Travelling to the City of Como, the provincial capital and generally travelling around Lake Como by public transport.
Traveling by Train
To get to Como Lago from Malpensa Airport, you first take the train to Saronno and then change platforms for trains bound for Como Lago. The journey time from Malpensa Aeroporto to Saronno takes approximately 20 minutes and stops at a few local stations.
At Saronno, you must disembark and change platforms for a train bound for Como Lago. The journey time from Saronno to Como Lago is approximately 45 minutes. At Saronno always keep hold of your luggage and by your side at all times.
Usually, all trains going to Como Lago depart from platform two but do check the departure screens in case of any changes.
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 1 hour.
The Politecnico di Milano, Como Campus is located at Via Castelnuovo and the nearest railway station is Como Borghi (Università).
Malpensa Airport to Como Lago
Below is the train route from Malpensa Airport – Terminal 2 to Como Lago:
Malpensa Aeroporto – Terminal 2
Malpensa Aeroporto – Terminal 1
Busto Arsizio Nord
Saronno – Change at Saronno for trains bound for Como Lago
Caslino al Piano
Como Borghi – Università
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 travel to Stazione Centrale Milano in Milano. At the side of the railway station, you will find the connecting bus shuttle services to Malpensa Airport, Linate Airport and Orio al Serio International Airport in Bergamo. Como San Giovanni also receives train services from SBB CFF FFS.
Milano Centrale to Como San Giovanni
Below is the train route from Milano Centrale to Como San Giovanni:
Milano Greco Pirelli
Sesto San Giovanni
Cantu – Cermenate
Como San Giovanni
Como San Giovanni to the Canton of Ticino in Switzerland
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 guard’s behaviour to the relative 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
Traveling by Bus
There are two types of public bus services that operate from the City of 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 the City of 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.
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.
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.
You can buy bus tickets from some tobacconists, bars and hotels in Como.
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.
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 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 the City of 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 City of 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 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 Como-Brunate connects the City of 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 City of Como with the Duomo and Como Football Stadium dominating the skyline.
You can also see the majestic Villa Olma and on a clear day watch the seaplanes taking off.
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.
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 the City of 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.