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21 top things to do in lake como, italy

Lake Como, Italy

by Coco Tran On February 24, 2024

things to do in lake como

Lake Como, or as Italians call it Lago di Como,  is such an idyllic place, it’s one of the most beautiful places in Italy that’s a must-see especially i

f you’re visiting the Northern Italy region. If you’re searching for things to do in Lake Como, well I’ve got the perfect list of the very best things to do in Lake Como!

I visited Lake Como as part of a  12-day Northern Italy trip that’s part of my yearly vacation with my mom, and hands down, Lake Como is one of my favorite places in Italy!

In This Article: Table of Contents

Other Italy Posts Not To Miss:

Best Things to do Lake Como 

top things to do in lake como

Lake Como needs no introduction, It truly has so much vintage Italian charm and exudes a “la dolce vita” so perfectly. From my experience,  Lake Como is the perfect blend of breathtaking lake vistas, an abundance of things to do, and such a relaxing vibe. Now, there isn’t a shortage of things to do in lake como. It’s really a place you can spend a whole week in to soak in the vibe and beauty of this charming place.  So if you are planning to spend a few days or a week in this region, I’ve compiled my field notes and research I did for my trip, I’m sharing only the VERY BEST THINGS TO DO at lake como and the best activities in lake como that are worth your time and really resonated with me. so I hope this resonates with you too and that it helps you plan your lake como things to do list! 

what to do in lake como

Best Things to do in lake como italy: top things to do in lake como

Lake Como Things To Do

1. Stay At a Boutique Lake Como Resort

Indulge in “La Dolce Vita” on your Italian vacation in Lake Como! Lake Como is a place that most Italians come to for a little R&R weekend. So do as they do, and enjoy stunning views and the relaxing vibe Lake Como offers. I stayed at the cutest boutique hotel with the most epic views of Lake Como for a day to really take in the views and relax before we started to explore the towns. I’m glad we did because we got to fully enjoy our Lake Como luxury boutique hotel and the views and awesome amenities the hotel provided. I loved the hotel’s infinity pool, and our delicious breakfast at the gorgeous balcony with views of Lake Como, and we saw the most epic sunrises from our room and patio! The price is also very reasonable compared to the other luxury hotels in Bellagio.

Don’t Miss: See the Best Places To Stay In Lake Como

I couldn’t recommend this hotel more, It’s a small boutique hotel, and it really is an elevated place to enjoy a day or two before you get busy exploring the rest of the town. We met some local travelers who come to Lake Como and have told us they love staying here as it is so pretty and quiet.

Don’t Miss: my experience at the Best Luxury Boutique Hotel in Lake Como

How To Get There: Located on the West side of the lake in Oliveto Lario, during the summer months you can take a bus to the stop of “Limonta Scalotta ” but during May when we went I had a car and they have free onsite parking, 

You Have To Experience This Lake Como Boutique Hotel:

4.9 /5 198 reviews | $$

If you want to stay somewhere more central such as Bellagio I hear wonderful things about the luxurious grand hotel Villa Serbelloni 

Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni

4.9 /5 2308 reviews | $$$

2 . Visit The Charming Town of Nesso :top things to do in lake como

Nesso is a small charming town that often gets missed by visitors since it’s a bit further down. There is the cutest little waterfall and bridge. It’s a great place to stop on your way to see the town of Como. If you’re visiting In the warm summer it’s a great place to cool off and take a swim! If you’re feeling adventurous you can even jump into the water from the bridge as many do. 

How To Get There: Hire a boat for the day and make a stop here or take a ferry to the town of Nesso and explore on foot.

Time Needed: 1-2 hours 

3.  Take A Scenic Boat Tour of Lake Como :top things to do in lake como

Taking a classic boat tour of lake Como is one of the absolute must-do’s when you’re in Lake Como! You’ll get to see the villas and charming towns from the water, It’s the quintessential thing to do when you’re in Lake Como. So make you don’t miss this! There are many different options for boat tours, you can do a highlights tour or a tour with stops at the villas and gardens, or hire a private boat and make your own itinerary for a truly unique experience. 

TIP: These boat tours are very popular and if you’re traveling in the busy summer season the days you’re in lake como may already be sold out! So reserve in advance. Know the tour providers have flexible cancelation policies and Reserve Now & Pay Later available! 

Private Scenic Wooden Boat Tour of Lake Como

4.9 /5 98 reviews | $$$

4. Visit the famous town of Bellagio: top things to do in lake como:

It’s not a complete Lake Como visit until you experience the town of Bellagio, the quintessential and most famous town in Lake Como, which sits in the heart of the lake. It’s the cutest little town lined with shops and a beautiful lakeside promenade with cute cafes and eateries. Known as the “Pearl of Lake Como,” this charming town is a must-visit destination.

