Burano: The Perfect Day Trip from Venice

Burano by Samantha Seamans, one of the winners of our photo contest
Burano by Samantha Seamans, one of the winners of our photo contest

Photo of Burano by Samantha Seamans, one of the winners of our photo contest

The island of Burano makes a fantastic day (or half-day) trip from Venice. If you have time to spare in Venice, here’s why you should add Burano to your list!

Burano is a photo-lover’s paradise

The beautiful colors of Burano

Ever seen those photos of Venice that show brightly-painted buildings and flowerpots (like the one at top)? Those aren’t from the main island of Venice, but Burano. Families used to paint their homes in bright colors to designate where their family’s quarters ended and a neighbor’s began, as well as to make their homes more visible from the sea. The tradition has stuck.

Today, Burano is a rainbow of fun, bright colors—and the perfect place for that great Venice photo-up.

Burano is a true fisherman’s island

While there are touristy parts of Burano, much it still has the working-island feel that can be hard to find on Venice. Fishing boats come in at the end of the day with their catch; local women peer over their flower boxes at the tourists wandering below.

But as one local told us, this is changing. It’s tough to live in Burano: Not only is the island isolated (it’s a half-hour trip from the island of Venice by boat), but it suffers from severe acqua alta, or flooding, each winter. For more opportunity and conveniences, many members of Burano’s new generations are moving to the mainland. Our advice: Go now.

(And in the meantime, don’t miss our fun video on the Venice lagoon!).

For handmade lace, Burano’s your best bet

Handmade lace in La Perla, Burano

Back in the 16th century, the women of Burano started stitching lace. The work was extremely exacting—in fact, each woman specialized in a single stitch, and since there are seven stitches in total, each piece would have to be passed from woman to woman to finish. That’s why one handmade lace centerpiece for a tablecloth takes about a month to do!

Because of that amount of work and how expensive it necessarily makes handmade lace, much of the lace you see being sold in Burano’s stores today is made by machine. But if you want a glimpse of what lace was like in the time when it was all done by hand, you’ve still got some options.

Handmade lace booties in La Perla, Burano

We like La Perla, a lace shop on the main street, where handmade products range from tablecloths and doilies to Venetian masks and babies’ booties. Women often are stationed inside, stitching away, so you can even see how it’s done. (La Perla is located on Via Galuppi 376, the main road in town). If you’re especially fascinated by lace and textiles, stop at the Scuola del Merletto, a museum with some excellent examples of 16th and 17th-century lace, along with the beautiful, lace-trimmed gown worn by Queen Margherita, the Jackie Kennedy of late 19th-century Italy. (The Scuola del Merletto is located on Burano’s main piazza of Baldassare Galuppi).

You’ll eat better on Burano than almost anywhere in Venice

Seafood at Gatto Nero, a great restaurant on Burano

Fish at Gatto Nero, on Burano

Because Burano is a working fisherman’s island, you can get super-fresh seafood here—for a fraction of the price it would be over the lagoon on Venice. One of our favorite restaurants is Al Gatto Nero da Ruggero. All of the pastas and desserts are made in-house and the fish is so fresh and delicious, even Jamie Oliver has recommended Al Gatto Nero on his television show.

If you can, hold out for an outside table, where you can enjoy a great view over the canal. For the quality of the food, the value is excellent; three courses, not including wine, will set you back about €40. That’s a good deal cheaper than any three-course fish meal of the same quality you’d find in Venice. (Gatto Nero is located at Fondamente della Giudecca 88; call +39 041 730120 for reservations, which are recommended).

Getting to Burano from Venice

The main canal of Burano

One vaporetto line runs from Venice to Burano: the 12. The large, express ferry runs from Venice’s San Zaccaria stop (near St. Mark’s), to Burano and Murano, with another stop at Venice’s Fondamente Nove stop. It takes about 45 minutes, and costs €6.50 per person. A water taxi will set you back much more—around €130 and up, each way.

If you want to spend a day exploring not only Burano, but also Murano and Torcello, by private boat, check out our new Private Boat Excursion: Murano, Burano and Torcello.

