The holiday destinations where you don't have to pay a tourist tax

Lake Como in Italy
The scenic shoreline of Lake Como in Italy -Credit:Wowcher

Tourist taxes have been introduced in some top holiday destinations. Italy’s Lake Como and Venice have become some of the first places to introduce a payment system upon entry.

Holidaymakers heading to Venice will be charged a €5 'entry fee'. Charges for visitors have increasingly been implemented, particularly following the Coronavirus pandemic.

Even tourists in the UK are subject to a tax. In Manchester, a tourist tax was introduced in April 2023.

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Visitors to Manchester are charged £1 per night in addition to their accommodation fees. In Cornwall, officials have said they are open to the idea of a tax - if one is also introduced in Devon.

It comes as Spanish holiday destinations - including the Canary Islands - have seen protests from locals in recent weeks over the rise in tourists. You could pay an extra £3 a night in parts of Spain, while there is a tourist tax of £12.80 a night in some areas of Paris.

Tourists in Austra pay an extra 3.2 per cent of their accommodation costs, reports travel brand Trtl. There are 4 per cent charges in parts of Hungary and five per cent in some areas of Germany.

There are also charges in parts of Bulgaria, Greece, Malaysia, Croatia and other destinations. Laura Evans-Fisk, head of digital engagement at eurochange said: "A tourist tax is a fee that is targeted at tourists, with the aim of combating over-tourism.

"They are usually paid on top of accommodation fees and are usually aimed at travellers staying for more than one night, but less than a large chunk of time, in which case they might need to apply for a visa to stay."

To help travellers curb any added costs, Laura has listed some European destinations which are exempt from the tourist tax:

Madrid, Spain

Madrid has not yet introduced a tourist tax. Laura said: "Unlike other major cities in Spain such as Barcelona, which recently increased its tourist tax to €3.25 (£2.78) a day, Madrid is yet to introduce a tourist tax. Surprising, especially as Madrid is the capital city of Spain.

"However, it still receives significantly fewer tourists than its Catalaunian counterpart, with 4.65 million tourists visiting Madrid each year1, still far less than Barcelona, which receives around 27 million tourists per year."

Tenerife, Spain

Tenerife is currently exempt from a tourist tax - but this could change. Laura said: "Unlike the popular Balearic islands (Majorca, Minorca, Ibiza, Formentera and Cabrera), Tenerife is exempt from the tourist tax.

"If you’re keen to experience that Spanish beach vibe on your holiday this year, but need to save the pennies, then Tenerife can be a great option. However, it will be a different story in 2025, as a new ‘eco-tax’ is set to be introduced in January next year in certain parts of the island.

"The tax will be introduced to make the island a ‘more sustainable and environmentally responsible space’. It’s not certain how much the tax will be yet, but it has been confirmed that it will only apply to tourists and not residents."

Finland, Denmark, and Sweden

There also is not a tax for tourists in Finland, Denmark and Sweden. Laura said: "Although they’re on the pricier end of the scale, destinations in Finland, Denmark and Sweden don’t apply a tourist tax.

"In fact, residents outside of the EU (including the UK) can actually get a refund on any tax that they spent on their visit to cities including Helsinki, Copenhagen and Stockholm. Just take any receipts to a tax refund kiosk at the airport you are travelling home from and complete a tax-free form, and you will receive the tax back on any items you purchased during your trip."