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Top things to do in Stresa

Attractions, tours, and activities in Stresa

About Stresa

Including tips for the best time to visit Stresa

The resort town of Stresa elegantly sits along the shores of Lake Maggiore. Travellers come to this buoyant destination in Italy for its stately architecture and enchanting setting of lakeside vistas during sunset.

The three Borromean islands are a stone’s throw from this idyllic town. On your trip to Stresa, you can spend the day island-hopping with visits to Isola Bella and Isola Madre, exploring their Italian-style baroque gardens and grand palaces. At Isola dei Pescatori, you can wander around the quaint fishing village and winding alleyways.

Surrounded with flower-laden lawns and a scenic waterfront view, Villa Pallavicino is a neoclassical residence and zoological garden that you can explore on your Stresa holiday. You can also indulge in some wine tasting with tours to wineries in the Piedmont region.

The opening of the Simplon Pass and Simplon Tunnel in the 19th and 20th century was instrumental in turning this former fishing hamlet into a sought-after holiday destination. The pass connects the town of Brig in Switzerland to the Piedmont region. You can reach Stresa in about two hours from Milan by car, bus and train. Milan Malpensa is the closest airport. Regular ferries are available to get to the scenic Borromean islands.


From per night

This weekend

From $312 per night

Next weekend

From $133 per night

Most popular time to visit October-December
Cheapest time to visit January-March
Local currency € 1 = $1.08
Language Italian
Average weekend price $137 per night
Average weekday price $142 per night
Average stay 2 nights

Stresa reviews

What other travelers say about Stresa


Beautiful city and islands.

October 30, 2022

Beautiful city and islands. As all are small just a few days are enough to enjoy the beauty and cleansiness. Recommended also is the Friday market. Although our hotel was very nice, it was a good 20 minutes walk from Stresa centre. What did not help was the fact that the hotel restaurant was closed during our stay. If I ever go back to Stresa by train I would chose a hotel in the centre, although it probabluly would not be so peaceful.

Claude United Kingdom

Stresa is a marvelous place somewhat off the beaten path.

October 16, 2022

Stresa is a marvelous place somewhat off the beaten path. It has a great history as a resort town especially for the British. The highlight is a visit to Isola Bella in Lago Maggiore, summer home for the Borromeo family of Milan. Beautiful museum and garden. Sending postcards is a challenge in the cyber age. Buy some as souvenirs!

John United States of America

Stresa is a lovely town on the lake.

September 4, 2022

Stresa is a lovely town on the lake. Lots of great restaurants and shops plus easy access to boats to visit the attractions on the lake. Great spot Great restaurant was La Botte or Osteria Mercato or La Stresa

geraldine Ireland

Stresa is lovely, a real town with real people who live and...

August 29, 2022

Stresa is lovely, a real town with real people who live and work there, in a beautiful setting. Sure, it’s touristy in the summer and shuts down in the winter (a shopkeeper told me the town is open when the villas are open), but this town is charming and worth a few days.


Beautiful place and we made some amazing memories!

August 21, 2022

Beautiful place and we made some amazing memories! Town is small, La Piazzette, Il Vicolino, Torino were our favourite restaurants. Avoid thinking about the cable car, its shut down! Bring good walking shoes if hiking up Mottarone!

Christopher United Kingdom

Lovely lakeside town with easy access to the boats for...

August 14, 2022

Lovely lakeside town with easy access to the boats for island trips. Nice little high street with shops and restaurants. Highlight of our trip was getting the river taxi to one of the islands for dinner. The restaurant will sort the taxi for you. You get on just near the base of the cable car (not in operation) but coming back it brings you back in to stresa just near the high street. The islands are full of little shops and restaurants except for Madre which is only accessible if you pay for admission to the gardens/historic building, otherwise you little have access to the boat port area only. You can buy tickets for access to 2 or 3 islands.

Liza United Kingdom

Popular places to stay in Stresa

Stay in some of the best accommodations Stresa has to offer