Lake Como - Where to Stay for first time travelers

Where to Stay in Lake Como for a first time visit? An insider’s guide 2024

Soak up the old Italian charm of Lake Como and the charming surrounding villages with my ‘Where to stay in Lake Como’ guide!

Lake Como is one of the most amazing places in Italy, boasting lush nature and colourful towns that are unlike anything you’ve ever seen. The atmosphere is pretty laid-back, and the global elite frequently visit this destination due to the luxurious establishments with first-class amenities.

Not only that, but the Italian region is also quite diverse, meaning that even if you’re not a luxury traveller, you’ll still find plenty of options for where to stay in Lake Como. I especially recommend this destination for couples, especially those who want to take their relationship to the next level!

But as always, let’s answer the question that’s surely on your mind:

We know that different types of people require different advice on travel accommodations. This guide includes the best areas for

  • the first time visitor
  • Families
  • Couples
  • Luxury & Design
  • Solo-Traveler
  • on a budget

Are you more of a visual learner/travel planner?

Lucky for you, we’ve included a map with all of our favorite neighborhoods and handpicked hotels for all of your travel needs.

Check it out below to get a better idea of where you should stay for your first or next visit to the Lake Como.

Read more: If you are looking for another travel destination, we have a guide to 7 days in Tuscany.

(This guide is always up to date, the last updated July 2024.)

But, first things first:

Here is the question: Where to stay in Lake Como for a first-time visit?

The answer is simple: Como

Whether coming from Milan, Bergamo, Lugano or by plane, your first destination to Lake Como will be the city of Como itself.

Firstly, Como is the biggest place around the lake, with plenty of shopping and nightlife offerings. Here, you’d never run out of things to do. Expect a busy area with many events, historical sites and beautiful views.

And now, let’s look at the 3 suggestions for places you should visit:

  • Piazza Duomo, Cathedral and Broletto
  • Lakeside gardens, Volta Museum & War memorial
  • Villa Olmo

Why do we recommend these areas?

The centre of events takes place in Piazza Duomo, which captivates with its magnificent setting and the cathedral in the square itself. The cathedral dates back to the 14th century and is primarily Gothic, Romanesque, Renaissance and Baroque styles. It is also better known as one of the most important religious buildings in northern Italy. Right next to the cathedral is the so-called Town Wall or Broletto, a stone building in tones of grey, black and red, which adds soul to the entire square. Influencers, here is your photo shoot spot.

Apart from the beautiful architecture, this town also offers beautiful nature – be sure to visit some of the lakeside gardens. There are many of them, especially in the surrounding villages, but Villa Melzi d’Eril and Villa D’este are considered must-visits.

Finally, the villas in the surroundings are no less worth seeing. Visit the neoclassical Villa Olmo, which has a beautiful garden and frequently exhibits works of renowned artists in its gallery.

Here’s a full map for you to understand the different areas.

Please note: those might not be the exact names of the districts, neither its absolute borders. I just tried to simplify this information.

📍Best Area:Tremezzo
👨‍👩‍👧‍👦 Best for Families:Albergo Firenze
👩‍❤️‍👨 Best for Couples:Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni
💎 Best Luxury HotelGrand Hotel Tremezzo
🤩 Best Design Hotel:Casa Sull’Albero
😎 Best for Groups:Hotel Bellagio
🦸 Best for Solo-Traveller:Hotel Vischi
💃 Best Hotel for Nightlife:Hotel Belvedere
🤑 Cheapest Place to stay:Hotel Baia di Pare
👌 Safest Area: Como

1. Best areas and handpicked hotels for Lake Como

Something you should think about first after choosing the destination is where to stay in Lake Como. Whether in the town or the surrounding countryside, I am sure you will find the best one to suit your preferences. That’s precisely why I’ve prepared a short guide for you below by categories and places:

Continue scrolling or pick your group and travel type on the menu:

1.1 Families
1.2 Couples
1.3 Luxury Traveler
1.4 Design Traveler
1.5 Groups
1.6 Solo-Traveler
1.7 Nightlife-seeking traveler
1.8 Budget Traveler

1.1 Families

Are you looking for the most accessible place to stay in Lake Como, with lots of parks and playgrounds, suitable for various budgets? In that case, look for accommodation in Como. This town is easily accessible and walkable, making it a convenient option for families with small children. If you have the time for it, you can also visit some of the adventure parks in the area!

Handpicked accommodations for families

Albergo Firenze, Como

Albergo Firenze is an excellent hotel in Como with a great location overlooking the piazza and near the ferry port. In your arrangement, you get good-sized rooms, a superb breakfast selection and pleasant staff available 24 hours with an open desk. Also, because the surroundings of this hotel are traffic-free, your kids will be perfectly safe running around in the area.

