Bellagio, a small town on the shores of Lake Como, is probably one of the prettiest places you can visit at and around Lake Como.
Known for its cobblestone lanes with cute restaurants and cafes, a beautiful promenade, and different villas and parks, it is one of the top places to visit at Lake Como. Whether you do a day trip from Como, Milan, or stay for longer, Bellagio is a must-see in Lombardy. There is just one big “issue“ with Bellagio – it can be crowded. Very crowded. Because it is anything but a hidden gem, it does get busy.
The “Pearl of Lake Como“ is a tourist magnet. There are many reasons for this, which you will find out about in this post. Here you will find what to do in Bellagio along with important travel tips for your Bellagio itinerary.
BELLAGIO TRAVEL TIPS
Here are some quick tips for your Bellagio itinerary.
How to Get to Bellagio
Lake Como´s arms form an inverted Y, and Bellagio is located halfway between the two southernmost branches of the lake at 229 meters above sea level.
Bellagio does not have a train station. So, if you get there by public transportation, you most likely will get to Como first by train and then take a bus or boat to Bellagio.
To get from Como to Bellagio, it takes about 1 hour by bus/car.
If you take the boat, it will take about 2 hours (there is a fast boat service, too, which takes only about 1 hour).
How to Get Around Bellagio
The best way to get around in Bellagio itself is on foot. The sights are all located within walking distance and you just have to wear comfy shoes to walk those cobblestoned and holey streets.
There is a tourist train that will take you to the main attractions as well, if you cannot or do not want to walk all day.
If you want to discover the surroundings, I highly suggest getting around by boat/ferry. The ferry station is just at the foot of the old town and there are regular connections to Como, Varenna, and many more places.
Where to Stay in Bellagio
Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni is the most luxurious hotel you can find in Bellagio. This 5-star property is located at the end of the Bellagio promontory, with views of Lake Como and the Alps just at the shores of Lake Como.
If you are looking for an apartment with a kitchen, then you might want to check out Diamonds Apartments, which is just a few minutes‘ walk away from the Bellagio harbor. You are close to the main attractions and have wonderful views of the lake – perfect for those who want to cook their own meals or stay with a larger group (up to 7 people).
For a more affordable option, check out Agriturismo La Derta, which is located about 1 km from Villa Melzi Gardens. You can book beds in a dorm and have breakfast included. It is a bit farther from the main sights, but if you are fit, you can still walk to see them.
How Long to Stay in Bellagio
Bellagio is a small town, though it has quite a bit to offer given its small size. In one day, you can see all the attractions – in half a day you can manage to see the main attractions. However, Bellagio makes a good base to visit some of the other stunning areas along the shores of Lake Como. So you can make it your base and stay in Bellagio for a couple of days.
Is Bellagio Worth Visiting?
Yes, Bellagio is worth visiting! It is actually well worth visiting. The old town and the promenade with its park and gardens make it a great place to visit for a day or so.
BEST THINGS TO DO IN BELLAGIO, LAKE COMO
Okay, here are the best attractions to visit in Bellagio.
BELLAGIO OLD TOWN & GIUSEPPE GARIBALDI
One of the main attractions in Bellagio is the old, small town with its hilly, narrow cobblestone streets. You will find plenty of cafes and small boutiques that sell local products.
The most popular spot here is probably the street of Giuseppe Garibaldi – this very photogenic street can become crowded. When you look at the view, you‘ll know why.
Another main sight in the old town is the Basilica of San Giacomo, which is centrally located. There is no entrance fee and since it is quite small, it is just a short stop on your Bellagio itinerary.
TIP: Since it is a church, dress appropriately.
My favorite place in Bellagio is actually the promenade – it stretches more or less from Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni to Giardini di Villa Melzi. This one-kilometer-long stretch is the perfect place for an easy walk with amazing views, and if you need a rest, you can just sit down on one of the benches along the way.
Unlike the promenade in Como, you‘ll find this one beautifully decorated with flower pots.
On market days, you will also find small stalls selling cute and unique stuff, as well as fresh food and essential items.
One thing you might find in abundance in Lake Como are parks and villas. Bellagio won’t disappoint you here – Melzi Garden is a popular botanical garden and park area with a villa as a main attraction.
The villa itself, built in a neoclassical style between 1808 and 1810, is not open to the public, but you can walk the long stretch (on different levels) and enjoy splendid views of the lake and the flowers.
It is a nice garden, but if you are on a budget, you can skip it and visit the park in Varenna instead.
Tickets can be bought on the spot for 8€, with children under the age of 11 free.
LA PUNTA SPARTIVENTO
A popular place outside the town center is the Punta Spartivento. This famous bridge situated in a park on the Bellagio peninsula is just about a 10-minute walk uphill from the ferry terminal.
The bridge gives you some panoramic views of the lake, but there is also a meadow where you can just chill and rest.
You will also find a restaurant there. While I have not dined there myself, it seems to be a popular place that easily fills up during the high season (so a reservation might be good if you want to eat/have a drink there).
The urge to spend some time in the water would be totally understandable – which you can do at the lido in Bellagio. It is located between the harbor and the gardens of Villa Melzi. This private beach club has a sandy beach area with a pool, offering drinks and food during the day and at night.
BELLAGIO TOURIST TRAIN
Do you rather enjoy sitting on a small tourist train while seeing Bellagio? This is the perfect way to get around for those who cannot or do not want to walk to all the sights. Families with children in particular love this cute train.
The small train takes you to some of the main sights in Bellagio during its 25-minute long ride. The train departs at the square in front of the ferry dock. Tickets are valid for a full day, which allows you to hop on and off at several stations if you want.
A ticket for the train ride is just about 5€ for adults, and children under 3 years ride it for free (children 3-12 years old pay 2.5€).
There is the Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni and the Villa Serbelloni – both are probably well worth a visit (especially if you can afford to stay overnight in the luxury hotel). But this section is all about the park garden. The park belongs to the Rockefeller Foundation and the villa was built in the 15th century.
These days, it includes a botanical garden that is home to native and exotic species, as well as several statues and terraces. Make sure to book a guided tour prior.
From March 12th to November 1st: guided tours every day except Mondays at 11 am and 3:30 pm
Closed: from June 19th to June 24th
Prices: €10 for adults, €5 for children between 7 and 13 years old, free for children under 7 years old
MADONNA DEL GHISALLO / GHISALLO MUSEUM
Madonna del Ghisallo is a hill in Magreglio at 754 meters above sea level (2,474 feet) and about 10km from Bellagio. Cycling fans will enjoy a visit to the Ghisallo Cycling Museum. It is a museum dedicated to the men and women who have biked both in everyday life and in competitive sports.
If you are not into cycling, then you will at least enjoy another great view of Lake Como as the museum in Madonna del Ghisallo is adjacent to the chapel of the La Madonna del Ghisallo – the patron saint of cycling – offering specular views of Lake Como.
Opening hours for the museum: First Saturday in March to early November from 9:30 am to 5:30 pm.
TICKETS: 5€ for adults, 3€ for school children, and children up to 10 years old are FREE.
DINE WITH A VIEW
There is no shortage of nice restaurants with a view in Bellagio. But for great views that come with local food, I recommend having dinner at Trattoria Baita Belvedere“.
It is seriously the best place to eat in Bellagio (I’m just guessing since I have not tried all the restaurants there) and the prices are quite affordable (organic and regional food offered).
Bellagio makes a wonderful place to explore, but it is also great for a couple of day trips.
Varenna has some fantastic villas (Villa Monastero is especially worth a visit), beaches, a charming promenade, a cute old town with historic buildings, and lovely restaurants.
From Bellagio, it is just a 15-minute ferry ride, so it is a must-see place whenever you are in Bellagio.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON THE BEST BELLAGIO ACTIVITIES
Bellagio is probably the prettiest village/town along the shores of Lake Como – the old town, the promenade, and its vibe, Bellagio knows how to impress. So whether yo stay in Bellagio for one day or longer, you should make sure to add this place to your Italy bucket list.
Lucerne is often considered the most beautiful city in Switzerland. Surrounded by the Swiss Alps, this small city has a lot to offer its visitors. And Lucerne in winter is not less stunning than Lucerne in summer.
If I had to name a European city with the most stunning scenery, it would be… Lucerne!The scenery is definitely impressive, but the city/town center also has a few gorgeous places to visit – Lucerne in winter is one of a kind.
While many of the following tips can be done at any time of the year, there are a few things you can only do in the winter.
After several visits in the summer, I visited in winter and squeezed in many winter attractions in Lucerne. There is just so much to do and see that I did not want to miss out on any of the fun things in the winter.
So, while I have a post about the best things to do in Lucerne in the summer (and fall and spring), this is your Lucerne winter travel guide – which includes general Lucerne travel tips (e.g., where to stay and how to get around) as well as the best activities in Lucerne in the winter.
Travel Tips For Lucerne in Winter
Let´s start with some tips for your Lucerne winter trip.
How to Get To Lucerne in Winter
If you fly into Switzerland, Zurich Airport or Basel Airport would be the best choices. From there, it takes about one hour (by car or train) to get to Lucerne.
For your winter trip, I recommend getting around public transportation. It will allow you to get an excellent impression of this country, and even in the winter months, public transportation in Switzerland is superb.
How to Get Around in Winter
If you stay in an official accommodation in Lucerne, you will get a Visitor Card.
The visitor card allows you to use public transportation in the city of Lucerne for free.
Lucerne itself is small, and you can easily walk, but sometimes being able to hop on a bus and take advantage of the excellent Swiss public transportation comes in handy.
Public transportation in Lucerne is fast, reliable, and on time.
However, the Lucerne Visitor Card is only for Lucerne’s city.
You cannot use it to get to some of the places I mention here.
In those cases, you need to buy a ticket. So, please check the validity of the card for each location.
If you are a non-Swiss resident, you might want to look into a Swiss Travel Pass. I often, even if I road trip, buy them and use them for long distances, my boat cruises (I might have a slight obsession with boat rides), and even mountain rides.
You have unlimited bus, train, and boat rides with the Swiss Travel Pass.
The Swiss Travel Pass gives you a 50% discount on most of the mountain excursions and the Mount Rigi train ride is even included.
Driving is also a good option because there are some scenic streets. However, parking in the town center will make your travel costs explode. If you stay in the center of town, free parking is available outside the city center.
Also, many winter activities mentioned here are within the town center of Lucerne, so a car might be unnecessary.
Also, keep in mind that driving in the snow might be challenging. While there will be hardly any snow in Lucerne, it might be different if you visit places like Engelberg.
Best Time to Visit Lucerne in Winter
Personally, I think Lucerne is almost always a good idea. I love the summer months when I can actually swim in the lake, as well as early fall or late spring.
After my recent visit, I can actually recommend visiting Lucerne in the winter months, too. So, if you are eyeing winter as your season to visit, here are my tips for that time of year.
I haven’t visited Lucerne´s Christmas markets, but I heard about how beautiful they were, so for this reason alone, December in Lucerne would be a good choice.
If you are interested in visiting the Light Festival (LILU), then mid-January in Lucerne is a perfect time. It was when I visited the city, and it was perfect because January really is off-season.
Hardly anyone is around (unlike the summer months when Lucerne is crowded), and accommodation prices are significantly lower than in the summer months. The Light Festival is another beautiful attraction worth a visit (more on that later).
Disclaimer: I was invited to discover Lucerne in the winter by Lucerne Tourism and My Switzerland, but as always views and opinions are my own. Also, some links might include affiliate links. This means if you make a qualified purchase (or book a tour/hotel) I might earn a small commission. There are no extra costs for you. More about it here.
Where to Stay in Lucerne in the Winter
Lucerne is quite pricey, especially in the town center, but it is worth a visit.
Luxury Hotels in Lucerne
Schweizerhof Luzern is a beautiful and fun 5* hotel located at Lake Lucerne’s shores and a few hundred meters from the old town and main tourist attractions (if you can, book a room with a lake view).
