Burano is easy to reach from Venice using the local Venice Vaporetto service.
Located in the middle of the Venetian Lagoon, this fairytale island off Venice is a must-see day trip. Burano is a kaleidoscope of colour, and its calm and tranquil interior is a stunning contrast to Venice’s bustling streets and grand architecture.
In Burano, discover a labyrinth of side streets lined with vibrantly painted houses, washing lines and elderly ladies chatting outside their homes. Watch the locals gliding along the canals in their fishing boats and hear children’s laughter drifting through the air in this popular Italian destination.
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Getting To Burano by Vaporetto (waterbus)
Getting to Burano from Venice is pretty straightforward. You can catch the number 12 Vaporetto from Fondamenta Nove, which takes you to Burano in around 45 minutes.
Getting to Murano from Venice and Burano
A second option if you also want to see Murano is to take the number 12 Vaporetto from Venice to Murano, look around the glass factory, wander along the canals, and take in the sights of Murano. Afterwards, walk along the main street to the lighthouse and board the number 12 Murano to Burano Vaporetto.
If you want to visit the islands of Burano, Murano and Torcello, you can buy a Venice Vaporetto pass, allowing you to hop on and off the Venice ferry. This ticket will also allow you to use the mainland buses in the greater Venice area.
You can purchase your Vaporetto tickets for the water bus in Venice at the biglietteria or “ticket point” at most of the larger Vaporetto stations. Newstands and tobacco kiosks also sell Venice ferry tickets. Ticket points have automated machines if not manned by a person.
You can plan your trip to Burano using the ACTV Vaporetto timetable website.
Burano Day Tours From Venice
If catching a Vaporetto on your own sounds confusing (believe me, it’s not), you could always book one of the many fabulous day tours to Burano from Venice.
Many tours include stops at the neighbouring islands of Murano and Torcello, allowing you to experience several of the islands in the Venetian Lagoon.
Top Day Tours from Venice include:
Is Burano worth visiting?
Undoubtedly, Burano is worth visiting and is one of the most beautiful islands to visit in Venice. It is such a contrast to the architectural style of the mainland that it is hard to believe it is so close to one of the world’s most historic and beautiful cities.
Burano is completely spellbinding, and it’s easy to forget that this Venetian island is a working fishing community and not a forgotten village somewhere in Italy.
With colourful houses, cobbled streets, canals and a fabulous choice of restaurants and shopping, Burano is an Italian gem waiting to be explored.
Useful Facts about Burano
How Long Do You Need in Burano?
A few hours in the morning or afternoon will be plenty of time to visit Burano.
The island’s main attraction is its beautiful coloured houses and winding canals. You won’t find many other things to do in Burano besides enjoying your surroundings and taking 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 for colours 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.
What is the traditional craft of Burano
Lace-making is a century-old craft bound to Burano’s cultural identity.
There are seven different stitches, and each craftswoman specialises in one stitch. The lace is passed from woman to woman until the piece is complete. It is a difficult task, and most lace is now machine-made; however, outside some shops, the ladies still use traditional methods to show how it used to be done.
What is there to see in Burano’s 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, and you can expect the freshest catch daily.
Best places to eat in Burano
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 narrow alleyways of Burano
Burano is a working town and has not been fabricated for tourists, even though it is now one of the most popular attractions in Venice. You can still lose the crowds and discover a maze of tiny streets to wander along and see the quieter side of island living.
On my visit, I headed away from the main touristy hub and wandered along these colourful, tucked-away streets, and no one else was around – perfect!
I noticed many visitors choose to stay around the main restaurant and shopping area rather than venturing along the residential streets. I feel the essence of Burano is completely missed if you don’t explore further than the shops and bars!
Step inside the leaning tower of Burano
Take time during your day trip to visit the 16th-century church of San Martino. With its leaning bell tower, it is a quirky sight to behold. The best spot to view it from is the Terranova marble bridge.
Go inside the church, light a remembrance candle and take a few moments to be alone with your thoughts.
Check out two beautiful islands close to Burano
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. This is the only one left out of ten original churches on Mazzorbo island.
Explore the Island of Torcello
If you are still not ready to return 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 back to Burano and the lagoon.
Where to Eat in Torcello
If you fancy something to eat on the island, there are a few lovely Torcello restaurants to choose from:
Where to Stay in Burano, Murano and Torcello
Why not stay overnight if you fancy experiencing the Venetian islands without the crowds?
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