Where to Stay in Lake Garda 🇮🇹: Best Towns & Hotels to Stay

Nestled against the foothills of the Italian Alps lies the stunning Lake Garda, Italy’s largest lake. As you plan your travels, choosing the right home base will be essential.

In this article, I’ll showcase the best places for accommodations around Lake Garda based on your interests and budget. We’ll explore popular resort towns like Limone sul Garda and Malcesine as well as the cosmopolitan city of Sirmione.

Our Pick of the Best Hotels on Lake Garda 🔥

I’ll recommend hotels, B&Bs, apartments and campgrounds in the most breathtaking locations. You’ll discover locations perfect for families, couples, solo travelers or those seeking luxury.

So read on to uncover where your slice of La Dolce Vita awaits on lovely Lake Garda!

Quick Guide to the Best Towns on Lake Garda 📋

1. Sirmione – Where to Stay for the First Time 👀

🌄 Scenic gem: Nestled on the southernmost tip of Lake Garda, the scenic town of Sirmione is a must-visit destination for those traveling to this part of Italy. The medieval castle, thermal springs, and lively harbor attract visitors.

🛣️ Easy access: Getting to Sirmione is easy, as it sits just 45 minutes west of Verona by car. The town itself is quite small and walkable, making it convenient for tourists to get around on foot once they arrive. Nearly all of Sirmione’s main attractions are located in the historic center, around the 13th century Castello Scaligero, an iconic landmark.

🚶‍♂️ Wandering streets: When exploring Sirmione, start by strolling the cobbled streets winding through the fortified old town. Here you’ll find shops, cafes, gelaterias and restaurants. Make your way to the castle drawbridge and climb to the top for panoramic views.

🏛️ Roman ruins: Next, head to the Grotte di Catullo, the impressive 2,000 year old Roman ruins nestled at the northernmost tip of Sirmione’s peninsula. Wander around the archaeological site and admire the well-preserved mosaics, columns and villa foundations.

💆‍♂️ Healing waters: Afterwards, relax by spending a few hours at the Thermal Spa of Virgilio. These healing mineral-rich waters have drawn visitors since ancient Roman times.

🍽 When hunger strikes, grab a bite at one of Sirmione’s lakefront restaurants. Try the local fish, risotto, pasta, and of course Italian wine. As evening approaches, head to the lively Piazza Castello near the castle. Bars and restaurants surround this bustling harbor. It’s the perfect place to end a busy day.

All hotels in Sirmione →

Where to stay in Sirmione? 🏨

Expensive Hotels:

  • Villa Cortine Palace Hotel – an elegant premium hotel with exquisite design, luxurious rooms and panoramic lake views.
  • Grand Hotel Terme – a fashionable hotel with its own thermal center, gourmet restaurant and chic interiors.
  • Hotel Flaminia – a stylish boutique hotel with sophisticated design, gourmet cuisine and excellent service.

Medium price category:

  • Hotel Riel – cozy family hotel with comfortable rooms and friendly staff at reasonable prices.
  • Hotel Mauro – a modern mid-range hotel with good value for money.
  • Hotel Mon Repos – a welcoming hotel in a picturesque location with lake views and friendly staff.

Budget Hotels:

  • Hotel Corte Regina – a budget hotel with simple but cozy rooms and friendly staff.
  • HOTEL VITTORIA – a modest economy hotel with basic amenities at a reasonable price.
  • Casa Patrizia B&B – cozy small B&B with a homely atmosphere and hospitable hosts.

2. Peschiera del Garda – Where to Stay with Family 👪

✈️ Quick access: Located just 30 minutes by car from Verona, Peschiera’s proximity to transportation hubs, affordable accommodations, and compact walkable historic center make it an excellent gateway.

🏰 Charming fortress: Despite its small size, Peschiera del Garda packs quite a punch. This picturesque commune occupying a strategic position on the River Mincio contains a perfectly preserved 16th-century Venetian fortress complete with moats and drawbridges.

