Sirmione, on Lake Garda, is a popular stop for visitors of all ages. Step onto the peninsula and you’re sure to be entranced by its charming medieval streets, lakeside castle, Roman ruins, and gorgeous beaches.
As lovely as the town is, visiting Sirmione with kids can be challenging, so we’ve listed some tips below that will help make your day smooth, stress-free, fun, and memorable. Enjoy your visit to Sirmione!
For general information on the town, see our Guide to Visiting Sirmione!
When to Visit Sirmione With Kids
Avoid Weekends in the Summer
Sirmione isn’t off-the-beaten-path. This treasure on the lake has already been ‘discovered’ by Italians, Europeans, and others. You’ll find crowds daily in the high season (mid-June through September), but weekends are the busiest.
If you can, also avoid winter because one of the best things to do in Sirmione with kids is visiting one of its beaches!
Plan on Spending the Entire Day
The peninsula can get crowded and the distances are larger than they seem on the map. If you want to see all Sirmione has to offer, you’ll be doing quite a bit of walking. And, as you know, everything takes a little longer with children!
Sirmione is best seen at a relaxed pace, with time for stops at the playground, green spaces, and the beach!
What to See and Do in Sirmione With Kids
Get In or On the Water
While you’re on the peninsula, you’re surrounded by water. Your kids will love the chance to be in or on the water. Wade, swim, rent a pedal boat or go on a chartered boat for a great view of Scaliger Castle (Castello Scaligero).
If your kids like water, be sure to visit one of the area’s water parks – Caneva Acqua Park or LEGOLAND Water Park. Check out our post on Our Family’s Visit to LEGOLAND Water Park!
Visit Spiaggia Lido delle Bionde
There are a few beaches in Sirmione, and we think Lido delle Bionde is best if you’re visiting with kids. Why? It has:
- Shallow, calm, crystal-clear water
- Pebbly beach with some rocky slabs
- Little fish for kids to watch and chase
- Shady areas beachside and in the olive grove
- Benches and shade in the olive grove (perfect for breastfeeding)
- Public toilets (€0.50)
- Free beach area
- Rentals (beach umbrellas and chairs, kayaks and SUPs, pedal boats with slides)
- Stroller access (there is a steep paved 20-meter hill to walk down to get to the beach)
Good To Know: While Jamaica Beach (on the tip of the peninsula) is more well-known, its rock slabs can be slippery and dangerous for small children. Plus, it’s more difficult to access Jamaica beach with a stroller, there’s less shade, and there aren’t any pedal boat/kayak rentals.
Spend Time in a Playground or Park
Once you make your way through the narrow, cobbled streets of the old town, you’ll find a few green spaces for kids to play in, including:
- Parco Callas Arena
- Parco Tomelleri
- Children’s Playground
Climb Castello Scaligero (Scaliger Castle)
Castello Scaligero is one of our favorite Italian castles to visit with kids.
All ages will enjoy the climb up the lakefront fortress. You can even climb with a baby (in your arms or in a carrier) but watch your head on the last section – there are steep steps (they’re almost like a ladder).
If you have a child that’s scared of heights or not great on stairs, stop on the first level. You can walk around the top of the castle walls or even just stay in the first smaller tower and check out the views of the castle below and Lake Garda.
The castle is free for kids under 18.
Skip the Thermal Baths
While you can enter the baths with children over 2.5 years, the setting is quiet and calm, and you probably won’t feel quiet and calm trying to keep your children from running and playing. There are better thermal baths in Italy for kids (Tuscany).
Skip the Grotte di Catullo with Small Children
Yes, the ruins are interesting and in an incredible setting, but small children won’t have the patience for walking through them. Older kids and teens who have studied Roman history will find the area worth a visit.
Eating in Sirmione With Kids
Pack a Picnic Lunch
Sirmione has plenty of places to have a picnic, and it can be tough to enjoy a restaurant meal with little ones! Picnics are so much easier, and kids can play when they’re finished eating.
Buy your picnic supplies outside of Sirmione, as there aren’t any grocery stores in the old town. Or pick up a sandwich, chips, and a drink at a bar in town for your picnic.
Eat in a shady park or at the beach.
Helpful Tip: If you do decide to eat at a restaurant in Sirmione, bring copies of our Italian Coloring Pages to keep your kids entertained while waiting for the food to come.
Be Picky About Your Gelateria
Sirmione is full of gelaterie – but make sure you’re getting gelato artigianale – artisanal/homemade gelato. Vibrant colors and sky-high piles of gelato aren’t good indicators of quality.
Logistics for a Sirmione Visit With Kids
Bring your Stroller
Sirmione is stroller friendly and you’ll actually do quite a bit of walking.
Good To Know: Lake Garda is one of the most stroller-friendly areas in Italy.
Bring a Water Bottle
There are plenty of public water fountains scattered throughout Sirmione.
Use Benches for Changing Diapers
There are quite a few public toilets (some free, some paid with coins), but they don’t have changing tables. Luckily, Sirmione has benches everywhere (often in the shade), which work well for changing your baby.
Check out our post on Diapers in Italy – Brands, Sizing, and Where to Buy Them!
Arrive or Depart with the Public Ferry
This won’t be possible if you’re driving to Sirmione, but if you’re using public transportation, try to either arrive or depart town by the public ferry. It’s a great way to see the town from a different perspective and the ferry is large and stable.
Ferries depart and arrive in Sirmione at the dock in Piazza Carducci. Buy your tickets at the small booth set up at the end of the dock.
Good To Know: There aren’t many ferries, even in the high season, so make sure you check the schedule.
Good To Know: It’s hot waiting on the dock. If you have a ticket, you’ll be able to get on the ferry. Instead of standing in line, pass the time sitting in a café in the piazza with a cold drink (for kids) or Aperol Spritz (for mamma and papà)!
Map of Sirmione For a Visit With Kids
Check out some of our guides to Northern Italian destinations with kids:
Alpe di Siusi with Kids
Bologna with Kids
Bolzano with Kids
Dolomites with Kids
Milan with Kids
Ortisei with Kids
Sirmione (Lake Garda) with Kids
Venice with Kids