This popular European city is the latest to increase its tourist tax to battle overtourism

Barcelona is the latest European city to increase its city-wide tourist tax, a slight increase of €0.50 (about $0.53) per night, as the city seeks to curb overtourism.

The new price of €3.25 (about $3.45) was implemented on April 1 as part of the Stays in Tourist Establishments Tax. The bylaw was introduced in 2021, when the tourist tax was €0.75 (around $0.80) per night, and gradually increased the tax each year through 2024. Now, if someone is staying in Barcelona for seven nights, the new total tax amount will be €22.75 (around $24).

“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,” deputy mayor Jaume Collboni said in March, according to Euronews.

The tax is added to a tourist’s accommodations bill when they stay at official tourist establishments in the city. The money goes toward enhancing the city’s infrastructure, such as improving roads.

Other popular European destinations, such as Amsterdam and Venice, also recently increased tourist taxes for similar reasons.

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“The new and increasing tourist fees across Europe allow cities to fund measures to attract more vacationers, support the local infrastructure and businesses, as well as preventing damages from overtourism,” Tiffany Mealiff, a travel insurance expert at Quotezone, said in a statement to USA TODAY.

However, Barcelona visitors have had to pay a regional tourist tax since 2012, according to Euronews. This tax amount depends on a traveler’s accommodation type, costing more if someone is staying at a luxury hotel than an Airbnb.

Barcelona continues to reign as Spain’s most popular tourist destination. In 2022, Barcelona welcomed 9.7 million tourists, just slightly below pre-pandemic levels in 2019, according to the Barcelona City Council. However, tourists were found to be staying in the city longer than in 2019.

In 2022, the city also sought to cap the number of people in a tour group and ban megaphones by tour guides in an effort to curb the disruptive effects of overtourism.

Travelers planning their European getaway should be mindful of the additional costs that “are often not obvious beforehand,” according to Mealiff, as they plan their trip budgets.

Kathleen Wong is a travel reporter for USA TODAY based in Hawaii. You can reach her at

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: What travelers should know about Barcelona's tourist tax increase