Updated: June 3, 2023 | Has affiliate links

3 Beautiful Things to Do in Burano Italy (with map)

Burano is another well known island in the Venice archipelago. Burano is well known for its fine lace industry that dates back several hundreds of years. It is a popular tourist attraction in Venice but it is not very crowded even at the beginning of August when we visited. Let’s walk together and explore my favorite things to do in Burano.

What to Expect when visiting Burano Italy

Burano, Italy - A few colorful houses can be seen at the Mazzorbo boat stop near the island of Burano
Burano, Italy – A few colorful houses can be seen at the Mazzorbo boat stop near the island of Burano
See my photos of Burano Italy

Burano really surprised us with its brightly colored buildings and narrow canals. Each house is painted in a very bright color which only repeats every few houses. This explosion of color is delightful and it was completely surprising to us as we did not have time to actually see any photos from Burano before arriving here. And even if you do see photos of Burano before visiting it, these brightly colored buildings and the green water of the water canals will still be delightful to you. Let’s explore together the best things to do in Burano Italy.

We arrived in Burano after visiting the island of Murano in the morning. Burano is situated about another 30 minutes boat ride from Murano. If you are coming from the main island straight to Burano you need to factor in about one extra hour for the boat ride.

My Favorite Things to do In Burano Italy

Burano is a small island with narrow water canals which make it to be very compact and easily walkable. Thus visiting Burano, feels like visiting a small old village but its location in the Venice archipelago makes the feeling very different at the same time. Venice and its islands are truly unique destinations. Here is a short list of my favorite things to do in Burano:

  • Take time to admire the colors of Burano. This is what sets Burano apart from the other islands.
  • Walk along the water canals, cross the small bridges and admire the view. The island is small and you can pretty much see everything by simply following the crowds.
  • Visit the Burano Lace Museum. Just like Murano has its Glass Museum, Burano has its Lace Museum which is worth seeing if you have the time. Unfortunately we arrived late in the day because of the long wait to get on the boat in the morning, so we chose not to visit this museum.
  • Make sure you have some energy left for the boat trip back to the main island. Make sure you return to the main island via the island of La Giudecca or another boat stop that takes you around to see St. Mark’s Square.  The views of Venice from the boat around sunset time are simply spectacular.

Walking tour map of Burano
Walking tour map of Burano
See my photos of Burano Italy

1. Enjoy the Colors of Burano

Enjoying the colorful houses of Burano is one of the best things to don in Burano
Enjoying the colorful houses of Burano is one of the best things to don in Burano
See my photos of Burano

First on our list of best things to do in Burano was to taking in the colorful spectacle in front of our eyes. I have seen a few other colorful towns in Italy like Cinque Terre or Verona, but Burano was made colorful on purpose long time ago by the local residents. Legend has it that the people of Burano, Italy began painting their homes using bright colors so that the fishermen could see them even in in thick fog and avoid crashing into the shore after a voyage at sea.

Burano residents have traditionally painted every building in a different color with the colors repeating only every few houses. This symphony of colors coupled together with colorful clothes being left to dry in front of their houses creates a unique image for the eyes of the tourist in Burano, Italy.

Burano, Italy - Colorful laundry left to dry in front of colorful houses is the most common sight in Burano.
Burano, Italy – Colorful laundry left to dry in front of colorful houses is the most common sight in Burano.
See my photos of Burano

2. Explore Burano’s Lace

Burano, Italy - Beautiful and delicate lace embroidery for sale in Burano
Beautiful and delicate lace embroidery for sale in Burano
See my photos from Burano

Our exploration of things to do in Burano continued with some historical insights. Throughout the middle ages, during the times when Venice had a powerful navy and was called the Republic of Venice, Burano was the world capital of fine lace or “merlatto” as the Italians call it.

Lace is what made Burano famous and prosperous in the past, and lace keeps it prosperous today even though we live in the world of cheap Chinese imitations. Today however, Burano lace workers still make and sell beautiful lace but mainly for tourists now. If you have some time, plan to visit the Museum of Lace in Burano, as it will transport you in time and give you a glamorous view of the past.

3. Enjoy the Views on Your Way Back to Venice

Venice, Italy - The iconic Saint Mark's square and Doge's palace seen from the boat returning from Burano
The iconic Saint Mark’s square and Doge’s palace seen from the boat returning from Burano
See my photos of Burano

We were very tired by the time we finished our walking tour of Burano. We did a lot of walking in our trip to Murano and Burano and many times we had to bribe our kids too often with the unbelievable yummy Italian icecream (Gelato) so they keep walking.  Our day in Burano made us  very tired and ready to get back to the train station.

Before starting to explore the best things to do in Burano, I took a picture of the “vaporetto” schedule from Burano back to the main island. And oh boy was I glad I did that! So I knew when the boats back were. Since is was getting close to sunset it was pretty late so we got on the next boat back. We were so glad to be able to sit down after a tiring day. To our surprise the ride back through the main canal in Venice, at sunset, was one of the highlights of our trip. It was simply gorgeous.

I didn’t know however that the boats would not take us on the shortest route back to Venice Central train station…the way we came in. The boat would take us to the island of La Giudecca opposite from St. Mark’s Square and then we needed to figure out another boat to take us to the train station.

Make sure you take a picture of the “vaporetto” schedule when you get to the boat stop in Burano. If you want to enjoy these gorgeous views of Venice, then your need to return to the main island via La Giudecca so look at the boat schedule and figure out which boat to get on. Remember that the boats do not run very late into the evening, so plan accordingly.

The trip by boat to Giudecca was long and we arrived at Giudecca we only looked for the next boat to the train station, even though La Giudecca is beautiful to visit as well. We were happy to find that the next boat to the train station was already coming so we got on it right away. Once at the train station we found some energy to run literally to catch our train back to the mainland where we were staying. We were exhausted and the kids fell asleep in the train as soon as it started moving.

Plan Your Trip to Burano Italy

When you’re planning your next trip to Venice and Burano, Italy, you will find the following resources very helpful.

Is Burano Worth Visiting?

Absolutely yes! When you couple your visit to Burano with a visit to Murano you get a great trip that will complete your understanding of the Venice area of Italy. Its much smaller size and colorful buildings coupled with its history of lace manufacturing, make Burano a top destination after you have visited the main island in Venice.

  1. Charming Northern Italy Itinerary
  2. Walking tour of Milan
  3. Charming walking tour of Verona
  4. Venice Main Island walking tour
  5. Walking tour of Murano Island
  6. A colorful walking tour of Burano Island
  7. In the Dolomites at Barcis
  8. Treviso is a surprising destination
  9. In-depth walking tour of Padua
  10. Short tour of quaint Soave
  11. In-depth walking tour of Sirmione
  12. In-depth walking tour of Genoa

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