Where to Stay in Lake Garda – the Best Places to Stay

If you are planning a trip to Lake Garda, you have already made a great decision. There are many reasons to visit this pretty place. So while finding reasons is actually a no-brainer, finding the perfect accommodation and the perfect place to stay in Lake Garda is indeed a bit more difficult.

Lаkе Gаrdа is nоt оnlу thе lаrgеѕt lake in Italy – it iѕ аlѕо оnе оf thе mоѕt beautiful. Surrounded by ruggеd hills and luѕh vegetation, thе lake features a fjord-like fоrmаtiоn with its ѕоuthеrn part widеr thаn itѕ northern раrt. Thе lаkе аrеа аlѕо еnjоуѕ thе mild and comfortable Mеditеrrаnеаn сlimаtе.

Viѕiting thе lake mеаnѕ gеtting еxроѕеd to a spectacular luѕсiоuѕ environment fillеd with a variety оf trееѕ like palms, cypresses, оrаngе, and lеmоn groves. You will еаѕilу bе captivated bу the vibrаnt bluе соlоr оf thе lаkе’ѕ сlеаr water. The vicinity аrоund Lake Garda оffеrѕ a bоаt lоаd of орроrtunitiеѕ for fun, rеlаxаtiоn, and recreation. But it is not only about nature – the lakeshore is оссuрiеd with several charming hаrbоr tоwnѕ.

Here are some general tips when it comes to booking a hotel in Lake Garda, as well as the best towns to stay in when you’re at Lake Garda. This post will help you find the perfect town/village for you (and your travel companions). 

Malcesine and things to do in Lake Garda
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Things to Know Before Booking Accommodations in Lake Garda

Personally, Lake Garda won my heart in a second. It just took a few moments to forget about my prejudices – for the longest time, I thought that it was a boring place and only a good destination for families (with younger kids) and camping fans.

After visiting, I think it is a great destination in Northern Italy – with activities, towns, and villages for everyone’s taste. Whether you are a family (young kids, older kids, or no kids at all), a couple, friends, or a solo traveler, Lake Garda makes a great Italian holiday. Here are my best tips on where to stay in Lake Garda.

As mentioned above, Lake Garda is not only camping-friendly, you will also find luxury hotels, very family-friendly hotels, and more.

The best places to stay in Lake Garda, for every budget. There are luxury resorts in Lake Garda as well as mid-range accommodations, and even more budget-friendly options.

But it is not only the hotel category that is important when choosing your Lake Garda accommodations. It is also crucial to pick the best location for your stay.

Lake Garda Instagrammability
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Getting Around Lake Garda 

Lake Garda is Italy´s biggest lake, with a shore length of almost 160 kilometers. While it’s great that Lake Garda is large, it also means that getting from one attraction (or town) to another can be very time consuming. 

Public transportation is not fast and driving can be nerve-wracking (to some). Also, petrol is ridiculously expensive in Lake Garda (Italy has one of the highest petrol prices in all of Europe; Lake Garda is even more expensive than other areas). One liter of petrol often costs 1.74€ – or more. 

There is no toll when driving the shores of Lake Garda, but getting to other cities or attractions, like Verona, costs extra when you use the motorways (about 8 to 9 € for 100 km).

While I still love Lake Garda, and I still think it is a great holiday destination, you should keep that in mind when booking your Lake Garda hotel because it will be an extra cost you will have to consider.

Tax

Each area charges an extra tax – the amount depends on the area and hotel category. While it varies greatly, you can calculate roughly 1€ per night (per person) that has to be paid to the hotel.

Southern or Northern Shore? 

Each area has its own charm and advantages. The southern area tends to be warmer. The areas in the north and northeast are better for watersports lovers.

If you stay on the southern shores, it is quicker for you to get to cities like Verona and Venice, while you have better day trip options to the Dolomites if you stay on the northern shore.

So, for each of my top recommendations, I also mention for whom this town/village is the perfect place and why.

