Tourist tax in Europe: what you will pay in Spain, Italy and other hotspots


Updated on 20 November 2019

Tourist taxes are becoming increasingly commonplace. Find out what costs you are likely to be hit with on your next European holiday.

Venice tourist tax to rise in 2020

Flood-hit Venice is planning to charge tourists up to €10 each as a way to manage chronic overcrowding.

The charge is proposed to start from 1 July 2020, although it has yet to be formally approved.

The tourist tax will vary from €3 to €10 per day, depending on whether someone visits during the low, high or peak season.

It is in addition to Italy's existing tourist tax which is paid at the hotel (see below).

Almost two-thirds of visitors to Venice are day-trippers, many from cruises, and contribute little economically to the city, despite producing huge amounts of rubbish and disruption.

Lots of other popular European destinations have taken to charging tourists a little extra.

Often even though you’ve already paid for your holiday, you will be asked to hand over extra cash when you arrive at your hotel or when you check out.

We’ve taken a look at what tourist tax you will be hit with for a range of popular European holiday destinations.

The piece uses information from the European Tour Operators Association (ETOA).

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Venice is introducing a tourist tax (image: Shutterstock)

Austria

In Austria, tourists have to pay an overnight accommodation tax (including in caravans and campsites), which is charged according to the province you are staying in.

The tourism levy, which can go by many names, (Tourismusgesetz and Beherbergungsbeiträge are just two), currently ranges from €0.36 to 3.2% of the hotel cost per person per night in Vienna.

Children under 15 (and sometimes 14) are exempt from the tax.

Belgium

In Belgium, there are a range of tourism taxes to watch out for, which vary by city.

In Antwerp, there is a fixed rate of €2.39 (£2.06) per person, per night for stays in hotels.

Accommodation that falls under the Tourism for Everyone decree and children under 18 years of age are exempt from the tax – except in Bruges and Ghent where under 12s are exempt.

If you are staying in Bruges, there is a tourism tax of €2.12 (£1.82) per person, per night. This applies to all tourist accommodation, including hotels, guest houses and hostels.

Ghent has a City Tax of €3 (£2.58) per person, per night. Some hotels include the levy in the room rate, but others may break out the cost and charge it as a supplement.

In Brussels, there is a City Tax which is charged per room, per night according to the borough, hotel size and hotel classification. The ETOA attempts to tabulate the charges here.

At the Brussels Novotel, for example, you will be charged €4.25 (£3.66) per room, per night due to a City Tax and €4.25 (£3.66) for a tourism fee, per room, per night.

Bulgaria

Bulgaria levies a City Tax or a Resort Tax on visitors, which varies by area and hotel classification.

The City Tax is charged per person, per night which ranges from 0.2 Bulgarian (BGN) Lev (8p) to around 1.4 BGN Lev (62p).

For example, the Sofia Hilton has charged 1.31 BGN Lev (58p) per person, per night.

The Resort Tax is applied in some areas like Litoral, which is charged on a per person, per stay rather than per person, per night basis.

For example, the Holiday Village Rusalka has charged a resort fee of 15.68 BGN Lev (£6.90) per person per stay.

Croatia

In Croatia, holidaymakers over 18 have to pay a ‘Sojourn Tax’ which tends to be around 10kn (£1.16) per person, per night although this depends on the category of the accommodation and season.

There is a 50% discount for those between the ages of 12 and 18, while children under 12 are exempt from the tax.

Each town or city falls into one of four categories A-D. Dubrovnik, for example, is in category A.

If you know the category of your hotel, the ETOA has set out what you are likely to be charged, which you can see in the table below (correct as of 10 April 2019).

 

Early season

High season

Low season

Late season

Category "A"

5.50 kn

7.00 kn

4.50 kn

5.50 kn

 Category "B"

4.50 kn

6.00 kn

3.50 kn

4.50 kn

 Category "C"

3.50 kn

5.00 kn

2.50 kn

3.50 kn

 Category "D"

2.40 kn

4.00 kn

2.00 kn

2.40 kn

Source: ETOA

France

In France, there is ‘Taxe de Sejour’ or tourist tax, which is charged per person, per night and varies according to the quality and standard of the accommodation.

The rates range from €0.50 (43p) to €4 (£3.45) per person, per night. You can see how the prices breakdown on the service-public.fr website.

Paris charges an extra 15% on the tax, meaning you'll pay between €0.23 (20p) and €4.60 (£4).

Children under 18 are exempt from the tax.

Germany

Kulturförderabgabe (Culture Tax) or Bettensteuer (Bed Tax) are some of the terms used for tourist taxes in Germany.

The taxes range from €0.50 (43p) to €4 (£3.45) per person, per night or 7.5% of the room bill depending on the type of accommodation, room rate and location.

In Berlin, for example, you will be charged 5% of the room rate and the tax is capped at 21 successive days although business travellers are exempt from the tax.

Munich, however, does not have a tourist tax.

