Whether you’re planning a summer getaway to Costa Brava or one of the paradisiacal beaches of the Balearic Islands, or you’re considering getting to know some of the European capital cities, you’ll probably want to find out if you’ll have to pay a tourist tax. At Destinia, we’ve made it easy for you by compiling a list of the major ones with updated info of 2018.
[Have a look to the infographic at the end of the article]
The Catalonian Government has kept the rate of its tourist tax the same as it was last year. There are two different main categories, depending on whether you’re staying in the city of Barcelona or some other part of Catalonia. Within these categories, the regional government applies different rates according to the type of lodging, so the tourist tax in Barcelona ranges from €0.65 per person, per day for a stay in an establishment that’s neither a hotel nor a tourist flat to €2.25 per person, per day for lodging in a five-star hotel or luxury campground. If the chosen destination lies outside of Barcelona, the rate will vary from €0.45 to €2.25. However, the law establishes that this payment only applies to the first seven days.
If you think that you can get around these fees by using Airbnb or some other holiday rental platform, you’d better think again. You’ll still pay €2.25 per person, per day in Barcelona and €0.90 per person, per day outside of Barcelona. And the same applies to cruises. Cruise ships pay a fee when they’re docked in a port in the Catalonian territory, at a rate depending on whether the ship is docked for less than 12 hours or more than 12 hours.
One thing that’s new for 2018 is that the payment exemption has been extended to include children under 17 (the age limit was previously 16). Some of the exemptions that have remained in effect are those for travellers on social programs sponsored by the Public Administration (such as IMSERSO) and those for travel due to Force Majeure or for health reasons.
In 2016, the Balearic Islands implemented a tourist tax, commonly known as the “ecotax”, and this year they have given the screw another turn, doubling the amount of the tax and changing the way in which it is applied. Consequently, tourists now pay between €2 and €4 per hotel establishment, depending on the category, and the same applies to tourist flats. They’ll also pay €4 for non-residential lodging establishments offered by residential tourist companies, €2 for holiday homes, €1 for hostels, boarding houses and campgrounds, €2 for other tourist establishments or housing and €2 for cruises.
For 2018, the Balearic Government has established a 75 percent reduction if the stay is during the off season, which runs from 1 November to 30 April, as well as a 50 percent reduction starting on the ninth day.
Travelling to Europe also has its price. Tourist taxes or city taxes apply to more destinations than you might think. Here are some of the main ones:
For 2018, the tax on the price of a room has been increased from five to six percent.
The tourist tax is the same as it was last year: five percent on top of the net price of the room, not including VAT and any fees for other services (amenities, mini-bar, etc.). This tax applies for a maximum of 21 days.
A municipal tax has been in effect in most Belgian cities since 2017. In Brussels, this amounts to €4 per lodging unit (per room, regardless of the number of occupants), €3 in the case of Airbnb and campgrounds.
The tourist tax, generally ranging from €1 to €2 per person, per night, hasn’t changed since last year and varies according to the district. Tourists who choose to stay in the city centre will pay four percent on top of the price of lodging.
Just like last year, they charge €1 per day for a maximum of seven consecutive days. There’s no charge for children under 13.
The second most important city in Portugal introduced a municipal tourist tax in 2018. They charge €2 per night, per person—excluding children under 13—for a maximum of seven consecutive nights.
There’s an exemption in the case of visits for purposes of medical treatment, as well as for guests with a disability of 60 percent or greater.
Not much has changed since last year. They charge anywhere from €0.22 per person, per night for basic campgrounds to €4.40 per person, per night to stay in a palace. The fee for staying at a hotel ranges from €0.99 (previously €0.83) to €3.30, depending on the number of stars.
There’s no charge for children under 18.
The Eternal City imposes a tourist tax ranging from €2 per person, per day for lodging at a campground to €7 if you choose to stay at a five-star hotel (see the full range of the city tax in the infographic).
This city has been charging a fee since the year 2012. Depending on the number of stars the hotel has, a tourist will pay a tax ranging from €2 to €5 per night. Non-hotel tourist lodgings (holiday homes and flats, B&Bs, etc.) charge €3, while youth hostels, outdoor lodgings and other similar establishments charge €2.
The main exemptions are for children under 18, disabled persons, family members and caregivers of hospitalised patients and people under age 30 who are staying at youth hostels for social, cultural or educational purposes.
The city of canals approved a new tourist tax, which went into effect in January of this year. The Venetian authorities calculate the amount depending on several factors, including the season (the whole year except January is considered the peak season), the three major areas of the city (the Historic Quarter, the islands in the lagoon and the Lido, and the continental part), and the type of establishment. To stay in a hotel in Venice city centre, you’ll pay between €1 and €5 during the peak season, depending on the category of the establishment.
There’s no charge for children under 10, and children between 10 and 16 get a 50 percent discount. Disabled persons and those providing care to the sick are also exempt from payment.
The capital of Austria has also implemented a city tax, equivalent to 3.2 percent of the price of lodging.
Lodging in the capital of the Czech Republic isn’t free, either. The local government charges approximately €0.5 per person, per night.
For now, the city has resisted charging a tourist tax, but last year, there was widespread speculation in the British media as to whether Mayor Sadiq Khan would end up introducing a fee of £2.5 per night. Will it come to pass?
With the goal of minimising the impact of CO₂ emissions, in April, they began applying a fee of €39 for every airplane passenger who departs from a Swiss airport.