Take a leisurely stroll along the picturesque promenade, soak in the stunning lake views, and explore the narrow cobblestone streets filled with boutique shops, cafes, and gelato stands. Don’t miss the iconic Villa Serbelloni, a historic villa surrounded by beautiful gardens.

The town is also one of the hilliest so prepare to use your quad muscles! There are cute small streets you can walk on and grab a drink or gelato at. it’s just a really pretty town to enjoy some of your time. You can also visit the beautiful and large garden and villa of Villa Melzi. This is one of the gardens I didn’t have time to see but it looks beautiful and is quite large. 

Don’t Miss: Bellagio Things To Do

How To get there: If you have a car as we did, parking is on the street only or at this parking lot. or you can take the ferry to Bellagio it’s well-connected.  If you’re visiting from Milan, take this day trip tour for a hassle free experience

TIP: Don’t miss just sitting at one of the cafes by the water during sunset while you talk and people-watch, the vibe, and ambiance is so relaxing and nice!

5. Visit the Beautiful Gardens and Villa at Villa Del Balbianello: top things to do in lake como:

If you’re looking for the most popular lake como attractions, there’s no other than Villa Balbianello. Villa Balbianello is truly one of the most beautiful villas and botanical gardens in lake como. It’s such a gem! It’s in the town of Lenno west of Bellagio. It’s also the filming scene in some of Hollywood’s largest blockbusters, it’s known as the “star wars villa” or “James Bond villa in lake como”. Don’t miss seeing Villa Del Balvianello, it’s a must-do! The gardens were my favorite and it was even better arriving at the boat dock.  You can do a tour of the villa but you have to reserve your ticket. in advance.

Coco Tran — Aesthetic Travel Blog By Film Photographer Coco Tran

Don’t Miss: How To visit Villa Babianello

How To Visit:  see my detailed guide on how to visit. link above

Travel Tips:   These boat tours are very popular and if you’re traveling in the busy summer season the days you’re in lake como may already be sold out! So reserve in advance. Know that tour providers must have flexible cancelation policies and Reserve Now & Pay Later available! 

6. Visit the cute town of Varenna: top things to do in lake como:

Venture to the picturesque village of Varenna, where colorful houses cascade down the hillside to the lake’s edge. Wander through its charming streets, visit the medieval Castello Di Vezio, and take in the romantic atmosphere that permeates the town! Verenna has a cute town center where they have cute shops and one of the tallest churches in Como. From my experience, the towns are very charming and small. 

Don’t Miss: Things to do in Varenna

How To Visit: Take the ferry to Verenna, one way ticket costs about $10 euros and it takes about 15-20 minutes.

Time Needed: 1-3 hours 


7. Visit The Gardens of Villa Monastero: top things to do in lake como:

Verenna had one of my other favorite gardens, make sure you don’t miss going to Villa Monastero! It’s a massive garden and requires a bit of walking to get to. Villa Monastero has magnificent gardens and stunning lake views. When I went to it, the sun was going to set and it was lightly raining, it made the clouds and greenery even more beautiful!

Coco Tran — Aesthetic Travel Blog By Film Photographer Coco Tran

Don’t Miss: Which Gardens In Lake Como To Visit

How To Visit: Take the ferry to Verenna, one-way ticket costs about $10 euros and it takes about 15-20 minutes.

Time Needed: From my experience, I’d say 2-3 hours if you’re visiting the gardens.

8. Visit the cute town of Menaggio: top things to do in lake como:

Menaggio, located on the western shore of Lake Como, is a cute charming town. Take a leisurely walk along the lakefront promenade and admire the picturesque views. Visit the Menaggio and Cadenabbia Golf Club, one of the oldest golf clubs in Italy, for a round of golf in a breathtaking setting.

For outdoor enthusiasts, Menaggio offers access to numerous hiking trails. Monte Grona is a popular hike that rewards you with panoramic views of the lake and the surrounding mountains. 

How To Visit: Take the ferry to Menaggio, one way ticket costs about $10 euros and it takes about 15 minutes.

Time Needed: 1-3 hours 

Coco Tran — Aesthetic Travel Blog By Film Photographer Coco Tran

9. Explore the Historic Village of Tremezzo: top things to do in lake como:

Step back in time as you wander through the historic village of Tremezzo. Admire the charming architecture, visit the Church of Santa Maria, and explore the winding streets lined with local shops and cafes. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the grand Villa d’Este, a luxurious hotel that boasts beautiful gardens and breathtaking lake views.

10. top things to do in lake como: Visit Villa Carlotta 

Located in Tremezzo, this historic villa is famous for its vibrant floral displays, ancient trees, and romantic pathways. Lose yourself in the fragrance of blooming azaleas, stroll through the citrus groves, and admire the impressive sculptures that dot the garden.