💦 Scenic waters: You can walk the ancient ramparts and gaze out over the glittering lake waters, appreciating Peschiera’s natural beauty.

Getting around Peschiera and reaching other Lake Garda destinations is a breeze thanks to the town’s proximity to transportation:

  • Verona Airport is just 22 km away and accessible by taxi, shuttle, or train.
  • The Peschiera del Garda train station offers direct connections to Brescia, Venice, Milan, and other major Italian cities.
  • Public buses run frequently to neighboring towns like Lazise and Gardaland amusement park.
  • Passenger ships dock right in town for scenic lake cruises.

🌅 A lakeside promenade lined with palms and vibrant flowers provides opportunities for leisurely strolls any time of day, with stunning vistas of the snow-capped Alps visible in the distance.

All hotels in Peschiera del Garda →

Where to stay in Peschiera del Garda? 🏨

Expensive hotels:

  • Hotel Bell'arrivo – an elegant hotel in a historic building with exquisite interiors and panoramic views of Lake Garda.
  • K MODERN HOTEL – modern design hotel with luxurious rooms, excellent restaurant and Spa center.

Medium price category:

Budget Hotels:

  • Hotel Primavera – simple and inexpensive hotel with basic amenities, good for short stops.
  • B&B Holidays Artisti – a welcoming mini-hotel with a warm atmosphere and reasonable prices.
  • CIVICO 22 – small cozy hotel in a historical building at an affordable price.

3. Riva del Garda – Best Mountain Scenery on the Lake 🏔

Riva del Garda is known for its breathtaking mountain scenery and rich Italian culture.

⛰ Surrounded by mountains: The town sits at the base of sheer cliffs and is surrounded by the Brenta Dolomites, part of the Alpine range. Some key spots include Monte Rocchetta and Monte Brione, both easily accessible by walking trails right in town.

🔝 Some top things to see and do right in Riva del Garda:

  • Piazza III Novembre – Vibrant main square with restaurants and shops
  • Torre Apponale – 13th century tower offering history exhibits
  • La Rocca – Impressive medieval fortress with towers and battlements
  • Windsurfing – Wind conditions attract surfers from far and wide

🎆 Summer events: If you visit in the summer, you can catch regular events and festivals taking place in the main town square.

🚴‍♂️ Easy transportation: The town is highly walkable, but ferries, buses, bikes and boats also make getting around a breeze if you want to venture beyond the center.

All hotels in Riva del Garda →

Where to stay in Riva del Garda? 🏨

Expensive Hotels:

  • Lido Palace – a premium luxury hotel with exquisite design, located on the shores of Lake Garda with picturesque views.
  • Hotel Giardino Verdi – cozy hotel in typical Italian style with patio and green garden.
  • Residence Zangirolami – elegant apartments with private gardens and balconies, ideal for a private vacation on Lake Garda.

Medium price category:

  • Brione Green Resort – a modern resort hotel with excellent facilities for an active vacation.
  • GARNI' FOCI – simple and inexpensive hotel with basic amenities, a good option for budget travelers.
  • Alle Porte – a compact hotel in a historic building in the heart of Riva del Garda at a reasonable price.

4. Desenzano del Garda – Best Place for Beach Vacation 🏊🏻‍♀️

Desenzano del Garda is known for its beaches and lively harbor.

🚗 Easy access: Desenzano del Garda is easily accessible by car via the A4 motorway if coming from Milan or Venice. It also has its own railway station with regular connections to cities across northern Italy.

👣 Walker’s paradise: This small town is best explored on foot. All of the major sights, shops, and restaurants are located within easy walking distance of each other. For visiting other towns around the lake, there are regular ferry boats and local buses departing right from the Piazza Matteotti in the heart of Desenzano del Garda.

🔝 Some highlights for visitors include:

  • Piazza Giuseppe Malvezzi: The central square of the old town with restaurants and nightlife
  • Castello di Desenzano del Garda: Dating back to the 13th century with a tower offering panoramic views
  • Spiaggia d’Oro, Spiaggia di Rivoltella, Spiaggia «Desenzanino»: Beautiful public sand beaches along the lakefront

And the 10-kilometer waterfront is great for strolling or biking.