Park Hotel Vitznau This is the most expensive hotel in the region. Dogs are not allowed, so I have not had the chance to check it out. However, it looks absolutely gorgeous and is located in a very quiet area but with Lake Lucerne’s view.
Mid-Range Hotels in Lucerne
There is not much in that area, as even 3 or 4-star hotels cost quite a bit. If you are on a budget, you can check out prices close to Lucerne, but on my last trip, I stayed at Hotel des Alpes which came with amazing room views. It is located close to the Chapel Bridge. Check out prices here.
Okay, enough talking, let‘s talk about the best winter activities in Lucerne.
Discover the Old Town
I have been to Lucerne quite often, but I admit that I had just overlooked the beautiful buildings in the old town of the center. However, the old town is lovely, and in the winter months (except for December probably), it is much more fun to stroll around.
With fewer people around, you actually get to see the buildings. You will find many painted houses with interesting facades and also painted water fountains.
Yes, you can enjoy the delicious and freshwater that comes from Mount Pilatus – so, whenever you see a water fountain you can refill your water bottle. If the water is not drinkable a sign will tell you.
Depending on your speed, I suggest planning in at least about two hours for the old town.
One of the main attractions in Lucerne is the famous Chapel Bridge. It is located very close to the old town and within walking distance.
Okay, I know I was lucky. There is not often snow on the Chapel Bridge. But you might be lucky, too. Doesn’t the Chapel Bridge look lovely in the winter?The flower pots are gone, though (which you will find in the warmer months), but looking at the snow-capped roof of the bridge with Mount Pilatus in thebackground is charming.
But even without the snow, you cannot (should not) skip the Chapel Bridge.
In the winter months, it is less busy, and you can enjoy crossing the bridge in a more relaxed way. The wooden bridge, spanning the Reuss River, was originally built in the 14th century before being partly burnt down in 1993 and then quickly rebuilt.
If you visit Lucerne in December, this is where the magic happens…Kind of. Imagine this place in times of Christmas Markets.
TIP: Do not look only to the right and left (to enjoy the beautiful scenery and pretty houses lined up along the promenade), but also look up and enjoy the paintings that are hung on the ceiling.
If you have read my other Lucerne post (about the best things to do in the summer in Lucerne), then you know I am obsessed with boat riding. Lake Lucerne is amazing – I can´t remember how many times I have done a Lake Lucerne boat trip.
This time, I hopped on a boat after my Mount Rigi trip, and it was dark, so I did not see much. However, a boat cruise in the winter is a perfect activity with its picture-perfect scenery! My tip is to start the boat tour in the morning or afternoon so you can still see the landscape.
Also, I have been asked many times about the most romantic city/town in Switzerland, and I have two answers: one of them is Lucerne. If you do the evening cruise. You will not see much of the scenery, yet you will experience the romantic side of Lucerne in the winter!
TIP: With a Swiss Travel Pass, the boat cruise on Lake Lucerne is free.
The Jesuit Church, a Catholic Church built in the 17th century, can be visited at any time of the year. But in the winter times, it is probably even more special. This attraction is worth seeing even if you are not religious.
It had always attracted my attention since it is easy to spot from the Chapel Bridge but I could not visit because I was traveling with my dog.
When I finally visited, I was surprised by its baroque style! I did not expect so much fanciness in Switzerland, and the outside appearance did not give me any clue about its inner beauty.
It did not take me long to go through, so it is probably easy to squeeze into your Lucerne winter itinerary.
We all know that Switzerland is the home of amazing chocolate. It is actually my favorite Swiss “food, “ and I have always been impressed by Lindt chocolate.
However, if you prefer more exotic and exclusive chocolate, then you can book a chocolate tasting at Max Chocolatier near Chapel Bridge.
There is also a story behind this chocolate manufacturer: The owners’ son has Down’s Syndrome, and he loves chocolate. So, his parents decided to produce their own chocolate and let him taste their products.
There is another smaller shop in Zurich as well, but only in Lucerne can you book your own chocolate workshop and make your own chocolate.
The chocolate itself is actually unique with very unusual ingredients. I had to get used to such chocolate, but I am sure if you prefer chocolates other than simple milk chocolate, this is for you!
If you visit Lucerne in January, then the Light Festival is the perfect attraction for you.
In January 2019, the first Lucerne Light Festival (LILU) took place, and jas become an annual festival. Does it sound romantic? It actually is. There are around 20 special places/installations/projects lit up from 6 pm to 10 pm. This is a free Lucerne winter activity. You will find some informational signs on each piece to read out about the artists and the ideas behind them.
You can walk around the city, see all the art pieces, and join some free guided tours (reservations required).
Seeing all the installments probably takes a few hours. While it is very romantic to experience with your loved one, it is also nice for families with kids or people of any age.
The highlight of the LILU festival was probably the concert in the Hofkirche. There is an entry fee and the show takes about 20 minutes. I highly recommend buying tickets in advance because most shows sold out quickly. The show takes place several times each evening, and you can actually lie on the church floor and watch this exciting light show accompanied by music.
I am by no means an art expert, but I like lights – and it was interesting to see the art installations beautifully illuminated. This festival is also for people who are no art enthusiasts because it is just…pretty!
In 2023, the LILU Festival will take place from 12th to 22nd January.
The Swiss love their Christmas Markets. I have only visited the Christmas Market in Basel, but at the end of November until Christmas, Lucerne also has its Christmas Markets at Franziskanerplatz.
If you want to experience this special time in Switzerland, add the Christmas Market to your list.
Are you wondering about winter sports activities in Lucerne?Lucerne’s town center does not offer many winter sports activities, but yes, winter sports lovers will enjoy the area of Lucerne, too!
Head to some of the gorgeous mountain peaks on the shores of Lake Lucerne and you get to have some real winter fun. Since you can do more than just winter sports on the mountain peaks, I will not talk in-depth about sports but mention the mountain highlights where you can also be active!
Mount Pilatus stands at 2,132 meters above sea level and thus offers great views of the Swiss Alps and Lake Lucerne. It is one of the most popular day trips you can take from Lucerne – in winter as well as in the summer.
I visited Mount Pilatus in the summer – and totally loved it! It became one of my favorite mountain peaks in Switzerland, and so I could not wait to visit again in the winter. And I was not disappointed when I got to visit. In winter, it is absolutely stunning, too!
Of course, Mount Pilatus is completely different in the winter months from what I had known before. You can experience a totally different world up here. So, whether you want to enjoy the fantastic views or prefer to do winter sports, Mount Pilatus is the perfect place.
Skiing, snowshoe hiking, snowboarding, and sledding – you can do all this in the region of Lucerne, and especially on Mount Pilatus.
TIP: In the winter months, the cogwheel train ride is not available, so you can only go up via cable car.
Tip: You will get a 50% discount with your Swiss Travel Pass.
Mount Titlis in winter is fun! It is one of the highest mountain summits in Switzerland that is easily accessible via cable car/funicular. How high is Mount Titlis? 3,238 meters above sea level! So, buckle up for a unique experience.
To enjoy a day (I would plan in a full day or at least 8 hours for these activities) at Mount Titlis, hop on a train at Lucerne train station, and head to Engelberg train station.
The train ride gets scenic towards the end! You can either walk to the Mount Titlis cable car station or take the free bus shuttle from the train station. While getting up, you can already enjoy the beautiful scenery but once at the top, you will be blown away.
There is a lot to do at Mount Titlis in the winter: You can go skiing, snowboarding, snowshoe hiking, sledding, and more.
You can rent tubes, mini bobs, or balancers without any extra charge at Trübsee Alpine Lodge and then go whizzing down the slopes.
While I saw many kids sliding down fast (which included some falling), I opted for the safer activity. Tubing is really fun and not scary at all.
But it is not only about the views and winter sports. You can also walk in the Glacier Cave (a 150-meter-long walkway below the glacier’s surface) or enjoy a walk over the Titlis Cliff Walk (a suspension bridge that is 3,041 meters above sea level).
Tip: You will get a 50% discount with your Swiss Travel Pass. The train ride to Engelberg is free with a Swiss Travel Pass.
Beautiful, beautiful Mount Rigi. I was impressed visiting in the summer (I have been up there a few times), but visiting in the winter was mind-blowing! It is a mountain massif of the Alps – at about 1,800 meters above sea level – and it is almost entirely surrounded by the water of three lakes: Lake Lucerne, Lake Zug, and Lake Lauerz.
Mount Rigi is actually one of the best spots to enjoy the sunset in all of Switzerland. The colorful sunset against the white snow…drop-dead gorgeous! The pictures do not do it any justice.
I recommend to arrive at the top just before sunset. Then watch the sunset from the summit. We cannot always rely on clear skies – but if you get a chance to visit Mount Rigi on a nice day… Just do it!
There are different cogwheels – the one I took had one compartment with open windows. Yes, it was cold but it was worth it, but I seriously recommend sitting in that compartment just bring your gloves and bundle up!
But you could also go sledding or do other winter sports, like snowshoe hiking or sledding, here as well.
Tip: Free with your Swiss Travel Pass. Bonus tip: start your trip from Vitznau Station – get to Vitznau either via boat or bus.
IS LUCERNE IN WINTER A GOOD TIME TO VISIT?
Spending a few days in Lucerne in the winter is a great idea! There is so much to do and see that you will be busy admiring the beautiful scenery and enjoying the fun activities. Winter in Lucerne is just magical.
So, hopefully, this guide helped you find out about the best things to do and see in the winter!
Whether you visit in December, January, or February – enjoy a wonderful winter break in Lucerne!
With its many islands and bridges, Stockholm is definitely a beauty. Surrounded by Lake Mälaren and the Baltic Sea, Stockholm consists of 14 islands and actually has 57 bridges. Without a doubt, Stockholm is one of the best places to visit in Sweden.
I think 3 days is actually a good time to spend in Sweden´s capital. Though the travel tips I give below could also be done within 2 days, 3 days is perfect: less stressful, but still fun and not boring.
TRAVEL TIPS FOR YOUR STOCKHOLM TRIP
Before talking about the top things to do, you will find some important travel information for your 3-day Stockholm itinerary.
Stockholm, like all of Sweden and Scandinavia, is pretty expensive and if you look for cheap holidays you might get disappointed – but there are also some great free things to do in Stockholm which do not cost a thing.
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links – this means I might earn a small commission when you buy a product/service (at no extra cost to you). More about it here.
Where to Stay in Stockholm for 3 Days
Both times I visited Stockholm, I stayed in Uppslangantan. It is close to the main station, Cityterminalen, and Drottninggatan (Drottninggatan is the main shopping street).
For a more luxurious experience, check out rates at Grand Hotel Stockholm. The hotel is in a perfect location and one of the most luxurious in Sweden.
I stayed at HTL Upplandsgatan during my second trip. The mid-range hotel is a good choice if you like to stay central but do not want to spend a fortune on Stockholm’s accommodation.
The first time I visited Stockholm, I stayed at this lovely hostel. I am not a hostel fan, but I truly recommend this one. Admittedly, prices are higher than you might be used from hostels in other areas in the world – but in Stockholm, this is quite a good deal.
Many places in Stockholm can be reached by walking. Most of the attractions are located quite close to each other, and if you bring comfortable shoes, then you can see a lot of Stockholm just on foot.
However, you will also need to use public transportation for this itinerary – which is quite good. It is easy to use, reliable and safe. The metro system in Stockholm is actually an attraction by itself as you can find many cool and fun metro stations in the city. I suggest buying single tickets for bus/metro rides whenever needed.
When I visited Stockholm for the second time, I had a Stockholm Pass.I know, it looks quite pricy at first, but if you check what you get for it, it actually allows you to save money (if used wisely) because you can use hop-on and hop-off buses which are included in the Stockholm Pass. It is a great way to see more of Stockholm, and the buses stop at the most important sightseeing spots.
