How to see Murano, Burano and Torcello in 1 day

Last updated on April 8th, 2024.

Visiting Murano Burano and Torcello in 1 day may sound like a lot but it’s doable. 

The islands work really well for a second- or third- day/time visit, or as a Venice day trip.

I say this, because if it’s your first time visiting, you should ideally focus on exploring the main island of Venice.

Even for those of us that live nearby, there’s always something that we missed. And, I’m not talking about visiting St. Mark’s Basilica or the Doge’s Palace.

Places such as Arsenale have significant architectural importance, while the Ghetto Ebraico (Jewish ghetto) is a cultural and historical landmark. 

Islands that are ideal for your Italy bucket list, use this post to help plan your dream Italy trip.

Murano in the morning - what is there to do in Murano
A quiet scene in Murano in the morning — see Murano Burano and Torcello in 1 day

The easiest way to visit all of these places in Venice are by Vaporetto (water bus) or on foot. Consider buying a ticket that gives you unrestricted use of the vaporetto and buses and save yourself the hassle when you arrive.

On this trip, we visited Murano, Burano and Torcello in the height of summer. While I prefer visiting Venice in winter, the situation at the time made it ideal given the lack of tourists.

We had a similar experience when visiting Lido di Venezia and had a wonderful time.

How to see Murano Burano and Torcello in 1 day

First stop: Murano

How do I get to Murano from Venice?

We chose Murano rather than Venice as our base for this trip. From Piazzale di Roma, a direct vaporetto took us from Venice to Murano in around 40 minutes. 

For reference, we bought the 1-day ticket for the vaporetto, which cost €40 ($47/£34) for 2 adults*. It can be good value — depending on your itinerary — as you can hop on and off as many times as you want. There’s also the option to buy a 2-, 3- and 7- day ticket. 

A single vaporetto ride for adults costs €1.50* ($1.77/£1.28) and is valid for 75 minutes. Children up to 6 years old ride for free. 

Bridge in Murano - Is Murano worth visiting
One of many bridges to cross in Murano

Murano hotels

There are 8 vaporetto terminals in Murano: Colonna, Faro, Navagero, Museo, Murano Museo, Murano da Mula, Venier and Murano Serenella. The closest to our hotel was Colonna. 

Tucked away behind one of the main streets in Murano, Fondamenta dei Vetrai, is the charming Murano Palace. An easy 4-minute walk from Colonna and Faro vaporetto terminals, the location’s superb for exploring Murano.

Bedroom in Murano Palace - Is Murano worth visiting
Our bedroom in Murano Palace

The rooms are generous in size, and are decorated in a romantic 18th century style. Follow our lead by booking a room with a terrace overlooking the canal. It’s the perfect view to wake up to in Murano. 

What is Murano famous for?

If it’s your first time to the island, it won’t take long to figure out what Murano is famous for. The second you step into Fondamenta dei Vetrai, there’s one common theme among all of the shops: Murano glass.

Murano glass - what is there to do in Murano
Pick your glassmaking shop, or factory of choice in Murano

Murano is known for being the island of glass. Around 50% of the locals work in the glass-making industry, a result that’s evident across the island. Many of the shops and small factories in Murano offer glass-making demonstrations, many of which are free.  

When buying any glass products from Murano, look for the Vetro Artistico® trademark. This means that the products have been made on Murano, using traditional methods developed over 1,000 years.

What is there to do in Murano?

Aside from visiting the glass shops and factories, our favorite thing to do in Murano is to explore the island.

It’s small enough to easily walk around, and visit the many historic churches and charming courtyards. 

Murano’s Duomo is called the Basilica dei Santi Maria e Donato. Built in the 7th century, its interesting façade extends to its interior with its striking mosaic floors. It instantly reminded us of the mosaic displays we saw on our 1-day trip to Ravenna.

Basilica dei Santi Maria e Donato, Calle S. Donato 11

To learn even more about Murano glass, the Glass Museum (Museo del Vetro) is a good place to start. Housed in a 17th century ancient palace, the museum boasts the largest historical collection of Murano glass in the world. Pieces date from the 15th to the 20th century. 

Museo del Vetro (Murano), Fondamenta Marco Giustinian 8

Where to eat in Murano 

Choosing where to eat in Murano is like deciding which glass-making factory to visit: it depends on your taste. But, if you’re looking for some Murano restaurant recommendations, the following places are definitely worth considering. 

For lunch, we stopped by Trattoria Ai Frati. The restaurant has an outdoor seating area overlooking the grand canal, and serves up traditional Venetian dishes. If you like fish or seafood, check whether they’ve nero di sepia on the menu. 

