How to get around:
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.
Where to stay:
I recommend staying somewhere near the Stazione di Venezia Santa Lucia(train station). It will make your life much easier unless you are up for carrying your luggage over many bridges and stairs. We found a great airbnb within a 3-5 walk from the station (click here).
Places to eat:
Top pick- 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. We ended up eating their past 3 different times while we were in Venice. It is around €7 for a pasta. Worth every cent!
For a dinner Paradiso Perduto is impeccable!
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.
This is a perfect city for kids to be able to ride their scooters. There are no cars and the streets are very smooth.
Things to do:
1. Gondola ride
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. The cost is around €80 for 40 minutes. They will try charging more, so try and bargain.
2. Piazza & Basilica San Marco
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.
3. Tower of San Giorgio Maggiore
Take a Vaporetto (water bus) 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.
4. Lido beach
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.
5. Basilica di Santa Maria dela Salute
Take the Vaporetto to 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.