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Best Things to do in Lake Como

best things to do in Lake Como

It can be a bit overwhelming planning your trip to Lake Como because there are so many amazing places in Italy and Switzerland. It is hard to figure out where to spend the most days of your trip. Lake Como is absolutely beautiful and you can spend a week there, or you can spend only a few days there and leave feeling like you experienced the best of Lake Como. Lake Como is known for it’s picturesque towns and villages as well as the luxurious villas along the lake owned by Hollywood stars. From the best shopping to best ways to explore the lake, here are the best things to do in Lake Como.

Lake Como Quick Links

  • Italy Travel Guide
  • Lake Como Travel Guide
  • Best Restaurants in Lake Como – coming soon
  • Best Hotels in Lake Como – coming soon

Lake Como Things to do: Tips and Advice

  • One or two days: Bellagio and Private Boat Tour
  • Three days: Bellagio, Varenna, Private Boat Tour
  • Four or more days: Bellagio, Varenna, Tremezzo, Como Town, Private Boat Tour
  • The best tour / excursions: Private 2-4 hour boat tour around the lake.
  • Most important tip: Lake Como is a massive lake, so before booking anything understand how far the excursion is away from your hotel and how you will get there. Spend some time exploring the lake, and the towns around the lake. It is stunningly beautiful, like out of a movie.

Visit Bellagio For Half a Day

best things to do in Lake Como - visit Bellagio and explore, eat and shop

If you’re only visiting Lake Como for a few days, a half day in Bellagio is a must do. How to get to Bellagio depends on where you’re staying. If you’re in Tremezzo, it’s an easy 15 minute ferry ride and the ferry comes every 20 minutes. If you’re staying in Como town and take the ferry, it can be almost 2 hours.

In Bellagio, you can find great shopping, great restaurants and stunning beauty. There are many great lunch spots including La Punta which has beautiful views of the lake, Mistral and Ristarante Antico. There is also a place that makes fresh pasta at the top of the steps that is carry-out; however, there are plenty of places on the steps and greenery to eat. The shopping in Bellagio is known for its silk scarves, perfumes and “ties of the presidents.” Silk scarves can be found at Azalea Silk and Bellagioseta. Aqua de Parma is a great place to buy perfumes – although, can also buy this brand in Milan and in the airport. Pierangelo Masciadri is known as the place where presidents buy their ties, and inside they feature pictures of world leaders wearing their ties!

Visit Varenna and Vezio Castle for Half a Day

The town of Varenna is also stunningly beautiful. You can hike up to Vezio Castle via the “Path of the Wayfarer” which is about a 20 to 25 minute hike. If you don’t want to hike, you can also taxi to the castle although taxis can be hard to come by. In Varenna, you can also find Villa Monastero and the gardens. You can also stroll along the “walk of lovers” path along the lake.

Walk Around Famous Villas in Lake Como

Villa del Balbianello in Lake Como Italy

Lake Como is renowned for its stunning villas. Though many villas in Lake Como are privately owned, there are a few that visitors can pay to enter and visit. Among the most famous villas you can visit are are Villa Carlotta, known for its magnificent botanical gardens and art collections, and Villa del Balbianello, which captivates visitors with its stunning lakeside setting and rich history. Villa del Balbianello can also be bought out for weddings and we were fortunate enough to attend a wedding at Villa del Balbianello. It is an absolutely stunning villa with breathtaking views. Visitors can also visit Villa Monastero in Varenna, boasting beautifully landscaped gardens and a museum. Visiting at least one villa is one of the best things to do in Lake Como. If you don’t have time to visit any villas, you can also see many of the villas from the water during a private boat tour!

Explore Tremezzo for A Few Hours

best things to do in Lake Como visit Tremezzo town

Visiting Tremezzo was easy for us, as we were staying right there. The Grand Hotel Tremezzo is one of the most beautiful hotels in Lake Como, and you can eat at their restaurant right along the lake or at T’s Pizza which is close to their other pool. It’s easy to stroll along the lake and take in the beauty while you enjoy a gelato or drink. If you have to prioritize, it is best to visit Bellagio over Tremezzo.

Visit Como Town

Como Town is at the very start of the lake. If you’re staying in Tremezzo or Bellagio it is far – over an hour drive and can be two hours by ferry. So, if you plan to visit Como Town it is best to do on your way to Tremezzo / Bellagio or on your way back if you’re heading to Milan. Here, you can find many cooking classes and tours. In the historic city center you can find prominent landmarks like the Cathedral and Porta Torre.

Private Boat Tour of Lake Como

best things to do in Lake Como do a private boat tour of the lake

The best way to see the lake and see many of the famous villas is to do a private boat tour.  The lake is massive, so a two hour tour will not allow you to see the full lake but you’ll see many beautiful sites. Though expensive, a few hours or a half day on Lake Como is absolutely worth it. We used Como Classic boats and did the romantic tour.

Walk Along the Greenway del Lago

best things to do in Lake Como walk along Greenway del Lago

A morning stroll along the lake is a great way to start the day in Lake Como. There is a beautiful, long, lake path that is easy to walk along and a beautiful place to take pictures. While you’re on your morning stroll, there are places to stop for a morning coffee, or an afternoon gelato.

Best Thing to do in Lake Como Conclusion

Lake Como is a stunning destination that offers a mix of natural beauty, historical charm, relaxation, great shopping and great food. Some of the best things to do in Lake Como include exploring the elegant villas such as Villa del Balbianello, taking a private boat ride on the lake, and strolling through the picturesque towns of Bellagio and Varenna. No matter what things you decide to do in Lake Como, it promises to be an unforgettable trip.

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