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Wondering where to stay in Lake Garda on your next trip to Italy? The country’s largest lake is situated in Northern Italy, about halfway between Venice and Milan. The lake is lined with various quaint towns, each offering unique attractions and excellent accommodation options.
Boasting breathtaking architecture, crystal clear waters, and a mountainous backdrop, it’s no surprise that Lake Garda is one of the most popular yearly vacation spots for Europeans. This means you’ll need to secure your Lake Garda hotel well in advance.
To save you some time, this guide includes a breakdown of the different regions in Lake Garda and offers hand-picked accommodation options for each town. Whether seeking an authentic B&B in Limone sul Garda or a luxurious waterfront hotel in Sirmione, you’re sure to find your ideal option below.
Where to Stay on Southern Lake Garda
The southern shore of Lake Garda offers plenty of exciting sights and activities. You can access Southern Lake Garda via the Verona to Milan train line, getting off at Desenzano del Garda-Sirmione railway station.
This end of the lake boasts landmarks like the 13th-century Rocca Scaligera fortress in Sirmione and the mosaic-covered remains of a Roman-era villa in Desenzano del Garda. This area is also home to stunning lakeside beaches and various fun waterparks and resorts — perfect for those traveling with kids.
Here’s a closer look at some of the best Lake Garda towns to stay in on the lake’s southern end.
Boasting thermal baths and a stunning castle perched on a scenic peninsula with breathtaking beaches, Sirmione is one of the most popular and busiest towns on the lake. So it’s not the best option if you’re seeking a peaceful stay. Due to the town’s popularity, hotels in Sirmione may also be more costly, so it’s not ideal for budget stays.
Sirmione makes for a great base if you plan on exploring other towns, as it’s well-connected to ferry and bus services.
Explore the ruins of a Roman villa, Grotte di Catullo, on the peninsula before making your way to Jamaica Beach for some downtime in the sun. Stop by the nearby Church of San Pietro in Mavino to admire the frescoes in a tranquil space.
The Aquaria Thermal Spa offers indoor and outdoor thermal baths that overlook the lake and are perfect for unwinding after long days of exploring. The highlight of Sirmione is, of course, its picture-perfect Scaliger Castle near the quaint old town. The fortress is surrounded by water and boasts breathtaking lake views.
Luxury – Crocus Apartments
With natural stone walls, high beamed ceilings, and minimalist modern decor, these apartments near the Scaliger Castle offer exquisite luxury and convenience. Set in the historic center, these apartments are perfectly placed near all of Sirmione’s top attractions. The harbor is also nearby, so you can easily hop on a ferry to explore beyond the peninsula >> Check Rates and Availability.
Mid-Range – Hotel Casa Scaligeri
This elegant hotel in Sirmione’s historic center features elegant interiors with a neutral palette. Enjoy a complimentary breakfast before heading to the harbor, beach, or other nearby sights, all within walking distance >> Check Rates and Availability.
Budget – Hotel Meridiana
Hotel Meridiana offers homely rooms with charming balconies, so you can enjoy the fresh air while savoring your morning caffè. Fuel up with the complimentary breakfast before making your way to nearby sights like the Grotte di Catullo and Jamaica Beach >> Check Rates and Availability.
Desenzano del Garda
Desenzano del Garda is a convenient place to stay if you’re visiting Lake Garda without a car. This pretty lakefront town sits on the Milan-Venice train line and is well-connected with ferry services, so you can easily explore the rest of the lake’s towns.
Desenzano is one of the larger towns and can be quite busy, so it may not be ideal if you’re seeking a more peaceful area. That said, Desenzano offers a variety of accommodation options to suit every budget, and the town has plenty of wonderful restaurants and cafés.
Take a dip in the waters and soak up the sun at Spiaggia Desenzanino or Margy Beach. Admire the intricate mosaic work at the ancient remains of Villa Romana di Desenzano del Garda. Or head to the hilltop Castello di Desenzano del Garda for panoramic vistas of the town. Stroll the pretty promenade around sunset and settle down at a lakeside bar for a sundowner with a view.