Squid ink, which is typically served with pasta, may not look the most appetizing, but it’s delicious. You’ll more than likely end up with a slightly discolored tongue (from the ink), but don’t worry, it won’t last.

Trattoria Ai Frati, Fondamenta Venier Sebastiano 4

Seafood appetizer at Trattoria Ai Frati - Murano Burano and Torcello in 1 day
Seafood appetizer at Trattoria Ai Frati
Trattoria ai vetrai lunch - Murano Burano and Torcello in 1 day
Tuck into fresh pasta at Trattoria Ai Frati

Another popular choice in Murano, and rightly so, is B Restaurant alla Vecchia Pescheria. Just a few steps from Murano Palace, the restaurant has superb local dishes and a great service to match. 

The kitchen closed quite early during our visit (9.30pm), so be sure to book accordingly to avoid missing out. 

B Restaurant alla Vecchia Pescheria, Campiello della Pescheria 4

Is Murano worth visiting? 

Even if glass-making isn’t your thing, Murano is absolutely worth visiting. It’s small enough to do a quick tour, plus it makes a nice escape from the masses in Venice.

Lisa Rivera in Murano - Murano Burano and Torcello in 1 day
Murano is 100% worth seeing

Map: Murano Burano and Torcello in 1 day

How to get from Murano to Burano

Some visitors confuse Murano and Burano by thinking that they’re the same island, but they’re not. 

The boat ride from Murano to Burano takes around 40 minutes. However, our journey took a little less time (30 minutes) as we decided to disembark at Mazzorbo. 

Follow our itinerary if you also want to explore the surrounding areas. The walk from Mazzorbo to Burano takes around 20 minutes (more or less), with a footbridge connecting the two. 

Lisa Rivera in Mazzorbo - Murano Burano and Torcello in 1 day
Take a colorful detour to Mazzorbo — Murano Burano and Torcello in 1 day

Detour to Mazzorbo 

For the most part, Mazzorbo is a residential island. As you step off the vaporetto, you’ll see several canal-side restaurants and trattorias. They include the superb Venissa restaurant, Trattoria alla Maddalena and Ai Cacciatori. 

We took a stroll down Fondamenta di Santa Caterina, and was met by the most fabulous still-life scene. On a Saturday afternoon with the sun beating down, there wasn’t a soul in sight. 

Boats parked up on each side of the canal, and curtains covered front doors to block out the sun. we knew in an instant that we’d made the right choice.

Atrium Chiesa di Santa Caterina - Mazzorbo Venice
The scene before you step inside
Inside La Chiesa di Santa Caterina - Mazzorbo Venice
Inside La Chiesa di Santa Caterina in Mazzorbo Venice
Wooden roof Chiesa di Santa Caterina - Mazzorbo Venice
The beautiful ceiling in the Chiesa di Santa Caterina in Mazzorbo

Hidden surprises in Mazzorbo

Towards the end of Fondamenta di Santa Caterina, we passed by a church, whose door was wide open. 

Part curiosity, part wanting to escape the heat, we headed inside. Whispers of ‘mamma mia’ were exchanged as we laid eyes on La Chiesa di Santa Caterina (St Catherine’s Church).

The shaded atrium has an interesting column structure, with stone statues lined up outside. Inside, the age of the well-preserved 13th century church is evident, its wooden ceiling a strong giveaway.

Our visit to La Chiesa di Santa Caterina was made more special because there was no one around. In spite of this, we remained respectful of the church, inside and out in the atrium. 

La Chiesa di Santa Caterina, Fondamenta di Santa Caterina 54

Next stop: Burano

Crossing the bridge to Burano

The wooden bridge connecting Mazzorbo to Burano doesn’t have a name. But, if you continue walking down Fondamenta di Santa Caterina (other direction from the church), you’ll eventually see it. 

View of Burano from Mazzorbo - what is there to do in Burano
View of Burano from Mazzorbo

What is there to do in Burano?

Burano is most famous for its colorful houses that are dotted across the island.  

It’s not straight away that you spot the world-famous colored houses of Burano when crossing from Mazzorbo. Case colorate Burano is towards the center of the island, running alongside one of its central canals.

You’ll know when you’ve arrived at Case colorate Burano for two reasons: the houses and the crowds. 

Burano view of canal - what is there to do in Burano
Burano view of canal what is there to do in Burano?
Burano boats and canal Is it worth visiting Burano
Colorful houses and canals await in Burano — Murano Burano and Torcello in 1 day

Believe everything you’ve read, and the photos you’ve seen, about Burano, because it’s all true. The colors of the houses and shop fronts present a spectacular display that makes your heart perform a happy dance.

