WHAT TO DO IN SIRMIONE + MORE TRAVEL TIPS
- 1 WHAT TO DO IN SIRMIONE + MORE TRAVEL TIPS
- 2 SIRMIONE TRAVEL TIPS
- 3 THINGS TO DO IN SIRMIONE
- 3.1 Stroll the Streets
- 3.2 Visit Scaliger Castle
- 3.3 Take a Boat Tour
- 3.4 Spend Time at the Beach Behind the Castle
- 3.5 Swim at Jamaica Beach
- 3.6 Discover the Grotte di Catullo
- 3.7 Visit Gardaland
- 3.8 Wine Tasting in Sirmione
- 3.9 Take a Day Trip to Verona
- 3.10 Boat Tour to Limone
- 3.11 Venice
- 3.12 FINAL THOUGHTS ON TOP ATTRACTIONS IN SIRMIONE, LAKE GARDA
- 3.13 More Sirmione Travel Tips
Are you planning your Sirmione itinerary at Lake Garda? Then find out about the best things to do in Sirmione – here are the best attractions and top places to visit + travel tips.
Sirmione is probably the busiest town in the Lake Garda area. Known as “the pearl of the islands and peninsulas,” Sirmione’s fame comes from its thermal waters that offer healing properties, and writers like Catullo and Goethe that hailed its beauty.
Sitting on Lake Garda’s south bank, Sirmione has a population of almost 7,800 inhabitants and some of the best attractions around Lake Garda.
SIRMIONE TRAVEL TIPS
Here are some travel tips to help you get to Sirmione and get around the town itself. Further below, you will find out about the best activities.
How to Get to Sirmione
By plane: Bergamo (Milan) and Verona/Brescia or Verona Airport are popular airports close by. From there, you either head to Sirmione by car or bus.
- BY CAR: Sirmione is reachable by car from the A4 Turin/Venice motorway. You have to park your car outside the town center. Just before the village center is some (paid) parking but it is jam-packed, and you might not easily find a parking spot. So, if you come by car, either arrive very early or park a few kilometers outside and then walk or take a bus to the town center.
- BY BUS/TRAIN: There is no train station in Sirmione. You can take the train to the Desenzano station, the most popular junction in Lake Garda, where all trains stop, or you get to Peschiera del Garda. Both villages are about 10km from Sirmione. From there, you can take a bus or a taxi.
- BY BOAT: You can reach Sirmione also via boat from many villages on Lake Garda´s shores.
How to Get Around Sirmione
- You are not allowed to drive in the old town.
- You will mostly walk in Sirmione, so make sure to wear comfy shoes!
- If you plan to take a day trip and see other nearby cities in Lake Garda, there are boat and ferry services.
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Where to Stay in Sirmione
I stayed in Limone (a small village on the shores of Lake Garda). However, I think Sirmione is a great place to stay in Lake Garda.
- The most luxurious hotel in Sirmione is the Grand Hotel Terme. The 5-star hotel has thermal pools and is located close to the lake, and most main attractions in Sirmione. You can check out rates and availability here.
- Degli Oleandri looks like a beautiful mid-range hotel perfectly located and with good reviews. Check out rates here.
- If you are looking for budget-friendly accommodations, Sirmione will make it hard for you. The best is to stay outside the old town. Check out a well-rated budget hotel in Sirmione here.
- Find my Lake Garda accommodation guide.
THINGS TO DO IN SIRMIONE
Sirmione is full of lovely attractions and also close enough for some delightful day trips – so without further ado, here are some of the best things to do and places to visit in Sirmione.
Stroll the Streets
Wondering what to do in Sirmione first? Take a walk through the old town. Lined with restaurants, small boutiques, and colorful houses, the winding streets have plenty for your eyes to see.I thought the old town was really nice, and the beautiful flowers that were everywhere I looked were so charming – it is definitely worth a visit. If you are looking for a bite to eat, there are pizzerias and gelaterias along the walkways. Rest, enjoy the colorful and lively city center, and get a taste of Sirmione.
Visit Scaliger Castle
One of the best places to visit in Sirmione is Scaliger Castle. Built in the 13th century, this is one of Italy’s best-preserved castles. It is located on the narrow part of the peninsula and surrounded by Lake Garda. There are three towers, and the main tower is 47 meters high.These days, the only way to get to the castle is by crossing a drawbridge and climbing 146 steps. You will be rewarded with stunning views of Sirmione and Lake Garda.
- While the views from the inside are nice, the cost is about 6€. If you are on a budget, skip this and see it from the outside. These views are lovely as well.
Take a Boat Tour
I love boats, and the sunset boat tour on Lake Garda is wonderful. You get some fantastic views from the water, so I highly recommend it.In front of Scaliger Castle, you will find the boat station where you can hop on. The tour takes you around the peninsula, which takes about 25-30 minutes. This is definitely one of the best activities in Sirmione.
