The best time to visit Lake Como is whenever you feel like you need to catch a breath away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Just imagine yourself sipping a delicious cappuccino being surrounded by mountains and the eternal peace of the blue water. It’s not surprising why Lake Como is known as the Pearl of Northern Lombardy, the hidden gem celebrities adore and the place that attracts tourists from all over the world. But what are the best things to do in Lake Como Italy? Is lake Como worth visiting? Ringed by its beautiful towns and villages, there are so many amazing things to do in Como Italy, that you should definitely plan ahead.
15 Best things to do in Lake Como Italy
What are the best places to stay at Lake Como? Are there any gyms in Como? We’re sure you have a bunch of questions and we’re ready to answer them all. Lake Como is one of those destinations around Milan where you can easily arrive even if you don’t have a car. There are magical places to discover, and it’s a destination that’s also perfect for those, who come to Italy to relax, and if you prefer lakes and mountains over coastal destinations!
If you’re wondering what to do in Lake Como Italy or you want to learn about the best towns to visit on Lake Como, we’re happy to guide you through your trip to this beautiful destination. Read on to find out what is the best time to visit lake Como and what are the best things to do in Como Italy you will never forget!
Let’s start our collection of the best things to do in Lake Como Italy with one of the best towns to visit on Lake Como, the picturesque Bellagio. This charming little town is famous for its beautiful alleys leading to the lakefront and tiny streets of the old town. Take a walk on these streets and enjoy the fine selection of the local souvenir shops and a delicious meal at a family-owned restaurant.
Walking on the lakeshore, you will soon reach the Punta Spartivento, the tip of the town. This spot is famous for its breathtaking view of the lake with the snowy mountains in the background. Spend some time here, as most likely this is the view you will always remember. So, if you are not sure what to do in Lake Como Italy, visiting Bellagio is always a good answer. All you need is a pair of comfortable shoes, a cup of strong espresso, and a joyful attitude to keep you climbing the many many stairs along the way.
Speaking of the best towns to visit on Lake Como, we cannot leave out Como town from the list either. Located less than an hour from the bustle of Milan, Como is the best to visit in spring or late summer, when you can enjoy walking the beautiful streets without a crowd.
There are many things to do in Como Italy, the town has a lot to offer its visitors. Among the best lake Como places to visit are the churches, museums, memorials, and sculptures of the town, all within walking distance, so you can quickly and effortlessly check every attraction on your list. When in Como, don’t forget to visit the Como Cathedral, also the Silk Museum is worth your time as well.
This museum is completely dedicated to silk, which made the Como region world-famous for its fine silk production. Learn how silk is made, and see the machinery used to create one of the most luxurious materials in the world. It’s undoubtedly a great way to spend some time and learn something new, so you shouldn’t hesitate too much to get your ticket and dive deep into the history of Lake Como’s silk.
3. Centro Lago
If you are still wondering whether is lake Como worth visiting, here’s another gem you simply cannot ignore! When it comes to places to visit in lake Como, Centro Lago is a top attraction you must see while traveling here. If one wants to live in Italy, the Lake Como and this area is specifically beautiful, if you can afford it.
Centro Lago is the meeting point of the three arms of the lake. Thanks to the picture-perfect view from here, this famous area is home to luxurious villas with splendid interiors and romantic gardens. The prestigious villas and hidden palaces are celebrities’ and wealthy people’s favorite places for a retreat, so don’t be shocked if you bump into someone famous while walking on the lakeshore.
4. Villa del Balbianello
Overlooking the bright blue water of the lake, visiting Villa del Balbianello is one of the best things to do in Lake Como Italy. Considering the 15 attractions on our list, there are many places to go in lake Como, but if you choose to visit one luxurious villa during your trip, make it Villa del Balbianello.
This 18th-century elegant mansion with its romantic garden showcases the beautiful Italian architecture and the cultural heritage of the Como area. Once this garden hosted writers, artists, scholars, and world-famous travelers, who all felt inspired by the scenic view that is honestly, quite challenging to compare to anything else.
Movies like the Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones or 007 Casino Royal were made at Villa del Balbianello. Spend some time discovering the history of the villa and if you can, arrive later in the afternoon, as the sunsets from here are magnificent.
