Malcesine Castle is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Malcesine and throughout the whole of Lake Garda.
Visiting the castle is a great activity for all ages, and is perfect if you are visiting Lake Garda with your kids as they will love exploring the castle.
Here’s everything you need to know about it.
Not only is the castle great to look at (especially from the lake), but you can also enter and explore the castle, along with climbing all the way to the top of the tower to see some stunning views of Malcesine & Lake Garda.
The History Of Malcesine Castle
There are numerous theories as to when the castle was originally built, with some sources saying it was built in the last centuries of the first millennium B.C.
The castle has been destroyed and built back up a number of times throughout history, as it changed ownership thanks to numerous battles and invasions (most notably from Venice and Verona).
The castle that stands today is from the 13th and 14th centuries when the Della Scalla family ruled the region of Verona. This is why the castle is officially called the Castello Scaligero (similar to the castle in Sirmione, which was also built up again by the Della Scalla family).
The castle was an excellent lookout point for invaders coming from the north of the east, thanks to its location on the hill overlooking Lake Garda.
More recently, when the Austrians ruled parts of this region (which ended in 1866), they used the castle as a military garrison.
It has been considered a national monument for Italy since 1902 and today contains a museum on the history of Lake Garda and Monte Baldo.
Opening Times & Entry Prices
The castle is open from April to the end of October, with opening times of 09:30 am – 18:30 pm and then 09:30 – 19:30 pm in peak times (1st May – 2nd October).
The entry prices to the castle are as followed:
Over 65s & 14-18-year-olds: €5
6-13 year-olds: €3
0-5 year-olds: Free
Hotels Near Malcesine Castle
Hotel Castello Lake Front
As the name suggests, this hotel is right by the castle and is right on the shores of Lake Garda.
It’s a 5-minute walk into the center of Malcesine, and the hotel also offers free parking for hotel guests (which is a big plus as parking in Malcesine can be difficult).
Whilst there is no swimming pool, there is a grass area at the back of the hotel with sun loungers and great views of Lake Garda. Some rooms also have a private terrace area with sun loungers and hot tubs.
Ambienthotel Luna Rossa
The Ambienthotel Luna Rossa is right next to the castle and is pretty much in central Malcesine too, so if you’re looking to be in the heart of Malcesine and be close to the castle then this hotel is a great option.
There is an outdoor swimming pool (complete with hot tub) and free parking is available, along with free wi-fi and air conditioning.
Parking Near Malcesine Castle
The closest car park to the castle is the central parking in Malcesine, called ‘Parcheggio Statuto’. It costs €2 per hour, and there is plenty of parking which is shaded – which can come in handy on a hot day.
It often fills up very quickly – especially in peak season. We would recommend getting to Malcesine early if you want to park here.
Please note, this car park is not open on Saturday due to the weekly Malcesine market.
There are other parking options in Malcesine, and as Malcesine is quite small, there’s no more than a 10-minute walk from the furthest car park to the castle.
Getting Married In Malcesine Castle
Many people get married in the Castle – and it’s not exactly hard to see why. You can get married inside the castle itself or on an outdoor terrace which has amazing views of the lake.
There are charges for use of the castle and you can only get married at certain times (as the castle is open to the public).
There are a number of forms you will need to make this possible
UK citizens: If you are from the UK, here are the forms you need.
US citizens: If you are from the US, here are the forms you need.
In summary, visiting Malcesine Castle is one of the best things to do in Malcesine.
You can learn about the castle’s history and Lake Garda’s history, plus you can take in some of the best views of Malcesine, Lake Garda and Monte Baldo.
We would definitely recommend paying the castle a visit if you are visiting Malcesine or Lake Garda.