Among the things to see and do on a trip to Venice, a visit to the islands of Murano and Burano is one of the most popular alternatives; this due to the beautiful architecture of the place and its world famous handicrafts. If you are traveling three days to Venice or four, seriously consider dedicating a full day of your itinerary to walk the streets of these curious destinations.
But first, let's see how to get to the islands starting from Venice and which travel options are the most convenient.
The best way to get to Murano and Burano: a guided excursion
The most popular option for tourists visiting the lagoon of Venice for the first time is to hire a guided group excursion with round-trip transportation to the islands. But there is also the option of opting for a private excursion, which is less economical.
Option I: Group Excursion to Murano and Burano
Group excursions to Murano and Burano depart daily from Venice, as this is one of the most popular experiences for travelers. Although the itinerary may change slightly depending on the company you hire, most of them include the same repertoire of activities.
Generally, when booking this type of excursion you will be able to: travel by motorboat from Venice to the islands and back, visit the traditional lace stores in Burano, visit the glass and lace museums on each of the islands. In addition, the excursions include time on your own to explore the canals, walk the streets and take pictures.
- Price: from 30€ per person per trip.
- Trip duration: 5 to 6 hours on average (including transportation and visit).
- Recommended if... You want to know the best of the famous Venetian islands but you don't want to exceed your budget.
Option II: Private excursion
If you are looking to discover the islands north of Venice in a more personalized tour with an expert guide to explain all the interesting details, this option is ideal for you.
What all private excursions to Murano and Burano do include is the motor boat trip to and from Venice, an expert guide able to communicate in different languages, guided walking tour around the islands to see the most interesting places including the glass demonstration workshops in Murano and the lace craftswomen in Burano.
- Price: from 150€.
- Duration of the tour: 5 hours in total (including transportation and visit).
- Recommended if... You are traveling to Venice with your family or a small group of friends and you want to see the islands on your own.
Option III: Combined excursions: Venice, Murano and Burano.
Another interesting way to see Murano and Burano is to combine the experience of a tour of the islands with the experience of a tour of Venice. This type of excursion usually starts early in the morning with a visit through the main monuments in Venice, followed by a cruise along the Grand Canal and continuing in the afternoon with an excursion to the islands located north of the lagoon.
Although the travel itinerary may vary from one company to another, when booking this type of service you can expect to include several of the following experiences: a visit to the famous St. Mark's Square, a visit to the luxurious interiors of the Doge's Palace, a visit to the iconic St. Mark's Basilica, a visit to the most important bridges of the Grand Canal such as the Rialto Bridge and the Bridge of Sighs, a guided visit to the Island of Murano and a guided visit to the Island of Burano.
- Price: from 150€ per person.
- Duration of the tour: 8 hours in total, including transportation and visit.
- Recommended if... You are on a two-day trip in Venice and you have little time to see the best of the city and the most famous islands north of the lagoon.
The cheapest option: public transportation in Venice
The Vaporetto is the name by which Venice's public transportation is known, and it is by far the most economical option to visit the islands of Murano and Burano. When using this means of transportation it is good to have a map of the public transportation lines in Venice before embarking on your adventure.
As you can deduce it is the alternative means of transportation used by the locals to get around Venice. Although it has its positive points, keep in mind that this option requires more planning and sticking to a strict itinerary to meet the times and see everything worth seeing.
To get from Venice to Murano you can:
- Take line 4,1: from "Ferroviaria C" station on the Grand Canal and disembark at Murano Colonna a port. The company operating this service is ACTV and departs every 20 minutes approximately.
- Take line 3: from the train station "Ferroviaria C" on the Grand Canal and disembark at the port of Murano Venier. The company operating this service is ACTV and departs every 30 minutes approximately.
- Take line A: at the port of Guglie to disembark at the Murano Colonna A port. The company that operates this service is ACTV and departs every 30 minutes approximately.
To go from Murano to Burano you can:
- Take line 12: from the Port of Murano Lighthouse to the port of Burano C for a journey of about 50 minutes. The company that operates this service is ATCV and departs every 30 minutes approximately.
To return from Burano to Venice
There is no direct transport between the two points, you will have to take line 12 back to Murano and then embark on one of the Venice-Murano alternatives explored above.
- Price: about 7,50€ for each trip. However, you have the option of purchasing a 72-hour ticket for the cost of €67.
- Travel time: at least 1 hour round trip between each island. My recommendation is that you set aside a full day of your travel itinerary to be able to spend some time on each island.
- Recommended if... You have time and want to explore the islands at your own pace and without pressure or if you have already visited Venice before and plan a quieter trip to get to know in depth interesting corners that perhaps you ignored on your first visit.
The most flexible option: a water cab
The water cab in Venice is a widely used luxury transportation alternative, especially because it eliminates much of the waiting time associated with public services such as the Vaporetto. They also include facilities such as the possibility of transporting small groups and the option of pick-up and return to your hotel in any corner of Venice.
Cabs in Venice usually have capacity for up to 9 people, which makes it the ideal option if you are traveling with small children in Venice, or if you are in a large group. Before agreeing on the final fare be sure to inform about the number of passengers as some companies charge an additional amount when the group exceeds 5 people.
- Price: approximately 115€ per trip.
- Duration of the trip: you will be able to customize the trip as you wish, but I recommend at least a half day excursion to explore the islands at your leisure and make it worth the investment.
- Recommended if... You don't like the idea of sharing transportation with strangers, if you are traveling with a group of several people, so that you can offset the expense a bit.
Summary of the different ways to get from Venice to Murano and Burano
- Guided tour
- Group (more economical)
- There is also a private option combined with a tour of Venice.
- Recommended for beginners
- Public transport (Vaporetto)
- The most economical option
- Requires more planning
- Recommended to get the 72 h. pass.
- Water cab
- The most luxurious option
- It is the most agile and without waits
- Recommended if you go in a group of 9 people.