The sparkling waters of Lake Como, in Northern Italy, provide a magnificent backdrop to the perfect Italian getaway.
From its picturesque lakeside towns, opulent villas, cobbled streets, and stunning architecture, it’s no wonder why this region is such a popular destination.
But there’s more to explore in the area than just lake views!
Twenty day trips from Lake Como await, ranging from skiing in Madesimo to shopping in Milan and everything else in between – like Venice or Cinque Terre.
You’ll be downright spoiled for choice when deciding what to do during your stay!
With so much on offer, come with us as we take you through some of the most beautiful places that make up this stunning region of Italy.
Here is our list of the best Lake Como day trips.
20 Best Day Trips From Lake Como
There are plenty of day trips from Lake Como to explore, offering an array of experiences including skiing in Madesimo and shopping in Milan.
Here are the 20 best day trips to take while staying at lovely Lake Como – we have sorted them according to distance to make it easier for you. So the closest destinations are first.
1. Bernina Express Day Tour From Como
The Bernina Express is a scenic railway that runs between Tirano, Italy, and St. Moritz, Switzerland.
With its stunning views of the Alps and thrilling activities, you’ll be sure to have an unforgettable experience here.
This tour starts with a 3-hour bus tour from Como. Then hop on the scenic train and enjoy the 2 hours and 15 minutes ride.
You will also get free time in both Tirano and St. Moritz as well.
Lunch is included in this tour.
Check prices and availability for the Bernina Express Tour from Como here.
How To Get To The Bernina Express From Lake Como
Take an organized tour from Como. The tour generally starts in the morning and should take approximately thirteen hours.
2. Lake Lugano (45-Min Away by Train)
For a more relaxing Lake Como day trip, why not head to Lake Lugano?
This stunning lake is surrounded by beautiful scenery and offers plenty of activities for visitors of all ages.
Take a boat trip around the lake or explore some of its many quaint picturesque villages.
For a more relaxing day, simply take in the spectacular natural beauty and views while enjoying some delicious local cuisine.
How To Get To Lake Lugano From Lake Como
Getting to Lake Lugano is easy and convenient.
- Rent a car (we rented ours through Discover Cars) and drive from the town of Como and then hop on the A9 Autostrada. The drive should take approximately one hour.
- You can also take the train from Como train station to Lugano, which will take around 45 minutes. Purchase your train tickets here.
- And lastly, a stress-free way is to take an organized small group tour from Lake Como to Lugano. We highly recommend this particular guided tour.
3. Milan (1-Hour Away by Train)
Milan offers a unique blend of fashion, art, and culture that you won’t find anywhere else in the world.
From visiting some of the famous sights like the Duomo di Milano (secure your Cathedral and rooftop ticket here) to exploring one of the many museums or shopping in one of Milan’s chic boutiques, there’s something for everyone in Milan.
Take a stroll through the city and explore some of its hidden gems or take part in one of the many activities on offer – such as visiting the markets, going to an opera performance, trying out the famous Last Supper tour, or taking a cooking class.
You could also join a free walking tour.
No matter what you decide to do, Milan is sure to have something to keep you entertained. It is the perfect place for a day trip.
How To Get To Milan From Lake Como
You can either drive or take a direct train from Como and it should take approximately two hours by car, or just over an hour by train.
The best option here is to take the fast train from Como to Milano Centrale. Purchase your train ticket here.
4. Bergamo (1-Hour Away By Car)
Bergamo is one of the most beautiful cities in Italy.
With its cobbled streets, centuries-old churches, and stunning views of the Alps, there’s something for everyone in Bergamo.
Take a stroll through the city and explore some of its unique sights, such as the Santa Maria Maggiore Basilica or one of its many historic buildings.
Or take a cable car up to the Old Town and take in the breathtaking views. A fantastic way to get the most out of this destination in one day is to take a private tour of the Upper Town.
From visiting its many cultural attractions to sampling some of Bergamo’s delicious food, this city has something for everyone.
How To Get To Bergamo From Lake Como
Getting to Bergamo is simple and straightforward. You can take a car or train from Como and then hop on the A4 Autostrada.
The drive should take approximately one hour (rent a car in Como here), whilst the train will take around 2 hours.
5. Lake Maggiore (1hr 30min Away by Car)
Lake Maggiore is another fantastic day trip from Lake Como. With its lush, green forests and picturesque islands, this lake is an absolute must-see.
