After finding an amazing flight deal the year prior I was off spend a week in Italy. We would spend 3 days in Venice and then take the train from Venice to Florence and then end in Rome. Even though my daughter had already been on about 10 flights to Miami, New York, and Jamaica I was still a bit worried as this would be her longest flight to date. Not to mention after booking I found out I was expecting and would be 3 months pregnant on the trip. Here is how to spend 3 days in Venice with kids.
How to Get to Venice with Kids
When traveling with babies booking an overnight flight can be very helpful. This way your child will sleep the whole way and avoid jet-lag as it will be morning when arriving at your destination. When traveling with a baby on a long-haul flight you can request a bulk-head seat when booking so that your child can use the bassinet. This way you can sleep comfortably while they do as well.
Traveling to Venice and don’t want to lug all your baby gear with you? Staying at a hotel, Vrbo or airbnb that doesn’t provide a crib? Reach out to Mamarent for your baby equipment rental needs in Venice.
Venice Airport Transfer: How to Get From Venice Airport to Venice
Venice airport is a ways our from Venice proper so you’ll need a Venice airport transfer when going from Venice airport to Venice. We took the ATVO coach bus from the airport (mainland Venice) to Venice Island. These coaches have storage for your luggage and take you to the island where you can then take the water taxi to the stop you need to. You can buy your ticket inside of the airport near baggage claim and follow the signs outside to the waiting area for the bus, they come every 15mins. It was a super easy way and affordable way to get from Venice Airport to Venice.
Where to Stay in Venice with Kids (or without them)
When decided where to stay in Venice we thought an Airbnb would be best. This is because there were 16 of us and cost wise sharing an apartment was cheaper than individual hotel rooms. We stayed in this Airbnb in Venice. Besides choosing an Airbnb when decided where to stay in Venice we looked at the convenience of the location. Since there are no cars in Venice as we’d be taking the boat taxi’s we wanted to make sure we were near a stop. We also wanted to be walking distance to a grocery store and restaurants. We don’t think we could have chosen a better spot.
Nervous about Airbnb? Read these 8 tips to guarantee a great Airbnb experience. Also be sure to sign up for Airbnb here to receive a $40 credit towards your first stay.
How to Spend 3 Days in Venice with Kids (or without them)
Venice with Kids Day 1: Rialto Bridge and Market, Gondola Ride
We landed around 9AM checked into our Airbnb and then got lunch. We still had most of the day and since the weather had rain in the forecast for our next two days but wasn’t raining now we figured it was the perfect time for the obligatory Gondola ride. Gondola rides are very expensive, expect to pay about $80 Euros for a short 40 minute ride. Since we were a group of 16, we got 3 and split the cost so it wasn’t as expensive.
If you wait until after 7PM, the ride goes up to $100 Euros. You can check the current price of Gondola Rides here. If you are traveling alone with an infant you might want to consider a shared Gondola Ride from Viator where kids under 1 are free and you only pay about $38 per person.
Afterwards we walked around Rialto Bridge where they have vendors selling souvenirs. They also have a market with vendors selling fresh fruit, vegetables and flowers.
Day 2: St. Marks Square: Campanile, Basilica, Doge’s Palace & Secret Itineraries Tour
On our second day in Venice we explored all of St. Marks Square. We started with the day exploring Doge’s Palace which was included in our Venice Museum Pass. Next we went on the Secret Itineraries Tour which covers the inaccessible rooms and chambers where the delicate work of some of the most important bodies in the Venetian administration was carried out. Children under 6 are not allowed on this tour so Jordyn did not go with me, my Aunt who was traveling with us was not interested and kindly watched her for me. The tour lasts 1 hour and 15 mins.
Next we visited the Campanile for breathtaking views of Venice 324 feet in the air. The cost is 8 Euros but the views are gorgeous (children under 5 are free). In July and August it’s open for 9AM to 9PM, in April-June and September-October it’s open from 9AM-7PM and in the winter from November to March it’s only open 9:30AM-3:45PM. The last elevator goes up 1 hour before closing. To avoid the long lines unless you arrive early you can purchase a skip the line ticket online here when traveling between April 1st and November 2nd, all other times everyone must stand on line.
During the same time of the year you can purchase a skip the line ticket for St. Mark’s Bascilica to avoid that line. Monday-Friday it is open from 9:30AM-5:00PM and weekends from 2:00PM-4:30PM. It only takes about 10 mins to go through the church. You are not allowed to take pictures inside of the church. Your clothing must also be appropriate for a place of worship, meaning no above the knees short/dresses/skirts and shoulders must be covered.
Day 3 in Venice with Kids: Island of Burano and Island of Murano
Our last day in Venice was spent exploring the nearby islands of Burano and Murano. Half of our group decided to take a group tour while the other half including myself decided we would go at our own pace and take the ferry to save money. We caught the ferry to Murano from St. Marks Square. Before getting on we stopped to admire the infamous Bridge of Sighs pictured below. This half-day trip tours the islands of Murano and Burano and an optional glass blowing demonstration on Murano.
We took a vaporetto to our first stop, Murano Island, which is famous for glass blowing. From St. Marks Square we took a vaporetto to the Fondamente Nove stop and then transferred to line 12. We got off at Colonna since we wanted to see a live demonstration of glassblowing but you can get off at any stop in Murano. In Murano we also visited the Glass Museum, included in our Museum Pass, and walked around exploring the various shops.
