Lake Como is located in Northern Italy and is situated in the Lombardy region. It is known for its picturesque towns and natural beauty making it a popular summer destination for tourists. If it is your first time traveling to Lake Como, it can be overwhelming planning which transportation you can take to get around.
The best way to get around Lake Como is by boat or ferry. You don’t need to rent a car in Lake Como as the public transport system connects its major towns very well. You can drive around Lake Como if that is what you prefer but there are limitations in parking and driving.
If you are planning on visiting Lake Como soon, this article will talk about how to get around Lake Como without a car. We will also talk about 2 charming towns that you can stay in Lake Como.
Do You Need A Car To Get Around Lake Como?
Lake Como is the third-largest lake in Italy after Lake Garda and Lake Maggiore. It has a lot of towns lining its shores and you might think that you need a car to get around when visiting the Lake Como area.
You actually don’t need a car to get around Lake Como. The towns in Lake Como are well connected by ferries, boats, and other public transportation.
But, rental cars can be used if that is your preferred way to get around. If you are thinking of having a rental car during your trip, it is also good to note that parking can be very limited, and driving from town to town can take longer than taking the ferry.
How To Get Around Lake Como Without A Car?
There are several ways you can get around Lake Como and you don’t need a car for that. The best way to explore Lake Como is either by boat or by ferry. But, there are also taxis, buses, and trains that connect several towns in Lake Como.
By Ferries Or Boats
If you want to travel from town to town while enjoying the scenic view of Lake Como, the best way is to travel by boat or ferry. There are several boat and ferry services that connect major towns in Lake Como such as Bellagio, Varenna, Menaggio, and Cadenabbia (Tremezzo).
You can also rent your own private boat during your trip to Lake Como. This is a great option if you want to take more time in each town and soak in the beauty of Lake Como and its surrounding mountains.
If you prefer to travel by train service, it is also possible to do so in Lake Como. However, it is important to know that there are no trains operating on the western branch of Lake Como. You can take the train up to Como City and from there, you will need to take the bus to go to other towns on the western side of the Lake.
Like the ferry and boat services, buses also connect most major towns in Lake Como. It is a convenient way to get around if you prefer to travel on land.
If you are staying on the western side of the lake, riding the bus is the only means of transport aside from ferries and boats. The C10 bus takes you to several towns on the western side of Lake Como. If you prefer to travel by bus, take note that traffic can get a little heavy so it may not be the best option if you are in a rush.
Getting around Lake Como by taxi is definitely the quickest mode of transportation. It is also more expensive than riding the bus, ferry, or train. But, if you are in a rush and don’t mind paying more, taxi services can definitely get you to your destination directly.
Where To Stay In Lake Como Without A Car
As we said earlier, Lake Como is known for its charming and picturesque towns. There are several towns where you can stay and a car is not needed to get around.
Varenna is one of Lake Como’s picturesque towns and is also one of its more popular towns. Varenna is an easy train ride from Milan and the travel time is only about an hour. This makes it a perfect day trip from Milan or vice versa.
It is easy to get around Varenna and it is a small town so you don’t need a car to explore Varenna. It is accessible by foot and you can walk around everywhere. The train station in Varenna also gives you more transportation options to explore nearby towns such as Lecco and Bellano. If you want to stay in Varenna, make sure to stay in the central area as it is very accessible to the ferry terminal and main center square.
Some of the best things to do in Varenna are to try out several restaurants in the area, visit the historic Villa Monastero which is a historical environmental site, or go on a hike to see more of Varenna’s wonderful scenery.
If you are coming from Milan and want to go to Bellagio, you can either take the train to Como or Varenna and then take the ferry to Bellagio. From Varenna, the travel time via ferry only takes about 15 minutes.
If you are coming from Como, you can take the hydrofoil to Bellagio which takes about 45 minutes to an hour. There are also slower boats that will take you from Como to Bellagio in 2 to 3 hours. You can also catch the C30 Como Bellagio Bus and it will take around 1 hour and 15 minutes.
Like Varenna, Bellagio is also accessible by foot. If you want to explore other towns, you can also do so via a ferry or boat ride.
Some of the things to do in Bellagio are to explore the town center with its picturesque cobblestone streets or to swim in the turquoise waters of Lake Como. There are very few spots in Lake Como where you can swim in the lake and Bellagio is one of them.
Lake Como is a large lake that has several towns lining up its shores. Having several towns to explore, you might think of renting a car to quickly get to your destination. But, getting around Lake Como is possible without a car.
It is recommended that you get around Lake Como via ferry or boat to enjoy the natural scenery that Lake Como has to offer. We talked about several ways to get around Lake Como without a car. If you are planning to visit Lake Como soon, we hope this article helps you plan how to explore Lake Como. Happy travels!