Catalonia Tourist Tax Explained

The autonomous Spanish community of Catalonia including the city of Barcelona and the popular tourist destination Costa Brava, started to levy a tourist tax on November 1, 2012 under the terms of a bill approved in March 2012. However, the tourism tax has recently increased for the holiday rentals accommodations.

The Catalonia Tourist Tax applies to any hostelry facility i.e. hotel or self-catering accommodation, hostels, campsites and even cruise ships.

Tourist apartments and privately rented properties for tourism purposes are subject to the charges as well.

When it was introduced, the Catalan Government expected the tax to raise €180million per year. The tax fees are used to finance the newly founded Tourism Development Fund, to be split between the Catalan Tourism Agency, local tourism boards and town halls.

The tourist tax daily rate ranges from € 0.45 to € 2.25 per person.

There is a maximum charge limit of 7 days.

The tourist tax is subject to a 10% VAT (Value Added Tax; Spanish: IVA; Catalan: L’IVA) charge. (For example: 0.45 cents + 10% = rounded up to .50 cents)

Children under 17 will not be charged. Other exemptions include people participating in an EU social program. 

As per EU regulations, Catalonian residents must also pay this tourist tax when staying in holiday accommodation in the region.

As indicated in the chart below, the amount depends on the type of accommodation you are staying in:

Catalonia Tourist Tax Daily Rate (max 7 days)

Type of Accommodation
Barcelona City   Rest of Catalonia
5* Hotel, luxury hotel, cruise ships (+12 h in the city)2.25€/day2.25€/day
4* star superior, 4* hotel 1.10€/day0.90€/day
Holiday Rentals2.25€/day0.90€/day
Campsite, hostels, Campsite, Others0.65€/day0.45€/day


Catalonia is one of only a few parts of Europe where there is strong "sun and beach tourism" to have a tax. The Balearic Islands introduced a tourism tax scheme in July 2016. Croatia has something similar, for example. Elsewhere in Spain, Andalusia, the Canaries, the Madrid Community have all ruled out a tax. Valencia is thinking about it. 

The rest of Spain, and other Mediterranean nations, will be watching closely how holidaymakers respond to the Catalonia tourist tax and the newly implemented Balearics eco tourism tax.