Lake Como nestles in the foothills of the Alps, near the Italian border with Switzerland. There is a good choice of airports for you to fly into, and for those who don’t want to fly, it is easy to drive to from the UK (with one overnight stay), or to travel to by rail.
By air: Flights to Milan Malpensa, Bergamo (Orio al Serio) and Lugano
By rail: Good rail links from Milan (Eurostar from Paris) to Como. Alternatively, from Brussels via Koln to Como.
By car from the UK: Check out our tried and tested drive route using the Dover-Dunkirk ferry crossing.
Travelling by air: Arriving from Malpensa Airport There isn’t a direct rail link between Malpensa and Como, and buses are few and far between, so you have a choice of hiring a car, taking a taxi, or travelling by train. A taxi to Como will cost you around €120 – not cheap, but definitely worth it if you are short of time, or in a group with a good deal of luggage. Why not treat yourself to the full chauffeur service? We recommend Class Limo, tel. +39 333 172 1169, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
There are reasonable rail connections between Malpensa and Como, with a railway station at the airport. You will either change at Saronno (if you want to go to the Como Nord Lago Station), or at Milan (for trains to Como San Giovanni). You can buy a through ticket to Como, although you may be given two tickets, one for each leg of the journey. Remember to validate your ticket before you get on the train. Express trains into Milan take about 40 minutes. From Milan Porta Garibaldi Station there are trains every half hour to Como San Giovanni station. It is also possible to get a train to Como from Milan Centrale, but these are only every two hours. The final destination for these trains shows as Chiasso on the board. From Como San Giovanni you can take the C10 bus to your destination if you are heading for the western shore of the lake. Alternatively, from Malpensa change trains at Saronno and take the local train to Como Nord Lago station. This is right on the lake and you can either jump on a bus or hop onto a boat to take you where you want to go.
If your flights aren’t at convenient times and you think you’ll want a hotel stay near the airport, have a look at Hotel Villa Malpensa. This is a 19th century surprise – not what you expect to find five minutes from your terminal!
Travelling by air: Arriving from Bergamo Airport (Orio al Serio). Start by taking the shuttle bus from the airport to Bergamo railway station (the bus will drop you at the station). The bus from Bergamo to Como is interminably slow (allow at least two hours), so it is often better to take a train, although you have to change at Monza or Seregno. These trains go to Como San Giovanni station. A better alternative for people going to the central lake area, or staying on the Eastern shore, is to take the train to Lecco and then the ‘stopping train’ which goes up to Varenna. From Varenna take the ferry to Bellagio or Menaggio. If you are arriving in the evening, when it may be too late to make all your connections, think about staying over in a hotel in Bergamo and having a look around the town before heading off to Como. It’s worth it.
Travelling by air: Arriving from Lugano Airport. This is an option worth considering for people heading for Menaggio or other places around the centre of the lake. Swiss fly into the little airport at Lugano from Zurich, and there are connections to all major European airports. Ticket prices with Swiss include a baggage allowance, so the cost may even out. From the airport take the shuttle bus (pre-book only, about €15) to the C12 bus stop which will take you to Menaggio for the princely sum of €4). Beware the Lugano taxis – these are very expensive. Buy your ticket at the bar across the street or blag your way on – the driver will usually sell you a ticket, although this is not normal practice. If you would like us to book the shuttle bus for you, send us an email and we’ll be happy to oblige, Alternatively, treat yourself to a taxi – about €80 from Lugano Airport to Menaggio..