In May, I visited Lake Como for 4 days. It can be difficult to figure out how to get to Lake Como, so here’s a quick guide to make your trip easier!
The best place to fly for a trip to Lake Como is Milan. There are 3 airports in Milan – Malpensa, Bergamo, and Linate. For the purposes of this trip, the best airport to fly to is Milan Malpensa airport as there is a train station here which you can take the train to Milano Centrale station, and from here take the train to Como San Giovanni Train station. A short 5-10 minute walk form Como San Giovanni Train station brings you right to the lake. We bought tickets either at the station or through Trainline.
There is an alternative route from Malpensa airport to Como which is the Malpensa Express train, taking you from the airport to Saronna in 20 minutes, then you change over to the train for Como Nord Lago, which takes about an hour.
If you plan on staying in Varenna, the best option is to take the train from Milano Centrale to Varenna-Esino, as this takes you straight to Varenna in around an hour.
Getting to different towns on the lake can be tricky. The two main options (especially for budget travellers) are buses and ferries.
Right on the lake front, there is a ferry port where you can buy tickets and get on the ferry. There are multiple ferry routes to take you all around the lake to every town. We stayed in Nesso, so the ferry took around an 1h 15m and cost around £5 per person. This was my favourite way to get around the lake as we saw beautiful views and saw much more of the lake than on the bus, so I definetley recommend spending a bit more time and money using the ferry at least once during your trip. Be sure to check the routes of the ferries first to make sure you get on the right one as they can be confusing on first glance!
Buses are another great option as they are quicker and cheaper than the ferries. From Como to Nesso, the bus costs around £2 per person and took about 30 minutes. However, they can be quite unreliable as they get very full depending on where you get on so you could end up missing it.
Como to Milan Bergamo
To get back to Milan from Como, we took the train from San Giovanni station to Milano Centrale. As we were flying home from Milan Bergamo, we decided to take the Orio Shuttle bus from Milan to Milan Bergamo airport. This shuttle bus runs every 30 minutes, takes around an hour and costs around £10 per person.
There are so many options to get to Lake Como so be sure to have a vague idea of how you plan to travel there before your trip!