8 Best Towns to Stay in Lake Como, Italy

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by Maggie Turansky

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As such a popular destination in Northern Italy, many people wonder what is the best town to stay in Lake Como if you’re planning a holiday here. While plenty of visitors plan Lake Como day trips from Milan and don’t stay overnight in the area, there are also countless people who plan lengthy Lake Como itineraries and need to find a great place to rest their heads while on the lakeshore.

Lake Como is home to countless lovely cities and towns that line the shores and some make for better bases than others. Whether you’re on the hunt for the plushest luxury stay or want something quiet and off the beaten path, you will find what you’re looking for in Lake Como.

From the bustling streets of Como City to the swanky lanes of Belaggio to the quiet ambience of Dongo, there are lots of different towns to choose from in Lake Como and some will suit others better than others.

So if you’re wondering where to stay in Lake Como, we’ve broken down eight of the most popular towns with accommodation recommendations in each!

Best Places to Stay in Lake Como

Bellagio – Best Area for Shopping

If you want to be in the heart of the action and also stay in one of the lake’s most popular and beautiful spots, then Bellagio may well be the best place to stay on Lake Como.

This grand town situated in the centre of the lake is an excellent base for exploring all that Lake Como has to offer. It is also quite an upmarket destination – perfect for those looking for a bit of luxury on the lake.

Bellagio is also a great option for those who want to be in the centre of the action on Lake Como. As it’s home to a number of different ferry routes, you can easily hop on either a passenger or car ferry and reach the towns of Varenna, Menaggio and Cadenabbia in under fifteen minutes. There are also plenty of other passenger ferries to hop on to explore more.

If you’re a fan of shopping, then you’ll love how many boutiques there are lining the steep, cobbled streets of Bellagio. It’s certainly a great place for a bit of retail therapy.

Where to Stay in Bellagio

Hotel Centrale Bellagio – An intimate hotel located in the centre of Bellagio, they offer rooms suitable for both couples and solo travellers. Some rooms have a balcony or patio area and there is breakfast included.

Hotel Belvedere – An incredible luxury hotel that offers stunning views of the lake and is located only a short walk from the marina. They offer both standard rooms and larger apartments with a restaurant on site and the option to include breakfast in your nightly rate.

Miralago B&B and Apartments – Located about a 10-minute walk from the centre of Bellagio, this B&B offers both standard rooms and apartments for those looking to self-cater some meals. Some rooms have lake views and there is the option to have breakfast included.

Not quite what you’re looking for? Click here to browse other options in Bellagio!

Arriving in Bellagio via ferry
Arriving in Bellagio via ferry

Varenna – Best Area for Couples

For those who want to be in the centre of the action, within easy reach of the most popular towns on Lake Como and still enjoy a bit of peace and quiet, then Varenna is an excellent choice for you. Situated on the east coast of the lake, Varenna is a beautiful but sleepy town that just oozes with romance and charm.

Varenna can also be a fantastic base for those looking for the best place to stay in Lake Como without a car. There is a train station in Varenna which easily connects the town with cities like Milan and Bergamo in about an hour and there are countless ferries that take off frequently to places like Bellagio, Menaggio and Cadenabbia in just about fifteen minutes.

This town is perfect for those who want a smaller and quiet vibe along with ease of access to the rest of the lake. Because of how central yet how quaint the town is, it’s also great for couples looking for a romantic escape.

There are plenty of places to visit within Varenna itself including the Church of San Giorgio and the Castello di Vezio. Those who want to explore the classic villas of Lake Como will also love Varenna’s Villa Monastero.

Because of the town’s links to cities like Milan and all of the ferries taking off from here, Varenna is also an excellent base for exploring your surroundings.

Where to Stay in Varenna

Hotel Olivedo – A mid-range hotel located on the lake in Varenna, they offer clean and comfortable rooms with some having a balcony overlooking the lake. Breakfast is included in the daily rate.

Hotel Royal Victoria – Situated in a historic building, this luxury hotel is located a minute from the lake and offers incredible rooms including some with a balcony. Breakfast is included and there is also a swimming pool and two restaurants on site.

Casa San Giorgio Varenna – Also located in the centre of Varenna, they offer both standard rooms and apartments for families and those wanting their own kitchen. There is a rooftop terrace with incredible views of the lake a bar to have a drink in and breakfast is included.

Not quite what you’re looking for? Click here to browse other options in Varenna!

Varenna's charming houses
Varenna’s charming houses

Menaggio – Best Area for Villa Visits

Menaggio is the perfect base for those looking for grandeur, convenience and lots of options all in one place. Another hub for car ferries, Menaggio makes for a very convenient base on Lake Como but it is also the perfect jumping-off point for exploring some of the lake’s most iconic villas.