 

41 Comments

  • Lori says:

    What are your feelings on staying in Venice Lido? We will be visiting in August and I found a place there to stay for 3 nights but now am not certain it is the best choice of locations. Thank you!

    • walksofitaly says:

      Hi Lori,
      The Lido can be a great escape from the crowds and heat of Venice in August! It just depends on what kind of experience you’re looking for. And be aware that getting from there to the island of Venice can take up to an hour; several vaporetto lines run right from Venice to the Lido, including the #1, 2, 5.1, and 5.2, and the cost is €7 for 60 minutes. Let us know if we can do anything else!

  • evangelista says:

    Hi there, thanks for sharing about Burano. After reading your article, I find it a huge need to visit Burano for the colorful buildings and lace.
    You mentioned that there is a vapouretto Line 12 that goes to Burano from Venice. Do I take it from the train station (Venezia Santa Lucia)?
    Since it runs from Venice’s San Zaccaria stop (near St. Mark’s), to Burano and Murano, with another stop at Venice’s Fondamente Nove stop, do I only need to pay €6.50, if say I go from venice to Burano first then to Murano last? Or is it per trip basis, of which I would have to pay twice the amount, if say, I take it from venice to Burano, and then second time from Burano back to venice? Many thanks! :)

    • walksofitaly says:

      Hi there,
      We’re glad you want to go to Burano (it’s a fantastic place!). Line 12 leaves from Fondamente Nove, so you have to get there from the train station with a line like the 4.2 or 5.2. The ticket price (which has now actually gone up to €7 from €6.50) covers an hour on the water buses, including changes. So you’d probably have to get at least two tickets. You might want to check out the site Venice Connected, which sells tickets that cover an amount of time for unlimited public transport starting at 12 hours and might be more cost-effective for you.
      Let us know if we can help with anything else!

  • dana says:

    Are there any recommended but cheaper alternatives for dining than Al Gatto Nero da Ruggero on Burano?

    • walksofitaly says:

      Hi Dana,
      There aren’t a ton of restaurants on Burano, and as on the island of Venice, you have to be careful because there still are overpriced and touristy spots. The other restaurant on Burano we can recommend from experience is Trattoria da Romano, but the prices are about the same. It’s also worth noting that while both spots aren’t inexpensive by any means… by Venetian standards, they very much are, especially for the quality!

      If you find a cheaper place on Burano that you love, please do share it with us :-) Enjoy your trip!

  • piggy says:

    Hi,
    we booked hotel airone, near piazale ROma. Can we visit Burano after landing in Treviso at 5.30 PM and come back hotel in night? Do we have enough time for visiting Burano?

    • Hi Piggy,
      No, you won’t have time to visit Burano the same night if you’re not landing until 5:30pm in Treviso. You’ll have to leave it for the next day.
      Let us know if we can help with anything else!

  • Courtney says:

    Thank you for such a wonderful blog. I think I might have read 80% of all your posts, your info is so valuable and refreshing! We will hopefully be seeing you in September as we have our eye on a few of your tours, plus we have already booked our spot at Fontanaro thanks to your recommendation!

    I hope you can give me a tip regarding Burano: we are planning on spending 2-3 nights in (or around) Venice. I’d love to city but I’m not mad about the touristy aspects. I thought perhaps Burano would be close enough to see Venice, but still come “home” to more intimate surrounds. Is Burano suitable for this, or do you suggest somewhere else?

    Thanks again,
    Courtney & Alan

    • Hi Courtney and Alan,
      We’re very happy to help! Burano is wonderful, and worth spending a night in—but it’s not ideal as a home base for seeing Venice. In our opinion, it’s just too far! Instead, we’d recommend staying in one of the less-touristy, more authentic neighborhoods in Venice, like Cannaregio or Dorsoduro; check out our post on Venice’s neighborhoods for more ideas.

      Please let us know if we can help with anything else!

