When searching for the best things to do in Venice with kids, don’t forget to take a look at this list! From the gorgeous Grand Canal to Piazza San Marco, this Italian city is certainly an iconic destination for all ages. Since it’s car-free and extremely walkable, this usually puts Venice at the top of a family bucket list. Whether you want to see the city from a gondola, take a kid-friendly tour, or enjoy some of the best local restaurants, this list is a great resource for families planning a Venice itinerary. In addition to things to do in Venice with kids, we’ve also included where to stay in Venice with kids, plus some other helpful information. Keep reading for the 16+ Best Sights and Activities in Venice For Kids (And Parents Too)!
Buy The Venice Pass: The Venetian Tourist Board has released a new tour pass for the city of Venice. Venice is full of hidden gems, but this all-in-one pass will cover your basics. You’ll get a visit to St. Mark’s Basilica, the Doge’s Palace, and the opportunity to ride in a gondola. Beyond this, you’ll also receive a downloadable walking tour that explores the history of Venice. Read all about the deals offered by the Venice Pass.
Cruise the Venetian Canals on a Gondola
What better way to see Venice than on a gondola? A ride on these banana-shaped boats may be a bit romantic, but it’s still a fantastic activity for families with children. To avoid most of the tourists and price gouging, we suggest taking one early morning or in the evening to get some great views. Some of the best spots to take a gondola ride are Campo San Barnaba, San Polo, and Friari. Approach any one of the local gondoliers by the canal and don’t be afraid to negotiate the price. If you want to check out the source of the boats, you can also visit a Gondola Workshop in the neighborhood of Accademia. It’s not open to the public for a tour, but you can still peer at the workmen inside!
Circle Venice on a Vaporetto
Also known as a water taxi, the Vaporetto is Venice’s official form of public transport. Riding it is an experience within itself, especially for kids! The Grand Canal Vaporetto is the most popular route. This is definitely the one you should take if you’re just using the boat as a Venetian novelty. Running from one end of the island to the other, you’ll pass major landmarks like Piazzale Roma, Piazza San Marco, and San Zaccaria. Then, you’ll see six different neighborhoods before continuing to Lido. Snag a seat near the window and kids will be even more excited about the view! Take the boat in the evening if you want to avoid crowds. Often, the least popular route is from Piazzale Roma to the other end. Most tourists are going the opposite way.
Explore Piazza San Marco
Families who want to rest their feet after a long day of adventuring in Venice can stop in Piazza San Marco. Flanked by the Doge’s Palace on one side and the famed St. Mark’s Bell Tower on the other, it’s definitely one of the best free things to do in Venice with kids. In fact, this famous square is lined with quaint shops, cafes, and pigeons children can feed. It’s a great place to stop for a coffee break or window shop, especially because kids have plenty of open space to roam around! Visit Piazza San Marco in the evening and the experience is even better. Watch as the colors of the cotton candy sunset reflect upon the Basilica’s facade!
Enjoy a Panoramic View from St. Mark’s Basilica
When visiting Piazza San Marco, we suggest you see St. Mark’s Cathedral too. This beautiful Byzantine church has a stunning exterior complete with paintings, elaborate statues, and more cool architecture. It’s also free to tour inside, though you can expect a wait to get in unless you visit very early in the morning. While kids may not be super interested in the history of the basilica, you can combine a visit here with a trip to St. Mark’s Campanile, aka the Bell Tower. (Admission is free for kids under six.) For an additional ticket, families can take a speedy elevator up to the top of the bell tower for stunning views over Venice! Certainly, this is one of the best things to do for families in Venice!
