Due to its location in northern Italy, Lake Garda is one of the closest Italian holiday destinations for Germany. This is the best way to reach its shores:
Arriving by car
Lake Garda is a classic destination for those arriving by car or motorbike. It goes without saying that you need longer to get there from Hamburg than from Munich .
Note : When planning your trip, remember that you need a vignette in Austria and Switzerland. It has to be stuck on your car before you drive across the border, otherwise it will be expensive. You can buy the vignette everywhere at the motorway service stations in Germany towards the border.
My tip : Buy them at the first rest stop that advertises them on the motorway. At the rest stops right at the borders, everyone buys their vignette at the last minute, so you may end up in a queue.
You can also buy the vignette online in advance from the ADAC. It will then be sent to you by post.
According to Recipesinthebox, the motorways in Italy are also subject to tolls. There you pay at the toll booths for the route you have just driven, you don’t have to worry about a vignette beforehand.
Check the oil level and tire pressure in your car before you drive off. After all, you have to cross the Alps.
Arrival by train
From Munich there is a direct train connection to Lake Garda several times a day. So if you live in Munich or you can get there easily, the train is a great thing.
If you are traveling to the north of Lake Garda, Rovereto is your destination station. For the southern half of the lake, Verona is the better train station.
Buses to Riva del Garda, Arco, Torbole, Malcesine and Limone stop right in front of Rovereto train station. The tickets are really cheap, they cost between 2 and 5 euros.
From Verona Porta Nuova train station you can take regular buses to the places in the south of Lake Garda. You can even book your bus ticket to Garda, Peschiera, Sirmione and Desenzano. Simply enter the place on Lake Garda where you would like to go as the travel destination.
Unfortunately, this does not apply to all places. If you can’t find your holiday destination by train, book your ticket only to Verona Porta Nuova and get on the bus there. You can get everywhere with the regular buses.
Of course, a taxi is more convenient. The route from Verona to Lazise, for example, only costs 30 to 40 euros.
Arriving by plane
The closest airport to Lake Garda is Verona Villafranca. There are direct flights from Frankfurt, Cologne-Bonn and Munich, from all other German cities you can get to Verona with one change.
If you use public transport, you must first go to Verona Porta Nuova train station. From there you have many options to get to various places on Lake Garda by bus.
Milan Bergamo Airport is about 100 kilometers south of Lake Garda. A Flixbus runs from the airport to Peschiera del Garda. Unfortunately, there are no other direct connections from the airport to the lake by public transport.
A taxi from Bergamo to Lake Garda, for example to Sirmione, costs around 120 euros.
A Flixbus also runs from Venice Marco Polo Airport, 160 kilometers away , to Peschiera del Garda. A taxi from Venice to Lake Garda costs around 200 euros.
The best thing to do is to start a flight search with Skyscanner and see where you can get to. If at all possible, try to fly to Verona. It’s much easier to get to the lake from there than from Bergamo or Venice.
To pay money
You can easily pay by card in the larger restaurants, hotels and supermarkets. This is not always possible in some smaller shops or in pizza stands. You shouldn’t go cashless on Lake Garda.
ATMs are a dime a dozen. You can withdraw money with an EC card as well as with major credit cards. Depending on the bank, fees of up to 10 euros may apply. It is best to find out more from your bank before you travel.
In many Italian restaurants, the word “Coperto” appears on the bill. This is a service surcharge charged per guest, whether you’re drinking an espresso or eating a three-course meal. How high this fee is is usually written in small letters on the menu card on the first or last page.
However, a coperto should not be confused with a tip!
The surcharge goes into the restaurant register, not your waiter. A tip of 5 to 10 percent is customary for the waiter.
At Lake Garda, the employees are quite used to the “make twenty” customary in Germany. But you can also take your change first and then leave what you want to give as a tip on the table when you leave.
For an overview of the costs you have to reckon with at Lake Garda, here are the common prices for you:
Hotel room: from 80 euros per night
Better hotel: from 120 euros per night
Pizza in the restaurant: 8 to 18 euros
Main course in the restaurant: 10 to 20 euros
Piece of pizza at the booth: 3 euros
Espresso at the counter: 1 euro
cappuccino at the table: 4 euros
0.4 liters of beer in a bar: 4 to 5 euros
Bottle of water in a kiosk: 1 euro
Castles or museums: 3 to 10 euros
Amusement parks: 18 to 40 euros