When in Venice, make sure you leave yourself enough time to include a day trip to the intriguing island of Burano. Its kaleidoscope of coloured houses and its calm and tranquil interior is a stunning contrast to Venice.
Discover side streets alive with elderly ladies chatting, teenagers gliding along in their boats and children playing while tourists roam around Burano.
How To Get To Burano
Day trips from Venice to Burano are straightforward. You will need to catch the number 12 Vaporetta from Fondamenta Nove, costing €7.50 for a one-way ticket and taking around 45 minutes.
Another option is to take number 12 to Murano and join a glass factory tour. Afterwards, walk along the main street to the lighthouse and board the number 12 Vaporetto to Burano.
This is one of Venice’s best day trips, and if you want to tour the islands of Murano and Torcello while you are in the Venetian lagoon area, it will work out more economical to buy a €20 one-day ticket.
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How To Book a Tour From Venice to Burano
You can book some great tours to Burano from Venice if you prefer someone else to organise a day trip for you. Many include stops at the neighbouring islands of Murano and Torcello, allowing you to experience several islands in the Venetian Lagoon.
How Long Do You Need in Burano?
Either a few hours in the morning or afternoon will be plenty of time to wander around Burano. The island is the main attraction with its beautiful coloured houses and winding canals. You won’t find many other things to do in Burano other than to enjoy your surroundings and take hundreds of photographs!
Why Are the Houses in Burano Multi-Coloured?
Burano’s rainbow streets are the main draw for tourists. Houses throughout Burano were originally painted in bright colours so families could mark out where their homes ended and their neighbours began. The rule was that no dwelling could be painted the same colour as the one next to it, and permission had to be given by the local council. Their vibrant paintwork also helped guide the fishermen back from a day out at sea.
Luckily for us, this Italian tradition has been kept alive and stepping onto the island of Burano is like reaching a fairytale land. It’s almost like a film set from the Wizard of Oz!
After witnessing the architectural splendours in central Venice, the buildings in Burano are simple – just a brightly painted square building containing two or three floors.
Traditional Lace-Making in Burano
Burano is known for the craft of lace-making. There are seven different stitches in total, and each craftswoman would specialise in one stitch. The lace would pass from woman to woman until the piece was complete. It was a difficult task, and most lace is now machine-made; however, outside some shops, the ladies still use the traditional methods to show how it used to be done.
Burano Town Square
Piazza Galuppi is the main square. Lined with shops, cafes and restaurants, it’s an excellent place to stop for a thirst-quenching Aperol spritz.
This Venetian aperitif, made with white wine, Aperol and sparkling water, is an excellent accompaniment to your seafood lunch. Burano is a working fisherman’s island, so you can expect the freshest catch daily.
Burano is a working neighbourhood and has not just been fabricated for tourists. Lose the crowds, discover a labyrinth of tiny streets and find a quieter side to this quaint town.
Take time during your day trip from Venice to visit the 16th-century church of San Martino. With its leaning bell tower, it is a quirky sight to behold.
The best location to admire it from is the Terranova marble bridge. Go inside, light a remembrance candle and take a few moments to be alone with your thoughts.
Where To Eat in Burano
There are plenty of fish and pasta restaurants to choose from. Some of the best restaurants in Burano are listed below:
Trattoria Al Gatto Nero – A Michelin star, family-run restaurant since 1965 offering local Italian cuisine with vegan and vegetarian options.
Osteria Al Museo Burano – A great place for lunch next to the church and the museum.
Trexento Cafe – No fuss, great food, good prices.
Pasticceria Rizzardini – Great for breakfast and snacks.
If you want a small snack and a glass of local wine, head to a bacaro (wine bar).
These small bars are found all over Venice and are a true Venetian experience. They serve tapas-style food called “Cicchetti”, comprising small bites of bread with various toppings, all washed down with wine. Usually only costing a few euros, this is a great way to have a quick snack while sightseeing.
Explore the Island of Mazzorbo
Before you head back to the Vaporetto stop, cross the wooden bridge that connects Burano to Mazzorbo. Here you will find the Venissa walled vineyard circled by medieval monastery walls and complete with a Michelin-starred restaurant.
The 14th-century campanile (bell tower) stands within the grounds alongside the 11th-century Church of San Michele Arcangelo. Out of ten original churches, this is the only one left on Mazzorbo island. An exhibition in the grounds of the wine estate was an unusual find in the heart of the Venetian Lagoon!
Explore the Island of Torcello
Before returning to Venice, take a 5-minute ferry from Burano to the neighbouring island of Torcello. You can then catch the half-hourly ACTV ferry back to Venice once you have explored Torcello.
This unassuming island isn’t colourful like Burano. However, it has the impressive 7th-century Basilica di Santa Maria Assunta at its centre, complete with its interesting Venetian-Byzantine mosaics. Climb to the top of the Basilica’s bell tower for far-reaching views across Burano and out to the lagoon.
Maybe you may like to visit one of Torcello’s restaurants before your return trip to Venice. There are several quaint and traditional places to choose from on the island.
Where to Eat in Torcello
Accommodation in Burano, Mazzorbo and Torcello
If you fancy an overnight stay on Torcello, then check out availability and rates for accommodation.
If you fancy an overnight stay on Burano, then check out availability and rates for accommodation.