Insider's Guide to Venice

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3.5 star rating: Worth doing 3165 Reviews

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  • Location:Venice, Italy
  • Duration:4 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

Murano, Burano and Torcello Half-Day Sightseeing Tour

Explore three famous islands of the Venetian Lagoon – Murano, Torcello and Burano – on a half-day sightseeing excursion by motorboat. Accompanied by a local guide, you'll stop at a glass-blowing factory on Murano, visit Venice's first cathedral on the tranquil island of Torcello and shop for handcrafted lace on Burano. This morning or afternoon tour is a great introduction to the magical islands around the medieval city of Venice and its enclosed bay in the Adriatic Sea.


  • Half-day sightseeing tour of Murano, Torcello and Burano
  • Visit the three most famous islands in the Venetian Lagoon by motorboat from Venice
  • Watch master glass blowers at work at a factory on Murano
  • See Venice's Byzantine churches on Torcello – the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta and the Church of Santa Fosca
  • Browse for lace on Burano and admire the painted houses
  • Hear commentary provided by an expert guide
  • Choose from morning or afternoon departure times

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What You Can Expect

Murano, Burano and Torcello Half-Day Sightseeing Tour

Murano, Burano and Torcello Half Day Sightseeing Tour

Board a comfortable motorboat, departing from the Alilaguna pier in front of the Royal Gardens, and speed along the Venetian Lagoon to three islands famous for their handicrafts and architecture. You’ll cruise past the islands of San Giorgio Maggiore, San Servolo, San Lazzaro degli Armeni and Sant’Elena Gardens to Murano, divided into nine islets crossed by a wide canal. Known for its glassware shops and factories, Murano boasts a long and still-thriving tradition dating back to 1291, when glass artisans moved their kilns from the old city center.

Explore the island on foot and stop at a glass factory to watch a skilled glass blower create works of art. Learn from your guide about Murano’s wealth in the 15th and 16th centuries when the island was central to Europe’s glass making. View the magnificent splendor of Murano’s palaces and Veneto-Byzantine style churches, some with mosaics and ornamental motifs designed in the 12th century, and catch a glimpse of San Michele – Venice’s 19th-century cemetery – across the water. Before re-boarding the boat, you'll have time to visit a museum showcasing the world-famous Murano glass.

When you reach the island of Torcello – established between the 5th and 6th centuries and the earliest center of civilization in the Venetian Lagoon – you’ll see evidence of the island’s glorious past as it once flourished with ornate palaces and churches. First, view the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, founded in the 7th century. Your guide will also show you the excavated remains of the circular baptistery in the Church of Santa Fosca, which showcases a delightful portico and striking Byzantine interior.

Afterward, journey to the island of Burano and admire the picturesque fishermen's houses painted in bright pastel colors. In this miniature Venice, you’ll find the famous lace – abundant since the 16th century and once considered the most refined in Europe. Browse local shops and find lace on display at a museum dedicated to the craft of lace making before your guide returns you to Venice.

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Customer Reviews

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2015

Our tour guide was amazing! Wonderful to see these hidden treasures in Venice. Not only did we enjoy delicious food and wine, but we met wonderful new friends and have such great memories to bring home with us! Thank you, thank you!

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2015

Perfect time for this outing. 45 minutes on each island was a good viewing time.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2015

Three beautiful islands! Off the beaten track!

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2015

Simply super. Just go for it and enjoy.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2015

Excellent history, great places visited! Thanks for a good time.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2015

This is a great way to see the other side of Venice, more tranquil and less crowded. It's fascinating to see how the glass blowing and lace industries in Murano and Burano are still thriving after all these years. Our tour guide was very knowledgeable and informative about the islands and the surrounding communities and she was fluent in English, Italian, Spanish and French. The boat ride was pleasant and the lunch in Torcello is highly recommended.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2015

Great way to see the islands! Our kids loved the boat ride and scenery!

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2015

Great tour and wonderful guide. Timed beautifully.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2015

All the three locations are par excellent. Was bit rushing through as the crew wanted to finish the trip on time. We had booked an English speaking tour - But the trip was a combined one with Italian, Spanish and English. The tour guide spoke all three languages but the time spent in explaining in English was the shortest - assuming that the tour guide was not too comfortable in speaking in English.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2015

It was very informative and a beautiful experience

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Tour code: 2495ABTOUR2


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