There are boat tours available in winter, though less than in summer, and it was one of the best ways to see Stockholm.
3 Days in Stockholm as a Solo Female Traveler
I visited Stockholm both times on my own. I never had any issues as a solo female traveler, and I did all of the recommended activities by myself. And I hope you feel as safe and secure as I did in Stockholm.
So, you can use this guide easily as something like “things to do in Stockholm as a solo female traveler.” All tips can easily be done by yourself in Stockholm, but of course, Stockholm is also a fun getaway with friends, families, or couples.
Stockholm is probably amazing to visit at any time of the year.
I visited Stockholm in winter once in January. Yes, Stockholm in winter is cold, but it is a magical time to visit – Stockholm is not really a winter wonderland, but you might experience a beautiful city covered in snow. Temperatures can drop to – 5ºC during the day and to – 10ºC at night. But since Stockholm is also a lot about museums, it is a great time to visit as you can spend some time indoors and warm up. In December, the Christmas Markets take place, making Stockholm even more magical. It is one of my favorite cities to visit in winter.
I also visited Stockholm once in October – we can never rely on the weather here in Europe, but it was sunny, yet cold, and perfect for a city break. I think spring and fall are, in general, great seasons to visit Europe. The crowds are not there yet (or have gone), and you do not rub shoulders with too many others. Prices for accommodations drop, and most (yet not all) activities are still offered. I wished it had been warmer, so I could have enjoyed more time at the water – and the days get short in the winter months.
However, summer might be the best time in terms of weather (Northern Europe usually doe not get very hot), but people flock here from all over the world and prices for accommodation rise like crazy. And Scandinavia, in general, is expensive – so imagine having to pay even more for accommodation.
So, each season is good to visit (but comes with disadvantages), and you cannot really go wrong with any season.
STOCKHOLM ITINERARY FOR 3 DAYS
Okay, now let´s start with the best attractions to visit in 3 days.
1 DAY OF 3 DAYS IN STOCKHOLM
Start your trip with a trip to cute Gamla Stan – the old town.
Visit Gamla Stan
Stockholm’s foundation began in Gamla Stan – the Old Town of Stockholm – in the 13th century. It is one of the largest and best-preserved medieval city centers in Europe.
With the little cobble-stoned streets, many cafes, restaurants, and souvenir shops, it is a perfect place for nice strolls and enjoying drinks these days.
There are a couple of beautiful places to visit in Gamla Stan, of course, strolling the area is a must-do, but there is also the
Nobel Prize Museum,
or the Royal Palace.
If you visit the main attractions and stroll aimlessly, you could spend a full day here in Gamla Stan. However, for this Stockholm itinerary, I suggest focusing on a few attractions only and some strolling, so you can also see other parts of Stockholm.
Visit Royal Palace in Gamla Stan
One of the most famous attractions within Gamla Stan is the Royal Palace (Kungliga slottet). I am not that much into Royal families, but the Swedish Prince and Princesses are probably some of the most beautiful ones.
Beautiful is also the Royal Palace. It is the King’s official residence and is also the setting for most of the monarchy’s official receptions, and is open to the public year-round.
The Royal Palace is one of the largest palaces in the world, with over 600 rooms.
There are also three museums steeped within the Royal Palace: the Treasury with the regalia, the Tre Kronor Museum which portrays the palaces´ medieval history, and Gustav III’s Museum of Antiquities.
You can also see changing guards, which last about 40 minutes. It takes place every day from the end of April until the end of August at 12:15 pm and on Sundays at 1:15 pm. In the other months, they do not take place daily.
OPENING HOURS / TICKETS:
The Royal Palace is open every day – normally from 10 am to 4 pm.
Ticket prices are around 14€ for adults. Free entry with the Stockholm Pass
LUNCH IN GAMLA STAN: There is also a great vegetarian restaurant called Hermitage in the old town of Stockholm.
Stroll Along with Waterfront Area
Stockholm is a beautiful city and reminds me a lot of Hamburg, one of Germany´s biggest cities. One of the areas I loved the most was probably the waterfront area.
From Gamla Stan, you just walk towards the Parliament House close by. However, take your time and from the area. It is probably amazing to sit down in the summer months and enjoy some drinks and just chill.
Do a Free Walking Tour
I have done several free walking tours in Stockholm, and it is a great way to learn about the city and its history. You could also a walking tour in Gamla Stan, but you can also head to the new part of Stockholm and do a “Free Tour Stockholm: New City.” From Gamla Stan and the waterfront, it is just a stone´s throw away.
Do you know why the “Stockholm Syndrome” is actually called that? Thanks to the free walking tour I know now – its story is fascinating and has something to do with hostage-taking which took place in a bank in the area of Norrmalmstorg. This is also a beautiful, busy, and modern area.
Check out the tour dates. The one I did was at around 3 pm and took about 90 minutes, so it is perfect after having lunch.
Though it is a free walking tour, tipping is very appreciated if you enjoyed the tour.
After the walking tour, head to Drottninggatan Street – another must-see in 3 days in Stockholm. Drottninggatan Street, the main shopping street in Stockholm, is a busy and popular street with many smaller and bigger stores.
Though I am not the biggest H&M fan, I had to check it out since I definitely connect Sweden with H&M. However, if you are not into shopping, you probably will not spend too much time there.
Personally, I would not add any more Stockholm attractions for the first day and call it a day. However, I have an extra activity for Gamla Stan.
Nobel Prize Museum
To learn about the prestigious Nobel Prize, Stockholm is the perfect place. The museum is located in Gamla Stan and is probably perfect if you are interested in history/politics/science etc.
OPENING HOURS / TICKERS:
Monday to Wednesday: closed, Thursday: 11 am to 5 pm, Friday: 11 am to 9 pm, Saturday: 11 am to 5 pm Sunday: 11 am to 5 pm, From 1 June, the museum will be open from Tuesdays to Sundays.
Let´s continue with your Stockholm itinerary by visiting some museums located all in Djurgården. The area is close to Gamla Stan and Södermalm. I am not the biggest museum fan, but Stockholm has some pretty good ones. As you might know, I don’t always recommend “expensive” things and try to spend my money smart and want you to spend your money smart, too.
Still, I definitely recommend getting a Stockholm Card if you are interested in doing some activities, for example, visiting some museums and doing a boat cruise, e.g., I am mentioning below.
Visit Vasa Museum
I am not a fan of most museums, so I only planned 20 minutes for the Vasa Museum. What a mistake! The museum displays the only almost fully intact 17th-century ship that has ever been salvaged – the Vasa.
Now, I understand why the Vasa Museum is one of Scandinavia’s most visited museums. The Vasa ship capsized and sank in Stockholm in 1628. It stayed 333 years on the sea bed and then was salvaged.
Of course, you can also find much more information about the time of her: Yes, Vasa is a she.
OPENING HOURS / TICKETS:
It is open daily from 10 am to 5 pm.
Ticket prices are around 14-19€ for adults (depending on the season). People under the age of 18 years are free.
Free entry with the Stockholm Pass.
Visit Skansen Open Air Museum
Another museum I really enjoyed is the Skansen Open-Air Museum. It is the oldest open-air museum in the world, with 150 old cute typical Swedish houses and farmsteads from every part of the country. Of course, it is also the Stockholm zoo but let´s focus on the museum part.
I enjoyed strolling this area and finding out about the history.
OPENING HOURS / TICKETS:
Skansen Museum is open every day from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. The prices for adults are 22€.
It is free with your Stockholm Pass.
Though I spent more than 6 days in Stockholm, I did not visit the ABBA Museum. Just because of bad organizations and probably also because the ABBA Museum is NOT included in the Stockholm Pass.
However, if you are in 3 days in Stockholm, you should add it to your itinerary. I think. Because, after all, ABBA is as much part of Sweden as H&M or Ikea. The museum is an interactive journey through one of the greatest pop careers in musical history in Djurgården.
It is close to other areas that you have visited already – like Gamla Stan or Södermalm. You could walk or take a bus to Liljevaljchs/Gröna Lund or a ferry to Allmänna Gränd.
OPENING HOURS / TICKETS:
8 APR – 31 MAY – Monday – Wednesday 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM – Thursday 10:00 AM – 8:00 PM – Friday – Sunday 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
1 JUN – 31 AUG – Everyday 10:00 AM – 8:00 PM
1 SEP – 31 DEC – Monday – Wednesday 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM – Thursday 10:00 AM – 8:00 PM – Friday – Sunday 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Tickets are quite pricey and cost around 27€ for adults. Unfortunately, the Stockholm Pass doesn’t give you free entry to this museum.
Do Boat Tours in Stockholm
So, after all the time in museums, it is “boat cruising” time. spending time on the boat is one of my favorite times. With all the water and the many bridges a boat tour, independent of the season, you shouldn’t leave Stockholm without doing a boat tour.
There are many different tours that change in routes, boat types, length, and more. Also, it depends from where the boats leave – many leave from the waterfront, so after visiting the museums, you are quickly at the boat stop.
PRICES: Prices differ and depend on the tour you do (many of the boat tours are included in the Stockholm Pass).
DAY 3 OF 3 DAYS IN STOCKHOLM
So, it is time for your third day in Stockholm. Let´s start with an attraction a bit outside the city center, and for the rest of the day, you can take it easy and chill in one of the best areas in Stockholm.
Visit Drottningholm Palace
Visiting Drottningham Palace was one of my favorite activities. It is a bit farther away, but the interior of the palace and the whole area around the palace are just charming.
Drottningholm Palace is the – or one of the most impressive – historic buildings in Sweden that has been very well-preserved and got a UNESCO World Heritage site with beautiful royal gardens. It was built in the 17th century, and you see the saloons from the 17th, 18th century and learn more about the Kings and Queens who have lived here – it is still the King and Queen’s permanent residents.
There are several ways to get to Drottningholm Palace.
You can take a bus (bus tickets are not included in the Stockholm Pass).
Or you can do a boat ride through Lake Mälaren from Stadshusbron in the inner city of Stockholm. The cruise takes about one hour but only operates from the 6th of June until the 27th of September. The boat ride is included in the Swiss Travel Pass.
OPENING HOURS / TICKETS:
Drottningholm Palace is normally open every day from 10 AM to 5 PM. Double-check the opening hours here.
Tickets are around 20€ for adults, but it is free with a Stockholm Pass.
One of my favorite parts of Stockholm is actually Södermalm, which is just opposite Gamla Stan. It offers nice views over the city and visiting is one of the best things to do in Stockholm.
It used to be the working-class quarter and has become a popular district for having drinks. If you walk up, you´ll find a little garden somewhere at the very top and benches. I could have sat there forever – if it had not been that cold.
There is quite a lot to do up there – besides enjoying the view. So my tip is to look for a cute restaurant and end your Stockholm trip with a Södermalm visit.
Stockholm is absolutely charming and cute! 3 days in Stockholm is a good amount to spend in the city – you can see many sights. Personally, I visited Stockholm each time in the winter, and I loved it. Of course, it can be freezing in January and February, but I think it is still a special and unique time to visit – there are fewer crowds and less stress. While some activities don’t run (very) often – like boat tours, most things/activities mentioned here can be done in the winter, spring, summer, and fall.
Are you planning your perfect 5-day Austria itinerary and wondering about the best things to do, how to get around, or where to stay?
Planning a trip to a country can be overwhelming, but I am certain that this is a great itinerary for Austria that covers many beautiful places and attractions.
Austria is small but extremely gorgeous! The country has stunning scenery, as well as beautiful towns and romantic cities. If I had to name the most romantic country in Europe, I would probably say it is Austria.
I still think that this country is bursting with romance. But, no worries! I mostly visited as a solo traveler and never felt out of place.
Austria´s pretty cities with their historic castles and fortresses, the pretty villages and towns combined with the Austrian Alps, and the gorgeous lakes surely deserve more than 5 days.
However, given that most of us cannot travel endlessly, here are some of my favorite places and some travel tips.
