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Malcesine, Lake Garda (Our Complete Guide)

So, you’ve heard Malcesine is the perfect picturesque Italian town nestled on the shores of Lake Garda, with cobbled streets, a historical castle, amazing food & drink, all whilst sitting in the shadow of the Italian Alps, right?

And now you’re looking for more information.

Well, with this guide, we’ve got you covered. Here’s everything you need to know about Malcesine and more…

Malcesine, Lake Garda – Our Complete Guide

How To Pronounce Malcesine

Malcesine can be tricky to say, and the first thing you need to know when you’re going somewhere is how to say it.

Pronunciation: mal-cheh-suh-nay

Where Is Malcesine?

Malcesine is situated on the northeastern shores of Lake Garda. Whilst Lake Garda is split across three regions, Malcesine is located in the region of Veneto.

Getting To Malcesine

[jump to Things To Do In Malcesine]

Cobbled street in Malcesine, Lake Garda
One of the many cobbled streets in Malcesine

Getting to Malcesine might seem like a tricky task, but it’s fairly straightforward. You’ve got three main options;

  • Taxi or private transfer
  • Public transport
  • Hire car

The best option mainly depends on where you are flying in from, as travel times and the cost of travel greatly vary.

Taxi or Private Transfer

You can get a taxi or private transfer directly to Malcesine from Verona Airport. Verona Airport is the closest airport to Lake Garda and Malcesine, and it’s close enough for you to get a taxi or private transfer at a reasonable price.

AirportTaxiPrivate Transfer (4 people)Private Transfer (5-7 people)
Verona Airport€70 – €85€100€145
Price accurate of 14th September 2022. Prices and quotes may change.

Public Transport

If you want to save a bit of money then you can use public transport to get to Malcesine, but it does take slightly longer.

From Verona Airport, which is the nearest airport to Lake Garda, you can get a train directly from the airport to Peschiera del Garda.

From here, you can take the 164 bus to Garda, then the 484 bus to Malcesine. You can also get the ferry from Peschiera del Garda to Malcesine. This is a great way to see the lake but it does take around 2 hours so keep that in mind if you have had a long journey and just want to get to your hotel.

Discover more: Check the latest bus timetables and ferry timetables before you plan your journey.

If you are flying into other airports, such as Milan Malpensa or Bergamo Airport, you can still get a train from the above, via Milan Centrale Train Station, to Peschiera del Garda.

Hire Car

Hiring a car is one of the most popular ways people reach Lake Garda, especially when flying into airports that are further away (such as Bergamo or Malpensa).

Not only can it work out cost-effective compared to private transfers, but it also means you have a hire car for the duration of your holiday which you can use to explore Lake Garda and the surrounding areas.

Discover more: If your accommodation in Malcesine doesn’t have parking, then read our guide on parking in Malcesine.

Things To Do In Malcesine

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You definitely won’t get bored whilst you’re staying in Malcesine. There are plenty of things to do and places to explore. Here are some of the things you simply must do;

Quick Guide – Things To Do

1. Monte Baldo Cable Car

Monte Baldo Cable Car Lake Garda

Monte Baldo is part of the Italian Alps, and it shadows Malcesine from the east. The summit offers spectacular views of Lake Garda, plenty of walking trails, and cafes and restaurants complete with a view.

The cable cars run from Malcesine to the summit of Monte Baldo. The cable cars themselves rotate 360 degrees, which allows for some amazing views and pictures as you ascend and descend the mountain.

2. Visit Malcesine Castle

View of Malcesine and Lake Garda from Malcesine Castle
View of Malcesine & Lake Garda from the top of Malcesine Castle

The Malcesine Castle is an iconic landmark that sits alongside the shores of Lake Garda. The castle that stands today dates all the way back to the 13th century.

You can purchase a ticket to go into the castle (adult tickets are as low as €6). We would fully recommend going itno the castle to learn about some local history, as well as taking in the sights of Malcesine and Lake Garda once you have climbed up to the top viewing point.

