How to get to Lake Como from Milan?

How to get to Como from Milan

Milan, the bustling metropolis in Northern Italy, is renowned for its fashion, culture, and history. Como, on the other hand, is a beautiful town on Lake Como, surrounded by breathtaking nature. Traveling from Milan to Como offers the chance to enjoy the best of both Italy’s urban and rural charms. In this blog, I will explain how to get to Lake Como from Milan.

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Why Milan is the ideal starting point for traveling to Como?

Milan, as one of the most accessible cities in Northern Italy, serves as an excellent departure point for a trip to Como. Located just about 50 kilometers from Como, this distance offers travelers the opportunity to comfortably reach their destination within an hour, depending on the mode of transportation chosen.

Milan, Italy

Milan is equipped with three major airports: Malpensa, Linate, and Bergamo Orio al Serio, making it an international hub for travelers coming from various parts of the world. Additionally, Milan boasts extensive train connections, with stations such as Milano Centrale and Milano Porta Garibaldi offering frequent and direct train services to Como.

This multitude of transportation options not only makes Milan easily accessible for international and domestic travelers but also ensures a smooth journey to the beautiful Lake Como region, making it an ideal starting point for adventurers and explorers.

Lake Como, Italy

How to get to Lake Como from Milan?

By plane

Choosing to fly into Lake Como, Milan Malpensa (MXP) and Bergamo Orio al Serio (BGY) serve as your best gateways. These airports boast strong connections with numerous Belgian airports, ensuring an easy trip.

Driving to the airport? Look into affordable parking options to save.

Upon landing in Milan, a convenient and cost-effective method to reach Como is the shuttle bus service to Milan Central Station. From there, a direct train will whisk you to Como. Shuttle tickets, costing approximately 10 euros for one-way and 18 euros for round trip, have a journey time of around 50 minutes. Companies like Terravision, flibco.com, and Autostradale offer these services, with tickets available online or directly at the airport upon arrival.

By train

Departing from Milan Central Station, you can catch a Trenitalia train straight to Como San Giovanni station. The travel time, depending on your selected train, ranges from 40 to 50 minutes, offering the quickest link between Milan and Como.

Milan Central railway station, Italy

Approximately 36 trains run this route daily. You can book your train tickets online in advance, or purchase them at the station. The cost of the journey depends on the time and day of departure, with evening rates generally being more affordable than morning ones.

If you choose to travel by train from Belgium to Como, prepare for a long journey of about 10 hours starting from Brussels-Midi/Zuid station.

Around 28 trains operate the 660 km (410 miles) journey from Brussels to Como daily. Departures start at 6:01 am, with the last train at 22:01. Ticket prices vary, and you’ll need to make a few transfers, so it’s wise to plan your trip carefully for a smooth journey.

By car

If you want more freedom during your trip, consider renting a car. I always opt for Sunny Cars because all insurances are included in the price, so there are no unpleasant surprises in the form of additional costs when you pick up the car.

The distance between the two cities is about 50 kilometers (31 miles), and the drive offers the chance to explore the picturesque roads of Northern Italy. However, be aware that traffic in Milan can be busy, and parking in Como can sometimes be a challenge. Make sure you’re familiar with the traffic rules and parking options before you set out.

Love road tripping? You can also drive directly from Belgium to Lake Como. The journey covers some 1000 kilometers (about 621 miles), with the fastest route taking you through Germany and Switzerland. It’s important to note that a vignette is required for using Swiss motorways. This vignette can be purchased at gas stations near the Swiss border. The cost is currently 55 euros and it’s valid for the entire year.

A day trip from Milan

But, of course, you can also plan a day trip to Lake Como during a city break in Milan. This way, you can escape the hustle and bustle and visit some of the beautiful sights at Lake Como. GetYourGuide offers fantastic day trips from Milan.

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From Milan, you can travel to Davos on the famous Bernina Express, a train route that winds through breathtaking Alpine landscapes. This UNESCO-recognized journey connects Italian charm with Swiss splendor, offering an unforgettable experience en route to the ultimate winter sports paradise, Davos Klosters.

Why Como is the ideal base for exploring Lake Como?

The city of Como, situated at the southern tip of the lake that shares its name, serves as the perfect base for exploring Lake Como and its surroundings.