Don’t Miss: How To visit Villa Babianello

How To Visit: Take a guided tour to Villa Corlatta (boat transportation included) or You can also take the ferry to the ferry stop Tremezzo. Walk a short 5 minutes to reach the entrance. 

11. top things to do in como : Do Some epic Hiking in lake como

Hike Lake Como & Enjoy Some of the Most epic panoramic views. If you’re a nature enthusiast and hiking is your jam, this challenging but rewarding hike in Lake Como offers stunning panoramic views of Lake Como, the surrounding mountains, and the charming villages below. Some of the most popular hikes are:

  • Monte Grona: Above Menaggio, you can hike to the top and you can see epic views. Depending on which route you take it can take 5-6 hours to complete. It is all uphill!
  • Mount Sighignola: A panoramic terrace just below the summit, and directly on the Italian side of the border. Gives absolutely epic views
  • Monte Legnone: the highest peak in the immediate Lake Como area. The view from the top is definitely unforgettable. 

Better yet, take a guided hiking tour and experience the hikes in comfort and safety with a knowledgeable guide with you every step of the way!

12. Take Epic Aerial Photos of Lake Como on a Helicopter tour

One of the most epic things to do in Lake Como is to splurge on an awesome helicopter tour and see and capture Lake Como which not many people get to experience! Since drones are not allowed in lake como, this is a sure way to get some epic photos and content to show to your friends and family!

Private Scenic Wooden Boat Tour of Lake Como

4.9 /5 98 reviews | $$$

13. See The Town of Como

Don’t sleep on the town of Como, aside from being the largest town in Como, there’s the magnificent Como Cathedral, a testament to the region’s rich history and architectural prowess. Marvel at the intricate details of the Gothic facade, step inside to admire the stunning interior and climb to the rooftop for panoramic views of the city and the lake. Don’t forget your camera for this one!

Don’t Miss: Things To Do in Como Town

14. Unwind on the Beaches in Lake Como

When the sun is shining, head to one of Lake Como’s beaches and soak up some rays. Relax and go for a refreshing swim in the crystal-clear waters, or simply enjoy the nice views.  Popular Lake Como beaches include Lido di Lenno, La Punta di Gravedona, and Lido di Bellagio. 

TIP: Don’t expect sand here! it’s a rocky and pebbly beach so bring some water shoes!

15. Rent A Boat and Explore Lake Como

No Boat license is needed here! If you want to explore on your own terms here’s a lake como activities that are awesome. The folks at the will give you a map and tell you about the best practices and best places to go. It’s a great way and budget-friendly way to see lake como on the water. It’s a great way to experience Lake Como on water especially if you have a group and can share the cost.

Coco Tran — Aesthetic Travel Blog By Film Photographer Coco Tran

16. Take the Furnicular in Brunate

Not technically in Como, but very close. It’s a city above the city of Como and is known for its old funicular a historical cableway, up to the charming small village of Brunate that shows you some of the spectacular views in lake como. it’s one of the things to do on lake como if you have more than a few days. It’s worth it and makes some awesome photos! Take this awesome tour and experience the town of Brunate and the cableway with a food and wine tour!

17. Unwind while sipping on some Local WIne

If you are into a relaxing Italian experience while taking in the views, look no further than this wine-tasting experience in lake como! Seriously epic views with a few glasses of the regional vino, what can be better?

18. Go on a Guided History Walking Tour

There’s so much rich history in Lake Como, to get a glimpse of the past and depth of Lake Como’s unique history. You have to check out this walking tour, the guide is so insightful and fun! It’s a quick 2-hour tour and you’ll have amazing stories to share from your trip.

19. learn to make authentic Pasta in Lake Como

When in Italy, you gotta have pasta! So how about you take some of this Italian cooking home and learn to make your own authentic fresh pasta! This is so quintessential Italian thing to do, yes we all have attempted at making our own pasta before, but how often will you get to experience learning from an Italian chef in a beautiful town in Italy!? Book this fun experience and wow your next dinner guests with an epic story and pasta!

20 Kayak on Lake Como 

kayak on Italy’s largest lake on this awesome guided tour. you’ll get a guide that will tell you about your sights. It’s such a fun experience for everyone. With 500+ 5 star reviews it’s really that awesome

Kayak Tour of Lake Como

4.7 /5 544 reviews | $

21. Go on a sunset Boat Tour on lake como

enjoy the stunning views and sunset with your sweetheart or group and experience one of the most spectacular sunsets in your life! Its a once In a lifetime lake como experience you don’t want to miss. as you glide through the calm waters and sip on prosecco. what a wonderful experience! 


Don’t see your question? Ask in the comments below and I’ll do my best to answer!

