Burano Island in the Venice lagoon is one of the most colourful places I have ever visited. Burano makes a wonderful day trip from Venice, and as yet is still relatively quiet compared to Venice itself. If you want to experience a different kind of Venetian beauty, then a Burano day trip is a must. Here you’ll find the details for how to get to Burano from Venice, the best things to do in Burano, and options for a Burano tour. If you need anything else, just let me know!
About Burano Island
The Isola di Burano is a beautiful island in the Venice lagoon, which used to be a fisherman’s village. Apparently, fishermen used to paint their houses bright colours so when they came home after a long voyage, they could see their houses more easily and knew they were close to home. The island is also famous for its lace-making traditions, you can visit the lace museum or see a demonstration.
Murano or Burano?
Despite their similar names, Murano and Burano are two different islands and shouldn’t be confused. Murano is closer to Venice and is where all the glass making factories are as the furnaces are banned from Venice due to the fire risk. Burano is further away, and it takes about an hour to get to Burano Island, but you will be rewarded with one of the most colourful places in Europe. It is possible to visit both islands on a day trip from Venice, as Murano is on the way to Burano, so if you leave early enough in the morning you will be able to visit both islands.
How to Get from Venice to Burano
Venice to Burano by Vaporetto
The Vaporetto waterbuses are the best means of getting around Venice and the lagoon. A one-way ticket on a Vaporetto costs €7.50, which is for journeys of up to 75 minutes and includes changes to different lines. If you want to visit Murano and Burano (and Torcello) then you will need a €20 24-hour transport ticket which allows unlimited journeys on Vaporetto waterbuses, and buses and trams too. If you plan to be in Venice for more than a day, consider getting a 48-or 72-hour transport ticket as it will be much better value for longer stays in Venice.
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Depending on where you are in Venice, you could Vaporetto line 12 direct to Burano from the Fondamente Nove stop. However, if you are on the other side of the island, you’ll portably be better going to Murano first then changing lines. From the bus or train station, for example, you could take a Vaporetto to Murano on line 3 and then change to line 12 to get to Burano from Murano. Use Google maps to check the quickest and most convenient route, or check the Vaporetto line maps and timetables. Expect the journey to be around 50 minutes if you go directly from Fondamente Nove, or over an hour if you’re coming from elsewhere in Venice.
Venice to Burano by WaterTaxi
I wouldn’t recommend this option unless you have money to burn or are travelling in a group, as water-taxis in Venice are obscenely expensive. If there is a large group of you who can all fit into one taxi you may be able to get a reasonable deal, but even then, it will probably be more than 20 euros per person.
Murano and Burano Island Tour
If you are short on time you may prefer to take Murano and Burano tour from Venice. These islands are usually combined as you pass by Murano on the way to Burano, and taking a tour will be faster than doing it yourself. However, you may find you are quite limited with the length of time you can spend on the islands, so I would suggest spending a full day on the islands instead of a half-day tour if you can afford the time. Some tours will also include a visit to Torcello, another small island close to Burano (read more below). If you want to visit Torcello, make sure your tour includes it.
Things to do in Burano
Burano isn’t exactly a hive of activity, but that is part of the pleasure in visiting Burano island. I was content simply wandering around and exploring the island, admiring the colours and people watching. However, if you are at a loss for what to do in Burano, here are a few ideas for you:
Explore the Colourful Streets in Burano
The main draw of Burano is the colourful houses. Every house is painted in a different colour which makes for a beautiful place to explore. Remember to be respectful of people and their homes when you take photographs! The bridges across the canals are popular photo spots for good reason, but don’t neglect the side streets – there are plenty of pretty places to explore which are still blissfully quiet.
Take a Walking Tour of Burano
Although it is easy to visit Burano without a guide, you may prefer to take a tour with a local guide who will show you the best spots and share more information about the history and culture in Burano. These options on GetYourGuide get great reviews:
Check out the Views from the Bridges
Any of the bridges in Burano give you a fabulous view of the colourful streets. Love Viewing Bridge is one of the most popular photo spots in Burano, but any of the bridges will do just as well. If you are in a group, be sure not to block the way for other people crossing the bridge.
The Leaning Tower of Burano
The bell tower of St Martin’s Church is visible from much of Burano Island, and from certain angles, you can see how it leans quite a lot, due to land subsistence. The church is in Piazza Baldassarre Galuppi, which is a pleasant square with lots of lace shops and restaurants, but the view is probably better from one of the bridges.
La Casa di Bepi – Bepi’s House
Giuseppe Toselli, known as Bepi, painted his house with geometric patterns and designs, making it the most colourful house in Burano. He was also a popular member of the community, having worked at the local cinema he used to put a white sheet up in front of his house and show films and cartoons for the local children. Sadly, Bepi is no longer with us, but you can still visit his home.
Visit the Burano Lace Museum
Burano lace is famous in Italy and the world for its intricate designs and high-quality material. The Burano Lace museum traces the history of Burano lace and often has lace-making demonstrations from local women (in the morning). It is a small museum, and if you come to Burano in the afternoon it may not be worth paying the €5 fee, as you can catch lace-making demonstrations in some of the shops selling Burano lace in the village.
Eat Delicious Food in Burano
Like the rest of Venice, Burano has a wonderful history of delicious seafood – thanks to all the fishermen who lived here. Try risotto or spaghetti al nero with squid, black from the ink, or risotto de gò, made with goby fish from the lagoon. Or order the seafood lasagne or any seafood dish for that matter. For dessert, of course, it has to be tiramisu, created on the mainland near Venice. After your meal, stroll around to find traditional buranelli or bussolà biscuits, perfect for dunking in a coffee or simply munching as you sit on a park bench in the shade.
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Visit Torcello Island
Nearby Torcello Island was the first island in the lagoon to be inhabited when people from the mainland fled invasions from the Huns. It is a short Vaporetto ride from Burano, and worth a visit if only to see the church which has incredible gold mosaics. Photographs aren’t allowed inside the church itself, but you can climb the church tower for spectacular views of the lagoon. A museum also tells the history of the island.
Walk to Isola Mazzorbo
Connected to Burano by a footbridge, Mazzorbo is a mainly agricultural island where you can stroll around the Venissa Estate, owned by the Bisol family. This is where they grow wine and food for their Michelin-starred restaurant, which is also on the island. If you feel like splashing out you could dine here, or even book a night at the hotel there, but it doesn’t come cheap. I satisfied myself walking around the vineyard, and admiring the artichokes which were also growing here.
Where to Stay in Burano
Although there are various accommodation options in Burano, if you also plan to visit Venice I would advise not staying on Burano, as it can take around an hour to get to Venice from Burano. As the #wombatsTraveller ambassador for wombat’s Hostels, I stayed at the new wombat’s Hostel in Venice Mestre, which is right next to the train station, allowing easy access to Venice. I loved staying here, it is a brand-new hostel with friendly staff and great facilities, with dorms or private rooms to choose from. Being right next to the station it is really convenient for arriving from the train or airport, and it was easy to get to Venice whenever I wanted. I’ll publish a full review of the hostel soon, but you can check out the pre-opening sneak peek here, or visit the wombat’s Hostels website directly.
Would you like to visit Burano? What other colourful places in the world have you visited? I’d love to hear your thoughts, please leave your comments below.
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