  • John Vetrano says:

    Enjoy reading your blog. Question on Burano. We try to avoid crowds and enjoy the beauty of the region. When is the last vaporetto that leaves Burano back to Venice? Would like to have a nice dinner in Burano without the crowds and the worry of getting stranded.

    Thanks,
    John

  • Larry says:

    Thanks for your very helpful blog! I’ll be in Italy soon, starting in Venice, and will be taking several Walks of Italy tours, especially in Rome. Very excited.
    In terms of good light for photography and seeing daily life in Burano, is there a best time of day to be present in Burano, also in Torcello?
    Thanks, Larry

    • Hi Larry,
      We’re happy to help! As you know as a photographer, the best times to shoot tend to be in the morning or evening, not midday. In Burano in the early morning, you’ll be able to see fishermen going in and out to get the day’s catches; in the evening, the outdoor streets will be bustling with locals and visitors. Torcello, in our experience, tends to be quiet throughout the day.

      Let us know if we can answer anything else!

  • Mia says:

    Hi,

    My husband and I will arrive in Venice on October 15th around 1:30 pm. After we’ve check into our apartment rental and gotten situated, do you think we will have time to make it to Burano and Tercello the same day? Or should we wait until the next morning?

    Best,
    Mia

    • Hi Mia,
      We’d definitely recommend waiting until the next morning, as that will be too much moving around (in our opinion!) in one afternoon, and Burano and Torcello are places worth really soaking in! Instead, explore the main island of Venice that evening and head to the islands the next day.
      Let us know if we can help with anything else!

  • Larry says:

    Could you please comment on the island of Mazzorbo, connected to Burano by a bridge. Are there things to see there? Could that be done in just a short time? If wanting to visit both Mazzorbo and Burano, which vaporetto stop(s) would one use, and could you you just walk from one island to the other? Thanks!

    • Hi Larry,
      We’re happy to help! There isn’t very much to see in Mazzorbo, so we think you could do it in a short time :-) Easiest is to take the vaporetto to Burano, and there’s only one stop there; you’d then walk across the bridge to Mazzorbo.
      Let us know if we can help with anything else!

  • Kellee says:

    Hi! I will be landing in Venice in the afternoon on a Friday, and taking a cruise out the next day. I was wondering if the Vaporetto runs 24 hours a day and if so, will things be open in the evening? We would love to be able to shop and have dinner, but not sure if we will have time on the day of our cruise departure.

    Thanks!

    • Hi Kellee,
      The main lines do run 24/7, and frequently until about 10pm, but of course less often in the very middle of the night. You can see the timetables for the night lines here. Restaurants will be open in the evening until about 11pm or midnight (although last seating is usually at 10pm), but many stores will close by 8pm or 9pm.
      Let us know if we can help with anything else!

  • Allie says:

    Hello,
    In March I was planning on spending a weekend in Venice but wanted to take a daytrip elsewhere. Burano seems like a perfect place to go but I cannot find the right websites or routes to get there. Can anyone link me to the website for the ferry or give me anymore information on visiting Burano?
    Thanks!

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Allie, one vaporetto line runs from Venice to Burano: the 12. The large, express ferry runs from Venice’s San Zaccaria stop (near St. Mark’s), to Burano and Murano, with another stop at Venice’s Fondamente Nove stop. It takes about 45 minutes, and costs €6.50 per person. A water taxi will set you back much more—around €130 and up, each way. Timetables can be found on the Actv website: http://www.actv.it/en

  • Anna says:

    We are landing in Venice from Munich at 1:40pm and staying 2 nights ( arriving fri sept 26 departing sun sept 28). In your opionion could we get to Venice take a trip to Burano to walk around, see the area, shop and have dinner then return that evening to Venice. Then the next day (27th) we would spend the full day on the main Island seeing the sights and taking the touristy Gondola ride at night ? Any suggestions/tip and or tricks on sights to see/places to eat would be greatly appreciated!

    Thanks!

