Europe / Italy

Burano: The Most Beautiful Day Trip from Venice

Burano coloured houses

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. Only three thousand locals reside here. Discover side streets alive with elderly ladies chatting, teenagers gliding along in their boats and children playing while tourists roam around Burano.

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colourful houses and a canal with boats either side

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Travelling to Burano

One 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 the 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.

Burano coloured houses situated along a canal
A street in burano showing pastel coloured houses

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Colourful Fishermen Houses

Burano’s houses were originally painted in bright colours so that families could mark out where their home 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. The buildings in Burano are simple in contrast to the architecture found in central Venice. Just a square building containing two or three floors.

A bridge in Burano across a canal showing me standing on it
Colourful houses along a canal in Burano, Venice

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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 it was completed. 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.

Me sitting on the side of a canal in Burano with fishing boats on the water.

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Burano Town Square

Piazza Galuppi is the main square and lined with shops, cafes and restaurants, an excellent place to stop for a thirst-quenching 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 each day.

Multi coloured houses in burano, venice

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.

A photo of me walking along a narrow alleyway in Burano
Colourful Painted Houses in Burano

Take the time to visit the 16th-century church of San Martino with its leaning bell tower. 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.

san martino leaning tower, Burano
memorial candles in san martino church in Burano

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The Island of Mazzorbo

Before you head back to the Vaporetto stop, cross the wooden bridge that connects Burano to Mazzorbo, and you will find the Venissa walled vineyard circled by medieval monastery walls and complete with a Michelin-starred restaurant.

Within the grounds stands the 14th-century campanile (bell tower) 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!

santa caterina bell tower on the Venissa wine estate
A photo of me within the vineyards at Mazzorbo, Venice
Art depicting a child and an elephant at venissa wine estate
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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, but it has the impressive 7th-century Basilica di Santa Maria Assunta at its centre complete with its interesting Venetian-Byzantine mosaics. A climb to the top of the Basilica’s bell tower will give you 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.

Restaurants on Torcello

Locanda Cipriani

Ristorante al Trono di Attila

Restaurant Villa 600

Accommadation on 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.

Colourful Houses and Boats on the Canal
Read Next: 10 Incredible Things to Do in Venice

About Author

Angela Price

Angie is a full-time travel writer with over 30 years of travel experience. She has always had a passion for travel, and after a 3-month world trip with her 18-year-old son, she created her popular travel blog to share her adventures with a wider audience. When Angie is at home in the UK, she enjoys exploring the English countryside, visiting castles and gardens and planning her next big adventure. Her motto is "Live Life Wandering not Wondering".

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1 year ago

This is such a beautiful place. Look at all those colorful buildings. How long did you stay here?

Reply to  Karthika
1 year ago

We were only there for the day on a trip from Venice but we stayed until late when all the tourists had gone and had it to ourselves

Erin Foster
1 year ago

So pretty! I love places where each building is a different color. When I last was in Venice, we only made it to Murano. I’ll have to check out Burano next time I’m there!

Reply to  Erin Foster
1 year ago

I hope you get there, it was a wonderful little place.

Chris Toone | Toone's Travels
1 year ago

Such a beautiful place and a nice “break” from the hustle and bustle of the main island. My favorite part was staying into the early evening when the tourists left and it felt like a whole different world 🙂 Thanks for sharing your incredible pictures!

Safe travels,

Reply to  Chris Toone | Toone's Travels
1 year ago

I’m so glad you enjoyed the post. Burano was beautiful and we even got to experience it when a storm came in. Fantastic.

Slowly Anywhere
1 year ago

Burano is so beautiful! As an Italian, I was curious about your trip to my country. There is much more to see other than Venice. We are all waiting for you, Maybe Florence? Siena? time to plan your next Italian getaway!

Reply to  Slowly Anywhere
1 year ago

Yes, I love Italy (I am half Italian myself) and have been to Florence, Pisa, Rome, Amalfi coast etc. I totally fell in love with Venice, my favourite place ever.

Reply to  Slowly Anywhere
1 year ago

In such a bustling city there were little gems such as the Man Mo Temple.

1 year ago

This place is so beautiful! I loved it so much there. Next time I will also visit Mazzorbo, didn’t have enough time last year to squeeze it in. But these islands in Venetian lagoon are just perfect.

Reply to  Janja
1 year ago

Mazzorbo was just a walk across the bridge from Burano and was a nice find. Murano was another lovely island to visit in the lagoon area of Venice .

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