Book Albergo Firenze here

Relax and unwind at Albergo Firenze

Have a great time at Albergo Firenze

Villa Lina, Tremezzo

Located in the peaceful surroundings of the village of Tremezzo, Villa Lina is a real escape from the crowd. Families can spend their days in the lush green spaces in the villa and can even dip in for a swim on the lake. However, if you want to provide a real surprise for the little ones, you can take them on a plane tour – how awesome is that!

Book Villa Lina here

Private room at Villa Lina

Have a pleasant stay at Villa Lina

 1.2 Couples

The surroundings of Lake Como are the epitome of romance and tranquillity. To taste the real magic, I recommend looking into the best places to stay in Lake Como around Bellagio, the most romantic destination of all around the lake, with beautiful cobbled streets that tell love stories.

Handpicked accommodations for couples

Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni, Bellagio

Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni has a private beach, elegant rooms, exhilarating spa facilities and majestic views of Lake Como and the Alps. I also recommend this place for honeymooners due to the one-of-a-kind atmosphere of its surroundings.

Book Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni here

Make yourself at home at Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni

Enjoy your time at Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni

Villa Lario Resort Mandello, Mandello del Lario

Villa Lario Resort is another luxurious hotel with deluxe rooms and suites created for lovebirds. A terrace, garden and outdoor swimming pools are also available, as well as private rooms designed for the utmost pleasure.

Book Villa Lario Resort Mandello here

Experience comfort at Villa Lario Resort Mandello

Have a wonderful stay at Villa Lario Resort Mandello

1.3 Luxury traveler

If you’re a luxury traveller looking for where to stay in Lake Como, your search will be a breeze! As previously mentioned, this lake is a hotspot for the rich and famous, so don’t be too surprised if you see a celebrity chilling out casually.

To ensure the best stay, I’ve selected the following regions, promising luxuries beyond your expectations

  • Tremezzo – the mecca of luxurious hotels
  • Blevio – a region that has long been associated with luxury and opulence, attracting discerning travellers and homeowners who seek a high-end lifestyle

Handpicked accommodations for the luxury traveler

Grand Hotel Tremezzo, Tremezzo

The most famous Grand Hotel Tremezzo, is built with elegant decor, tennis courts, and unparalleled lake and mountain views. It has several restaurants with exquisite dining, one of which is panoramic and one with a powerful Michelin star. It is only 3 minutes away from the famous Villa Carlotta. Opulent rooms and the private beach will make you feel like you never want to leave the hotel.

Book Grand Hotel Tremezzo here

Enjoy your stay at Grand Hotel Tremezzo

Have fun at Grand Hotel Tremezzo

Mandarin Oriental, Lago di Como, Blevio

Guests can benefit from the opulent rooms with a balcony or terrace, sauna, two restaurants, a bar and a 16-metre heated pool. But what is most fabulous are the two villas within the Mandarin Oriental that offer intimacy and exquisite luxury.

Book Mandarin Oriental here

Relax and unwind at Mandarin Oriental, Lago di Como

Have a great time at Mandarin Oriental, Lago di Como

1.4 Design-lovers

You have already visited the Italian capital of fashion, Milan. You are only 50 kilometres away from Lake Como, where you can assure yourself that the closeness to Milan is not so spontaneous. The residents of Como and the surrounding villages are the leading producers of silk in Italy, and proof of this can be found in the two museums, Museo Didattico della Seta and Museo della Seta. In the towns, you will also come across luxury shops full of pieces from the vibrant fashion scene. To witness the excellent craftwork, choose:

  • Como
  • Milan

Though the accommodations themselves aren’t located in the regions above, I’ve singled them out because design travellers would never forgive me if I don’t share them!

Handpicked accommodations for the design lover

Casa Sull’Albero, Malgrate

Two modern villas, Casa Sull’Albero, with wall-to-wall windows provide the best view of the park. To enjoy the beautiful park and pool, vacationing at one of the best places to stay in Lake Como is a unique experience for even more exceptional people who have a keen aesthetic fondness and seek inspiration in nature.

Book Casa Sull’Albero here

Private room at Casa Sull'Albero

Have a pleasant stay at Casa Sull'Albero

Il Sereno Lago di Como, Torno

Il Sereno Lago di Como offers a gorgeous, inspirational setting with bright rooms from which you can admire the sunset. In front of you, you will enjoy the balcony and the view of the pool and the surrounding nature, while its interiors will surely satisfy your eye for design.