Discover the Hidden Secrets of the Doge’s Palace
Uncover the hidden secrets of Venice at The Doge’s Palace! As the once official residence of Venice’s doges and the ancient seat of government, it’s a fantastic place to learn more about the city’s history. While younger kids may not find every aspect of a visit here interesting, you can make it more fascinating with a family-friendly tour. Viator offers a St Mark’s Square & Doge’s Palace Guided Tour for Kids & Families. Navigate the lavish quarters to see beautiful art, gilded ceilings, old weapons, armor, and lots of other artifacts. Kids will love playing a mini scavenger hunt while learning fun facts to see how many objects they can spot. Of course, all ages will definitely be impressed by the complex’s many secret doors and tunnels, one of which leads to a former prison!
For a flexible cancellation policy, Viator also offers a Skip-the-Line Doge’s Palace and St Mark’s Basilica Tours plus Venice Walking Tour.
Stroll Across the Rialto Bridge
If you’re seeking things to do for families in Venice, take a stroll across the Rialto Bridge! Overlooking the Grand Canal, it’s the oldest bridge in the city and a stunning example of Venetian Renaissance architecture. Though it can get a bit crowded with tourists, it’s still worth a visit for the amazing views. Plus, if you visit in the evening, you’ll get to watch the sunset over the bridge’s intricate detailing, which is truly a spectacular sight. Surrounding the area, you’ll also find a ton of shops, restaurants, and dessert places to visit. Head to the nearby Rialto Market, for example, and you can haggle for the best deals on souvenirs and fresh food. For the best view of the Rialto Bridge for a family photograph, you can walk down the canal and take a picture with it in the background.
Take a Kid-Friendly Tour
One of the best things to do in Venice with kids is to take a family tour! Whether you’re interested in the city’s history, art, food, or a little bit of everything, there are so many guided adventures awaiting your family in Venice. Keep reading to learn more about our favorite tours for families!
- A Rick Steves Audio Tour is one of the best things to do for families in Venice on a budget. This self-guided walking tour of Venice is free, educational, and an engaging way for kids to learn about various historical sites in Venice. Download the app, and you can access audio tours for famous attractions in Venice. This includes St. Mark’s Square, The Grand Canal, and Frari Church.
- Legendary Venice St. Mark’s Basilica with Terrace Access & Doge’s Palace: On this tour of Venice BY Viator, you will see two famous landmarks and hear their stories. You will visit St. Mark’s Basilica and then go to the Doge’s Palace. Enjoy skip-the-line access to both popular attractions.
- The Real Hidden Venice: Join this tour of Venice and visit the captivating “secret Venice” with your local guide. Discover authentic neighborhoods, learn the history and lore of these areas, and admire the canals and workshops that craft traditional masks and gondolas.
Unique Tours in Venice for Families
Looking for a more unique tour? Check out these options!
- Venice: Chocolate Tasting Experience: Discover a traditional Venetian chocolate shop in one of the most famous locations in Venice. You can enjoy a range of handmade Italian chocolates, then explore the area to find other attractions. If you cancel your reservations within 24 hours, you’ll be refunded in full.
- A Private Venice Movie Set Tour through Viator is the ultimate adventure for film lovers. Kids can see where The Merchant of Venice, Spiderman, Indiana Jones, and many more classics were filmed! It’s also available through Tour Leader Venice or Veneto Inside.
- Venice: Self-Guided City Discovery Game: You can download a smartphone app that will guide you around Venice and allows you to experience the joy of solving riddles and unlocking local stories and secret recommendations.
- Venice: Self-Guided Highlights Scavenger Hunt & Walking Tour: Explore Venice at your own pace with your family with a scavenger hunt walking tour played on your phone. Solve riddles, interact with famous attractions, and unlock interesting facts.
Escape to a Nearby Island for the Day
Venice is beautiful, but spending multiple days in a row sightseeing may tire your little ones out. If you need a break from the hustle and bustle of the city, consider visiting one of its nearby islands for an escape. Here are our favorite day trips from Venice with kids!
Book City Escape: Mazzorbo, Burano & Murano Private Day Trip from Venice using Viator or Boat: Glimpse of Murano, Torcello & Burano Islands using GetYourGuide. Both offer a reserve now & pay late option with a 24-hour cancellation policy.
