The colorful island of Burano, with its famous colorful houses, canals and many other things to do, is a perfect destination for a day trip out of the hustle and bustle of Venice – over an hour’s ride by vaporetto from San Marco. Farther away doesn’t sound very desirable at first, but it has a very important side effect: even fewer tourists! Come with us on a discovery tour through colorful alleys. Away from the tourist hotspots like San Marco or Rialto, the small island is just right for you. What are the highlights of Burano and the best activities? Where can you eat well and stay overnight? Here you will learn all the tips you need for a perfect day trip from Venice to Burano.
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How to get from Venice to Burano?
The best way to get from Venice to Burano Island is by water buses / cabs, the “vaporettos”. The best vaporetto connection from Venice to Burano is line 12, which takes over an hour. A convenient stop is the Fermata “Fondamenta Nuove” in the Cannaregio district.
The one-way tickets for the Vaporettos are quite expensive at 7.50 euros, so that for your stay in Venice collective tickets or 24 hour / day passes (20.00 euros) are recommended.
Already on the way, the vaporetto passes another highlight of Venice: the Cimitero de San Michele. It is the largest cemetery in the lagoon city. Some vaporettos also stop at the Cimitero. After a stop on the island of Murano, line 12 takes you further through the lagoon to Burano.
There is only one vaporetto stop on Burano, so you don’t have to worry about getting off the wrong way. From here you start your discovery tour of Burano on your own.
You don’t want to worry about anything organizational during your trip to Venice, but you still don’t want to miss anything? Then you can also comfortably join a guided tour of Burano from Venice. In some tours the other worth seeing islands Murano and Torcello are also included.
A perfect day on Burano 🇮🇹 – here is your overview
I have summarized the Burano sights and itinerary for you in addition to the BIG5 in an overview map:
Click on the icon in the upper left corner to use the full range of map options!
These are the BIG5 Things to do in Burano
Burano consists of 4 small islands connected by 8 bridges. With a current population of around 2,700 and an area of just under 21 hectares, it is one of the most densely populated islands in the Venice Lagoon. Like Murano, the island is completely car-free and thus wonderfully suited for relaxed discovery tours on foot. But what exactly is there to see? Find out more about the BIG5 Burano sights here:
Things to do in Burano: Admire the colorful houses
It feels a bit like a trip to the rainbow! Colorful is the name of the game here. Directly from the vaporetto pier, you can walk straight ahead through the small alleys to the Fondamenta Cavanella on the next canal – and there they are in front of you, the colorful, pastel-colored houses of Burano. It’s already a little trip to a bygone era. Above all, it’s much more tranquil here than at the tourist hotspots like San Marco or Rialto.
Nevertheless, its popularity and notoriety is increasing year by year, with more and more travelers taking a day trip from Venice to Burano. Last but not least, social networks like Instagram or Pinterest have massively strengthened this effect and made Burano known not only to insiders. You’re looking for a particularly good photo spot: from the bend of the canal! The many boats on the left and right of the canal fit particularly well.
You have a particularly nice view at the “Embarcadero“, a narrow canal section.
Shoot photos of the colorful houses on Strada di Corte Comare! Did I say colorful houses again? Yes, there are many colorful houses here! You can find more particularly beautiful motifs in the courtyard around the Strada di Corte Comare, enjoy!
Why are the houses on Burano colorful?
It is said that the houses shine in different colors to help the fishermen to find their home after a night of drinking or in the fog.
By law, locals must even apply for special permission to repaint their homes – and, of course, only certain hues are allowed.
Marvel at the leaning bell tower of San Martino
Burano can boast another curiosity: As in Pisa, there is also a leaning tower here. The 53 meter high bell tower of the church San Martino Vescovo leans about 2 meters (!) outside its vertical axis due to land shifts.
The best view of the leaning tower is from the Terranova marble bridge.
Another beautiful view of the Leaning Tower of Burano is from Piazza Baldassare Galuppi, the central square of Burano.
Visit the “Museo del Merletto” for lace embroidery
As famous as Murano for its glasses, Burano is famous for its lace embroidery. The Scuola di Merletti, a school for the traditional art of embroidery, still exists today. After a long tradition of the craft on Burano since the 14th century and worldwide exports of the valuable goods, the trade came more and more to a standstill due to new manufacturing techniques, the art almost fell into oblivion. In 1872 it was revived by some women and the Scuola di Merletti was founded.
To learn all about the tradition, history and different techniques, we recommend a visit to the Museo del Merletto, where you will get a great overview of the craft and its history. Admission costs 5 euros for adults, 3.50 euros for concessions.
Opening hours are : Tue-Sun 10am-5pm (summertime until 6pm).
Genuine Burano lace is still considered an expensive luxury item.
Here, too, there are now many black sheep who want to sell you imitations as “real Burano lace”. First indication should be the price. Partly weeks of handwork you do not get for cheap prices.
