this luxury Airbnb, it’ll be hard to leave. Not only can you enjoy absolutely beautiful views of the lake, you can also do that while chilling in one of your private pools. Either sit outside in the hot tub or relax in your sauna. Still not convinced? Airbnb accommodates 8 people at a time – bring your friends, split the bill at the end and you’ll get high-end luxury for a ridiculously low price!
Best Bed and Breakfast in Varenna: Orange House Perledo
This BnB is conveniently located in Perledo, a short walk from Varenna. It’s well-connected to Belaggio and there are plenty of options for shopping, dining, relaxing and nightlife nearby. This bed and breakfast has two comfortable guest rooms that are each outfitted with a range of essential amenities.
Best Airbnb in Varenna – Stunning Lake View Home
Charming, authentic and super welcoming – this lakefront apartment is a real hidden gem in Varenna. Although it is quite pricey, you’ll get tons of value for the nightly rate. The apartment is equipped with AC making the hot summer days easy to endure. Wake up to an unrestricted view of the water and enjoy your morning coffee on your private balcony. There’s no better way to start the day!
Stunning Lake View Home is one of our favourites in Lake Como but they’re not taking guests right now. We’re not sure if they’re closed for good but we hope they’ll come back soon.
Best Hotel in Varenna: Hotel Olivedo
The spectacular Hotel Olivedo is our top choice for where to stay in Varenna. It is located nearby in charming Perledo and offers incredible views of the region. This three-star hotel boasts comfortable rooms with private bathrooms and cable/satellite channels. You’ll also enjoy free wifi, a library and an on-site restaurant.
Hotel Olivedo is one of our favourites in Lake Como but they’re not taking guests right now. We’re not sure if they’re closed for good but we hope they’ll come back soon.
5. Tremezzo – Best Region in Lake Como for families
Tremezzo is a beautiful small town centrally located in Lake Como. It sits on the western shores of the lake, across from Bellagio and just south of Menaggio, and is most well-known for its stunning waterfront and splendid botanical garden.
This scenic village is packed with things to see and do that will excite kids of all ages, which is why it’s our pick for where to stay in Lake Como for families.
It’s also ideally situated for getting back to nature. So whether you want to hike through the forest or lounge on the beach, your location in Tremezzo will let you get where you need to go with relative ease.
Things to See and Do in Tremezzo
- Dine on delicious dishes at Trattoria Rana.
- Eat delicious local cuisine and enjoy a glass of wine at the Red & White Wine Bar.
- Excite your sense at La Fagurida.
- Explore the stunning gardens at the Villa del Balbianello.
- Grab a slice at Bar Gelateria Helvetia.
- Hop on a boat and cruise around the lake.
- Stop and smell the roses at the botanical garden at the Villa Carlotta.
- Swim, splash and play at one of Lake Como’s many clean beaches.
Spacious Apartment in Tremezzo: Secluded apartment for a family retreat
In a region synonymous with wealth and opulence, we think this apartment is an absolute steal. Generous bedrooms, a full kitchen, and your own private balcony with lake views and dining table mean you’ll be hard-pressed to find a reason to skip a meal.
Beautiful Studio in Tremezzo: Stunning View Home with Shared Pool
Views over the lake, a shared pool, a garage to park your car and a fully equipped apartment – what else could you want? This amazing home in Tremezzo is the perfect place for families that want to be close to the main area but also enjoy a little bit of peace and quiet. Kids can play outside while parents can sip their drinks away in the private garden.
Stunning View Home with Shared Pool is one of our favourites in Lake Como but they’re not taking guests right now. We’re not sure if they’re closed for good but we hope they’ll come back soon.
Best Hostel in Tremezzo: Hotel Bazzoni
The Hotel Bazzoni is a charming three-star hotel in Tremezzo. It has clean and spacious rooms with modern and essential amenities. This hotel provides a range of features, including child-minding services. You’ll also enjoy an outdoor swimming pool, a fitness centre, a cosy lounge bar and a delicious on-site restaurant.
Hotel Bazzoni is one of our favourites in Lake Como but they’re not taking guests right now. We’re not sure if they’re closed for good but we hope they’ll come back soon.
Best Hotel in Tremezzo: Hotel La Darsena Tremezzo
This hotel is ideally located close to cafes, restaurants, bars and well-known attractions. It has comfortable and spacious rooms outfitted with a workspace and minibar. This hotel offers free wifi, a relaxed restaurant and stunning views of the region. All of this combined makes this our pick for where to stay in Tremezzo.
Hotel La Darsena Tremezzo is one of our favourites in Lake Como but they’re not taking guests right now. We’re not sure if they’re closed for good but we hope they’ll come back soon.
Places to Stay in Lake Como: FAQs
Here’s what people usually ask about the areas of Lake Como and where to stay.
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Lake Como is one of the most scenic places in Europe. Surrounded by stunning mountain views and lush forest landscapes, the colourful towns of Lake Como pop against the exquisite natural backdrop. Although diverse, each village offers travellers a relaxing atmosphere, historic charm and plenty of delicious food – making this region of Italy a must for all kinds of travellers.
In this guide, you’ve got the five best towns to stay in Lake Como. If you’re still not sure which is right for you, here’s a quick recap of my favourites.
The Ostello Bello Lake Como is our favourite hostel. It is located in Como and is within walking distance of the town’s hot spots and provides comfortable, clean and safe accommodations.
Another great option is the Hotel Olivedo in Varenna. They offer free wifi, an on-site restaurant and spacious rooms with unbeatable views.
So there you have it! Go and get lost in the magical surroundings of Lake Como. This Italian gem will not let you down.
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Hotel Britannia Cadenabbia outdoes all the hotels you show here. I would stay no other place and I have been there six or seven times.