Whether you’re going on an extended vacation or want to take an easy overnight trip from Milan, Lake Como is the perfect Italian getaway. While a popular area, I find that what kind of experience you have totally depends on what town you stay in, but there really isn’t a bad option.
Lake Como’s towns are beautiful, the scenery is one of the most awe-inspiring in the world, and there are so many activities to do in the area — whether you’re an avid hiker, water sports lover, villa lounger, or old-town wanderer. So, no matter what your speed, Lake Como has a town, and a hotel, for you.
We’re sharing our insider tips on our favorite places in Lake Como, Italy, and we’ve gathered our top picks for the best hotels in each village!
Where to Stay in Lake Como, Italy (And The Best Hotels in Each Town)
One of the more peaceful retreats offered by Lake Como, Varenna is a charming little community that looks out over the center part of the lake toward Bellagio.
While the town’s waterfront does tend to get quite busy during the tourist season, Varenna is absolutely worth seeing due to its beautiful walkways, lively town center, and Villa Monastero — a botanical garden and museum.
Where to Stay in Varenna
For a mid-range option in Varenna, try out the Hotel Montecodeno. This property is super close to the water, has great views, and is home to a yummy restaurant.
If you’re looking for a luxurious Varenna stay with panoramic views across Lake Como, a swimming pool, and a wellness center, the Hotel Royal Victoria is the place to be.
A smaller village on the eastern shore of Lake Como, Bellano is famous for the Orrido di Bellano, its ravine and gorge, which is definitely something to check out in the area. The ravine has multiple footbridges attached to the rocks which makes it easy for exploring, and there are waterfalls and caves nearby.
The town of Bellano itself is quiet, with not as many tourists visiting as in a place such as Varenna or Como, which is perfect if you’re looking for a tranquil and relaxing getaway.
Where to Stay in Bellano
For a budget-friendly stay in Bellano, check out Albergo Del Lago — a simple but nice hotel with cute color-themed rooms.
The Hotel Meridiana is a great mid-range hotel option in Bellano. Not only is this property family run, it is home to a wine cellar, and a beautiful lake-view terrace.
Read more: Lake Como Travel Guide + Packing Tips
Often referred to as the “Pearl of the Lake”, Bellagio is filled with classy boutiques, picturesque villas, the beautiful Villa Melzi gardens, and wine bars that cannot be missed. If you’re looking to do some water sports while in Bellagio, consider heading to nearby Pescallo, an old fishing village that has kayaking and water skiing opportunities.
Bellagio is also extremely close to Bellano, so you can easily get the best of both worlds.
Where to Stay in Bellagio
Hotel Suisse is a budget option right on the lake. Not only is this hotel known for its restaurant and wine selection, it’s a point of history as well — having been a meeting spot for famous writers during the 18th and 19th centuries.
Hotel Du Lac is a mid-range accommodation option with awesome reviews. The property is set in the heart of Bellagio, includes all the modern comforts, and has a great restaurant.
The Hotel Belvedere is a top-rated, 4-star option in Bellagio that has been family-owned since 1880. The hotel has a swimming pool, hot tub, and panoramic views of Lake Como.
If you’re looking for a more urban setting with a lively atmosphere, then I’d recommend staying in this central city. In Como, pay a visit to the local Gothic-designed cathedral, learn about local history at the Como Archaeological Museum, and, for a different view of the lake, take the Funicular to Brunate.
Where to Stay in Como
The Hotel Borgovico is a great mid-range option in Como that is right around the corner from the train station. This cozy spot provides modern interiors and a breakfast buffet.
Hotel Como is an upscale property that is super close to the city center, has a fitness center, a rooftop garden and swimming pool.
Located about 30 kilometers from the city of Como, Griante is a place of stunning scenery, lively history, and many villas. While there, it’s definitely worth it to check out some of the gardens nearby, and to take a walk from the town to San Martino Church that, while being quite steep in some parts, is definitely worth the trek.
This town in particular is a popular place to go to start a leisurely Monte Legnone hike.
Where to Stay in Griante
Hotel Riviera is a mid-level accommodation that overlooks both Lake Como and Bellagio, and is great value for money. They feature a traditional Italian restaurant as well.
