The wonder of Venice has no time and is capable of fascinating adults and children of all ages. here are no cars, to move from one place to another in the city you use gondolas, the same ones already used in the Middle Ages to transport people.
By navigating the canals, you pass under many bridges that cross the streets. Venice is often considered an expensive and not family friendly city. THIS IS NOT TRUE!
Follow us on our tour to discover all the stops to get to know Venice for less than 10€ per person!
Gondola ride 2€ per person
Anyone visiting Venice dreams of crossing its canals aboard a gondolas that you can found at every corner.
Tours on the ancient gondolas, accompanied by gondoliers with the classic straw hat, are one of the most authentic experiences you can have in this city. Unfortunately, gondola rides are very expensive, the prices are 80€ for a half-hour tour during the day and 100€ for the same route during the evening.
Here to book a traditional gondola tour.
And what if I told you that it’s possible to cross the Grand Canal by gondola for only 2€? That’s right, just 2€ and you can cross the Grand Canal, the historic canal that divides the historic centre.
The banks overlook wonderful period palaces and churches, all passing under the bridges that connect the various parts of the city. Obviously the tour only lasts a few minutes, just enough time to cross, but it still allows you to see Venice from a stunning viewpoint.
This ferry is a public transport service in every sense.There are five stations, called “stazi”, from which you can board the ferry gondola;. Dogana – Santa Maria del Giglio – San Tomà – Riva del Vin, Riva del Carbon – Santa Sofia.
Just go to the stop or “stazio” and wait for a gondola.
Easy and affordable!
Tours and games to discover Venice
In Venice, you can also participate in some guided tours to discover the most authentic and less touristy corners of the city. Guess what? They’re free! At the end of the visit, if you’re satisfied, you can choose to leave a small amount to the guide for the work done. These tours last about 2 hours and are all family friendly, suitable for families with strollers.
The classic Venice freetour starts from the Galleria dell’Accademia in Florence, in the Dorsoduro district. The visit continues to the Teatro la Fenice with its beautiful façade, then walks to the historic Piazza San Marco, where you can admire the Campanile, the Doge’s Palace and the Basilica. An unmissable stop is the Contarini del Bovolo staircase, considered one of the most fascinating buildings of the Serenissima and, continuing, a walk along the banks of the Grand Canal to admire the historic palaces and the Basilica of Santa Maria della Salute. At the end of the tour you return to Piazza San Marco.
Alternatively, the Venice alternative freetour for those who want to discover all the hidden secrets of Venice. The visit starts from the Church of San Simeon Piccolo, in the Santa Croce district, and continues along the characteristic Venetian alleys: be careful what the guide says because you can discover many secrets about the black plague that struck Venice in the 14th century. Between one story and another, you reach Piazza San Polo and here you can see a Venetian squero, or a shipyard where gondolas are created and repaired! The tour ends in the Dorsoduro district and with the discovery of some of its secrets.
Alternatively, especially for older children or teenagers, there are some wonderful treasure hunts, which can be downloaded directly via App on your mobile. They are a great way to discover the city while having fun, at the pace of your own family.
Here are some of them:
- 👉 Thief hunt: Venice exploration flare.
Fondaco dei tedeschi in Venice
For the uninitiated, a Fondaco is a building of medieval origin that, in seaside towns, served as a warehouse for goods or accommodation for foreign merchants.
In Venice there is the Fondaco dei tedeschi,(Germans’ Fondaco): this was because German merchants were numerous in the city and so the Senate decided to assign them a palace with an entrance on the Grand Canal, near the Rialto Bridge.
Today, this structure has become the T Fondaco (T for Travelers), a sort of shopping paradise with the most luxury fashion firma.
The interior architecture has been modified and made more modern, but still very charming; a fourth floor has also been added for exhibitions, shows and events.
By booking online, you can access the top-floor terrace (freeentrance) and see the panorama of the city from above: the roofs of the houses, the gondolas crossing the canals and the beautiful palaces.
Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo
7 euros for adults, free for children
This very old palace was built between the 14th and 15th centuries and was the home of an important Venetian family, the Contarini. So what does the name ‘Bovolo’ stand for?
Let’s unravel the mystery right away, ‘Bovolo’ comes from the Venetian dialect and means ‘spiral’. The palace in fact has a marvellous 15th-century spiral staircase, called the Bovolo staircase. Legend has it that Pietro Contarini had it built to climb up to his bedroom on horseback. The Contarini palace has a very special location: it is halfway between the economic heart and the political heart of Venice: Rialto and San Marco.
Arnaux Marseille, known as ‘The Maltese’ during the last century used this palace as a modern airbnb: he decided to rent rooms to visitors to Venice, just like an inn, calling it ‘Locanda della Scala’. He liked the name so much that it was extended to the street leading to the palace, which is still called Calle delle Locande.
Apparently, it was this singular character that inspired the great Hugo Pratt to write his famous comic strip Corto Maltese.
It is also said that a German astronomer named Tempel, during a stay at the Locanda, climbed the famous spiral staircase to the terrace (also called Terrazza Belvedere). Here, looking at the sky with his telescope, he made two incredible discoveries: comet C/1859 and the Merope nebula of the Pleiades.
I recommend you book tickets for your family to visit this beautiful palace, climb the 80 steps and be amazed by the view from the Belvedere! over the roofs of Venice and St Mark’s bell tower. On the second floor, you can visit the Tintoretto room, where works by the most illustrious protagonists of the Venetian artistic scene between the 16th and 18th centuries are on display.
Natural History Museum and Da Vinci Museum
For the little scientists here are two addresses not to be missed: the Natural History Museum and the Da Vinci Museum
We are in the sestiere of Santa Croce, in the Fondaco dei Turchi, and here you will find the Natural History Museum, beautiful to visit for the whole family. A must for dinosaur lovers and those curious to find out all about their history.
The museum is divided according to the exhibits present, so you can find a section dedicated to insects, one to marine biology, one to fossils and, of course, one to dinosaurs.
On the ground floor there is a photo exhibition entirely dedicated to marine animals. Most of the rooms are very interactive and therefore perfect for curious children!
For the little ones who love dinosaurs, the real highlight is the room with the skeleton of the Ouranosaurus, preserved almost in its entirety: fascinating for both older and younger children. In the same room you can also see the remains of a giant crocodile.
Tickets for the Natural History Museum can be found here.
In front of the Scuola Grande di San Rocco, you will find the Da Vinci Museum, an interactive, multimedia exhibition that tells us about the inventions of the Florentine genius, one of the museums dedicated to Leonardo that you should not miss.
Here info and tickets Da Vinci Museum .