The ETOA has collated details on cities which currently charge a tourist tax and the cities that have plans to introduce one, which you can see here.

Greece

At the start of 2018, Greece introduced a tourist tax, the first time one had been levied.

You'll be asked to pay the tax when you check in to your accommodation and you can pay it by cash or card.

The cost is €0.50 (43p) per person per day for those in one to two-star hotels, going up to €1.50 (£1.29) in three-star hotels, €3 (£2.59) in four-star hotels and €4 (£3.45) in five-star hotels.

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Hungary

Visiting Budapest? You'll usually have to pay an extra 4% of the price of your room per night.

Italy

In Italy, tourists have to pay a tax called Tassa di soggiorno.

The charge varies from city to city, will depend on a hotel’s star rating and is levied on a set number of nights and there are usually exemptions for children.

In Rome, for example, you can expect to pay between €3 (£2.58) and €7 (£6) per person per day for up to 10 days of your stay. Children under 10 are exempt from the tax.

A table with a breakdown of the current taxes in popular cities can be found on italyvacations.com.

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Netherlands

In the Netherlands, visitors get charged a tourist accommodation tax called Toeristenbelasting.

It's charged per person, per night by over 400 municipalities according to the ETOA but can vary according to hotel grade and accommodation type.

The rest either charge a percentage, which can also vary by hotel star rating or type of accommodation, or they can charge nothing.

For example, in popular tourist hotspot Amsterdam there is a 7% City Tax based on the room price.

Portugal

Since January 2016, visitors to the Portuguese capital of Lisbon have to pay a Municipal Tourist Tax, which is currently €2 (£1.72) per person, per night.

Children under 13 are exempt from the overnight tax and it only applies to the first seven days of your stay.

In March 2018, Porto introduced a €2 (£1.72) tax per person per night, while the Algarve region has approved a tourist tax according to reports but there’s no clear indication when this would come into force.

Romania

The Romanian tourist accommodation tax is called taxa hoteliera locala.

It has been standardised to 1% and is charged against the total value of the accommodation for each night. However, if the accommodation is in a tourist resort, the tax is for the first night only.

Tourists under the age of 18 are exempt.

Slovenia

Slovenia also charges a tourist tax, which varies nationwide but is capped at €2.50 (£2.15) per person, per night but varies on location and hotel grade.

Taxes in the capital Ljubljana and resort town Bled are €3.13 (£2.69) per person per night, including a €0.63 promotion tax, according to the ETOA. 

The reduced prices for children can also vary.

Generally, children under seven are exempt, while children aged between seven and 17 are charged at half the rate.

Spain

If you're heading to Ibiza or Majorca, you'll be hit with a higher tourist tax since 2017.

The Sustainable Tourist Tax, which applies to holiday accommodation on Spain’s Balearic Islands (Mallorca, Menorca, Ibiza, Formentera), applies to each holidaymaker aged 16 or over.

During high season, those staying in luxury hotels pay €4 a per person, per day (£3.44 at the time of writing), €3 (£2.58) for mid-range hotels and €2 (£1.72) for apartments and cruise ship visitors ­– even if you don't stay on the islands – and €1 (86p) for campers and hostels.

Prices are up to 75% lower if you're travelling from November to April and the tax drops by 50% after your eighth night on the island.

The money raised from the 'eco tax' will go towards the protection of resources on the islands.

Even if you've already booked your holiday the tax will apply, with a family of two adults and two children under 16 paying around €70 (£60) for a fortnight in a four-star hotel.

Apart from the planned increase in the tourist tax for the Balearic Islands, Spain also charges people visiting the Catalonia region, a tasa turistica.

You will have to pay between €0.45 (39p) and €2.25 (£1.94) per person, per night, for the first seven nights, which depends on the hotel category and whether you are staying in Barcelona. The table below sets out what you are likely to pay.

Type of establishment

Barcelona

Rest of Catalonia

Cruise ships, 5-star, luxury hotels or campsite

€ 2.25

€ 2.25

4-star, 4-star superior hotels

€ 1.10

€ 0.90

Camping, apartments, villas, others

€ 0.65

€ 0.45

Source: Costabravatouristguide.com

The tax is subject to VAT on top of the prices listed in the table. However, children under 16 are exempt.

The Canary Islands are considering introducing a tax but so far has yet to do so.

Switzerland

Anyone staying overnight in Switzerland has to pay a tourist tax.

According to the ETOA, it is charged per person, per night and varies by town and in some cases by type of accommodation.

It is made up of two elements the Beherbergungsabgabe (BA tax) and Kurtaxe

The BA tax goes towards paying for tourism advertising and maintaining infrastructure in regions, but the Kurtaxe is used to improve the tourism experience for visitors.

As each canton in Switzerland determines how to set the taxes, there can be further variations. Generally, you can expect to pay around 2.5CHF (Swiss Francs - approximately £2) per person, per night.

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