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Bora Bora is a small island located in the Leeward group of the Society Islands of French Polynesia, an overseas collectivity of the French Republic. The island is located in the Pacific Ocean, about 230 kilometers northwest of Papeete, the capital of French Polynesia. Bora Bora is part of a volcanic island group that also includes the islands of Tahaa, Raiatea, and Huahine.

Bora Bora is the epitome of a tropical vacation—it is known for its stunning beaches, crystal clear waters, and lush tropical landscapes. Visitors can enjoy activities such as snorkeling, scuba diving, and swimming with sharks and rays. The island is also home to several luxury resorts, spas, and overwater bungalows. It is popular amongst honeymooners for its luxurious accommodations, although anyone can enjoy Bora Bora.

  • The best time to visit Bora Bora is between May and October when the weather is nice and dry. This is also the most popular time to travel and therefore the prices of everything is much higher.
  • If you want to avoid the crowds and enjoy lower prices, you may want to consider visiting during the low season, between November and April. However, there’s also a higher chance of rainfall but from my experience, the rainfall will be sporadic and there is a high chance you’ll get amazing sunny weather in between the light rain.
  • 7 to 12 days if you are visiting multiple resorts and islands
  • 5 to 6 nights at one resort is a great start

I stayed 6 nights a Le Bora bora since It was our honeymoon and we wanted to have lots of downtime and relax. We spent a total of 11 days in Bora Bora and it was a great balance of doing things and relaxation.

TIP—You can also divide your stays between two different resorts. for example; you can spend 3 nights at Le Bora Bora Pearl and then spend 2 nights at St. Regis to get a variety of amenities and check out the resorts private beach.

TIP—It’s also a good idea to add the main island of Bora Bora — where the locals live and where there is much more affordable guest houses and simple overwater bungalows. Use those days as your days to do the excursions and have some free time to explore the culture and how the locals live.

The currency in Bora Bora is the French Pacific Franc XPF. As of 2023, the conversion rate between the XPF and the USD is approximately 1 XPF equal 0.0093 USD, and the conversion rate between the XPF and the EUR is approximately 1 XPF equals 0.0078 EUR. However, currency conversion rates fluctuate and it is best to check for the current rate.

TIP— The easiest way to convert from XPF to USD is to move over two decimals from the right to left. Ex: 60000 XPF equals approx 600 USD

The airport code for Bora Bora is BOB.

Bora Bora is GMT minus 10 hours. The easiest way for me to convert was to subtract two hours to arrive at the equivalent of PST time.

The plugs are the same as your European three prong plugs: Our resort rooms had adapters in the rooms, check with your resort.

  • French Polynesia, which includes the island of Bora Bora, was considered a Zika affected area according to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention CDC has issued a travel notice for French Polynesia.
  • From my experience, I did not encounter any mosquiotos at our resort in March. It depends on the weather and time of year.
  • French Polynesia, which includes the island of Bora Bora, was considered a Zika affected area according to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention CDC has issued a travel notice for French Polynesia.
  • From my experience, I did not encounter any mosquiotos at our resort in March. It depends on the weather and time of year.

Yes and no. Bora Bora doesn’t have all-inclusive resorts in the traditional sense— a resort with one set price that includes unlimited eating and drinking like in Mexico and other parts that are known for this. Bora Bora resorts offer packages that include accommodation, limited meals, no drinks, and various activities as part of the package price.

These resorts are very popular as they provide a convenient and hassle-free way to experience Bora Bora. Some of the popular all inclusive resorts in Bora Bora include Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora, InterContinental Bora Bora Resort Thalasso Spa, and Le Meridien Bora Bora. For example: Le Bora Bora offered a pre fix menu for an additional X amount for the duration of our stay.

TIP— Breakfast is included with some resorts. It is a delicious cook to order with a selection of buffet offerings.

TIP— Look out for the happy hour at your resort and enjoy drinks for a better price. The hotel I stayed at had happy hour from 5 to 6pm and the drinks were 20 USD vs 30 USD

  • Bora Bora is known to be a luxury location, and with luxury comes a higher price tag. Although, there are ways to make your trip more affordable. The accommodation is the most costly. Because it is a remote island in the middle of the pacific ocean, everything has to be flown in.
  • TIP— Stay at other islands that are more affordable such as Moorea. Stay at airbnbs and lodges instead of luxury resorts.
  • TIP— Divide your stay in different resort rooms i.e 1 night in an overwater bungalow, and 2 nights in the beach villa. This will save you money and will allow you to enjoy the luxurious amenities the resort offers.
  • Overwater bungalows in Bora Bora can vary greatly in price depending on the resort, the time of year, and the level of luxury. Generally, overwater bungalows in Bora Bora start at around 600 USD per night, but the prices can go up to 3000 USD or more per night for the most luxurious resorts.
  • It is also worth noting that the prices may change depending on the season, peak or low, and availability.

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