The 2 streets on either side of the canal are Fondamenta di Cavanella and Fondamenta di Cao Moleca. With the sun further illuminating the houses, and the canal in between, the scene’s a photographer’s dream.

Get lost in Burano

Like Mazzorbo, we decided to escape the areas with larger crowds and explore the areas with fewer people. We weaved our way through the maze of narrow side streets, finding even more colorful houses and charming quarters.

At one point, we came out canal side once more, this time at Fondamenta Pontinello Destra. I found this side of Burano more preferable than Case colorate Burano, because there were fewer people around.

Lisa Rivera in Burano street - what is there to do in Burano
Get lost in the maze of Burano
Giandiuotto in Burano - what is there to do in Burano
Try a giandiuotto in Burano

Towards the end of the street, we came across a hole-in-the-wall style café selling a cold dessert called giandiuotto. Served in a cup, it combines slices of chocolate semifreddo, topped with whipped cream.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t find the name of the place. But, like in the Austrian village of Mellau, if you’d like to try one, locate Despar grocery store on your map. From here, continue walking towards the lagoon and you should see the place on the right.

Despar, Via Pontincello 567

Visit the leaning tower of Burano

Burano has its very own leaning tower of Pisa, this one in the form of a bell tower. Dating to the 16th century, Chiesa Parrocchiale di San Martino Vescovo is the island’s principle church.

Its official name is Burano Leaning Bell Tower, and the distortion’s clearer the further away you are. Terranova’s marble bridge or Giudecca Street offer the best views of the sloping tower. 

Purple house in Burano - what is there to do in Burano
A burst of color in Burano
Colorful houses in Burano - what is there to do in Burano
See how many colors you can find

Lace and linen shops in Burano

The street leading to the Chiesa Parrocchiale di San Martino Vescovo is one of the busiest in Burano. Via Baldassarre Galuppi is lined with restaurants, bars and several lace and linen shops. 

Aside from its colorful houses, the island’s also known for its Burano lace industry.

Burano lace clothing - is Burano worth visiting
Admire the beautiful Burano lace creations

Historic sources say that the first Burano lace dates to 1500, where it was made exclusively in stately homes. Embroidery using the ‘Rosette stitching pattern’ began in the 17th century, an art that soon spread across Europe. 

Today, the Museo del Merletto (Lace Museum) houses over 100 rare embroideries as well as works of Venetian production. 

Museo del Merletto, Piazza Baldassarre Galuppi 187

Quiet area of Burano - what is there to do in Burano
Get lost in the streets of Burano — Murano Burano and Torcello in 1 day

Is it worth visiting Burano?

If it wasn’t clear from my photos, Burano is definitely worth visiting. Try as much as possible to avoid the peak summer season for the crowds, and for the heat. 

Touristy it may be, but the colors and vibe of Burano are so unique, that it’d be a shame to miss.

Burano hotels

The number of hotels on Burano is considerably less than on Murano and Venice. Saying that, if you plan on staying on the island, booking ahead is essential. 

We planned to stay at the wonderful Casa Burano, but unfortunately, it was already fully booked. A boutique B&B in a fabulous location in Burano, we plan to book ahead for our next visit. 

Pretend you’re a local in Burano by checking into Night Galleria – bed & art. As artistic as its name suggests, it overlooks the lagoon and has everything you need for a comfortable stay.

Last stop: Torcello

While we didn’t save the best for last, we were pleasantly surprised by our last stop to Torcello. 

On a hot and humid late Saturday afternoon, we were only 2 of 5 other passengers to disembark at Torcello. Just 1 stop from Burano, we knew from looking at the map that there wasn’t much to see. 

Lisa Rivera on Ponte del Diavolo - Torcello Venice in 1 day
Taking my chances on Ponte del Diavolo in Torcello

An island for locals — is Torcello worth visiting?

Compared to Murano and Burano, Torcello has a more local feel. As we followed the canal path from the vaporetto terminal, signs of local life were everywhere. People enjoying the remains of the day on their boats, and trattorias filled with people enjoying private functions. 

That day, we also passed a wedding party on their way for what could be a photo session. A location that’s not an obvious romantic choice, being there, we understood why they chose Torcello. 

Things to do in Torcello

The first ‘attraction’ you pass in Torcello is the Ponte del Diavolo. Translated as Devil’s Bridge, the bridge without a parapet attracts you right away. 

