Key Takeaways

  • To estimate how many days in Lake Como are ideal, one needs to consider what their romantic trip wants to look like.
  • Generally, spending 2 to 3 days in Lake Como is enough
  • Exploring charming towns like Varenna, Bellagio, and Menaggio is a must if you want to fully experience Lake Como.
  • To enhance your experience, you can enjoy scenic boat rides and the Como-Brunate funicular alongside your partner.
The sun sets over Lake Como, casting a warm glow on the water. The serene lake stretches out, surrounded by lush greenery and charming villas

Lake Como, nestled in the Lombardy region of Northern Italy quite close to Lake Maggiore, is a shimmering blue gem at the base of the majestic Alps.

For couples wondering how many days to spend in Lake Como ( or Lago di Como in Italian), the ideal length is usually between 2 to 3 days.

This time frame allows visitors to explore the serene beauty and cultural wonders of the Lake Como region without feeling rushed.

Lake Como is home to charming towns like Varenna, Bellagio, and Menaggio, each offering unique experiences and stunning views.

With its scenic landscapes, historic villas, and cozy cafes, visiting Lake Como always promises a memorable escape.

Whether you’re enjoying a boat ride on the lake or taking a trip on the Como-Brunate funicular, you’ll find plenty of activities to fill your days.

Exploring Lake Como for just a couple of days gives a satisfying glimpse into this idyllic destination, making it perfect for a weekend getaway or part of a longer trip through Italy.

Use this guide to plan your Lake Como itinerary and ensure you don’t miss any of the top attractions and experiences.

Why Visit Lake Como?

A serene lake surrounded by lush greenery and charming villages. 3 days in Lake Como offers relaxation and exploration

Lake Como, located in Northern Italy, is renowned for its stunning scenery and elegant villas. This charming destination offers a mix of natural beauty and rich history.

Lake Como’s Villas form a significant part of Lake Como’s allure. Villa Monastero, Villa Balbianello, and Villa Carlotta are popular spots, boasting grand architecture and extensive gardens.

Visitors can stroll through these gardens, enjoying the serene atmosphere and beautifully maintained landscapes.

The villages around Lake Como are picturesque and full of character.

Como Town, for example, features beautiful architecture and scenic views of the lake. Small, charming stores and cafes line the streets, providing visitors with a delightful, relaxed experience.

Things to do in Lake Como include boating, hiking, and exploring historical sites.

The villas often have museums and botanical gardens, giving visitors a glimpse into the area’s past.

Villa Cipressi is another must-see, known for its lovely surroundings and historic significance.

The Italian culture and hospitality in Lake Como enhance the visit. Small, charming alleys, local cuisine, and welcoming people make the experience special.

Exploring the picturesque settings of these small towns and villages is a highlight.

With such a variety of attractions, from villas to gardens and charming local experiences, Lake Como offers a memorable, picturesque getaway for anyone looking to enjoy a mix of natural beauty and cultural depth.

How Many Days in Lake Como?

The sun sets over Lake Como, casting a warm glow on the tranquil waters. Lush green mountains surround the lake, creating a picturesque backdrop

Choosing the perfect length for a trip to Lake Como depends on what you want to see and do.

3 days in Lake Como is ideal for most tourists.

Visitors can explore key highlights such as Bellagio, Varenna, and Menaggio.

To make the most of your time, consider the best time to visit Lake Como. Spring and early summer offer pleasant weather and fewer crowds.

Example Itinerary

1st Day:

  • Explore Bellagio.
  • Visit Villa Melzi Gardens.
  • Enjoy a lakeside dinner.

2nd Day:

  • Take a ferry to Varenna.
  • Visit Villa Monastero.
  • Wander through the old town.

3rd Day:

  • Head to Menaggio.
  • Relax at Lido di Menaggio.
  • Visit a local museum.

Travel and Transport

Getting to Lake Como is straightforward.

Travelers can fly into Milan and take a train to the lake.

From Milan, the train ride to Varenna or Como is about an hour.

Public transport is also available around the lake, including ferries and buses, making it easy to move between towns.

For flexibility, renting a car can also be an option.

Ideal Itineraries for Lake Como

A serene lake surrounded by lush green mountains, with charming villages and elegant villas dotting the shoreline. Boats gliding across the crystal-clear water under the bright Italian sun

Lake Como offers a range of activities and attractions for visitors, whether they have just a day or a few to spend. From exploring charming villages to relaxing by the lakeside promenade, there is plenty to see and do.

1-Day Itinerary

For those with only one day, starting in Como is essential.

Begin with a stroll along the lakeside promenade and enjoy the scenic views.

Visit the historic Piazza Cavour and nearby Villa Olmo, a grand neoclassical villa with stunning gardens.

Next, take a ferry to Bellagio.