Located on the west coast of the lake, Menaggio boasts a large lakeside promenade lined with plenty of bars and cafes. There are also some beautiful side streets to wander along and even a main piazza to take in.

Like the other towns, you can even hop on a number of different car and passenger ferries to visit other areas around the lake via the water.

One of the highlights of staying in Menaggio is its proximity to some of the most opulent and beautiful villas to be found along the lake. Stately homes like Villa Balbianello (which was used in 2006’s Casino Royale), the beautiful Villa Vigoni and the gorgeous gardens of Villa Carlotta are all located within a stone’s throw of the town.

Where to Stay in Menaggio

Hotel Garni Corona – Located in the centre of Menaggio, this is one of the best hotels for mid-range visitors. They offer a range of rooms suitable for couples and even some for larger families. Breakfast is included in the nightly rate.

Grand Hotel Menaggio – A luxurious option within walking distance of the beach, this hotel offers incredible rooms with many including lake views. There is a swimming pool, a bar and breakfast is included.

Suites Menaggio – These studio apartments are ideal for couples looking for a self-catering option in the heart of Menaggio.

Not quite what you’re looking for? Click here to browse other options in Menaggio!

Exploring Menaggio
Exploring Menaggio

Como – Best Area for a City Vibe

If you’re after a city vibe but still want to be on the shore of Lake Como, then planning to stay in Como City is the right choice for you.

As the largest city on the lake, Como is located on the southwest point of Lake Como and has a lot to offer visitors. From a grand cathedral to a funicular boasting fantastic views, Como is a wonderful destination in itself and it makes for a great base to explore this part of the lake.

There are also lots of restaurant and cafe options in Como and it’s home to some larger supermarkets and more variety, which can be a plus for those looking for a broad range of choice.

There are also plenty of passenger ferries and lake cruises that take off from Como which make it easy to explore the lake from the water.

Where to Stay in Como

Albergo del Duca – Located in the centre of Como, this is a great mid-range option with rooms available that are suitable for couples and larger families. Breakfast is included in the price and there is a restaurant on site.

DBH – Boutique Hotel – If you’re not worried about budget, this luxury hotel offers stunning rooms in an unbeatable location. Breakfast is included in the nightly rate and there is a 24-hour reception.

Residence Diaz – If you prefer a self-catering option, this aparthotel in a great location offers both studios and standard apartments which are ideal for larger families and those wanting to save money on food costs.

Not quite what you’re looking for? Click here to browse other options in Como!

Como Cathedral
Como Cathedral

Tremezzo – Best Town for a Luxury Stay

If you’re looking for luxury on Lake Como, then Tremezzo can be a great choice for you.

Located a bit south of Menaggio and very close to the ferry port of Cadenabbia, Tremezzo is easy to access from numerous different points on the lake, however, if you want to do some exploring, it is probably a good idea to rent a car.

The town itself is home to a small lakeside promenade and a few cafes and bars, making it a good base for exploring the rest of the lake.

You can also take in museums like Villa Mainona – Museo del Territorio, which is a great place to learn about the history of Lago di Como away from the luxe villas and high-end shopping. Those who love tranquil parks will also love the lakeside Parco Civico Teresio Olivelli, a great place to chill out with great views of the lake.

Where to Stay in Tremezzo

Hotel La Perla – A comfortable hotel located in the hills of Tremezzo, overlooking the lake and about a 15-minute walk down into town. They have rooms suitable for couples and families with breakfast included.

Grand Hotel Tremezzo – One of the most luxurious options around Lake Como, this stunning hotel has 3 swimming pools, a fitness centre and multiple restaurants. Most rooms have views overlooking Lake Como with some having their own hot tub and terrace.

La Filanda di Viano – A good self-catering option in Tremezzo that can accommodate larger families. It is located in the hills overlooking the lake so a fantastic option for a peaceful stay.

Not quite what you’re looking for? Click here to browse other options in Tremezzo!


Bellano – Best Town for a Quiet Escape

For those who want to be in a convenient location but stay somewhere that’s a bit more “lived in,” Bellano may be the right choice for you. In fact, it is certainly one of the best towns for those looking for a quiet escape.

Located on the east coast of Lake Como just a few kilometres north of Varenna, Bellano is probably best suited for those who have some via personal vehicle rather than those looking to explore Lake Como using public transit.

The town itself is filled with small, winding lanes and a lovely lakeside promenade that has a number of cafes and bars for you to enjoy.

