Barcelona is increasing its tourist tax next week - here’s how much you’ll have to pay from April

Barcelona is increasing its tourist tax next week - here’s how much you’ll have to pay from April

Barcelona’s tourist tax is set to rise once again on 1 April.

Since 2012, the visitor hotspot has added an extra fee on top of the region-wide tourist tax.

In 2022, city authorities announced that the fee would be increased over the next two years.

The city’s surcharge varies depending on the type of visitor accommodation and is only levied on official tourist lodging.

Barcelona is Spain’s most visited city and continues to struggle with overtourism.

How much is Barcelona’s tourist tax?

Visitors to Barcelona have to pay both the regional tourist tax and the city-wide surcharge.

The regional tax varies depending on the type of accommodation you are staying in. For four-star hotels it is €1.70, for rental accommodation like Airbnb it is €2.25, and for five-star and luxury hotels it is €3.50.

Cruise passengers spending less than 12 hours in the city pay €3 to the region, while those spending more than 12 hours pay €2.

The city tax, which applies to a maximum seven-night stay, has been steadily increasing. In April 2023, it rose from €1.75 to €2.75 for all types of stay. From April 2024, it will increase once again to €3.25.

What does that mean for accommodation prices in Barcelona in 2024?

As of 1 April 2024, visitors to Barcelona will have to pay €3.25 to the city on top of the regional tourist tax - an increase of €0.50 per night.

That means guests in five-star accommodation will pay a total of €6.75 per night - €47.25 per person for a week’s stay.

In rental accommodation, the fees add up to €5.50 per night or €38.50 for a week-long stay, on top of the nightly cost of the accommodation.

Cruise day-trippers will pay €6.25. The idea behind this is to encourage “quality” tourism over big numbers, according to the city mayor.

Why does Barcelona have a tourist tax?

Barcelona’s authorities have said the increased tourist tax aims to attract ‘quality’ tourism over big visitor numbers.

The city sees an average of 32 million visitors a year, many of whom arrive on cruise ships.

In 2022, the Catalan capital launched new measures to curb disruption from guided tours including noise restrictions and one-way systems.

The hike in the tourist tax, which is divided between Barcelona’s Generalitat and the City Council, will also bolster the city’s budget.

Authorities hope the fee will bring in as much as €100 million in 2024.

“The economic data for tourism in 2019 is already increasing, not in the number of tourists, but in the amount of income from tourism in Barcelona,” deputy mayor Jaume Collboni said.

“It was the objective sought: to contain the number of tourists and increase tourist income because our model is no longer mass tourism but quality tourism, which adds value to the city.”

The council said the proceeds would be used to fund the city’s infrastructure, including improvements to roads, bus services and escalators.

What other Spanish cities have a tourist tax?

Barcelona isn’t the only tourist hot spot in Spain taxing visitors to cope with their impact.

The Balearic Islands (Mallorca, Menorca, Ibiza, Formentera), charges a nightly fee of €1-4 for each holidaymaker aged 16. Known as the Sustainable Tourism Tax, it is used to promote better tourism practices and conserve the islands’ nature.

Valencia planned to introduce a similar measure at the end of last year, but it was scrapped following the 2023 elections. It would have seen travellers pay between 50 cents and €2 per night for up to seven nights.