Next we headed to Burano, a 30min ride from Murano. You can take the same vaporetto, line 12 to get from Muarno to Burano. There is only one stop in Burano so you can’t miss it. Burano is known for it’s lace and gorgeous brightly colored homes. The homes were originally painted so colorfully to prevent the boats from missing them and wrecking.
Next we headed to Florence to spend two days there. We traveled by train, taking the Trenitalia. It was very easy to take, only cost $37 per person and took 2hrs. Children under 4 ride for free and children 4-14 get a 50% discount.
Travel Gear You Need in Venice with Kids
In Venice there are no roadways so you either walk to your destination or take a water-taxi. I bought a super cheap umbrella stroller from Tagret for the trip but after 30mins in Venice I realized the city was not made for strollers and used the carrier the rest of the time. The walkways are cobble stone and there are just so many stairs in Venice the stroller was inconvenient. We saw so many people struggling to carry the stroller up the stairs with their child in out or have to take the kid out have them walk up and down while holding their hand and the stroller.
Important to note is that during the Secret Itineraries Tour at Doge’s Palace strollers are not allowed. It would also be hard to bring anything bigger than an umbrella stroller on a gondola ride. The Islands of Murano and Burano were probably the only places I feel like it could of made any real sense to bring the stroller but I managed fine with the carrier alone.
In Venice there are no roadways or cars, only canals and water taxis, so a car seat is unnecessary. The only time we got in a vehicle was when we took one of the buses from the airport to the water taxi station and you are unable to install a car seat on the bus. Venice is full of bridges and crowded cobblestone roads you will end up taking the baby out of the strolled many times to climb up and down the stairs and it may be difficult to navigate through the crowds during the busy times of the day. I was 3 months pregnant when we traveled to Venice and I managed to carry Jordyn (15 months) with my Ergo 360 carrier just fine.
Now there is a lot of walking in Venice so if your child can’t make it through the day walking on their own and you know you personally can’t manage carrying them in a carrier all day then I would bring a cheap, very small umbrella stroller. Anything heavy and bulky like a travel system or jogging stroller will be a real pain as you will have to carry the stroller up and down the stairs of the many bridges located throughout the city.
We really enjoyed our 3 days in Venice with kids. It was now time to take the train from Venice to Florence. Have you been to Venice with kids, drop your tips below! If you found this post helpful please share it.
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Lawtnee M. Frazier says
I am so grateful that I ran across your site, as I myself am an avid traveler, and kind of felt a bit discouraged about traveling after the birth of my son. My son is currently 9 months, and I am looking to travel internationally this summer. Thus far we have traveled by airplane once to visit my mother this past June. At the time my son was 5 months and did excellent on the plane traveling from ATL to Washington, D.C. I am looking to travel to Italy myself this upcoming summer. Just wanted to have some additional insight about your travels to Italy:
1. How far in advance did you book your trip?
2. Would you recommend traveling with a group, since it will only be myself and my son?
Sorry for the delay in response. Thank you so much for checking out my blog, I am so happy you are enjoying it and finding it useful.
1. We went in August/September 2015 and we booked in November 2014 because we did Italy by land the 1st week and a Greek Islands Cruise the 2nd so we booked the cruise and airfare early. I booked our Airbnbs in Italy and train rides in between the cities much later (2-3 months in advance).
2. If by group you mean people you don’t know I wouldn’t recommend it. By keeping it just the two of you, you will be able to move at your own pace. If he is having a tough morning or you have to stop for a break you don’t have to worry about keeping up with anyone else. If the group consists of friends and family, particularly helpful ones go for it! Now that doesn’t mean you can’t do group tours we did a few and had no major issues but again you have to go at the pace of the tour and my miss out of something if you had to feed him, change his diaper, etc. When we did the Vatican Tour I had to step aside for about 10mins to because Jordyn was taking a while to fall asleep for her nap and was a bit cranky. I didn’t want to mess up the tour for everyone else so I walked about, I know in the grand scheme I didn’t miss much but of course the tour guide didn’t stop talking just because I stepped away.
Hope this helps, let me know if you have any additional questions!
Hi! Love, love, love your blog, it’s so helpful and informative! My question is: is Italy a trip one can take with a 9 month old? I’m currently expecting and we want to book our summer trip now but I’m hesitant because our baby will be 9 months at that time (our a 9, 7 & 3 year old will also travel with us) What are your thoughts on that age and family size traveling internationally? We are traveling from SoCal.
Thanks in advance!
Thank you so much and congrats on the addition to your family! Yes, you can def go with a 9 month old. Jordyn was 15 months when we went and I was 16 weeks pregnant with Kennedy. Baby will still be very light and you can do a carrier only, no need for a stroller especially if there are two of you so you can switch out if baby gets too heavy. Well for your 3yr old you might want a stroller because there is a lot of walking but strollers are very inconvenient in Venice because of all the stairs. I might be the wrong person to ask because I took the girls to Colombia when Kennedy was just 10 weeks, my pediatrician said it was no problem at all. Your other kids are older so they should be more than fine, the 3 yr old will be the only one taking naps I’m sure so a small reclining stroller would be good for long days when he/she gets tired.