How to reach Lake Como by train from Milan

Travelling from Milan to Como by rail is both quick and cheap. Even first-class tickets are surprisingly affordable, and standard fares will barely make a dent in your budget. The train journey from Milan Central to Como San Giovanni station is about 40 minutes on Trenord and Eurocity trains. It may also surprise you to learn that trains run virtually around the clock, with the last train being at around 22:50 and then resuming after a short break at 00:30.

Visiting the city of Como

Lake Como is favoured by jet-set travellers for its eye-popping scenery, splendid lakeside lodgings and local historic attractions. The short distance presents a marvellous opportunity to make a Milan to Lake Como day trip. If you've got the funds, Como makes for an unforgettable place to splurge for a few nights. Cheaper options exist as well, including lakeside camping and home rental options.

Como's historic sights

While you're here, take time to explore the spectacular lakeside area. Going for a walk to the shore is a magnificent way to appreciate Como's natural beauty at any time of year, with the villas dotted around the mountainside leading down to the water making for pretty views. In the summer, many visitors enjoy swimming or sailing around the lake.

Castello di Vezio is one of the region's most magnificent sights, a 12th-century castle that has plenty to discover within its walls. Tour the dungeon and learn about the castle's role in medieval Italy, before heading up the tower for unforgettable views out across the water.

Lake Como is also well known for its stately homes. These include Villa Monastero, sitting by the water and boasting a rich 19th-century interior. You can visit the museum and spend time wandering through its lush gardens. Villa Carlotta is also well known in Como. Sitting among 20 acres of gardens, it features a wonderful art collection and embodies the chic elegance of this area.

Getting around Lake Como by train

Como is one of the most visited destinations in Lombardy. Whether as a base or a stopping point on your trip, it's a superb springboard for seeing more of the area. You can take a regional train operated by Trenitalia from Como to Varese in around 45 minutes or so – a gorgeous hilly town that's famous for its beautiful architecture will be waiting for you. Be sure to visit the Palace Grand Hotel here, if only to stop for coffee and admire its superb art nouveau architecture and attractive gardens.

You can also take the Trenord train from Como to Lecco in about an hour to savour the natural beauty of this hidden gem in Lombardy. Take the Piani d'Ema cable car up the mountain and have your camera at the ready! It's about 1h 40m on a train from Como to Bergamo, which is home to a number of historic churches including the marble-clad Colleoni Chapel. This is a 15th-century site that deserves some exploring with its unique statues and frescoes.

From Como to Switzerland by train

If you fancy taking in another country on your trip, hop over to nearby Switzerland by train. The train journey from Como to Lugano is about 30 minutes on Eurocity trains. Located within Switzerland's Italian-speaking region, Lugano's wonderful climate and palm-lined boulevards make it an attractive destination in the country.

You can also take a train from Como to Locarno – you’ll reach your Swiss destination in about 90 minutes. Locarno sits on the shores of Lake Maggiore and features colourful architecture and opportunities for boat tours.

As part of a wider European trip, you can also make the easy trip from Como to Zurich by train. Sitting in comfort, take in Switzerland's beautiful scenery as you travel, arriving in its largest city in under three hours. The shores of Lake Zurich and the famous Grossmünster Cathedral await you here in the country's financial capital.

You can also easily travel by train from Como to Geneva. This journey also takes less than three hours to get to this high-level global city. Visit Geneva's Palace of Nations and UN Office, and witness the workings of this global institution at first hand. You'll also be within reach of the national capital, Bern, from Zurich in under an hour. Visit the Parliament Building and the Bear Pit, a park housing several examples of the animal that's a symbol of the city.

When taking train trips from Milan to Como or from Como to its surrounding towns and even to nearby Switzerland, you'll have an open door to many of Europe's most beautiful destinations. Travelling quickly by train allows you to relax and enjoy the dramatic and inspiring views of Northern Italy and Switzerland at your leisure. Tailor your trip to your specific tastes and see a little bit of everything, or simply travel with ease directly from Milan airport to spend your holidays in beautiful Como.