Perhaps best known for its wonderfully colourful houses, the small island of Burano is a great day trip from Venice. Thanks to its vibrant houses, Burano is one of the most colourful places in Italy – arguably even more so than the beautiful Cinque Terre! Traditionally a fisherman’s village, the fishermen painted their houses bright colours in order to be able to navigate their way home when fog descended on the Venetian lagoon. The island is slightly off the beaten path in Venice, as many tourists prefer to spend their time taking gondola rides and exploring more well-known attractions such as St. Mark’s Square. In our opinion though, even if you just have 2 days in Venice it’s well worth visiting this picturesque island. Find out how to get to Burano Island from Venice and more below!
Visiting Rome too? Make sure to check out our itinerary of the best things to do in Rome in 2 days!
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How to get to Burano Island from Venice
It’s easy to get to Burano Island from Venice using the Vaporetto – the city’s water bus service. The only water bus that runs to Burano from Venice is Vaporetto route 12. It departs from Fondamente Nove (F.te Nove), which is around a 20 minute walk away from St. Mark’s Square. It takes approximately 40-45 minutes for the water buses to reach Burano from Venice, so you need to factor in that visiting the island will require at least an hour and a half of travel time for a return journey. For the majority of the day vaporetto route 12 runs every 20-30 minutes, but in the evenings journeys are less frequent. You can find the ferry schedule for the vaporetto from Venice to Burano by clicking here.
If you’re coming to Venice from Mestre or just aren’t staying near Fondamente Nove then it may be easier to catch a water bus to Murano first. The best way to do this is to catch vaporetto line 3 from either Piazzale Roma or Ferrovia to Faro on Murano. Vaporetto line 12 stops at Faro so you will be able to board there before continuing your journey to Burano. Alternatively you can take a vaporetto to Fondamente Nove and catch the number 12 to go directly to Burano from there.
Travelling by vaporetto is the cheapest way to get to Burano. A one-way trip on the vaporetto costs €7.50, which means a return trip from Venice to Burano costs €15. You can get better value for money by buying a day or multi-day pass, which allows unlimited use of the city’s water buses for a specified number of days. The cost of day and multi-day vaporetto tickets in Venice is listed below:
1 day ticket – €20
2 day ticket – €30
3 day ticket – €40
7 day ticket – €60
For anyone between the ages of 6 and 29 it’s possible to get an even cheaper multi-day ticket, with 3 days costing just €28 in total. This can be done by purchasing a Rolling Venice card for €6 alongside a 3 day ticket for the reduced rate of €22. We strongly recommend doing this if you’re eligible and visiting Venice for a few days as it’s great value for money considering how useful the water buses are for getting around.
It’s also possible to rent a private water taxi to Burano, but it will come at a cost. A water taxi from Venice to Burano should cost €115 one-way, which means it’s substantially cheaper to take the vaporetto instead. Alternatively, if you want to get to the island by water taxi from Marco Polo airport it should cost €140 for a one-way journey.
Burano Island Tours
Another option is to take a tour to Burano. There are a number of different tours available, with most also stopping at Murano and Torcello. These tours are a great way to see a number of the islands in the Venetian lagoon in one day, which is perfect if you don’t have enough time in Venice to spend a whole day visiting each island.
Tours can be booked online in advance through Get Your Guide and involve boat transportation to all 3 islands from Venice as well as a multilingual guide on the boat. Although the tours only allow around 45 minutes on each island, it’s a great way to see a few islands at once if you can’t decide between visiting Burano, Murano or Torcello during your time in Venice! Tours cost just €20 per person, which works out at good value if you don’t want to take the vaporetto.
Best time to visit Burano Island
The best time to visit Burano depends on what you’re looking for. If you want to avoid the crowds but don’t want to visit during the colder winter months then it’s best to visit in either spring or autumn. Burano can get very busy during the summer, so we’d recommend avoiding this time of year if possible.
Winter can also be a nice time to visit if you get lucky with the weather. We visited at the beginning of March and were treated to some lovely warm days, so it is possible to have nice weather on the island at this time of year. That being said, Burano is more susceptible to flooding and high water levels during winter, so if there is a lot of rain this could affect your trip badly.
Burano is generally busier during the weekends, so if you want a more peaceful visit than we recommend visiting on a weekday. The island is also more busy during Venice’s carnival, but if you get there early enough it shouldn’t be too busy.
To avoid crowds it’s best to get to Burano early in the day, as more and more tourists visit throughout the day. This is especially the case during the peak summer months, so if you’re visiting at this time then you’ll need to wake up very early if you want to beat the crowds.
Although it may not always be possible depending on the weather, it’s best to visit the island on a sunny day. The colourful houses on Burano just seem that extra bit colourful when the sun is out, so visiting on a sunny day can make your trip even better!
Tips for visiting Burano Island
Burano Carnival – If you happen to be in Venice during carnival then make sure to visit Burano. The island hosts a number of events from parades to live music, so it’s worth the trip if you’re there at this time. As is to be expected, the island will be more busy during carnival, but it’s worth it to witness the festivities. The next Burano carnival is expected to take place on 20th February 2020.
Wander the streets – One of the best things to do in Burano is simply wander the streets and admire the colourful houses. There are a number of picturesque spots to enjoy, making it an extremely pleasant place to walk around.
Lace – Burano is well-known for its tradition of needle-lace making, and there are a number of shops selling lace products on the island. If you’re wondering what else there is to do in Burano aside from see the colourful streets then check out the Lace Museum.
Seafood – Burano is traditionally a fisherman’s village, which makes it a great place to try some fresh seafood. If you’re there at lunch or dinner time then it’s well worth sampling some of the local cuisine!
Visit early – We’ve said it before, but we really can’t emphasise it enough – if you want to avoid the crowds then get there early! It’s well worth it to enjoy this beautiful place with only a handful of other tourists around.
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