Venice / Attractions / Murano, Burano and Torcello

Murano, Burano & Torcello

Islands tour of three picturesque islands in the Venice Lagoon

Murano, Burano en Torcello

Make a tour by boat from Venice to the islands of Murano, Burano and Torcello. The three picturesque islands in the lagoon of Venice Italy.

Info & Tours Murano, Burano and Torcello from Venice

Tours By far the easiest and cheapest way to visit all three islands is with an organized and guided tour:
  • Adults, from 18 € (more info and booking of tours, more availability of tours on this website)
  • In the boat explanation from a guide
  • As a boarding point, you usually have the choice of the train station or close to St. Mark's Square
  • Tours will make a stop at Murano, Torcello and Burano
More info & Bookings
Public transport You can also choose to visit one or more islands yourself using ACTV's public transport, so you can visit the islands at your own pace. In this case, we recommend you first to download on your phone the AVM Venezia official app from the PlayStore. This is the official app of ACTV and you can find the exact timetables of the waterbuses ('vaporetto') and the best route from your hotel. In short, you have three options with ACTV water buses. For all these rides you need a ACTV day pass that can be purchased online (20 euros).
  1. Are you close to St. Mark's Square? Stop 'San Zaccaria Pietà' is 200 meters from St. Mark's Square. The Vaporetto number 14 departs from here. It only goes to Burano, by far the most beautiful island of the three.
  2. Are you in the vicinity of the Rialto Bridge? 700 meters north of the Rialto Bridge is the Vaporetto stop 'F. at Nov'. From here Vaporetto number 12 departs. It stops successively at Murano, Torcello and Burano.
  3. Are you in the vicinity of the Santa Lucia station? From here Vaporetto number 3 leaves for Murano. At Murano you can then transfer to boat number 12 which stops successively at Torcello and Burano.
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Boat trip to the islands in the Venetian lagoon

Venice is made up of over a hundred islands and some of them are more famous than others. You can visit a number of islands that do not belong to the metropolitan area of Venice, but are part of the municipal area of Venice. Consider, for example, Murano, a picturesque island which is about an hour away by boat tour. Then go further to Burano and Torcello, a little further away. From Torcello you will then return your island tour in about 1.5 hours.

MuranoThe island of Murano
Murano tourThe tradition of glass blowing in Murano

1. Glass art on Murano island

If you go to Murano, you can't miss the island's special glass art. Glassware is therefore not only an original souvenir to take back from your holiday, you will also see larger works of glass displayed in the open air. Visit the Glass Museum (Museo del Vetro), where you will not only learn more about the history (from the 15th century to the present), but also learn about the art of this Venetian craft. All over Murano there are several sights associated with glassware, such as the Vetreria Artistica Colleoni (Glass Factory).

The Basilica dei Santi Maria e Donato is also worth a visit, because of the story that the bones of a slain dragon lie here. There is also the Chiesa di San Pietro Martire, which, despite the large and famous murals, looks different than many churches in Venice. Do you have enough time on Murano? Then walk on to Parco Giochi, where you can enjoy the surroundings and the passing boats through the canal. The cicadas (tree crickets) in the park will keep you company.

BuranoThe picturesque island of Burano
Burano Island tourBurano, a colorful island near Venice

2. The colored houses of Burano

Burano is by far the most beautiful island of the three islands! The island of Burano consists of four smaller parts, separated by canals. The island is best known for its brightly colored houses, where the colors often stand out against the blue-green water of the canal. Try to capture all the colors with your camera, because the bright pink, aqua blue, intense red, ocher yellow and light purple are really special to see. Sometimes the shutters are even painted in a completely different, contrasting color, compared to the house itself. These are the photos that you will have enlarged at home as a reminder of your time in Venice.

But Burano is more. Besides Venetian glass, this island is also known for its lace. To learn more about it, go to the Museo del Merletto (Lace Museum) on Piazza Galuppi, where you can learn more about how lace is actually made. A lace-making school was located at this location from 1872 to 1970. You will learn about the various lace techniques, see how lace has developed over the years and find out about the materials. The main church on Burano is San Martino. This church looks sober in appearance, especially compared to the brightly colored houses that surround it. Be sure to take a look at the large organ when you enter the church.

TorcelloThe Santa Maria Assunta on Torcello
TorcelloNext to Burano is the island of Torcello

3. Torcello – churches and beautiful nature

Torcello is only a small island. The Basilica di Santa Maria Assunta – also known as Torcella Basilica – is the most famous church on the island of Torcello. The brick exterior shows a clear and simple structure, while the interior of the church has many more embellishments. The colored inside of the dome with figures and other paintings make the church more colorful, although the brick is still visible and predominates. If you like pure constructions, this church is definitely recommended.

Nearby is the Chiesa di Santa Fosca, also a church and like the Basilica di Santa Maria Assunta made of brick. Few decorations are visible on the outside. No crowds with figures of saints and animals, no decorations that will catch the eye. The church isn't very high either, although appearances can be deceiving once you go inside and look at the ceiling. There are embellishments, but you have to look a bit more for them than at the other Venetian churches where all the splendor is emphatically displayed. The interior of the Chiesa di Santa Fosca, with the simple wooden benches and the few paintings, fits well in this environment.

Would you like to visit a museum on Torcello? Then you can view all kinds of Medieval artefacts and archaeological finds at the Museo Princiale di Torcello. All objects come from the area around Torcello itself. Another museum is Casa Museo Andrich, the place where the artists Lucio Andrich and Clementina de Luca used to live. Their house later became a museum, with approximately 1,300 works by both artists on display. With 11,000 square meters of museum you will enjoy the building and it's garden. In addition to art, there are also souvenirs for sale here, such as liqueurs, balsamic vinegar and pillows with artistic prints. The basic products for the liqueur and vinegar come from the land itself. Furthermore, the museum is located on a lagoon where flamingos live from March to September. The view over the lagoon will have a magical effect.

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