There’s also a weekly market near the old port. Every Tuesday morning, vendors set up rows of stalls offering everything from fresh local produce to clothing, shoes, and gifts along the promenade. Some stalls even offer freshly prepared local dishes.
Luxury – Antica Dimora Desenzano
Offering old-world charm and opulence, Antica Dimora sits in the heart of the town, near Porto Vecchio. Expect glistening chandeliers, standalone bathtubs, and antique decor with gold accents. This hotel offers a complimentary buffet breakfast but is also perfectly located near bustling squares with various restaurants and cafés >> Check Rates and Availability.
Mid-Range – Castello Belvedere Apartments
Boasting traditional interiors and sprawling views of the lake and surrounding mountainscape, these apartments offer a tranquil stay a bit further from the town center. Soak up the sun in the large swimming pool on the terrace, enjoy coffee on your balcony, or head to town to explore its winding streets. It’s the perfect option for larger groups and family getaways >> Check Rates and Availability.
Budget – South Garda Suites
Situated just a 15-minute walk from Porto di Desenzano, these budget-friendly South Garda Suites offer the perfect base for exploring Desenzano and beyond. Rooms are simple and bright, decorated in pastel colors and featuring large windows. Some suites even have cute balconies >> Check Rates and Availability.
Situated on the southeastern shore of Lake Garda, Lazise is a picture-perfect town with a beautifully preserved historic center and a quaint harbor. The medieval Castle of Lazise is one of the most notable landmarks, along with the city walls.
Be sure to stop by the historic center to admire the checkerboard pattern on Piazza Vittorio Emanuele. A weekly market is held here every Wednesday morning. The lakeside promenade is also a lovely space for a sunset stroll or some people-watching.
Besides the historic attractions and unique piazza, Lazise also offers the opportunity to enjoy various water-based activities. Soak up the sun on one of the town’s pretty beaches, or rent a boat for a day on the lake.
Lazise is close to some of the most exciting water and amusement parks, including Movieland Studios and Gardaland Resort, which boasts an aquarium, a waterpark, and amusement rides. The harbor is also well-served by ferries, so you can easily visit other towns.
While in Lazise, be sure to sample some Bardolino DOC, a local light red wine named after the nearby town of Bardolino.
Luxury – Quellenhof Luxury Resort Lazise
One of the best resorts in Lake Garda can be found a bit further out from the town of Lazise. Quellenhof Luxury Resort Lazise offers 5-star accommodation, exquisite architecture, and comforts like an on-site spa and rooftop restaurant. Breakfast and dinner are included, while Lazise’s various restaurants are only about a five-minute drive away >> Check Rates and Availability.
Mid-Range – Hotel Relais Agli Olivi
Hotel Relais Agli Olivi is about a ten-minute walk from the Lazise promenade and offers comfortable rooms, a large pool, and a fitness center. Enjoy your complimentary buffet breakfast before setting out on a free rental bike to explore the surroundings >>Check Rates and Availability.
Budget – Hotel Giulietta Romeo
This 3-star hotel is near the Scaliger Castle of Lazise and offers comfy, bright, and modern rooms. Cool down in the outdoor swimming pool, lounge in the sun in the sprawling garden, or take a short walk to Lazise’s town center to explore its sights. The hotel offers complimentary breakfast and a snack bar, and all the rooms have a balcony >> Check Rates and Availability.
Where to Stay in Lake Garda: North Shores
The northern shores of Lake Garda are more mountainous, with the towering Italian Alps and Mount Baldo overlooking the charming towns. This spectacular area is popular among adventurers, as the north offers excellent conditions for water sports and access to the mountains.
The towns in this area boast all the Lake Garda classics, like charming markets, scenic promenades, and historic castles. However, you’ll also find more unique attractions, like the cable car in Malcesine and the fragrant lemon groves in Limone sul Garda.
Getting to the northern shores of Lake Garda is not as convenient as the southern shores, but still easy enough. You can try to get there by public transport, but this can be time-consuming and confusing as there are no direct options. The easiest way is to rent a car or arrange for a private transfer to Lake Garda’s northern shores.
The small town of Malcesine is located on the northeastern coast of Lake Garda. It boasts cobbled streets, cute cafés, and a cable car leading to the summit of the spectacular Monte Baldo.
