Top ten Lake Como sightseeing attractions

At Lake Como, conventional holiday categories are blurred. For example, picturesque old towns that provide accommodation at night are also sightseeing attractions during the day. And transportation around the Lake by boat and bus is also a kind of sightseeing, because in the course of taking passengers from A to B, they provide some of the most spectacular views of the water and mountains.

On that basis, these are our top ten sightseeing attractions at Lake Como. If sightseeing is your thing, you‘ll find more than enough here to keep you occupied. Alternatively, you can select items that particularly appeal to you and /or are the most convenient for you to get to from your base.

  1. A ferry boat ride is the definitive Lake Como experience. Boats criss–cross the Lake and chug round bends, promontories and bays in a way that produces constantly changing views. It’s like nature’s own slideshow.
  2. Villa del Balbianello is the most spectacular looking building on the Lake and has appeared in Star Wars, Oceans Twelve and Casino Royale. Take a guided tour of the house and /or gardens.
  3. [post=33] – the pearl of the Lake – is the most handsome town seen from the water and offers some of the best views of the Lake in return. Its narrow cobbled alleyways are filled with boutique shops selling a range of luxury and locally crafted goods.
  4. [post=119] is praised for its gardens. But for us, the best things about it are the elegant entry stairway and a collection of sculptures including Cupid and Psyche – the last word in academic erotic art.
  5. [post=62] is stuffed with sightseeing attractions, including the historic cathedral and old town; long lakeside promenade; funicular railway, silk museum and discount outlets; temple to Volta; palatial Villa Olmo; seaplane service and ferry terminal.
  6. [post=36] has more space than most other lakeside towns and has used it to build the most welcoming spot on the Lake – a relaxed 19th century piazza, in front of a medieval old town that extends into the foothills.
  7. [post=37] occupies a quiet strip of shaded waterside below a sheer rock face. Above it stand the remains of a difficult to reach castle where displays with birds of prey are given daily. Nearby, a shop makes and sells ‘Raku’ pottery.
  8. [post=120] Not easy to get to unless you hire a car, the Abbey buildings are delightful; the grounds provide wonderful views of the northern end of the Lake, and the shop sells ‘home-made’ sweets and liquor.
  9. The Alto Lario (northern end). Locations such as [post=69], [post=70] and [post=68] combine picturesque villages and beautifully decorated churches with international centres for sailing and other water-sports.
  10. Ride on a bus. The C20 route from Como to Argegno is a high-level thrill ride with spectacular views from a seat on the ‘drop’ side. The C10 from Argegno to Menaggio gives you close up views of the walls in narrow village streets.