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Anna, that sounds like a great itinerary! Be sure to ask what time the last vaporetto (water taxi) is that day to the area in which you will be staying as schedules are subject to changes. Please feel free to take a look at our articles under the Venice category of our blog (right hand corner) and do let us know if we can help you with anything! We also recommend taking a look at the guided tours we offer in Venice, especially to see the sights and ride a gondola in one day.

  • Marijana says:

    Hi, I’m a teacher from Serbia, and with students coming to Italy and staying at the Lido Di Jesolo. We’re just one day in Venice, 20 April on Easter Sunday, and we want to visit the islands of Murano and Burano also. I’m interested if we in Venice spend 4 hours, how many hours do we need for visit Murano and Burano, and whether the shops, restaurants and tourist attractions open on Easter?

    Thanks!

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Marijana! Some shops and restaurants should be open in Murano and Burano on Easter as they are both major tourist destinations. We would suggest to plan on spending around 6 hours between transportation and visiting the islands. Let us know if we can help you with any further information!

  • Joelle says:

    Hi!
    I was wondering how you get back from Burano to Venice and how much time it takes. Is also line 12 that goes back the same way ?

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Joelle, one vaporetto line runs from Venice to Burano: the 12. The large, express ferry runs from Venice’s San Zaccaria stop (near St. Mark’s), to Burano and Murano, with another stop at Venice’s Fondamente Nove stop. It takes about 45 minutes, and costs €6.50 per person. Buon viaggio!

  • Jill says:

    Hi! I have no idea how I stumbled upon your blog but I am so glad I did. I will be in Venice April 18-19 and really, really want to visit Burano after seeing all the amazing colors! I love photography so I know this will be a paradise for me.

    Thanks for posting this!

  • rachael says:

    Hi there!

    Your posts really helped us for our trip to venice. We are planning to head to Murano and Burano on a Friday in May and heading out to Murano at 9am in the morning and then by mid day, to Burano and the restaurant you recommended.

    Do you think this is feasible?
    Also, I read that line #3 goes to murano and figure how to get to burano from there, is this better or should we take the #12 for both murano and burano as you recommended?

    Thanks!!!

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Ciao Rachel! You can definitely fit Murano and Burano into one day so that you’ll have the opportunity to see highlights from both of the gorgeous towns. We suggest traveling with the #12 vaporetto between the towns. Buon viaggio :)

      • Stacy says:

        You stated that #12 Vaporetto takes about 45minutes. Does it take that long to get from Venice’s San Zaccaria stop (near St. Mark’s) to Burano or Murano?
        And how ealy or late do the Vaporetto’s run?
        Thank you.

        • Walks of Italy says:

          Hi Stacy, it should take 45 minutes to get from the San Zaccaria stop to Burano. The first boat usually leaves around 5:00AM and night service is very limited after 1:00AM. We suggest taking a look at the timetable when you arrive as the schedule varies depending on the season. Let us know if you have any questions!

  • Rena says:

    Ciao!

    Your blog is wonderful and we are currently exploring Italy. I have a quick question for you: if we buy the €35 72 hour passes for the vaporetto line #1, can we use it for the #12 as well to get to burano?

    Grazie Mille!
    Rena

  • Jackie Kennedy says:

    Hi, I am going to Burano on or around 6th or 7th August which I know is a busy time in Venice. What is the best time to go there during peak season bearing in mind that I hate having tourists in my photos? :)

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Ciao Jackie, we suggest going early in the morning or later in the evening when tourists tend to clear out. Let us know if you have any questions!

  • Elsie says:

    Hi, I will go to Venice from 5 June 2015 to 6 June 2015 and will stay at the hotel in Mestre. After reading your blog, I would like to visit Burano. I will only visit the main island of Venice by train and Burano. May I know how can I buy the return tickets from and to venice and Burano? Or can I buy it online?

    Regards,
    Elsie

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Elsie,

      You can take a ferry from Venice to Burano. You can buy tickets when you’re there, which might be better as your time schedule might change. From Venice take the “vaporetto,” the water bus, number 12 from Fondament Nove. It departs every half hour and the journey takes approximately 40 minutes. In 2012 a one-way ride cost 7 euro. Have a great trip!

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