What are the best things to do in Riva del Garda? Riva del Garda on the narrow northern tip of Lake Garda impresses at first sight with the surrounding mountains that frame the charming town. As a vacation resort, there is enough to see and do to plan at least one day in Riva del Garda. Whether you want to stroll through the old town, do some water sports, go hiking or just lay on the beach, Riva del Garda combines it all.

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We are Sabrina and Andreas, two adventurous travelers who never miss an opportunity to discover the world. Whether by plane to distant countries or with our campervan Bruno, we just love to travel. We hope to give you helpful tips for your next trip on our blog.

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Riva del Garda

Located in the north Riva del Garda is the second largest city on Lago di Garda. For many tourists who travel directly from the north by car, Riva del Garda is the first stopover on a trip to Lake Garda. Riva del Garda is a real highlight especially for water sports fans and mountain bikers. From the shore promenade you can watch the sailors and surfers.

If you are a little less sporty, you can also rent a pedal boat. Hiking and mountain biking is also possible on the hiking trail that starts in Riva del Garda. For city fans, there is a beautiful old town with small streets and stores that invite you to stroll. We found Riva del Garda a great start to get a first impression of Lake Garda.

How to get to Riva del Garda

Coming from the north you can take the SS45 in Trento and drive to Riva del Garda or stay on the E45 until Mori and then turn east on the SS240 to Riva del Garda. If you are already on Lake Garda, just follow the road along Lake Garda all the way to the north. Depending on where you are, you can also make a stop in Sirmione or Limone sul Garda. We can recommend both places.

Parking in Rival del Garda

There are several large parking lots that you can drive to. The closer you are to the center, the more expensive is the parking lot. But there are also free parking lots (Google Maps Link). Here you have to be a bit lucky to get a parking space.

Hotel Recommendation in Riva del Garda

Best Things To Do in Riva del Garda | Lake GardaIf you want to spend a night in beautiful Riva del Garda we can recommend the Parc Hotel Flora*. The charming hotel has beautiful rooms, a great breakfast and an enchanting garden through which you can reach the beach. Here you can relax perfectly after an extensive city walk.

Parc Hotel Flora | show rates*

The Best Things To Do in Riva del Garda

Whether you prefer a city stroll, are sporty, like historic buildings or prefer a hike with great views. Riva del Garda has something for everyone. If you spend one or two days here, you can easily combine the different activities. If you stay longer in Riva del Garda you can also plan a trip to Limone. Let’s start with the best things to do in Riva de Garda.

Castle Rocca di Riva

Best Things To Do in Riva del Garda | Lake Garda
Rocca di Riva

If you’re in Riva del Garda you actually can’t miss the Rocca di Riva castle. Near the waterfront you will find the fortress, which is completely surrounded by water and dates back to 1124. Over the years, the castle has undergone many changes and, especially in recent years, has been extensively restored and revived as a town museum.

In the town museum you will find numerous paintings, historical documents of the town of Riva as well as archaeological findings. If you are interested in the history of the city, this is the place to be.

Piazza III Novembre

Best Things To Do in Riva del Garda | Lake GardaPiazza III Novembre is located right next to the picturesque harbor. The square is framed by Venetian archways and houses the landmark of Rival del Garda, the Torre Apponale.

In the square you will find many stores to browse, restaurants with delicious Italian food and cafes where you can spend a few relaxing hours.

Torre Apponale

The Torre Apponale is the landmark in the heart of Riva del Garda. The clock tower, dating back to 1220, is located in Piazza III Novembre and is a must-see during a stroll through the town. For an entrance fee of 2 Euros you can climb the 35 meter high tower and enjoy the great view of the streets of Riva del Garda and Lake Garda.

Best Things To Do in Riva del Garda | Lake Garda
Torre Apponale

Lakeside Promenade with Water Sports

The waterfront of Riva del Garda is perfect to stroll along and watch the sailors and windsurfers on the water. If you want to be active yourself, you can rent everything from pedal boats to surfboards and jump into the cool water. To the east of the promenade you will also find a beautifully landscaped park and the sandy beaches Spiaggia Libera and Spiaggia Sabione.

Hiking Trail

In the western part of Riva del Garda, a hiking and biking trail starts along the rocky coast of Lake Garda. The Sentiero del Ponale (starting point on Google Maps) is a 6.2 km long path, open to hikers and cyclists, that leads to a lake.

Best Things To Do in Riva del Garda | Lake Garda
Hiking trail on Lake Garda

From the path you always have great views of Lake Garda and Riva del Garda. Also, at the height of the second and third tunnels is an old fortress complex from 1860. Here you can discover the old fortress complex and enjoy another time the impressive view of Lake Garda.

On the way there are divided paths, so that hikers and cyclists do not have to walk on the same path. Nevertheless, we found the bicycles as very disturbing as they are passing by very fast. Although we were in the pre-season on Lake Garda, there were a lot of cyclists on the road.

Especially on the trail sections where cyclists and hikers have to use the same path, the cyclists showed rather little consideration for the hikers. The view and the hike are really great. However, due to the many cyclists, we can unfortunately not recommend it.


Have you already been to Riva del Garda? If so, what are the most beautiful Riva del Garda sights for you?

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