Murano Island Guide

Adventurous Kate contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, I will earn a commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks!

Murano Island is like a miniature version of Venice, just 10 minutes away by boat from the city. Similar to Venice, Murano is actually made up of multiple islands linked by bridges and canals.

While Venice is home to 118 islands and 438 bridges, Murano is more compact with just seven small islands and seven bridges. Although you have to take a boat to get to Murano, it’s still part of Venice along with other small islands like Burano, Torcello, and Sant’Erasmo.

Planning your trip to Murano last minute?

Venice is an extremely popular destination, and I recommend booking accommodation and tours as early as possible.

🎭 Top-Rated Tours on Murano Island:

  1. Visit Murano and Burano (Two islands in one trip!)
  2. Tour a glass factory (And make your own glass bead!)
  3. Craft your own glass masterpiece (A one-of-a-kind souvenir!)

🛌  Top-Rated Hotels on Murano Island:

  1. NH Collection Murano Villa (Gorgeous luxury hotel!)
  2. DUOMO Murano Apartment (With a canal view!)
  3. Beocio Home (Comfortable 2-bedroom apartment)

The total area of Murano is less than two square miles and you can walk from one end of the island to the other in about 20 minutes. Even though it’s so small, Murano has its own Grand Canal like Venice, although on a much smaller scale. Only about 5,000 people live in Murano.

However, the island plays an extremely important role in the history and culture of Venice because it’s the heart of the glassmaking industry.

Murano glass is highly prized and renowned around the world because of its exquisite craftsmanship. Colorful Murano glass is created by local artisans, many of whom come from families that have been making glass for centuries.

In the late 13th century, all of the glassmakers in Venice were required to move to Murano to remove the threat of fire from the furnaces they used.

Away from the city, Murano thrived for hundreds of years as the heart of Venice’s glassmaking industry. It also became a popular resort destination for wealthy Venetians.

However, the glassmaking industry began to decline in the 18th century in Murano. Today it has been revitalized, especially thanks to tourism, and there are still dozens of active glass foundries on the island, some of which are open to visitors.

This post was published in May 2024 and was co-written by Adventurous Kate and Dale Peterson.

A glassblowing artist demonstrates how to shape glass to an audience.
Visiting the glass factories on Murano is a must!

Things To Do on Murano Island

Tour the local glass factories

In my opinion, the highlight of a visit to Murano is touring the local glass factories. You can learn about the process of glassmaking and even watch a demonstration from the artisans at work.

If you’re visiting Murano independently, you can find glass factories and workshops that are open to the public. Sometimes you may need to pay a small entry fee of around 5 EUR ($5.50 USD) for a tour of the factory and a glassmaking demonstration.

You can also visit a glass factory in Murano as part of a guided tour. This Murano glass tour with a local guide will allow you to explore some hidden spots in Murano as well as tour a glass factory and watch a glassmaking demonstration.

You’ll even be able to make your own glass bead as a souvenir to take home with you!

Or you can do this excellent Murano and Burano tour which combines a visit to the glassmaking factories of Murano with a visit to another island in the Venetian Lagoon, the colorful Burano. This is a great tour if you want to see more than just Murano on a day trip from Venice.

Know that when you visit a glass factory in Murano, you’ll be taken to the showroom afterward where you’ll have the opportunity to shop for glass souvenirs, if you’d like. 

This is a good time to buy Murano glass if you want to, since you can trust you’ll be getting authentic pieces and not the knockoffs that are often sold in Venice. But don’t feel pressured to buy anything if you don’t want to.

A glassblower shaping an orb-shaped piece with lots of blue, purple, and yellow polka dots on it.
Imagine if you could shape Murano glass like this. Via Shutterstock.

Make your own Murano glass masterpiece

While you’re on the island of Murano, why not go a step further and learn how to make your own glass? If you’ve watched as much Blown Away on Netflix as I have, this will be at the top of your list!

It’s one thing to tour the factories and see a demonstration, but learning about glassmaking and trying it out for yourself is a truly special experience.

This one-of-a-kind glassmaking workshop allows you to work closely with a glass master at one of Murano’s premier factories to craft your very own glass masterpiece.

