Two little island towns, Murano, known for its production of hand-blown glass, and Burano, a fisherman’s village with row upon row of brightly colored houses, are just a quick ferry ride away from Venice, making for an amazing day trip and the perfect opportunity for a brief escape from the crowds of the charming and chaotic city. In this article, we’ll help you plan your day trip to Murano and Burano from Venice, including how to get to each island and what to do while you’re there!
- Why visit Murano and Burano?
- About Murano
- About Burano
- How to get to Murano and Burano from Venice
- By Vaporetto
- Vaporetto route to Murano and Burano
- Venice travel card
- What to do in Murano
- What to do in Burano
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Why visit Murano and Burano?
- Total Time | 4 – 5 hours
- Cost | €15 – €20
- Epic-ness rating | 8
- Transportation required | Vaporetto (water bus)
Taking a short ferry ride across the Venetian lagoon to the picturesque island towns of Murano and Burano is one of the best things to do in Venice. It’s an amazing way to take a break from the hustle and bustle of the busy city. In this article, we’ll lay out everything you need to know to take a day trip to Murano and Burano from Venice!
There are only 50,000 full time residents of Venice, a decrease of over 300% since 1951. On many days the number of tourists in the city exceeds the number of residents.
As such, Venice feels like a relic of what it used to be, a once powerful city whose glory is slowing fading as it struggles to keep up with over-tourism and the demands of modern life.
Though Venice’s rustic beauty is undeniable and wandering amongst its narrow streets and canals is still a bucket-list experience, you may find yourself looking to escape the crowds after a few days rubbing elbows with hoards of tourists.
- Vibrant, colorful streets in Burano
- Chance to escape the crowds of Venice
- Purchase authentic Murano glass and Burano lace!
- The small towns can get swamped with tourists, especially when cruise ships are in town.
- The boat ride to get there is fairly long, hot and crowded.
Murano is a small town with a population of 5,000 people located on an island in the Venetian Lagoon, 1 mile from Venice. In many ways, Murano feels like a smaller, less crowded version of Venice.
With its many footbridges over teal blue canals and faded pastel buildings adorned with intricate white trim, you’d be hard-pressed to distinguish a canal in Murano from one in Venice.
Murano even has its own Grand Canal, smaller than its counterpart in Venice, but magnificent nonetheless.Walking along the canals of Murano provides a glimpse into how life may have been in Venice, before its residents were pushed out and its streets were flooded with tourists.
Murano is best known for its glass-blowing, dating back to 1291 when glassblowers in Venice were forced to relocate to Murano because they posed a fire risk to Venice’s primarily wooden buildings.
To this day, Murano continues to be a major exporter of glass products, ranging from artistic creations like paperweights and bracelets, to more practical goods like faucets and chandeliers.
Farther down the Venetian Lagoon sits Burano, a traditional fishing village with a population of less than 3,000, boasting rows of brightly colored houses. While Murano is known for its glass-blowing, Burano is known for lace-making. The streets of Burano are filled with vendors selling hand-crafted, authentic Burano lace.
Although tourists see the unique colors of Burano as a perfect photo opportunity, the origin of its colors may have once had a more practical purpose. According to legend, fishermen first painted the buildings in bright tones to help them identify their homes from the water to more easily navigate back through the fog.
Today, the colors of Burano are strictly regulated by the government. Residents must submit an application if they wish to paint their home.
How to Get to Murano and Burano from Venice
The cheapest and easiest way to get to Murano and Burano is to take the Vaporetto, or a public water bus. There is a Vaporetto line that goes from Venice to Burano, stopping in Murano. Pick up the 12 line from the Vaporetto stop in Fondamente Nove, Venice’s Old Town. If you stop in Murano, pick up the same Vaporetto line when you are ready to head to Burano.
The entire trip takes about 45 minutes one way, 15 minutes to Murano and 30 minutes to Burano. Vaporettos depart every 20 – 30 minutes. You can find Vaporetto time tables here.
Beware that the water buses are typically overcrowded and incredibly hot during the summer. Lines to board can be extremely long. Unfortunately, the only other alternative is to take a water taxi, which is outrageously expensive.
