Lake Garda is located in the north of Italy and divides its shores amongst three regions: Veneto, Lombardy and Trentino Alto-Adige.
This is the largest lake in the country and its coasts extends for 158KM.
They are all dotted by medieval villages, historical landmarks and some of the most famous amusement parks of Europe.
Lake Garda is both a perfect day trip destination from Venice, if you’re staying in the city of water, or a great place for a longer stay.
Venice to Lake Garda
If you’re wondering how to get from Venice to Lake Garda, in this post, I’m going to give you all the information you need to know.
Is Lake Garda worth visiting?
If you’re still not sure if Lake Garda is worth visiting and/or if it’s possible to plan a day trip from Venice, then check out these three reasons to visit:
Why not get yourself a ticket to Gardaland Park to experience the best of Italy’s most famous theme park? It has 35 unique rides for all the family.
So, now you know a couple of reasons why this magnificent part of Italy is worth visiting and can make Lake Garda a fantastic day trip from Venice too.
How far is Lake Garda from Venice?
The first town at Lake Garda that you can stop by is Peschiera del Garda.
The city of bridges and canals and the lake town are 140 kilometres away one from the other.
It can take less than 1 hour and a half to get there by car or high-speed train. You can also reach by train or car other lake towns and get to others located on the opposite side of it by ferry.
The options are many, and there’s no need to plan too far in advance. Just remember that if you’re travelling during summer, book your train tickets as soon as possible to get cheap fares.
Same if you decide to rent a car, as this time of the year, rental costs can go quite up! You can get some great car rental deals if you book in advance.
It’s worth knowing that apart from the Venezia Marco Polo and Treviso airports, there’s another one closer to Lake Garda: Verona airport.
In case, you want to visit first Lake Garda and then move to Venice.
If you’re looking to spend more than a day at the lake, I suggest staying at Hotel Bell’arrivo, a hotel based in the centre of Peschiera del Garda with lake views.
How to get from Venice to Lake Garda
Here I’m going to give some more in depth information about how to get from Venice to Lake Garda by train, car and bus. Let’s dive into it!
Can you get a train from Venice to Lake Garda?
If you’re staying in Venice, you will find that getting a train from the lagoon city to Lake Garda is quite easy and for the most part, the most convenient option.
The two towns you can get to by train are:
- Peschiera del Garda
- Desenzano del Garda
You can start your journey from one of the two Venice stations: the main one, Venezia Santa Lucia, or the mainland-based one, Venezia Mestre.
Then you’ll have to check which railway company has the best deal and head to their websites or ticket office to buy your ticket.
The companies are Trenitalia and Italo. Trenitalia offers direct high-speed Frecciargento trains (1 hour and 20 minutes) as well as fast regional trains with one change along the way (1 hours and 56 minutes).
As always, the high-speed trains are faster and more comfortable, but more expensive.
Italy only has high-speed trains and some of them stop in Desenzano del Garda (1 hour and 34 minutes) whilst others in Peschiera del Garda (1 hour and 27 minutes).
This means you’ll need to make a decision on which town to visit before booking your ticket.
The only way around it, is to change your train when it stops in Verona. You can always get to the other town once you’re already there.
Getting back: the train to Venice from Lake Garda will work out exactly the same as noted above but in reverse direction.
Driving from Venice to Lake Garda
Travelling by car from Venice to Lake Garda is an easy option too. You can rent a car in Venice, Mestre or from the airport.
I recommend driving very early in the morning or after 9am or in the afternoon before 4pm or after 7pm, so you’ll be able to avoid rush hour.
The first town on the lake you can get to is Peschiera del Garda.
It can take an hour and 20 minutes to get there, and it’s 140 kilometres distance from Venice.
Getting from Venice to Lake Garda is quite straightforward, as you’re going to take the motorway A4 from Mestre and drive for an hour and 15 minutes.
From Venice, it’s likely you’ll be leaving from Tronchetto car park and drive down the Liberty Bridge to get to Mestre.
If you’re in Mestre, first get to the Mestre Tangenziale and follow the signs Milano/Bologna/Padova/Ravenna and at the roundabout Romea, take the first exit with for Milano/A13/Bologna and then take the A4 and drive for 126 kilometres.
To check how much the tolls may cost you, head to the Autostrade.it website.
Other towns (not far from Peschiera) worth visiting are:
- Desenzano del Garda
Sirmione is a lovely town with a stunning castle you should visit during your time around the Lake Garda. The Hotel Mon Repos is a great place to stay in Sirmione, only a few minutes of walk away from the historical centre and the beach.
The two main roads extending on each side of the lake are called: Gardesana Orientale (SR249) and Gardesana Occidentale (SS45bis). By driving down these scenic roads, you can easily get to all the towns facing the lake.
Bus from Venice to Lake Garda
It’s also possible to travel from Venice to Lake Garda by bus. In this case the journey it’s going to be a bit longer but far cheaper than by train or car.
What you should do is first head to Piazzale Roma in Venice where plenty of buses leave (every 5 minutes) towards Mestre bus station.
Some of them include: 7E, 7, 43, 8E, 7L and 12E.
Once you’re at the Mestre bus station look out for your Flixbus that leaves with direction Peschiera del Garda. This bus takes 2 hours to get to your destination and the ride can cost less than 10 euros.
Always check the Flixbus website first to know which direct buses are available. Once reached Peschiera, you can keep moving around by bus and get to other lovely villages around the lake.
It’s also possible to take a ferry to get to the other side of the lake, so don’t forget to take this option in consideration. If you’re new to the culture, it’s worth carrying an Italian phrase book like this one to aid you with conversing with locals on this trip.
Lake Garda from Venice FAQs
Here are questions readers ask when it comes to getting to Lake Garda:
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Getting from Venice to Lake Garda
Now you know just how easy it is to get from Venice to Lake Garda.
There are plenty of picturesque towns and villages to explore, even if you only have one day available.
So if you’re currently looking for inspiration for a day trip from Venice, Lake Garda can be a very good option!
Do you want to learn about other day trips from Venice you can plan? To do that, take a look at my blog post about the best day trips from Venice.
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