Let me start with saying that Venice is a beautiful city that I like a lot. Venice is also the first city to blow my mind when I was a child visiting with my mom. Still, I believe Venice is more appropriate for traveling couples, romantic getaways and adults in general rather than babies, toddlers, or little kids. Children above 5 or 6 would enjoy a trip to Venice enough for you to bring them with you.
Being (almost) a pedestrian city, Venice is so charming with no vehicles! It’s a dream come true unless you really need to park closer to where you made your reservation. We wanted to sleep right in the center, so we booked an apartment 2 minutes away from San Marco Square. So far, so good. However, walking from the parking lot near the train station to our place took us way too long. Plus, we were carrying some luggage and diapers…
Bridges of Venice
If you want to feel challenged, try walking around Venice with a stroller! Each bridge goes ten steps up and ten steps down (at least) and one of the parents will have to lift the stroller for each bridge. FYI, there are exactly 391 bridges in Venice. Let me tell you, they don’t seem that romantic at some point. It is better to walk around with a baby carrier/baby wrap. We don’t use one anymore, so we were stuck with the stroller.
If the stroller doesn’t bring you down, the crowds will! Venice is always full of people. There were many tourists visiting in January 2023 when we had our last trip to Italy and Venice. You’ll need to navigate the crowds with a stroller which is not the best.
Our toddler walks confidently but she wanted to explore the channels of Venice by falling in one, so it was definitely annoying stopping her from doing something dangerous all the time.
Gondolas are a no-no with toddlers
Riding a traditional gondola for EUR 80 across Venice is attractive in a way but seems very difficult with a toddler because of security concerns. If you want to experience that one, wait a few years, or come without children.
San Marco Square is always a good idea
San Marco Square is large, away from the water and full of pigeons that children love. Our toddler loved running around chasing the birds and got impressed by the flying lions on the buildings and the four horses at San Marco Cathedral’s entrance. Our 5-year-old likes chasing birds as well, so it was a win-win hanging around the most popular spot in Venice.
Bring your kids to Venice
Putting all humor aside and despite the ton of the article so far, Venice can be great for children aged 5 or above. Our Anna enjoyed seeing the typical carnival masks everywhere. She got very enthusiastic about choosing one for herself. She then wore it for a couple of days, even when we left Venice.
Visiting Acqua Alta Library with Anna was also a great idea. She climbed the books in the back of the library a couple of times and wanted to take many pictures there.
We also measured how narrow some streets are which was entertaining enough for some time. Anna is very familiar with Mediterranean old town architecture since we live in Sibenik, but she still enjoyed measuring the streets and touching each side with hands or legs.
Visiting Peggy Guggenheim Museum worked great for our 5-year old, but I must mention she is into painting and has visited many exhibitions and museums before. Prepare in advance before visiting the museum. I personally played a video from the movie Pollock showing Ed Harris painting and it impressed my daughter enough to be excited to see his curious pieces.
Gelato time, pizza time, fashion time
All kids love ice cream and pizza, right? Italy in general is a fine place to enjoy both ice cream and pizza, so try making an event out of it for the kids.
I hope you can take a few ideas out of this blog post.
Let me know how was your trip to Venice or Italy!