Practical, tried and tested tips for visiting Venice with a baby that will make your family stay a breeze.
Venice is a fantastic city that can be visited at any age, and this involve babies!
maybe unexpectedly, for a city so often associated with honeymoon and romance, Venice has a great, family-friendly vibe however, there is no doubt that a city on water poses some challenges to new parents.
The best way to tackle visiting Venice with a baby is to be prepared for the things that make this city unique and be prepared.
That’s what this article is: a practical guide to Venice with baby, that you can use to complement our recommended Venice itinerary so that you and baby can have the best time.
9 must-have tips for Visiting Venice with a baby
Arrive by train
Having your own car can seem tempting when traveling with a little one but actually, the best way to get to Venice with a baby in tow is the train.
Venezia Santa Lucia station has excellent connections with the rest of Italy and it is right on Venice island: you find the Grand canal in front of you as you step outside its front entrance!
From here, you can walk to your accommodation if you are staying in Cannaregio or San Polo to get a water bus to your hotel, should you be based in San Marco or farther away.
Bring a compact, lightweight stroller
Venice is a city closed to car traffic and this means that most of your movements will happen on foot. If you have a baby with you, all this walking will be made easier if you have a stroller with you, especially if compact and lightweight.
The streets of Venice are flat and mostly stroller friendly, however, the city bridges are not and this is why a lightweight stroller is a good idea: when you get to a bridge with tricky accessibility, a light stroller will be the easiest to lift and the one that will pose fewer headaches.
Another reason to opt for a compact stroller is restaurants. Many Venice restaurants don’t have large spaces for strollers and being able to fold yours will mean you have more options.
A lightweight compact stroller for travel suitable for newborns is not easy to find. You can find ideas for strollers that work well in Italy here.
Bring a baby carrier
As well as a stroller, I highly recommend bringing a baby carrier to Venice.
This will come in handy on days when you plan on taking the vaporetto (water taxi) as it will make it easier to step on and off the boat than lugging a stroller and it is also a good idea for museums, where you may be asked to fold the stroller and leave it at the wardrobe.
For ease of use and versatility, we found soft structured carriers to be best, but whatever you already use at home is likely to work well in Venice – I just recommend avoiding hiking carriers, if you can, as I find them overly bulky for Venice narrow lanes.
You can find baby carriers that work well in Italy here.
Tell your hotel you have a baby
In Italy, hotel rooms have strict occupancy rules and you need to declare the exact number of people who will stay in the room, even if you have a baby and plan on co-sleeping.
This regulation has to do with fire safety compliance and will make sure you get a room that is suitable for the 3 of you.
They will not force you to book an extra bed, many hotels offer cots for free (check individual hotel rules), they just need to know the number of occupants. You can find a list of family-friendly hotels in Venice here.
Another thing to be aware of in Venice is that older hotels may not be equipped with a lift, due to the constraint of their medieval architecture.
Always check on the hotel website if a lift/elevator is mentioned or ask for a room on the ground floor if you don’t want to tackle flights of stairs lugging up a baby and a stroller!
By baby essentials at supermarkets and pharmacy shops
Venice is well equipped with baby essentials.
You can buy baby food, weaning products and diapers in supermarkets and also in pharmacies (farmacie.)
Find here >> all you need to know about supermarkets in Italy.
Farmacie tend to stock higher-end products, allergy-friendly products and it is also where you get medications, should you need to stock up on baby paracetamol or other.
In Venice, you will find many international baby brands however, when it comes to medications, the brand names may differ from back home: if you think you need specific medications, always bring the name of the generic medication (eg. paracetamol) so they know what to give you.
Know where to find restrooms
Public restrooms may not seem easy to find in Venice unless you have this insider tip: all restaurants and cafes, by law, must allow access to their restroom facilities to their patrons!
This means that no matter where you are in Venice, if you need a quick trip to the bathroom to change your baby or other, you can simply ask for access.
