Lucca, Italy is known for its massive, well-preserved city walls which surround a historic Old Town, lined with charming cobblestone streets. Although it can be visited in a day, if you are visiting Lucca with kids, we recommend spending a night or two to give you one full day in Lucca.
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Getting to Lucca with Kids
Traveling to Lucca by train is super easy. You can reach Lucca by train from Pisa or Florence in about 20 minutes. Its good train connectivity makes Lucca a good base to explore northern Tuscany. The many train connections from the Lucca train station make it possible (and we’d go so far as saying enjoyable) to forget renting a car and get around Italy by train.
We traveled from Cinque Terre with kids to Lucca, Italy by train, with a short stop in Pisa with kids along the way. Rather than just do a day trip to Lucca, we decided to spend a couple of nights, before moving on to visit Florence with our kids.
Our itinerary allowed us one day in Lucca without rushing around. Lucca’s historical Old Town, coupled with the surrounding Tuscan countryside make Lucca a perfect place to take things slow and truly appreciate the Italian culture.
Getting to Lucca from the Train Station
Our train from Pisa to Lucca arrived late afternoon. The Lucca train station is on the southern edge of the Lucca city walls. You can easily walk from the train station to any point within the Lucca city walls in under 15 minutes.
We walked to our Lucca vacation rental apartment in about 12 minutes. The walk through the charming cobblestone streets of Lucca was very enjoyable, except for the fact one of our suitcases had a broken wheel. It’s a good idea to bring a suitcase with durable wheels in Italy!
Things to do in Lucca with Kids
A Lucca Playground
We started our day with an early morning walk from our apartment rental and quickly stumbled across a Lucca playground. Lucca is small enough that we didn’t feel rushed and were happy to let our 3-year old and 19 month old stop and play for a while. If only there were a cappuccino shop nearby…
Cycling Lucca City Walls
The best thing to do in Lucca with kids is to walk or bike along the well-preserved city walls that once protected the city. The Lucca city walls are wide and flat making it a very popular place for an easy family walk. We love active, outdoor activities when traveling, so were very eager to try this unique 4km/2.5 mile Lucca bike ride with our kids.
We were easily able to find Lucca bike rentals with child seats at La Toscana Nel Cuore right near the Piazza Napoleone and were quickly on our way. The entire walking and bike path around the Lucca city walls is beautiful with trees arching over top and the views of the historical center.
There are plenty of Lucca playgrounds and green spaces along this easy bike ride, making it a perfect spot for a family picnic on a sunny day. We were having so much fun riding our bikes around the Lucca city walls that we were saddened when it was over in only 25 minutes.
We were having so much fun on our kid-friendly Lucca bike ride that we quickly consulted our tourist map looking for another Lucca bike trail we could follow. We found a trail along the Lucca aqueduct that looked promising.
You might say that we had become a little obsessed with finding Italian aqueducts after our wonderful experience at the Aqueduct park in Rome and the aqueduct playground in Pisa, unfortunately our Lucca bike ride along the aqueduct wasn’t quite as successful.
We enjoyed riding our rental bikes along a dirt path in the shadow of the huge Lucca aquaduct. The problem was that the bike path was only a couple of kilometers long, before we reached a major highway.
To continue our Lucca bike ride, we’d have needed to walk our bikes up and down the stairs on the highway overpass. On our own, we would have, but with two small kids in child seats on the back? Pass…
If you are interested in Italian aqueducts, Lucca’s aqueduct is pretty impressive, but otherwise, it’s not worth the effort to take your rental bikes.
Exploring Lucca with Kids
In the afternoon, we took off to randomly explore the charming cobblestone streets of Lucca on foot. We slowed down the walking pace significantly by giving our 3 year old a camera. She was so pleased by the idea and we got to slowly meander while taking in the atmosphere of Lucca’s walled city.
Climbing Torre della Ore with Kids
We chose to climb the Torre della Ore with kids as we believed it would be less busy than the very popular Torre Guinigi. Plus, by climbing Torre della Ore, we would get great views of Torre Guinigi and its unique roof garden, built as a symbol of the town’s rebirth .
Aside from being less busy, the Torre della Ore is taller and more central in the old town. The views from up top of Torre della Ore were excellent, with all the tiled rooftops, the towers, and the rolling Tuscany hills in the background. We were very proud of our 3-year old as she climbed all 200+ steps herself!
As we continued our easy walk through the rest of Lucca’s Old Town, we stopped by the busy Piazza dell’ Anfiteatro (Amphitheatre Square) and walked by the base of the famous Torre Guinigi.
Gelato in Lucca for Kids
After an active day of experiencing the best things to do in Lucca with kids, our kids had certainly earned a treat. When in Italy, the best treat on a hot day is gelato!
Where to Stay in Lucca with Children
Nearly all of Lucca’s attractions, shopping and restaurants are found within its historic walled city. It’s a reasonably compact area that can be walked from side-to-side in 15-20 minutes, so anywhere within Lucca’s city walls will be a good spot for your family to stay.
When traveling with kids, we prefer to stay in a vacation home rental (like Airbnb or VRBO) due to the many family-friendly amenities offered, such as separate bedrooms, a full kitchen and laundry. We stayed in a central 2-bedroom Lucca vacation rental apartment with a nice terrace within the city walls.
Related: 7 Tips to Find a Kid-Friendly Airbnb
There are plenty of Lucca vacation home rentals to choose from.
If you prefer to stay in a kid-friendly Lucca hotel, we recommend you use Booking.com. We use them for our family hotels as they have an excellent Top Picks for Families search filter.
Still working on your Italy Itinerary with kids? Here is our 4 week itinerary for Italy with some suggestions for a 2 week Italy Itinerary and a 10-day Italy Itinerary with kids.
Visiting Italy with Kids
- Rome Playgrounds
- Transportation from the Rome Airport to your Hotel
- Kid-Friendly Cinque Terre Bike Ride
- Island of Elba with Kids
- Rome with a Baby or Toddler
- Cinque Terre with a Baby or Toddler
- Naples, Pompeii, and the Amalfi Coast with a Toddler
- Venice Italy with a Baby or Toddler
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