Using Public Milan Transportation
How to Get to Lake Como
In case you’re wondering about how to get to Lake Como using the public Milan transportation system…
Use the handy little tool below to figure out the fastest way to get to your desired destination in Lake Como if you’re coming from any of the following:
- Milan Central Station (Stazione Centrale)
- Milan Malpensa Airport Terminal 1 & 2
- Milan Linate Airport
- Milan Bergamo Orio al Serio Airport in Bergamo, Italy
- Lugano, Switzerland
Simply choose where you are coming from in the first box and the Lake como town you would like to arrive to in the second box.
WARNING: Be sure to disable any pop-up blockers as your result will be displayed in a new window!
How to get to Lake Como:
For Travel Within Lake Como…
Looking for information on how to get around Lake Como once you’re there? Lake Como travel is fun and easy when you fully understand how the online schedules work. So let’s crack the code…
For ferry services:
Simply click here, and then do the following…
- 1) choose "Fast Services"
- 2) select which direction you want to go, (Como/Colico goes toward the north, Colico/Como goes toward the south)
- 3) you can select the pdf icon to download the timetable to your computer, so that you can print it and take it with you!
NOTE: The timetable changes each season (Winter, Summer, Spring). Pay attention to the exact dates of the timetable!
For bus services:
Bus services are trickier because they are only available in Italian. But the following guide will help you understand everything you need to get around by bus.
Click here to access the Lake Como bus schedules website. Then do the following steps:
- 1) Once you’ve found the above site, click on "ORARI" from the top menu. This will pop-up a new window so be sure to disable pop-up blockers.
- 2) Scroll downwards by holding your mouse cursor over the orange down image until you see the following line:
C10 Como-Menaggio-Colico SPT LINEA
- 3) Clicking on it will open up a PDF file with the schedule which you can print out.
- 4) Use the following to translate the various items on the schedule:
Italian > English Lake Como Bus Schedule Translator:
The numbers at the very top of each page (1004, 1014) indicate bus numbers and are of no use to us.
Fer6 = Runs only Monday to Saturday.
Fer5 = Runs only Monday to Friday.
Fest = Runs only on Sundays and major holidays such as Christmas, New Years Day and Easter.
= Check the legend for more information
Translation of the legend:
Transita da Dubino a richiesta = Runs through Dubino on request.
Termina in località… = Ends course in the neighborhood of…
Non si effetua dal 26 luglio al 23 Agosto = doesn’t run from 26th of July to 23rd of August.
Termina in p. Roma (Deposito ASF) = Ends course in the Roma square (main bus depot).
Parte da p. Roma = Departs from Piazza Roma (Roma Square).
Nei Festivi parte da p. Roma = On holidays, it departs from Piazza Roma.
Si effettua solo dal 26 luglio al 23 agosto = Runs only from 26th of July to 23rd of August.
Proviene da Livo = Bus comes from Livo.
Trasbordo ad Argegno = Change bus in Argegno.
Transita a richiesta = Runs there on request.
Nei festivi la fermata si effettua in Via Mazzini n. 1 = On holidays the bus stops at Via Mazzini 1.
NOTE: For Swiss buses (for example if you want to get to Lugano, Switzerland) you can access www.sbb.ch.
NOTE #2: Remember to buy your tickets at Tabacchi shops (the shops with a big "T" hanging from the side) before boarding the bus!
For Train Services…
Consult www.ferroviedellostato.it and click on English in the top right hand corner.
Remember, train services only run on the eastern leg of the lake from Colico down to Bergamo.
For Travel Within Milan…
If you want information on traveling within Milan, check out the ATM site
Public transport is quite good in Milan. For €3 you can get a daily travelcard, or “giornaliero” valid for 24 hours from the time you stamp it. It can be used on all buses, trams and the metro lines within the city of Milan.
Always stamp your ticket before entering to avoid steep fines.
Do keep in mind that there are no night buses in Milan. The metro stops running just after midnight while buses stop running around 1am.
Suburban Milan Transportation
We love taking buses around the Lake Como/Milan area. You can travel from Milan, Bergamo or Switzerland into any town on the entire Lake of Como.
They also often have panoramic windows so you can do some sightseeing in comfort. You can buy tickets at any of the local ‘tabbachi’ shops (those little shops with the big letter T hanging from the side), or from the driver directly.
Use www.sptlinea.it for schedules and click on ‘Orari’ OR use www.sbb.ch for information on Swiss buses
Trains are an ideal way to travel but are limited in their number of destinations on the Como lake. They travel all along the eastern side of Lake Como, that is from Lecco to Colico, but can only get you to the town of Como as far as the western side is concerned.
Use www.trenitalia.it for schedules OR www.lenord.it for Milan’s Cadorna station and Como’s Nord Lago station
Boats and ferries are one of the fastest ways to commute between any town on the lake. There are express boats, slow boats, and special tourist boats with on-board restaurants.
Use NavigazioneLaghi.it for schedules
Now, let’s recap the many ways that you can get from Milan to Lake Como:
There are many ways that you can get from Milan to Lake Como using public transportation. You have the option of taking trains (two different services: normal and “le nord”), you can take a public bus or a shuttle bus.
Regular train service from Milan to Lake Como
The city of Como’s main train station – the Como San Giovanni station – is approximately 50 km from Milan’s downtown. A train-ride only takes roughly 40 minutes by normal train services. The trains are very cheap here too. As cheap as they are, don’t expect huge luxuries. They are certainly not as comfortable as the expensive ‘business class’ trains which travel from Milan to Rome. Be sure to use the toilets before getting on one! Check out www.trenitalia.it for more information on schedules.
Le Nord Service to Lake Como
There is also another train service that can take you and your guests even closer to the lake. Please note that this train service does not go to the same stations as the regular train service. You’ll also have to switch trains in Saronno. Visit trenord.it for more information.
Travel by Shuttlebus
Most Milan airports (Malpensa and Linate) will have a shuttlebus that can take you directly to Milan’s Central Station. From here, you will be able to travel to Como using the regular train service. If you want to take the Le Nord train service, you’ll have to take a metro from Milan’s main central station to another station called “Milan Cadorna”.
From Bergamo airport, you can hop on a local bus to get to Bergamo’s central train station. Then take a train to Varenna, which lies on the eastern shores of Lake Como. From there you can continue onward by taking a ferry to any town on the lake.
Onward by Ferry
Visit www.navigazionelaghi.it for ferry schedules if you want to continue your journey upward from Como, Italy. The ferries are also a wonderful means of transportation around the lake, since you can bring your car onto them.
It’s very easy to get to Milan from Lake Como with a little bit of planning.
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