Venetian Lagoon

Venetian Lagoon: Our most recommended tours and activities

Venice: Half-Day Trip to Murano and Burano

1. Venice: Half-Day Trip to Murano and Burano

Climb aboard a comfortable motorboat for a half-day trip around the Venetian islands of Murano and Burano, and discover a more local and authentic side to Venice. Depart from a pier close to St. Mark’s Square for a convenient crossing to Murano. Cross the lagoon to the “Island of Glass” as you hear fascinating stories about the city. On landing, go to one of the famous glass factories to see how the colorful glass ware is blown. Alternatively, stroll the quiet streets of the island at leisure. Continue to Burano to discover one of Venice Lagoon’s most picturesque islands. See the major sights, learn about the history of the island, before spending some free time wandering around the chocolate box houses. Admire the bright colors of the fishermen’s island and visit a typical lace museum.

Venice: Grand Canal by Gondola with Commentary

2. Venice: Grand Canal by Gondola with Commentary

Explore the canals in the city of Venice aboard a gondola. Your gondolier will take you down secluded canals, passing under small bridges and along the Grand Canal. Listen to the guide as they explain all about the palaces, churches, and attractions around you. Hear stories known only by Venetians, and about the fascinating history of the gondola and gondoliers. During your journey, admire Desdemona’s House and Mozart’s House. You'll also pass by the magnificent La Fenice Theatre and the “De le Ostreghe” Canal. Continue on to the most important canal in Venice, the Grand Canal. Make your way towards the Salute Church, the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, and some of the stunning Venetian palaces that run alongside the canal, like Ca'Dolfin, Ca'Loredan, Grimani Palace, and many others. You will also see Punta de la Dogana and Saint Mark’s basin before making your way back to Campo San Moisè. At the end of the tour, you will receive a QR code to download a digital map with 2D images of Venice from the Middle Ages until the 18th century. With the shared option, enjoy a 20-minute walking tour from the meeting point as well as your 30-minute gondola ride. See the Biennale Cafe and the facade of San Moisè Church and learn about the history of the Venetian gondola tradition. You will also see Punta della Dogana and Grand Canal.

Venice: Murano, Burano and Torcello Islands Full-Day Trip

3. Venice: Murano, Burano and Torcello Islands Full-Day Trip

Discover the most charming and famous islands of the Venetian Lagoon on this full-day excursion. Marvel at the beautiful surroundings of Venice and learn more about Venetian life and traditions. Start your journey in a comfortable motorboat leaving from the St. Mark's area, and move toward your first stop, the island of Murano. Stay for approximately 1.5 hours on the island and take your time to explore it on your own. Visit a glass factory and learn how glass masters create their masterpieces with a glass-blowing demonstration. Don't miss the massive Basilica of Santi Maria e Donato, one of the oldest Churches in the Venetian lagoon originally built in the 7th Century. Return to the motorboat and head to Burano Island. Immerse yourself in its quaint and colorful houses for around 1.5 hours. According to a local legend, Burano gets its rainbow appearance from the fishermen who painted their houses in bright colors to find their way home when returning from sea. The island is also known internationally for its rare artisan lace. Hop back on the motorboat, and ride to the last stop, Torcello, the first settlement in the Venetian Lagoon. During your 1-hour unguided stop, be sure to visit the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, founded in 639. Take a selfie with Attila's Throne in the background, an ancient stone chair where chief magistrates were inaugurated, or go up the Bell Tower and take a beautiful picture of the surrounding area. At the end of the tour, ride back to the point of departure.

Boat Trip: Glimpse of Murano, Torcello & Burano Islands

4. Boat Trip: Glimpse of Murano, Torcello & Burano Islands

Spend some time on the most famous Venetian islands, known throughout the world for their picturesque scenery, craft traditions, and unique history. See the glass factory of Murano, lace shop on Burano, as you visit 3 different islands. Depart from near Saint Mark’s Square or Santa Lucia Train Station, and take an enjoyable trip across Saint Mark’s Basin. On the boat, a live guide will illustrate the history of the lagoon and the three islands you will visit.  Your first stop will be the island of Murano, sometimes referred to as the “Island of the Glass.” Spend 30 minutes visiting one of its famous glass factories and see the glass being manufactured and blown.  Enjoy about 15 minutes of free time on Murano before heading to Torcello, the most ancient of the inhabited islands. Continue to Burano, admiring the natural environment and the minor islands spread all around you. Enjoy some free time in Burano, a typical fishing island with colorful contrasts and chocolate-box painted houses. Look out, too, for much evidence of its renowned lace-making and embroidery industry, and try some of Burano’s notable homemade cakes. Please note that once on the ground, this is not a guided tour. The guide will escort you to the glass factory in Murano and the lace shop in Burano. Afterward, you will have time to explore each island on your own.

Venice: Waterbus and Mainland Bus Pass

5. Venice: Waterbus and Mainland Bus Pass

Enjoy your trip in Venice and use public transportation without queuing at the ticket offices. Just head to the yellow ticket machines that you can find at the vaporetto stops across the city: enter the PNR code that you'll find on your voucher and get the paper ticket with which you can catch your vaporetto. Your tickets must be validated each time before boarding a water bus. The validity of your ticket begins from the exact time it is first validated.

