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What to wear in Lake Garda (month by month guide)

What to wear in Lake Garda (month by month guide)

Are you wondering what to wear in Lake Garda? In this guide we will tell you what to pack for Lake Garda for Winter, Summer, Spring and Fall with alongside some amazing Lake Garda outfit inspiration.

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But before we get onto the specifics of what to wear in Lake Garda along with some outfit inspiration we thought it would be worthwhile to talk about exactly what and where Lake Garda is, some of the attractions and activities you need to dress for and of course how the seasons will affect your Lake Garda Packing List.

Where is Lake Garda?

View of boats at Lake Garda
What to pack for Lake Garda

Lake Garda, or Lago di Garda,  as it is called in Italian is the largest lake in Italy and is one of the five famous Italian lakes ( the others being Lake Maggiore, Lugano, Iseo and Lake Como).

It’s surface area is a whopping 370 km²  and spreads over three Italian provinces, Lombardy, Veneto (Venice) and Trentino-Alto Adige.

The largest city to the lake is Verona, and is also where the nearest international airport is but it can also be easily reached from Venice and Sirmione.

It’s location means that you can experience all four seasons at the Lake and therefore a range of weather which is why we have split this packing list up into seasons.

Lake Garda Dress Code

As with many places in Italy, Lake Garda doesn’t really have a dress code per se. And unlike its fellow Italian Lake, Lake Como, Garda is not as renowned for its luxury lifestyle and celebrities. Instead Lake Garda tends to appeal to a broader group of travellers from couples to families, not just those looking for a luxurious getaway.

As such you will find that the dress code at this Italian Lake is more relaxed. However there also tends to be a bigger diversity of activities from Roman ruins and UNESCO world heritage sites at Peschiera del Garda, museums and of course the famous Gardaland – one of Italy’s favorite theme parks.

However none of these places have a dress code it is more about dressing for comfort and the activities you will be doing.

The only real place in Lake Garda that has a strict code is of course in the churches of Lake Garda. All Italian churches have strict dress codes so be sure to read up on what to wear here if you plan to visit a church while in Lake Garda.

Also you will notice that when out for dinner in Italy generally people will stick to smart casual dress codes. I would therefore have nice blouses and maxi dresses at the ready for going out to dinner in Lake Garda for the summer.

It is also worth noting that Lake Garda is a tourist destination which does have a peak and off-peak season. As such peak season will run from April to October and if you visit Lake Garda in Winter you will find there to be far fewer tourists.

However we will cover all the seasons in this guide to help you know what to wear no matter what time of year you visit.

What to Wear in Lake Garda in Summer (June, July and August)

Woman looking at Lake Garda from Sirmione
What to wear in Lake Garda

Chances are if you are looking to visit Lake Garda wondering what to wear is that you will be visiting during the Summer Months. This is characterised as June, July and August and although peak tourist season runs longer than this, these months tend to be the most popular to visit in.

During the Summer in Lake Garda you can expect lots of sunny days and with 7 days of rain in June on average (July and August only usually get 5).

In terms of temperatures, in the summer you can expect July to be hottest month with temperatures being an average high of 30C/86F and average low of 19C/66F.

The coldest summer month is June with an average high of 27C/80F and average low of 16C/60.8F. I

With this in mind we recommend putting the below on your Lake Garda Summer packing list:

Maxi Dresses

One of our favorite things to wear on any the Italian Lakes is Maxi Dresses. Loose and flowing clothes are better for Lake Garda in Summer as they will keep you cooler. They are also great for wearing down on the lake and out for dinner.

We try and have one dress at least with a cap sleeve instead of a spaghetti strap as these are better for visiting churches.

I also try and stick to natural fabrics for dresses when visiting Italy in the Summer.

Shop maxi dresses for italy here.

Maxi Skirts

Maxi Skirts are also great for pairing with T shirts, blouses and Tank tops in Lake Garda. Just be sure you have one item that covers your knees (i.e. nothing with a slit) for wearing if you decide to visit a church.

Tank Tops and T Shirts

These are perfect for out exploring Lake Garda and can be paired with skirts or shorts. Personally for towns and villages I stick to cap sleeve t shirts in case I want to head into a church.

However for campsites, hiking in Lake Garda and for amusement parks like Gardaland a tank top is a great choice!

