I’m going to be totally honest, I did not want to add Venice to our Italy itinerary. I was there many years ago and remember it being hard to navigate and I didn’t have 4 kids in tow. I also heard it was VERY hot and VERY crowded in the summer. But when I asked my husband one spot he wanted to add to the itinerary, he said Venice. When I asked my girls the same question, they said Venice too. I decided despite being hot and crowded it was clearly a spot my family was interested in seeing, so I was on a mission to figure out where to stay in Venice with kids.
I’m sharing a whole post on WHERE we stayed in Venice because while I was hesitant to add it to a summer itinerary to Italy, it ended up being a major highlight of our trip and super kid friendly. I also think the location of where we stayed MADE the trip. We rented this apartment: Mongolfiere Residence in the Castello neighborhood, inside the Giardini Pubblici. I rented the apartment through Kid & Coe. I had been wanting to try Kid & Coe for a long time and since I was nervous about finding kid friendly accommodations in Venice, I figured this was a good time to try it out.
Before I get into the apartment and neighborhood, if you don’t know what Kid & Coe is, it’s like an AirB&B, VRBO, etc but specifically for families. Each listing tells you what makes it family friendly, amenities for kids, why kids like the neighborhood, etc.
There are also things like: toys & books for kids, playrooms, kids cups & plates, etc in the apartments/homes. For families, the properties are truly like home away from home.
Now onto why this was the perfect spot to stay…
Where to Stay in Venice with Kids
1. Easy to Get to: Let’s start from getting there and getting around: the apartment is about a 1 min walk to the Biennale stop on the Vaporetto. So when we arrived at the train station, we hopped on a Vaporetto right outside the station and arrived easily at the apartment.
2. Vaporetto & Getting Around: Staying right next to a major Vaporetto stop made getting around so easy. If you want to go to the beach for the day, Lido (the best beach) is 1 stop away. We also took the Vaporetto to Burano for the day (more on that in another post). But staying near a Vaporetto stop is key with kids, because remember… you’re not renting a car or dialing up a taxi in Venice!
3. No Crowds Yes, Venice was super crowded in the summer but really only near the main attractions & in the very touristy areas. The neighborhood we stayed in wasn’t a bit crowded. In fact, often when we were enjoying coffee and letting the kids run around the piazza in front of the apartment, we were the only ones! Staying in a non crowded area made the trip for us. We didn’t mind the summer crowds around the sites because we knew we were going back to our nice quiet neighborhood to run and play after.
4. The Playgrounds About a stones throw from the apartment were two fun little playgrounds side by side. The kids LOVED them. The playground is in between the apartment door and the canal, so we’d stop on the way out in the morning and the way home. There was a water fountain they’d cool down in and lots of kids to play with. Having a playground right outside the apartment was key with 4 little kids.
5. Best Restaurants One thing everyone will tell you about Venice is that it’s SO expensive to eat there. Well it is… in the touristy spots. We actually noticed that that the same dishes were more than double at spots near St. Marks than they were at the spots in the neighborhood we were in. The restaurants near the apartment were the most reasonable, the nicest staff and the best food we had in Venice!
- Dinner Favorite: Osteria da Pampo – this was one of our favorite spots for dinner the whole time in Italy. The food was wonderful and the staff was so kind to the kids. It’s quiet and in the park.
- Breakfast/Lunch Favorite: Caffe La Serra – this spot is right next to the playground mentioned above. There is great coffee and they make a grilled cheese or grilled ham & cheese that the kids loved. You can sit outside right along the canal & the kids can run and play
6. A grocery store There’s a full grocery store about 5 minutes from the apartment. It was great to grab milk, snacks, etc. It’s a COOP and it’s also a great spot to get diapers, shampoo etc that you might need.
7. The walk to St. Mark’s Up until here you might be thinking this nice “quiet”neighborhood away from the crowds is far away from everything in Venice that you’ll want to do… it’s not. You can see the canal from the apartment. Then, if you walk along the water, you’ll run right into St. Mark’s Square. We did the walk multiple times and Tommy (age 3) was able to walk there & back. It’s actually an easy walk because the bridges along the water here all have ramps. We only needed to take the Vaporetto when we went to Burano, otherwise we walked everywhere from the apartment.
8. Stroller Friendly One thing I heard about Venice is that it’s not stroller friendly. Staying in this location, I found it to be very stroller friendly. Yes, there will be times where you have to carry the stroller over a bridge. If your child is small enough, a carrier/baby wearing IS easier. If they’re a wild & crazy 2 year old that still gets tired and still won’t walk holding your hand… like ours… bring a stroller. It was so easy having one and not once did I say I wish we left it home. As I mentioned above, all the the bridges on the walk from the apartment to St. Mark’s have ramps. The area around the apartment is the park (stroller friendly) and the water front, which is flat and stroller friendly too.
9. HUGE perk of using Kid & Coe in Venice was that the family we rented from gave us the most family friendly “insider tips” ever. The family that owns the apartment we rented obviously takes great pride in both their apartment and their city, Venice. Our apartment host told us the best “non touristy” spots to hang out too – helped tremendously with avoiding crowds
10. Exploring a more “local” neighborhood If we hadn’t stayed in this location, this neighborhood is not one we would have discovered. If we had stayed right in a touristy spot, we would have done all the activities there and I’m not sure how far we would have ventured, not knowing the city so well. I’m so thankful we found this apartment and therefore found this neighborhood in Venice. It was quiet, beautiful and had a real “local” feel. I would highly recommend this apartment and this spot in Venice with kids.
Disclosure: We did receive a discount on 1 of the nights in exchange for an honest review of renting through Kid & Coe. The rest of the trip was paid for by us as was the job of finding the specific rental we chose. I did not have to write this extensive review of the apartment but we were honestly so impressed I wanted to share all of the details!
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