A visit to the islands of Burano and Murano is a great way to spend a day exploring. Or you can visit one island for a day each if you have longer in Venice. Either way it is the perfect day trip to add some variety to your Venice trip.
Burano is famous for its beautiful colourful houses that line every street. Meanwhile, Murano is famous for making glass!
How to get to Burano and Murano
Both Burano and Murano islands are easily accessible from Venice. To get there, you will need to ride the water taxi or Vaparetto as they are locally known.
There are plenty of ferry terminals located along the main canal in Venice where you can pick up a vaparetto. Each ferry terminal will have a ticket machine at least nearby, and likely a ticket desk kiosk type thing too, where you can purchase your ticket. The most obvious ones are either side of Piazza San Marco. Either go right or left at the end where the Doge’s palace is and you will get to one of the terminals.
Tickets are €7.50 for one journey, or you can buy a 1 day pass for €20 or 2 day for €30 and so forth. As we would be doing 3 journeys that day we got a day pass each. Since it was valid 24 hours, we also managed to use that same day pass for our trip to the Lido the next morning too. We just bought a single for the return journey from there! So if you plan on doing both islands in one trip definitely go for that day pass.
The journey to Murano is pretty short at only 9 minutes. There were loads of people waiting to get on the boat there to go on to Burano a further 30 minutes away, and some didn’t get on and had to wait. Boats are once every half an hour for the route that includes Burano – Number 12. There are more frequent services to Murano. At the moment due to Covid-19, you must wear a facemark at all times in terminals and on the boats.
This website told us everything we needed to know so give it a click if you want more info on ticket types, prices and routes!
We decided to try and avoid the crowds a little by going straight to Burano getting the longer journey done, then going to Murano on the way back. Upon arrival it was a lot busier than we had expected. You end up following the crowds through some narrow tourist shop lined streets to get to the main canal, but my goodness it is stunning.
Almost every single building is painted a different vibrant shade. There are pinks, blues, purples, greens, reds, yellows as far as the eye can see. It is basically an Instagram paradise, particularly if you like to pose in front of coloured walls. Which as far as I can tell fashion bloggers seem to really like doing. We travel bloggers aren’t averse either…
It was genuinely very charming. It isn’t a big island and again like Venice there aren’t cars, just boats. There are only 2 main canals to walk along, it is a pretty small island! But it is so pretty, it was impossible to feel sad there even if it was a little crowded at points.
We wandered up and down the street and decided that most restaurants seemed to be serving pretty similar menus at pretty similar prices. Most had seafood and pasta on offer, with some also serving pizza. So we picked one toward the furthest away end of the street called Restaurant Galuppi and sat down to have some lunch, whilst watching the world go by and admiring the kaleidoscope of colour.
Craig went for a seafood pasta that claimed to be ‘pirate style’ which is apparently muscle and clams, who knew. Meanwhile I went with some salmon gnocchi which was very good. The bread and oil was generous too. However the balsamic was served in a spray bottle, which was weird but does give great distribution. We also went for a jug of wine which was pretty cheap table wine and tasted like it, but for €8 who is complaining?
Then we wandered round the island through side streets, past wonky church spires and saw yachts passing by the perimeter. Many photos were also taken, although capturing the colourful environment on pixels isn’t quite the same as being there! After our wander and when we were satisfied with our photos we sat down for a drink. We were at what we thought was a quiet bar at the end of the canal until an Italian lads holiday type group rocked up on their boats!
Late afternoon we thought it was time to head over to Murano, so we headed back to the vaparetto terminal. Handily there was one due in 10 minutes. The terminal was pretty crowded as more and more people kept tapping their tickets and piling in. Zero social distancing occurring from some people but most were trying their best in the limited space available. The ferry was also pretty busy and we stood outside on the side we knew we would be getting off on.
After a slightly feet achey (we had done a lot of walking round the Doge’s Palace and Museo Correr in the morning) and squashed journey we jumped off at Murano.
It was much quieter here, with very few tourists around. We aren’t entirely sure if Murano normally closes so early, as it seemed unusual for a Mediterranean town, but turns out there was a public holiday that day and all the shops were already closed. This was a shame as we didn’t get to see any glass making, which would have been cool. So if you want to see that get there during day time hours to be sure of seeing it!
It was strange how quiet it was after seeing hordes of people leaving the island earlier in the day. It seemed to just be us and locals! We had a wander around and found an ice cream to sit and eat at the canal side, then went in search of beer. We found a bar/cafe that seemed lively with plenty of locals in. So we sat and had a few beers here, admiring the excellent dogs who we saw out for their walks. Think it was called Ostaria ai Cacciatori.
Then it was time to hunt for some dinner and hope everywhere wasn’t closed. We walked to the larger canal and went to look there but the only places open were quite expensive, so we went back to the smaller canal and had a look here. We found a reasonable looking place called Ai Vetrai that had a good few locals at it and a large reserved table which we figured was a good sign.
It turned out to be very tasty, however Craig’s spider crab was tiny so he had to order a second dish of Milanese! I ended up eating more gnocchi, this time a cheesy one but it was so light and fluffy! We also had more venetian wine as we had been doing whilst in Venice so that was good to try and very nice!
As there wasn’t much else open it was time to get the vaparetto so off we went having looked at the timetable. As we approached the jetty, however, the boat left, leaving 2 minutes early. Just as we thought we may have to wait 45 minutes for the next one at that time, a 4.2 (yes that is a route) showed up and saved us. So that was our slight vaparetto misadventure. Travel loves to throw you a curveball every now and then, fortunately it was only a minor one that cost us only 10 minutes of mainland drinking time!
And that was our Burano and Murano experience, which we rounded off with some lovely cocktails then a trip to the Irish bar since it was the only place that seemed open late!
I would definitely recommend you take a day trip, or even an afternoon/evening trip as we did to Burano and Murano. There isn’t a huge amount to do besides walking around, taking pictures and eating/drinking. Although there are a few museums and galleries on Murano plus the glass. Its a small island though so I don’t imagine they would be very big.
But it is a cheap day out for a €20 day trip with beautiful views, a chance to cross the grand canal on water taxi and a fun, laid back atmosphere on the islands, away from the rush of the city. Be sure to add it to your Venice itinerary.