So, you’re thinking of heading to Venice for the day? You’ve got friends or family in town or maybe it’s your first time visiting! This is a great day trip, especially from Vicenza, and with the detailed information below, you’ll be well on your way to seeing the best parts of Venice, Murano, and Burano!
Getting to Venice
There are a couple different ways to get to Venice. You can drive and park in a parking garage, but be prepared to pay a hefty day-fee. Tronchetto is a well-known car park that charges 21€ and from there, you can take the people mover over to Venice for 3€ per person, round trip. Another option, if you are a military ID holder, is to take the free shuttle to the airport, and then take a water taxi from the airport to Venice. However, the best and most affordable option is via train.
If you’ve never taken the train in Italy before, no worries! It can seem overwhelming at first, but I promise it’s pretty simple to figure out. If you’re looking for a specific time to leave the Vicenza Train Station (Stazione Fs Vicenza), the Trenitalia website or app is a good place to start. Click the link here for the English version. You’re looking for a ticket from Vicenza to Venezia S. Lucia. For more information regarding parking at the Vicenza train station, visit here.
If you prefer free parking and are near the east side of Vicenza, you could catch the train at Lerino (a regional only stop), or Grisignano di Zocco – some inter-regional trains stop here. There are no ticket desks at these stations and instead only ticket machines. To avoid driving to the train station and parking at all, you can take the bus from your location to either of the stations as well.
When I purchased my ticket from Vicenza to Venezia S. L., it cost 6,50€ for the regional train. You can take the faster train, Frecciarossa, for usually 20€+ one way. Purchasing tickets online is possible, but for a day trip, I usually just buy them at the train station. When you enter the train station to buy your ticket, use the big red ticket machines, or you can go to the ticket desk and speak with someone in person. Avoid using the italo machines.
Once you’ve purchased your ticket, check the boards around the train station to find the platform from which your train will be leaving. You will be looking for the train with the correct time depending on the ticket you purchased to Venezia S. L. Be sure to validate your ticket before getting on the train (basically this means to insert it into one of the green ticket machines on the platform so it can stamp your ticket).
The ride from Vicenza to Venezia on the Regionale train is 45 minutes long. I love train rides — the seats are usually comfortable, the windows are big enough to provide a great view, and they have a place to charge your phone!
Arriving in Venice
Once you arrive in Venice, take a deep breath, and get ready for an exciting day! Then, exit the train station, go down the stairs and towards the right. You’ll see the ticket box office for water buses, known as vaporettos. There are many different ways to get to the islands of Murano and Burano and anyway you choose to do it is fine – this is just the route that I took and seemed to be most efficient! At the ticket counter, you can purchase a single water bus ride ticket for 7,50€ or an all-day pass for 20€. We purchased the all-day passes because it was much more reasonable considering we were going from Venice to Murano, Murano to Burano, then back to Venice. And there were no time constraints on our all-day tickets, so we didn’t have to rush!
Getting to Murano
There are numerous water buses that will take you to Murano Island, but we chose Bus #3. To take the faster route, about a 20-minute ride, make sure to get on the boat that isn’t going all the way through the Grand Canal, which would be about a 45-minute ride. Google Maps will prove super handy in these instances because it tells you exactly which Vaporetto to get onto no matter where you are. I’ll attach a screenshot below for an example! Just like at the train station, make sure you validate your ticket (this time it means scanning it on the ticket machine before stepping onto the floating dock). The workers on the dock are pretty good about loudly announcing where the next boat is going but if you’re unsure, just ask. They speak English well enough!
The boat ride through the canals was one of the best parts of the Vaporetto! We were lucky enough to get to stand at a spot on the side of the boat where there were no windows to obstruct our views. The wind blowing in our faces and the smell of salt water was heavenly.
What to Do in Murano
Once you arrive in Murano, you’ll quickly figure out what Murano is famous for – and if you don’t already know, it’s glass! Take time to explore the many glass shops and pick up a souvenir. My favorite things to seek out are the insanely expensive chandeliers and the balloons (sadly, I’ve never bought any of these). You can attend a glass-blowing demonstration at the Original Murano Glass Factory & Showroom and then shop around inside the factory. This is a really neat experience if you’ve never seen how glass objects are made.