There’s no explanation behind the bridge’s dark name, so I’ll let you come to your own conclusion. Ponte del Diavolo, together with Ponte Chiodo in Cannaregio, Venice, are classic examples of ancient Venetian bridges.

Trono di Attila
Is this the real throne of Attila the Hun?

Attila’s throne in Torcello

As you continue walking past the canal in Torcello, you eventually reach an entire area of great historical significance. 

To the left is the ‘throne of Attila’ (Trono di Attila). Some sources say that the stone structure was the actual throne of the ruler of the Huns. Others refute it. 

The throne, along with appears to be a well of some sort, sit outside the Torcello Museum (Museo di Torcello). Inside, are archaeological works and art documenting the history of the island and of Venice.

Cattedrale di Santa Maria Assunta - is Torcello worth visiting
Outside the Basilica di Santa Maria Assunta

Basilica di Santa Maria Assunta

Ahead of ‘Attila’s throne’ are two additional buildings of historical and religious importance. The Basilica di Santa Maria Assunta dates to the 7th century and houses the earliest mosaics in Venice.

Unfortunately, the church was already closed by the time we arrived in Torcello. Still, we were able to explore the church’s ancient façade and appreciate its Venetian-Byzantine architectural style. 

The basilica’s opening times are Monday to Sunday from 10:30 to 18:00. 

Lisa Rivera outside La Chiesa di Santa Fosca Torcello Venice - is Torcello worth visiting
Approaching La Chiesa di Santa Fosca in Torcello

Chiesa di Santa Fosca — what is Torcello known for

Next to the basilica is Chiesa di Santa Fosca (St Fosca church). The church was built in honor of Saint Fusca of Ravenna, a child martyr that was killed under Emperor Decius. 

The Venetian-Byzantine church has a Greek cross floor plan, with columns supported by Byzantine capitals. Again, the church was already closed by the time we arrived, but if you have the chance to visit, go.

Opening times for Chiesa di Santa Fosca are Monday to Sunday from 10:00 to 16:30. 

Chiesa di Santa Fosca, Fondamenta dei Borgognoni 24

Locanda Cipriani - is Torcello worth visiting
Locanda Cipriani: a hotel and restaurant in one — Murano Burano and Torcello in 1 day

Torcello hotels and restaurants

For an island as small as Torcello, it has an impressive number of hotels and good places to eat. 

Towards the end of the canal is the renowned Locanda Cipriani. A restaurant and hotel dating to the 1930s, the location’s ideal for sleeping, and eating, in a quiet side of Venice. 

Not far from Ponte del Diavolo are 2 additional hotels in Torcello. Bed and Breakfast Ca ‘Torcello guarantees a quiet night’s sleep. It’s also just steps away from Osteria Al Ponte del Diavolo, a local restaurant serving up traditional Venetian cooking. 

The other choice is Junior Suites Venezia. Rooms are large and ideal for families, plus it’s right next door to Taverna Tipica Veneziana. Enjoy rustic homestyle cooking in their outdoor dining area.

As I mentioned in the introduction, visiting Murano, Burano and Torcello is possible. But, to enjoy it at a slower pace, use this itinerary for day 3 or 4 of a week-long Italy trip. Even better, you can save it for a second or third visit to Venice.

What are your thoughts on Murano, Burano and Torcello? Which of these islands would you most like to visit in Venice? Let me know in the comments below. 

*price correct at time of visiting 

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission if you click a link and purchase something that I’ve recommended. Thank you for your support.

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Burano boats - Murano Burano and Torcello in 1 day

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70 thoughts on “How to see Murano, Burano and Torcello in 1 day

  1. Peggy Zipperer says:

    I wanted to go to Burano so badly when I visited Venice but there was just not enough time. I will be sure not to miss it next time. Those colors are spectacular and all of the food looks incredible!

  2. John Quinn says:

    I know you say that Murano and Burano are for a second visit to Venice, but as a photographer I’d have to go. Those colours. Couldn’t miss that. I’ll be avoiding that summer rush too. Will definitely take suggestions from your guide when I go.

  3. Melissa Cushing says:

    These look like beautiful places to visit and I will tell you…. You sold me with the delicious foods! I would love to visit them all and try all of their foods and the Murano glass pieces are stunning too 😉 Thank you for sharing!

  4. Jane says:

    I cannot wait to visit these islands! I love Murano Glass and have a beautiful necklace made from it. I bought it in Venice about 20 years ago. I would love to return and actually see where and how it was made. So much more to this area than just Venice (though Venice is fabulous too!).

    • Lisa says:

      Thank you Jane! I really hope you return to visit all 3 islands, they’re definitely worth seeing 😀

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