How to Get to Lake Como From Milan
Making the 40km trek from Milan to Lake Como by train was all very confusing to figure out. We asked 5 different people at Milano Centrale Station before the 6th person at a Trenitalia booth was able to clarify the route for us. Here are my notes:
- At Milano Centrale, purchase train tickets from the self-serve machine to Como S. Giovanni via Monza. The destination you want to look for is Como, but there isn’t a direct train to Como. Take the Malpensa train making all stops and exit at the first stop, Milano P. Garibaldi. This ticket cost 4.80€
- At Milano P. Garibaldi, look for a train to Chiasso for the 1 hour ride to Como S. Giovanni
The Como S. Giovanni station looks decrepit, but the sub-passage and beyond is renovated and modern
- At Como S. Giovanni, there is a tourist info desk and they were super helpful with giving directions, return times, etc.
- Exit the main doors at Como S. Giovanni and walk straight along V. Tolomeo Gallio to Viale Felice Cavallotti. Turn left towards the lake. At Lungo Lario Trento, turn right towards the ferry dock
How to Get to Milan from Lake Como
There are different ways to get back to Milan from Como, including heading back to the Como S. Giovanni station, but we didn’t want to backtrack. We took a ferry from Bellagio to Varenna (about 4.50€). Again, ferry tickets are sold on site at a counter. The 20 minute ride made a stop in Menaggio before arriving in Varenna. Follow the sign in Varenna directing you to go left. Walk through a narrow laneway and up some stairs. There is no signage after that. Continue left on the painted pedestrian lane, around a curve, and the train station will be there.
There are no self-serve ticket machines in Varenna. Instead, there is a ticket office that also operates as a travel agency. The office closes Monday – Friday at 6:30PM, and they will not sell tickets within 10 minutes of the closing time.
We got on the train without tickets and were able to purchase tickets from the onboard fare collector without being subject to a penalty. We made connections in Lecco and Monza to get to Milan.
Taking the Ferry in Lake ComoFerry tickets can be purchased directly at the counter for services offered by Navigazione Lago di Como steamboat company. There are a lot of times and options available, including day-passes. There’s no need to pre-book. For a one-day visit, take the high-speed ferry to any of the lake towns. We took the high-speed ferry to Bellagio (14.80€) that made several stops including Argegno, Lenno, Tremezzo, before reaching Bellagio. The ferry ride was an attraction in itself – the view of all the lake-side villas and old towns was priceless.
Things to do in Lake Como
Stay tuned for an upcoming post on Things to do in Lake Como!