5. Taxi Boat Varenna
You haven’t been to Lake Como if you haven’t taken the Taxi Boat Varenna to discover the remarkable villas from the lake. If you don’t know what to do in Lake Como Italy, take a taxi boat tour and enjoy the incredible sights right from the water. You can opt for a group tour or an exclusive private tour, depending on your budget and preference.
If you plan to take a boat tour during your travels, the best time to visit Lake Como is in late spring and summer. This time you can enjoy the good weather and sun while exploring the gems of the lakeshore.
6. Villa Carlotta
Continuing our collection of the best things to do in Lake Como Italy, Villa Carlotta is another one of the most charming places to go in lake Como. The villa welcomes the visitor with its beautiful botanical garden that has a cozy little café, bookshop, and picnic area you can enjoy on sunny days.
The interior won’t leave you disappointed either. Once you enter the villa, you will be amazed by the remarkable art collection, furnishing, and decor. Your ticket includes entrance to the Museum, which allows you to take a sneak peek at the exhibition rooms located on two floors.
Your journey will begin on the first floor, in the largest and most impressive room of Villa Carlotta, the Marble Room. This floor is dedicated to art, so make sure to take your time and pay attention to all the fine details from the marble floor to the painted ceilings. The second floor is all about private apartments, definitely an exciting insight for the curious visitor!
What do you think at this point, is lake Como worth visiting? We’re sure you already know the answer, but buckle up, we’ve got other places to visit in Lake Como on our list.
Brunate is a popular go-to destination for tourists who want to spend some time by the lake. Situated on the hilltop, this hidden little village overlooks Lake Como, so the breathtaking panorama is guaranteed.
If you want to visit Brunate, you can take a funicular ride from Como to the top of the hill. This way you will be able to enjoy the stunning view over the lake and the snowy peaks of the Alps. After all, Brunate is known as the “Balcony of the Alps”, so it is worth choosing this type of transportation to get there. This is not the only way up though, there are hiking trails too if you seek some adventure through the woods.
8. Botanical Garden at Hotel Villa Cipressi
There are many beautiful lake Como places to visit, but one of the go-to places for nature lovers is definitely the Botanic Garden at Hotel Villa Cipressi. Among all places to go in lake Como, this gem is the melting pot of contemporary architecture and ancient gardens, which is hard to compare to anything else.
When you visit the Botanical Garden at Hotel Villa Cipressi, you will be welcomed by the biodiversity of each Italian region. Get ready for a scented, 100% unique journey through art and blooming trees, right above the bright blue lake ringed by the green hills of Como.
When it comes to the best towns to visit on Lake Como, Lecco stands out. Lecco is famous for its beautiful view of the Bergamo Alps that rise above the town. From Lecco, you can take a cable car ride to Piani d’Erna panorama point, which gives amazing views of Como Lake and the hills surrounding it.
This thriving little town is worth your time, especially if you are looking for some adventure. Compared to other peaceful towns by the lakeside, Lecco is quite busy and commercial. After exploring the best restaurants in town, (which you definitely should do), take a walk to the golden statue of Saint Nicolas at Punta della Magdalena.
There are some churches to visit here as well, especially the Basilica of Saint Nicholas which has beautiful medieval frescos, and the Church of Santa Maria, which is considered one of the oldest churches in Lecco.
10. Villa Melzi
If you visit Bellagio, which is one of the best things to do in Lake Como Italy, make sure to check out Villa Melzi and its breathtaking garden by the lake. You can book a guided tour that includes entrances to the Villa Melzi Museum and the English-style gardens.
The villa was built in the 1800s with the contribution of famous Italian artists, architects, and craftsmen. Since the gates of the Villa Melzi opened for the first time, this place has been a site of inspiration and beauty, where poets, writers, and artists frequently met to admire the landscape.
A truly inspirational hidden spot, Villa Melzi is a must-see destination while visiting Lake Como. Keep it in mind when planning your sightseeing tour in Bellagio.
