Venice is surrounded by many smaller islands, and these provide wonderful day trips if you have time to fit them into your itinerary. Some of the most popular destinations are the islands of Murano and Burano, and you can visit both in one day using the public water buses (vaporetti).
Choose Murano if you like to watch artisans
The island of Murano is most well-known for its glass blowing factories. This island is best discovered by wandering, and provides many beautiful photo opportunities as you walk around and find glass blowing factories that are doing live demonstrations. You would want to make sure you check out the local square with its giant blown-glass sculpture as well as watching the demonstrations themselves.
But Burano has more local feel (great for photography)
The island of Burano is a little further away, and is a photographer’s dream. This island is characterized by its colourful, doll-like houses and picturesque walkways. If you are going to do both islands, it could be a good idea to get lunch on this island, as it is a real fisherman's village and some of the freshest seafood around! And the lace makers of Burano are legendary.
You can combine Burano and Torcello
If you only have time to visit one of the islands, Burano is probably the better choice. Murano can be a bit crowded and become a bit of a tourist trap if salesmen are trying to get you into demonstrations, so Burano would be a bit quieter. If you go to Burano for the day, it is also a short traghetto ride (find traghetto line 9) to the island of Torcello, which also offers a quiet, beautiful alternative to the crowds in Venice.
You can visit Murano and Burano in one day
Both islands can be reached by taking the same waterbus. Take the number 12 ferry from San Zaccaria stop (which is close to Saint Mark's Square). Murano will be the first stop on this ferry, and Burano should be the third. It is easy to go to the island of Murano for a few hours in the morning, then carry on to Burano for the afternoon, then simply catch the ferry straight back to Venice from Burano.
The islands of Murano and Burano can both be visited in one day, to get there, you need to take the vaporetto from Fondamenta Nove, line 12 leads directly to Burano. If you want to go first to Murano, where you can visit the craft shops of master glassmakers, the line to take is line 3, get off at Murano Faro and discover the island! From here the link to Burano is also active, famous for its lace and the characteristic houses painted in a thousand colors.