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.
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Sirmione sul Garda, located on the southern shore of Lake Garda in Lombardy, Italy, is an enchanting town that is home to a fairytale-like setting. The old village boasts winding cobblestone streets lined with pastel colored buildings and lush gardens filled with fragrant flowers.
Explore the ruins of the Scaligeri Castle, a medieval fortress from the 14th century, or take a stroll through the streets and admire the stunning views over Lake Garda – to find out what else to do in Sirmione, keep reading.
It is no surprise, 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 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.
BEST THINGS TO DO IN SIRMIONE IN 2023
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
Curious about where to begin your Sirmione adventure? How about a leisurely stroll through the captivating old town? Discover the vibrant streets brimming with delightful eateries, quaint boutiques, and picture-perfect houses.You won’t be able to resist the allure of the pretty flowers at every turn – a visit here is truly a treat! In case you’re feeling peckish, indulge in some mouth-watering pizza or refreshing gelato at the charming walkways. So let yourself unwind, revel in the warm and lively atmosphere, and soak up the enchanting essence of Sirmione.
Visit Scaliger Castle
Welcome to the marvelous Scaligero Castle, Sirmione’s pride and joy, situated at the heart of this historical town. It is located on the narrow part of the peninsula and surrounded by Lake Garda and one of the best places to visit in Sirmione.
Enchanting towers and geometric swallowtail battlements stand tall, greeting visitors from near and far.
As you step inside, prepare to be amazed by the stunning courtyard, meandering walkways, and a harbor that once nestled boats safely. And don’t forget to hike up the castle’s towering peak, where breathtaking views of the sparkling lake await
Discover the enchanting Scaligero Castle of Sirmione, a majestic fortification that emerged from the depths of Lake Garda during the 14th century. Constructed by the illustrious Veronese Della Scala family, this breathtaking marvel is fondly known as the “Rocca Scaligera”. Don’t miss the chance to immerse yourself in the captivating tales of its noble heritage!
Nowadays, your mission to reach the majestic castle includes a unique drawbridge adventure and an upward climb of 146 steps. And trust me, you’ll receive a breathtaking reward: unparalleled panoramas of the enchanting Sirmione and the mesmerizing Lake Garda. Challenge accepted?
- 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
If you’re a fan of boats like me, you’ll adore the (sunset) boat tour on Lake Garda. Trust me, the breathtaking views from the water are absolutely worth it!
Spend Time at the Beach Behind the Castle
Once you’ve reveled in the grandeur of Scaliger Castle and soaked up the stunning vistas of Sirmione and the lake, make your way to a charming beach nearby for some seaside tranquility.
Dive into the refreshing waters of Sirmione if you fancy a quick dip, but with only a day to explore, you might want to focus your energy elsewhere. Don’t worry though, this lovely spot offers an idyllic escape for catching your breath and embracing the serene atmosphere amid the bustling tourist crowds, even during the off-season!
Swim at Jamaica Beach
Another main tourist attraction in Sirmione is Jamaica Beach.
While I didn’t get the chance to step foot on Jamaica Beach, I caught a glimpse of its beauty from a boat tour. This beach is quite the hotspot, with crystal-clear waters, stunning views, and inviting waves perfect for a little toe-dipping action. Just be prepared for a rocky adventure, as this beach features large stone plates rather than sandy shores.
Embarking on an adventure to Jamaica Beach can be a challenging experience! Though the journey there may add an extra hour, you’ll be rewarded with an hour of breathtaking views and relaxation here. Plus, during bustling months, you can hop on a charming tourist train for a lovely ride to the beach.
- 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
Oh, I almost forgot to mention the captivating Grotte di Catullo! Although I didn’t have the opportunity to explore it myself, this ancient Roman gem awaits at the tip of the Sirmione peninsula, nestled along Lake Garda’s southern shore. Steeped in history, its 1st-century ruins are quite the sight to behold!