3. Enjoy the food & drink

Bottle of Peroni overlooking Malcesine Harbour
Enjoying a beer sitting in Ristorante Italia da Nikolas next to the harbour in Malcesine

You won’t be surprised to find out that Malcesine is home to some fantastic bars and restaurants that offer authentic Italian dishes.

Here are some of our favourite restaurants:

  • Ristorante Italia da Nikolas – sitting right on the harbour in Malcesine, you can watch the world go by and enjoy some lovely food and drink
  • La Bottega del Vino – almost hidden away and quite easy to miss, this is a real authentic family restaurant (make sure you try the baked Gnocchi!).
  • Ristorante Pizzeria Garden – fantastic food and an even better outside seating area right on the edge of Lake Garda.

Discover more: Full list of things to do in Malcesine

4. Visit a beach in Malcesine

Believe it or not, there are plenty of beaches around Lake Garda, and there are a few in Malcesine too.

Posternia Beach

Postertnia beach is a small but charming beach located directly underneath Malcesine Castle.

It’s not a sandy beach and the rocks around it are quite rough – so don’t expect to be sunbathing – but it’s worth exploring and it makes for a great photo!

Paina Beach

Paina beach is located just north of the castle and is roughly a 5-7 minute walk from the center of Malcesine.

5. Explore Lake Garda by boat

Exploring Lake Garda by boat is a fantastic way to take in the breathtaking views the lake has to offer, and it’s a great way to visit the other towns alongside Lake Garda too.

There’s a regular ferry from Malcesine that goes north to Riva del Garda, across to Limone, or south towards the rest of the lake.

There are numerous boat trips available from Malcesine that will take you to various towns and sights on Lake Garda. You can buy tickets for these at Malcesine harbour.

6. Take a day trip to Verona

Verona City Centre

Whilst there’s lots to do and see in Malcesine and Lake Garda itself, we would recommend visiting Verona if you are staying for more than 5 days.

The drive from Malcesine to Verona only takes between 1 hour 15 minutes – 1 hour 30 minutes, and there are quite a lot of affordable parking options in Verona city center.

If you don’t have access to a car, then you can get the train to Verona from Peschiera del Garda. The train from Peschiera del Garda to Verona Porta Nuova station only takes between 14 – 19 minutes and can cost as little as £3.22, depending on what train you get.

You can get a bus from Malcesine that goes to Peschiera del Garda. We’d recommend checking the latest bus timetables & routes before you plan this journey.

Places To Stay

[jump to Weddings In Malcesine]

There’s a hotel for everyone in Malcesine. From luxury hotels, family-friendly hotels, and budget hotels right the way through to holiday rentals on Airbnb.

Here are some hotels we would recommend:

1. Hotel Dolomiti

2. Hotel Diana

3. Hotel Alpino

4. Hotel Vega

5. Hotel Vacanze 2000

6. Ambienthotel Primaluna

7. Hotel Castello Lake Front

8. Hotel Villa Orizzonte

Weddings In Malcesine

[Malcesine Weather & Best Time To Visit]

Malcesine Castle From Lake Garda
Getting married in Malcesine Castle is very popular

Malcesine, and more specifically Malcesine Castle, is an extremely popular place for people to get married.

You can either hire out a room in the castle, or a terrace on the castle that looks over Malcesine and Lake Garda. Many people then hire a private boat to host a drinks reception as you sail around Lake Garda, and then enjoy a meal with guests at one of the many restaurants in Malcesine.

Malcesine Weather & Best Time To Visit

The summer months are the best time to visit if you are aiming for the best weather. If you want to avoid the crowds but still have pleasant weather, we would recommend visiting Lake Garda and Malcesine in April, September, or October.

MonthAverage TemperatureHighLow

Malcesine History & Key Facts

The earliest recorded evidence of settlers in Malcesine dates back to around 500 BC. In 15 BC, Malcesine and the surrounding area were under the rule of the Roman Empire.

Malcesine Castle was first built in either the 5th or 6th century by the Langobards, it was destroyed and then rebuilt again until it came under the ownership of the Scaliger family, to whom it is still named after today.

Key Facts

Population: 3,616 (source)

Region: Veneto

Province: Verona (VR)

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