Here, you’ll also find another imposing castle, the Scaliger Castle of Malcesine, which now hosts a collection of museums. You can even climb the castle’s tower, which stands over 100 feet tall and offers superb lake vistas.
This laid-back town is a great option if you’re looking for access to nature and plenty of fun water activities. There’s a variety of gear rental companies where you can rent kayaks and SUPs.
Malcesine is also a haven for cyclists, with dedicated bike lanes along the lake. If you’re looking for more adventure, try tandem paragliding or hiking up Mount Baldo.
Malcesine makes for a great base to get to other towns on the northern shores. Simply hop on a ferry or a private boat. A potential downside to staying in Malcesine is that some accommodation options, like agriturismi, may be further out from the city center. This can be limiting if you don’t have a rental car.
Luxury – Wellness Hotel Casa Barca
Enjoy modern and minimalist spaces in a hotel set among olive groves a short distance from Malcesine’s bustling center. Hotel Casa Barca offers spacious balconies with views of Lake Garda and a spectacular pool. You can always unwind in the wellness spa after enjoying your delicious complimentary breakfast >> Check Rates and Availability.
Mid-Range – Hotel Vega
Hotel Vega is right on the water and offers a swimming pool and private beach. Rooms are spacious and airy, with comfortable beds and lovely balconies offering both lake and mountain views. Enjoy your free breakfast on the lakeside terrace or take a 5-minute stroll to Malcesine’s port to hop on a ferry >> Check Rates and Availability.
Budget – Agriturismo San Maggiore
This homely agriturismo is about a 15-minute drive from Malcesine’s harbor. Enjoy a tranquil stay among green lawns while soaking up the views of the lake and towering mountains in the distance. This agriturismo offers a lovely complimentary breakfast, which you can enjoy on the quaint terrace overlooking the lake. Pets are also welcome on request >> Check Rates and Availability.
Riva del Garda
Riva del Garda is the northernmost town on Lake Garda. The town features colorful palazzi, a scenic promenade, and medieval towers.
Because of its size, the town feels less crowded than the popular Sirmione, making it a good alternative if you’d like to avoid the tourist crowds. Ferries and private boats regularly depart from Riva del Garda. However, you can expect longer journeys to get to the southern lake towns, as Riva del Garda is all the way in the north.
Visit Piazza III Novembre to admire the vibrant facades of the palazzi lining the square. You’ll also spot the 13th-century Torre Apponale, a medieval clock tower that you can climb for panoramic views.
The 12th-century Rocca di Riva today houses the MAG – Museo Alto Garda. This museum features historic artifacts of Lake Garda and artistic works by 19th-century painters. While there, climb to the top of the Mastio, the main tower of the medieval fortress, for lovely lake and town views.
For even better views, take the Bastione funicular to the remains of a Venetian Bastion. From there, enjoy unmatched views of Riva del Garda. You can also stop by the Bastione Lounge and Restaurant to savor a drink along with the view.
Luxury – Du Lac Et Du Parc Grand Resort
As one of the best Lake Garda resorts, Du Lac Et Du Parc Grand Resort offers all the comforts you’ll need for a relaxing stay in Riva del Garda. Stroll through the expansive manicured gardens, unwind in the on-site spa, or take in the views of the surrounding mountain peaks from the outdoor pool. The resort also offers bike rentals and an on-site restaurant serving regional cuisine >> Check Rates and Availability.
Mid-Range – Hotel Luise
Offering vibrant and contemporary interiors, Hotel Luise offers a comfortable stay a short walk from the town center and its various exciting bars and restaurants. You can also enjoy Trentino-inspired dishes at the on-site Millelire restaurant.
The hotel offers an on-site pool, but Spiaggia Riva del Garda and the grassy Spiaggia Sabbioni are less than a 10-minute walk away. There are also bike rentals available, so you can explore the rest of the beautiful landscape >> Check Rates and Availability.