Right off the shore of Lake Como, beside the Villa Carlotta botanic gardens, you’ll find the luxurious Grand Hotel Cadenabbia. The property features a fantastic terrace, great views, and all the amenities. The hotel is just a 5 minute walk from the Cadenabbia ferry port.
Read more: 5 Towns to Visit on Lake Como
Set against a beautiful Alpine backdrop, Lecco is a low-key community on the Eastern edge of Lake Como. While the town is void of the hustle and bustle that you’d get from a place like Como, there are still great amenities as well as beaches, water sport options, and picturesque views.
Additionally, Lecco is a great place to stay if you want to do some cycling, hiking, or, if you visit in the wintertime, skiing.
Where to Stay in Lecco
A quaint, intimate hotel, Hotel Don Abbondio is a great mid-range option located right in the beautiful Piazza Era Square. The hotel is great if you want to take a guided tour, boat excursion, or have a private classical concert performed for you — the staff will arrange it all!
The beautiful NH Lecco Pontevecchio is the place to be for luxury accommodations in Lecco. The property is just a 5-minute walk away from the historic center, and even features an electric bike rental service.
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An elegant village located near Bellagio, Tremezzo is home to beautiful villas (including the famous Villa Carlotta), an art museum, the remains of medieval fortresses, and classical hotels.
While there, don’t miss out on taking the 7-8 hour trek up Mount Crocione, the views from which are definitely worth the hike.
Where to Stay in Tremezzo
Hotel Bazzoni is a mid-range option that is just steps from the bus station and features one of the best buffets in the region, serving Italian and International cuisine.
Grand Hotel Tremezzo is a luxurious world-class property that features a sauna, relaxation lounge, hot tub, motorboats for rent, and wine bars. Plus, the hotel has tons of fitness options including three swimming pools, a gym, a tennis court, and jogging paths.
Brunate, referred to as “the balcony of the Alps”, may not be along the coastline but is known for its hilly landscape and awesome view of Lake Como, which is easily accessed by the Como Funicular. Additionally, the town is known for its elegant villas, the Volta Lighthouse, and great hikes nearby.
Where to Stay in Brunate
A cute mid-range option in Brunate, the Bellavista Boutique Hotel is art nouveau property that is just steps from the Como funicular. The property is highly rated and even has a sauna and hot tub.
Another mid-budget hotel in Brunate, Locanda Milano is a charming place that offers beautiful views of the lake.
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A village located just 2 kilometers northwest of Como, Cernobbio is a popular spot for vacationers that still offers a quaint feel. Due to its prime location, the town is full of palaces and beautiful villas to check out (the most popular being Villa Erba and Villa Bernasconi).
Also, if you’re a music fan who likes to take in events and concerts, then head to Riva di Cernobbio — the lakeside promenade. It’s the place to be on those beautiful Italian summer nights!
Where to Stay in Cernobbio
A converted farmhouse surrounded by a park in the center of Cernobbio, Hotel Terzo Crotto is an excellent mid-range option that elegantly styled and has an extensive wine selection.
A four-star property in Cernobbio, Hotel Asnigo is surrounded by a lovely park and features a swimming pool, modern rooms, and a terrace restaurant.
In the center of the Western side of Lake Como you’ll find Menaggio, a lively town featuring a beautiful harbor, narrow Italian alleyways, a cute old-town, boutiques, restaurants, and bustling public squares.
In Menaggio, check out the town’s many little churches, spend time at the Menaggio-Cadenabbia Golf Club, hike up to the ruins of a medieval castle, and try out some water sports.
Where to Stay in Menaggio
A highly-rated budget option in Menaggio is Albergo Il Vapore. The hotel is just a few steps from the lake, and it features a restaurant, a beautiful terrace, and is very close to the bus stop.
Hotel Du Lac Menaggio is a mid-range option that sits right above a great coffee shop. The marina is close by and the golf club is within a ten minute drive.
Grand Hotel Menaggio is a luxury property set right on the shoreline of the lake and is just steps from the ferry terminal. The rooms here are spacious and the hotel offers rentable water sports equipment, two restaurants, a swimming pool, and live piano performances in the evenings.