Venice: Murano Island Glass Blowing Demo and Workshop

6. Venice: Murano Island Glass Blowing Demo and Workshop

Escape the hustle and bustle of Venice city center on a tour of Murano. Head to Campo San Bartolomeo and meet your guide near the Rialto Bridge. Reach the boat station facing the lagoon, and jump aboard a public boat bound for Murano Island. Upon arrival, take a short walk to a glass factory, where a glass master will demonstrate the art of glass blowing. Watch as he makes a 2nd piece using sculpture techniques. Take a stroll to a mosaic or glass beads jewelry workshop to create your own piece from scratch. Work with glass elements of different shapes and colors to make a unique ornament or pendant. Create your own bracelet, key holder, or earrings. Enjoy some free time to explore the quiet streets of Murano on your own. Your guide with take you back to the boat station and advise you how to get back to your accommodation from there.

Venice: City Walking Tour

7. Venice: City Walking Tour

Join a walking tour of Venice and explore its fascinating maze of narrow streets, elegant palaces, and imposing churches. See the city’s unmissable attractions and learn about their history and cultural significance with a professional guide. Admire the city's main monuments such as the Clock-Tower, Procuratie Vecchie, and the Bell Tower around St. Mark’s Square. Listen as your guide tells you the history of the dukes of Venice and how the city was once the most powerful maritime empire in the Mediterranean Sea. Explore the elegant Castello residential area and walk through the famous Mercerie, one of the city’s main shopping districts. Stroll past the famous Santa Maria Formosa square, the house of Marco Polo, The Church of San Giovanni and Paolo, and the Rialto Bridge with its traditional market. Walk along charming canals, wander into small alleys, and discover picturesque squares where Venetians gather to socialize. Find hidden gems and learn interesting facts about the places you visit.

Venice: Panoramic Boat Trip to Murano and Burano

8. Venice: Panoramic Boat Trip to Murano and Burano

Climb aboard for a half-day tour of Murano and Burano, and discover 2 of the more traditional islands of Venice. Enjoy the 30-minute panoramic boat ride, from which you can take marvelous pictures to Venice and the lagoon, as you journey towards Murano. Murano is world famous for its glassmaking art. Discover how these unique glass products are made in a furnace, and get the opportunity to buy a piece on site. Continue towards Burano, known for its lacemaking traditions and brightly colored fishermen's houses. Disembark the boat to take a short stroll to the main square and admire the Church of San Martino with its “Crucifixion” painting by Tiepolo. Get the chance to learn more about the history of lace at the Museo del Merletto. Alternatively, wander the tiny streets and picturesque canals to purchase lace products at your own pace. Arrive on Burano in time for lunch, eating at a picturesque location with a relaxing atmosphere. Opt to go into a pastry store to try some of the local sweets, such as the typical cookies of bussolà and essi, unique to the island.

Venice: Murano and Burano Half-Day Lagoon Trip

9. Venice: Murano and Burano Half-Day Lagoon Trip

Depart from the railway station on Piazzale Roma and journey to Murano, famous for its glass-blowing industry. Dating back to the Middle Ages, the still-thriving tradition has been passed down over generations and each glass blower has developed their own personal style. Watch a glass-blowing demonstration and learn to recognize the difference between the various artisans and brands during your stay on the island. Then, continue to the island of Burano, known for its crochet work and brightly colored houses. Get picture-perfect views of the landmarks of Burano, such as the leaning bell tower and the main square of Piazza Baldassarre Galuppi, named after a major 18th-century Venetian composer. Look in some of the lace shops during your visit to the island. Then, conclude your travels on Piazza San Marco and see sights such as the Doge's Palace and Campanile as you stroll around the famous colonnades.

Venice: Murano Glassblowing & Burano Lacemaking Tour by Boat

10. Venice: Murano Glassblowing & Burano Lacemaking Tour by Boat

Escape the crowds of central Venice and catch a glimpse of what life in the city used to be like, as an island of artisans famous for their traditional craft skills, passed down from generation to generation. Your guide will keep you entertained on the short boat ride to the small island of Murano, famous for its glass making traditions. Find out the facinating story of Murano glassblowers and how their skills were so valued they were banned from leaving Venice on the threat of execution. Watch a craftsman in action and listen to a description of the process in English. Learn how silica sand becomes glass, and how the glass is given color. Afterwards, there will be time to browse the huge collection of glass art, and wander the island on your own. Cruise to the tiny island of Burano to see the brightly-painted houses huddled tightly together along streets and canals. Uncover Burano’s centuries-old lacemaking tradition as you visit a building where women still partake in this tradition of stitching lace. Your guide will explain the process of this dying art. Then, you can follow in the footsteps of Michelangelo and pick out your own keepsake. Or, wander the winding streets, sampling delicious cookies at local bakeries. Unlike other tours, this excursion intentionally omits Torcello to provide you with more time on Murano and Burano, and with less time on the boat or trekking inland.

Other Sightseeing Options in Venetian Lagoon

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What people are saying about Venetian Lagoon

Overall rating

4.2 / 5

based on 28,734 reviews

Excellent half-day out, English speaking hosts and very clear instructions during the trip to both islands. The only thing that we had to watch out for was the meeting point - there was no-one there at the specified time, but it was only 100 yards from the boat and easy to spot. There is an hour on each island, plenty of time to see around the area and pick up some souvenirs. Would definitely recommend.

Overall wonderful experience. Guides provided history during the walk to the gondola. It was nice to ride through neighbourhoods and into the Grand Canal. What a beautiful site! I appreciated the gondolier’s expertise in handling choppy waters. Thank you!

Great trip, and worth the money. Chiara was an awesome guide and knew all the answers to my questions on Venice. Thank you so much Chiara!

Excellent trip, Serena was patient, friendly and knowledgeable. Recommended.

The tour was interesting and very informative, Alexandra was wonderful.