- During the off-season, you might be able to hop on a boat without a prior reservation, but in the busy months, I recommend booking your Sirmione boat trip in advance.
Spend Time at the Beach Behind the Castle
There is a cute little beach behind Scaliger Castle, so once you are finished touring the inside and outside and enjoying the views of Sirmione and the lake, head over here.While you could swim in the water, I don’t suggest spending your time in the water if you have only one day in Sirmione. However, it is a nice place to relax and get some fresh air. Sirmione can be busy even during the low season, so this is the perfect place to escape some of the bustle and crowds.
Swim at Jamaica Beach
Another one of the tourist attractions in Sirmione is Jamaica Beach. I did not actually visit it and I only saw it while on the boat tour. But apparently, it is a special place. This beach is popular and offers clear waters, great views, and warm waves to dip your toes into. This is not a sandy beach, though, but big stone plates in and beneath the water.
Getting to Jamaica Beach is a bit challenging. So, while many recommend staying at Jamaica Beach for one hour or so, plan in another hour to get there and get back as it lies on the Sirmione Languet. There is a short tourist train bringing you to the beach in the busy months.
- TIP: Don’t have enough time? Then do a guided tour and discover the best of Lake Garda in one day.
Discover the Grotte di Catullo
The Grotte di Catullo is another attraction, though I did not have a chance to visit it. It lies at the northernmost end of the Sirmione peninsula on the southern shore of Lake Garda. This ancient Roman villa dates back to the 1st century, and its ruins are very well-known.The villa was reported to be the home of Catullo and his family, a Latin poet who died in 54 B.C. The building has sunk to different levels because of sloping rocks, with the main building in the northern part.
If you have the chance, visit Grotte di Catullo. It is supposedly a lovely piece of Italian history and is even older than the Colosseum in Rome.
Gardaland is one of the best things to see in Sirmione if you have kids – and even if you do not have children it might be a lot of fun!
The park has about 35 different rides to choose from, and there are also activities and other attractions. You can book directly at their site or use this site for GardaLand tickets which I use for tours and tickets (which also allow free cancellations up to 24 hours in advance).
Wine Tasting in Sirmione
When in Italy…go on a wine tasting tour. Admittedly, I do not drink any wine so I have no idea what a good wine tour looks like. However, wine tours are not only popular in Tuscany but also at Lake Garda.
I have not seen any wine tasting taking place in Sirmione, but quite close to it – in Bardolino – on the eastern shores of Lake Garda, there are some tours you could check out. Here are some options I have found for you:
Take a Day Trip to Verona
If Sirmione is your base and you stay for a couple of days, you should consider taking some day trips. Verona would be a great idea for such a trip. Famous for being the setting of Shakespeare’s play, Romeo and Juliet, Verona is also the biggest city in the area.
- You can drive from Sirmione, and it will only take about 1-1 ½ hours, a bit longer by bus.
- There are also guided tours available. Check them out here.
Once you arrive in this beautiful city, enjoy the lively and colorful piazzas. Stroll along the side streets and discover the heart of Verona. If you are looking for a little more history, check out the Ponte Pietra, which is an arch bridge over the Adige River from Roman times.
Verona is actually one of my favorite cities in Italy – you should visit and see it for yourself!
Boat Tour to Limone
When it comes to Sirmione nothing beats a boat tour. We talked about a boat tour before but what about a cruise to Limone? So, you can enjoy a lovely day trip to one of the cutest villages I have ever seen.Going to Limone by boat takes some time – 3 hours to be exact – but it is full of picturesque scenery and worth the effort. In Limone, you can explore the harbor and see tons of colorful houses overflowing with beautiful flowers. Find more pictures of this gorgeous town and get some Limone travel tips.
- The cost is 30 € for a round-trip ticket.
- You can also drive or take the bus (but it is rather time-consuming).
While I totally loved the area of Lake Garda, I suggest a day trip to Venice as well if you are in the area for more than 5-6 days. It takes about 2 hours to get to Venice by car/bus. It is probably the most unique destination in the world – no other place is like Venice.2 days in Venice and Burano would be a perfect time to spend there. However, you can see quite a bit in one day only. If you start your day early and book certain activities in advance, you will be able to get an excellent glimpse of Venice. Find my tips for the best Venice attractions.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON TOP ATTRACTIONS IN SIRMIONE, LAKE GARDA
As you can see, there are so many things to do in Sirmione! You might have trouble fitting them all in. So, just pick some of the great activities that seem the most appealing to you! Sirmione is a beautiful town in Northern Italy, and you should not miss out on it.
Hopefully, this list of Sirmione attractions has helped you narrow down where to go and what to see.
More Sirmione Travel Tips
Check out the following posts for more detailed information:
- Lake Garda itineraries: 1-7 days in Lake Garda
- Here are the most beautiful places in Lake Garda
- Here are the most beautiful places in Northern Italy – for a perfect Northern Italy itinerary, click here.
- Check out this cute town at the shores of Lake Garda – Malcesine.