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Venice Islands
Venice Islands

Venice Islands

Isola San Giorgio Maggiore

The Basics

The only way to visit Venice’s islands is by boat. By far the best option for avoiding the hassle and delays of the vaporettos (ferries) is booking a private motorboat tour. Tours enable you to make the most of your time on each island—visiting the glass factories on Murano, lace-making demonstrations on Burano, and the historic sights on Torcello—without having to navigate the complicated and crowded interisland public transportation system. Choose a half-day sightseeing tour if you are pressed for time, or a more leisurely full-day Venice cruise to explore the Grand Canal and lagoon islands at a more relaxed pace.

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Full-day Boat Tour of Venice Islands from St Mark’s Square
Full-day Boat Tour of Venice Islands from St Mark’s Square
$25.34 per adult
Traveler Favorite
Positive Murano, etc. Experience
The generous free time we had to walk around and explore the 3 islands and the approachable hostess that accompanied us on the trip. (:
JoAnn_C, Oct 2021

Recent reviews from experiences in Venice

star-5
Nice trip
Elena_B, Aug 2021
Venice Islands Day Trip: Murano, Burano & Torcello
I liked that the tour was well organized and offered the chance to see a bit of every island. We had a short demonstration of Murano glass work and then we were free to visit the islands. Personally I was happy with what I got for the price payed - it would have been a hassle to do this trip by myself with the vaporetto. For those who want to stay more on each island, I would recommend one island per day, otherwise it can get extremely long and tiring.
star-5
Fun in the sun island hopping
teresamarie140, Nov 2019
Full-day Boat Tour of Venice Islands from St Mark’s Square
The island tour was so much fun cruising on the boat from island to island seeing the unique character of the islands and enjoying a delicious peach Bellini on torcello
star-5
Great tour
ctrolson, Oct 2019
Full-day Boat Tour of Venice Islands from St Mark’s Square
This was a great tour with a lot of sites to see. Well worth the money. Burano is a beautiful little island. That alone would've been worth it for us. And the glass blowing demonstration in Murano was very cool to watch.
star-5
Grand Canal Cruise Review
Vacation31245900034, Oct 2019
Small Group Venice Grand Canal Panoramic Tour
the guide was knowledgeable and very informative, the trip was worth seeing and getting a feeling for size of the Grand Canal and the islands are and their locations. the boat ride was good and comfortable. The big issue was if you were on the inside you did not get any panoramic views and good photo shots. there were only 3 three seats on the back end and two in front with the driver and guide
star-5
Great way to see both islands
johnrieber, Sep 2018
Murano and Burano VIP Venice Boat Tour
Spending a few hours seeing these two islands is perfect - and our tour guide was efficient and informative - as usual for a Viator tour - very cost effective too!
star-4
The views, the exhilarating feeling...
Happy, Nov 2017
Small Group Venice Grand Canal Panoramic Tour
The views, the exhilarating feeling of tge speedboat. It was ALL so beond worth it!!! Venezia is a DREAM!!! And tge pictures i was able to capture upon this one hour tour were BEYOND words!!!
star-4
Great trip, however I would suggest...
mitchell, Jan 2017
Venice islands boat tour: Murano and Burano
Great trip, however I would suggest that during the winter months, they should make the departure a bit earlier! We traveled on the 1st of January 2017, and only left Venice at 14:00, this meant that by time we reached Burano, the sun was already setting, and we only arrived back in Venice at 18:30.. would have been great to get back slightly earlier. Experience was great though and well worth the money spent!
star-4
Awesome trip! I do wish we had spent...
megannelson, Jun 2016
Venice islands boat tour: Murano and Burano
Awesome trip! I do wish we had spent more time in Burano and less in Torcello. By the time you walk to the church and back your time is up in Torcello - no time to see anything.
star-4
Just enough time to witness the artistry of Murano & beauty of Burano
spullar0, Jan 2020
Venice Islands Day Trip: Murano, Burano & Torcello
This was an excellent trip. I was at first upset with myself upon arrival to Venice that I booked since my hotel offered a complimentary visit to Murano. However, I was so glad we didn't cancel this trip. My teenage children were very interested in the brief glass blowing demo. While it was interesting, the stop in Murano was mostly a built in, closed-audience trip to one glass factory. Little time was spent exploring other shops on the island, so you didn't have many choices for glass. Still, I bought a little something there. The best part was the visit to Burano. Not only was it great for pictures of the brightly colored houses but we had a seafood meal (it's a fishing community after all) and checked out the lace shops. I even purchased a lacy wrap before leaving. I do recommend this excursion but mainly for the visit to Burano.
star-5
This tour was the highlight of our trip...
Darci H, Jun 2018
Murano and Burano VIP Venice Boat Tour
This tour was the highlight of our trip to Venice. Our guide Kristina was lovely and personable it felt more like being shown around the islands by a friend rather than a hired guide. The boat ride was beautiful, the islands were lovely, and we were given just the right balance of structured tour and free time. We did see a glass-making demonstration, however there was no pressure to make a purchase afterwards. Likewise with the lace on Burano Island we could indulge or not. Our choice. We had ample time to wander about the islands main corridors instead if we wished. Even if you are on a bit of a budget, splurge on this tour. Enjoy!
star-4
Rushed but better than the half day tour
Alisa T, Jun 2019
Full-day Boat Tour of Venice Islands from St Mark’s Square
Pros: got to see all 3 islands, watch 2 glass making demonstrations, enough time to: shop for Murano glass / eat lunch in Burano / unexpectedly see gigantic & ancient mosaic walls in Torcello. 4 stars due to: female could learn to speak better English to understand return time; almost missed the boat in Torcello.
star-4
The staff was great, the hostess on...
kssidye, Jan 2018
Murano, Burano, and Torcello Islands Public Cruise from Venice
The staff was great, the hostess on the bus was absolutely adorable and charming, but the man at the desk check-in was awful, very stressed and rude for no reason. We were 10 minutes late but the boat was late too, so there was no need to be rude or make us sprint to the boat. The tour itself is very cute and interesting but it could use more spare time to tour the islands. On Murano you have the time to watch two glass making techniques, tour the shop to find a souvenir and it's already time to go back to the boat. We saw almost nothing of Torcello, a quick walk by the canal, up and down a bridge and the outside of a church. But in Burano the demonstration takes only a few minutes so you get a good half hour to walk around the streets and enjoy the island.

Things to Know Before You Go

  • Be sure to bring your camera to capture the picturesque glassblowing demonstrations on Murano and traditional lace-making on Burano.

  • Murano glass and Burano lace are famous for their impeccable quality—and prices reflect that. Be wary of glass or lace shops that advertise “bargain” prices, which often means low-quality goods imported from outside Italy.

  • Murano’s glass shops are known for their hard-sell techniques, so always book your Venice islands tour through a reputable company to avoid unpleasant strong-arming tactics.

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How to Get There

From St. Mark’s Square (Piazza San Marco), take vaporetto 4.1 from the San Zaccaria stop, or a private water taxi from the Grand Canal boat launch near the Doge’s Palace, to Murano. From there, local water buses or taxis run to Burano and Torcello.

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Trip ideas

Sightseeing on a Budget in Venice

Sightseeing on a Budget in Venice


When to Get There

The Venice islands are most crowded in summer. The crowds thin considerably from November through February, though chilly temperatures can mean a less pleasant boat trip across the lagoon.

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Torcello in Literature

Over the decades, a number of famous artists, musicians, and Hollywood stars have spent time on the quiet island of Torcello. Ernest Hemingway, for one, wrote parts of “Across the River and into the Trees” during his stay on the island in 1948.

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