Murano is one of the few places in the world where families can witness the ancient tradition of glassblowing! A tiny island south of Venice, we suggest taking a day trip here, since it’s easily accessible via a short Vaporetto (water taxi) ride. When you arrive, you’ll be surrounded by charming houses and experts trained in the art of glassblowing, lining the Grand Canal like street performers. Pay a couple of euros and they’ll even put on a 15-minute demonstration, which will amaze kids to no end! Families who want to learn more about the Venetian tradition of glassblowing can also visit the Venice Glass Museum to see the world’s largest collection of glass. Afterward, browse the stores along the Grand Canal to buy souvenirs, grab dessert from a local cafe, and people-watch while you wait for your taxi.
Families looking for a postcard-worthy photo shouldn’t hesitate to visit Burano. Located south of Venice, this small island is also accessible via a Vaporetto (water taxi ride) from Venice’s San Zaccaria station. Upon arrival, kids will instantly be wowed by the multi-colored houses that dot the island, originally designed to guide fishermen home on foggy nights. Though Burano has fewer things to do than Murano, it’s still a great place to visit if you have extra time, since the island is very scenic and makes for a fantastic picture backdrop. There are some glass shops you can browse as well, but not as many as Murano. Instead, Burano artisans specialize in lace-making, which you’ll see throughout various stores on the island. Visit the Venice Lace Museum to learn more about this lost art!
Looking for a fun-filled getaway from Venice? Take the Vaporetto (water taxi) to nearby Lido! This narrow, sandy island welcomes visitors to enjoy a tranquil afternoon in the sun. It’s also one of the few islands near Venice with land vehicles. Once you get off the ferry, you can either take a bus to the northern portion of the island, where you’ll find most of the beaches. Or, you can walk or rent a bike to appreciate the Art Deco architecture! Since the island is super narrow, the walk from the ferry stop to the popular beaches such as Spiaggia San Nicholas or Spiaggia Blue Moon is less than a mile. Another secluded beach, Alberoni Beach, is located in the southern part of Lido. Either way, families can make use of complimentary sunbeds and calm waves that are ideal for young kids.
Enroll in a Family-Friendly Workshop or Class
Various artisan traditions date back thousands of years in Venice. Whether you want to learn how to make Carnivale masks, cook classic Venetian dishes, or even row a gondola, there’s probably a class you’ll love in Venice! Here are some suggestions for kids.
Venetian masks are equally mysterious and amazing. Learn more about these origins during a mask-making workshop! It’s the best way to get kids involved in Venice’s cultural history. Viator offers a fantastic Venice Carnival Mask-Making Class for kids, letting them learn the trade from a master artisan. Lasting around two hours, little ones can learn about the centuries-old celebration of Carnival before making their own paper-mâché mask in a production class. Then, in a second decoration class, they’ll be able to paint and decorate their beautiful Venetian masks. Choose from beads to accessories and embellishments. What a wonderful memento of the awesome time your family had in Venice!
GetYourGuide also offers a Create Your Own Carnival Mask Workshop.
Venice Tailor Workshop
Venice is an epicenter of style and fashion. So, visiting is a perfect opportunity to learn more about the city’s local production. With a Venice Tailor Workshop from Tour Leader Venice, families can touch authentic Venetian velvet and even make a creation of their own! Classes are customized to your skill level and children’s ages. You can choose between more challenging projects like a dress to easier options, like a small purse. It’s a great way to get an educational lesson about Venice while learning a new skill. Plus, you can take your hard work home as a souvenir!
If you love eating food in Venice, you’ll love learning how to make it too! Whether you want to learn how to make handmade pasta or tiramisu, there are a ton of cooking classes throughout Venice for kids. Book your excursion with local companies such as Mama Isa, Venice Cooking Class, or Cook In Venice. Each offers beginner-friendly courses and more unique options like cooking classes in costume! Cooking Vacations also give families a chance to pick their own fruit, produce, and meat from the Rialto Market before starting a class. For a flexible cancellation policy, companies such as Viator offer a Yummy Cooking Class In Venice With A Professional Chef. GetYourGuide also offers a Venice Small-Group Pasta and Tiramisu Class.
