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Travelling to Rome with a toddler

Rome is a city that’s full of history, art, and culture, and it can be an exciting destination for families with young children. While travelling with a toddler can be challenging, with some careful planning and preparation, you can have a wonderful experience in the Eternal City. From exploring the ancient ruins of the Colosseum to taking a stroll in the beautiful Villa Borghese park, there are plenty of activities and attractions that toddlers can enjoy in Rome. In this guide, we’ll provide some tips on how to get to Rome, where to stay, what to do, and how to get around with a stroller, as well as some popular events and tips for staying safe.

How to get in

Rome is easily accessible by plane, train, or car. If you’re flying with a toddler, consider booking a direct flight to Rome and bringing along plenty of snacks, toys, and activities to keep your little one entertained during the flight. If you’re taking a train or driving, be sure to bring along all the necessary baby gear, such as a car seat, stroller, and diaper bag.

Where to stay

Rome offers a variety of accommodation options to suit different preferences and budgets. Here are some of the most popular options

Hotels: Rome has a wide range of hotels, from budget-friendly to luxury. Many hotels are located in or near the historic centre, making it easy to explore the city’s attractions. Some of the best-known hotel chains in Rome include Marriott, Hilton, and Sheraton.

Airbnb: Airbnb offers a range of apartments, houses, and rooms for rent in Rome. This can be a great option for those who want to experience living like a local and have more space and amenities than a hotel room. However, it’s important to be mindful of local regulations and safety concerns when using Airbnb.

Hostels: Rome has many hostels that are popular with budget travelers and backpackers. These offer dormitory-style accommodations, often with shared bathrooms and communal areas. Some of the most popular hostels in Rome include the Yellow Hostel and the Generator Hostel.

Bed and Breakfasts (B&Bs): B&Bs are a great option for those who want a more personal and homey experience. They typically offer a private room and bathroom, and breakfast is included in the price. Many B&Bs in Rome are located in historic buildings and offer a charming and authentic atmosphere.

Vacation rentals: In addition to Airbnb, there are many other vacation rental websites that offer apartments and houses for rent in Rome. These can be a good option for families or groups who want more space and privacy than a hotel or hostel can offer.

Best neighbourhoods to stay in Rome with your family

Here are some of the best neighbourhoods to stay in when visiting Rome:

Centro Storico (Historic Center): This is the heart of Rome and is home to many of the city’s most famous landmarks, such as the Colosseum, the Pantheon, and the Roman Forum. Staying here puts you in the middle of the action, with plenty of restaurants, shops, and attractions within walking distance.

Trastevere: This charming neighbourhood on the west bank of the Tiber River is known for its narrow, winding streets, colourful buildings, and lively nightlife. It’s a great place to stay if you want to experience a more local side of Rome.

Monti: This neighbourhood, located near the Colosseum, is known for its bohemian vibe, trendy shops, and hip bars and restaurants. It’s a great place to stay if you’re looking for a more modern and stylish side of Rome.

Vatican City: Staying near Vatican City gives you easy access to the Vatican Museums, St. Peter’s Basilica, and other religious landmarks. It’s also a quiet and peaceful neighbourhood, away from the hustle and bustle of the city centre.

Testaccio: This neighbourhood is located just south of the historic centre and is known for its excellent food scene, with many traditional Roman trattorias and outdoor markets. It’s a great place to stay if you’re a foodie looking to experience the local cuisine.

Piazza Navona/Pantheon: This area is located in the historic centre and is home to some of Rome’s most beautiful squares and landmarks, such as the Pantheon and Piazza Navona. It’s a great place to stay if you want to be in the centre of things and don’t mind the crowds.

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Things to do in Rome with a toddler

Rome is a wonderful destination for families with toddlers, with plenty of activities and attractions that are suitable for young children. Here are some things to do in Rome with a toddler.

Visit the Colosseum: The Colosseum is one of Rome’s most famous attractions, and even toddlers can appreciate the grandeur of this ancient monument. You can explore the Colosseum on a guided tour or simply walk around the outside.

Visit the Vatican Museums: While the Vatican Museums may not seem like an obvious choice for toddlers, they offer a number of child-friendly exhibits and activities. The Children’s Museum of the Vatican Museums, in particular, is a great option for young children, with interactive exhibits and hands-on activities.

Explore the Piazzas: Rome is full of beautiful piazzas, or squares, that are perfect for toddlers to run around and play. Piazza Navona, with its beautiful fountains and street performers, is a great choice.

Visit the Villa Borghese Gardens: The Villa Borghese Gardens are a beautiful and peaceful oasis in the heart of Rome. You can rent a pedal boat on the lake, visit the zoo, or simply explore the gardens on foot.

Take a Gelato Tour: Gelato is a must-try when visiting Italy, and taking a gelato tour can be a fun activity for toddlers. Many gelaterias offer child-size portions and a variety of flavours to choose from.

Visit the Rome Zoo: The Rome Zoo, or Bioparco, is a great option for families with toddlers. The zoo features a variety of animals from around the world, and offers activities and educational programs for children.

Take a Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour: A Hop-On Hop-Off bus tour can be a fun and convenient way to explore Rome with a toddler. You can get on and off the bus as many times as you like, and many tours offer audio commentary that is suitable for children.

Overall, Rome offers plenty of activities and attractions that are suitable for young children. With careful planning and research, you can have a wonderful and memorable trip to Rome with your toddler.