🌞 Ideal spot: Its beautiful setting on the lake, sand beaches and transport connections check all the boxes for an enjoyable visit.

All hotels in Desenzano del Garda →

Where to stay in Desenzano del Garda? 🏨

Expensive Hotels:

  • Residenza Elisa – elegant premium apartments with panoramic views of Lake Garda and the mountains.
  • Hotel Bonotto – luxurious hotel with upscale service in a historic building.
  • Red & Blu Apartments – spacious apartments with exquisite design and lake views.

Medium price category:

Budget Hotels:

  • Hotel City – simple and inexpensive hotel in the center, suitable for short trips.
  • South Garda Suites – apartment hotel with basic facilities, swimming pool and garden.
  • La Villa Desenzano – small hotel in a historic villa, good for budget travelers.

5. Limone sul Garda – Famous Lemon Groves 🍋

🌄 Idyllic resort: The resort town of Limone sul Garda is located along the northwestern shores of Lake Garda. The town is known for sublime natural scenery and lemon groves.

💦 Lakeside locale: Limone sul Garda is situated approximately 50 miles from Verona and nearly midway between the tourist towns of Riva del Garda and Sirmione. Due to its tranquil position away from bustle yet still near popular sites, an atmosphere both cosy and convenient is enjoyed in Limone.

🏰 Historic hub: Despite small size, Limone sul Garda has many landmarks, lookouts, and attractions:

  • The Lungolago Marconi Promenade by the lakeshore provides spectacular mountain views.
  • Unique lemon storage houses known as Lemon Houses are peppered around the hillsides and valleys of the town.
  • The 16th century defensive fortress Forti di Cadine.
  • Chiesa di San Benedito church, dating from the 10th century AD.

⛴️ How to get here: Two main methods to access the town exist:

by car via the SS45bis
from spring through fall, a ferry system enables easy travel between villages and beaches.

Ferry timetables are seasonal so check availability.

All hotels in Limone sul Garda →

Where to stay in Limone sul Garda? 🏨

Expensive Hotels:

  • Evo Suites Apartments – electrifying lake view apartments offering complete comfort and privacy.
  • Park Hotel Imperial – luxurious hotel with panoramic lake view, gourmet restaurant and spa center.
  • Garni Gianmartin – a sophisticated boutique hotel with chic interiors and attentive staff.

Medium price category:

Budget Hotels:

6. Malcesine – Best Town on Lake Garda for Foodies 🍕

Located around 90 minutes by car from Verona, the town can also be reached by regular bus services and ferries which dock right in the heart of town.

🌊 Scenic promenade: The palm-lined promenade offers stunning views across the glittering blue waters to towns like Limone and Riva del Garda.

🏔 Top sights: First-time visitors won’t want to miss these top sights and activities:

  • Monte Baldo Cable Car – cabins whisk you up to mountain peaks with hiking trails
  • Windsurfing – Rent equipment to ride waves
  • Shopping – Meander through narrow cobblestone streets with local boutiques and souvenir shops

🥓 Foodie heaven: Whether it’s pizza, pasta, or local specialties like lake fish, there are over 50 eateries crammed into this small town. Grab a spritz and slice of pizza along the promenade or dine near the harbor as the sun sets behind the lake’s mountains.

🛏 Accommodations: With cozy hotels, villas, Airbnbs and camping, Malcesine offers varied accommodation to fit most budgets and styles.

All hotels in Malcesine →

Where to stay in Malcesine? 🏨

Expensive Hotels:

  • Hotel Cristallo – a luxurious hotel with exquisite design, located on the lakeside with stunning views.
  • Natur Resort Panorama – elegant hotel with modern rooms, spa center and restaurant overlooking the lake.
  • Wellness Hotel Casa Barca – a cozy adults-only hotel with an excellent wellness center and local restaurant.