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BEST TRAVEL TIPS FOR YOUR AUSTRIA ITINERARY
Let´s start with some travel tips. I will try to keep it short and sweet.
Best Way to Get Around
Austria is a small country, so getting around is quite easy, whether you opt for public transportation, going by car, or taking guided tours. You can get from one side of the country to the other quite fast. And though getting around is easy, plan in enough time for traveling from place to place.
This is especially true if you travel by car. I stopped many times to soak in the beautiful scenery and snap pictures along the way.
Whether you rent a car or get there on your own, you will need a toll sticker (of course, you can also avoid toll highways).
The cheapest is the toll sticker for 10 days, which costs around $10 (9€).
BUT more private roads cost extra – I was not aware of that (and thought I was all set with my toll sticker). I paid around $11 twice more for two private roads (which seriously annoyed me).
You can find out about the private roads and avoid them, but if you are spontaneous, then this sucks.
These roads, side streets and roads, and highways are generally very good in Austria. They are modern, and it is fun driving in Austria (watch out for the speed cams).
Austria´s public transportation is quite good. When I researched, I found it to be a bit expensive, though – at least train rides from one place to another.
However, public transportation in city centers, like Salzburg or Vienna, is very cheap. So, even when you are getting around by car, I suggest leaving your car in the (hotel) parking lot and then getting bus tickets.
What is the Best Time to Visit Austria?
I personally enjoy off-season traveling but have visited some of Austria during its peak seasons, too.
If you are a winter sports lover, winter is the best time (or love Christmas Markets, which are big in Austria and especially in Vienna).
Austria in the summer months can be busy – like really busy. I would avoid the summer months if possible (especially July and August).
If possible, I suggest visiting somewhere between April and the beginning of June, September, or early October.
In Central Europe, we can never be sure about the weather. But I guess, in general, the weather is mild and sunny in spring and fall. Prices for accommodations also drop at that time (unfortunately, Austria can be really pricey).
Is Austria Expensive?
Austria is a quite expensive travel destination. Though it is a little more affordable than Switzerland or Scandinavian countries, it is – overall speaking – more costly than countries in Southern or Eastern Europe.
Accommodation and transport will probably be the main costs. Still, you can save money by staying outside the city center or traveling during the shoulder season (this Austria itinerary is great for any time of the year).
Dining out constantly might also eat into your budget, so if you need to watch your expenses closely, do book accommodations with kitchen access so you can prepare a few meals yourself. There are some affordable supermarkets where you can get your groceries.
Cutting back on your meat consumption and alcohol will also help you with your budget.
You will get free, delicious water from the mountains at many places throughout the country. My tip is to bring a good refillable water bottle so you do not spend any money on the water.
Also, city cards might help you save money. You can buy them in some cities and have access to activities without any extra costs. Depending on the number of activities you plan to do, I suggest calculating if they will work for you.
Is Austria Safe?
In general, Austria is a very safe country. Of course, life in the city tends to bring more crime with it.
I recommend keeping your wallet and purse very close to you in cities like Vienna because pickpocketing is common.
And avoid side streets in the dark – especially as a solo female traveler, you should always be more cautious.
If you road trip Austria, do not leave valuables in the car on display.
Of course, using common sense is important to any traveler, even in Austria. But there are no extra precautions I take when I am in Austria. Just be cautious.
HOW TO SPEND 5 DAYS IN AUSTRIA – ITINERARY
Okay, after the basic travel tips it is time to talk about the best places to visit in 5 days.
VIENNA – 2 DAYS
Vienna is one of my favorite cities in Europe. So pretty, so compact, and so romantic. It is a great place to start your Austria trip (or to end it) – whatever you decide, DON´T skip this city.
I am no expert on architecture, but I was impressed by the numerous beautiful buildings everywhere in the city, and it is so much fun to stroll the streets and admire the facades. As mentioned initially, it can be very romantic, but it doesn’t have to be.
You should spend two full days here, to really understand how gorgeous it is and see the main sights.
Things to do in Vienna
Visit the Stephansdom Cathedral
Head to the Austrian Parliament
Stroll the Museum District
Have fun at the Viennese Prater
Marvel at Schönbrunn Palace
Enjoy the Hundertwasser Village
Visit The Hofburg
Learn about history at Schloss Belvedere
Unfortunately, Vienna is quite expensive, but I think it is worth it! To read a more detailed Vienna guide, click here.
It takes about 2-3 hours to get to the next beautiful city – Salzburg.
Salzburg is one of the prettiest cities (or THE prettiest city?!) on this Austria itinerary – and home to several really stunning castles and fortresses. I am not ashamed to admit it, but I have a little crush on this city, and so it does not surprise I recommend spending some of your 5 days in Austria here.
Accommodations are quite expensive, but with your Salzburg Card, you can at least save some money on activities.
Things to do in Salzburg
Stroll the old town
Visit Hohensalzburg Fortress
See the St. Erhard Kirche
Admire the Mirabell Palace and Garden
Visit the Cemetery at St. Peters Abbey
Enjoy the Views from Kapuzinerberg
Visit Schloss Hellbrunn
These are a few of my favorite activities in Salzburg. I also have a more detailed post on Salzburg where I have more info on prices, duration, and attractions.
Where to Stay in Salzburg
HOTEL RADISSON BLU: If you want to stay in the old town – and prefer a luxury hotel – then the Radisson Blu most likely is the perfect choice for you. The location is convenient because you can easily walk to most main attractions. Check out rates for the hotel here.
STAR INN PREMIUM SALZBURG: If you are looking for a good but more affordable hotel in the city center, then the Star Inn Premium Salzburg would be a good pick. Its location makes it easy to discover Salzburg on foot. Check out rates for the hotel here.
IBIS BUDGET AIRPORT SALZBURG: I normally opt for hotels in the city center – however, since I was driving my own car, I decided to stay outside the main city center. So, I ended up at Ibis Salzburg Airport. There was enough free parking, and I had to walk for about 7 minutes to the bus stop, which was perfect for me. Check out the prices for the hotel here.
Depending on your arrival time, I suggest staying one or two nights before heading to the next pretty place in Austria. If you are in a rush, you surely can visit the main attractions in one day – but it would be less enjoyable.
HALLSTATT – 1 DAY
From Salzburg, you can get to Hallstatt quite easily. By car it takes about 1,5 hours, by public transportation it takes about 2,5 hours.
Hallstatt is a must-see for any Austria itinerary, and it has become quite famous for many reasons – it is one of the most beautiful villages in Austria.
And is particularly popular with Chinese tourists, who come for a day (or even just a few hours). Hallstatt is extremely small, so you could “finish” it in two hours. But I suggest planning a full day so that you can include a few more activities.
Austria´s nature is stunning, but if you are only in Austria for 5 days, I will focus on these places (you’ll find the best scenery in Switzerland).
Where to Stay in Hallstatt
Unfortunately, there are not many hotels in Hallstatt, and hotels can be booked quickly. Check out which hotels are available for your dates. P.S. if you book via Booking.com, you can often cancel up to 24 hours before your arrival without any costs. Check out hotel rates in Hallstatt here.
CONCLUSION: BEST PLACES TO VISIT IN AUSTRIA IN 5 DAYS
Personally, I think it is tough to give exact times because we all travel differently, and everyone has different focuses when traveling.
However, this 5-day Austria itinerary is how I would spend my time in this country. It is such a beautiful country and surely deserves more time. Still, realistically we all have only a limited time to spend in a country (especially in an expensive country like Austria), so I hope you enjoy your trip. If you have a few more days in the country, you can see more of this beautiful country.
PIN ME FOR LATER – 5-DAY AUSTRIA ITINERARY
Here is a pin for Pinterest – pin me, so you find this post quickly.
Planning your vacation and curious about where to go in Lake Como? Well, today‘s your lucky day because in this blog post, we will provide travel tips on the best places to visit in Lake Como.
Located in Northern Italy, close to Milan and Bergamo, it is easily reachable and since it is surrounded by towering mountains and gorgeous shorelines that are dotted with picturesque villages, it‘s easy to understand why this beautiful lakeside oasis is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe!
Not only is it adored for its stunning lakeside views, but also for its warm and desirable Mediterranean climate.Lake Como is the perfect vacation spot to add to your list of travels! And with so many interesting sites to see, from Bellagio to Argegno, there is plenty to do and something for everyone in this charming corner of Italy. So pack your bags and get ready for an unforgettable vacation.
TOP: Please keep in mind, that most (if not all) parks and gardens are closed on Mondays. Also, in the winter months, some attractions are not open. Please double-check when planning your trip.
10 MostBeautifulPlaces inLakeComo
Without further ado, here are the top places to visit in Lake Como.
Bellagio | A Must–See in Lake Como
Situated at the tip of a rugged peninsula that juts out into Lake Como, Bellagio has long been prized for its stunning natural setting.The town’s winding streets and alleyways are filled with quaint cafes and shops, while its lakeside promenade offers breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains.
Visitors to Bellagio can enjoy a variety of activities, from exploring the stunning old town with the famous staircase to lakeside boat rides or even hiking in the nearby foothills!
This town has so much to offer and is a must–see for anyone visiting Lake Como! And since no trip to Bellagio would be complete without taking a dip in the refreshing waters (there is a lido just a few hundred meters from the harbor), be sure to set some time aside for a short swim. Also, the famous Villa Melzi and Villa Serbelloni are worth a visit!
Whether you’re looking for a relaxing getaway or an action–packed vacation, Bellagio is sure to exceed your expectations.
HOW TO GET THERE:
From Como, you can take a regular ferry (2 hours), a fast ferry (1 hour), or bus (about 1). By car, it takes about 1 hour as well.
Varenna | The Beautiful Villa Monastero
Located in the heart of Lake Como, Varenna is a charming medieval village that offers visitors a wealth of things to see and do.
From exploring the charming streets and walking along the lakeshore to visiting the Villa Monastero, there is no shortage of ways to spend a day in Varenna!
The Villa Monastero, in particular, is a must–see for anyone visiting the area. This stunning villa dates back to the 12th century and is known for its beautiful gardens and lakeshore views! With its stunning gardens, sweeping views of the lake, and imposing architecture, the villa is one of the most iconic sights in Lake Como!
And for those looking for a more active experience, there are plenty of opportunities for hiking and biking in the area surrounding Varenna. So if you‘re looking for an ideal place to relax and enjoy Lake Como‘s beauty, Varenna and Villa Monastero are the places to be!
HOW TO GET THERE:
The best and easiest way to get to Varenna is from Como: You can take a regular ferry (15 minutes). Getting there by car/bus only will make your journey extremely long (50 minutes) due to the geography of the lake.
Como | The Main City in the Area
Como is a beautiful city in Northern Italy that sits on the shores of Lake Como. The Cathedral of Como is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the city, and it is well worth a visit. The cathedral is situated in the center of Como, and it dates back to the 14th century.
The building is absolutely stunning, and it is filled with beautiful art and architecture. Inside the cathedral, there are three naves, and the ceiling is adorned with frescoes. There is also a beautiful clock tower that overlooks the city.
Visitors can also take a boat ride on Lake Como, which is an incredibly stunning experience. The views from the lake are absolutely breathtaking, and it is a great way to see some of the other villages that dot the shoreline. Overall, Como is a nice place, but the Cathedral of Como is definitely one of its highlights.
HOW TO GET THERE:
Como has a train station which makes it one of the best accessible places in Lake Como. You can get there from Milan by train in just 40 minutes.
Brunate | A Hilltop Getaway
Nestled high in the hilltop of Northern Italy, the scenic town of Brunate offers panoramic views of Lake Como.The town is accessible by a funicular railway from the lakeside town of Como.
Visitors can explore the winding streets and charming shops, or take a cable car up to the observation deck for even more spectacular views. There are also plenty of hiking and biking trails in the area, making Brunate the perfect place to get away from it all and enjoy some fresh mountain air.
