One could spend an entire lifetime traveling all over Europe and still barely just scratch the surface of all it has to offer. Made up of so many countries, each with their own histories, landmarks, traditions, festivals, cuisines, and people, Europe is the perfect place to have new experiences and make magical memories, and Italy always stands out as one of the most popular countries in Europe for travelers of all ages.
Italy is renowned all over the globe for its beauty. The birthplace of so many artists, scholars, poets, philosophers, and thinkers, Italy has played a key role in the development of art, culture, science, and other aspects of human civilization, and it’s a wonderful country to travel around, with its big city locations like Rome, Venice, and Florence standing out as some of the best places to start any Italian vacation.
Milan, located in the northern part of the country in the Lombardy region, is another key example of a beautiful Italian city. Strongly associated with fashion and design, Milan is home of many stylish boutiques and high-end luxury stores. It’s also a historic city with some stunning monuments and architecture. The likes of Sforzesco Castle and the Duomo di Milano are some of the top sights to see in Milan.
If you’re staying in Milan but looking for a real change of pace and want to see a different side of Italian life, you should definitely consider doing a day trip to Lake Como. Also located in the Lombardy region, Lake Como is a gorgeous lakeside resort destination, famous for its fairy tale scenery. It backs onto the Alps and has attracted many famous artists and celebrities over the years as one of the prettiest and most pristine natural spaces in all of Italy. Here’s how to plan a dream day trip to Lake Como from Milan.
Getting to Lake Como from Milan
Lake Como is only about 80 km (50 miles) away from Milan, so the journey isn't a long one and can actually be very beautiful and scenic. In fact, many frequent Lake Como visitors say that the drive or train ride to Lake Como is one of their favorite parts of visiting this popular lake. If you’re traveling to Lake Como from Milan for a day trip, you can choose to travel by car or by train.
Getting to Lake Como from Milan by Car
If you have decided to rent a vehicle during your trip to Milan and want to make the drive up to Lake Como, you'll spend around 90 minutes on the road on average. You'll follow the A9 north and then turn off onto the SS340 upon arrival at Como.
As previously mentioned, this is a very scenic drive and can be highly enjoyable, so taking a car is a good option as it gives you the freedom to stop for photos and choose your own departure times.
Getting to Lake Como from Milan by Train
Many people choose to travel to Lake Como from Milan by train, and there are a few different options to choose from, depending on whereabouts in your Milan you'd like to begin your journey. Trains can go to Lake Como from Milano Centrale, which is the main station in the center of Milan, but also from Milano Cadorna and Milano Porta Garibaldi.
In general, the journey will take about an hour, with the trains from Milano Central being even faster. The slower trains are usually more scenic, however, with the Milano Cadorna - Como Nord Lago route being particularly popular with travelers as it offers a slightly different route to the other trains and provides some unique views of the mountains.
Important Information and Things to Do at Lake Como
- Getting Around - If you've taken your own car, you can simply drive around Lake Como as needed to reach the various towns like Como, Bellagio, Lecco, and Tremezzina. There are also buses and boats connecting these towns, as well as trains running along the eastern side of the lake. The bus service is the fastest and most efficient way to get around for a day trip, with lots of stops dotted all around the Lake Como area.
- Best Time to Visit Lake Como - There's no bad time to visit Lake Como, but if you want to feel free to walk around the various towns and enjoy the sights, it makes sense to go when the weather is nice. Most people tend to visit Lake Como anywhere from late spring through to early fall, i.e. from April through to October. During this period, the temperatures are often just right for exploration. The weather gets even better in the summer, but the numbers of tourists will also rise during the summer months.
- Things to Do at Lake Como - Lake Como is a scenic, relaxing place, so the top tip for any day trip to this location is to take your time and not feel like you need to rush around. Many day trips involve a lot of rushing and running to fit as much as possible into the day, but Lake Como is a soothing, calming place where people go to feel relaxed and revitalized. Appreciate the views and admire the scenery around you, rather than trying to visit too much all at once. Some of the highlights of the area include the city of Como itself, which is home to a beautiful cathedral and has some great shops to check out, as well as the picturesque towns of Bellagio and Menaggio. You can also head out on the water for a cruise across Lake Como and admire the many luxury celebrity homes on the landscape.