Take a boat tour around the lake and explore some of the small towns that line its shores – each with its own unique charm.
Or take a stroll along one of the many hiking trails and take in the breathtaking views.
Isola Bella is a popular spot – it is a gorgeous little island that you should see. The best way to see the Borromean Islands is on this 1-day Borromean Islands Hop-On Hop-Off boat tour.
With its unique blend of nature, culture, and history, Lake Maggiore is an ideal destination for a day away from Lake Como.
How To Get To Lake Maggiore From Lake Como
The best way to get to Lake Maggiore is by car. The drive should take approximately 1hr 30min. I recommend you rent a car from Como through Discover Cars.
6. Verona (2-Hours Away by Car)
Verona is home to some of the world’s most iconic sights and makes for a great day trip from Como.
Here, you can explore locations such as Juliet’s balcony or take in one of the many opera performances that Verona is known for.
Take a stroll through the city and discover its many attractions, such as its historic churches and centuries-old walls.
Tip: Seeing as you are short on time, I recommend you skip as many lines as possible at the popular sights. This Verona Card with Arena Priority Entrance is worth every single dollar.
Or sample some of Verona’s delicious food and soak up the city’s unique atmosphere.
Tip: A fantastic and easy way to get around this city is to grab this hop-on-hop-off bus ticket.
From visiting one of Verona’s famous attractions to sampling some of its delicious cuisines, this is an ideal destination near Lake Como.
How To Get To Verona From Lake Como
You can rent a car from Como. The drive should take approximately two hours.
Alternatively, you can also take a train from Como which will take around 3 hours. Secure your tickets here.
7. Gardaland Theme Park (2-Hours Away by Car)
One of the best places to visit with kids in Italy is Gardaland!
Gardaland is one of the most popular amusement parks in Italy and our kids loved every minute there.
Here, you can enjoy some thrilling rides, indulge in some delicious snacks and take part in exciting activities.
From rollercoasters to water slides, there’s something for everyone at Gardaland.
Plus, the park also has a range of family-friendly attractions, such as Peppa Pig Land (our toddler loved hanging out here), an ocean tunnel, and more!
How To Get To Gardaland From Lake Como
Getting to Gardaland is easy. Rent a car or take a bus from Como and drive on the A4 Autostrada. The ride should take approximately two hours.
8. Madesimo (2-Hours Away by Car)
Madesimo is a small Italian alpine ski town located near Lake Como.
With its stunning mountain views and a plethora of skiing options, you’ll be sure to love this place!
Try your hand at snowboarding or skiing at one of the many resorts in the area.
You can also take part in some thrilling activities such as heli-skiing and ice climbing. It is definitely worth the trip during the winter months.
How To Get To Madesimo From Lake Como
Rent a car from Como and drive on the A36 Autostrada, the ride should take approximately two hours.
9. Parma (2-Hours Away by Car)
Parma is an Italian city located in the Emilia-Romagna region.
With its stunning architecture and delicious cuisine, you’ll be sure to have a wonderful time here.
Visit the Palazzo della Pilotta or check out one of its many art galleries.
You can also indulge in some really good food at one of the city’s many restaurants.
How To Get To Parma From Lake Como
- Rent a car from Lake Como and drive on the A1 Autostrada, the drive should take approximately two hours.
- You can also take the train, which will take around two and a half hours. Purchase your train ticket here.
10. Bologna (2hr 30 min Away by Train)
Bologna is a stunning Italian city located in the Emilia-Romagna region.
With its beautiful architecture and delicious cuisine, you’ll be sure to have an unforgettable experience here.
Visit the Piazza Maggiore or explore one of its many shops and local restaurants. The best way to experience this city in a day is to join this guided city center walking tour.
You can also take part in some thrilling activities such as rock climbing or paragliding.
How To Get To Bologna From Lake Como
- Rent a car from Como and drive on the A1 Autostrada, the drive should take approximately three hours.
- You can also take the train, which will take around two hours and 30 minutes. You can purchase tickets online here.
11. St Moritz (2 hr 30 min Away by Car)
St Moritz is one of the prettiest places in Switzerland, located close to Lake Como.
Whether you’re looking for a relaxing getaway or an adventurous holiday, St Moritz has something for everyone.
Take a cable car up the Corvatsch Mountain and explore some of its stunning hiking trails or visit one of its many attractions, such as the Alpina Museum or the Signalbahn Funicular.