And of course, no visit to Brunate would be complete without enjoying a delicious gelato or cappuccino at one of the many cafes dotting the town.
The best time to visit Brunate is during the spring or fall when the weather is warm and sunny – and not hot yet.However, even during the winter months, the town is still worth a visit for its stunning scenery and tranquil atmosphere.
HOW TO GET THERE:
From Como, take the funicular to get to the top. It is just a short funicular ride (7-minutes) and a return ticket for adults is about 6€. Alternatively, you can also hike one way.
Pigra | The Place For the Views
Pigra is a municipality in the province of Como in the Lombardy region of Italy. Located on the south–western shore of Lake Como, about 10 kilometers north of Como, this small town has a lot to offer, but mostly it is about the views.Visitors can expect to find a variety of activities and attractions in Pigra.
HOW TO GET THERE:
From Como, take the bus to the town of Argegno and then take the funicular to get to the top. It is just a short funicular ride (4 minutes) and a return ticket for adults is about 5€. Hiking down is quite popular amongst visitors.
Villa del Balbianello | A History–Lovers Paradise
Villa del Balbianello is one of the most popular attractions in Lake Como.Situated on a wooded promontory, the villa offers stunning views of the lake and mountains beyond.
It is one of the most ancient villas on Lake Como and it dates back to the 16th century while it was completed in the 18th century. Visitors can explore the villa‘s gardens and enjoy a tour of the house that takes you through some of its most important rooms, including the library, which houses the 20th century‘s owner, Guido Monzino‘scollection of books on exploration!
It has hosted writers, scholars, and travelers and it was also the filming location for the James Bond movie Casino Royale in 20o6.
And if you‘re looking to slow things down, the gardens are beautifully landscaped with several walks available to enjoy.
Of course, no visit to Villa del Balbianello would be complete without taking in the views from the terrace – one of the best vantage points in Lake Como!
HOW TO GET THERE + TIPS
From Como, take the ferry or the bus to Lenno. From there, you have to do an additional 20-minute walk to the garden. You can take a water taxi (not included in the day passes for ferries) that drops you off at the lower garden entrance.
The ticket price for adults is about 11€ for the garden and another 11€ for the villa.
It is closed on Mondays
Lake Pusiano | A Peaceful Getaway
If you‘re looking for a breathtaking lake to visit near Lake Como, look no further than Lake Pusiano! This beautiful lake is surrounded by rolling hills and lush forests, making it the perfect place to enjoy some peace and quiet.
There are also plenty of activities to keep you busy, including hiking, swimming, and kayaking.The best part about Lake Pusiano is that it‘s relatively unknown, so you won‘t have to worry about crowds of tourists – the litte island in the middle of the lake (accessible via electric boats) is an absolute highlight.
However, there are still plenty of must–see attractions, such as the 15th–century church of San Pietro and the Sanctuary of Madonna del Lago. So whether you‘re looking for a relaxing getaway or an adventure–filled vacation, be sure to add Lake Pusiano to your list!
HOW TO GET THERE:
From Como, take the bus to Bindella – Canavèe (about 1 hour). From there, it is a short walk to the lake.
By car, it should take about 30-60 minutes.
Nesso | Quaint Historic Charm
Nestled on the shores of Lake Como, the charming village of Nesso is a must–see for any visitor to the area. Located between Como and Bellagio, Nesso offers a welcome respite from the hustle and bustle of urban life.
Visitors to Nesso can enjoy a variety of activities, including hiking, biking, and picnicking in the beautiful surrounding countryside – there is even a waterfall in Nesso, the Cascata del Budanchen.
The village is also home to a number of historical landmarks you can visit, including the Archpriestal Church of Sts. Peter and Paul or the Chiesa Di Santa Maria di Vico.
And if you enjoy soaking up the charm of quaint tourist towns, prepare to be enchanted by Nesso‘s narrow streets lined with colorful houses, its picturesque stone bridges!
HOW TO GET THERE:
Hop on the bus and enjoy a scenic bus ride (about 50 minutes) or take the ferry from places like Como or Bellagio.
Torno | A Taste of True Italy
Settled on the shores of Lake Como, Torno is a charming town that offers visitors a taste of true Italian living. Stroll through the cobbled streets and you‘ll find yourself surrounded by historic buildings and lively cafes.
Be sure to visit the historic church of Santa Tecla which is located in Torno’s Piazza Casartelli or the Cimitero di Torno.
If you‘re looking for some lakeside relaxation, head to Lido di Torno, a popular spot for swimming and sunbathing.For those who enjoy hiking, there are plenty of trails to explore in the surrounding mountains. No matter what your interests are, you‘re sure to find something to love in Torno.
You can easily combine a trip to Torno with Nesso since both are located quite close to each other.
HOW TO GET THERE:
It takes about 30 minutes by bus from Como or 20 minutes from Nesso. You can also take the ferry from places like Como, Bellagio, or Nesso.
Argegno | For The Outdoor Enthusiast
Argegno is a small town located on the western shore of Lake Como in Italy.The town is situated at the base of a mountain, and visitors can take a cable car to the top (Pigra) for breathtaking views of the lake and surrounding countryside.
There are also several hiking trails in the area, making it a great destination for outdoor enthusiasts. In addition to its natural beauty, Argegno is also home to several restaurants and cafes, as well as a few shops selling local artisanal products.
Visitors can also take a ferry from Argegno to other towns along the lake, making it an ideal base for exploring the region. Whether you’re after stunning scenery or beautiful architecture, Argegno has something to offer everyone.
HOW TO GET THERE:
It takes about 45 minutes by bus from Como or 20 minutes from Lenno (so you can combine it with a trip to Villa del Balbianello and Pirga). You can also take the ferry from places like Como, Lenno, or Bellagio.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON THE TOPS TOURIST DESTINATIONS AT LAKE COMO
If you‘re looking for a breathtaking escape, consider planning a trip to Lake Como. With its stunning lakeside views, charming villages, and abundance of activities to enjoy, Lake Como is the perfect destination for a vacation you won’t forget!
Are you planning your Lake Como itinerary and wondering about the best things to do in Lake Como in 2 days?
Well, if so, you have found the perfect post as this quick guide will help you find out what to do in Lake Como – the most beautiful places to visit and fun things to do. Also, you will find some travel tips.
Disclaimer: This post might contain affiliate links. This means I might earn a small commission if you buy a product or service via my link (at no extra cost).
TRAVEL TIPS FOR YOUR LAKE COMO ITINERARY
Before heading to the itinerary, here is some information for your Lake Como trip.
Lake Como Facts
Lake Como, located conveniently close to the Swiss and Austrian borders, has become a popular spot for travelers and tourists worldwide.
Lake Como is in Northern Italy – more precisely, it is located in the region of Lombardy. It is easily reachable from places like Milan or Bergamo and takes about 50 minutes from Milan to Como by train.
Lago di Como has an area of 146 square kilometers, so it is the third-largest lake in Italy just after Lake Garda and Lake Maggiore.
With a maximum depth of approximately 410 meters, it is also one of the deepest lakes in Europe.
Lake Como has been a popular destination for aristocrats and wealthy people since Roman times, and now for people from all around the world (the high prices here might scare many people away!).
Where to Stay in Lake Como For 2 Days
After spending some time in Switzerland, I was still surprised to see that Como’s prices aren’t that different from Switzerland. Especially hotels are costly.
I have visited Lake Como three times. Once I stayed in a hotel in Como directly, once in an eco-hotel near Como, and once in my van in Como.
However, if I visited Lake Como again, I would book a room in the town of Bellagio because Bellagio is prettier and you can do some nice trips from there.
Here are some of the best places to stay around Lake Como:
The region of Lake Como can become extremely hot in the summer, so do not forget to pack some sunscreen, sunglasses, a hat, and many spare tops to change clothes for a hot summer day.
Italy is a country of beautiful and very stylish while still classy people. While I think you should dress as you wish, Italy – and Lake Como in particular – is the place to dress up. Click here for my full packing list.
How to Get Around Lake Como in 2 Days
Getting around Lake Como by car is possible and allows you to be flexible. However, streets can be narrow, and finding parking spots can be difficult.
It is also possible to get around by public transportation like buses or boats. So, if you don’t depend on your car, I suggest using public transportation – buses and boats.
For boats and buses, you can buy day tickets or single tickets. The price depends on where exactly you go, so here are just some numbers.
A boat day ticket is about 25€ and you can get off as often as you want. You can get all the way to Varenna with your boat ticket. However, it takes about two hours to get to Bellagio from Como – to get to Varenna it takes even longer. It might make sense to buy the fast ticket for the boat – for an additional 4€ (per route) you will get from Como to Bellagio in about one hour.
Alternatively, you can buy a single ticket for the boat and take the bus for the return.
A bus day ticket to Lenno is about 11€ – single tickets are about 4€. Buy them at the ticket station to avoid an additional fee (yes, buying tickets from the bus driver is possible but you will have to pay some extra money).
Best Time to Visit Lake Como
The best time to visit Lake Como is in the warm months. However, it depends on HOW warm you like it.
SUMMER: I visited Lake Como twice in summer (July) and it was wayyyyyy too hot. July and August are the warmest months, but it is also very humid and – honestly – very unpleasant. However, if you want to swim or love the heat then July or August are the best months to visit.
SPRING/FALL: I visited Lake Como again in April and it was a perfect time – my whole trip turned out much better because of the more moderate climate. May, September, and early October should be great, too. Prices for accommodation will drop, tourists are mostly gone, and the temperature should also drop while it is still warm.
P.S. I know, in Central Europe we can never rely on the weather, so you might experience coldish and rainy days in the summer and warmer days in winter.
Booking Tours in Lake Como
You can do many activities mentioned here without any tour guide. Most activities are even free or do not cost a lot.
If you plan to do guided tours, I recommend GetYourGuide. I have become a fan of GetYourGuide, and so I mostly use their site for my own tours. If you do not know them yet, try them out.
You can book many activities all over the world via them. GetYourGuide allows you (most of the time) to cancel tours for free – and let´s face it, sometimes things just come in between.
I have added a few tours for you, so click on the links if you are interested in the activities.
THINGS TO DO IN LAKE COMO IN 2 DAYS
Lake Como comprises, among others, of Como and Bellagio. There are many villages and towns along the shores of Lake Como but with only 2 days in the area, I had to focus on some places. Here is what my perfect itinerary for Lake Como looks like (I also added a few alternative ideas for you, just in case).
DAY 1 OF 2 DAYS IN LAKE COMO
Okay, one of the must-see places is Villa del Balbianello near Lenno.
Villa del Balbianello
One of the main attractions at Lake Como is the stunning Villa del Balbianello with its beautiful garden: It is located on the western shore of the southwest branch of Lake Como.
This elegant, romantic 18th-century mansion with its garden has hosted writers, scholars, and travelers and was also the filming location for the James Bond movie Casino Royale in 2006.
Villa del Balbianello is 38 km from Como. You can reach it by boat or bus. You get to Lenno and then, regardless of which mode of transport you opt for, you have to walk for about 20 minutes to get to the actual garden. You can only skip that walking part if you take a small water taxi that will drop you off just at the garden.
The entrance fee is 11€ for the garden and another 11€ for the villa.
I booked my ticket in advance (definitely recommended from May to September) but saw some who bought their tickets on the spot – however, that was in April.
Then it is time for some more stunning views of Lake Como but this time from high above the mountain. Pigra is a small commune located between Como and Villa del Balbianello.
To enjoy those nice views, get the cable car that connects Argegno to Pigra (you can reach Argegno by boat or bus from Lenno). It is just a four-minute cable car ride to get to an elevation of 881 meters above sea level. The views from there are just gorgeous. You can see some of Lake Como (not all though) and walk to the village of Pigra or do some hikes in the area (or, if you want you can just hike down).
If you take the bus from Lenno, you will just be dropped off at the cable car station (to your left) in Aregno.
