Lake Garda – The Best Things To See

Explore charming towns and scenic wonders at Lake Garda, Italy.
Written By: Andrea Spallanzani
Reviewed by: Rick Orford
How & Why We Created This Article

This article has been written, reviewed, and fact-checked by Rick and I. We live in Italy and travel throughout the country to help you make the best choices for your trip. We wrote this piece to ensure you have the best trip possible on your next trip to Italy. Portions of this article have been written using assistive AI tools to help with tasks like research, spell-checking, grammar, and translation.

Last Updated March 21, 2024

In this article, you'll learn how:

  • Lake Garda, the largest lake in Italy, is a popular tourist destination known for its stunning views, water activities, and historic towns.
  • Some of the best places to visit in Lake Garda include Desenzano del Garda, Sirmione, Riva del Garda, Peschiera del Garda, Salò, Lazise, Gardone Riviera, Moniga del Garda, Castelnuovo del Garda, and Malcesine.
  • Lake Garda offers a wide range of attractions, from historical sites and cultural landmarks to amusement parks, making it a versatile destination for all types of travelers.

Wondering the best things to see and do in Lake Garda? Lake Garda is a large, glacial lake in Northern Italy. It is the largest lake in Italy. It is located in 3 Italian Regions: Veneto, Lombardia, and Trentino. Also, it’s a common stopover if you’re staying in Rome, Florence, or Milan. It is one of the country’s most popular tourist destinations, known for its dramatic cliffs and stunning views. The Lake is also famous for swimming, boating, and windsurfing. It is a large lake that offers plenty to see and do for visitors. 

Lake Garda Sunset

Here are some of the best places and things to see in Lake Garda:

Some of the Beautiful towns

Sirmione - Lake Garda - Castle

Desenzano del Garda

Desenzano is the largest town on the southern shores of Lake Garda in the province of Brescia, Lombardy, Italy. Desenzano itself has a population of approximately 30,000 citizens. However, when combined with the surrounding municipalities, the population increases to around 130,000. 

The economy of Desenzano is based mainly on tourism and commerce. Many sailing and windsurfing sports are popular here.

This vibrant city is known for its many historical attractions, as well as its lovely lakeside setting. Desenzano also offers visitors plenty of activities and events, including wine tastings (if you’re over Italy’s legal drinking age), olive oil tasting, concerts, and boat tours. In addition, visitors can explore several excellent restaurants and shops in the area.

There are a lot of religious attractions and historical monuments to see, as well as parks and other attractions, just like Rome.


Lake Garda’s most famous town is Sirmione. It is located on a peninsula in the middle of the south shore of Lake Garda. As a result, it has been blessed with beautiful views of the Lake and its surrounding mountains. The old town, with lovely squares and narrow streets, is a maze of Venetian palaces, Gothic churches, and Renaissance villas.

The town is home to a wealth of historical attractions. These include the Scaliger Castle (one of Italy’s best-preserved castles) and the Grotto of Catullus, the remaining huge Roman Villa once the property of the famous Roman poet Valerio Catullus. Sirmione is also known for its therapeutic hot springs and the beautiful thermae. 

The town has a population of approximately 10,000 inhabitants. Globally renowned for its mild climate, the beauty of the landscape, and the many places of historical and cultural interest. The Scaliger Castle is probably the most important historical site in Sirmione. The lords of Verona built it in the 14th century, and it is now a museum. Other popular points of interest are the ruins of the ancient Roman villas, such as Villa Romana del Casale and Villa Dei Quintili, both UNESCO World Heritage Sites. There are also some interesting churches, like Santa Maria Maggiore and San Pietro in Ciel d’Oro.

Riva del Garda

Riva del Garda is a city in Trentino, northern Italy. It sits on the north tip of Lake Garda at an elevation of 73 meters above sea level and is a popular tourist destination. The town features a medieval castle, narrow streets, and a lively lakeside promenade. Energetic tourists enjoy hiking and cycling in the surrounding mountains and countryside, sailing, windsurfing, and swimming at Lake.

Riva has an estimated population of over 17,000 and is a popular destination for hikers, climbers, and cyclists who take advantage of the stunning scenery and challenging terrain. But there’s plenty to keep visitors busy even if they’re not looking to get active; the town has numerous churches, palaces and gardens, and a vibrant nightlife scene.

