View of Gardaland kids area. You can see big tree and airplane ride.

GARDALAND – My Tips For Your Visit

Ever wondered what an Italian amusement park is like? With over 30 rides and millions of visitors each year, Gardaland is Italy’s largest and most famous amusement park. If you’re wondering whether to go to Gardaland and when, I’ve got you covered. 

Not only that, I have tips on getting tickets, how to get to Gardaland, getting around the park, and planning what to do during your visit. I’ve got the scoop on which rides you shouldn’t miss, food, and bathrooms. If you’re visiting Gardaland with kids, I have a breakdown of which rides are best for what ages. I also have ideas for where to stay, and other amusement parks and things to do near Gardaland.

My Gardaland tips are based on my visit in June 2023. We were a group of 3 adults and 5 boys ages 2 ½ to 9 ½.


Gardaland is located in northern Italy, on the southeastern shore of Lake Garda in Castelnuovo del Garda. It is about 35 minutes west of Verona, and approximately 1 ½ hours from Venice, in Italy’s Veneto region.

Gardaland offers about 35 rides including roller coasters and water rides that range from light to super adventurous adrenaline rushes. There are also shows, meet and greets, playgrounds, restaurants, and food stands.

Should you go to Gardaland?

Gardaland is great fun. It has entertaining and exhilarating experiences for all ages, from toddlers to adults. It’s well-maintained, clean, and lines move fairly quickly. Is it a priority when you’re visiting Italy? No. First go see some art masterpieces, visit some medieval towns, go to a wine tasting, and visit some natural wonders. 

Then once you and/or your kids have overdosed on culture and you want a dose of adrenaline, go to Gardaland and have a blast. Gardaland makes sense if you’re already in the area, for example if you’re visiting Lake Garda and are traveling in northern Italy. If you’re studying abroad in Milan, Venice, Padua, Bologna or even Florence, Gardaland is a fun getaway. 

If you’re extremely tall, be aware that all but one of the adult roller coasters have  maximum height restrictions: the cut offs range between 195 and 205 cm (6 ft 4.8 inches to 6 ft 8.7 inches tall).

Blue Tornado roller coaster

How many days do you need to explore Gardaland?

You’ll need at least one full day to make it worth the ticket price and explore a good part of the park. Even though we didn’t do every single ride, we had a full day and had great fun. However, if you want to do all the rides, you’ll need at least 2 days. If you want to do everything and you tack on Gardaland Sealife Acquarium and Legoland Water Park you’ll need at least 3 or 4 days.  


Gardaland is open every day from April 1 to October 1, and on weekends and certain holidays during most of the rest of the year (it is closed in November, February, and most of January and March). Gardaland will be open for the 2023 Christmas season from Christmas until the Epiphany. Check the Gardaland calendar for specific dates and opening hours.

Park workers I spoke to recommended visiting the park in the spring or fall, so that you have good weather but lines for rides aren’t too long.

Gardaland is most crowded in the summer: in Italy summer spans from when school lets out on June 10th, until September 15th! July and August are the busiest months. If you must go in the summer, try to avoid mid-August, when there are tourists from all over the world, and most Italians are on their summer ferragosto vacation too.

If you visit when the park is busy, you can spend extra money to go on the fast track line. You can either buy your Time Saver pass online (there are various options depending on how many rides you want to fast track), however you must buy it for a specific date. You can also wait and see how busy the park is the day of your visit, and then buy the Time Saver passes once you’re at Gardaland. 

We visited Gardaland in June 2023 on a sunny day, and there were rides with about a 1 hour wait. On cloudy days the park is usually less crowded. I can support that anecdotally: when I visited the park in March 1999 on a cloudy, windy day my friends and I were practically the only people in the park, and we didn’t have to wait for even the most exciting rides.



Hooray for buying tickets online on the Gardaland website: why wait in a long line at the park ticket counters when you could be racing upside down on a roller coaster instead!

When you buy tickets online you must choose the day of your visit, and your ticket is only valid for that day. Ticket prices change depending on which day you will be visiting. There are also various possible combo tickets for Gardaland + Legoland water park and/or Sealife Aquarium.

If you plan to visit the park for more than one day but aren’t sure exactly when, you can buy a season pass.

Discounted CHILD tickets are available for children under 10 years old. They’re valid as well for adults over 60, self-dependent people with disabilities, and caregivers of non self-dependent people with disabilities. Usually a CHILD ticket is about € 5 or € 6 less than a full price ADULT ticket, but it depends on the day you will be visiting the park. The good news is kids under 1 meter tall are always free! 

If you’ll be visiting with kids when it’s hot, consider buying a combined ticket with Legoland Water Park, which is part of the Gardaland resort. Adults are only allowed if accompanying a child 14 or younger (and children under 14 must be accompanied by an adult). You’ll be glad for this fun place to cool off!


