Barcelona will charge tourists more to visit from October – here’s how much you’ll pay

The city has announced yet another measure to try and curb visitor numbers which it hopes will instead attract ‘quality tourism’

Liv Kelly
Written by
Liv Kelly
Contributing Writer
Ciutat de Barcelona
Foto: Shutterstock

Spain is set to take over France as the most-visited destination in the world within the next 15 years – but locals certainly aren’t taking the news lying down.

Barcelona, one of the country’s most popular cities, has announced a series of measures to clamp down on overtourism, including a full-on ban on holiday apartments. But the Catalan capital isn’t stopping there.

Despite only recently increasing its tourist tax from €2.75 to €3.25 on April 1, the city is already planning to increase the charge again. Come October, Barcelona’s tourist tax will go up to €4.

So how does the tax work, and when do you need to pay it? The first thing to know is that there are technically two taxes you need to pay if you’re visiting Barcelona.

The regional tourist tax is charged based on the type of accommodation you’re staying in. If you’re cooped up in a luxury hotel, that will cost you an extra €3.50 per night, whereas if you’re in an Airbnb, that’s just €2.25 (although you can wave goodbye to short-term holiday rentals come 2028). 

The city tax – which is the one set to increase in the autumn – is a flat rate that applies to those staying overnight in Barcelona, which is chargeable for up to seven nights. So, after October, if you’re staying in five-star accommodation for seven nights, you’ll pay a total of €52.50 (that’s €3.50 per night in regional tax, and €4 per night in city tax). 

The decision was made in a vote by the city council. Officials are hoping that the tax will increase ‘quality tourism’ over high visitor numbers, which are currently at around 32 million per year. 

The other plus is of course the extra cash. The increase in city tax is projected to raise annual income from €95 million to €115 million, and the proceeds are earmarked to go towards the city’s infrastructure: think road improvements and more bus services. 

While this might sound like a pretty speedy increase (Barcelona’s tax is one of the fastest rising in Europe), city authorities did warn us in 2022 that they planned to raise it over the following two-year period.

Want to know where else you’ll be forking out a small fortune to visit? Read our round-up of all the tourist taxes you need to know about here.  

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Plus: This country officially has the cleanest coastal water in Europe

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