The first thing anyone visiting Riva del Garda should do is take a walk along the lakeside promenade. The scenery overlooking the Lake is simply peerless, and there are many bars and restaurants close to where you can stop for a bite to eat or drink. Once you’ve tired of the beach and boardwalk, head back to Riva del Garda’s main square to see what it offers.

Peschiera del Garda

Lake Garda, Peschiera the old Fortifications

Peschiera is a settlement in the province of Verona, Veneto, northeast Italy. It is on the southwestern shore of Lake Garda. It had a population of 11,231. The economy of this settlement is based on tourism and fishing.

What makes Peschiera del Garda so unique are the narrow streets and alleyways that wind their way down to the lakeside, where several restaurants and bars exist. From here you can enjoy some spectacular views of the Lake. 

Lake Garda, PeschieraPeschiera Del Garda Peschiera Del Garda Peschiera Del Garda Peschiera Del Garda

Peschiera del Garda also has a rich history dating back to Roman times. The town was once an important military stronghold and was used by Julius Caesar as a base for his campaigns in northern Italy. Peschiera del Garda is a popular tourist destination exploring this fascinating corner of Italy.

There is plenty to do in Peschiera del Garda, from hiking and biking to swimming and boating. The Peschiera town is also home to great restaurants and bars, perfect for enjoying an evening out. And don’t forget about the wine! Peschiera del Garda is in the heart of Italy’s wine region, so be sure to sample some local wines while you’re there.

Peschiera del Garda is also excellent for Boat Tours and water sports.

Desenzano del GardaHistorical sites, wine tastings, and lakeside charm.
SirmioneScaliger Castle, Roman Villa, and therapeutic springs.
Riva del GardaMedieval castle, outdoor activities, and vibrant nightlife.
Peschiera del GardaNarrow streets, Roman history, and boat tours.
SalòLakeside promenade, medieval castle, and local cuisine.
LaziseCharming old town, ancient churches, and wine tasting.
Gardone RivieraArt, culture, and historical landmarks.
Moniga del GardaStunning lakeside views, vineyards, and festivals.
Castelnuovo del GardaWell-preserved medieval castle and scenic views.
MalcesineBeautiful scenery, historic buildings, and relaxation.


Salo is a town in the province of Brescia, in the Lombardy region of Italy. It’s on the shores of Lake Garda in the western area. The city has a population of about 12,000 and is a popular tourist destination. Salo is known for its lakeside promenade, medieval castle, and many Italian restaurants and cafes where you can enjoy local specialties like Risotto alla Saloese. There are also several beaches in Salo, including Lido di Salò and Bagno Vignoni. The town is a popular tourist destination, especially in the summer months.

Salo is a charming town that’s perfect for a day trip. It has a lovely lakefront promenade where you can enjoy a stroll or take in the views of the Lake. In addition to its natural beauty, Salo is also home to some fascinating historical attractions, such as the Palazzo Della Podestà and the cathedral Santa Maria Annunziata.


Lazise is an enchanting lakeside town in Northern Italy that offers visitors a glimpse into traditional Italian culture. The city is situated on Lake Garda’s eastern shore and is surrounded by picturesque mountains and olive groves. Lazise’s old town has narrow streets, quaint shops, and historic churches. There are also several lovely piazzas where visitors can relax and enjoy the stunning views. Lazise is a great place to enjoy a relaxing holiday, and plenty of restaurants and bars serve delicious local cuisine. So you’ll have plenty of options for dining and one more thing, always remember the restaurant etiquette.  If you’re looking for a charming Italian town to explore, visit Lazise!

Lake Garda, Lazise, the Old Castle

There are many reasons why visitors should consider a trip to Lazise. The town is picturesque and offers stunning views. The historical center is well-preserved and charming, while the lakeside promenade is perfect for a relaxing stroll. In addition, there are plenty of things to do in Lazise, from visiting its ancient churches and fortresses to enjoying its vibrant nightlife. Also, in Lazise you should go wine tasting and olive oil tasting. Plus, with its convenient location close to Verona and other popular tourist destinations in northern Italy, Lazise makes an excellent base for exploring this part of the country.