Making a small purchase such as gums or coffee is enough and, in the case od little kids, you usually do not even need to do that: ask nicely and they usually let you go.
Do not expect great baby changing facilities or changing stations – in Venice, like in the rest of Italy, having your own changing mat and well equipped diaper bag is best!
Know where to find playgrounds in Venice
Venice is not a very friendly city however, it has some nice playgrounds that are handy to know for a baby-friendly break on the swing or a family picnic. Venice playgrounds are in:
- Parco Savorgnan – Calle Pesaro, 427, 30121, Cannaregio, Venice
- Giardino Papadopoli – Santa Croce, Venice
- Giardini Napoleonici – C. Giazzo, 30122, Castello, Venice
- Giardini di Sant’Elena – Castello, Venice
Stay in a quiet area
Venice can get very busy and this, mixed with the maze-like structure of its city center streets, can quickly become oppressive with a baby. While I do recommend staying in Venice proper, rather than nearby Mestre, picking a quiet area will go a long way to make your stay more relaxing and baby-friendly – the areas I love are Cannaregio and Castello. You can find a list of the best areas to stay in Venice here.
What to pack for visiting Venice with a baby
Venice is very seasonal and what to pack will vary depending on the time of year of your visit. You can find our full packing list for Venice here, however, don’t forget to pack:
- Winter clothes (including warm baby onesie and stroller footmuff) for winter
- Light, breathable summer clothes for the summer months
- Insect repellent for summer and portable mosquito net for baby (mosquitoes are brutal in Venice)
- Sun protection
- Stroller and carrier
- Beach essentials for summer – there are lovely beaches in Venice great to survive the hottest summer days
- Portable high chair – not a must-have but handy as not all restaurants are equipped with baby things
- All the baby gear you are used to at home, especially medications if using.
Something extra: best things to do in Venice with a baby
Many of the most popular things to do in Venice can be done with a baby in tow. In Venice, you and baby can:
Enjoy Piazza San Marco – stroller friendly and great fun for small kids as usually packed with pigeons!
Take a gondola ride – this is not my favorite activity in Venice for baby however, there is no age limit (usually) for boarding a gondola and if you have your baby in a carrier, a ride may be possible. however, just to the nature of the gondola ride and how close you are to water, I highly recommend you only decide on the day and after seeing your ride if it is a suitable activity for you.
Explore Cannaregio – Cannaregio is one of the historical neighborhoods of Venice and a lovely one to visit with kids. This area has the ancient Jewish ghetto, many canals, beautiful churches and it is much quieter than others in the center. A lovely place to tap into a more authentic side of Venice
Explore Castello – like Cannaregio, Castello is the Venice of the Venetians, a lovely area where to experience the city away from the maddening cords 9thi sis also where you find some nice parks)
Eat cicchetti – chicchetti is the Venetian name for ‘small portions of food’ and they are a Venice specialty. You can enjoy them in local wine bars (bacari) and they work well with babies too as, usually, the atmosphere is relaxed and casual. Not all chicchetti are suitable for weaning babies but you pick from a selection displayed at the bar so the ordering process is, usually, easy.
Visit a museum – not all Venice museums are family-friendly but some are. The most popular with families with babies is the Peggy Guggenheim collection that is well equipped for families and even has family-friendly events.
Explore Lido – Lido is the beach of Venice city and a bit of a lifesaver if you are in Venice with a baby in summer. As temperatures soar in Venice, Lido is a nice place for them to sit on the sand and play in the water and cool down. Lido is easy to reach by vaporetto and stroller friendly – a great place to escape the busy city center
Explore the islands of Burano and Murano – Burano and Murano are two of the most beautiful and popular islands to visit on the Venice lagoon. They are easy to reach by vaporetto and they are pretty and stroller friendly: Burano in particular is small and has a family-friendly vibe, perfect for an afternoon out with baby.
I hope you enjoyed these tips for visiting Venice with a baby. Safe travel planning!