Getting Around Lake Como

Traveling Around by Train

There are two mainline railway stations in Como – Como Lago (Como Nord Lago) operated by Trenord and Como San Giovanni operated by Trenitalia.

Como Lago to Milano Cadorna

Como Lago is in Piazza Giacomo Matteotti at the lakefront and across the road from the Como Bus Station.

From Como Lago, you can also travel directly into Milano Cadorna (also known as Milano Nord Cadorna) in the heart of Milano. The journey time is approximately 1 hour.

Below is the train route from Como Lago to Milano Cadorna:

Como Lago
Como Camerlata
Como Borghi – Università
Grandate – Breccia
Fino Mornasco
Caslino al Piano
Rovellasca Manera
Rovello Porro
Milano Bovisa Politecnico
Milano Domodossola
Milano Cadorna

Como San Giovanni

Como San Giovanni is located at Piazzale San Gottardo situated at the top of the hill from Via Corrado e Giullo Venini which is just off Via Innocenzo XI.

From Como San Giovanni you can also travel to Stazione Centrale Milano in the centre of Milano. The journey time is approximately 40 minutes.

Below is the train route from Como San Giovanni to Milano Centrale to:

Como San Giovanni
Albate Camerlata
Cantu – Cermenate
Sesto San Giovanni
Milano Greco Pirelli
Milano Centrale

Como San Giovanni to the Canton of Ticino in Switzerland

Como San Giovanni also receives train services from SBB CFF FFS.

From Como San Giovanni you can travel to the neighbouring Canton of Ticino in Switzerland. Board the S10 TILO train service to Mendrisio and visit the Foxtown factory stores or travel on to the beautiful sights of Lugano or Bellinzona a World Heritage site.

Be warned, Italian border guards take seriously anyone carrying more than 10,000 euros on their person. Do not suggest or make any funny comments to the guards as you may be escorted off the train and aggressively searched. A member of our team had experienced this on two separate occasions and eventually reported the behaviour of the guards to the authorities in Rome, Switzerland and London.

Below is the train route from Como San Giovanni in Como to Bellinzona in Switzerland:

Como San Giovanni
San Martino (Mendrisio)
Capolago-Riva S. Vitale
Lugano Paradiso

Traveling Around by Bus

There are two types of public bus services that operate from Como, the urban (local) and the extra-urban (suburban).

You should purchase your bus tickets before boarding the bus. You can pay for a ticket on the bus, but this is more expensive and is dependent on the bus driver having enough change.

Ticket and Information Office

The Società Pubblica Trasporti (SPT) Linea SrL Ticket & Information Office is located at Piazza Giacomo Matteotti directly opposite the Como Lago Nord railway station.

It is advisable to check the opening times, just in case of any changes to the bus service operations, timetable changes and public holidays.

If you are planning to return to Como by bus, then it would be advisable to purchase your return tickets before you start your journey.

In Italy, many shops are closed in the afternoon for at least two hours, so trying to find a shop or bar that sell bus tickets may not be such an easy task.

Urban Bus Services

The urban bus services operate local bus routes in and around the centre of Como and nearby towns. These buses are usually orange in colour.

Como Lake Como - Orange Bus
An Urban Bus

Extra Urban Bus Services

The extra-urban bus services usually terminate and embark from or near the Como Bus Station. They go to adjoining town, communes and provinces.

The extra-urban buses have the letter ‘C’ (e,g, C30 to Bellagio or C40 to Bergamo) and either orange or blue.

Como Lake Como - Blue Bus
An Extra Urban Bus

Purchasing Bus Tickets

A carnet of 11 urban bus tickets Carnet 11 Viaggi Rette Urbana will cost €13.50 and for travelling in and around Como.

The ticket is valid for up to 75 minutes after the date and time it is validated and can be used to make other bus local bus journeys.

Generally you can purchase bus tickets at tobacconists, bars and hotel receptions.

Bus Tickets Validation

Located at the front of the bus is a bus ticket validation machine.

This machine validates the ticket by printing the date and time on the ticket. The ticket validation machine is orange in colour.

On most Extra-Urban bus (blue bus) routes that travel outside of the Provincia di Como, the bus driver will inspect and collect a portion of your bus ticket before departure.

Scenic Bus Routes from the City of Como

If you wish to see the lake at it’s best, you can take any of the many bus routes from the Bus Station that will give you a scenic view of the mountains and towns alongside Lake Como. All journey times are an approximate guide.

Argegno – 40-minutes – bus routes C10 and C20.

Bellagio – 40-minutes – picturesque town – bus route C30.

Bergamo – 2 hours – an historical town – route C46.

Cernobbio – 15-minutes – home to the famous Villa D’Este Grand Hotel.

Lecco – 1 hour 45 minutes – the other side of Lake Como – bus route C40.

Tremezzo – 60-minutes – visit Villa Carlotta – bus route C20.

Traveling Around Lake Como by Boat

Navigazione Lago di Como

A relaxing and enjoyable way to see the picturesque sights, historic villas and towns along the shores of Lake Como are to travel by boat.

The public boat services on Lake Maggiore, Lake Garda and Lake Como began around 1826-1827. Since 1957 the Gestione Governativa Navigazione Laghi has been providing public boat services on the three Lakes.

In Como, Ticket & Information Office is located directly opposite Hotel Suisse, Piazza Cavour on Lungo Lario Trento. You can buy boat tickets and get further information from English speaking staff.

At the Ticket & Information Office, pick-up a free copy of the Lago di Como Orario in Vigore, an essential travel guide and timetable for public boat services on Lake Como. Also, you can buy day passes which allows you to hop on and off at different places along Lake Como.

Types of Boat Services

The Rapido (fast) boat service are hydrofoil vessels. To return to the Como much quicker, you can buy an additional ticket (top-up) to travel back on the Rapido boat service.

The Batello (slow) boat service is ideal for sightseeing and some boat services offer light refreshments and lunches on-board. The Concordia (circa 1926) and the Milano are both old working paddle steamer’s and a joy to see still in operation.

It is advisable to take a boat back to Como around 16:30 which arrive back in the Como around 18:00.

The price of tickets may initially seem expensive. If you travel to Lenno, Menaggio, Bellagio or even further for a whole day of sightseeing – the cost of a return boat ticket seems much more worthwhile.

During the Summer months, the Gestione Governativa Navigazione Laghi provide Saturday Night Cruises which includes, dinner and dance with live music. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is advisable to check availability at the Ticket & Information Office or their website.

The Funicular

The Funicular Como-Brunate connects Como with the Comune of Brunate.

The Funicular has been in operation since 1894 and the entrance is located at Piazza Alcide de Gasperi which is less than a five minute walk from the Como Bus Station along Via Torno.

It takes approximately 7 minutes to reach the top to Brunate a small picturesque and peaceful town situated at 750 metres above sea level.

From Brunate you can walk to San Maurizio which is 906 metres above sea level and visit the famous Voltian Beacon (lighthouse) built-in 1927.

From Brunate you can see a panoramic view across the Como with the Duomo and Como Football Stadium dominating the skyline.

You can also see the majestic Villa Olma and on a clear day and watch the seaplanes taking off and landing on the lake.

Looking further along to your right, you can see the neighbouring towns of Tavenola and Cernobbio, home to the famous Villa D’Este grand hotel and Harry’s Bar that had been frequented by George Clooney.

Opening Times

If you intend to travel to Brunate in the evening, do make sure you check the time of the last the cable car to leave Brunate and return down to Como.

During the Summer months, the service closes at midnight. It is always advisable to check the Funicular Como-Brunate website before travelling in case of any sudden closures or changes to the operational funicular services and daily timetable.