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The tourist tax in Costa Brava. Everything you need to know

Little has been mentioned about the Catalonia Tourist Tax, however it has come up more and more in recent months. Catalonia is one of the Costa Brava’s most popular tourist destinations, a tourist tax came into force 1 November 2012.

What is the Catalonia Tourist Tax?

Under the terms of this bill, the tax fees are used to finance the Tourism Development Fund, which promotes campaigns for tourism in Catalonia. The levy from this tax is used for tourism related infrastructure, which includes anything from the upkeep of the seaside boulevards to the rebuilding of beaches.

The Catalonia Tourist Tax applies to any property where a tourist will stay overnight including hotels and cruise ships to youth hostels and campsites.

Private houses and tourist apartments that are rented to tourists will also be subjected to these charges as well.

How much is the tax?

The amount of tax payable depends on the type of establishment you are staying in and whether you are staying in Barcelona or the rest of the country.

The government have said that for 96% of the tourists who visit Catalonia the tax payable will only add 1% to their total spending bill.

You’ll pay between € 0.45 to € 2.25 per person, per night — and only for the first seven nights.

Type of establishment Barcelona Rest of Catalonia
Cruise ships, 5 star, luxury hotels € 2.25 € 2.25
4 star, 4 star superior hotels € 1.10 € 0.90
Camping, apartments, villas, others € 0.65 € 0.45

Additional important information

  • The tourist tax is charged per person, per night
  • It is restricted to two people per room
  • The tax is charged only for the first seven nights of your stay
  • The tourist tax is subjected to 10% VAT
  • People aged 16 and younger will not be charged the tourist tax
  • Passengers of cruise ships that stay in Barcelona less than 12 hours are exempt from paying the tax

How is the tax billed?

If you have booked your Catalonia holiday through a third party, such as a travel agent, you should check that the tourist tax has been included in the total amount you paid.

Regardless of whether you have booked the hotel directly or via a third party, the hotel is obligated to provide an invoice that shows a complete breakdown of the amount of tax charged. (This doesn’t mean you may be charged twice. It simply means there must be a paper trail documenting that the tourist tax has been paid).

More information can be found here.