To beat the crowds and the heat, start your day trip early in the morning and you should be okay.
Vaporetto Route to Murano and Burano
€7.50 each Vaporetto ride
€15 (round trip to Burano)
€22.50 (with stop in Murano)
OR €20 for a 1-day Venice Travel Card
- Venice (Fondamente Nove ferry stop)
- Murano (10 – 15 minute ferry ride from Venice)
- Burano (30 – 40 minute ferry ride from Murano)
A roundtrip to Burano would costs €15. Adding a stop in Murano costs an additional €7.50. Therefore, if you wish to stop in Murano, it makes practical sense to purchase a Venice Travel Card (see below for details).
Venice Travel Card
Each Vaporetto ride costs €7.50 one way regardless of how far you’re traveling, if purchased as individual tickets. Although Venice is very walkable, the cost of taking public transportation even just a few times can really add up.
If you plan to use the Vaporetto more than twice per day, it’s worthwhile to purchase an ACTV Travel Card. Since the day trip to Murano and Burano requires 3 Vaporetto rides, it makes sense to purchase at least a 1-day Travel Card.
These cards give you unlimited use of the Vaporetto, including the trip to Murano and Burano, for a given number of days:
ACTV Travel Card Costs
1 Day: €20
2 Days: €30
3 Days: €40
7 Days: €60
Rolling Venice Card
Children and young adults ages 6 through 29 can purchase tickets at a discounted rate with a Rolling Venice card, which gives you special discounts at various local businesses, museums, and other attractions. See the complete list here.
The Rolling Venice card is certainly worthwhile if you plan to purchase at least 3 days of public transportation in Venice. The card itself is €6 and you can tack on a 72 hour public transportation pass for just €22 more.
3 Days + Rolling Venice Card: €28 (€6+€22)
- You can purchase ACTV Travel Cards and Rolling Venice cards online here.
With a tour group
- Half-day trip to Murano and Burano: $22.50/person (book online here).
If you’d prefer not to worry about the travel logistics of getting from Venice to Murano and Burano, you can also book a tour. Prices vary a bit by tour company but are about $22.50 per person for a half day trip.
This is comes out to be about the same as purchasing 3 separate Vaporetto tickets, so financially it makes sense if you don’t already have a Venice Travel Card.
Going with a tour group is likely easier and simpler, plus you’ll have a dedicated guide to bring you around the islands providing local insights. That being said, you won’t have the freedom to spend as much time at each stop as you’d like. But it’s definitely a good option!
What to Do in Murano
While less visually stunning than Burano, Murano is certainly worth a stop! In this section, we’ll give you a few ideas on how to spend your time here.
Shop for Murano Glass
Vases, wine stoppers, ornaments, bowls, glasses, paperweights, figurines, bracelets, earrings – the shops along the canals of Murano offer a huge variety of beautiful glass products and you are sure to find something you like.
Although some pieces of Murano glass can be quite expensive, it’s possible to find smaller items, like bracelets, that are authentic but still budget-friendly.
Visit the Murano Glass Factory
To learn more about how glass is made and see a live glass-blowing demonstration, visit the Murano Glass Factory.
The Glass Factory is open Wednesday through Sunday 10:00 AM through 1:00 PM. Tickets cost €5, and you can make reservations ahead of time here.
See the Comet Glass Star
On display in Campo San Stefano near the Murano clock tower, the Comet Glass Star is a huge glass sculpture by Murano-born glassmaker Simone Cenedese, composed of 500 smaller glass components. The sculpture was created in 2007 for Christmas, and has been on permanent display ever since.
Simone Cenedese also has an art gallery in Murano, where you can see more of his impressive glass artwork.
Stroll Along Murano’s Grand Canal
Though somewhat less grand than Venice, Murano’s Grand Canal is certainly easier to enjoy without being bumped into by hurried tourists.
Similar to the Grand Canal in Venice, Murano’s Grand Canal leads through the center of the island and features one main footbridge, the Ponte Longo.
What to Do in Burano
After leaving Murano, continue to Burano, where you should plan to spend a few hours exploring and taking in the beauty of this little island town before returning to Venice.