Tip

My personal tip would be (if staying in Lake Garda for about a week) to split your trip. Yes, it sounds stressful to some of you, but if you stay a few days at totally different areas of Lake Garda, you will see a lot more and getting around is much easier.

Best Towns to Stay in Lake Garda

Sirmione

Sirmione is one of the most popular places for tourists. It sits on a peninsula, jutting out into the lake on the southern shore.

Instagram places in Lake Garda
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The old town, with its winding little alleys and beautiful houses, makes it a perfect place to stay in Lake Garda. In addition, you have the old castle, which is worth a visit, and the ruins of a Roman villa, the Grotte di Catullo.

There is no shortage of attractions in Lake Garda and there is no shortage of beautiful hotels.

This is great if you want to stay in a busy tourist hotspot, close to GardaLand, Garda, Verona (even Venice as a day trip would be possible).

Accommodation in Sirmione 

Find out more about luxury hotels in Sirmione

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Riva del Garda

At the very northern shores of Lake Garda is Riva del Garda, another gorgeous village with a bustling old town, a lovely waterfront, a clock tower with great views (it is just 165 steps to get to the top), and colorful old buildings. It is also a popular place for watersports lovers.

View from the tower in Riva del Garda, Lake Garda
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From Riva del Garda, you can easily get to places like Sirmione, Malcesine, and Limone by boat (or car), so it is definitely a great place to stay. You can also visit South Tyrol´s attractions from there (like Lago di Braies as a day trip).

It is close to Nago-Torbole, Limone, Malcesine, and Mount Baldo, as well as places like Trento and the Dolomites.

Accommodation in Riva del Garda

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Desenzano del Garda

This lively town is especially popular among tourists that travel here by train, as it has its own station.

Desenzano del Garda, Lake Garda where to stay
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There is also a lovely water promenade, and many shops and stores. If you like action, then you have a chance to celebrate here with the locals, though it felt that there were fewer locals even while being a popular place to visit. The little harbor, with its colorful buildings, makes it also pretty picturesque.

It is close to Sirmione, and a good base for a day trip to Bergamo and Milan (or even a day trip to Lake Como).

Accommodation in Desenzano del Garda

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Malcesine

Malcesine is another lovely and great choice for your Lake Garda vacation. This busy little town is located at the foot of Mount Baldo, making it also a great base, if you’d like to enjoy a day in the mountains (either by hiking up or by using the cable car). It is also one of the best choices if you enjoy watersports.

Malcesine in Lake Garda
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The old town and the harbor make it a lovely base for people who enjoy relaxing and strolling, too.

From here, you can also quite easily reach Limone and Riva del Garda by boat.

It is close to Riva del Garda, Trento, and Rovereto.

Accommodation in Malcesine

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Limone Sul Garda

One of the cutest towns in Europe is also a great place to stay. As my base when I visited Lake Garda, I totally loved Limone. It is easy to get to Malcesine and Riva del Garda (by boat), but it takes some time to get to other areas that are further away.

Limone best places to visit
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Strolling the old town, walking the cycle path, and watching the sunset on the promenade… despite its very small size, it is full of beauty and charm.

You can’t go wrong with choosing Limone as your base (here are my recommendations for things to do in Limone btw).

It is close to Riva del Garda and Salo.

Accommodations in Limone sul Garda

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Click here for the best places to visit in Lake Garda

The perfect 10-day itinerary for Northern Italy

Sо, whеthеr you’re lооking for a rеlаxing winter brеаk complete with luxurious surroundings аnd plenty оf thingѕ tо ѕее and dо nо mаttеr what the wеаthе, or you’re looking tо bооk уоur Itаliаn summer hоlidауѕ in аdvаnсе, Lаkе Gаrdа iѕ a dеѕtinаtiоn definitely wоrth соnѕidеring. And now, you also have ideas on the best hotels in Lake Garda.

Hopefully, this post has helped you finding the best area to stay in Lake Garda – the choices are endless, but above mentioned areas are my personal favorite places to stay around Lake Garda.

Safe Travels, Arzo
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