If you are into romantic walks along the lakeside, one of the best towns to visit on Lake Como is Menaggio. Thanks to its elegant lake promenade, this little town is one of the favorite tourist spots in the Como area. Whether you book a hotel in Menaggio or you plan to take a day trip from any other nearby towns, we’ve got good news for you. Menaggio is only 15-30 minutes away from Bellagio or Varenna, the two most popular towns on the shores of Lake Como.
Once you get here, start your tour of the town from Via Calvi and stop at the Church of Santa Marta, where you can admire ancient paintings from the 17th century. On your way to the lake, take a quick stop on Plaza Garibaldi and enjoy a cup of delicious coffee or a quick dessert.
Continue your walk on the Viale Benedetto Castelli and take a look at colorful houses and villas along the road. See, if you’re not sure what to do in Lake Como Italy, just put Menaggio on your sightseeing plan and prepare to be amazed by its charm! It’s dolce vita right in front of your eyes!
12. Sacred Mount of Ossuccio
If you’re looking for places to visit in Lake Como, the Sacred Mount of Ossuccio is definitely one of the best things to do in Lake Como Italy. The Italian region of Lombardy and Piemont has nine sacri monti, from which Ossuccio is one of the most famous tourist destinations.
The Sacred Mount of Ossuccio was included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 2003. It welcomes visitors with a beautiful panorama of Como Lake. Once here, you can see the Sanctuary of the Beata Vergine del Soccorso and the 240 clay sculptures illustrating the Mysteries of the Rosary.
It is also worth taking a walk to the crown of Mount of Ossuccio, the Santuario della Madonna del Soccorso, a church rich in 13th-century artifacts. Take some time to stop and admire the splendid view of the lake, surrounded by the hills.
Right in front of Bellagio, the comune of Tremezzina is one of the best places to go in lake Como. If you are not sure what to do in Lake Como Italy, check out this beautiful site which is the result of the recent merger of Lenno, Mezzegra, Ossuccio, and Tremezzina.
Tremezzina is one of the largest and most impressive towns on the western branch of the lake. It is rich in history, arts, and culture, so get ready for a full day of adventure and the most magnificent sceneries you can imagine.
You can walk along the lakeside through Teresio Olivelli Park and the Greenway which crosses the entire municipality of Tremezzina. Stop and admire the luxurious villas along the way with their beautiful romantic gardens. Tremezzina is rich in Romanesque and Baroque churches, so make sure to visit some while there.
14. Water sports
Your trip to Lake Como should not necessarily be only about visiting villas and museums, you can enjoy the lake itself. If you are into water sports the best time to visit Lake Como is definitely summer, so you can enjoy the good weather.
One of the best things to do in Lake Como Italy is rowing, which is the most traditional and probably the most relaxing water activity you can do in Como. Rowing along the shores will allow you to admire the hills and villas, and in the meantime, you will burn some calories, too.
If you prefer more adventure, you can go sailing, water skiing, wakeboarding or kitesurfing too. You have plenty of options to choose from, so make sure to research the available options and get the best out of your trip to Lake Como.
15. Relaxing getaway
As you can see, there are many exciting places to visit in lake Como and many things to do in Como Italy, but in case you are looking for a relaxing getaway, you have plenty of options to choose from, with some beautiful Lake Como hotels to choose from!
The peaceful villages and towns welcome you with luxurious resorts and spas, where you can catch a breath away from work and the bustle of the city. Gyms, restaurants, pools, beauty salons, and special events, these resorts have everything ready in order to make you feel at home and help you enjoy your stay.
The Centro Lago area is rich in glamorous spa resorts where you can enjoy the best of traditional Italian gastronomy or try special gourmet restaurants. You can also rent a waterfront villa for a romantic weekend and admire the breathtaking scenery from a hot tub while sipping on fine Italian prosecco. What else could you wish for?
Wrapping up the 15 Best things to do in Lake Como Italy
Now that we discussed all the best things to do in Como Italy, it is time to give you our final verdict: is lake Como worth visiting? Our 100% confident answer is yes! Lake Como is a perfect destination for relaxing weekend getaways, cultural trips, or even day trips from Milan.
And if you are still wondering what is the best time to visit lake Como, think of the activities you want to do there. If you are into water sports, choose summer for the time of your trip, but if you would rather explore the cultural side of the region and avoid the crowd, the best time to visit Como is Spring or Autumn.