Where to stay in Lake Como on a budget: 4 Best areas and hotels

Wondering Where to stay in Lake Como on a budget? In this post, I will help you to find the best areas to stay in Lake Como on a budget and the best budget-friendly hotels to stay in each town.

Lake Como is known for its luxurious and upscale reputation, with many celebrities and wealthy individuals owning properties there. But, it is still possible to enjoy Lake Como on a more affordable budget. 

Prices tend to be higher during the peak tourist season, which is typically from late spring to early autumn. You can consider visiting during the shoulder seasons (spring or autumn) when prices may be lower, and the weather is still pleasant.

One of the best things about Lake Como is its stunning natural scenery. Hiking, walking, and exploring the lakeside paths are often free or low-cost activities that allow you to appreciate the beauty of the area without spending a fortune.

Instead of staying in the more famous and expensive towns like Bellagio, you can consider staying in smaller towns. Places like Varenna, Menaggio, or Lecco offer a more authentic experience and can have more affordable accommodations.

Where to stay in Lake Como on a budget?

The best areas to stay in Lake Como on a budget are Lecco, Varenna, Menaggio, and Como. Each of these towns offers affordable accommodation options, access to beautiful scenery, and a unique atmosphere that makes them attractive choices for budget-conscious travelers.

Lake Como has a range of accommodation options, from luxury hotels to budget-friendly guesthouses and B&Bs. Look for accommodations that fit your budget and consider staying a bit farther from the waterfront, as prices tend to be lower away from the lake.

Overviews of best towns to stay in Lake Como on a budget

Varennais a charming town on the eastern shore of Lake Como and offers a more budget-friendly alternative to the popular and expensive towns of Bellagio and Como. You can find affordable guesthouses, bed and breakfasts, and hotels here.
Menaggiois a charming town on the western part of Lake Como, close to Lake Lugano in Switzerland, It offers a range of accommodation options at more reasonable prices.
LeccoLocated at the southern end of Lake Como, Lecco is a larger town with more affordable accommodation options. It’s less touristy than some other towns on the lake, but it still offers beautiful views and easy access to the lake.
ComoIs the biggest town and the transportation hub of Lake Como, offers easy access to Milan by train, and other towns on Lake Como by trains, buses, and ferries. It is a great base for a city vibe with great nightlife, shopping, and plenty of amenities.
map best areas to stay in Lake Como
map best areas to stay in Lake Como

4 Best areas to stay in Lake Como on a budget:

1. Varenna

Varenna is one of the best areas to stay in Lake Como on a budget due to its central location, proximity to the popular towns on the Lake such as Bellagio  and Menaggio, as well as its excellent links to public transportation. 

Varenna is centrally located on the eastern shore of Lake Como. It is home to a train station and a ferry dock, making it easy to explore Milan, and other towns around Lake Como without spending much on transportation.

Compared to other towns like Bellagio or Como, Varenna generally offers more affordable accommodation options, including budget hotels, guesthouses, and vacation rentals. This makes it a great choice for budget-conscious travelers.

Varenna is a picturesque town with charming cobblestone streets, colorful houses, and stunning views of Lake Como. You can enjoy breathtaking sunsets, leisurely walks along the lakefront promenade, and relax on the pebble beach, without breaking the bank.

Varenna is home to the historic Villa Monastero, which features beautiful gardens and a botanical park. It’s a great place to relax and soak up the natural beauty of Lake Como without spending much. 

Also, The Vezio Castle, located on a hill above the village, offers panoramic views of Lake Como and is accessible by a scenic hike.

Varenna has a more laid-back and authentic atmosphere compared to some of the larger and more touristy towns around Lake Como. It provides a quieter and more intimate experience, allowing you to immerse yourself in the local culture.

Take a note that Varenna is a hilly town with narrow streets and steep staircases, which can make it challenging for individuals with mobility issues. If you have difficulty walking or require wheelchair accessibility, you may find certain areas of Varenna inaccessible.

While Varenna offers basic amenities such as grocery stores, restaurants, and cafes, it may have fewer options compared to larger towns. You may find a more limited choice of shops, entertainment venues, and nightlife options.

Best places to stay in Varenna on a budget:

  • Hotel Olivedo, 3-star hotel, located within easy walk from the pier, and the Varenna-Esino Train Station. 
  • Bed & Breakfast il Bolentino Varenna, great accommodation, located close to the ferry harbor, the train station, as well as restaurants. 
  • Varenna Guest House, great apartment, situated close to the railway station and the ferry stop to take boat tours around the lake. 

2. Menaggio

Menaggio is a popular destination on Lake Como and is a good choice for travelers on a budget. You can find a variety of affordable hotels, guesthouses, and bed and breakfast compared to the more popular Bellagio.

Additionally, Menaggio offers a charming setting with beautiful lake views and easy access to the surrounding attractions. The town has a pleasant waterfront promenade, picturesque streets, and a selection of restaurants and cafes that cater to different budgets.

