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Venice Islands Tour


ABOVE: Your excursion begins at the Fondamenta Nove waterbus station, which faces the Venetian Lagoon on the northern edge of the historic center.

Plan a self-guided day trip in the Venetian Lagoon.

If you're spending more than a few days in Venice, take time to visit the islands of the Venetian Lagoon. The itinerary in this article will take you to:

San Michele, the walled cemetery island of Venice.

Murano, known for its glassmaking, Glass Museum, and several historic churches.

Burano, an island of fishermen, lacemakers, and colorfully painted houses.

Mazzorbo, a small rural island connected to Burano by a footbridge.
Torcello, once a city larger than Venice; today, a bucolic island with a 1,000-year-old cathedral and a handful of outdoor restaurants.
The Lido di Venezia, a beach resort on the strip of land that separates the Venetian Lagoon from the Adriatic Sea.

You'll reach the islands on water buses operated by ACTV, the Venice public-transportation company. Allow a full day for the entire excursion, or half a day if you skip San Michele and the Lido.

ACTV's lagoon water buses can be crowded during peak season, on weekends, or if local groups of senior citizens or schoolchildren are traveling between the islands. If crowds bother you, or if you're unwilling to stand on a moving boat when seats aren't available, consider one of these alternatives:

  • Take an escorted tour of Murano, Burano, and Torcello.
    This guided half-day sightseeing tour is more expensive than a tour by public transportation, but it's worth considering if your schedule is tighter than your budget. The trip is offered by Viator, our sightseeing-tour partner.

  • Hire a water taxi by the half-day or day, which could easily cost several hundred euros. If you want the services of a private guide, try a customized lagoon itinerary from WalksInsideVenice or the Venice Tourist Guides Association and let the guide arrange transportation.


  • Organized tours don't give you much time on the islands, so we'd recommend traveling independently unless you're in a hurry or have limited mobility.

  • Instead of buying individual tickets for the boat trips between the islands, buy a one- to seven-day  Tourist Travel Card at any Hellovenezia or ACTV ticket booth.

  • Check boat departure and arrival times with the interactive journey planner at actv.it.

Next page: San Michele Cemetery

In this article:
Venice Islands Tour
San Michele Cemetery
Return options
Lido to Venice
Related articles

Also see:
Murano: 11-page travel guide

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