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Venice Islands
Venice Islands

Venice Islands

star-4.5
6,164 Reviews
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

Traveler Favorite

Full-day Boat Tour of Venice Islands from St Mark’s Square
$26.49 per adult
Fun in the sun island hopping
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
teresamarie140, Nov 2019

Recent reviews from experiences in Venice

star-5
Beautiful and peaceful
DFWTravels, Jan 2020
Murano and Burano Islands Semi-Independent Tour
This was a great trip. The boat was very clean and comfortable. The guide explained points of interest along the way in 4 languages. The stops on the islands were just the right lengths of time to explore. We had a lovely day on this tour.
star-5
Just do it!
Kgerard08, Oct 2019
Murano and Burano Islands Semi-Independent Tour
The tour was fantastic! We felt we had more than enough time on each island and enjoyed it being semi-independent. On the boat ride, the tour guide gave fun facts about surrounding areas. I do want to mention that finding the "yellow booth" was very difficult. We looked for 20 mins and found the booth no where close to the water and three bridges away from entry on the boat (we had to run to catch the boat in time)-so be sure to give yourself a lot of time!
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-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
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-4
Great trip
samsupersam, Oct 2019
Murano and Burano Islands Semi-Independent Tour
Loved visiting the islands, beautiful day. Have lunch on Burano. Beautiful place just to walk around
star-4
Boat Tour
aewen22, Sep 2019
Murano and Burano Islands Semi-Independent Tour
Highly recommend this tour, staff were very friendly and helpful. We got to see the glass blowing, lace making and had a lovely lunch on a beautiful island. Weather was stunning, which always helps though.
star-5
GREAT RELAXING DAY OUT
MRMT8, Oct 2019
Full-day Boat Tour of Venice Islands from St Mark’s Square
I read a lot of reviews saying the 1/2 day option was a bit rushed so picked this one. We met at 9.45am at San Marco and the boat left at 10. It's a larger boat so it is slower than the smaller taxi boats but it's a really pleasant journey - we sat upstairs. I think it was half an hour to the first stop of Murano. The guide gives a commentary as you go in several languages. It was a little difficult to understand her English as she spoke so fast and the engine was quite noisy at times but she was good at pointing out everything we past. At Murano, the guide does not accompany you but they tell you where to go for the glass demonstration which lasted about 15 mins and was good (sit/stand on the right side when facing the demo so as you see the glass blowing but also the furnace). We saw him make a vase and a swan. You then wander through their shop and afterwards are free for a further hour approximately to wander around. We didn't visit the glass museum so can't comment on that. We wandered around the streets - to the left of the museum round the corner is what appeared to be the main thoroughfare with shops and cafes/restaurants. It was very pleasant and not at all rushed. We then headed to Burano - I think that was 30 mins on the boat. Burano was lovely with all its coloured painted houses. Again we were directed to the lace demonstration and after that free to wander. We picked a place for lunch and then wandered around the streets. Lots more shops and restaurants here than Murano. Very pleasant and a bit different to Venice itself. We felt we had plenty of time and it wasn't rushed. We then had a 10 min boat trip to Torcello where we had an hour to visit. We knew that this was about visiting a Church but there really was nothing else to do. There were a couple of restaurants on the 10 min walk to the Church. You can go into the Church but everything else you pay for and the kids weren't really that interested, so had an ice cream from a kiosk and waited to leave. The journey back was about 50 minutes and we got back to San Marco at 4.45pm. I'm really pleased we chose to do this rather than the 1/2 day. It was a lovely relaxing day to break up all the walking we did in Venice itself and not at all rushed. If you have the time, I'd recommend this option. Great Value!
star-4
Rushed but ok for the price
Jenny680, Oct 2019
Murano and Burano Islands Semi-Independent Tour
The tour is OK, not great. As many other reviewers mentioned you do feel very rushed .. I wish I had more time to explore the islands. Murano’s glass factory demonstration was very short and then we left to explore outside right away to get a feel for the island. I’m burano we had some time to get lunch but hardly had any time to explore. You won’t be able to hear the tour guide at all on the boat — the speaker system sucks. Sitting in the rear outer area exposes you to the gas smoke and fumes so watch out for that!! Overall it’s fine if you want to get a feel for the islands without having to navigate the vaparetto system but I hindsight I would have preferred to have a more leisurely time.
star-5
Great visit with a short amount of time
jason m, Aug 2019
Murano and Burano Islands Semi-Independent Tour
Well organised. Ran on schedule. This was perfect excursion to visit the two islands in a short space of time. We had to be leaving Venice that day to travel to Lake Garda, so only had a few hours. Caught the 11am trip and was back in Venice for 3.30pm. Got to see a glass blowing demo on Murano and visit the shop then onto beautiful Burano. Had an hour and half here to catch some lunch, wander and grab an ice cream. Boat doesn’t hang about. You’re late, you’re left behind - which is great so everyone else doesn’t have to hang around. Only thing was the guy on the stall when you sign in didn’t want to be there, but interaction with all other staff was great. Brilliant trip.

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

Top Parks and Gardens in Venice

Top Parks and Gardens 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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