These delightful little islands, famous for their beauty and expert glass-blowing, sit just above Venice on the northeastern Italian coastline. Day trips to Murano and Burano are among the most popular excursions for visitors to this iconic city. However, most people opt for the simplicity of group tours in order to bypass the planning required to do it on their own.
We wanted to avoid being herded around in a big group yet found very little cohesive information on how to reach these two islands independently. Nonetheless, we (and by we, I mean Laynni) eventually worked out how it can be done, both cheaply and efficiently.
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From Venice to Murano
ACTV runs vaporettos between the islands. Single journey tickets cost €7.50 and lines 4.1, 4.2 and 12 stop off in Murano. It is a pretty small island, so you should be able to cover all the best spots in an hour or so (if you want to shop, eat or stop for a drink, increase your time accordingly). These routes go fairly frequently so your departure and arrival times are pretty flexible and visiting Murano should only cost €15.
From the airport to Murano
There are many different water taxi lines running from Marco Polo airport to the main island of Venice and several of them stop off on Murano on their way. Tickets on the Alilaguna water taxis are €8 to Murano on either the Red or Blue lines, much less than the €15 it costs to get to the main island. They have a booth in the arrivals hall and it helps to know which stop you want to get off at for when the boat guy asks. If you decide that Murano is as far as you want to go you will just need to buy a regular ticket (€7.50) on line 4.1, 4.2 or 12 to Venice and you will have made the extra stop for just €0.50 more than a direct journey. However, there is no left luggage areas on Murano that we could find so this only works if you are a light packer.
Somehow, Burano is even smaller and cuter than Murano, like a tiny stage version of Venice, and a firm favourite of all the top Instagrammers with its brightly coloured buildings. Here, an hour should be more than enough time, once again, adding in any extra time you might need finding various ways to spend money.
There are frequent ferries making the short trip between Murano and Venice but most people don’t realize that Linea 12 also heads all the way to Burano (€7.50). Therefore, for the same €7.50 you can continue on to the second island, combining it with Murano or seeing it on its own. They only go every hour or so, though, so you’ll want to keep an eye on the timetable.
If you are planning to visit both islands and eventually need to get back to Venice, you are best off buying a 24-hour ACTV transit pass for just €20. Keep in mind, however, this pass is not valid on the Alilaguna ferries from the airport so will only work between the islands.
Surprisingly, water taxis all the way from Burano to Venice still cost the same €7.50 as the others, making this journey an impressive value. It will take roughly 45 minutes to get back to Venice but will also have the option to stop off in Murano again or to get off at whichever stop is closest to your accommodation.
Airport – Venice €15
Airport – Murano €8 / Murano – Venice €7.50 = €15.50
Airport – Murano €8 / Murano – Burano €7.50 / Burano – Venice €7.50 = €23
Venice – Murano €7.50 / Murano – Burano €7.50 / Burano – Venice €7.50 – €22.50 (purchase a day pass for €20)
Venice – Murano €7.50 / Murano – Venice €7.50 = €15
Venice – Burano €7.50 / Burano – Venice €7.50 = €15
The AVM Venezia app is also a great resource for detailed timetable and fare info.
While there is plenty to see and do in Venice itself, checking out these great little islands can offer a different perspective and make for an enjoyable day trip if you have the time to spare.