Shop for Burano Lace
Lace shops are everywhere in Burano. Take some time to browse the intricate, hand-crafted lacework created by Burano locals, from umbrellas, pilows, and table clothes to dresses and blouses.
You can also visit the Lace Museum, housed in a building that used to be the Burano Lace School from 1872 to 1970, to learn more about lace-making.
Eat lunch at Al Gato Nero
There is no better place to eat fresh seafood than a fisherman’s village on an island in the Venetian Lagoon. Al Gato Nero is a Michelin starred restaurant, famous for its elegant simplicity, fresh seafood and local ingredients.
To eat at Al Gato Nero, you will need to make a reservation well in advance.
Get lost wandering Burano’s side streets
Step off Burano’s main streets and wander through its narrow, winding alleys. There is no shortage of beauty behind the scenes here. Simple everyday scenes – clothes hanging on a line, flower pots sitting in windows, tiny ragged fishing boats parked on the canal after a day’s work – have a special magic on the island.
Stroll Down Piazza Galuppi
Named after Venetian composer Baldassarre Galuppi, Piazza Galuppi is the main street of Burano, featuring an array of restaurants, shops, and cafes.
Grab a delicious gelato at Dai Fradei Gelateria or stop in for a cappuccino or glass of wine on the patio at one of Piazza Galuppi’s cafes.
What to pack for visiting Murano and Burano
- Venice Travel Card | If you decide to purchase a Venice Travel Card, be sure to bring it with you for your trip to Murano and Burano!
- Comfortable sandals | Toms Sicily Sandals are my go to sandals for traveling when I know I’ll be spending a lot of time on my feet. They are stylish, versatile and really comfortable!
- Camera (Canon M100) | To capture the beauty of the streets of Burano, make sure to bring a camera! The Canon M100 was my first “real” camera and its great for beginners and casual users – compact enough to easily travel with and takes great quality photos!
- Anti-theft purse | Pickpockets are rampant in Venice, so having a purse that isn’t easily accessible is key. I love my PacSafe Citysafe because its the perfect size for a day trip and keeps my belongings safe!
- Sunscreen and chapstick | You’ll be spending most of the day outdoors, and the sun on the Vaporetto ride can be intense. Make sure to protect your skin and lips!
- Sunglasses (Goodr) | At only $25, Goodr sunglasses are cheap, durable and non-slip (perfect if you’re the type of person that tends to loose sunglasses, like me!)
- Water bottle (Swell)| The easiest way to save money while traveling is to bring your own water bottle and avoid paying for overpriced plastic bottles!
- Cash and spare change | Some places in Murano and Burano don’t accept credit cards, and you’ll have to pay to use the public restrooms so be sure to have some cash and spare change on hand.
Other tips for a great trip to Murano and Burano
- Take out some cash before you go. Many places in Murano and Burano are cash only. You will also have to pay a small fee to use the public restrooms.
- Go early. Especially during the summer, even Murano and Burano get very crowded in the afternoon. If you are looking to escape the crowds of Venice and enjoy peace and quiet on these island, it’s best to go early. Additionally, there is no air conditioning on the crowded Vaporettos, meaning that 30 minute boat ride can be incredibly hot in the afternoon sun.
- Check labels for place of origin. This applies to both Murano glass and Burano lace. Unfortunately, mass-produced glass and lace are cheaper than authentic hand crafted versions, meaning you are likely to encounter knock-offs, even in shops in Murano and Burano. If you are looking to buy something authentic, be sure to check the labels and know that it will likely cost a little more to buy something authentic but it’s always worth it to support local artisans.
Other Useful Resources
Looking for more to do in Venice? We’ve compiled a list of our 10 favorite things to do in Venice that won’t break the bank:
For all things Italy: Italy Travel Guide
The day trip to Murano or Burano was our favorite things we did in Venice. If you are like us, the crowds in Venice can be rather overwhelming. On these little islands, you can find a bit of solitude and catch a glimpse of how real life looks on the Venetian lagoon.
Have you been to Murano and Burano? Questions about the day trip from Venice? Let us know in the comments section below.