Things to do in Burano: The Casa di Bepi Suà
“Bepi’s house” stands out a bit more on the already colorful island! It was painted so beautifully by its owner. Years ago he ran a small open-air cinema on the walls for the neighborhood children.
Go on a spontaneous discovery tour along the canals
Although it’s nowhere near as crowded as its big sister “Old Town,” Burano naturally has touristy and less touristy corners, especially on and around Via Galuppi, the main street. If you have a little more time, go exploring in the less visited parts of the island. Don’t miss the small bridges Tre Ponti and Terrenova.
Let yourself drift through the beautifully colorful alleys and stop at a trattoria or café as you please. Enjoy a nice strong espresso or Aperol Spritz – just like the locals! You’ll also find little artist and artisan stores everywhere, offering great handmade souvenirs – especially, of course, the famous embroidery works of Burano.
Finally, the incredibly delicious seafood at the Trattoria al Gatto Nero or the views over the lagoon from the roof terrace of the Riva Rosa restaurant invite you to linger.
Another important tip when strolling around: There’s a public restroom (1.50 euros) in Piazza Galuppi if you’re in a pinch and don’t want to sit down in a restaurant or bar just yet.
In combination with a visit to Burano, there are also trips to the neighboring islands of Torcello and Mazzorbo. Mazzorbo is just 50 meters away and can be easily reached via a wooden bridge.
Things to do in Burano: When should I visit the island?
Especially in summer Burano is very busy and many travelers are on the island.
Therefore, it can make sense to travel to Burano / Venice in the low season, i.e. in late spring or autumn.
Note that in winter (November – January / February) there can be high water – “acqua alta“.
Tip: Make sure you go to Burano on a sunny day – that’s the only way to fully appreciate the magnificent colors of the colorful houses. It would be a real shame to see them on a gray day.
How long should I plan to spend visiting Burano?
That depends on your own pace. Since the island is not particularly large, the sights are in principle quickly reached. Many visitors come for only half a day, that is, the morning & lunch, or for lunch and an afternoon sightseeing.
But in Burano you can take your time, especially if you are a fan of extended photo shoots – the colorful houses really make a great backdrop. Especially when most of the day tourists get back on the boats, the island takes on a very special atmosphere.
Burano or Murano? Which island is more worthwhile?
Of course, it’s hard to give a general answer and it depends on your personal interests.
Burano with its famous colorful houses is especially interesting for painters and photographers. Here you can take great pictures. Murano, on the other hand, is somewhat larger and is ideal for relaxed discovery tours away from the tourist crowds in St. Mark’s Square.
If you are interested in the typical crafts of the islands, Murano is famous for its fantastic works in glass, Burano for its lace embroidery.
An important factor is also the time budget. If Murano is just a short ride by water cab from Venice, you’re already about an hour one-way to Burano. If you have the opportunity to plan enough time during your city trip to Venice or you have already visited the major sights of the lagoon city, it is of course a good idea to visit BOTH islands. Special day tours are also offered for this purpose.
Burano Accommodation & Hotel Recommendations
Most travelers make only a day trip to Burano and then return to their accommodation in Venice. In the evening, the island is wonderfully quiet and even more authentic than during the day with only a few travelers – a particularly beautiful atmosphere. So if you want to stay overnight on the colorful little island of Burano to start or end your day even more relaxed, here are some recommendations for you on any travel budget:
- Budget: Il Lato Azzurro (Via Forti 13 – Island S. Erasmo, 30141 Venice; ~35 euros in dorm, 60 euros single) – this hostel is located on San Erasmo Island, a short vaporetto ride from Burano. You’ll have a great view of the Venice lagoon from the large garden.
- Medium: Agriturismo Basegò (Via de le Motte 26 Isola di Sant’Erasmo, 30141 Venice; DR from 95 euros) – Staying on a farm in the Venice lagoon? Sounds extraordinary? It is! Also located on the island of San Erasmo, here you’ll find a wonderfully renovated old house with cozy rooms and a large garden.
- Noble: Casa sul Cielo di Burano (Calle Chibecchi 521, 30142 Burano; DR from 170 euros) – unbeatable location right in the center of Burano! This apartment for up to 4 people has a great terrace and top equipped rooms with everything you need.
- Noble: Venissa (Fondamenta di Santa Caterina 3, 30142 Burano; double room from 170 Euro) – Living in the middle of orchards and vineyards? That’s possible at this wonderful accommodation on Mazzorbo and Burano. My personal highlight are the beautifully decorated ceiling beams.
For the return trip to Venice, simply go back to the vaporetto pier and take the water cab back to the center of the lagoon city.
More info for your Venice city trip
If you want to combine your visit to Burano with the other islands of Murano & Torcello, great tours are offered:
The day trip to Burano is part of my recommendations for Things to do in VENICE for 3 perfect days
Buon Viaggio – Have a good trip and have fun in Venice 🇮🇹