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European Holiday Tourist Tax: Here’s What You Need To Know

So you’ve booked a holiday to Europe - the flights are sorted, the hotel is awaiting your arrival, local currency has been purchased and you’re all good to go. However something that seems to be taking a lot of people by surprise is the various tourist taxes required at sun and city break destinations around the continent.

It’s a cost that needs to be factored into your travel plans, though with the final price different dependent on where you actually are, British tourists are left feeling confused as to how much they need to be putting aside for this obligatory charge.

Well, team icelolly.com are here to help answer some of your most pressing questions on the matter, as well as clarify the amount travellers will be expected to pay in some of the most popular holiday hotspots.

Why are holidaymakers being asked to pay a tourist tax?

The exact reason can differ from destination to destination, however the widespread answer to this question is that money raised helps to pay for the protection of resources, and the general upkeep of the local area.

This could include, for example, funding public safety, street cleaning, and other important communal benefits amongst many other things. Much like how we all pay council tax each year back on home soil to foot the bill for these sort of things.

Where and how do I pay the tax?

It’s usually taken at your accommodation, given the tax is charged based on how many nights you are visiting a particular country for. You’ll probably find that you’ll be asked for the total fee at the end of your stay when checking out but don’t worry, your hotelier will remind you that this is due.

It is probably a good idea to factor this into your holiday spending however, so you know you'll have enough money to handover when leaving.

Tourist Paying At Hotel Desk

Are there exemptions for children?

Again this differs from destination to destination, but some countries only charge adults to visit and others will offer a reduced rate.

How much do I need to pay at each destination in Europe?

Worry not, we’ve rounded up the total tax required at some of Europe’s most popular sun and city break destinations, so you know exactly how much you’ll be required to pay during any upcoming trips abroad...


Austria

How much is the tourist tax? It’s charged differently according to the province you are staying in, however the current maximum price is 3.02% of the total hotel cost per person, per night.

Anything else I need to know? Good news if you’re travelling with children – anyone under the age of 15 is exempt from the tax.

Belgium

How much is the tourist tax? Again, this varies from city to city as follows; Antwerp (€2.39), Bruges (€2), Ghent (€2.50), whilst in Brussels the cost is slightly more complicated and based on the number of rooms in your hotel. It’s best to ask them directly beforehand for a definitive answer!

Anything else I need to know? Under 12s are exempt from the tax.

Croatia

How much is the tourist tax? This ranges from 2kn (approx 24p) to 7kn (approx 83p) per person, per night depending on the category of the accommodation and season. Simply put, the higher the standard of your accommodation, the more you’ll pay, and the cost will also be increased during the peak holiday period and lower out of it.

Anything else I need to know? Children under 12 are exempt from the tax, whilst those between 12 and 18 benefit from a 50% discount.

France

How much is the tourist tax? Similar to Croatia, this depends on the standard of your accommodation and ranges from €0.20 to €4 per person, per night.

Anything else I need to know? Paris charges an extra 10%, meaning you’ll pay between €0.22 and €4.40 per person, per night.

Germany

How much is the tourist tax? Another slightly complicated one - the rate ranges from €0.50 to €5 per person, per night or 5% of the room bill, dependent on the type of accommodation and location.

Anything else I need to know? In capital city Berlin, the tax is capped at 21 successive days and business travellers are exempt altogether. Munich, meanwhile, does not have a tourist tax.

Greece

How much is the tourist tax? This again differs dependent on the type of accommodation you are in, ranging from €0.50 to €4.

Anything else I need to know? Check out this guide which rounds up everything you need to know about Greece’s overnight stay tax.

Italy

How much is the tourist tax? Once more, this varies from city to city and is based on the type of accommodation you are staying in, ranging from €0.80 to €7 per night.

Anything else I need to know? Disabled guests and their companion are often exempt, whilst children up to a certain age also won’t be expected to pay. Again, the exact age differs from city to city.

The Netherlands

How much is the tourist tax? Usually, a percentage is charged based on the hotel’s star rating or type of accommodation you are staying in. In Amsterdam for example, there is a 5.5% city tax based on the room price.

Anything else I need to know? Amsterdam plans to raise its tax to 7%, though an exact date for this is still TBC. Best to get your trip booked in sooner rather than later so you aren’t forced to pay the increased rate!

Portugal

How much is the tourist tax? Visitors to Lisbon will have to pay €1 per person, per night whilst the rate is increased to €2 in Porto.

Anything else I need to know? A tourist tax was also recently announced for Algarve holidays , though the exact amount is yet to be confirmed.

Spain

How much is the tourist tax? All you need to know about the Balearics tourist tax can be found here, whilst the Catalonia region charges between €0.45 and €2.25 per person, per night for the first seven nights of any visit, dependent on the hotel category and exact location.

Anything else I need to know? A VAT is also added to the price, however under 16s are completely exempt and capital city Madrid doesn’t charge any form of tourist tax.

Switzerland

How much is the tourist tax? Generally, you’ll be charged around 2.5CHF (approx £1.85) per person, per night.

Anything else I need to know? The tax is used partly for tourism advertising and infrastructure maintenance and partly to improve the tourism experience for visitors. However, each region determines how to set the taxes which can result in fluctuations of the total cost.

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Have we answered all of your tourist tax queries? Let us know if your next holiday destination isn’t covered in the above and we’ll do or best to find out for you!


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