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This is a guide to everything you need to know when visiting Venice for kids and exploring Venice with kids – including where to stay in the city.
Venice is arguably one of those most beautiful and picturesque cities in the country of Italy. Many know the city for its maze-like streets, royal architecture, and seemingly endless canals. But what most don’t know, is that Venice is an amazing destination for kids. From city libraries just for kids to playful exploration, we’ve got the top 11 things to do in Venice for kids.
- Tips for Visiting Venice for Kids
- Top 12 Things to do in Venice with Kids
- Cruise the Venetian Canals
- Shop for Venetian masks
- Climb the Rialto Bridge
- Get Lost in the Maze of Streets
- Explore Piazza San Marco
- Tour St. Mark’s Basilica
- Scale the Clock Tower
- Find the Secrets Hidden in Doge’s Palace
- Read and Explore at Bettini Junior
- Watch the Art of Glassblowing
- Taste the Culinary Delights of Venice
- Document your travels with a Flytographer Photo Shoot
- Where to Stay When in Venice with Kids
Tips for Visiting Venice for Kids
To make the most of your trip to Venice with kids, there are some key things you need to know about the city.
- Venice is lovingly called the “Floating City” for a reason. There are no motorized vehicles or commercialized streets there. Transportation is done via water or walking.
- The streets are made of cobblestone and are not stroller friendly. Highly recommend using a baby carrier for smaller children.
- Venice often experiences “acqua alta” or high waters – especially in the morning. Be sure to pack waterproof shoe covers.
- Expect crowds at most of the popular tourist attractions. Ticketed tours will help bypass a lot of the wait.
With these tips, you can make the most of your trip to Venice for kids!
Top 12 Things to do in Venice with Kids
Cruise the Venetian Canals
If you go to Venice and don’t ride a boat, did you even really go? You simply can’t visit Venice for kids without a boat ride! Depending on your trip budget, there are a few ways to experience the waterways of Venice with kids. You can ride the vaporetto [think public bus but a boat instead], hire a water taxi, or book a ride on a gondola.
The vaporetto is the most budget-friendly option with numerous routes around the city [we think route #1 is the most scenic] but can be crowded with limited seating. A shared water taxi is more expensive but provides a more private experience. A family gondola ride – complete with a serenade – is a top-tier experience in Venice for kids and would be a worthwhile splurge. Just note, that a gondola ride requires the kiddos to be seated and still. If that would be a challenge, opt for the vaporetto or water taxi instead.
Shop for Venetian masks
Venetian masks were initially popular due to the Venetian Carnival but now they are a symbol of the city as a whole. Adorable, kid-friendly masks are available at shops around the city. Just stop at any of them and make a task out of your kids choosing their favorites. This is sure to be a fun activity in Venice for kids.
Climb the Rialto Bridge
The Rialto Bridge is one of the most iconic landmarks in Venice. The architectural masterpiece connects the San Marco and San Polo neighborhoods and is the oldest bridge across the Venetian canal. While there aren’t any specific activities here, it is still one of the top things to do in Venice with kids. Plus, it is completely free! Climb the bridge and admire the view from the top.
Get Lost in the Maze of Streets
It isn’t generally recommended to visit a city without an itinerary but Venice is practically designed for it. When visiting Venice with kids, be sure to leave time to just get lost in the maze of streets. [And if you absolutely must have an itinerary, here is a 2 day Venice itinerary.]
Explore Piazza San Marco
Piazza San Marco is in the heart of Venice and is one of the most acclaimed activities in Venice for kids. Grab a bite to eat, take pictures near the docked gondolas, and chase seagulls [but be forewarned that they might chase you back]. Amp up the fun with a secret itineraries tour of Piazza San Marco and palace prisons.
Tour St. Mark’s Basilica
St. Mark’s Basilica is located in the heart of Venice and is full of treasures for kids to discover. It’s actually much bigger than it looks from the exterior a tour is highly recommended. Get the most out of the experience and so much more with a full day tour of the Basilica San Marco, Doges Palace, and a Gondola Ride.
Scale the Clock Tower
St. Mark’s Clock Tower was built to showcase the glory of Venice even from afar and that it does! Families with children over the age of 6 can climb to the top of the clock tower. Along the way, see and learn about clock mechanics and the history of its architecture. Learn more at the official website of the Clock Tower of Venice.
Find the Secrets Hidden in Doge’s Palace
Doge’s Palace is an ornate palace located in Piazza San Marco. With its gilded walls and elaborate design, it is always a hit in Venice for kids. Because of its size and to truly learn the most about this beautiful place, a formal tour is recommended. Not only will it lead you directly to the treasures inside but will help you skip the line!
Read and Explore at Bettini Junior
Did you know there is a library in Venice for kids? Well, there is and is an absolute must when visiting Venice with kids. Everything in this pint-sized library is designed for the younger members of the family and it even includes a play area. The large majority of the books in Bettini Junior are in Italian but it’s still a fun stop if you don’t speak the language.
Watch the Art of Glassblowing
Venetian glass is one of the most beautiful things in the world. While initially there might be some hesitation about glass around children, rest assured it is perfectly fine for Venice with kids! Venture over to Murano to tour an actual glass factory, take a private lesson with a professional artisan, or just simply browse one of the many glass shops around the city. Look for the smaller, family-owned ones and you might even see the owners making their creations right there in the shop!
Taste the Culinary Delights of Venice
From the seafood to the pasta, there is so much good food to be had in Venice! Make it simple during your trip to Venice for kids by taking a food tour. Some are long and go across the city like this 3-hour small group food tasting walking tour and some are more focused on certain areas like this food tour of the Rialto Market. Just take your pick of the one that most interests your family and enjoy!
Document your travels with a Flytographer Photo Shoot
Pictures of your happy family in front of Doge’s Palace? Yes, please! Documenting your epic trip to Venice for kids with a family photoshoot is a surefire way to make sure the memories last forever. We’ve always advocated for Flytographer [check out our full Flytographer review] and that is also who we used during our 2 day Venice itinerary. Book with Marta and thank us later! [You can use our Flytographer affiliate link to save on your first photoshoot with them.]
Where to Stay When in Venice with Kids
Choosing where to stay in Venice with kids can be just as crucial as what you do while you’re there. Here are a few recommendations of where to stay in Venice with kids.
- City Apartments Rialto Market – This well-appointed serviced apartment is located in San Marco and has plenty of space for the entire family including a kitchen. The apartments even offer amazing canal views.
- Hotel Firenze – You won’t be any closer to the action than with a stay at Hotel Firenze. The rooms are decorated in an old-world Italian style to bring some authenticity to your stay.
- Relais Venezia – Located on one of the city’s oldest and smallest streets and in a building from the 15th century, Relais Venezia is almost as historic as the city itself. Plus, it is within walking distance to many workshops, restaurants, and local attractions.
Which of these things is your favorite