The area around Menaggio offers numerous outdoor activities that are either free or inexpensive. You can enjoy hiking, cycling, and walking along the lakefront promenade, providing opportunities for budget-friendly leisure and exploration.

The town is well-connected to other areas on the lake by ferry and bus, allowing you to visit popular destinations like Bellagio, Varenna, and Como town without the need for expensive transportation.

Menaggio has many restaurants and cafes where you can find reasonably priced eateries that serve local cuisine.

Best places to stay in Menaggio on a budget:

  • Budget: Albergo Il Vapore, 3-star hotel, conveniently located close to a bus stop offering a bus to Como, as well as the marina, where ferries depart across the lake.
  • Budget: Hotel Bellavista, 3-star lakefront hotel, located in central Menaggio.
  • Budget: Suites Menaggio, beautiful guest house right in the heart of Menaggio.

3. Lecco

Lecco is generally considered more affordable compared to other towns around Lake Como, such as Bellagio or Varenna. Accommodation, dining, and activities tend to be more budget-friendly in Lecco.

Lecco offers a more authentic Italian experience, as it is less touristy compared to other towns on Lake Como. You can immerse yourself in local culture and interact with the friendly residents.

Lecco is nestled at the foot of the Italian Alps, providing stunning views of the surrounding mountains and the lake. The natural scenery is breathtaking and offers great opportunities for outdoor activities like hiking, biking, and boating.

Lecco has good transportation links, with a train station that connects you to other parts of the lake and nearby cities like Milan. It’s relatively easy to explore the region and visit other towns from Lecco.

Lecco is situated on the southeastern branch of Lake Como, which means it’s not as centrally located as some other towns. If you plan to explore various parts of the lake, you may need to travel a bit more to reach certain attractions or take longer boat rides.

Overall, If you’re looking to save money on accommodation and prefer a more affordable destination, Lecco can be a good choice. Lecco’s location near the Prealps and its scenic surroundings make it an ideal base for outdoor activities and nature exploration.

Best places to stay in Lecco on a budget:


4. Como

Como Town is an ideal base for budget-conscious travelers who want a lively city vibe with widest choices of shopping and nightlife, and easy access to other towns without the need of a car.

Como is the biggest town and transportation hub of Lake Como, located on the southern tip of Lake Como. It has excellent connections to public transportation, making it a great base to explore other towns around the lake.

Como is home to two major train stations, Como San Giovanni Station and Como Nord Lago station with direct trains from Milano Centrale station and Milan Cadorna Station. There is also a bus station and a ferry terminal, making it easy to explore Lake Como without a car.

Como Town itself has several attractions that you can explore without spending a lot of money. The main highlight is Como’s historic center, with its charming streets, beautiful squares, and the iconic Como Cathedral (Duomo). 

You can also visit the Volta Temple, dedicated to Alessandro Volta, the inventor of the battery. Other attractions are the Basilica di San Fedele, Broletto town hall, the lively Piazza Cavour, as well as numerous museums such as the Museo Storico Giuseppe Garibaldi and Museo Archeologico Giovio.

The town offers stunning views of the lake and its surrounding mountains. You can take a stroll along the lakefront promenade, visit waterfront parks, and gardens at Villa Olmo, or take a cable car ride to Brunate for panoramic views.

In addition to historical attractions, Como offers a range of nightlife, shopping, dining options to suit different budgets. You can find budget-friendly restaurants, bars, shops, pizzerias, and cafes. 

As the largest town on the lake, Como offers a wide range of accommodation options to suit different budgets. You can find budget-friendly hotels, guesthouses, hostels, and apartments in the city center, offering easy access to the lake, train stations, and attractions.

Remember, while Como Town is a budget-friendly option, it’s still advisable to plan and book your accommodation in advance to secure the best deals and availability.

Best places to stay in Como Town on a budget:

  • Budget: Le Stanze del Lago Lake View, excellent accommodation with  lake view, proximity to the bus station, train station, and the ferries.
  • Budget: Como City Home, great apartment located close to Como San Giovanni Train Station, with train links from Milan.
  • Budget: Albergo del Duca, 3-star hotel, located within walking distance from Piazza Cavour square,  and Como Nord Lago Train Station with connections to Milan.

See more:

In conclusion, Varenna, Menaggio, Lecco, and Como emerge as the best places stay in Lake Como on a budget. Como suits travelers seeking a vibrant city atmosphere, Lecco offer more local atmosphere, Varenna captivates with its charm and proximity to attractions, while Menaggio offers a serene retreat for nature enthusiasts. Choose your perfect budget-friendly escape!

About Author: Ocean Cameron

I'm Ocean, founder and main editor of travelhotelexpert.com. I’m a passionate traveler who specializes in uncovering the best hotels and locations in every city, especially for first-timers, all without the need for a car.

Disclosure: This page contains affiliate links. This means that, at absolutely no additional cost to you, I'll earn a small commission if you click through and purchase something I've recommended. I only recommend products that I use myself or firmly believe in. Thank you!

Leave a Comment