Tickets are very affordable and are around 5€ for a return ticket.
You can then spend the rest of the day in Como and explore the town center there (more on Como a little bit later). Alternatively, you can stroll Argeno, this small village directly on the shores of Lake Como.
DAY 2 OF 2 DAYS IN LAKE COMO
For day 2, I have the following suggestions for you. You can with an excursion to Lake Pusiano.
If you are interested in visiting quieter places, I recommend Lake Pusiano, a hidden gem in the region of Como but not directly on the shores of Lake Como. Lake Pusiano, also known as Eupilio, is a lake in Brianza. It is just close to Como and is not visited by many tourists (yet).
On the lake, you will find a little island: Isola dei Cipressi (Island of Cypresses). It is a natural hill, and it is one of those little pieces on earth where time is standing still. Lake Pusiano is also well-known for its flat water: no wind, and no currents beneath the lake’s surface. So, it could not be more tranquil and peaceful.
The island boasts an ancient history, dating back as far as the Neolithic period, approximately 10,000 years B.C.
Also, only a few (eco-friendly) boats are allowed on that lake – starting from Bosisio Parini or Pusiano. The island takes its name from its numerous cypress trees and now is private property, available for visits just on guided tours. It is also home to many animals – including little kangaroos (I have not seen any, but there are some around) and different birds.
This is a good place to have a picnic or have lunch in one of the restaurants along the shores of Lake Pusiano.
Okay, time to visit my favorite area here, which is Bellagio. You can spend a few hours here, or skip on Lake Pusiano and explore Bellagio in a day.
The old town of Bellagio is the best place to add to your Lake Como itinerary – if you ask me. It is charming, colorful, lively, and – compared to Como – I would say, more beautiful.
I fell in love with the old and prominent stairways of Bellagio. The stairways are probably the main attraction in Bellagio, and there is a reason – walking down the stairs makes you feel pretty cool, or at least I felt cool.
The stunning promenade of Bellagio is another place to visit. The promenade of Bellagio is another must-see. However, given Bellagio´s small size, you will not need a lot of time to explore these areas. So, you could add Giardini di Villa Melzi or Villa Serbelloni – beautiful garden and park areas – to your sightseeing program.
Madonna del Ghisallo
Depending on how fast/slow you have traveled, you could add this to your Lake Como itinerary – Madonna del Ghisallo.
Madonna del Ghisallo is a hill in Magreglio – at 754 meters above sea level (2,474 ft) – about 10km from Bellagio.
Cycling fans will enjoy a visit to the museum “Madonna del Ghisallo“. If you are not into cycling, then you will at least enjoy another great view of Lake Como.
You can get to Madonna del Ghisallo either by car or bus. If you are sporty you can cycle or hike up.
It seriously is the best place to visit in Bellagio to eat (I can just guess since I have not tried all restaurants there) and comes with one of the most beautiful views. Also, the prices are quite affordable (organic and regional food).
Make sure to call them ahead and reserve a table – the seats with a view were quite limited!
You can get to this restaurant by car and it takes about 10-15 minutes.
You could get there by bus, too, but you still will have to walk some parts and also buses do not run often and frequently.
Alternatively, you can also visit this beautiful village: Varenna. With only 2 days in Lake Como, you have to prioritize which places to add to your itinerary and skip probably one of the other places mentioned here.
Varenna has fantastic villas (especially Villa Monastero is worth a visit), beaches, a charming promenade, a cute old town with historic buildings, and lovely restaurants.
You can easily reach Varenna from Bellagio (15 minutes away by ferry).
There is an entrance fee for Villa Monastero (8€) and you can buy tickets on the spot.
Visiting Varenna is much easier, compared to Lake Pusiano. If you are looking for an off-the-beaten-path place then Lake Pusiano it is – but if you are looking for a quick trip from Bellagio, then add Varenna to your itinerary.
Alternative: One Day in Como
You should plan half a day to one full day for visiting the more prominent town (actually it is a city) – Como. It is located on the southern tip of Lake Como in Northern Italy.
Como Old Town and Cathedral
You can start with Como’s cute old town. It is home to a beautiful cathedral – the Como Cathedral – and has a small old town.
The cathedral is quite impressive – from the outside but also the interior. It is free to visit and the highlight in Como.
Small cafes invite you to have a drink and take a rest while watching people strolling through the streets. You have some cute shops and I actually did some shopping here.
However, though Como is lovely, I admit that it is not mind-blowing. For me, spending 1-2 hours in Como itself is enough.
Definitely put the market square with the promenade in Como on your list. It is one of the main tourist attractions in Como – where a lot of cafes and restaurants allow you to overlook the gorgeous lake. Again, the market square is nice but not the most beautiful one I have been to in that region.
The promenade is beautiful for (long) walks – depending on your preferences, you could spend a few minutes to several hours here.
The most prominent resident of Como is George Clooney. If you want to see his house (or better, the villa of George Clooney), you can do a boat tour and see his and many more beautiful villas lined up at Lake Como (boat tour is my must-do if in Como). The boat tour in Como is actually one of the best things you can do in Lake Como or better on Lake Como. It is fun, though not free, but great on a hot day because it includes Lake Como sightseeing and a cool breeze.
Since it can get really hot and humid, this is the best chance to have a fresh breeze and see those million-dollar houses at the lake. If you prefer it a bit calmer, you could do a Dinner Cruise Tour on Lake Como.
You can take public boat tours (day passes are around 25€ and you can combine it with a trip to one of the places mentioned above).
After exploring Como for more than half a day, it is time to visit this cute uphill town.
Besides the boat tour, I enjoyed my trip to Brunate the most. Brunate is a small village on the mountain. It is situated approximately 700 meters above sea level (Lake Como is located about 200 meters above sea level) – offering you great views. You should also walk around that cute village.
It has about 1,800 residents, but in the summer months, it gets much busier when tourists rent houses and apartments. How to get from Como to Brunate?
You can use a funicular to get up to Brunate. The funicular station is located quite centrally in Como, just next to the market square.
Return tickets are around €6 and the funicular ride takes less than 10 minutes.
You hike up to Brunate, but I did not try that out due to laziness. Plan in about an hour for 4 km. If you are more into real hikes, you can find some ideas for hikes in the Lake Como area here.
End your day with a cooking course (there is probably no need to talk the Italian cuisine up to anyone) or dine at the Lake Como promenade.
Tip: If you want to skip one of the above activities and are looking for an alternative, you can check out the following ideas:
CONCLUSION: HOW TO CREATE A FUN LAKE COMO ITINERARY
As you can see, this Lake Como itinerary is quite busy if you only stay there for 48 hours but it is possible.
You could take more time and do these things in 3 or 4 days – but again, 2 days are enough to see the above-mentioned places. If you stay longer than 2 days in Lake Como, you can even do some fun day trips to Bergamo, Milan, or Lugano.
As mentioned at the beginning, Como is pretty but did not blow me away – Bellagio did, however. While there are more tourist attractions, the above-mentioned places should definitely be part of your 2-day Lake Como itinerary.
If you plan your Hallstatt itinerary, you might be wondering about the best things to do in Hallstatt in one day. If so, then this post is for you – here you will find out what to do in Hallstatt.
Thanks to Instagram, I came across pictures of Hallstatt. Then, digging a bit deeper, I found blog posts about this tiny village located on Hallstatt Lake’s shores, close to Salzburg. This Austrian town seemed to be one of the most beautiful places in Europe. Everyone seemed to think so. Or at least that is how it felt when reading all the posts.
I wanted to find out whether Hallstatt is really THAT stunning and worth the hype. After my Hallstatt trip, I have come to a conclusion which I will shares as well.
I will tell you later about my thoughts. First, here are the top Hallstatt attractions and some important travel advice.
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. This means I might earn a small commission when you buy a product (at no extra cost to you) after clicking on my link. More about it here.
TRAVEL TIPS FOR ONE DAY IN HALLSTATT
Before discussing your one-day Hallstatt itinerary, here are some tips for your first trip to Hallstatt.
Hallstatt is located on Lake Hallstatt’s western shore in Austria’s mountainous Salzkammergut region.
The village has a long and impressive history and is considered to be one of the oldest still inhabited settlements in Europe.
Hallstatt’s UNESCO-recognized salt mines date to prehistoric times, possibly even to 5000 B.C. So, they are probably the oldest salt mine in the world. Because of the salt industry, the town quickly became wealthy since salt was a valuable commodity. These days, salt is still important, but also tourism plays a major role for the economy.
The Alpine houses in Hallstatt mostly date back to the 16th century – making it picture-perfect with the mountain and the lake as a backdrop. Especially amongst Chinese, Hallstatt is extremely popular.
Where to Stay in Hallstatt For One Day
Hallstatt has very few hotels, which quickly book out. So if you plan to stay overnight, book early.
While I believe that six to eight hours in Hallstatt is enough to see all the (special) places, I can understand if you would like to stay overnight. Then you can experience Hallstatt in the morning or late afternoon when all the crowds are gone.
Hallstatt is extremely popular – and crowded at (almost) any time of the year.
So, if you come here, plan an early arrival or come later, so you have the evening with fewer people. If you stay overnight in Hallstatt, you can experience this town without the crowds.
Most tourists come by bus and just stay for a few hours – so anytime between 10 am and 5 or 6 pm is extremely crowded.
I guess that Hallstatt is a great place to visit year-round. Every time of year has its own charm. However, it might be even busier in June and August. I visited in late September, and it was still busy. December must also be a great time to visit it. Imagine it in winter with the snow-capped roofs! Also, then there is a Christmas Market for some time.
Things to Keep in Mind For Your Hallstatt Itinerary
Money: Credit cards are often not accepted, so bring cash. The currency in Austria is €.
Drones: Drones are not allowed.
Water/Budget Tip: Bring your water bottle and refill it with fresh water from the water fountains in Hallstatt.
Clothes: If you plan to hike a bit, make sure to wear appropriate shoes and bring a jacket. Even on a sunny day, it can get quite chilly in the mountains
(Austrian) German is the main and official language, but most people speak basic English in Hallstatt.
How to Arrive in Hallstatt From Salzburg
A very scenic and beautiful way to arrive in Hallstatt is via car from Salzburg. First, drive to Bad Ischgl and then to Hallstatt. It takes a little more than an hour, and we took some breaks.The journey is the reward! This is definitely true for the drive from Salzburg to Hallstatt.
Park your car in the car park. You cannot miss it. You will come across it if you are “in front” of Hallstatt. You are not allowed to drive into Hallstatt with a car. Then walk 10 minutes to the town center. There is also a shuttle bus, but I recommend just walking, as it is just a few minutes and the buses don’t run often.
BUS / TRAIN / FERRY
There are buses/trains from Salzburg to Hallstatt. It takes a bit more than 2 hours by bus – or 2.5 hours by train plus a short ferry ride.
Okay, you have finally made it to the best things to do in Hallstatt.
Stroll the Lake Promenade
One of the first things you will see – most likely – is the church. Located right on Lake Hallstatt’s shores, this is the most prominent building that dominates the skyline of the town.
This is the first view, where many people take their pictures.
Keep walking this way until you get to the market square. As mentioned, the town is tiny, so it just takes a few minutes.You will find many cute buildings on your way, but the market square is probably the place with the most colorful buildings.
Stroll the Streets and Visit the Market Square
The promenade of Hallstatt is charming. However, the little side streets and the market square have their own charm. The market square is a popular place for gatherings – for locals and visitors alike.
In the center of the market square is the statue of the mighty Holy Trinity. Around the statue, you will find many cute buildings.
There are also restaurants and shops (including souvenir shops) made for tourists. I hardly shop these days and, thus, the shops weren’t appealing, but you can buy dirndls, souvenirs, and so on. Tourists seemed to love the shops. They probably spend tons of money on gifts for their loved ones at home (and also on presents for themselves).
