If you’ve ever seen photos of what looks like a brightly coloured Venice then what you’ve seen photos of is Burano, a very small island to the North East of Venice which is filled with brightly coloured houses where tourists flock to marvel at the colours!
It’s very easy to visit Burano but it does take some time to get there and back as it’s quite far by boat from the main island of Venice so here I’m going to give you the low down of how to get there, when to go and what to do there!
Firstly when to go. Try and get there as early as possible, honestly! I got there at 12:00 midday and it was already packed and it only got busier later in the afternoon. Quite soon after I arrived I asked a girl to take a photo of me and she said she had been there since 9:00am and that it was lovely and quiet then so I really regret going so late! Alternatively, go late! I can imagine it’s beautiful in the evening when it starts to get dark and most people have left.
Set aside at least half a day to visit Burano, if not more, especially if you want to visit the nearby island of Murano too (I didn’t have time to visit here but I’ll detail below how you get there as it looks beautiful too).
Also, in terms of weather, I was lucky that I visited on a beautiful blue sky, sunny day however even if you visit on a grey, dull day I think the colours of the island will brighten up your mood and photos in an instant!
So getting there! As with everywhere in Venice you have to catch a boat to get here. Fondamente Nove is the port you need to get to on Venice Island to then catch the boat over to Murano and Burano.
I was staying at the Generator Hostel so I caught the 4.1 line Vaporetto from the Zitelle stop which then stopped at the San Marco port (close to St Marks Square) and ended at Fondamente Nove and took about 45 minutes.
From Fondamente Nove take Vaporetto line 12 which can be found at port A, this stops at Murano to start with and takes about 15 minutes to get there (so feel free to get off to explore Murano and then get back on) then ends at Burano. It took me an hour to get from Fondamente Nove to Burano which did seem like a long time, especially as it only took 45 minutes to get back so bare this in mind. These boats do get very busy too but the views are lovely!
Side Note – When you arrive in Venice I would highly suggest getting a boat pass for how many days you are there for, the 2 day pass is €30.00 and the 3 day pass €40.00, these passes include all of your transport around Venice except to the airport so going to Burano will not cost you anymore money! Just make sure you validate your ticket before you get on the boat otherwise you’ll get fined if they come around and check the tickets! Or Single tickets are €6.50-7.50.
Now onto what to do in Burano. Burano is actually famous for its lace (and Murano if you visit, is famous for its glass), so if this interests you then there are plenty of shops to buy their beautiful lace in.
However for me, going to Burano was all about admiring the beautiful coloured houses that run along the canal and see in real life all the photos I had seen of Burano on Instagram!
There’s 3 canals that run through the island, when you first arrive in Burano you’ll notice that everyone filters down the middle to the closest canal and once you’re there and turn the corner the colours of the island just hit you!
As I mentioned, when I arrived it was already very busy and this first area was particularly busy with people getting their shots, but fear not as this is most certainly not the only area of colour on the island so start walking along the canal one way or the other and as with Venice, just wander and see where it takes you as you can’t really get lost!
There’s plenty of bridges that go over the canal so be sure to keep switching sides to see the colours on each side and also be sure to take some side streets and not just stick to the canal as some of these were just as colourful (obviously being mindful that people do live up these streets too).
The edges of the island are also beautiful and very quiet, there are a few grassy areas that give views out to sea as far as the eye can see!
There’s a main street on the island which also holds the church and a museum, this street is filled with cafes, restaurants and shops so be sure to grab some lunch or a coffee or a wine in one of these to watch the colourful world go by. Fishing was the main source of income at one time for Burano and all the restaurants offer a big range of fish if that takes your fancy!
What I found particularly interesting in Burano was getting a look into local life on the island so do remember to put down your camera and have a look out for the locals going about their day in the relaxed Italian way.
Their houses were of course not painted for us tourists to go and snap, rumour has it that they were painted so brightly so the fishermen could identify their houses through the fog on the way back from a trip, however there’s also a rumour that they were painted so that they could find their way back after they had drunk too much at a local bar! So bare in mind that people do live here and many have probably lived there their whole life and seen the island go from no tourists at all to a flock load so make sure you are respectful about where you stand and what you take photos of.
After you’ve spent a few hours here it will be time to say your goodbyes to the colourful island and head back with dreams of when you’ll next be back and what colour house you would like (I want one of the pink ones!).
You can jump back on the line 12 boat to head back to Venice and if you still have time why not stop at Murano to check that out too!
I hope this helps you plan your trip to Burano, as long as you have more than 1 day in Venice its an absolute must visit!
To see my trip to Burano check out my YouTube Video here!
**Have you visited Burano or Murano, what did you think? Can you give us any tips for Murano as I didn’t get to visit this time??**