BEST THINGS TO DO IN SIRMIONE – LAKE GARDA

WHAT TO DO IN SIRMIONE – LAKE GARDA

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.

Best tourist attractions in Sirmione, Lake Grada
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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 stunning buildings and lush gardens.

It is no surprise, that 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

Find out how to spend one day in Sirmione below.

BEST THINGS TO DO IN SIRMIONE IN 2024

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.

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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. 

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.

Enchanting towers and geometric swallowtail battlements stand tall, greeting visitors from near and far.

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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

Scaligero Castle of Sirmione is 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”. 

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. 

  • 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!

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The boat station is right by Scaliger Castle. You’ll be taken on an exquisite 25-30 minute journey around the peninsula, and it’s hands-down one of the top things in Sirmione. 

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 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

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. 

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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.  At least during the off-season, in the summer months, it can be rather crowded.

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.

Getting 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 great views and relaxation here. Plus, during bustling months, you can hop on a charming tourist train for a lovely ride to the beach.

Discover the Grotte di Catullo

Oh, I almost forgot to mention the captivating Grotte di Catullo! 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!

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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.

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!

Visit Gardaland

If you have more than one day in Sirmione, you might want to visit GardaLand. 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.

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

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 spot 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.

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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

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Limone Sul Garda is 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). 

Venice

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 is a 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.

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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 & FAQs

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.

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:

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