Venice with Kids


Venice with Kids

Venice has long been a city to capture the hearts of travellers and is considered a “must see” visit destination. I visited Venice in my early 20’s on a solo trip around Europe and was captivated. Flood waters had just receded and I’ll never forget walking along elevated planks of wood to keep my feet dry.

My husband and I travelled around the world for a year in 2002. We spent a month in Italy but never made it to Venice. So unless we wait another 20 years, it seems his first experience of Venice will be with kids in tow.

We’re planning a trip to Europe next year with our 3 young children and there are plenty of great family friendly hotels in Venice with great reviews from other Expedia travellers. Try the Hotel Spagna, Hotel Dei Dragomanni and Residenza Ca Foscolo.

The San Marco area is the most popular – you’re right in the heart of the action but it can be expensive. Expedia’s Aussie travellers usually spend 2-3 days in Venice and that’s enough to get a taste of the city.

Here’s why I think Venice will be a great kid-friendly destination to add to our itinerary:

Pedestrian Only

No cars, buses or taxis in Venice. Always wonderful when travelling with children. Note: if you have a young child, consider taking a backpack instead of a stroller. Venice is full of bridges with stairs on either side. They’re not stroller-friendly.

Magical Maze

Venice feels like a magical maze of canals, cobbled paths and bridges all wrapped around each other. It’s a place where you can follow your nose and see where it leads you. If you’d like some help getting orientated, book a Venice Walking Tour.

Cruise the Canals

Gondolas are an iconic part of Venice but better suited for couples than kids. Instead you can pre-purchase a 24 hour or 72 hour Venice Public Transport card for unlimited travel on a Vaporetto (ferry) . You can also use the Vaporetto to get to Lido, Venice’s beach, or head across to the island of Murano to watch the famous Venetian glass blowers in action. The ticket also includes a free Venetian Islands Tour.

 

Gelato

You’ll find Gelaterias around almost any corner with almost every flavour on offer. The perfect incentive for tired little legs to walk just a little bit further.

Museums

Pick and choose from plenty of museums. Two museums in Venice well worth a visit with kids are:

The Natural History Museum which includes a 7 meters-high skeleton of an Ouranosaurus (dinosaur)! A perfect rainy day outing or diversion for kids sick of exploring the canals.

Peggy Guggenheim Museum – children will probably enjoy modern art more than Renaissance paintings and there’s a lovely outdoor sculpture garden they can run around in. Even better, free workshops for children ages 4 to 10 take place every Sunday at 3:00pm.

Piazza San Marco

I’m not sure the locals like the pigeons in Piazza San Marco but chasing them certainly entertains the kids. A perfect opportunity to find a table in the sun in the afternoon with a well deserved glass of wine.

While you’re there, take a peak at St Mark’s Basilica. It’s breathtaking inside and out . It is still a functioning church so parents may prefer to take turns going inside if travelling with very young children.

If you’re planning a trip to Europe with kids make sure you put Venice on the itinerary – you won’t regret it!

Images by Sergey Skleznev, CaptBlack76 and WDGPhoto

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Linda Anderson

About the Author Linda Anderson

In 2002 Linda Anderson and her husband sold all their belongings, hit "pause" on their respective careers, and spent 365 days travelling the world. This kicked off their extensive travel through South East Asia, Europe, North Africa, South America, Nepal, Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific. Now a mother of three girls under the age of 5, Linda is raising her daughters with travel in their blood. Linda blogs about her experiences and travel tips on mumsonthego.com.au, inspiring other families to travel with children.   3 travel must-haves? iPad, non-iron clothes, extra large zip-lock bags What's on your travel bucket list? African Safari, visit the Taj Mahal, road trip from Darwin to Broome