St Moritz also offers a variety of activities, from skiing and hiking to shopping and dining.
How To Get To St Moritz From Lake Como
- Getting to St Moritz is easy. Take a car or bus from Como and drive on the A9 Autostrada. The ride should take approximately two and a half hours.
- For an even more convenient way to get to St Moritz, you can also take the Bernina Express train tour from Como. The tour includes the train ride with stunning views of the Swiss countryside with stops at St Moritz and Tirano.
12. Portofino (2 hr and 30 min Away by Car)
Portofino is an Italian fishing village, located on the Ligurian coast. With its picturesque harbor and colorful houses.
Take a stroll through its cobbled streets or indulge in some of the delicious seafood that Portofino has to offer.
You can also visit some of its unique attractions, such as the Church of San Giorgio and Castello Brown.
if you want to add in a few other Italian Riviera towns (and if you have enough time) stop at Santa Margherita Ligure and Rapallo on the way back.
Portofino is stunning but we found that we had our fill within a few hours of strolling around – so it makes for a great day trip (instead of staying a few nights).
How To Get To Portofino From Lake Como
Take a rental car from Como (we rented ours through Discover Cars) and drive on the A8 Autostrada. The drive should take approximately two and a half hours.
13. Chamonix (2 hr and 45 min Away by Car)
Chamonix is a French ski resort in the Alps.
With its stunning mountain views, delicious cuisine, and range of activities on offer, it’s no wonder why Chamonix is so popular among visitors!
Take part in some thrilling outdoor activities such as skiing, snowboarding, hiking, and more.
Or simply take in the breathtaking views from one of its many vistas. It is definitely worth visiting.
How To Get To Chamonix From Lake Como
Rent a car from Como and drive on the A9 Autostrada, the ride should take approximately two hours and forty-five minutes.
14. Lake Garda (Nearly 3-Hours Away by Car or Train)
If you are not sure whether you should see Lake Garda or Lake Como, you will be happy to know that it is easy to see both on our trip.
Lake Garda is a fantastic Italian lake to visit. With its stunning mountain views and crystal clear waters, this lake is sure to leave you with lasting memories.
You can easily explore some of the best places around Lake Garda such as Limone soul Garda, Sirmione, Riva del Garda, and many more.
If you want to keep your day easy, then I suggest you head to Limone sul Garda – it was our favorite destination at Lake Garda.
For those looking for a more active day, you can explore one of the many hiking trails in the area or take a boat tour from Sirmione to explore the peninsula.
Whether you’re looking for an outdoor adventure or simply want to take in all that Lake Garda has to offer, this is definitely a good option.
How To Get To Lake Garda From Lake Como
Getting to Lake Garda is easy and convenient. You can take a car or train from Como.
- The drive takes approximately three hours. You can rent a car in Como for the day.
- The train from Como to Sirmione takes 2hr 45min. Purchase your train tickets here.
15. Venice (3-Hours Away by Car)
The city of Venice is an absolute must-see. With its winding canals and beautiful architecture, Venice is truly unique.
Take a boat tour through the canals and explore some of the city’s iconic sights, such as the Rialto Bridge or St Mark’s Square.
Or simply take a stroll through the city and enjoy its unique atmosphere.
Some popular tours to book include the Doge’s Palace & St. Mark’s Basilica with Terrace Access tour and the Burano and Murano boat tour with a glass factory visit.
From visiting some of the famous sights to exploring one of the many museums or sampling some of Venice’s delicious cuisine, there are many things to do in Venice to keep you busy for the day.
How To Get To Venice From Lake Como
The quickest way to get to Venice from Lake Como is by car. The drive should take approximately three hours.
Alternatively, you can take a train which takes around 4 hours.
16. Mont Blanc (3-Hours Away by Car)
Mont Blanc is the highest mountain in Europe, located on the border between France and Italy.
With its stunning views of the Alps and thrilling activities, you’ll be sure to have a wonderful time here.
Take a cable car up to the Aiguille du Midi or explore one of its many hiking trails.
You could also easily combine your trip to Mont Blanc with Chamonix or Courmayeur.
How To Get To Mont Blanc From Lake Como
Take a 3-hour drive from Como. You can rent a car in Como through Discover Cars.
17. Interlaken (3-Hours Away by Car)
Interlaken is a small Swiss town located between Lake Thun and Lake Brienz.
