Home Lifestyle This popular European city is about to get more expensive to visit

This popular European city is about to get more expensive to visit

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It’s worth budgeting for this extra tax (Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

If you’re planning on jetting off to Barcelona this summer, you’re break is about to get a little more expensive.

The popular Spanish city has become the latest European hotspot to introduce new charges.

Starting in just a few days, the tourist tax, which was first introduced in 2012, will rise once again.

How much is Barcelona’s tourist tax right now?

Barcelona’s visitors have to pay both the tourist tax and the city’s surcharge, which are both daily fees. The tourist tax depends on the type of accommodation you stay in and the city’s surcharge is currently €2.75 per day until the end of March 2024.

For example, if you’re in a four-star hotel you can expect to pay €1.70 in tourist tax (£1.46), for rentals like Airbnb it will be €2.25 (£1.93) and for five-star hotels and luxury locations it’s €3.50 (£3).

Tourists will have to pay more when staying here (Picture: Getty Images)

Cruise ship passengers who spend less than 12 hours in the city pay €3, but those planning to stay for more than 12 hours pay €2. 

How much will Barcelona’s tourist tax be from April 2024?

From 1 April 2024, the city is increasing its surcharge, which applies to a maximum seven-night stay.

It has already increased in the past year, rising from €1.75 (£1.50) to €2.75 (£2.36) for all types of stay in April 2023. The new change means visitors will pay €3.25 (£2.79).

The Spanish government approved plans to increase the tax to up to €4, so there may be another increase next year.

How will the new tourist tax prices impact accommodation prices?

The surcharge hike will have a knock on effect on accommodation prices.

Now that guests will have to part ways with €3.25 for the tax, a stay in a five-star hotel will now cost €6.75 (£5.79) per night when factoring in the new surcharge and the accommodation-specific tax, which adds up to €47.25 (£40.51) per person to stay for the week.



Accommodation prices for a week-long stay in Barcelona per person

  • Five-star hotel – €47.25 (£40.51)
  • Four-star hotel – €34.65 (£29.71)
  • Airbnbs/rentals – €38.50 (£33.01)

The sum are paid to Barcelona’s Generalitat (the local government) and the city council. The mayor’s office said in January 2023 it was introducing the tax hikes to encourage ‘quality’ tourism over big numbers.

Barcelona is just one European city that has become a victim of its own success. Overtourism is one of the key concerns for the future after 12 million holidaymakers touched down in the city last year, according to the Tourism Observatory of Barcelona via Catalan News.

The fees will be used to improve the city’s infrastructure, such as more buses, upgrading the roads and new escalators and elevators. 

Barcelona is Spain’s most visited city (Credits: Getty Images)

Barcelona’s tax increase comes after another one of Spain’s most popular tourist spots – Seville – announced plans to crack down on holidaymakers by charging for visits to a popular attraction.

There will be a fee for tourists to enter one the picturesque Plaza de Espana.

The Plaza is a sprawling palace-like complex, surrounded by a moat, visited by thousands of tourists every day.

However, access by one of its four bridges will soon come with a charge, though it’s yet to be announced how much this will be.

José Luis Sanz, the mayor of Seville, announced the fee on X (formerly Twitter), saying the money will go towards ensuring the safety of the Plaza and its conservation.

Visiting the Plaza de Espana will soon cost you (Picture: Getty Images)

Many other must-see tourist locations have already introduced charges, with Venice set to introduce the Venice Access Fee of €5 from April 25, to anyone visiting the city just for the day.

This is to protect the historic vista from damage by tourists, after narrowly avoiding being added to the UNESCO endangered site list last year.

In an effort to combat tourists going to ‘find themselves’, Bali has introduced a tax of 150,000 rupiah (£7.70 or US $10). Indonesian authorities say the tax will go towards protecting Bali’s beautiful culture and environment.

This comes after tourists were accused of disrespecting the ancient island, like the woman who was deported in April 2023 after posing nude next to a 700-year-old sacred tree at Bali’s Tabanan temple. 

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