Lazise del Garda

Gardone Riviera

Gardone Riviera is a small town in the province of Brescia, Lombardy, on the western shore of Lake Garda. It is located in the Alps’ foothills, with over 4,000 people. The town is a popular tourist destination with several hotels and restaurants. Mountains surround the city, and there are many beautiful lakeside villas. Gardone Riviera is known for its art, culture, and history. There are also several well-known restaurants in the town. The town is also home to some beautiful churches and historical buildings. And if you’re wondering what not to miss in Lake Garda, It’s the historical landmark, Vittoriale degli Italiani. The property was commissioned by Italian poet and writer Gabriele D’Annunzio and was completed in 1938. The Vittoriale degli Italiani features various buildings and structures, including D’Annunzio’s house, which is now a museum open to the public.

Moniga del Garda

Moniga del Garda is a small town with roughly 2,600 residents, located in the province of Brescia, in the Lombardy region of Italy. Moniga is situated on the banks of Lake Garda and is a popular tourist destination, thanks to its stunning lakeside views and charming medieval center. Moniga del Garda is also home to several wine producers, and visitors can take wine tours of the area’s vineyards.

Lake Garda, the Ferry Boat

Moniga del Garda offers many reasons for touring. The settlement is on the shores of Lake Garda, making it the perfect place to enjoy the stunning views of the water and the surrounding mountains. The city is also home to several vineyards, so wine lovers will be in for a treat. There are plenty of restaurants and cafés in Moniga del Garda., so you’ll never go hungry. And there’s always something to do in Moniga del Garda – from wine festivals to concerts, there’s something for everyone.

Castelnuovo del Garda

Castelnuovo del Garda is a town in the province of Verona, Veneto, Italy. It is located on the east coast of Lake Garda. As of 2017, Castelnuovo had a population of 13,284 and an area of 34.7 square kilometers (13.3 sq mi). It’s located near the foot of the hill, overlooking the valley. The village is known for its well-preserved medieval castle and magnificent views of Garda Lake and the surrounding Alps. Castelnuovo del Garda is a popular tourist destination and is well worth a visit if you are in the area.


Malcesine is a town in the province of Verona, Veneto, Italy. It has roughly 3,600 residents and is located on the eastern shore of Lake Garda. Monte Baldo bounds the city to the north and Monte Brione to the south. Malcesine is a popular tourist destination thanks to its natural setting and its links with the Lake.

Malcesine is a great place to visit for many reasons. One reason is that it has beautiful scenery. Malcesine is located on the shores of Lake Garda, with great views of the Lake and the surrounding mountains from almost anywhere in town. 

Another reason to visit Malcesine is its history. The settlement was founded in ancient times, with many historic buildings and monuments. 

A third reason to visit Malcesine is its location. It is just a short drive from Verona, one of Italy’s most beautiful and exciting cities. It is also close to other most-renowned European destinations, such as Venice and Milan.

Finally, Malcesine is a great place to relax.

Other attractive places

Gardaland Resort

A visit to Gardaland Resort is an unforgettable experience for the entire family. Gardaland Resort is one of the largest amusement parks in Italy, with more than thirty rides and attractions. Thrill seekers will love the heart-pounding roller coasters, while those looking for a more relaxing experience can enjoy the beautiful gardens and lakes surrounding the park. Plenty of shops and restaurants are on-site, making it easy to spend a whole day at Gardaland Resort.

CanevaWorld Resort

Lake Garda, Caneva Waterpark

The ideal all-inclusive resort if you’re looking for lots of fun activities is CanevaWorld Resort. This massive complex is a favorite of ours and home to a water park, amusement park, spa, and various restaurants and bars.

Caneva waterpark

There’s something for everyone at CanevaWorld Resort, so you’ll never find yourself bored. The on-site staff is also happy to help arrange excursions and activities off-site.

Movieland Studios

Lake Garda Movieland Park

If you’re looking for a place to film your next blockbuster, Movieland Studios in Lazise is the perfect location. With its scenic lake views and lush green landscape, the studio offers everything you need to create a movie masterpiece. Plus, with plenty of sound stages and backlots to choose from, you’ll have all the space you need to work on your project. And since there are restaurants and bars near our hotel, you can recharge and have a bite to eat when it’s time for a break. So if you’re looking for a picturesque location just minutes from downtown Verona, Movieland Studios in Lazise is the ideal choice.


In conclusion, Lake Garda is a beautiful and historically significant destination that offers something for everyone. Whether your visit is to relax or get action, there are countless tourist sites in this region of Italy. So what are you waiting for? Plan your trip to Lake Garda today!