MOVING AROUND WITH KIDS
As is well known, Venice is a unique city in the world: if you have small children, consider that you will have to manoeuvre the stroller through narrow streets and to lift it many times since Venice is built on about 120 islets joined together by… hundreds of bridges!
So it’s better to have a light stroller with large wheels and, if you have twins, you’d better choose a long and narrow stroller instead of one with side-by-side seats!
Even if your kids like walking, mind that you will be walking A LOT in a city like Venice where the public transport is often crowded and not always convenient. Walking around all day takes a lot of energy!
If your kids get tired, unfortunately there are not many benches in Venice and sitting on the steps of the bridges is not advisable (and not even allowed), so make plans that are feasible, without too much walking and possibly including one or more stops in your hotel or apartment during the day!
If your children are old enough to enjoy one of our child-friendly scavenger hunt tours, we suggest reading – beforehand! – our recommendations about how to make a guided tour with children a real success and how to make it enjoyable for all the family. See the article on our blog: “Professional tips to make your family tour a success!”
Children usually love private WATER TAXIS, because they can ride fast and make you feel like a “movie star”! No doubt having a boat for yourself is comfortable, but also quite expensive and therefore not for all budgets.
It makes sense though to spend your money for a private water taxi to take a tour along the Grand Canal and through the smaller canals of Venice… (for example on our tour “Water and Stones: tour along the Grand Canal“)
Also, water-taxis are the best way to reach the airport, the train station or the cruise terminal when in a hurry or when you have a lot of luggage.
Among the other companies we recommend:
As you may know, in Venice buses are boats: they are called VAPORETTI. The company that manages transport in the city and to the major islands is called ACTV.
Here’s a very helpful app (that even locals use!) that you may download to orient yourself with lines and timetables: CHEBATEO.
1 single ticket costs € 7.50 and lasts 75 minutes, so if you plan to use the vaporetto at least 3 times in the same day, you should buy the 24-hour pass, which costs € 20.
Children up to 5 years of age travel for free, but unfortunately there are no reductions for other age groups.
There are also passes that are valid for 2, 3 or 7 days (with the Rolling Venice card, young people aged 6 to 29 have reductions).
However, we recommend that you check the rates and purchase your tickets online on the Venezia Unica website.
TRANSFER TO AND FROM THE AIRPORT AND THE PORT
The company that manages public transport to and from the airport is ALILAGUNA: the journey from the airport to St. Mark’s Square is a bit long and takes more than an hour.
The ticket costs around € 15 (children under 6 travel for free) and includes one heavy luggage plus one hand luggage.
However, we recommend that you check the rates and purchase your tickets online on the Alilaguna website.
Another way to reach Venice from the airport is by land to Piazzale Roma (bus or taxi) and then by water (vaporetto or water taxi).
ACTV (line 5)
WHAT TO DO IN CASE OF ACQUA ALTA (HIGH TIDE)?!
If acqua alta (“high tide” or flooding) is expected during you stay, don’t worry! That’s a fact of life in Venice and we Venetians are used to it!
You can learn more and monitor the tide levels on the website of the Municipality of Venice.
Here’s also a helpful app to download: High Tide Venice – Hi!Tide – Apps on Google Play.
Mind that the tide forecast refers to the water level calculated above the mean sea level and NOT to the actual water depth: for example, in case of an expected high tide of 120cm (about 4 feet), you won’t be walking in 120cm-deep water!! In fact most of the city will still be dry, since in most places the pavement has been raised over 120cm above sea level. Actually St Mark’s Square is the lowest part of Venice, therefore it’s covered in water most of the times. However there will be walkaways (called passerelle) where to walk safely in the dry.
Alternatively what better occasion to show off your rubber boots (or buy a pair!?) and experience this typically Venetian phenomenon?!
WHAT TO DO IN VENICE WITH KIDS?!
If your children are good walkers, well, Venice is the perfect place: wandering around a city without having to pay attention to cars, bikes and scooters is truly priceless!
But how can you make your stay in Venice an enjoyable and meaningful experience for the whole family?
TAKE A FAMILY TOUR WITH US!
Of course the first thing to do is booking a scavenger hunt tour with us of Venice Kids Tours! 😊
Our kid-friendly tours are engaging for the kids and informative for the adults: they are interesting and fun for all the family! This is the link to the list of all our tours, but don’t hesitate to contact us for further information and helpful advice on how to customize your own tour!
After choosing and booking your tour, to make the most of it, we suggest reading our post “Professional tips to make your family tour a success! “
WHAT TO DO ON YOUR OWN? Here’s some suggestions:
DISCOVER VENICE FROM THE WATER
It may seem a touristy thing, but there’s no more elegant and traditional means of transport to grasp the enchanting reflection of the lagoon waters than a GONDOLA.
To take a gondola ride you don’t need to book in advance: you just stop at one of the many gondola stations (called stazi) and you can take one at the cost of €80 (for about half an hour, for 5/6 people: the price is per boat and not per person). The ride usually provides a combination of the Grand Canal and smaller canals.
An alternative way to experience a gondola is taking one of the gondola ferries (called traghetto) to go across the Grand Canal (there are 3 stations where they regularly do that). Of course it’s a much shorter ride, yet much more affordable: it costs only €2 per person.
Here’s a map of the main gondola stations.
EXPERIENCE VENICE ON A WORKSHOP!
Children certainly learn more if they feel like protagonists: playing an active role in the story is motivating and fun.
- taking a rowing lesson
- creating your own Carnival mask on a mask-painting workshop
- being the assistant of a Murano glass-master
- painting like a true artist with easel and brushes
- learning how to make a pop-up
- becoming a chef for one day on a cooking class
- and – last but not least! – taking one of our scavenger hunts tours, solving the mystery and winning the prize!
You can find more information about KID-FRIENDLY WORKSHOPS on our website.
TASTE VENICE: FOOD TIPS.
There are so many places to eat excellent Venetian food that we can’t list them all! Here’s some tasty tips: just our favourite places…
If you want a superb gelato (ice-cream), try the famous “gianduiotto” at Nico or a cone at SuSo or at Alaska.
A delicious pizza? We like it at Rosso Pomodoro and at Al Profeta.
Wonderful pastry shops for the sweet tooths: Rosa Salva, Al Ponte delle paste, Tonolo.
As for the typical local dishes, the list of restaurants would be too long!?! We give you just a few recommendations:
Bars (bacari) to try the typical Venetian cichéti in the Rialto area: All’Arco, Ae Do spade.
Local restaurants to have a more relaxing meal: Osteria Antico Calice, Trattoria alla Madonna.
GO SHOPPING KID-FRIENDLY
Here’s some ideas for your shopping with and for children:
You cannot miss the famous Acqua Alta bookshop, where books are kept in unusual shelves such as boats and bathtubs and you may happen to find Mr. Luigi’s cats sleeping on the posters and books.
For fabulous masks: Ca’ Macana and Ca’ del Sol.
Of course you can find countless shops selling Murano glass objects of all kinds: for example near St Mark’s Square along the Mercerie and the Frezzeria
As a final touch: Signor Blum creates wooden objects and toys, full of colours and filled with poetical Venetian imagination.
WE ARE WAITING FOR YOU!