As with anywhere in Italy I tend to prefer plain or lightly patterned t shirts over graphic or slogan tees.

Click here to shop t shirts for Lake Garda.

Trousers and Blouse

Trousers and blouses are a great alternative to maxi dresses for exploring towns and having dinner as they are a great day to night transition outfit.

Linen trousers are popular with the locals and are good in the hot weather however you will want to check out our tips for packing linen if you do decide to bring these with you.

Click here to shop linen for travel.


Although we don’t tend to recommend wearing shorts in the cities in Italy, they are perfectly acceptable on the beaches and around the towns of the Italian Lakes.

I find shorts are particularly good for Gardaland or the nearby waterpark CanevaPark. For these places I would personally pick a quick dry shorts.

Shop quick dry shorts here.


I never travel anywhere in Italy without a pashmina. It is great in the evenings in case you get chilly dining al fresco and can also be used to make an outfit more modest for visiting churches in Italy.

Although churches won’t be the primary activity you do in Lake Garda, I am sure you will head into one so having at least one church outfit is a good idea.


If you are visiting Lake Garda in Summer chances are you will be spending time on the lake or on a boat or even hanging around the pool at your accommodation or going to a waterpark. Therefore you will want to have some stylish swimwear with you.

As there are no dress codes on the Italian Lakes so you can choose whatever swimwear you feel most comfortable in whether that be one pieces or bikinis.

I would recommend packing at least two swimwear pieces so one can be drying while you are wearing the other for this time during.

Click here to shop swimsuits.

Sun Hats

Sun hats are a staple on any Italian Lakes packing list. Be sure to pick a wide brimmed straw hat instead of a baseball cap to for more in with the locals.

Shop wide brimmed sun hats here.

For more information on how to pack sun hats for travel check out this post.


Goes without saying. For summer I also recommend packing some sneaker socks to prevent odor and sweat in your shoe.


We recommend packing lightweight PJs as not everywhere on Lake Garda will have Air conditioning. You may want to check out whether or not your accommodation has air conditioning before booking.

Note: If you want to know what to were in Lake Garda for men I recommend packing a mixture of chinos and linen trousers and some smarter shorts alongside plain t shirts and polos and short sleeve shirts for summer.

And if you are visiting other areas of Italy in Summer be sure to check out our other Italian Summer packing Lists:

What to Wear in Lake Garda in Winter (December, January and February)

Lake Garda in Winter
What to wear in Lake Garda in Winter

Lake Garda can be cold in Winter. The coldest winter month tends to be January with average high and low temperatures of 6C/42.8F and -1C/30.2F respectively with December only be marginally warmer.

But what is surprising about visiting Lake Garda in Winter i.e. December, January and February is that it isn’t too rainy with only 5 or 6 days of rain per month.

And while there isn’t too much heavy snowfall in the towns on Garda itself you will be able to see beautiful snow-capped mountains from Garda in Winter.

And on top of that, if you do decide to visit Lake Garda in Winter you will be rewarded with fewer crowds and cheaper accommodation.

So knowing that what should you put on your Garda Winter Packing List? Well we recommend packing:

Jacket, waterproof

You will definitely want a warm jacket for Lake Garda in Winter . Warmth is the most important factor for a coat at this time of year, as it doesn’t tend to be rainy in the Winter in Garda. But having something that is insulated with some wind resistance is a great idea.

Shop coats for Lake Garda here.

Cardigans, Sweaters and Top Layers

We recommend packing a few different types of top layers with you for instance a combination of cardigans, sweaters and hoodies of different weights so you have enough variety in case of a very cold snap.

Hoodies are a great casual top layer for sightseeing in the day but I like a smarter sweater for evenings. I personally never travel in Winter without a merino wool sweater.

Merino wool is one of my favorite fabrics to include in a Winter capsule wardrobe. That is because it provides extra warmth as they are an insulating fabric but is also compact unlike a thick knit. Therefore it is easy to pack and doesn’t take up a lot of space in your case.

And fleeces are useful for at the Lakes if you are worried about getting wetas they are quick to dry and are a thin but very insulating layer.

Shop layers for Lake Garda here.

Long Sleeve Tops

It is unlikely you will be wearing short sleeve t shirts on Lake Garda in Winter so we recommend packing a variety of long sleeve tops and blouses with you including some smarter ones for dinners.