Some local tourist offices and shops sell discounted tickets, but you must buy them in person. For example, in June 2023 we bought ours at the Peschiera del Garda tourism infopoint, and paid € 39 per person instead of € 44. You must pay in cash. 

View from the Shaman roller coaster from the Monorotaia monorail ride.


Gardaland covers 110 acres. It has wide, well-maintained paths that are stroller-friendly. However, parts of the park have hills that are quite steep, and there is almost no shade in the park. Therefore, it’s a good idea to know where you’re going. The only problem is, the signage is subpar.

The one major criticism I have of Gardaland is of the minimal, unclear signage. Even the paper map we got at the entrance to the park didn’t help. Bathrooms don’t have noticeable signs either. We got lost several times and I promise I have a good sense of direction! 

That’s why I wholeheartedly recommend using Gardaland’s app, which has a great map feature to get where you want to go, and real time ride wait times. I hate having my head in my cellphone but once I sucked it up and got on the app we were flying around the park.  


You don’t have to have an exact itinerary before you go to the park, but it’s a good idea to know which rides you want to go on, and keep an eye on the wait times on the Gardaland app.

We interviewed a park worker who told us that when the park gates open in the morning, the crowds rush to the rides closest to the entrance first (like Blue Tornado), and then trickle to the back of the park as the day goes on. Try the rides at the back of the park first, and work your way towards the entrance. 

If you visit when the park is busy, you can spend extra money to go on the fast track line. You can either buy your Time Saver pass online (there are various options depending on how many rides you want to fast track), however you must buy it for a specific date. You can also wait and see how busy the park is the day of your visit, and then buy the Time Saver passes once you’re at Gardaland. 

Legoland Water Park is located inside Gardaland park, and if you’re like us, you will probably wander by it on a scorching hot day and wish you could go in and cool off! If you know in advance you’d like to go to Legoland, buy a combo ticket online ahead of time. Otherwise, you can upgrade your Gardaland with Legoland Water Park access on the spot at the park. 

Ortobruco Tour


These are our favorite not-to-miss attractions!

  • Jumanji Labyrinth: Fun, walk-through labyrinth that the whole family can do together
  • Ortobruco Tour: Tame roller coaster that thrills young kids, and this adult too, even on the 10th ride!)
  • Monorotaia: Monorail ride that runs above the northwest part of the park, and makes for a nice, calm break
  • Jungle Rapids: Raft ride for the whole family (over 110 cm tall)
  • Colorado Boat: Log flume beloved by Italians, who still remember it from their childhood visits to Gardaland.
  • Mammut: Exciting roller coaster for elementary schoolers
  • Raptor: Roller coaster with splash elements that many say is the scariest in Italy!
  • Space Vertigo: Free fall ride with great views, if you have the courage to keep your eyes open!


I absolutely recommend bringing the bulk of your own food, and then splurging on some treats. That way you don’t have to waste time standing in line to buy meh, expensive food when you could be having fun on a ride. 

If you arrive by car, you can take advantage of the many supermarkets and grocery stores in the area. We filled up a small soft cooler with sandwiches (panini), juice packs and a big thermos with water.

Having a thermos is a game changer: you’ll need to drink plenty of water during the day, and you can fill up your thermos instead of standing in line to buy bottled water.

If you’re like me and need to have a coffee after lunch (in Italy, that means an espresso shot), be aware that all of the Italians will be doing that too, and at the same time: about 1:30-2:30 pm. The line for coffee was chaotic, and longer than for some of the roller coasters! 

It’s almost impossible to resist the fun treats at the park! We got slushies that turned our tongues blue (in refillable Gardaland bottles that the kids kept as souvenirs), caramel and candied apples as big as the kids’ heads, and ice cream pops.


Like I mentioned before, finding the bathrooms can be hard and irritating without the Gardaland app, because there isn’t clear signage. 

However, once you get to the bathrooms, it’s usually smooth sailing. The bathrooms are well-maintained, and kept clean. Even though the park was crowded during our visit in June 2023, we didn’t have to stand on any bathroom lines. 

Head to the nursery in the Fantasy area if you’re looking for a diaper changing area and changing tables. 

Squat toilets can take some getting used to but Gardaland keeps their facilities clean.

Be aware that many of the toilets are squat toilets, which consist of a basin in the ground.  They may take a bit of getting used to, since they’re rare (if unheard of) in the US. However, squat toilets are efficient and hygienic to use. 


Most of the rides for younger children are clustered near the entrance to the park. It’s easy to get around Gardaland with a stroller (just be prepared for some hilly sections).

If you have young kids, take advantage of the nursery: there’s a food area (with high chairs and bottle warmer), a vending machine for things you may have forgotten to bring with you, and a diaper changing area with changing tables. It’s located in the Fantasy area beyond the Magic House.

