Types of Girl about the Globe (GatG) – Cultural GatG, Lake GatG, Sightseeing GatG
Italy is such a fantastic country for solos and one of those destinations to visit is Lake Como. If you’re planning a trip to this Italian resort area, this guide by Jen Coppins, a fellow solo traveller will inspire you to visit this stunning region.
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- Why Visit Lake Como
- Sightseeing in Lake Como
- Things To Do in Lake Como
- Activities in Lake Como
- Lake Como Tours
- Best Area To Stay in Lake Como
- How To Get To Lake Como
- Related Posts
Why Visit Lake Como
With villages steeped in historic charm dotting the picture-perfect lakeside scenery, it’s no wonder many of the rich and famous have bought villas in this area. However, it’s not essential to have a high-flying bank balance to enjoy the many sights and scenic vistas the lake has to offer. By exploring the charming little streets uphill, you’ll come across more reasonably priced Italian Trattorias to sample the local delicacies.
There are many historical villas to visit and you can also take guided hikes to take in the panoramic views of the lake and mountains. However, if you are looking to sample a little slice of the rich and famous lifestyle, there is always the option to don some large sunglasses and sip some prosecco in one of the many swanky lakeside restaurants. Enjoy the dolce vita!
Stay for – 3-5 nights
Safety Tips – This is a very safe place so just take the usual precautions to look after your belongings and not walk alone in unlit areas at night.
Did you know? Despite Lake Como being Italy’s third-biggest lake, it only has one small island called Isola Comacina. You can take a taxi boat or a guided tour to the tree-covered island from the harbour.
Tip – A great time to visit is for The Sagra de San Giovanni festival, which celebrates Como's rich history and culture. It’s held on the last weekend of June and the fireworks and floating lanterns are enjoyed by both locals and tourists alike.
Sightseeing in Lake Como
Top Must-Sees For Solos
1. Port hopping along the lakeside – Grab your camera, get yourself a day pass for the ferry or explore a few lakeside villages a day.
2. Visit Villa del Balbianello – Imagine you are on the set of a movie by visiting this stunning villa with incredible views and charming gardens. It’s a scenic 30min walk from Lenno boat dock.
3. Spend a day exploring Como town centre – You can soak up the history and beauty by visiting the Cathedral, Sant’Abbondio and San Fedele Church, the Broletto Palace, the Voltiano Temple, Funicular to Brunate
4. Lido Di Bellagio – If you want to treat yourself you could come and sun yourself on a lounger by the lake and take a little dip after sipping a cocktail.
5. Sagra de San Giovanni – this traditional festival held at the end of June is a great way to experience some of the historic Italian culture. You’ll find torch-led processions through the lakeside gardens as well as firework displays and floating lanterns magically lighting up the stunning scenery.
Things To Do in Lake Como
Escape the crowds – Go for a hike into the mountains to get the best views and away from the crowds. Lake Como offers some excellent views and escpaism.
Lose yourself at – Villa del Balbianello will bring you back to a state of serenity with its beautiful architecture and tranquil gardens.
Get a great view at – Trattoria Baita Belvedere, accessible in 15 minutes by bus from Bellagio downtown this restaurant has one of the best views of the lake and a meal will cost around €25-30.
Interact with the locals at – Visit one of the local markets to pick up some fresh fruit for a picnic or some delicious ingredients to cook back at your hostel. It’s a great way to brush up on your Italian.
Places to enjoy the sun – There are two public sunbathing places with a swimming pool in Como town or you could simply find a lakefront bar with a terrace and soak up the rays while sipping a nice cold drink.
Markets – Many towns on the lake have weekly markets. Some are bigger, whereas some are just a few stands where local people can do their shopping.
Activities in Lake Como For Solos
Active GatG – Lake Como is the perfect place for active solos. Whether you prefer to take a solo hike, go Nordic Walking or join a trail running experience, there are several ways to take in the lake and mountain views whilst keeping fit at the same time. See guided walks
Arty & Museum GatG – See the Villa del Balbianello, a magnificent villa in Lenno, that was built in the late 16th century with gorgeous gardens. Archaeology lovers will like the Museo Archeologico Giovio, an archaeological museum set in a stately palace with regional artefacts. The Associazione Villa Del Grumello is just a 15-minute walk from the centre with a beautiful garden. If you’re lucky, you may even be there for a weekend jazz concert.
Budget GatG – Take a 20 minutes stroll from the centre of Como, outside of the town walls to see the Basilica di Sant’Abbondio and the beautiful Romanesque style 14th-century facades of this basilica.
Cultural GatG – Learn about the area’s rich history of the silk trade at Museo della Seta. It’s the only museum institution in the world that educates you about the whole process beginning with the silkworms. They also hold evening events.
History GatG – Located in Como the impressive building of Tempio Voltiano houses a museum that is dedicated to Alessandro Volta, a prolific scientist and the inventor of the electrical battery.
Nature GatG – Visit the exquisite botanical gardens that surround the historical villa of Villa Olmo for a dose of natural beauty.
Shopping GatG – There are lots of little craft shops to be found on the numerous little streets in each port along the lake. Enjoy exploring the variety of pottery, arts and crafts that the region has to offer.
Wellness GatG – The spas around the lake are usually high-end luxury resorts. One of the most prestigious is Villa Este in Cernobbio.