Explore its narrow streets, visit the beautiful Villa Melzi Gardens, and take in panoramic lake views from the town.

End the day with a leisurely dinner at one of Bellagio’s waterfront restaurants.

Como promenadeFerry to BellagioDinner at Bellagio
Piazza CavourVilla Melzi Gardens
Villa Olmo

2-Day Itinerary

Two days allow for a deeper exploration of the area.

On the first day, follow the 1-day itinerary. Spend the night in Bellagio to enjoy the quaint evening ambiance.

Start the second day by taking a ferry to Varenna.

Visit the Villa Monastero, known for its botanical gardens and historic charm.

Next, hike up to the Castello di Vezio for stunning lake views.

In the afternoon, take a ferry to Menaggio.

Walk through the town’s picturesque streets and relax at the lakeside.

Day 1 (Como + Bellagio)Follow 1-day planOvernight Bellagio
Day 2 (Varenna + Menaggio)Ferry to VarennaFerry to MenaggioReturn to Bellagio

3-Day Itinerary

A three-day itinerary enables a relaxed pace and more extensive sightseeing. Follow the two-day itinerary for the first two days.

On the third day, explore more of Como.

Visit the Cathedral of Como and the Tempio Voltiano, a museum dedicated to Alessandro Volta.

Then, take a scenic walk or bike ride to Villa d’Este in nearby Cernobbio.

End the trip with a sunset cruise on the lake.

Day 1 (Como + Bellagio)Follow 1-day planOvernight Bellagio
Day 2 (Varenna + Menaggio)Ferry to VarennaFerry to MenaggioReturn to Bellagio
Day 3 (Como + Cernobbio)Cathedral of ComoTempio Voltiano, Villa d’EsteSunset cruise on lake

These itineraries cover key destinations and allow visitors to experience the best of Lake Como at their own pace.

Top Attractions in Lake Como

The picturesque Lake Como stretches out before the viewer, with its charming towns, elegant villas, and lush greenery lining its shores. The clear blue waters reflect the surrounding mountains, creating a tranquil and captivating scene

Lake Como is known for its charming towns, historical sites, and stunning natural beauty. Here are some top attractions to consider during your visit.


Bellagio, often called the ‘Pearl of Lake Como,'”‘ is famous for its picturesque streets and breathtaking views.

The town features Villa Melzi Gardens, which offer serene pathways lined with statues and exotic plants.

The Salita Serbelloni, a steep stone stairway, provides a scenic walk through the heart of Bellagio, showcasing its quaint shops and cafes. Ferries operate regularly, making it easy to explore nearby towns.


Varenna is a peaceful village known for its beautiful waterfront and historic sites.

Villa Cipressi is a must-see, with its terraced gardens offering stunning views of the lake. The gardens are perfect for a leisurely stroll, and you can enjoy the natural Lombardy scenery.

The town is also well-connected by ferries, allowing easy travel to other destinations on the lake.

Como Town

Como Town serves as the gateway to Lake Como and is rich in history and culture.

The Como Cathedral in Piazza Duomo is a highlight, featuring Gothic architecture and fascinating art.

Another notable site is the Tempio Voltiano, a museum dedicated to Alessandro Volta, the inventor of the electric battery.

Como Town is also known for its lively markets and excellent dining options.


Menaggio is located on the western shore of Lake Como. The town is known for its charming streets and panoramic views.

The lovely lakeside promenade is perfect for a relaxing walk. Menaggio is also a hub for outdoor activities such as hiking and water sports.

Its central location makes it convenient for ferry trips to other towns around the lake.

Activities and Experiences

Boating, swimming, and dining over three days at Lake Como

Lake Como offers a range of activities that cater to various interests, including boat tours, hiking, historical sites, and local cuisine.

Each option provides a unique way to explore and enjoy the beauty and culture of the region.

Boat Tours

Boat tours are a popular and romantic way to see Lake Como. These tours offer breathtaking views of the lake, surrounding villages, and luxurious villas, including the famous Villa del Balbianello.

Many tours are available, from private renting options to ferry rides between towns. Visitors can take an organized tour or hop on a public ferry to explore nearby areas like Bellagio, Varenna, and Menaggio.

Taking a boat tour is a scenic and relaxing way to gain a different perspective of exploring Lake Como’s beauty.

Hiking and Nature Walks

For those who love nature, Lake Como offers numerous hiking and walking trails.

One notable hike is the trek to Brunate, accessible by a funicular from Como town center, providing stunning lake views.

The Villa Melzi Gardens are perfect for a leisurely stroll, featuring beautiful Italianate gardens.

Another recommended spot is the Orrido di Bellano, where visitors can walk through a natural gorge with waterfalls.

These activities allow visitors to immerse themselves in the natural beauty and serene landscapes of the region.

