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


Updated on 08 June 2017

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

New tourism taxes in 2016

A new Sustainable Tourist Tax is being introduced for visitors to Spain’s Balearic Islands, which includes destinations like Ibiza and Majorca, from 1st July.

The charge applies to each holidaymaker aged 16 or over and the money raised from the tax will go towards the protection of resources on the islands.

The cost of the new ‘eco tax’ will vary depending on the hotel’s star rating.

Hotels with a one to three-star rating will attract a €1 (79p) charge for four -and five-star hotels will attract a €2 (£1.58) levy per person per day, though the tax is halved for stays of nine nights or more.

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Those that have already paid for their holidays in advance will be forced to pay the fee if their holiday starts on or after 1st July.

So a family of four travelling to Majorca staying for a fortnight in a four-star hotel can expect to pay over £70.

Malta will also adopt a ‘tourist tax’ from 1st June. Visitors over the age of 18 will have to pay €0.50 (40p) per night capped at €5.

But the Balearic Islands and Malta aren’t the first to adopt tourist taxes.

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.

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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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 €0.15 (12p) to €2.18 (£1.72) per person per night.

Children under 15 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 (£1.89) per person, per night for stays in hotels or €0.53 (42p) for campsites and camper van sites. Accommodation that falls under the Tourism for Everyone decree and children under 12 years of age are exempt from the tax.

If you are staying in Bruges there is a tourism tax of €2 (£1.58) per person, per night.This applies to all tourist accomodation like hotels, guest houses and hostels.

Ghent has a City Tax of €2.50 (£1.95) per person, per night. Some hotels include the levy in the room rate but other will break out the cost and charge it as a supplement.

In Brussels there is a City Tax which is charged per room, per year 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 €7.50 (£5.86) 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 0.98 Bulgarian (BGN) Lev (39p) to around 3 BGN Lev (£1.20).

The Sofia Hilton for example charges 1.31 BGN Lev (52p) 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 charges a resort fee of 15.68 BGN Lev (£6.27) per person per stay.

Croatia

In Croatia, holidaymakers over 18 have to pay a ‘Sojourn Tax’ which ranges from 2kn (21p) to and 7kn (73p) per person, per night depending on the category of the accommodation and season.

There is a 50% discount for those between the ages of 12 and 18. 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.

 

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 €0.20 to €4 per person, per night. You can see how the prices breakdown on the service-public.fr website under Grille tarifare.

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 is Germany.

The taxes range from €0.25 to €5 per person, per night or 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. However, business travellers are exempt from the tax.

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

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 €3 (£2.38) and €7 (£5.54) 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 expertoitaly.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 in nearly all the 421 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 nothing.

For example, in popular tourist hotspot Amsterdam there is a 5% City Tax based on the room price.

You can find more detailed information on the Cijfer Nieuws website, which has a summary page with a link to each province.

Portugal

Since January 2016 visitors to the Portuguese capital of Lisbon have to pay a Municipal Tourist Tax of €1 (79p) 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.

Romania

The Romanian tourist accommodation tax 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 ranges from €0.60 (48p) and €1.25 (99p) per person, per night but varies on location and hotel grade.

In the capital Llubljana there is a daily tourist tax of between €0.62 (49p) and €1.25 (99p) according to the ETOA, whilst in Vaneča, Fokovci, Vino and Moravske Toplice the tax is currently €1.01 (80p) per person, per night for adults. 

The reduced prices for children can also vary. Generally, children under seven are exempt, while children aged between seven and 18 are charged at half the rate.

Spain

Apart from the planned 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 (36p) and €2.25 (£1.78) per person, per night, for the first seven nights, which depends on 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

€ 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.

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.

However, 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) per person per night.

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