Have a tourist moment – Enjoy a scoop or two of delicious gelato. La Fabbrica Del Gelato at Piazza XI Febbraio in Lenno, and Gelateria del Borgo at Via Giuseppe Garibaldi, come highly recommended.
Don’t have much time? You can do an organised day trip from Milan or just take the train there and back yourself for the day.
Where to wear your heels – If you're ready to dress up, wear your heels and your best dress at Lido Di Bellagio Nightclub.
Where to meet others – Bellagio Water Sports Club not only offers different watersports but it’s a great way of meeting others whether you’re trying to keep your balance on a stand-up paddleboard, kayaking across Lake Como or cycling on land.
Lake Como Tours
Get Your Guide – Get Your Guide helps you to find top-rated activities and day tours in worldwide destinations including Lake Como. Choose from a sightseeing tour, an easy mountain trek with funicular and boat ride or a day trip to Lake Como and Bellagio from Milan. Some of the tours require a minimum of 2 people but there are plenty to book as a solo and it's really simple to use. Just check the reviews, price and availability then book online. Read my review here or click the link below for all tours.
* Check all Get Your Guide tours, prices and availability for Lake Como
Viator – Viator is similar to Get Your Guide. They are an American company and a tour platform with more than 345,000 tours and worldwide activities including Lake Como attractions. Choose from wine tasting at the winery on Como Lake, a cooking lesson in Bellagio or a Subacco and Lake Como boat tour. There are several to choose from. Read my Viator review or click the link for all their tours.
* Check all Viator tours, prices and availability for Lake Como
Best Area To Stay in Lake Como
Lake Como has a variety of accommodations from villas, resorts, lodges, guest houses and hotels for every budget whether you’re looking for a boutique or luxury property to a budget option. Plus there’s Airbnb which offers rooms with a local and rental accommodation in Lake Como on a short-term basis. You can stay in a private room in a local's house or rent their whole apartment.
If you're unsure of the best towns to stay in Lake Como, there are a few different options of where to stay. Como isn't as picturesque as some of the other towns, but it is a good base to explore the rest of the lake from and it has many historical buildings and a lot of amenities. In Bellagio, the accommodation is on the expensive side, but the location and scenery are fantastic.
Or stay in Maggiore which has more budget-friendly options and is also a scenic place to explore. Hotels are expensive around Lake Como, so a better option may be one of the youth hostels, where you have the opportunity to meet other people to explore the beautiful scenery.
All of the accommodations below have been recommended by solo female travellers from our Girls about the Globe community and come with our Solo Female Friendly endorsement. For all other accommodations, click on the link below.
* To book, check prices or availability for all accommodation in Lake Como
Ostello Bello Lake Como – $
This friendly, sociable hostel is a great budget option for Lake Como. There’s an onsite bar and a chilled backyard to meet other guests and it’s walking distance from the ferry terminal. Choose from a bed in a 5 or 6-bed mixed dorm, a 6-bed female dorm or have your own privacy in a large single room or a double/twin room with a private bathroom.
- Prices from £26 / €30 per night for a bed in a 6-bed mixed dorm
- To book, check prices or availability for Ostello Bello Lake Como
B&B Hotel Como City Center – $$
For those looking for a 3-star hotel in the city centre, the B&B Hotel Como City Center is close to the train station and a 15-minute walk to the lake. The staff are helpful and check-in is made really easy. Rooms come with air conditioning and they serve a buffet breakfast too. Choose from a single, double or twin room with a private bathroom.
- Prices from £66 / €77 per night for a single room
- To book, check prices or availability for B&B Hotel Como City Centre
Hotel Baia di Paré – $$$
If you’re looking to be away from the city and enjoy some nature, Hotel Baia di Paré is located in Valmadrera on the shores of Lake Como. This 2-star hotel has fantastic panoramic views from its terrace. There’s a pizzeria that also specialises in fish dishes so you don’t have to go far to dine and a buffet breakfast is served every morning. It’s the perfect spot to watch the sun coming up but you may need a car to reach the hotel. Choose from a double or twin room or a deluxe double room with a balcony and lake view.
- Prices from £102 / €119 per night for a double or twin room
- To book, check prices or availability for B&B Hotel Como City Centre
Bello! Lake Como Suites – $$$
This welcoming guest house is close to the Como Cathedral, Volta Temple and Basilica, and has a beautiful view of the lake. There’s an express check-in and 24-hour front desk plus a hot tub and rooftop terrace to enjoy a glass of Italian wine or you can walk to the nearby square to soak up the atmosphere in one of the bars instead. Choose from a standard suite or a junior suite with a lateral lake view.
- Prices from £148 / €172 per night for a standard suite
- To book, check prices or availability for Bella! Lake Como Suites
How To Get To Lake Como
From Milan Linate Airport – Travel into the centre of Milan and take the train for the central station to Lecca. From there you can get a boat to all of the main towns around the lake. Click here for the train timetable from Milan to Lecco, Varenna or Como.
Getting Around Lake Como
You don’t necessarily need a car to get around Lake Como. On the west side in the towns of Como and Bellagio, you can use public transport such as boats and buses to get around. If you’re planning on heading to the east side, taking the train is the best option. See more here