Gondola Row Lesson
If riding a gondola isn’t exciting enough for your family, you can learn how to row one! Families can venture to off-the-beaten-path Venetian waterways with a Learn to Row in Venice Class through Viator. During your lesson, you’ll learn all about the Venetian gondola tradition, including the special way gondoliers row that isn’t replicated anywhere else. Kids will have so much fun once they get the hang of rowing! For a special experience, local companies such as Row Venice also offer evening lessons on The Grand Canal after 8 pm when crowds dissipate. Or, on Sundays when there are no large boats. This is surely an iconic way to see Venice! Not to mention, one of the best things to do for families in Venice.
Get a Taste of Venice
When in Venice, trying some delicious food is a must! Kids will love digging into hearty lasagna, gnocchi, and other yummy pasta dishes from Trattoria Bar Pontini. Seafood lovers can’t miss Terazza de Nobile. Or, Osteria Alle Testiere for sea bass, spider crab, and fried calamari. Visit Bar All’Arco, a low-key spot near the Rialto Bridge with a terrace facing the street. Families who want to try Cicchetti, aka small plates with quick and tasty bites, can visit Osteria Al Portego, which has its own Cicchetti Bar. For dessert, don’t miss the endless gelato flavors at Gelatoteca Suso or Gelato di Natura. Pasticceria Tonolo is a popular bakery, serving fresh pastries, coffee, and other Venetian delicacies!
Need help deciding on your next European vacation? Check out this list of the 10 Best Places to Travel with Kids in Europe!
Browse the Acqua Alta Bookshop
Visiting the Acqua Alta Bookshop is one of the best free things to do in Venice with kids! Located just a short walk from the Rialto Bridge, Piazza San Marco, and other famous attractions, this hidden gem is packed to the brim with all kinds of books. Plus, toys, souvenirs, and more fun for kids to browse, most of which are in English. Books are stored in gondolas, wheelbarrows, bathtubs, and other whacky structures, some even coming together to form a huge wall made entirely of encyclopedias! Families will love wandering through the intimate space, as neighborhood cats wrap around shelves and make themselves at home. Kids can even climb a book staircase in the back. Overlook the busy Venetian canal, relishing the moment as gondolas roll by.
Explore more scenic places in Europe thanks to our list of 16 Exciting European Beach Destinations For Families!
Where to Stay in Venice With Kids
Looking for the best places to stay in Venice with kids? Once you’ve discovered the best things to do in Venice with kids, it’s time to find out where to stay. To stay just a few minutes from St. Mark’s Square, check out Splendid Venice – Starhotels Collezione, a beautiful kid-friendly hotel right in the heart of the city. JW Marriott Venice Resort & Spa offers kids clubs and a family pool. Another great option is Hotel Excelsior Venice Lido Resort, one of the best family hotels in Venice for families, and plenty of others. Regardless of which attractions in Venice fill your days, spending nights in one of these hotels is sure to please everyone in your group.
Book directly with Marriott.com Here to accumulate points or program credits
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We hope you liked this article on the 16+ Best Sights and Activities in Venice For Kids (And Parents Too)! With great food, iconic history, and so much culture, Venice is surely a one-of-a-kind destination for a family vacation. From the best attractions in Venice for kids to where to stay, we know this list has given you a lot of information to plan your next trip to Venice with kids. Enjoy Italy with your kids!
*Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, some of the attractions, accommodations, or things to do on this list may be closed. Please ensure availability before making your decision.
Check these popular family-friendly Viator tours:
*This post may contain affiliate links that may earn us a small commission, at no additional cost to you. Affiliate links in no way inform the hotels, sights, products, or other recommendations included in our articles. All opinions and recommendations expressed here are compiled from submissions submitted by the generous members of our Families Who Love To Travel community.
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