Bellano is a lot less touristy and quieter than even Varenna and certainly Bellagio or Mennagio, however, it is still incredibly well-located and you can easily reach Varenna in under 10 minutes and easily hop on a ferry to the other side of the lake – whether that be of the car or passenger variety.

Where to Stay in Bellano

Hotel Meridiana – A mid-range hotel that is family-run and offers a range of different rooms in the heart of Bellano. Breakfast is included and there is a wine cellar on site where tastings can be organised.

Villa Marina – An incredible luxury hotel located in a historic building that has a private beach area and a range of rooms ideal for couples looking to splurge. A superb breakfast is included.

Il porticciolo – A comfortable studio apartment in the centre of Bellano that is the ideal self-catering option for couples. It can also accommodate a larger group as it has a pull-out sofa bed.

Not quite what you’re looking for? Click here to browse other options in Bellano!

The town of Bellano
The town of Bellano

Dongo – Best Town to Get Off the Beaten Path

If you’re looking to get a bit off the beaten path and enjoy some peace and quiet, then the village of Dongo is a great place to stay while you visit Lake Como.

Located at the northeast end of the lake, this area is a lot less developed, less posh and just a bit quieter than the central parts of the lake like Varenna, Bellagio et all.

Boasting a wonderful lakeside promenade lined with countless cafes, bars, restaurants and gelaterias, Dongo is the perfect place for those who want some tranquillity while still enjoying the beauty of this incredible Italian lake.

And while Varenna is perfect for those travelling without their own vehicle, Dongo may be one of the best places to stay in Lake Como with a car.

Because it is a bit removed from the rest of the lake, you will need to have your own vehicle if you want to get to other areas of Lake Como, however, you’ll also get to enjoy another side of the lake that many don’t venture to.

Where to Stay in Dongo

B&B Zia Lina – A cosy bed and breakfast hotel in Dongo that offers double rooms ideal for couples looking for budget accommodation. There is a breakfast served daily and a shared lounge at the hotel.

B&B Villa Rosalinda – A beautiful hotel that offers both private rooms and apartments for those looking to self-cater or accommodate a family. It is only a short walk to the nearest beach and breakfast is included.

Not quite what you’re looking for? Click here to browse other options in Dongo!

Peaceful Dongo
Peaceful Dongo

Lecco – Best City for a Local Feel

Finally, if you’re looking for bigger city vibes but want to escape the hordes of tourists and day-trippers, then Lecco could be a great alternative to the town of Como.

Located on the southeasternmost point of the lake, Lecco is the second city on Lake Como and is a lot quieter than Como city, however, it is still larger and more bustling than the other towns here.

Lecco is a great option for those people who want to convenience and choice that a larger city provides but also want a bit of an “off the beaten path” feel. Lecco is a lovely place to explore, with plenty of beautiful streets, pretty piazzas and, of course, an expansive lakeside promenade.

So if you’re on the hunt for a city without the tourist crowds, then Lecco is a fantastic choice for you!

Where to Stay in Lecco

Hotel Alberi – A comfortable hotel located in the centre of Lecco that has rooms suitable for singles and couples. It is within walking distance of a nearby beach and there is breakfast included daily.

NH Lecco Pontevecchio – A lovely hotel located on the lake within walking distance of the centre of town. There are a range of rooms available including some larger options suitable for families. Breakfast is included.

Not quite what you’re looking for? Click here to browse other options in Lecco!

The town of Lecco
The town of Lecco

Finding the perfect Lake Como town to stay in can seem like a daunting task when you consider just how many options there are. However, each town can suit different travellers differently so it’s best to know what each place has to offer and pick the one that fits with your personal travel style.

Are you looking for a base on Lake Como? Have any questions about these towns? Let us know in the comments!

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Maggie is a co-founder and writer for The World Was Here First. Originally from the US, she has lived in five different countries and has travelled to dozens more, both solo and with her partner, Michael. She particularly loves exploring Spain and spending time in the Caucasus and the Baltics. Read more about Maggie


  1. We will be traveling from Barcelona and on to Prague after Lake Como. We also have a Switzerland day trip in mind from Lake Como. I’m completely overwhelmed trying to figure out the best place to stay for 5 nights. This will be the relaxing slower paced part of the trip.
    We dont care about night life but we want local cafe/restuarants within walking distance, easy access to transportation and we’d also like to enjoy hiking. Was thinking Bellagio but Varenna sounds nice too? Sigh. Also, can you reccomend a company for private car service from/to the airport please?

    • Hi Bee, you really can’t go wrong with either Bellagio or Varenna and as they are super close to each other, you can easily spend a lot of time in each regardless of where you choose to stay. As for private airport transfer, Welcome Pickups is a convenient option.


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