With its stunning mountain views, thrilling activities, and delicious cuisine, you’ll be sure to have an unforgettable experience here.
Take a cable car up the Jungfraujoch or explore one of its many hiking trails.
You can also indulge in some delicious Swiss cheese fondue at one of its many restaurants.
Interlaken is one of the most beautiful towns in Switzerland and well worth a visit.
How To Get To Interlaken From Lake Como
The drive from Como on the A2 Autostrada will take approximately three hours.
18. Zermatt (3-Hours Away by Car)
Zermatt is a stunning Swiss town that’s situated in the shadow of the famous Matterhorn mountain.
Take a cable car up to the Klein Matterhorn and enjoy some of its incredible panoramic views of the Alps. Grab your cable car ticket here.
It is one of the best places to visit in Switzerland in Summer as you can also explore one of its many hiking trails.
Whilst in winter you can also take part in some thrilling activities, such as skiing or snowboarding.
How To Get To Zermatt From Lake Como
You will have to grab a rental car in Como and drive to Zermatt. The drive will take approximately three hours.
19. Florence (3-Hours Away by Train)
Florence is a vibrant city in Italy and it is one of the best cities to visit in Northern Italy.
With its stunning architecture and incredible art galleries, you’ll be sure to have an unforgettable experience here.
Visit the Uffizi gallery (grab skip-the-line tickets here) or take a stroll through the historic streets of Florence.
Don’t forget to stop by the Piazza del Duomo where you can see the magnificent Cathedral, the Baptistery, and the bell tower. I recommend this tour: Cathedral, Duomo Museum, and Baptistery Tour.
Florence is also a great city to visit as a family, find a list of what to do in Florence with kids here.
How To Get To Florence From Lake Como
The quickest way to get to Florence from Lake Como is to take the train. The ride should take approximately three hours. Check out the train times and ticket options here.
20. Cinque Terre (3 hr and 30 min Away by Train)
Cinque Terre is a series of five gorgeous coastal towns in Italy.
With its colorful buildings, stunning views, and delicious seafood, you’ll be sure to love this place!
Visit Monterosso al Mare or Riomaggiore for some lovely walking trails or enjoy some really good Italian cuisine at one of the many restaurants.
My favorite towns are Riomaggiore, Vernazza and Manarola.
How To Get To Cinque Terre From Lake Como
The easiest way to get to Cinque Terre from Lake Como is to take the train. The ride should take approximately three and a half hours.
You can also take a car, but it will take about four hours due to traffic and it can be hard to find parking – so really I don’t advise taking a car at all.
Here are some answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about what to see on a day trip from one of the towns around Lake Como.
Yes, there are plenty of day trips you can take from Lake Como.
You can explore nearby cities such as Parma, Interlaken, and Mont Blanc or take part in thrilling activities such as skiing and rock climbing.
The closest major city to Lake Como is Milan, which is located just 40km away. It takes around one hour by car or 45 minutes by train.
Yes, there are several ski resorts near Lake Como. The closest one is Madesimo, which is located just 32km away and takes around two hours by car.
Other popular ski resorts in the area include Santa Caterina Valfurva, Bormio, and Livigno.
Yes, you can do a day trip from Lake Como to Milan. It takes around one hour by car or 45 minutes by train.
Lake Como is approximately 364km away from Florence and takes around three hours and forty-five minutes by car.
Alternatively, you can take a train from Como to Florence which will take around three hours.
Final Thoughts On Lake Como Day Trips
Lake Como is the perfect base to explore some of Italy’s most iconic destinations.
Whether you want to visit Verona or Chamonix, there are plenty of day trips on offer – each with its own unique attractions and experiences! So why not start exploring today? Happy travels!
Additional Lake Como Resources:
- Not sure when to book your trip to Lake Como? Here is our post all about the best month to visit Lake Como.
- Find a place to stay in style, choose from one of our favorites here, on our post on top Lake Como luxury hotels.
- Wondering which towns are worth seeing at Lake Como? Here is a list of the top 10 towns in Lake Como.
- The best way to see Lake Como is from the lake. Here is a list of the best boat trips on Lake Como.
- Bellagio is my favorite Lake Como town. Find a list of what to do in Bellagio here.
- Unconvinced about whether you want to stay at Lake Como? You can also base yourself in Milan and see Lake Como on a day trip. Here are my favorite tours to Lake Como from Milan.