The restaurants seemed to be tourist traps to me. I ended up in a restaurant with a nice lake view and okay food, but I am sure you don’t come to Hallstatt for the food.
Another top thing to do in Hallstatt is to see it from above. The Skywalk is a panoramic bridge 360 meters above the rooftops of Hallstatt. You have incredible views of the town, Lake Hallstatt, and the mountains.
12 meters of the bridge extending out into the void like the points of a star. The views are just amazing! The skywalk isn’t long, but it’s good enough to see the place from an incredible perspective.
How to Get There: Head to the Salzwelten Hallstatt (towards the other end of town). There either buy a funicular ticket (20€ round trip, 11€ one-way) or hike up.
You can combine a funicular ticket with a ticket to Salzwelten Hallstatt.
Enjoying the view from the skywalk is free.
Then you can either hike down or visit a museum first and then hike down.
Learn About the History @Salzwelten Hallstatt
Close to the skywalk, you have the Salzwelten Museum. The mine is the largest active salt mine in Austria.
Once you are in the museum, you can slide down and arrive in the mountain of Altaussee, where you can find out more about salt mining via a sound and light presentation. It is probably an interesting way to learn about Hallstatt´s history.
However, I did not visit because I was there with my dog and could not have enjoyed it the way it was supposed to be enjoyed.
Also, the entrance fee seemed too high to me, so I wasn’t sure it was worth the money.
How to Get There: Head to the Salzwelten Hallstatt funicular station (towards the other end of town). There you can buy funicular tickets to bring you to the museum.
If you are fit, you can easily hike up and avoid the funicular.
Prices: 25€ for adults (36€ including the funicular tickets).
Dates and Opening Hours Salzwelten: 27.9.2021 – 9.1.2022 – 9:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. It is closed on 24.12. and 31.12.2021.
Hike Down From Skywalk
If you skip the museum, you can hike down from the Skywalk Viewing Platform.
I loved my hike down because I got more impressive views along the way. This easy and downhill hike was definitely one of the highlights of my Hallstatt trip.
On your way down, you can head to Mühlbachschlucht and see the waterfall in front of you. This makes the hike even prettier. If you are short on time, you can skip it.
I bought a one-way ticket for the funicular and hiked down. Hiking down took me about 30 minutes; hiking up should take about 60 minutes.
If you are fit, you can easily hike up and down. However, if you prefer less sporty activities, I recommend getting up via funicular and then hiking down at least.
Wear solid shoes.
Visit the Catholic Parish Church Hallstatt and the Cemetary
You will also find a little catholic church situated amidst the mountains (it is not the one at the promenade!). It is also famous for the Ossuary and its mountain cemetery.
As in Salzburg, the cemetery in Hallstatt is a popular tourist attraction. It is a tiny cemetery, and it feels too weird to me to openly “explore“ a cemetery. However, I put my little dog into his bag and carried him around while quickly and quietly walking through the cemetery, looking at the graves and views.
The front is assigned to the Evangelist Christians, and following the rules of the cemetery, there are no family graves. Instead, above each grave is the sign of Christ – a cross that is made either of wood or wrought steel.
How to Get There: The Catholic Church (which is not the main one on the lake) is visible from far but is nestled in the mountain. If you are in front of the church, you will see the cemetery as well.
Charnel House in St. Michael’s Chapel
One of the best places to visit in Hallstatt is something rather unique. Next to the church is the St. Michael´s chapel dating back to the 12th century.
These days, the chapel attracts a high number of visitors because of the 600 artistically painted skulls. Yes, you read correctly. Those are real skulls that were decorated at the end of the 18th century, but a few are from even the 20th century.
Why do you find decorated skulls in the chapel? Well, skull painting belonged to a cultural area that mainly consisted of the eastern Alpine region.
Entrance fee: 1,50 Euro, opening hours differ.
Walk the Upper Stairs
With one day in Hallstatt, you will have enough time to walk the upper stairs. While most people are busy discovering the town from the ground, I recommend climbing a few stairs and walking the area so that you can enjoy some of the best views of the church and market square this way.
Just keep an eye out for stairs that take you up, or head to the cemetery, and start your walk from there.
Go on Lake Hallstatt
There are several options for going to the lake. A boat cruise (running several times a day, with the starting point near the beginning of the town) costs about 10€. You can rent paddle boats, do stand-up paddling (starting from 8€ for 30 minutes), and do more water sports activities.
On a sunny and warm day, you can also swim in the lake (you could do that on a cold day, too, actually).
Things to Do in Hallstatt in Winter
I visited Hallstatt in the fall, but I think that Hallstatt is beautiful at any time of the year. And especially in the winter months.
So, what to do in Hallstatt in the winter? If you visit Hallstatt in December, make sure to visit the Christmas Market. Given the size of Hallstatt, the Christmas Market is only open for a few days.
Other than that, a few special events take place – like the lantern walk at the beginning of December.
However, even without all the Christmas atmosphere, Hallstatt looks gorgeous in December, January, and February with all the snow-capped roofs and mountains.
So, whenever you visit, you will easily find activities to have a wonderful day in Hallstatt.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON THINGS TO DO IN HALLSTATT
Is Hallstatt the most beautiful town or lake town in Europe? While Burano in Italy, for example, could totally live up to the hype, in my opinion, Hallstatt was not as amazing as I thought it would be.
Yes, it is beautiful and picturesque. Yes, it is lovely, and the church right on the lake and the nice houses make it pretty nice. However, I wouldn’t go as far as naming it one of the most beautiful places in Europe, and probably not even in Austria.
I still believe, Hallstatt is worth a visit and you should definitely add Hallstatt to your itinerary – for half a day or one day.
Hopefully, this post has inspired you and you learned about the best things to do in Hallstatt.
Grindelwald is one of Switzerland´s top destinations. This cute village might be small but there are quite a number of things to do in Grindelwald. And if you are planning your Grindelwald itinerary and are wondering what to do, then this post is for you.
This beautiful Swiss village offers many activities: exciting adventures in the snow, beautiful hikes in the mountains, and relaxing activities in the town. It makes a perfect stop at any Switzerland itinerary.
Before we get to the best things to do in Grindelwald, you’ll need some basic information and a few tips.
TRAVEL TIPS FOR GRINDELWALD
The village of Grindelwald is located in the canton (state) of Bernese Oberland, in the region of Jungfrau, just north of the Alps, at 1034 meters above sea level.
You can get there easily by train or car. There are paid parking spots (which might fill up quickly in the summer) and the train station is just conveniently located at the beginning of the village center.
It is approximately 70 km southeast of Bern (1 hour) and just 20 km southeast of Interlaken (20 minutes). Less than 4000 people live in Grindelwald, but there are hundreds of hotel rooms and apartments available. It gets crowded in the high season – which is in July and August and December and at the end of February!
Grindelwald is close to the peaks of Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau, also known as the Swiss Skyline. To be precise, Grindelwald is at the feet of the north face of the Eiger mountain: it is so famous that Grindelwald is also known as the Eiger village.
Fun fact: this picturesque Swiss village started to be a tourist destination during the late 18th century, and became popular for English climbers in the 19th century. The first winter resort opened in 1888! So, when you visit Grindelwald, you can picture what it must have been like to travel there almost 150 years ago.
Planning to visit Grindelwald in the summer (spring/fall)? Then consider this:
The “summer season” starts in mid-April and finishes in mid-October. During this time all cable cars/funiculars should operate – however, some hiking trails might still be closed in April as there can be snow until June.
Most of the crowds come in July and August when there are also sports events like bike races and the famous Inferno Race.
The weather can still be cold in April (it might even snow!) and will get chilly quickly in September. Instead, in July and August it can reach above 27°C – but on average around 20°C. However, the chance of rain is also high. In general, the weather is quite unreliable in all of Switzerland, so it is hard to predict what kind of weather you exactly will have in Grindelwald. Make sure to check the weather forecast a few days before you go and pack accordingly (though even these forecasts might change).
Consequently, pack layers! When outdoors, it will feel warm in the sun, but refreshing in the shadow or in the wind. Bring a pullover or a light jacket for the evenings.
Will you travel to Grindelwald in the winter? Keep in mind this:
The winter season starts in mid-October and ends in mid-April.
It can start snowing even in November, and it may snow still in April.
The busiest period is New Year’s Eve, but because of the excellent ski slopes, it’s actually pretty busy all the time.
It gets really cold! Temperatures will easily go below 0°C, even when it’s sunny, even in November or March.
Make sure you pack all your warmest clothes, thermals, scarfs, hats and gloves, and shoes suitable for the snow.
There are plenty of things to do in Grindelwald: hikes for all levels of expertise, thrilling activities, winter and summer sports, and also some relaxation.
Visit the Village of Grindelwald
Don’t miss the center of Grindelwald, which is very beautiful and quite compact.
The main street Dorfstrasse is lined with restaurants, hotels, shops, and many traditional Swiss chalets. Stroll among the pretty houses, relax, have a coffee on one of the terraces, and admire the panorama all around you.
Because the town center is very open, you can appreciate the views of the mountains from lots of places around town. As you already know, the north face of Eiger is particularly impressive.
Just above the shopping mall „Eiger Plus“ (a few meters next to the train station) is a square with benches from where you can enjoy some fantastic views.
Grindelwald First is a summit located at 2184 meters above sea level. It is called “Grindelwald First” because the two destinations are very popular together. Another nickname is “Top of Adventure”, as you’ll find so many exciting things to do here (and it’s also the same region of the Jungfraujoch, the “Top of Europe”).
In winter, First is the best area for skiing and snowboarding. There are 56 km of pistes in what is probably the sunniest resort in the whole region.
In the summer, there are lots of thrilling activities to do, as well as hikes for all levels of fitness.
Most of all, the views from First are just incredible. It’s a great place to visit in Grindelwald even to have just a snack outside or a meal at the restaurant while admiring the panorama.
How can I get to Grindelwald First?
It is easily reachable from Grindewald train station. Walk for about ten minutes to the Grindelwald-First station (or take a local bus).
Then get on the gondola. In 25 minutes you will reach the top station – there are a few intermediate stations, but I suggest you get to the top straight away. No need to change gondolas, you can just enjoy the views and relax (if you are not scared of heights)!
Where can I buy tickets for Grindelwald First?
You can buy tickets either online or at the ticket center. You get a 50% discount with your Swiss Travel Pass and it is free with your Jungfrau Pass.
Feel the Adrenaline on Grindelwald-First
Okay, now that you are at Grindelwald-First, you can do one of the many exciting activities.
If you want a taste of adrenaline at your own pace, start by walking on the platforms of the First Cliff Walk by Tissot. It is a high walkway suspended on the rocky side of the mountain, which leads to a viewing platform.
Because of its gridded floor, you can admire the incredible views all around you and even under you! It is fun and not as scary as it looks.
The First Cliff Walk is free of charge, and it is suitable for people of all ages.
Those looking for a more powerful thrill should consider the First Flieger (Flyer) and the First Glider. These two zip lines let you speed down an 800-meter-long cable at 84 km/hour!
With the First Flieger, up to 4 people can fly separately in a sitting position, from First Station to Schreckfeld station. Instead, the eagle-shaped First Glider joins up to 4 people together on horizontal harnesses: it is pulled up to First Station, and then glides back down to Schreckfeld station in an exhilarating run.
There is a weight restriction for First Flyer (minimum 35 kg, max 125 kg) and a minimum height for the First Glider (minimum 130 cm).
Tickets cost 31 CHF for each of activity. Discounts are available for holders of local passes, such as the Jungfrau Travel Pass or the Grindelwald Adventure Package.
In summer, you can also do other activities like the First Mountain Cart which is fun for kids and adults alike. These go-carts have big rubber tires and good brakes, so they are perfect to drive down a 3-km-long track until Bort. They aren’t too difficult to drive, but each has its own, so you are “forced” to learn!
The minimum height is 135 cm.
Tickets cost 21 CHF.