Although linen trousers are perfect for Lake Garda in Summer and the shoulder seasons, they are simply too lightweight in Winter. We recommend going with heavier weight trousers in Winter. We tend to recommend packing jeans for Lake Garda in Winter. You may even want a pair of fleece lined jeans for particular cold snaps.


I never go to Italy without one.


Goes without saying.

The best socks for Lake Garda in Winter have to be either hiking socks or merino wool socks that are insulating.

Shop merino wool socks here.

Also if you plan on packing any dresses we recommend having thick tights or fleece lined leggings to go underneath them


A slightly heavier weight pair are better in Winter.

What to Wear to Lake Garda in Spring (March, April, May)

Woman looking at Lake Garda in blue hat and sun dress
What to wear in lake Garda

Depending on what time you are visiting Lake Garda in Spring will depend on the range of temperatures you will experience. Overall the temperatures in Lake Garda in Spring range from 15°C/59°F – 24° C/75°F.

For instance March is the coolest month in Spring with an average temperature of 9°C (48°F) which slowly climbs to have highs 23°C (73°F) in May.

As the temperatures climb you will also find that so do the tourist numbers. So what should you bring to Lake Garda for Spring?


Evenings on Lake Garda in Spring can be cold so be sure to add a cardigan or two to pair to your dress and trousers outfits.


This is great for exploring in March and Early April in Lake Garda.

T Shirts / Blouses

T Shirts and blouses are great for Lake Garda all year but especially in spring. The earlier in the year you travel the more longer sleeve tops you should bring with you.

Whereas for May it is best to transition from your Winter wardrobe to your Spring Capsule wardrobe with more short sleeve tees.

Jeans / Trousers

Jeans are a great Spring packing list pick especially for the earlier months. As Spring moves more towards Summer some more lightweight trousers are a good pick.


This is definitely needed if you are visiting Lake Garda in Spring. And for Spring evenings we recommend bringing a blazer for evenings.

What to Wear to Lake Garda in Fall (September, October and November)

Woman in Peschiera del Garda old town wearing a sun hat
What to wear in Lake Garda

What to wear to the Garda in Fall is very similar to what to wear in Lake Garda in Summer for September.

In September you can pretty much select the same outfits as you would in August.

However the later in Fall you visit the cooler it becomes and peak season tends to end in mid–October.

If you are visiting in late October and November you probably wont be needing lots of swimwear as it will be too cold to get in the water everyday.

Also you will want cardigans and sweaters on your packing list, and in November you may even need a jacket or coat.

Best Shoes for Lake Garda

So now you know what to wear in each of the seasons at Lake Garda we will turn our attention to the best shoes to wear at Lake Garda.


Sneakers are perfect for Lake Garda no matter the season you visit especially given the amount of walking involved in a Lake Garda vacation.

My favorite brand of sneakers for walking are are Hoka and AllBirds as these are great for walking in.

However you also can’t go wrong with a plain white sneaker as they go with everything fashion wise. One of my favorite pairs of white sneakers is the Adidas Cloud Foam shoes.

But if you are visiting in the shoulder seasons or Winter, then a waterproof sneaker may be a better choice. We like the Ecco leather soft 7 sneaker.


Sandals are perfect for the beach and dinner in summer and shoulder seasons.

Just be sure to pick something that has good arch support and can cope with the uneven terrains around the lake.

Shop sandals for walking here.


Boots that have a good sole are perfect for those traveling in Winter instead of Sandals. We recommend picking a boot that has a good sole and has some waterproofing.

Flip Flops

Flip flops aren’t great for walking around Garda but are ok if you plan to spend time around a pool during your trip.

What Else to add to your Lake Garda Packing List

FAQs About what to wear on the Italian Lakes

What to wear to go hiking in Lake Garda?

There are some great hikes near Lake Garda. If you want to hike in this area we recommend hiking boots for the Winter and shoulder seasons and hiking sandals for summer along with zippable hiking trousers and t shirt and fleece.

What to wear to dinner in Lake Garda?

Dinner in Lake Garda doesn’t have a special dress code unless you go to a restaurant that stipulates one. We recommend Maxi Dresses and pashminas and blouses and linen trousers for summer and in winter a pair of smart trousers, blouse and a blazer.

Have you been to the Lake Garda? What did you wear? We would love to hear in the comments below!