Make yourself at home at Il Sereno Lago di Como

Enjoy your time at Il Sereno Lago di Como

1.5 Groups

Whether as a stopover or a more extended stay, the surroundings of Lake Como are an excellent experience for group travel.
As a proven option, I recommend these two locations, which are ideal places to explore the entire region and offer easily accessible transportation that you don’t need to pay a fortune for.

  • Bellagio
  • Lenno

Handpicked accommodations for groups

Hotel Bellagio, Bellagio

The Hotel Bellagio features a central location, making your group steps away from many popular attractions in the area. In other words, no need to use public transport! The people at the reception will be available for you at any given time, and they can even make suggestions and book day excursions for everyone!

Book Hotel Bellagio here

Experience comfort at Hotel Bellagio

Have a wonderful stay at Hotel Bellagio

Hotel Lenno, Lenno

Hotel Lenno offers a beautiful view of the Gulf of Venus and spacious attic rooms for more people. You can socialize in the sauna swimming pool, enjoy water sports or dine in top restaurants. Lenno (the location, not the hotel) is often mentioned as one of the best towns in Lake Como, so take the whole group to find out why!

Book Hotel Lenno here

Enjoy your stay at Hotel Lenno

Have fun at Hotel Lenno

1.6 Solo-travelers

Depending on whether you want a more dynamic or self-love meditation vacation, I have prepared two options for where to stay in Lake Como as a solo traveller:

  • Domaso
  • Varenna

Handpicked accommodations for a solo traveler

Hotel Vischi, Domaso

Hotel Vischi, located in the peaceful village of Domaso, is the place to dedicate yourself after extended explorations of Lake Como. All rooms are incredibly comfortable, with a private bathroom and a view of the relaxing lake. If you bring your pet, it will be welcome in this oasis of peace.

Book Hotel Vischi here

Relax and unwind at Hotel Vischi

Have a great time at Hotel Vischi

Hotel du Lac Varenna, Varenna

Are you still more of a fun and party type and looking for new friends? Varenna is the place for you, especially if you travel from Milan. This is the most accessible destination in the region – and the safest! The site is jam-packed, and in Hotel du Lac Varenna, you can enjoy the bar or the evening busted with a lake view. Each room has a patio, terrace, or balcony, and in the summer months, you can find company in the outdoor pool with a hydromassage.

Book Hotel du Lac Varenna here

Private room at Hotel du Lac Varenna

Have a pleasant stay at Hotel du Lac Varenna

1.7 Nightlife Traveler

The Lake Como area is made for an enjoyable nightlife experience with sophisticated bars and killer live music performances near the lake. For slightly more crazy parties, you can book a place on one of the evening boat tours. For the best nightlife and easiest access to the clubs, I recommend:

  • Bellagio

Handpicked accommodations for nightlife

Hotel Belvedere, Bellagio

Hotel Belvedere is located a few minutes from the centre, and in preparation for your night out, you can enjoy the panoramic restaurant and bar. After going out the next day, enjoy the excellent breakfast, and cool off the hangover in the steam room, or even opt for a massage.

Book Hotel Belvedere here

Make yourself at home at Hotel Belvedere

Enjoy your time at Hotel Belvedere

Hotel Du Lac & SPA, Bellagio

Hotel Du Lac is based in the heart of Bellagio. The kind staff is here to help you choose the best bar or nightclub and to welcome you the next day with great food and peace in the soundproof rooms.

Book Hotel Du Lac & SPA here

Experience comfort at Hotel Du Lac & SPA

Have a wonderful stay at Hotel Du Lac & SPA

1.8 For the Budget Traveler

While Como is the hotspot of luxury, it also has a more affordable side as well. Of course, the restaurant prices may surprise you, so keep an eye out for local eateries. Surprisingly, they have some of the best food!

Handpicked accommodations for budget traveler

Hotel Baia di Pare, Valmadrera

Hotel Baia di Pare, this simple yet sophisticated place to stay in Lake Como, provides exceptional comfort and the best views of the lake itself! It is ideal for those seeking peace away from the city’s clamor.

Book Hotel Baia di Pare here

Enjoy your stay at Hotel Baia di Paré

Have fun at Hotel Baia di Paré

Villa Crochat, Como

Villa Crochat offers rooms that are affordable and worth what they offer: an oasis setting and perfect cleanliness. Each apartment has a fully equipped kitchen, coffee machine, and a private bathroom. Don’t give up when you see the initial prices because they refer to Penthouse apartments and deluxe rooms. You should choose a basic room for two or four.

Book Villa Crochat here

Relax and unwind at Villa Crochat

Have a great time at Villa Crochat

2. Best Neighborhood to Stay in Lake Como

Como

The central part and the most significant area belong to the vibrant town of Como, one of the safest places due to its high frequency. In addition, it also beats the vote for the cheapest accommodation suitable for your budget-friendly list. Como is the ultimate location for where to stay in Lake Como, serving as a base for exploring the entire region due to excellent transportation.

