Is Venice worth it with kids? We think Venice is always worth it! We have been there several times now and the water city remains enchanting to visit. And, of course, with kids, too. Especially for small kids, it doesn’t matter much where you go with them either, as they are often satisfied with little. Big advantage of this beautiful city is that it is car-free and the center is also quite compact. Here we discuss the five most fun activities and attractions in Venice with kids for you.
Table of contents
Venice with kids #1: boating on the water
Venice is a water city and the activity most tourists here engage in is boating on the water. Now this can be done in many ways and the different ways also come with a different price tag. We list the two most important ones for you:
- By gondola: The city’s most famous means of transportation are the gondolas that pass through the city. All over the water you can see dozens of gondolas, propelled by men wearing striped shirts and distinctive hats. Gondola ride prices are fixed and they are very high.
Thus, during the day you will soon pay 80 euros for a boat ride of about 40 minutes and in the evening the price gets higher and then you will pay 100 euros. You can have up to 6 people in a gondola, and there are options to share the gondola with someone else, for example, so you can share the cost.
If you find this too expensive and still want to spend some time in Venice with kids in a gondola, you can use the Traghettos. These are gondolas that act like pounds, moving people from one side of the water to the other. The cost of this is only 2 euros per person, but of course the ride is short-lived. So if you want to take a nice picture, you have to be quick ;).
- Vaporetto boat: this is Venice’s water bus and we ourselves used this the most. This sails on the Grand Canal and has many stops along the water. The total travel time for an entire trip is 45 minutes. You pay 7.50 euros for a ride on the boat and then you get to use it for 75 minutes.
Line 1 stops at all stops and Line 2 only at the most important ones. An all-day pass costs 20 euros. So if you use this water boat three times, you will have the money out.
Venice with kids #2: different vantage points
In Venice, you have several vantage points where you can get a great view of the city. Especially when we can climb up ourselves, our five-year-old daughter soon finds it a challenge and is super proud when she has walked up herself at, for example, the Dom Tower in Utrecht. In Venice you have several of these vantage points and we list the most important ones for you:
- Campanile di San Marco: this is the most famous vantage point in St. Mark’s Square and therefore the most visited vantage point. You do have a very nice view of Venice here, but you may have to wait in line for a long time.
- The San Giorgo Tower on the islet of Campanile: this is the most beautiful viewpoint in the city and it is much less crowded than the most famous observation tower in St. Mark’s Square. You have a great view of the Venice skyline from here. You also have the option of taking the elevator here.
- Basilica of San Marco: if you want to have a nice view of Venice’s most famous square: San Marco Square then you can buy a ticket for the museo di San Marco and then you will have access to the terrace, where you will have a nice view. Because the entrance fee is only a few euros, you can ignore the museum with your kids and walk straight to the terrace.
- Fondaco Dei Tedeschi: If you’re looking for a free viewpoint, this is a must-see in Venice with kids. Located near the famous Rialto Bridge, this department store has a beautiful roof terrace on the top floor with stunning views of the city. It’s best to book this in advance because only 40 people are allowed on the rooftop terrace every 15 minutes.
Venice with kids #3: the different islands
Many tourists visiting Venice with kids only visit the historic center and St. Mark’s Square, but there are several other islands worth visiting. These islands are easily accessible by Vaporette boat. We will list the best ones here for you:
- Burano: this is Venice’s most colorful island and your kids will be short of eyes to see everything. All the houses on the island have been given a nice bright color and it looks very cool. The islet is not large and it is fun to walk past the colorful cottages here. In an hour you will have seen the photogenic little island.
- Murano: This island is known for its glass blowers. You can see how they blow the glass in several stores here. One advantage of this island is that it is a lot quieter than Venice itself. If you don’t have that much time and have to choose between islands go for the colorful island of Burano.
- Torcello: this is the greenest island and also the quietest island. If you want to seek peace and quiet and walk in green surroundings, then a visit to this island is definitely recommended. There is also a 55-meter-high bell tower on the island, and the view from this tower is very beautiful.
Venice with kids #4: Venice Castle
St. Mark’s Square is also home to Venice’s castle: the Doge’s Palace. This palace has beautiful rooms with lots of gold on the walls and ceiling, many paintings and a beautiful courtyard. It has a room with many old weapons and a whole prison system. This prison system looks a bit like a maze and your kids will love it. The Doge’s Palace is open all year except on Dec. 25 and Jan. 1.
Tip: If you want to get away from the crowds in Venice with kids at St. Mark’s Square, there is a nice green park (Parco delle Rimembranze) with playground about a half-hour walk away. This park also has plenty of grassy areas, making it a nice place to have a family picnic along the waterfront while the kids are playing in the playground. We understand that a half-hour walk is long, which is why you can also take the Vaporette from St. Mark’s Square and stop at Sant’Elena stop. Then you really stop right in front of the park.
Venice with kids #5: museums or beach?
At the last attraction, we let you make your own choice based on your preferences. Are your kids more fond of a museum or the beach?
If you want to go to the beach, you can go to Lido beach which is about a 15-minute boat ride from St. Mark’s Square by Vaporette. This is a huge elongated beach. However, many beaches here are private and prices are very high. In the north of the island you have public beaches. Near here, you also have a water park for the enthusiasts lying around.
If you prefer to visit a museum in Venice with your kids, the most family-friendly museum is the Natural History Museum. This museum is about a 20-minute walk from St. Mark’s Square and is beautifully situated on the waterfront. The museum has exhibits of plants, animals past and present, stuffed animals, hides, tusks and skeletons. The museum also has a 5-meter-long aquarium with various fish in it. Just keep in mind that most of the texts accompanying the animals are not in English.
Where to sleep in Venice with kids
Despite you can basically see Venice in a day with your family, it is certainly not a bad idea to stay overnight in this city. The city is pretty busy during the day and when we went to get breakfast in the city in the early morning, it was really a lot quieter. We have to say that there is definitely something to that, because in general, of course, the city is very busy.
Budget hotel: Hotel San Moise
Mid-range hotel: Palazzo Orseolo-Gondola View
Luxury hotel: Hotel Saturnia & International
To search for other hotels in Venice with kids click here the whole list.
Further information Venice with kids
Venice Pass: if you go to many museums, attractions and churches in Venice with kids, this pass can be advantageous. Also included in part is public transportation. Take a look in advance at what you want to do and see and then see for yourself if the pass is advantageous or not.