Lake Garda is one of the most beautiful lakes in Italy surrounded by charming towns and stunning landscapes. What to do in Sirmione Italy? Fair question, since Sirmione is not one of the most famous destinations in Italy, but it’s catching up quickly as people discover its charm. See what are the best things to do in Sirmione Italy, and learn about the Sirmione castle, beaches, where to eat, and much more! Here come the 5 top things to do in Sirmione Lake Garda!
What to do in Sirmione Italy? – 5 Top things to do in Sirmione
When you’re asking what to do in Sirmione Lake Garda, first of all, we must say that this area is perfect for those who are seeking relaxing trips in Italy. The lake itself is just magical, with many charming towns around Lake Garda, and many things that you could do in Sirmione Italy. You can visit the old town along with the Sirmione castle, but also you’ve got so many other top things to do in Sirmione Italy that you will surely not get bored!
If you’ve been wondering about what to do in Sirmione Italy, think about anything from sightseeing, relaxing, pool, beaches, hiking, boating, paddleboards, food, and even an amusement park is close by! Above all, the town of Sirmione is definitely one of the most beautiful little towns we’ve ever seen! So we are pretty sure you won’t be disappointed when you visit! Before we get into it, make sure you check the best hotels at Lake Garda too!
Why is Sirmione Italy so special?
People ask me, why is Sirmione so special? Is Sirmione worth visiting? What to do in Sirmione Italy? What are the best things to do in Sirmione? Well, my friend who accompanied me on my last visit to Sirmione in the summer of 2021 said this town is the perfection itself. Like everything was designed and made to be just completely, undeniably perfect, and beautiful. And that’s the truth about Sirmione Lake Garda. It’s just perfect.
Imagine the colorful buildings that are really organized, renovated, beautiful, and the streets are clean and charming. All over the town, you see buildings covered in flowers, Leander trees and bushes all along the way, with palm trees here and there. The flora in the town is just fabulous! Then, there are the lovely roads with flowers and flowery trees on both sides, the incredible view over the Lake Garda, and the Italian Alps in the background.
Even the water is just so clear and beautiful, that you wish to just jump in even with clothes. So if you’re wondering about the top things to do in Sirmione Italy, you’ll soon discover them, and I’m sure you won’t be able to resist booking your next holiday at Lake Garda!
How to get there, and best time to visit Sirmione Italy?
Let’s start at the beginning. How to get to Sirmione Lake Garda? Before going any further though, I’d like to mention that even if you don’t want to spend more days here, you can always plan a day trip from Milan to Lake Garda and visit Sirmione just for a quick stop by! However, if you want to discover the best things to do in Sirmione Italy, I do suggest at least two days here!
From Milan, Verona, or Venice you can easily reach Sirmione by train. The tickets are around 5-7 euro from each of these cities, and from Milan and Venice, you can arrive within 1.5 hours, while from Verona is about 10 minutes. Trains stop at Desenzano (Sirmione) and Peschiera del Garda. Now, from here you can either take the local bus, which is the cheapest option, either a taxi.
Alternatively, you can also rent a car, or a scooter, which makes moving around much easier! There are also some hotels, like Hotel Riel that offer city bikes for personal use without any extra fee! Since Sirmione has bike roads, this is one of the most beautiful options to wander in the town. It is truly beautiful to pedal along with the flowers and stunning trees. This is definitely one of the top things to do in Sirmione Italy if you like cycling!
What to do in Sirmione Lake Garda? Top things to do in Sirmione Italy
So what to do in Sirmione Italy? You must know that the old town is on a small peninsula leaning out from the south shore of Lake Garda. Sirmione itself consists of the old town, the neighborhood of Colombare and it goes all the way on the south shore of the lake to the east for about 4 km. Every time I stayed in Sirmione I’ve been staying at a hotel that’s far from the old town, since on the south shore are most of the large beaches, so I preferred to stay nearby. For this, my last stay was at Hotel Riel, which I fall in love with, honestly. Now here comes the 5 top things to do in Sirmione Lake Garda!
1. Explore the old town and the Scaligero Castle
The famous Sirmione castle, the Scaligero Castle is one of the most well-preserved castles in Italy that’s also a great example of the Middle Ages architecture and port fortification. So my highlight for the top things to do in Sirmione Italy is first to visit the Sirmione Castle, Scaligero Castle. Sirmione in the 14th century was ruled by the Scaligeri family, the ruler family of Verona.
They were the ones who have ordered the construction of this fortification on the end of this narrow peninsula of Sirmione Italy. Over the 15th century, while this area was governed by the state of Venice, the fortress was enlarged and it got a defensive role, while it was also serving as a fortress of protection for the Venetian nobles. Scaligero had also a dock which is again surrounded by towers, so it could be protected easily.
Until the 16th century, Sirmione was an important military center. Over the following centuries, the Scaligero Castle was used as an armory, as jail, and military barracks. After Italy’s unification, the local police and municipality had their base in the fortress. Today it serves as a museum that can be visited by anyone! Scaligero Castle, the Sirmione castle is definitely a must-visit if you’ve been asking what to do in Sirmione Lake Garda!
2. Wandering around in the old town of Sirmione
What to do in Sirmione Italy is still the question? One of the best things to do in Sirmione is wandering the old town. Narrow streets from the Middle Ages, colorful houses, cute piazzas, and spectacular views! That’s what you’re going to see once you head to explore the old town of Sirmione Italy.