Before you get to work, you’ll be able to watch a demonstration from the glass master and visit the factory’s showroom for some inspiration. Then you’ll begin creating your own piece, working with the glass master on techniques such as glassblowing.

The end result will be a unique souvenir you can’t find anywhere else, your very own Murano glass masterpiece to take home with you.

Three large glass vases in different colors set in a museum.
Murano Glass on display at the Glass Museum, via chrisdorney on Shutterstock.

Visit the Glass Museum

Murano’s Glass Museum, or Museo del Vetro, is a great place to go to learn more about the island’s glassmaking history and admire some beautiful pieces. The museum is dedicated to the history of glassmaking over the centuries and the collection includes glass from Italy and around the world.

The museum building itself is also very interesting. The Glass Museum is housed in a former bishop’s palace with grand frescoed ceilings and chandeliers dating back to the 18th century.

Tickets to the museum are 10 EUR ($10.50 USD) for adults and 7.50 EUR ($8 USD) for youths under the age of 26 and seniors aged 65 and older.

The Glass Museum is open every day from 10 AM until 5 PM from November through March, and from 10 AM until  6 PM from April through October.

A brown church with a rounded front on the edge of a canal, next to a tall clock tower.
Basilica di Santa Maria e San Donato, via Shutterstock

See the Basilica di Santa Maria e San Donato

Aside from glassmaking, Murano is also known for its beautiful churches. One of the best things to do in Murano is visit the Basilica di Santa Maria e San Donato.

This is one of the oldest churches in the Venetian islands dating all the way back to the 7th century. The church is well-known for its 12th-century Byzantine mosaic floors and the altar is said to hold the bones of a dragon slain by Saint Donatus of Euroea. And I love the gorgeous porticoes on the outside.

The basilica is free to enter and open to visitors every day of the week except Sunday.

A canal on Venice leading up to a tall brick clock tower.

Visit the other stunning churches 

There are several other beautiful churches worth a visit while you’re in Murano. One of these churches is Chiesa di San Pietro Martire. Dating back to the 16th century, this church is known for its religious paintings by famous artists like Tintoretto and Bellini inside.

Just across from Chiesa di San Pietro Martire, you’ll find Chiesa di Santo Stefano, which is not open to the public but has a beautiful bell tower that is one of the tallest structures in Murano.

In front of the church, there’s a massive blue blown glass sculpture from the local glass master Simone Cenedese.

If you’re not tired of seeing churches yet, Chiesa di Santa Maria degli Angeli is another pretty church in Murano that you can stop inside and visit.

A palace on the edge of a canal in Venice covered with gold and mosaics, next to a tall gold tower.
You’ll know Palazzo da Lula from the moment you see it! Via Bayhu19 on Shutterstock.

Palazzo da Mula

Palazzo da Mula is an elegant villa located on Murano’s own Grand Canal — and you will notice it immediately for its ornate gold and mosaic exterior!

The palazzo is one of the last grand Gothic villas built in Murano in the 16th and 17th centuries. Now, Palazzo da Mula houses a cultural center and a small free museum about the history of civilization on the Venetian lagoon.

It’s open every day from 10:30 AM until 5 PM and guided tours are available in English.

If you’re visiting in December, you can also see the world’s largest Christmas tree made out of blown glass outside the Palazzo da Mula!

Tubs of well-made ice cream, including a traditional biscuit flavor.

Have gelato at Murano Gelateria Artigianale

If you’re up for a gelato after exploring a bit of Murano, stop for a treat at Murano Gelateria Artiginale. This is some of my favorite gelato I’ve had in all of Italy, not just Venice. It’s well worth a stop while you’re in Murano. I loved their salted pistachio gelato.

Run by a brother-sister duo, this delicious gelato shop offers more than 60+ artisanal flavors including local specialties like BussolĂ  Buranello (shortbread cookies from the nearby island of Burano) and Sant’Erasmo Fig.

A big red restaurant building perched on a canal in Venice.
There are plenty of places to stop for a meal in Murano.

Enjoy a meal in Murano

Have some extra time in Murano? Why not stop at a local restaurant for lunch before you return back to Venice? Although it’s a small island, there are plenty of places where you can stop for a relaxing meal in Murano.