Discover the abode of Catullo, a revered Latin poet who passed away in 54 B.C. This captivating villa is thought to be where he and his family once resided. Interestingly, due to the unique, sloping rocks beneath, the dwelling consists of various levels, with the primary structure nestled in the northern area.
Don’t miss the chance to explore the enchanting Grotte di Catullo! As a hidden gem of Italian history, it’s even older than Rome’s iconic Colosseum. You’ll surely be captivated by its incredible charm and legacy!
Looking for a thrilling adventure in Sirmione? Gardaland is a fantastic choice for both kids and adults alike, promising loads of fun and excitement for everyone!
Discover a world of excitement at the park with over 35 thrilling rides! Don’t forget to explore the fun-filled activities and captivating attractions that await you as well.
Wine Tasting in Sirmione
Discover the delightful flavors of Italy by embarking on a wine-tasting adventure! You may not be a wine connoisseur (I am not for sure), but that shouldn’t stop you from exploring the beautiful vineyards of Tuscany and Lake Garda. So, raise your glasses and let your taste buds revel in the magic of Italian wine. Cheers!
I did not spotted any wine tastings in Sirmione, but fear not! Just a short trip away in Bardolino, nestled along the picturesque eastern shores of Lake Garda, you’ll find delightful tours waiting for you. Let me share with you a few charming options I’ve discovered!
Take a Day Trip to Verona
While making Sirmione your cozy home away from home for a few days, don’t miss the chance to explore nearby spots on some delightful day trips! Verona is one of the best day trips from Sirmione.
- 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.
Verona is one of Italy’s most beautiful cities, famous for its history and stunning architecture. Located in the Veneto region of northern Italy, Verona lies on the banks of the River Adige and is home to many impressive historical sites.
One of Verona’s main attractions is the Arena di Verona, an ancient Roman amphitheater. Built in the 1st century AD, this 2000-year-old monument is still used today for concerts and other events. Other attractions include Juliet’s Balcony, where Shakespeare’s famous heroine once stood; Castelvecchio, a castle built in 1354; or Ponte Scaligero, a bridge constructed by the noble Scaligeri family.
Strolling through Verona’s narrow cobblestoned streets is one of the best ways to visit this historical city. Explore the many alleyways and squares lined with traditional restaurants, bars, and shops offering unique souvenirs.
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 – Limone sul Garda.
Limone Sul Garda is a charming Italian town located on the western shore of Lake Garda. This small resort is known for its lovely Mediterranean-style architecture, crystal-clear waters, and stunning mountain views.
One of Limone’s main attractions is its picturesque harbor where you can admire the colorful boats bobbing in the lake. Enjoy a leisurely stroll along the lakeside promenade and admire the stunning views of Lake Garda. You can also explore the old town, surrounded by medieval walls with towers and gates, or visit one of its many churches such as Chiesa di San Rocco. 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.
Venice, Italy is a unique and beautiful city located in the Veneto region of the country. Known for its canals, intricate bridges, and stunning architecture, Venice is one of the most popular tourist destinations in all of Europe.
Built on 117 small islands connected by bridges and canals, Venice’s historic center has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The heart of the city is St Mark’s Square, which features a number of famous landmarks, including the Doge’s Palace, St Mark’s Basilica, and Campanile (Bell Tower). The Venetian Lagoon surrounds Venice and provides ample opportunities for sightseeing by boat or gondola. Explore the canals of Venice and discover the city’s unique atmosphere.
The Grand Canal is one of the most famous sights in Venice, as it winds its way through the city. It is lined with beautiful palazzos and historic churches; a popular activity is to take a vaporetto (water bus) along the canal to admire the views.
2 days in Venice and Burano (the most colorful place in Europe) 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.
SIRMIONE TRAVEL TIPS & FAQ
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.
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.
If you are looking for budget-friendly accommodations, Sirmione will make it hard for you. The best is to stay outside the old town Pensione Mercedes is a well-rated budget hotel. Check out this budget hotel in Sirmione here.
Find my Lake Garda accommodation guide.
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.