When you enter the old town near Sirmione castle, you’ll find yourself in the main piazza. From here, you can go in any direction, since the town is very small, and it doesn’t take much time to explore it all. The piazzas are hosting many restaurants, bars, and cafes to stop by. You’ll discover some stunning buildings covered in flowers, while also old charming streets from different centuries.
You can hike to the top of the peninsula to enjoy the views on the lake from under Olive trees and arches of oleander trees, as well as you can buy yourself the biggest Gelato ever! In Sirmione, in the Cremeria or Gelateria, they are selling these giant gelatos that it’s almost impossible to eat. If you want a proper Italian gelato overdose, to go get one!
You can also explore medieval churches all along with the town such as the Church of San Pietro in Mavino, or Church Santa Maria della Neve, or the Chiesa di Sant’Anna della Rocca. Another amazing highlight for the historic center is that from each side (since it’s a peninsula) you can gain a spectacular view over Lake Garda. Do you want to find out more about what to do in Sirmione Lake Garda?
3. Beaches in Sirmione
Okay, so when it comes to beaches in Sirmione Lake Garda, you must know one thing! Right inside the old town, you can’t really find beaches, and having a beach day at Lake Garda is definitely one of the top things to do in Sirmione! In the old town, you can visit Spiaggia delle Bionde if you’re staying in that area. Then, coming back to Colombare from the old town, you can explore the beaches of Spiaggia delle Muse, Spiaggia Brema, and Lido Galeazzi.
One of the best things to do in Sirmione Italy is definitely to swim in the lake. As I have already mentioned, the water is clear, and it has this stunning blue color, while it’s also warm! If you’re staying on the south shore of Lake Garda, outside the peninsula, you must definitely go to Lido di Lugana, Lugana Marina, and Punta Gro. I’ve been three times to Sirmione in 2020 and 2021, from which two times I spent a day at Lido di Lugana. It was super close to my accommodation, it’s not crowded, and there are bars and restaurants to eat and drink during the day.
If you need more tips for what to do in Sirmione Lake Garda, while you’re doing a beach day, maybe consider renting a boat, or going on an organized boat trip. You can also rent paddleboards, and other water toys you might enjoy!
4. Grotte di Catullo
Grottal di Catullo is an archeological park you can visit, that’s definitely one of the top things to do in Sirmione Lake Garda. Inside the archaeological park, within a vast olive grove, you can find the remains of the large Roman Villa called Grotta di Catullo. The building dates back to the 1st century B.C. and the beginning of the 1st century A.D. that also offers an incredible panorama.
Grotta di Catullo is one of the greatest examples of a high-class residence in the whole of Northern Italy. Inside the park, you can also visit the museum where you can explore some objects brought to light during the excavation of the villa. In each case, if you’re asking what to do in Sirmione Italy, the Grotta di Catullo is a must!
5. Where to eat in Sirmione?
My Italian friends are going crazy about this place, since every time we speak about pizza, I say out loud that the best pizza is at Al Cavallo! If you’re looking for the best places to eat in Sirmione Italy, and you’re nearby Lido di Lugana beach that I just mentioned, you must definitely stop by at Al Cavallo restaurant! It’s a really nice restaurant just outside the peninsula, on the south shore of Lake Garda.
I’d say that the prices are absolutely fabulous, and on top of that this place stole my heart since I’ve had my second best pizza ever here. The best pizza I ever had was in Sorrento, but Al Cavallo is keeping second place continuously. I never tried blue cheese, Gorgonzola on pizza before, and once I did the first time at this place in 2020, I fall in love with it. Since I’ve had pizza all around Italy, and in 2021 I returned two times to Al Cavallo, and I still say that this is one of my favorite pizza places in Italy! If you want to try the one I fall in love with, ask for the Pizza Forte! It’s made with tomato sauce, Mozzarella, Gorgonzola, spicy salami, and onions. The harmony between the tastes is just incredible! So all in all, one of the best things to do in Sirmione Lake Garda is definitely to EAT!
Day trips from Sirmione Italy
If you want more ideas for the top things to do in Sirmione Italy, and I am still not satisfied completely with your question about what to do in Sirmione Lake Garda, then here are some more ideas! If you want to just leave the town behind, you can plan a visit to the two neighboring towns, Desenzano and Peschiera del Garda. You cal also plan a boat trip on Lake Garda or visit the Gardaland Amusement park. In case you’re visiting the area during the cold months, you must definitely consider visiting the Terme di Sirmione spas and thermal baths. Moreover, for summertime those who love outdoor activities, you can do cycling tours, go hiking in the neighboring mountains or do rock climbing and via Ferratas. One of the most beautiful via Ferrata near Lake Garda is the Cima Capi. A moderate route, but take enough water with you!
Wrapping the top things to do in Sirmione Italy – what to do in Sirmione Lake Garda
So, as you can see, I’m all about Sirmione, and I did decide to visit the town for 2 days every single year from now on. It’s my happy place where I just get enchanted by all the beauty, perfection, flowers, and great pizzaaaa! You’ve seen some highlights now from the best things to do in Sirmione Lake Garda, such as the Sirmione castle, the old town, beaches and so. I hope that you’ve got all the answers you needed for your questions about what to do in Sirmione Italy and once you visit, you will fall in love with this place just as I did!