Updated: Sep 16, 2020
Venice may not be the first place you would think of when travelling with a toddler, it has a very romantic and fairytale feel about it. There may not be many places to visit that are specifically aimed at kids, but exploring Venice with children can still be so much fun. Roman loved the fact that everywhere he looked there were boat's, he could see fish in the canals and every day he got to eat gelato whilst sitting on the canal edge. There is a lot of walking involved so we were happy we took his pram with us however there are lots of bridges so lots of lifting. Venice was probably our highlight of this visit to Italy and I loved that Roman got to experience it too!
Tyson Trails Recommends Visiting
Walk the canals - A free and fun thing to do, just get lost in the winding canals. Roman absolutely loved just wandering around, climbing all the bridges and watching the boats and gondolas drive past. We found a few great spots to grab a gelato and sit on the canal edge admiring where we actually were.
St Marks Square - Another must visit, It is said that Napoleon called San Marco "the drawing room of Europe." And it is a breathtakingly beautiful place. the architecture is just amazing and its a great space for children to wander (or run) around. You can go inside the buildings to explore more however they do have long queues so we decided against it and to just enjoy from the square itself but if you are visiting with older children or with more patience then I would highly recommend. As you head towards the sea it is lined with beautiful gondolas and makes a great place for stunning pictures.
Murano and Burano - This was my number 1 thing to do on this visit to Italy
as we missed out last time. The island of Murano is renowned for its long tradition of glass-making and picturesque Burano is known for its brightly coloured fishermen's houses, its casual eateries and lace shops. We originally looked at booking a tour but read a lot of reviews from people saying that they felt rushed and like they didnt have enough time on the islands so we opted for a DIY tour. We brought a 24 hour pass on the vaporetto (public boats) and the lines are really easy to navigate, you can buy a map or we just used google maps and the routes brought up the timetables and which line to hop on. We absolutely loved exploring the islands and this was a great day out for all of us!
Where To Stay
We tried to keep our hotel costs to a minimum as we were visiting a few cities and the costs can really rack up especially in Venice. We decided on the Canal hotel which was really reasonable and located right opposite Santa Lucia train station so really convenient for arriving and leaving. We also upgraded to a family balcony room which was beautiful and it had a great view over the canal.
A visit to Venice involves a lot of walking so make sure you pack your comfiest shoe's. Like a lot of other European countries the weather is very seasonal we visited in August and it was around 30-35 degrees daily so very hot but there is also loads of shade on the canals.
When to visit
The best time to visit is during late spring to the end of summer for warmer weather however its also the high season so there are a lot more tourists. Venice is a beautiful place and no matter the weather you will have an amazing experience.
Flying to Venice
Venice Marco Polo airport - most low cost airlines from the UK fly here in around 2 hours making it a great weekend trip. From the airport you have a few options, the quickest transport to Venice is by taxi boat which you can get from the airport; this is also the more expensive option but takes only 25 minutes to arrive. You can also get a bus/coach again you can grab your tickets from the arrivals section this was around 8 Euro each and takes an hour (we chose this option) just follow the bus signs its really simple. You could also choose to order a taxi which would take just under an hour but is more private.
Food & drink
Food is one of the reasons you are probably in Italy; pizza and pasta to die for there are so many options. Roy being gluten intolerant was a little worried about the gluten free options but after a little googling we found some great places to visit Ristorante Pizzeria Dolfin was a great find for a GF pizza and we also had some lovely pasta for me and Roman. A highlight dinner for us was at a small place called Frarys which was a Lebanese/Mediterranean, they offered free Gluten free breads for starters and minus 2 things on the menu everything was Gluten free.
Visiting Venice wouldn't be complete without having an Aperol Spritz and when we then went to other cities after Venice we realised how cheap the spritz are there; 3 euro compared to 9 euro in Rome!