Indoor activities for kids

there are several indoor playgrounds in Rome that are perfect for toddlers and young children. Here are some of the best options:

  1. Babylandia: This is an indoor playground located in the EUR district of Rome. It’s specifically designed for children aged 0-8 years old and has a soft play area, ball pit, slides, climbing structures, and a small trampoline. There’s also a café for parents to relax in while their kids play.
  2. Le Palafitte: This indoor playground is located in the eastern part of Rome and features a large soft play area, a ball pit, slides, and climbing structures. It’s open every day and is popular with local families.
  3. Luneur Park: This amusement park in Rome has both indoor and outdoor attractions, making it a good option no matter the weather. The indoor area features a soft play area, ball pit, and climbing structures, as well as arcade games and a 4D cinema.
  4. Jumpin’ Jamboree: This indoor playground is located in the Casal Palocco neighbourhood of Rome and has a large soft play area, trampolines, and an obstacle course. It’s suitable for children of all ages and has a café for parents.
  5. Kinderland: This is an indoor playground and party venue located in the north of Rome. It has a large soft play area, ball pit, slides, and climbing structures, as well as a café for parents.

Outdoor activities for kids

Rome has several outdoor playgrounds that are great for toddlers and young children. Here are some of the best options:

  1. Villa Borghese: This large park in the heart of Rome has several playgrounds that are suitable for toddlers. There’s a small train that runs through the park, as well as a lake with boats for rent and a small zoo.
  2. Villa Pamphili: This park is located on the outskirts of Rome and is one of the largest in the city. It has several playgrounds with swings, slides, and climbing structures, as well as plenty of open space for running around and playing.
  3. Parco degli Acquedotti: This park is located on the southern outskirts of Rome and is known for its ancient Roman aqueducts. It has a playground with swings, slides, and climbing structures, as well as plenty of open space for picnics and outdoor activities.
  4. Parco dei Bambini: This is an amusement park designed specifically for children, located on the outskirts of Rome. It has several outdoor playgrounds, as well as rides, games, and attractions for children of all ages.
  5. Monte Mario: This hill on the outskirts of Rome offers stunning views of the city and has several playgrounds scattered throughout the area. It’s a great place to take children for a picnic or a day of outdoor play.

How to get around with a stroller

Rome’s narrow streets and uneven sidewalks can make it challenging to navigate with a stroller, but there are still plenty of ways to get around. Many of the city’s main attractions are within walking distance of each other, so a lightweight stroller can be a great option for families who want to explore the city on foot. However, if you plan to use public transportation, be aware that some buses and metro stations may not be stroller-friendly, so it’s a good idea to bring a baby carrier or backpack as well.

Rome has an extensive public transportation network that makes it easy to get around the city. Here are the main modes of public transportation in Rome:

  1. Metro: The metro system in Rome has three lines (A, B, and C) that connect the city’s major neighbourhoods and attractions. The metro is fast, reliable, and inexpensive, with trains running every few minutes. You can buy tickets at ticket machines in metro stations or at authorized retailers.
  2. Bus: Rome has a comprehensive bus network that covers the entire city. Buses are a good option for getting around areas that aren’t served by the metro, and they run frequently throughout the day. You can buy tickets on board the bus or at authorized retailers.
  3. Tram: Rome has six tram lines that run through the city, connecting neighbourhoods and attractions. Trams are a good option for getting around areas with heavy traffic, as they have dedicated lanes and are not affected by traffic congestion. You can buy tickets on board the tram or at authorized retailers.
  4. Taxi: Taxis are readily available in Rome and can be hailed on the street or found at designated taxi stands. Be sure to use only licensed taxis, which will have a taxi sign on the roof and a meter inside. Taxis can be expensive, especially during peak travel times.

When using public transportation in Rome, it’s important to validate your ticket before boarding, either by stamping it at a machine or by scanning it at the gate. Failure to validate your ticket can result in a fine. Also, keep in mind that public transportation can be crowded and busy, especially during peak travel times.

Popular events

Rome is a city that’s full of events and festivals throughout the year, and many of these are family-friendly. Some popular events to check out with a toddler include:

  1. Children’s Carnival: The Children’s Carnival takes place in Rome every year in February, and it is a great event for toddlers. There are parades, costumes, music, and lots of fun activities for children to participate in.
  2. Kids Day at the Zoo: The Bioparco di Roma (Rome’s zoo) organizes a special day just for kids in May. There are games, face painting, workshops, and special animal encounters.
  3. Roma Fringe Kids: Roma Fringe Kids is a festival dedicated to children’s theater and performance art. It takes place in June and offers shows and activities for children of all ages.
  4. Baby Pit Stop: This event is designed specifically for parents with young children. It takes place in various locations throughout Rome and provides a safe and comfortable space for parents to change and feed their babies.
  5. Christmas markets: During the Christmas season, Rome is filled with Christmas markets that are great for families with toddlers. There are festive decorations, music, food, and activities like ice-skating and carousel rides.

Stay safe

As with any trip, it’s important to take precautions to keep your family safe while travelling in Rome. Be sure to keep an eye on your toddler at all times, especially in crowded areas or near busy streets. Avoid carrying large amounts of cash or valuables, and be aware of your surroundings when using public transportation or walking around the city at night.

Finally, make sure your toddler is up-to-date on all necessary vaccinations and bring along any necessary medications

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