For a quick bite to eat, Osteria ai Cacciatori is a popular spot with locals and tourists alike thanks to its affordably-priced toasted sandwiches and drinks.

Ristorante La Fornace is a fancier spot located right on the lagoon with lots of fresh local seafood and Venetian dishes if you’re looking for a nice sit-down meal.

A canal in Venice lined with covered speedboats.

How Long Do You Need in Murano?

Murano is perfect for a half-day trip from Venice. You only need a few hours to see the major sights. Of course, you can spend longer in Murano if you’d like, but if you’re short on time, it’s doable as a short morning trip from Venice.

I think the best time to visit Murano is in the morning, before the day trip crowds arrive. And most of the glass factories close in the late afternoon, but if you do stick around until the evening, Murano has a totally different atmosphere once all the day trippers are gone.

If you also want to visit Burano, you should allow for a full morning and afternoon to see both islands before heading back to Venice.

You can even stay overnight in Murano if you want to! You’ll get to see a side of the island most visitors never see.

Murano's large Grand Canal, speedboats moving through it.
It’s an easy journey from Murano to Venice.

How To Get To Murano Island from Venice

Getting to Murano from Venice is pretty straightforward. The cheapest way to get to Murano is on the vaporetto (water bus.)

You’ll want to take the 4.1, 4.2, or 13 vaporetto from the Fondamente Nove stop, which is located on the north side of Venice. Fondamente Nove is about a 20-minute walk from St. Mark’s Square in Venice.

From Fondamente Nove, it’s just a 10-minute vaporetto ride to Murano. The vaporettos run every 15 minutes or so.

It’s possible to take the 4.1 or 4.2 vaporetto from the San Zaccaria stop which is right by St. Mark’s Square, but then you’re looking at a 40-minute vaporetto ride because you’ll be making stops all around the island. That’s why it’s actually faster to walk to Fondamente Nove and just take the vaporetto from there.

You can buy single tickets for the vaporetto for 9.50 EUR ($10 USD) or day tickets with unlimited travel for 24 hours for 25 EUR ($26.50 USD). There are also multi-day passes, which I recommend if you’re spending a few days in a row in Venice.

You can also get to Murano by private boat from Venice. The Murano and Burano tour from Walks includes transportation to both islands by private boat from Venice. A tour is a great way to visit both islands on the same day.

Another option is taking a water taxi to Murano, but this is the most expensive option. You’ll pay at least 60 EUR ($64 USD) each way, and you’ll only get to visit one island.

A clock tower next to a small bridge over the canal in Murano.

Where To Stay on Murano Island

Where should you stay in Murano? Murano is a popular day trip destination, but it doesn’t have as many overnight visitors — most people stay in Venice.

However, if you’re looking for a unique place to stay, there are several hotels and apartment rentals for tourists in Murano. Staying in Murano will allow you to enjoy how quiet it is in the evenings after the day trippers have left. And you’ll get to rub elbows with all the glass artists!

These are the best hotels and apartment rentals in Murano:

  • Top-Rated Luxury Hotel in Murano: If you’re looking for a luxury hotel in Murano, NH Collection Murano Villa is a great option. This elegant hotel is located just a few minutes from the vaporetto stop in Murano.
  • Top-Rated Mid-Range Apartment in Murano: This canal-view studio apartment in Murano is the perfect place to stay if you want to have some extra space and your own private kitchen. The apartment overlooks Murano’s main church and canals.
  • Top-Rated Mid-Range Apartment in Murano: Another option for a vacation rental in Murano is this two-bedroom apartment. It’s comfortable, well-equipped, and has a central location in Murano.
  • Check out prices on all accommodation options in Murano.
A long row of peach, red, and yellow houses perched on a canal in Venice.

Is Murano, Italy, Worth Visiting?

Is Murano Island worth visiting? Yes, it’s a must on a trip to Venice! Learning about the art of glassmaking in Murano is a unique experience you shouldn’t skip.

Murano is close enough to Venice that you can easily visit for just a few hours during the morning before returning to the city. Or you can combine it with Burano, another charming island in the Venetian Lagoon, for a longer day trip.

I hope you have the best time on Murano Island!

More on Venice:

Planning a Trip to Italy:

More Cool Places in Northern Italy:

Best of Southern Italy:

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.