Medium price category:

  • Hotel Stella Alpina – comfortable Alpine-style hotel with panoramic pool and mountain views.
  • Hotel Lago Di Garda – a simple hotel with basic amenities and a good location near the waterfront.
  • Albergo Villa Edera – an inexpensive, family-run hotel with a warm atmosphere and delicious breakfast.

Budget Hotels:

  • Appartamenti del Corso – reasonably priced apartments with spacious rooms and a kitchen.
  • Hotel Modena – budget hotel in the historical center with authentic atmosphere.
  • Hotel Firenze – a simple and affordable hotel with a convenient location near the beach.

7. Gardone Riviera – Where to Stay on a Budget 💸

🌴 Idyllic escape: Gardone Riviera is a small town located on the western shore of Lake Garda, roughly halfway between the popular tourist destinations of Desenzano del Garda and Salò. It can be easily reached by car or bus from most places around the lake.

🚶‍♂️ Walkable: The compact layout makes getting around by foot quite feasible. Key attractions are within a 20-30 minute walk from the lakefront. Alternatively, the Gardone Sopra-Salò tram connects the length of the town for only €1 per ride.

🏞 Outdoor pursuits: Here are some of the most popular things to see and do in Gardone Riviera:

  • Hruska Botanical Gardens – A lush park with over 1,500 exotic plant species
  • Vittoriale degli Italiani – Th estate of poet Gabriele D’Annunzio, with its memorabilia collections, amphitheater, and quirky architecture
  • Boat tours – ferry rides departing from the Gardone Riviera

🍴 Foodie heaven: Restaurants range from casual pizzerias to elegant fine dining with lake views. The local cuisine features fresh lake fish, olives, wines, and other northern Italian specialties.

Hruska Botanical Gardens
Hruska Botanik Bahçeleri
Hruska Botanical Gardens
Hruska Botanik Bahçeleri
Hruska Botanical Gardens
Hruska Botanik Bahçeleri
Vittoriale degli Italiani
Vittoriale degli Italiani
Vittoriale degli Italiani

🛌 Budget stays: The Gardone Riviera area offers a good range of hotels, resorts, cozy B&Bs, and apartment rentals to suit most budgets and styles of travel. Prices are considerably more budget-friendly than in better-known towns like Sirmione.

All hotels in Gardone Riviera →

Where to stay in Gardone Riviera? 🏨

Hotels of medium price category:

  • Hotel Savoy Palace – elegant hotel in classic style with panoramic lake view, offers exquisite rooms and high level of service.
  • Villa Sofia Hotel – cozy family hotel with a magnificent garden and swimming pool, located in a quiet area near the center.
  • Appartamenti Borgo – apartments in a picturesque area with all amenities for a comfortable stay, ideal for families.

Budget Hotels:

  • B&B Antico Brolo – small guesthouse with a homely atmosphere, offers simple rooms at a reasonable price.
  • Hotel Aquavite – simple and inexpensive hotel with basic amenities, located near the lake.
  • Camere Al Veliero – guesthouse with cozy rooms, offers good value for money.

8. Salo – Away from the Hustle and Bustle 🕊

📍 Well-located: Just a short 45-minute drive along the stunning coastline from the popular tourist towns like Sirmione, Salò provides a more peaceful home base to explore the famed Lake Garda region.

🏛️ Historic charm: The elegant Piazza Vittoria serves as the lively heart of town, while various palazzos house modern shops and restaurants. Other top attractions include:

  • Sala del Podestà – Ornate council hall with beautiful frescoes
  • Duomo di Salò – Grand 14th century cathedral
  • Market days – Weekly markets selling everything from fresh produce to clothing (Wed & Sat)

👟 Walkable streets: Transportation around town is easily managed on foot or by bike along Salò’s network of pedestrian lanes. Just be sure to wear comfortable shoes as the cobbled side streets include some slopes and stairs.

☀️ The mild climate also enables comfortable outdoor sightseeing most of the year.