Historical Sites

History enthusiasts will find plenty to explore in Lake Como. The Como Cathedral, located in Piazza Duomo, is notable for its Gothic architecture.

The Castello di Vezio offers insights into the region’s medieval past and provides panoramic views.

Don’t miss the Tempio Voltiano, dedicated to Alessandro Volta, the inventor of the electric battery.

Visitors can also explore smaller churches like the Church of San Giorgio in Varenna.

These sites offer glimpses into the rich historical tapestry of Lake Como.

Local Cuisine and Dining

Lake Como’s local cuisine is a highlight for many visitors.

Restaurants and cafes throughout the region serve a variety of Italian dishes.

In Como town, many eateries offer lake fish dishes, including perch risotto.

Don’t miss tasting Polenta taragna, a classic local dish.

Dining along the lakefront provides an opportunity to enjoy scenic views while savoring Italian cuisine.

The mix of fine dining and casual eateries ensures that every meal is a memorable experience.

For a more casual meal, plenty of charming local cafes serve fresh, authentic cuisine.

Travel Tips for Lake Como

A serene Lake Como with charming villas, lush greenery, and sparkling waters under a clear blue sky
  1. Best Time to Visit: The ideal months to visit Lake Como are from April to October. These months provide pleasant weather and a lively atmosphere.
  2. Transportation: Lake Como is easily accessible by train from Milan. Trains run frequently and take about an hour. The local transportation options include buses, taxis, and ferries that connect various towns around the central lake region.
  3. Accommodation: There are many charming hotels and guesthouses in towns like Como, Bellagio, and Varenna. Booking ahead, especially in peak high season too, is recommended.
  4. Car Rental: Renting a car offers the flexibility to explore lesser-known spots and scenic routes. However, parking can be challenging in some towns.
  5. Public Transport: Using public transport like buses and ferries is convenient and economical. The bus network covers most of the lake’s perimeter, while ferries offer a scenic way to travel between towns.
  6. Brunate Funicular: For a stunning view, take the Brunate Funicular from Como to the hilltop village of Brunate.The ride is short but offers panoramic views of the lake and surrounding mountains.
  7. Activities: Exploring historic villas, gardens, and hiking trails are popular activities. Visiting towns like Bellagio for shopping and dining is also highly recommended.
  8. Local Cuisine: Try local dishes such as risotto al pesce persico (risotto with perch) and other Italian specialties at lakeside restaurants.

Use this guide to make your trip to Lake Como enjoyable and stress-free.

Final Thoughts

A serene Lake Como with picturesque villas and lush greenery, under a clear blue sky

Choosing how many days to spend in Lake Como depends on what the visitor wants to experience.

For a 1-day trip, focus on key highlights like the Como Cathedral and the nearby Piazza Duomo. Taking a short boat trip or visiting a nearby historic villa, can make the day more memorable.

A 2-day stay offers a chance to explore more areas. Visitors can enjoy the beautiful gardens of an 18th-century villa and take a boat ride to Bellagio or Varenna.

Spending 3 days in Lake Como allows for a more relaxed pace. Adding a trip to the northern part of the lake or visiting towns like Menaggio and Nesso becomes feasible.

Exploring Orrido di Nesso, a stunning waterfall, and gorge, is recommended.

For those with 4 days or more, the experience becomes richer.

More time allows for deeper exploration of the towns, hiking the scenic trails, and soaking in the local culture. Driving around the lake gives access to hidden gems and off-the-beaten-path attractions.

Ultimately, Lake Como is an ideal honeymoon destination and has something for every type of traveler, whether it’s a quick getaway or an extended stay.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • When is the best time to visit Lake Como?

    The best time to visit is between April and October. During these months, the weather is pleasant, and most services are fully operational.

  • What should I include in my Lake Como itinerary?

    Make sure to visit the Como Cathedral, explore the towns of Bellagio and Varenna, and take a boat tour of the lake. Don’t miss out on Villa del Balbianello and its beautiful gardens.

  • Is Lake Como family-friendly?

    Yes, Lake Como is family-friendly. There are many activities for children, such as boating, hiking, and exploring the parks and gardens.

  • Is it expensive to visit and explore Lake Como, Italy?

    Lake Como can be both budget-friendly and luxurious.

    It offers a range of accommodations, from budget hotels to luxury resorts. Dining options also vary to suit different budgets.

  • Is renting a car necessary in Lake Como?

    Renting a car is not necessary but can be useful.

    Public transportation and boats cover many popular destinations. A car may be convenient for visiting less accessible spots.

  • Are there any unique natural attractions in Lake Como?

    Yes, Orrido di Nesso is a notable natural attraction. This waterfall and gorge offer a scenic site in the town of Nesso, easily reachable by car.


5 stars
5 stars
5 stars
5 stars
5 stars
Trustpilot logo


Melina Thalassinou