There are some churches amongst the island that are worth a visit! The Cathedral of Santa Maria and Donato is one of the most important churches of the island, dating back to the 7th century. The St. Pietro Martire Church dates back to the 16th century, and here you will find masterpieces of Bellini and Tintoretto.
Getting to Burano
To get to Burano from Murano, you’ll have to follow the canal a little ways and head to a different pier to catch the bus. This may require the use of Google Maps, but basically, you need to go to the Murano Faro pier. Check the monitors to see the time and number of the bus going to Burano. 12 and N typically leave from Murano and go to Burano, with a few stops along the way. It is about a 25-minute route with minimal stops.
What to Do in Burano
You’ll know the moment your water bus arrives in Burano. The colors! The views! It’s just wonderful! It seriously looks like something out of a dream. I’ve never seen this many colors in all my life. Once in Burano, if you want to avoid the crowds and the main square, take an immediate left after exiting the boat. Don’t be afraid to get lost on this wonderful island. Wander around the streets for tons of Instagram-able spots, but keep in mind that these are people’s houses, so be courteous of their personal space!
Fun facts about Burano – they’re known for their lace. You’ll quickly see this demonstrated by the vast number of lace shops with everything from home décor to lace clothing. Also, the residents of Burano who wish to paint their houses must first send in a request letter to the government. The government will then reply, informing the homeowner of which color they’re allowed to paint the lot! So, properties here are well planned out – and not just painted on a whim.
If you want to grab lunch here, be sure to make reservations in advance for Trattoria al Gatto Nero – known for its lagoon-fresh seafood and homemade pasta. Another great place along the canal and off the beaten path is Ristorante da Forner – for which you won’t need to make a reservation. They have a great steak and house wine! Don’t leave the island without first trying gelato affogato at Chocolat (gelato with a shot of espresso!) How have I never heard of this before?! They also serve sundaes, hot dogs, crepes, and other delicious bites.
In the heart of the island, the square is dedicated to Galuppi – an 18th century composer. At the center of the square is an ancient well, which dates back to 1500. You’ll also find the Church of San Martino, the only one on Burano Island, with its unique leaning bell tower. This is due to the partial collapse of the bases that are resting on stilts.
Burano to Venice
Once you’ve finished exploring the island, you’ll need to make your way back to Venice. If you’re by the Chocolat shop, cross over the canal and the vaporetto stop (Burano SX per F.te Nove) is located on the other side. Google Maps may work best here again, but there will also be signs pointing you in the right direction. We took Bus 12 to Fondamenta Nove (Venezia/Venice), about a 50-minute trip. From here, you can wander through the streets of Venice if you have time!
What to Do in Venice
There is so much to do in Venice – including getting lost in the maze of canals and streets. Find your way to St. Mark’s Square to have a seat and enjoy all the views in the square and its surroundings. Doge’s Palace and Bridge of Sighs are great places to visit. The apartments and rooms in the palace are beautifully appointed with wonderful architecture and gold trim and decor. As you walk over the Bridge of Sighs toward the prison cells, you can look through peepholes at the canal below. For more ideas on what to do while visiting Venice, check out my post here.
Getting to the Train Station
After you’ve finished exploring Venice, head on over to the Rialto Bridge using the Per Rialto signs to guide you. Catch a vaporetto at Rialto “C” just by the bridge. You’ll want to take this bus going to Ferrovia (the train station). You’ll see the Casino on the right and the famous large hands reaching up out of the water, and that’s how you’ll know you’re headed in the right direction. This should be about a 15-minute ride. Once you’re at the train station, if you haven’t already purchased a return ticket, make sure you do that. Check the board to see where the train will be, get the ticket validated and enjoy your trip home!!
I hope this helps in planning your day to explore Venice and the island of Murano and Burano! Again, there are plenty of ways to go about getting from one island to another – such as private or guided tours – but everything I’ve listed here is for public transportation and was all very cost effective for a day trip. Enjoy your trip and if you have any other tips and tricks let me know in the comments below!