When visiting Venice with kids make sure to have a light stroller. The city is 100% walk able, but anywhere you want to go will require you to cross many bridges and all of those bridges are made of steps, very rarely we can find a bridge with ramps. That said, the best way to go the distance in Venice is making use of the Vaporetto – a water bus with basically two different lines. As though it might seem expensive at first, buying the 2 or 3 day pass is normally worth the €30 or €40 you will spend per adult – kids younger than 6 are free.
Day 1 – Tower of San Giorgio Maggiore, Piazza & Basilica San Marco
No matter where you are staying go straight to the closest Vaporetto (water bus) station and find your way to the Tower of San Giorgio Maggiore. You will pay €5 to have access to the elevator (no stairs, YAY!) that will take you to the famous bell tower. There, you will be able to enjoy breathtaking views of Venice. Despite being a major attraction, we did not see long lines being formed around here.
Take the Vaporetto back to the other side of the city and enjoy the magnificent Piazza San Marco. Kids might feel compelled to chase birds and pigeons, keep an eye on your little ones as this square is extremely busy. If you get hungry try to make a stop at Dal Moro’s. Not far from Piazza San Marco, their delicious fresh pasta to go is everything you need to replenish before a whole afternoon of exploring.
Day 2 – Day at the beach or exploring Venice – Gondola rides!
If you are travelling during summer, then taking a ferry to Lido and spending your day at the beach might be a great idea. The beach is sandy, clean and the water is warm and calm. Perfect for kids who love to build sandcastles. There are changing rooms and showers to use for a fee. You can also rent umbrellas and chairs.
In case you are travelling during the winter or don’t want to go to the beach, get an early start to your day and do the famous gondola ride as early in the morning as you can. Lines will be significantly shorter, canals emptier and photo ops more abundant.
Stroll along the canals on the street Fondamenta Misericordia. Choosing a restaurant here is no easy task but basically guarantees you a good experience. For dinner, Paradiso Perduto is impeccable. Can’t miss!
Day 3 – Venice off the beaten track and spectacular views
A great way to start your day is by hopping on and off the Vaporetto. You will find magical places like the Basilica di Santa Maria dela Salute. The neighborhood where this cathedral is located is incredibly empty even during the peak of the touristic season. A step off the beat track can provide great family photos and a calmer, quieter environment for kids to run around and play and be themselves. Views from streets Fondamenta Zattere ai Saloni and Fondamenta Cà Balà are so pleasing that you will want to take a minute to admire all that beauty.
Back to the busy part of the city, cross Rialto Bridge (the most famous of all).
Enter a building called Fondaco dei Tedeschi and take and elevator straight to the rooftop. This hidden gem is free and offers the most spectacular views of Venice.