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Getting from Malpensa to Lake Como with Public Transit

Varenna, Italy
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for Lake Como
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Getting from Malpensa to Lake Como with Public Transit

There are a couple of mix-and-match ways to do this beyond the obvious car-rental, private shuttle, or car-and-driver service options, and I thought it would be nice to have them all in one place for the start of the new tourist season ...

***WEST (COMO-COLICO) BRANCH:

*TO COMO: Catch the Malpensa Express train to Saronno station run by Le Nord (leaves from lower level of terminal 1), change for Como Lago (end of line). Tickets sold at Malpensa just above the platforms, no need to book in advance. [Times can be consulted at www.trenord.it (no English as of yet, but pretty basic interface -- input Da: "Malpensa Aeroporto" A: "Como Lago")]

Como (Nord) Lago station is right across from the waterfront, so if you're staying in Como, you've reached your destination.

*ON UP THE LAKE: From here you have two main options:

1) Cross the street to the left to the ferry ticket booth and catch a ferry or hydrofoil directly to destination town

[boat schedules: www.navlaghi.it/eng/c_orari.asp]

OR

2) Bus C30 to towns up to and including Bellagio (Blevio, Nesso, Lezzeno, etc.)

Bus C10 to towns up to and including Colico (Menaggio, Argegno, Dongo, etc.)

[bus schedules may be consulted at www.asfautolinee.it/it-it/lineeeorari/orariolineeinpdf/reteextraurbana.aspx]

*NOTE* It's also possible to follow one of the options below, then catch a ferry from Varenna over to Bellagio -- usually this is a bit more trouble (you'll need to come a few hundred meters, mostly downhill, from the Varenna/Esino train station to the ferry, and backtracking to Milan Central isn't the most direct way to the central lake), but sometimes the times work out to be similar to the train/ferry combo above.

***EAST (LECCO-COLICO) BRANCH:

*TO TOWNS LECCO-VARENNA (inclusive):

You start out with two options from Malpensa to Milan -- either:

1) Catch a Malpensa Express *train* to Milano Centrale

[Times can be consulted at www.trenord.it (no English as of yet, but pretty basic interface -- input Da: "Malpensa Aeroporto" A: "Milano Centrale")]

OR

2) Catch a Malpensa Shuttle *bus* to Milano Centrale

*TO/UP THE LAKE:

From Milan's Central Station you can then catch a regional train (usually headed for Tirano or Sondrio) to Lecco, Varenna/Esino, Bellano or Colico. For stops between Lecco and Varenna (Fiumelatte, Lierna), you'd need to get off at Lecco and change to a more local train heading in the same direction.

Hope this helps!

Kat

88 replies to this topic
FF
Milan, Italy
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for Milan, Genoa, Valle d'Aosta
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51. Re: Getting from Malpensa to Lake Como with Public Transit

No change.

London, United...
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52. Re: Getting from Malpensa to Lake Como with Public Transit

It was certainly the case in August 2013. Can't say for certain now, but the links to the train company were working last year and available in English, so give them a try to get up to date prices and times etc.

Middletown, Rhode...
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53. Re: Getting from Malpensa to Lake Como with Public Transit

Boolala,

The train info is still applicable today. Make sure you get on the right train at Malpensa. Look at the departure board and make sure the train stops in Saronno. One train does not stop in Saronno but just goes straight through to Milan. You DO NOT want to get on this train (like I did) and go all the way to Milan and then have to go all the way back to Como. I don't know if the train station at the airport is still the same but you buy your tickets Terminal 1 ground floor and then there are two sets of stairs to two different platforms. They are NOT connected and if you are on the wrong platform it is easy to get on the wrong train. You can see all this information on the departure board before you buy your ticket. Down the right steps to the right platform to the right train! Also make sure you are ready for the stop in Saronno as it is a short stop I believe. Be ready to get off! I usually take the train to Como but when leaving I rent a driver and car. It is expensive $100.00 or more after 7:00AM but it is worth it not to worry about getting to the airport on time as my plane leaving Como for the U.S. usually leaves around 10:00AM. If you need three hours for International flights like I do that does not give you much time. Can not miss the flight. When arriving, like I said, I don't care what time I get to the hotel so it is a little adventure to take the train and learn.

I see you are from Boston? I am from Newport, RI. I go there often. Let me know if you need to know anything I can help you with. I am going in June.

Ciao,

TomS

Lewisville, Texas
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54. Re: Getting from Malpensa to Lake Como with Public Transit

We'll be going to Varenna in June with a couple of kids. I thought that they might enjoy taking a ferry from Como to Varenna but the link given in the OP doesn't show a route between Como/Varenna. Is there a way to go from Como/Varenna on the water or should we go with the train route as described above?

Middletown, Rhode...
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55. Re: Getting from Malpensa to Lake Como with Public Transit

Morgan1112,

Great idea but check the map of Lake Como and you will see that Varenna is the next city along the Lake's west side after Bellagio. Go to this website www.navigazionelaghi.it/eng/c_orari.asp and scroll down till you get to the PDF Schedules and look at the Como-Colico- Como schedule and also the Mid lake schedule. The problem is they are the spring schedule March 30, 2014 to May 31, 2014. You will not have any problem. It is easy and better than the train or the bus. Get the slow boat for a beautiful picture taking ride up the lake and then get the fast boat back if you don't want to see the same thing again on a slow ride. Buy your ticket for Como to Bellagio and get off and see Bellagio. Then get a ticket for Bellagio to Varenna. You can pick up a little pocket schedule that is like the PDF download. There is also a tourist information center at Piazza Cavour in Como, which is right next to the boat ramp. They are very helpful. they have a Facebook page where you can contact them with questions. https://www.facebook.com/IATComo?fref=ts I find they always are helpful with answers.

One note on the schedules ,which I am sure you will figure out, the cities that the boats stop are listed down the left (get yourself a small lake map in the tourist office) The boats are listed along the top. the times under each boat. If the time stops halfway down the trip then that is as far as that boat goes. you might see a gap in the times I which you might have to get another boat.

You could spend forever touring the beautiful little cities along the lake. If you are traveling up the lake on Wednesday make sure you stop at the fair in Cernobbio (Mercato di Cernobbio). It is great and a good place to eat.

Good luck,

TomS

56. Re: Getting from Malpensa to Lake Como with Public Transit

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FF
Milan, Italy
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57. Re: Getting from Malpensa to Lake Como with Public Transit

#56 interesting post. Glad you enjoyed the lake!

For future reference:

1. In most cases, when public transport strikes happen on weekdays, some service (albeit limited) must -under law- be guaranteed during commuting hours, i.e. (roughly) between 6 and 9AM and 5 to 8PM. No service is guaranteed in case a strike is called on a Sunday. High speed trains are usually not affected by strikes (but they do not serve this area anyway).

2. there are no buses between Como and Malpensa airport. There used to be a service, but it was discontinued years ago.

Melbourne, Australia
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58. Re: Getting from Malpensa to Lake Como with Public Transit

Thanks for the info regarding no buses from Como to Malpensa (he was just being reassuring :-) I suppose)

...worthwhile for others to know..

59. Re: Getting from Malpensa to Lake Como with Public Transit

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60. Re: Getting from Malpensa to Lake Como with Public Transit

where do i get the bus u mentioned thanks for information

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