Hi guys! My name is Fabio and welcome to my guide on the best things to do in Sirmione – a stunning commune on the banks of Lake Garda in Northern Italy. I live in Bergamo and travel with my boyfriend. We have different ways of travelling and tend to compliment each other.
Not only do I have a passion for travelling the world but I also love exploring my home country. One place that I have visited many times – which is not far from my home – is Sirmione. Lake Garda is beautiful and often (during the summer) I rent a boat and admire Sirmione from this perspective.
Half a day is enough time to explore this village but two days would be ideal. I like to spend my time by buying an ice cream and walking around the alleyways, admiring the views of Lake Garda and browsing through the local craft shops. It’s a fantastic place to visit in the summer.
My favourite place here is Scaligero Castle. This castle is the most charming building in the village. You can see it from every direction. There are many spots to photograph its beauty but my favourite would have to be from a boat on the lake! This is where I took my best photo of Sirmione.
Every time I look at that photo, it reminds me of those wonderful summer days spent on the lake and getting lost in the village. There is more to the village than just the castle though – so below I would like to outline some of the best things to see and do in Sirmione, even if just for the day.
Top 5 Things To Do in Sirmione
1. Admire the Beauty of Scaligero Castle
During the 14th century, the powerful Scaligeri family governed Sirmione and built this incredible castle known today as Scaligero Castle. The castle was used as both a defensive fortress and small port with its docks serving several purposes. It’s a fantastic place to explore and take photos of.
2. Stroll around the Quaint Streets of Sirmione
Wandering through Sirmione in search of the most characteristic corners is an experience in itself. This village is regarded as the prettiest village of Lake Garda and it’s hard to argue with that statement after visiting. Stroll around without a plan and see what you discover.
3. Visit the Archaeological Site of Grotte di Catullo
Discover the extraordinary remains of an ancient Roman village at Grotte di Catullo. This archaeological site is located at the northern tip of Sirmione and offers visitors stone arches, crumbling walls and remnants of old buildings. Wander around the ruins and take in the serene views of the sea.
4. Take a Dip in the Lake at Jamaica Beach
Cool off in the waters of Lake Garda on a warm summer’s day at Jamaica Beach. Bathe in the beautiful Lake Garda and marvel at the historic ruins which are located near the beach. The water is clean, clear and refreshing. Not only can you go for a swim but you can also enjoy an aperitif at the bar.
5. Spend a Few Hours at Aquaria Thermal SPA
The Aquaria Thermal Spa is an oasis of wellness immersed in a large park. If you visit Sirmione for a full day or more then this experience is a must-do! Enjoy the warm thermal waters, relax in the steam rooms under intense heat and get pampered with personalised treatments.
Tips for your Visit to Sirmione
If you arrive at Sirmione by car then there are numerous parking spots available before the drawbridge. The closer you get to the village, the more the hourly rate increases for parking. I recommend parking further away and taking a nice walk along the promenade that runs along Lake Garda.
Sirmione is indeed a beautiful village but it can get busy during summer and on the weekends in general. To counter this, I suggest visiting from Monday to Friday to better experience the real spirit of Sirmione. Even during summer this will give you a more relaxed atmosphere.
If you are planning on staying overnight, I recommend choosing a hotel inside the village. However, prices can be expensive in the village. You can always choose a place a bit more further out on the road leading to the drawbridge to save yourself some money if you are visiting on a budget.
As mentioned above, Sirmione gets busy during summer and on the weekends. Therefore, it can be difficult to meet the locals in a natural way. The locals I met over the years have always been lovely and hospitable. Visit when it’s less busy to get more opportunities to meet the locals.
Make sure you try the ice cream in summer (not a hard task as there are many great ice cream shops) and the seafood all year round. In my opinion, the fish from Lake Garda is much tastier than the fish from the sea. All you need to do is stroll around those typical streets to find good restaurants.
Lastly, I would like to leave you with my favourite memory. The best experience I had was walking past the village along the lake and reaching the promontory. The view across the lake was spectacular! Plus, Jamaica Beach is right there. I took a Spritz at sunset and enjoyed a great moment.