Venice with Kids – A Family Holiday or Not?

When you think of Venice you think of water, romance and couples floating around on Gondolas. A holiday with the kids is not always the first thing on your mind, or the last! We recently took our nearly 4 year old boy on a 3 night holiday to Venice. I’d been years ago with my family and it was a holiday that we often look back upon with fond memories. Jamie is a lot younger than I was but I truly hope he will have some lasting memories.

Jamie does have a tendency to love everything he does and everywhere he goes. But you can always genuinely tell when he is truly enjoying himself. So did he truly enjoy Venice? The answer is YES, Yes Yes! He loved it and he simply did not want to leave.


So is it Worth Taking Your Kids to Venice?

Firstly I will start with what he told us he enjoyed the most. One was our ride on a Gondola. The second was feeding the pigeons at St Mark’s square. Yes, you can feed pigeons anywhere if you so desire, or not, but nothing can beat this backdrop!

Feeding the Pigeons on Saint Mark's Square
Feeding the Pigeons on Saint Mark’s Square

Venice was overwhelmingly busy for us when we went at the end of April but Jamie didn’t notice. There are no cars to worry about for a start. It’s all about wandering around, hopping on and off the Vaporetto boats and just soaking it all in.

The trouble with Venice as a romantic couple is that you feel pressured. Expectations are set too high of each other. With your kids in tow that pressure is gone and you can just relax and soak Venice up for the true adventure, it should be. I noticed a lot of stressed-out couples while we were there!

Kids are also more likely to notice things that you don’t. This happened to us many times while we were there. Maybe it’s because they see things at a different height but he was often pointing out things that we’d missed. Just look at what he spotted outside Doge’s Palace. We were about to walk past it without even glimpsing this amazing statue on the wall. He was very insistent that we took photos of him by his discovery.

Venice with Kids - A Family Holiday or Not?
Jamie’s Doge’s Palace Discovery

They will also be the centre of almost everyone’s attention. The Italian birth rate is low and because there are hardly any children wandering the pathways of Venice you can guarantee your child will get more attention than they’ve ever had. He was pretty popular on our holiday to Gran Canaria but that was nothing compared to Venice. The Chinese and Japanese tourists were also very taken with him and every single restaurant waiter sought his attention.

A major bonus for us was skipping the massive queue upon arrival at Treviso airport. It was huge and not moving at all. Then from nowhere a customs officer came and ushered us and the only other family in the queue past many disgruntled couples down to the front of the queue. Bonus!

What else? Well, they will most likely eat better than they’ve ever done before. Most kids love pizza, pasta and ice cream right? We had some delicious meals while we were there and all to Jamie’s taste. He was in his element. None of the restaurants in Venice appeared to serve children’s portions which was strange for a City that loves them.

In food heaven!
In Food Heaven!
Venice with Kids - A Family Holiday or Not?

All this water will give your child quite a few firsts. Jamie got to experience a Gondola ride, a private water taxi and many trips on a Vaparetto. (boat equivalent of the bus!). He learnt so much on this holiday to Venice. Things that would soon be forgotten from a book.

Private Water Taxi from the Bus Station
Private Water Taxi from the Bus Station
Seeing the Grand Canal from a Vaporetto Boat
Seeing the Grand Canal from a Vaporetto Boat
Gondola Ride Venice
Gondola Ride

Hopefully, he learnt to appreciate art too. He was amazed by the paintings and the gold of the ceilings in Doge’s Palace.

Another thing I’m sure your kids will enjoy is exploring the prisons across the Bridge of Sighs from Doge’s Palace. It’s certainly a visit that will stir your little one’s imaginations. He was amazed by the small prison doors and again it was something we could teach him about what he can now associate with memories. What an adventure!

Exploring the Prisons of Doges Palace
Exploring the Prisons of Doges Palace

My son was very taken with the gold mosaics of St Mark’s Basilica. So much so he took about 10 photos of them.

Beautiful Gold Mosaics of the Basillica of St Mark
Beautiful Gold Mosaics of the Basilica of St Mark’s

And finally window shopping. Even children can enjoy looking in shop windows in Venice. Jamie loved it. From the beautiful glass of Morano to the amazing masks used during their famous festivals, plus much more. It was truly fascinating to him. He had his own camera with him and he took many photos of the window displays.

Window shopping in Venice. Jamie has never paid so much attention to shops

If you haven’t already imagined your child seeing and experiencing all these things then Venice is for couples and not for your little ones. However, I am sure you are thinking that a holiday to Venice with kids is more doable than you ever imagined. Go on, take them, they’ll love it.

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Venice with Kids - A Family Holiday or Not?

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  1. I love your pictures, he looks like he’s having such fun! We were lucky enough to live a few hour’s drive from Venice for a long time, so we went ALOT and even took our then tiny baby (I wouldn’t recommend taking pushchairs!!). It’s such a fabulous and slightly surreal place. My favourite time of year to go is definitely winter though when it’s a little quieter! 🙂

  2. I loved this post so much that I have pinned and tweeted. I totally agree with how kids notice things that we don’t and the best way to explore with kids is on an unplanned itinerary!
    Your post brought back some lovely memories for me from when I visited with my baby and family.

  3. Such wonderful pictures. I would love to go to Venice, it is definitely on my bucket list and I think anywhere can be family-friendly if you want it to be. You have certainly convinced me that we should try and go in the next couple of years.

  4. This has been on my list of potential city breaks for me and Boo for a while now and I’ve been wondering just how chid friendly it was – looks like you’ve answered my questions! Will add it to our city bucket list, thanks!

  5. I love taking my children on adventures abroad. I totally agree with you that they learn so much more than they do from books or watching it on TV. I would love to take my boys.

  6. Such an interesting post. We went to venice years ago before we had Eric, it was very much the romantic get away like you mentioned. I really loved the place so much, found it very pretty and special, I wasn’t sure if we would take kids or not but after reading this you persuaded me! The thing that attracts me the most about taking kids there is the fact there’s no traffic!

  7. I would of never thought of taking the kids to Venice but it looks really lovely and such a stunning place to visit. You have some really beautiful pictures and memories to keep.

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