Right in the north of Venice , there are three further islands worth mentioning. The island of Murano, Burano and Torcello, in the order of distance from Venice and in the right sequel of their size (biggest to smallest).
Murano is the most known, world famous for its art and chandeliers made of glass, building on its centuries-old tradition. In Murano it is very inspiring to wander around and to visit the showrooms of the chandelier manufacturers. You can also visit one manufacturing hall on the island When strolling around, you will pass by some public glass art.
In contrast to Murano, Burano is much smaller and much brighter color-wise. The small houses are painted in very different colors shining brightly in the sun. Only from the color point of view it is worth visiting. Don’t miss to buy and try the local biscuit called Buranello. When visiting Burano, you should include a connecting visit to Torcello, as Burano is already some way towards Torcello. Plan with one full day for both islands.
The island of Torcello on the other side is unique regarding its history. It was the first island in the lagoon to be inhabited. Today, two churches do still exist and are very much worth to be visited. On the way from the pier to the churches, which is a very nice walk by the way, there is the restaurant Locanda Cipriani, which is praised very much in many travel guides. I have to say when we visited it was rather deserted and not inviting to stop by – so make up your own mind when you are there or leave a comment to this post with your impressions.
The islands are easily reachable by public transport on a continuous schedule. Only the island of Torcello is a little further away and takes some more time to be reached and some waiting time to depart, due to the little less frequent intervals of public boat transport.
Apart from the mentioned islands there are some more in the lagoon of Venice. Definitively worth highlighting is the Lido di Venezia. The Lido is the long stretched island guarding the lagoon towards the open Adriatic sea. By its character it is different to Venice, as you will encounter streets and cars and busses again, however in a very harmonic way and as there is a long sandy beach towards the Adriatic sea. The beach is very popular for the local inhabitants for Venice who want to get a break from the intense island live on weekends. On the lido, you will see very nice villas, a lot of green, a pedestrian zone, some canals and a superb view of Venice, especially against the sunset at dusk.