Budget – Albergo Garnì Villa Moretti
This family-run bed and breakfast features homely and bright interiors, with plenty of light streaming into the rooms. Take a dip in the pool or soak in the sunshine on the garden terrace while enjoying your free breakfast. The historic town center of Riva del Garda is just a 10-minute drive away. So the bustling atmosphere of Riva del Garda is never far away >> Check Rates and Availability.
Limone sul Garda
As the name suggests, Limone sul Garda is known for its lemon and citrus groves — you’ll even find road signs decorated with lemons. It’s one of the prettiest Lake Garda towns and sits on the northwestern side of the lake, about a 15-minute drive from Riva del Garda.
Limone sul Garda has a more relaxed and charming feel, with lakeside promenades, beautiful restaurants and cafés, and a lovely cycling path. There are also fantastic hiking trails that start in Limone sul Garda, allowing you to explore the beautiful mountainous landscape.
Head to Limonaia del Castel to learn about the area’s lemon and citrus cultivation techniques and history. You’ll also love a stop at the Museo dei Pescatori to learn about the fishing practices of this picturesque village.
Limone sul Garda also boasts the delightful San Giovanni Stream and a scenic path that follows along it. For a refreshing dip, stop by the pebbled Spiaggia Cola near the museum.
You can access the rest of the lake by ferry or private boat. There are also bike rental companies if you’d like to cycle to nearby towns instead. You’ll love the views along the idyllic Ciclo Pedonale Limone (cycling path).
Luxury – EALA My Lakeside Dream
This exquisite 5-star hotel offers top-notch amenities on Lake Garda’s shore. The minimalist rooms are contemporary and spacious, with large balconies overlooking the lake. Unwind at the spa, take a dip in the lake or infinity pool, or follow the lakeside promenade to the center of Limone sul Garda. The hotel also offers complimentary shuttle rides to town for added convenience >> Check Rates and Availability.
Mid-Range – Casa L’Andrunèl
You’ll feel right at home at the charming Casa L’Andrunèl. Set in a historic building, this spot is steps from the Limone sul Garda promenade and all the exciting sights this town has in store for you. Each apartment boasts a well-equipped kitchen, and the hotel even provides grocery deliveries. Above that, you get complimentary toiletries and a free breakfast >> Check Rates and Availability.
Budget – Albergo Ristorante Montebaldo
This postcard-worthy accommodation features traditional interiors with natural stone walls. The restaurant offers exquisite food and panoramic views of the lake. There’s also a lovely gelateria nearby, as well as many other lakeside eateries. Porto Vecchio is steps away from the hotel, so you can easily hop on a boat to other parts of the lake >> Check Rates and Availability.
Best Places to Stay in Lake Garda – FAQ
Still have some questions while planning your Lake Garda trip? Below are the answers to some frequently asked questions.
Where Is the Best Place To Base Yourself in Lake Garda?
The best place to base yourself in Lake Garda will depend on your preference. Opt to stay in one of the towns on the northern shores if you’re keen on exploring the more rugged landscape through cycling, hiking, or watersports. Stay on the southern shores if you’re looking for some of the best beaches, markets, and amusement parks.
How Many Days Is Enough in Lake Garda?
Lake Garda has so much to see and explore that you’ll need to stay there for at least two to three days. To enjoy the lake at a more leisurely pace, a week may be more ideal.
What Is the Prettiest Town on Lake Garda?
Limone del Garda is one of the prettiest towns on Lake Garda, with its citrus groves, colorful buildings, and decorated street signs. Sirmione is also a popular choice due to its beautiful castle and stunning beaches on the peninsula. However, each of Lake Garda’s towns has its own beauty and allure.
Where to Stay on Lake Garda – Wrapped Up
As you can tell, Lake Garda has a variety of charming towns with unique tourist attractions and photo-worthy sights. It’s a wonderland for adventurers who enjoy hiking, biking, and water sports. And many hotels offer the perfect location to simply step outside and immerse yourself in the lake’s natural beauty.
But Lake Garda is also perfect for a tranquil getaway, offering semi-remote hotels and resorts with all the amenities and comforts to ensure a peaceful stay.
With its serene appeal and beautiful towns, Lake Garda is the ideal place for a couple’s getaway. If you’re looking for more lovely destinations to visit with your significant other, have a look at these most romantic places in Italy.