With its unique location, Como offers direct access to both the serene waters and the surrounding mountain landscapes, making it easy to discover the natural beauty and picturesque villages around the lake. The city itself is rich in culture and history, with a charming historic center, impressive cathedrals, and lush villas along the shores.

Como, Italy
Como, Italy
Como, Italy
Como, Italy

Moreover, Como boasts a comprehensive ferry network, seamlessly connecting you to the lake’s numerous highlights, including Bellagio, Varenna, and Menaggio. Would you prefer a customized tour? Be sure to check out the offerings from GetYourGuide.

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Whether your interests lie in unwinding, engaging in water sports, trekking, or delving into the local culture and culinary delights, Como caters to all preferences, establishing itself as the perfect starting point to fully immerse in the diverse experiences Lake Como offers.

How best to get around Lake Como?

Via Ferry

Taking a ferry to explore Lake Como offers an unparalleled experience. With Navigazione Laghi’s services, you can conveniently navigate between the lake’s enchanting villages and towns. This way of travel, though potentially more costly than other options, rewards you with stunning panoramic views of the lake, its grandiose palazzos, and the lush landscape under the beauty of clear skies.

Lake Como, Italy
Lake Como, Italy

You can choose between single or return tickets, available for pre-booking online or for purchase directly at the dock. At the dock, you’ll also find detailed schedules and pricing. To avoid queues, particularly during peak season when it gets busier, securing your tickets in advance is recommended.

Lake Como, Italy

A particularly popular route is the one connecting Varenna, Bellagio, Menaggio, and Tremezzo, but there are numerous other boarding and alighting options available.

Varenna, Lake Como, Italy
Varenna
Varenna, Lake Como, Italy
Varenna

By bus

Exploring Lake Como by bus is both cost-effective and convenient. Ensure you buy your bus tickets before boarding, available at newsstands, Tabacchi shops marked by a “T” sign, or the bus station itself. The flexibility of these undated tickets means you can travel at a time that suits your itinerary, with fares varying by destination.

The scenic C10 bus route, running daily from Como (Stazione Autolinee) to Menaggio and onwards to Colico, is notably dubbed the “Panoramic” route for its breathtaking views along the lake’s eastern coast. Timetables and detailed stop information, including ferry connections, are accessible at each stop and online.

Popular journey durations from Como include:

  • To Cernobbio: 15 minutes
  • To Argegno: 40 minutes
  • To Tremezzo: 60 minutes
  • To Menaggio: 70 minutes
Menaggio, Lake Como, Italy
Menaggio
Cernobbio, Lake Como, Italy
Cernobbio

For adventures along the western shore of Lake Como, the C30 bus line serves as your go-to option. It sets off from Como (San Giovanni station) and makes its way to Bellagio, pausing at numerous charming villages en route.

  • To Torno: 20 minutes
  • To Faggeto Lario: 25 minutes
  • To Nesso: 40 minutes
  • To Bellagio: 70 minutes
Bellagio, Lake Como, Italy
Bellagio
Nesso, Lake Como, Italy
Nesso

By car

When venturing to Lake Como’s towns by car, bear in mind that finding a parking spot can be quite challenging due to the limited availability and narrowness of spaces.

In terms of parking regulations: spaces marked with white lines are free, but may require the use of a parking disc to limit the duration of your stay. Blue-lined parking spaces denote paid parking areas, so ensure your parking ticket is prominently displayed inside your car. Spaces outlined with yellow lines are reserved exclusively for vehicles displaying a disabled parking badge.

Additionally, it’s crucial to pay close attention to any supplementary signs that might specify restrictions on parking times. Navigating parking in Italy requires vigilant observation. Also, consider that fuel costs in Italy are considerably higher than in Belgium, which could impact your travel budget.

Whether you’re prioritizing ease, seeking adventure, or desiring a journey filled with picturesque views, multiple modes of transportation are available to take you from Milan to Como. Each method presents its own set of advantages and unique appeal, allowing you to select the one that aligns perfectly with your travel preferences and itinerary. From traversing by train, driving, sailing by ferry, to hopping on a bus, you’re bound to immerse yourself in the exceptional Italian experience offered by these destinations. Wishing you a splendid journey – Buon viaggio!

Is Lake Como on your bucket list? Let me know in the comments below.

Want to read more about Italy?

Thanks for reading. 

Yours truly,  

Sarah 

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How to get to Lake Como from Milan
How to get to Lake Como from Milan

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