Gardaland uses a color coded system for height restrictions, and there is a height measurement board at each ride. On rides like Peter Pan, where kids under 140 cm must be accompanied, it means that there needs to be one adult for each child under 140 cm (kids under 100 cm can’t ride). It’s important to plan for this in advance– my husband had to go on this whizzy bumpy ride at the last minute to accompany one of our kids and almost threw up (the kids were completely fine!).

Mr. Ping’s Noodle Surprise ride 

Here are our picks by age group:


  • Giostra cavalli (carousel)
  • Peppa Pig meet and greet!
  • Prezzemolo magic village (playground)

Kindergarteners and young elementary schoolers:

  • Mr. Ping’s Noodle Surprise (teacup ride)
  • Ortobruco Tour (tame roller coaster)
  • Monorotaia (monorail ride above the northwest part of the park)
  • Jungle Rapids (raft ride)

Older elementary schoolers:

  • Mr. Ping’s Noodle Surprise (teacup ride)
  • Jungle Rapids (raft ride)
  • Fuga da Atlantide (log flume ride)
  • Colorado Boat (log flume ride)
  • Mammut (roller coaster)

Thrill seekers from middle school on up (do not ride if you have a heart condition):

  • Blue Tornado (inverted roller coaster)
  • Raptor (roller coaster with splash elements that many say is the scariest in Italy)
  • Space Vertigo (free fall with views of Lake Garda!)


The main two ways of getting to Gardaland are by public transportation, or by car. I’ve done both and I can confirm that they are both very convenient. 


Public transportation will get you to Gardaland by train and shuttle bus. 

The nearest train station to Gardaland is the Peschiera del Garda station. There is direct train service to Peschiera del Garda from Milan’s central station, which can take as little as an hour if you take the high speed train. There is train service from Verona and Verona airport as well. 

Gardaland is about 2 km from the Peschiera del Garda train station. When you arrive at the train station, take the free Gardaland shuttle bus. It runs regularly from the train station to the park and back. 


Gardaland is approximately 35 minutes west of Verona, 1 ½ hours from Venice and 2 hours from Milan by car. 

You can park your car right at the huge Gardaland Parking lot adjacent to the park for € 6 per day. Keep in mind that the SR249 road between Lazise and Peschiera del Garda gets congested fast, and there’s bumper to bumper traffic when Gardaland closes at 6pm. 

Bardolino on Lake Garda is just one of the beautiful small towns near Gardaland.


I recommend staying in or near one of the charming nearby towns like Peschiera del Garda, Lazise or Bardolino. These are my top places to stay in Lake Garda. You’re right near beautiful Lake Garda, and the villages are postcard perfect, so make the most of it!

The area is packed with a variety of hotels and campgrounds. We stayed at Camping Bella Italia, an enormous campground complex on the lake in Peschiera del Garda.  

Camping Bella Italia has a variety of accommodation types, from onsite hotels, to bungalows, mobile homes, and campsites. What it lacks in local charm it makes up for with convenience, especially if you’re staying with kids. Camping Bella Italia has multiple restaurants, pools, and kids activities, and the grounds are well run and maintained by friendly staff.  Read my review of Camping Bella Italia.

Gardaland Resort itself has three hotels that are extremely convenient and fun (and which you pay a premium for): Gardaland Hotel, Gardaland Adventure Hotel, and Gardaland Magic Hotel. 


Gardaland isn’t the only theme park in the area! Here’s a rundown of other fun parks nearby: 

Gardaland Sealife Acquarium

Yes, this aquarium has sharks! 


Canevaworld Resort in Lazise has two exciting parks: Caneva Acquapark, full of water slides; and Movieland, a Hollywood themed park. Not only that, It’s also home to the Medieval Times restaurant and tournament show.  

Parco Natura Viva

Have you always wanted to go on a safari? See lions, komodo dragons and more at Parco Natura Viva in Bussolengo, about a 15 minute drive southeast of Lazise. 

Cavour Parco Acquatico

Cavour is a water park with pools and waterslides about a 20 minute drive south of Peschiera del Garda in Valeggio sul Mincio.  

Jungle Adventure

Want to climb through the trees? Jungle Adventure is an adventure park for adults, and children age 3 and up. It’s located 15 minutes from the lake in San Zeno di Montagna.

Gorgeous Lake Garda


I absolutely recommend not limiting your visit to just Gardaland. Lake Garda is sumptuously gorgeous, and there are lovely little towns right on the water. You can walk and  go bike riding along the lake, go swimming, sunbathe and ride boats. For plenty of ideas and tips, read my guides to Peschiera del Garda, Lazise and Bardolino, and my tips for Lake Garda with kids

You may also like my Guide to 2 Days on Lake Garda.