Tremezzo

And now a few words about the place with the most luxurious hotels on the entire coast of Como. It’s suitable for travellers who prefer a high-end vacation. While there, don’t miss the two most beautiful botanical gardens, Villa Carlotta and Villa del Balbianello. An interesting fact for movie lovers: 2 episodes of Star Wars and the 2006 James Bond movie were filmed in Balbianello.

Bellagio

The charming historical centre and the many elegant villas symbolize Bellagio. Here, you can find both affordable accommodations and luxury suites. All attractions in the city are easily accessible, and it is super convenient for families, groups or elderly people. And the couples who come here leave with an unforgettable romantic experience.

Varenna

It is a small and quiet place suitable for relaxation outside the centre, recognizable by its colourful houses. It is excellent for those who are tireless and like to walk. Nearby is Villa Monastero, a former monastery turned lush oasis. And while you’re in the centre, take a photo at Piazza San Giorgio, an exciting place full of tourists and cafes.

3. FAQs

What is the best neighborhood to stay in Lake Como?

The best neighborhood to stay in Lake Como depends on your preferences and travel goals. For a first-time visit, Como is recommended due to its central location, vibrant atmosphere, and accessibility. Tremezzo is ideal for luxury travelers, Bellagio is known for its romantic charm, and Varenna offers a quieter, scenic experience. Each neighborhood has its unique appeal, catering to various interests.

Where should you not stay in Lake Como?

While Lake Como is generally a safe destination, the definition of the "best" or "worst" area can vary based on personal preferences. Some may find the bustling and busier areas like Como less appealing if seeking a tranquil retreat. It's essential to research neighborhoods based on your preferences, such as nightlife, tranquility, or proximity to specific attractions, to ensure a satisfying stay.

What should I avoid in Lake Como?

While Lake Como is a beautiful destination, there are some general tips to enhance your experience. Avoid peak tourist seasons if you prefer a quieter atmosphere. Be cautious of crowded tourist traps, and explore off-the-beaten-path locations for a more authentic experience. Additionally, pay attention to local customs and respect the natural environment to ensure a positive and responsible visit.

Where should I stay in Lake Como for the first time?

For a first-time visit to Lake Como, Como itself is recommended as the initial destination. Como is the largest town around the lake, offering a vibrant atmosphere with shopping, nightlife, and historical sites. It provides a central hub for exploring the region and ensures a bustling environment with various events. Piazza Duomo, Lakeside gardens, and Villa Olmo are suggested places to visit in Como for a memorable introduction to Lake Como.

4. Map + All Sights

Lake Como is a magical place to visit in spring, and we have the perfect map to help you plan your trip. Our map shows you different types of accommodations that cater to all kinds of travelers, whether you are traveling with your partner, your family, or by yourself.

You can choose from cozy cottages, elegant hotels, or charming B&Bs, all surrounded by the breathtaking beauty of Lake Como. You will have an amazing time exploring this enchanting destination, no matter where you stay. Your dream lake vacation begins with the perfect accommodation.

5. Summary of where to stay in Lake Como

With this, I conclude my guide of where to stay in Lake Como! As always, if you have more questions regarding this beautiful location, email me!

Other European Destinations

Before you run off, here is a few more handwritten articles for you. These will help you to find more unique experiences and enjoy your holidays at fullest.

Any Questions?

There you have it. I hope you have no questions and found your home in my home town.

However, please remember: I am not perfect, and it is likely I missed a few things to point out.

Therefore: Do you have questions? Is anything not clear?

Please please please drop me a comment below with your email! I will reply to you ASAP via email and here in the comments.

In fact, your questions help me to make this article better. So I help you to help me.

Travel Europe Smarter in 2024

Safety: Travel Insurance
Hey Mondo and Safetywing are the best travel insurances.

Find better Flight Deals
Famous Skyscanner is the #1 tool to find great deals for flying to Europe.

Need a Guide?
Take Walks run small walking tours all over Europe. They offer high-quality walking tours with exceptional guides.

Need internet in Europe?
Unleash your mobile freedom in Europe with Airalo.com eSIM card with instant activation, comprehensive coverage, cost savings, and unmatched convenience, all in one tiny chip! More info and discount code here.

Reliable Car Rental
Discover Cars.com is a top website for renting cars. Read our full review.

More Money-Saving Travel websites

Check out our guide to the best 16 Travel Websites for Europe.
Bookmark this site; it will easily save you money using these recommended websites.

best Travel Sites for Europe