When Planning a child-friendly vacation, Venice will hardly come to mind. But even this bustling with tourists city, where half of the streets are canals and the others are connected with bridges with stairs, making it hard to move around with a stroller, you can have a good vacation with little children. Read on to find out how.
- Choose the right season for you.
Venice is hot and humid in summer, and most crowded too. The least number of tourists is between November-March and that’s when an interesting phenomenon known as the acqua alta is happening from time to time – San Marco square and some other areas may get flooded with ankle-deep water when the tide is high.
We never intended to visit Venice in August, preferring a cooler time of the year. But it was on our way to Croatia (direct flight), so we decided to spend a couple of days there.
2. Plan ahead
Planning ahead will give you more choice of accommodation. And this is important for families with little children.
3. Choose the right accommodation
In the old city center most of the apartments will be on upper floors with tiny staircases and no lifts. Add to it the fact that there is no transport but boats in Venice and the rest you’ll have to walk with all your luggage, and the choice is obvious – anything far from a station won’t do.
Having 2 children, another important criteria for us is that the accommodation should have 2 bedrooms and a kitchen. A garden and toys and a washing machine are a big plus. All our requirements were met at this Airbnb on the Lido island.
Lido is conveniently connected with the centre of Venice and the airport with waterbus lines.
The main attraction of the Lido island is the beach.
We we only getting to the beach closer to the evening but even then the water was quite warm.
4. Entertainment for every member of the travel team
On our trips we try to satisfy the needs of every member of our family.
On the Lido island we were going to a beach restaurant or ate at home, so that our toddler could play in the sand nearby which let us enjoy our time as much as possible.
We took a boat ride during our toddler’s nap and could enjoy the view of the splendid Venice architecture without her being bored and mad.
We walk the streets while the toddler sleeps, and we always make at least one stop a day at a playground.
How we found a playground in Venice? – Google maps! We went to Parco Savorgnan. The playground is hidden behind buildings – don’t give up your search and you’ll find it.
There were lots of mosquitoes there (like anywhere in Venice where there’s shade) but our daughter loved that playgrond and even begged to return there after we returned home – she just couldn’t forget the play petrol station.
5. Be aware of the humidity
It’s very humid in Venice, makes it difficult to breathe and prevents the laundry from drying. We had to take a bag of wet clothes with us as nothing dried overnight.
6. Protect yourself from mosquitoes.
These hungry beasts are everywhere.
Our Airbnb had repellents in every room, so the nights were relatively peaceful. But outside it was painful after dusk – mosquitoes were attacking fiercely, especially near greenery. But even during the day and in the city center mosquitoes were finding us.
7. Choose the right transportation for your little one
You can’t escape stairs in Venice. Unless you move around by boat, which is not the best option for a child anyway.
Think what will be most comfortable for you: if it’s a stroller, than a light weight, if it’s a baby carrier – then something not too hot. We have an ergo baby air mesh and are happy with it.
8. Just enjoy
Walk the streets, lift your head, look down, left and right to see the beauty, because it’s everywhere.
Humidity, heat, stairs, mosquitoes – nothing could spoil our enjoyment of this architectural jewel: her canals, gondolas, windows, narrow streets and her uniqueness fascinated us every second of our being there, starting from the airport, decorated with beautiful art reproductions everywhere.
Venice is one of the few places that are not overrated and where we want to return again. Maybe when kids are older, or even without kids. And maybe more than once. Hopefully this immensely beautiful city will have a long life.