All hotels in Salo →

Where to stay in Salo? 🏨

Expensive Hotels:

Medium price category:

9. Bardolino – Some of the Best Views of the Lake Garda 🌅

Located roughly 30 miles east of Verona and accessible via the A22 motorway, Bardolino makes an ideal base for exploring the eastern Lake Garda area.

🌅 The heart of town centers around the Piazza Matteotti waterfront promenade. While compact in size, Bardolino packs plenty for visitors to see and do. Top attractions include:

  • The Romanesque Chiesa di San Severo church from the 11th century
  • Sampling world-famous Bardolino Classico red wine at local vineyards and cellars
  • Strolling through Borgo Garibaldi historic district

I also recommend climbing La Rocca hill for panoramic views.

San Severo church
Kyrkan Chiesa di San Severo
San Severo church
Kyrkan Chiesa di San Severo
San Severo church
Kyrkan Chiesa di San Severo
Bardolino Wine Cellar
Vinkällare Bardolino

🚲 Easy exploring: Getting around Bardolino is a breeze on foot, though bicycles, scooters, and boats can also be rented to explore further afield. With the lake on one side and vines on the other, Bardolino truly encapsulates the natural beauty of Lake Garda.

All hotels in Bardolino →

Where to stay in Bardolino? 🏨

Luxury Hotels:

Hotels of medium price category:

  • Hotel Nettuno – cozy family hotel with comfortable rooms and a terrace right by the beach.
  • Hotel Maximilian – modern hotel with good value for money, located in the city center.
  • Bardoliners – a typical Italian style hotel complex with swimming pool and vineyard view.

Best Hotels in Lake Garda for Families 👦🏻

Here are 3 excellent family-friendly hotels near Lake Garda:

1. Grand Hotel Fasano is a top pick for its luxury amenities and prime lakeside location.

Kids will love the swimming pool and games room, while parents can relax at the spa or enjoy romantic dinners overlooking the lake.

2. For a more budget-friendly option, consider the Hotel Du Lac in Peschiera del Garda. The contemporary rooms feature balconies with garden or lake views. There’s an outdoor pool and play area to keep the little ones entertained.

The hotel offers family suites and connecting rooms, and the rates include breakfast. The old town is a short walk away.

3. Villa Cortine Palace Hotel provides both elegance and family-friendly facilities. Kids get their own pool and playroom while parents indulge at the spa.

The family suites feature two bedrooms and comfortable living areas. With lake views, bespoke services and proximity to attractions, it’s a luxurious family getaway.

Best Place to Stay in Lake Garda on a Map 🗺

FAQs about Staying on Lake Garda ❔

What is the most beautiful place at Lake Garda?

The most breathtaking spot at Lake Garda is arguably Punta San Vigilio. With its serene atmosphere, charming villa, and cypress-lined walkways, it offers a picturesque setting for visitors to soak in the beauty of the lake.

How many days do you need at Lake Garda?

The ideal duration for a visit to Lake Garda depends on your preferences and interests. However, a well-rounded experience can be achieved in about five to seven days. This timeframe allows you to explore the diverse towns, indulge in water activities, and savor the local cuisine without feeling rushed.

Which side of Garda lake is best?

Determining the best side of Lake Garda is subjective, as each shore possesses its unique charm. The eastern shore is renowned for its quaint towns like Malcesine and Bardolino, offering a more relaxed ambiance. On the western side, Limone sul Garda and Salò showcase a blend of history and vibrant culture. It ultimately depends on whether you prefer a tranquil retreat or a livelier atmosphere.

What is the main town of Lake Garda?

The principal town of Lake Garda is Sirmione, located on a picturesque peninsula extending into the southern part of the lake. Sirmione boasts a historic castle, Roman ruins, and thermal baths, making it a must-visit destination.

What is the best month to visit Lake Garda?

For the most enjoyable weather and fewer crowds, the best month to visit Lake Garda is typically May or September. However, if you aim for water activities, the warmer summer months of June to August might be preferable.