Otherwise, try the “trottibike” scooter bike. You can rent this scooter bike without a seat or pedals, to ride from Bort all the way down to Grindelwald. It requires a bit more skill than the cart, because some parts of the ride are a bit steep.
The minimum height is 125 cm, but it can be hard for kids to brake and steer well.
Tickets cost 21 CHF.
As you can see, there are plenty of exciting things to do at the Top of Adventure. Here are a few more tips:
Some of these experiences may be closed if the weather is very bad.
In high season, start your trip to Grindelwald First early in the morning, as it gets crowded and queues can be long.
You can buy tickets in advance and also on spot for these activities.
Go Hiking in Grindelwald – First
The best way to appreciate the Swiss landscape is by hiking! Oh seriously, these Swiss Alps want to be hiked! And First is one of the best places to hike in Grindelwald.
The most popular trail is the beautiful hike from First to Bachalpsee (Lake Bachalp) which is a small, gorgeous lake with a wonderful backdrop of snow-capped mountains. Even though they are far away, they reflect in the blue waters in a magical illusion! The pastures with cows and colorful flowers complete this perfect postcard of Switzerland. Make sure you walk around both the higher and the lower parts of the lake.
Lake Bachalp is at 2265 meters and Grindelwald-First gondola station is at 2168 meters. The first part is a bit steep, then almost flat.
It takes approximately 1 hour to reach the lake from the top gondola station. Add some time for pictures, some rest, and a snack: consider 3-4 hours for this hike, going and coming back. The path is made of gravel, wide and well-kept. It is one of the most popular hikes in Switzerland, so expect a lot of people.
TIP: If you are interested in a longer hike, consider continuing from Bachalpsee to Faulhorn, which is a mountain, located between Lake Brienz and Grindelwald at 2,681 meters above sea level (8,796 feet) It is quite an uphill climb, but you can have lunch at the mountain hut on top, and it’s a round-trip hike.
Also, there are many easy and scenic trails going downhill to Bussalp or Bort, with wonderful views of the mountains of the Jungfrau Region.
One of the most beautiful hikes from Bachalpsee to Bort is the Flower trail. During this 90-minute hike, you walk among alpine meadows and flowers, along mountain streams, with amazing scenery around you, and even cows!
Männlichen Mountain Top and Hike
The summit of Mannlichen (2,343-metre – 7,687 feet)is the other main destination in Grindelwald for hiking. As you can expect, also the hikes on Mannlichen offer incredible views.
Two hikes that are very easy but also rewarding are the Royal Walk and the Panorama Trail.
The Royal Walk starts at the Mannlichen gondola station, at 2221 meters above sea level, and leads to the summit of Mannlichen, at 2343 meters. The hike takes approximately 1 hour (round trip).
The 360 panorama from the crown-shaped terrace on top includes the village of Wengen and Lauterbrunnen valley, Lauberhorn mountain, the Swiss Skyline with the iconic north face of Eiger, and even Interlaken and Lake Thun!
This is also a beautiful and easy winter hike! I did this hike in February and thus, there was still plenty of snow, in the summer months there will be no snow.
The Panorama Trail is a downhill trail from Mannlichen gondola station until Kleine Scheidegg. All along, you walk straight towards the impressive Mönch, Eiger, and Jungfrau mountains: the views are simply incredible. It takes just 1 hour and a half which makes it a perfect choice if you are looking for a simple and short hike.
How to get to Männlichen Mountain?
You can reach Mannlichen from Grindelwald Terminal Station station, or from the town of Wengen on the other side.
Where can I buy tickets for Männlichen Mountain?
You can buy tickets on the spot or online – you get a 50% discount with your Swiss Travel Pass and it is included in your Jungfrau Pass.
Hike From Grindelwald to Schynige Platte (or Get up Via Funicular)
The Schynige Platte is another popular place to visit from Grindelwald – it is a small mountain ridge that offers great views.
Pro hikers should spend a day hiking from First to Schynige Platte, the mountain between Grindelwald and Interlaken. It takes a whole day, with more or less 800 meters of ascent and 600 meters of descent.
With its high, rocky ridges and rolling, green meadows, the views from this hike to the lakes and nearby valleys are absolutely worth the effort.
It is called “the hike of the six pearls” because of the six gorgeous natural sights you will admire: the “blue jewel” Bachalp Lake right at the beginning; the incredible view from the Faulhorn mountain, which embraces beautiful Lake Brienz, and the massive Jungfrau summit; Lake Sagistalsee that you will admire from above; the Güw area and its wild karstic landscape; and finally, the flowers at the Alpine Garden and the flora on the Matten, close to the railway station of Schynige Platte.
However, you can also get to Schynige Platte the easy way. If you get up Schynige Platte via funicular (from mid-April to mid-October) then you will have some amazing views without much effort. The funicular brings you up to almost the top – when you jump off the funicular you have some stunning views of the Swiss Skyline.
Walk further up (and through the Alpine Garden) to enjoy a completely different panorama – the views of Lake Thun and Lake Brienz!
Keep in mind:
You can do this hike only from mid-June to mid-October.
From Grindelwald, take a train to Wilderswil (10 minutes). There you can take the funicular that takes you up all the way to Schynige Platte. That is also the same way you can get back to Grindelwald.
Grindelwald Glacier Canyon
A fascinating place near Grindelwald is the Glacier Canyon or Grindelwald Gorge (Gletscherschlucht in German).
This unique 300-meters-deep ravine was carved by the river flowing from the mountains over millions of years. An elevated wooden walkway leads for almost 900 meters into the gorge: you walk through short tunnels, near a few waterfalls that sprinkle misty water in the air, above the rushing waters of the river.
There isn’t anything special at the end of the path, but it’s still quite magical to walk along it. On Friday nights, there is a show of colorful lights that make it even more impressive.
Daring people (and children) will enjoy walking on the huge “spiderweb” net, stretched from one side of the canyon to the other! An even more thrilling experience is the “canyon swing”, a 90-meter freefall with a rope from a platform above the gorge, followed by a swing in the gorge that can reach the speed of 120 km/hour.
Open daily from May to mid-November
Prices for adults are CHF 19 – discounts for people under 16 years, groups etc.
Paragliding in Grindelwald
As with many other gorgeous valleys in Switzerland, paragliding in Grindelwald offers a panorama simply unachievable from anywhere else.
Flights usually start near the First gondola station, at more than 2100 meters of altitude, because it’s the best starting place to admire the view of Eiger and the other peaks of the Jungfrau Region, above the village of Grindelwald.
Even though it’s an expensive experience, it’s one of the most memorable things to do in Switzerland, and possibly in your life!
Flights usually last 15-20 minutes. It seems short, but it’s definitely enough, especially if it’s your first time paragliding.
Companies usually offer a photo and video service for an extra fee: those memories are fantastic, so take advantage of it!
Enjoy Winter Sports in Grindelwald
The main locations for winter sports are First, the mountain north of Grindelwald; Mannlichen, the mountain west of Grindelwald (and on the other side there are Wengen and Lauterbrunnen); and the Jungfraujoch.
At all these locations you can ski, snowboard, go on winter hikes, and sled on long panoramic runs. One unique experience in Grindelwald is riding a Velo Gemel! This wooden snow bike has been used by people in Grindelwald since 1911: it looks like a bike frame placed on two wooden skates, similar to a sled. Rent one out and enjoy the slopes in this fun and weird way!
Visit „the Top of Europe“ – Jungfraujoch From Grindewald
Going to “the Top of Europe” is definitely a unique experience in Switzerland, and actually in the whole world!
At the highest train station in Europe, at almost 3500 meters, there are plenty of things to do – besides gaping at the glaciers that guarantee a day in the snow even in the summer.
You can walk through the Ice Palace, visit the Alpine Sensation to learn about the history of the Jungfraujoch, and enjoy the views at the Sphinx Observatory. Of course, there are restaurants and a Lindt Shop – it is Switzerland!
Explore the Cute Village of Lauterbrunnen
Just one valley away from Grindelwald, Lauterbrunnen offers a special combination of a cute Swiss town surrounded by alpine peaks and a unique signature: 72 waterfalls.
The Staubbach Waterfall is the most famous and iconic one: with 297 meters of height, it is the third highest waterfall in Switzerland.
Another impressive waterfall is the Trümmelbachfälle: they are unique because they are 10 underground glacier waterfalls, accessible through lifts, tunnels, paths, and platforms. Absolutely fascinating!
The Trümmelbachfälle is open only from April to October
There is a 12 EUR entrance fee for adults.
A very relaxing walk in Lauterbrunnen is the water trail walk. It goes from Lauterbrunnen to Stechelberg (or the other way round, if you are coming back from the next attraction, the village of Mürren), along a relaxing mountain stream.
Head to Pretty Mürren
From Lauterbrunnen, you could continue to the picturesque town of Mürren, a car-free village that is a true Swiss postcard. You’ll find cute Swiss cottages, pretty cafés and restaurants with terraces, and of course, really stunning scenery all around.
The views from there are seriously spectacular and getting there is an experience in itself!
First, take the gondola from Lauterbrunnen to Alpgrütsch which is nice! But the train ride from there to Mürren is one of the most impressive train rides you can take. It, unfortunately, just takes 20 minutes but the views of the Swiss Skyline – on a clear day – and the scenery is really just top-notch!
Follow James Bond – Schilthorn Mountain
Schilthorn is the highest mountain in the range lying north of the Sefinenfurgge Pass. It is 2,970 meters above sea level and lies above the village of Mürren, from where a cable car leads to its summit. Many people actually know Schilthorn and Piz Gloria because it was the filming location of the 007 movie “On Her Majesty’s Secret Services“ in 1969.
From Mürren, the gondola will bring you to Birg station first which is home to the Thrill Walk. This 200-meter-long walk leads down into the vertical walls of the imposing rock massif. At Birg, you will also find a restaurant and toilets.
Then take another gondola and head to Schilthorn.
The main attraction is the incredible, incredible view of the Swiss Skyline. Wow, what a breathtaking view. Some might argue the best thing about Schilthorn is the famous Piz Gloria restaurant. Piz Gloria is a 360°revolving restaurant that rotates around its own axis in 45 minutes– offering great views and of course, food and drinks. Inside Piz Gloria, you will find an interactive exhibition that is all about James Bond and the film.
The one thing Grindelwald doesn’t have is a lake. Luckily, nearby there is a town between two lakes which makes for a great day trip: Interlaken.
As you already understood, Interlaken is located between Lake Brienz and Lake Thun. It might be difficult to choose what to do in and around Interlaken, there are so many places to see!
However, I strongly recommend cruising on the mesmerizing Lake Brienz, and/or taking the Brienz Rothorn steam locomotive ride up to the top of Brienzer Rothorn mountain. The views are among the best in all of Switzerland.
Alternatively, explore the town of Interlaken with the stunning park area of Höhenmatte and then head on Harder Kulm mountain (by funicular or hike) which offers great views of Lake Thun and Lake Brienz. This is also a nice place to watch the sunset.
If you had your fill of Swiss natural landscapes, then why not spend a day in the city? The nearest one happens to be Switzerland’s capital, Bern.
Although sometimes overlooked, Bern is a very beautiful city. Actually, it is the prettiest Swiss city – and perfect to visit at any time of the year!
The gorgeous old town is a UNESCO World Heritage site: it’s full of attractions, like the Cathedral, the Clock Tower, the Parliament, the Town Hall, and many more.
You can admire it from above from the Rosengarten Park, and then you could pass by Baren Park to say hello to the bears that live there (which are hibernating in the winter): Also, consider strolling along the Aare river, a beautiful area to relax and enjoy the panorama.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON GRINDELWALD ACTIVITIES IN SUMMER
Grindelwald is a beautiful place to visit with tons to do and see – whether directly in the village and its close surroundings or if you head out to areas near Grindelwald. Especially outdoor activities will love Grindelwald – and once you visit, you can surely understand why it is such a fascinating area!