How many times have you found yourself travelling and, upon booking your accommodation, you are told you must pay a local tax? This situation is very common in several countries and tourists often do not get all the information about why they should pay this extra sum of money.
Catalonia was a pioneer in applying the tourist tax, which was approved for the first time in 2012. Since then, this tax has undergone several modifications. For this reason, if you are travelling through Barcelona or other regions of Catalonia, you will be interested to know a little more about this tax.
Here at AB Apartment Barcelona we want to make things easy for you, that’s why we bring you a complete guide to the different tourist taxes in Catalonia, so you don’t get any surprises on your vacation!
What is the tourist tax?
The tourist tax or Impuesto sobre las Estancias en Establecimiento Turísticos en Cataluña (IEET), is a regional tax that people who stay in regulated tourist accommodation must pay during their stay.
This tax is levied by the Government of Catalonia and is applied to tourists over 16 years of age who stay in a hotel or apartment in any area of Catalonia. However, this rate only applies to the first seven nights of the stay.
In addition, it must be taken into account that the same is not charged in each area of Catalonia. For example, Barcelona has its own rate, which varies depending on the type of establishment. However, a tourist establishment on the Costa Brava or on the outskirts of the Catalan capital does not have the same amount.
Who should pay this amount?
Any individual or legal entity that stays in any of the following types of tourist accommodation must pay the tourist tax: hotels, aparthotels, guesthouses, holiday apartments, campsites, rural tourism establishments and homes for tourist use.
This amount is calculated per person (over 16 years old) and per night, as long as it is in the same accommodation and for a continuous time. Therefore, those under 17 years of age, tourists travelling with programs subsidised by the public administration and people who are forced to travel for circumstances out of their control, are exempt from paying this fee.
How and when should the tourist tax be paid?
The total amount of tourist tax to be paid is not included in the final rental price. The guest must make the payment: before arrival, at the time of entry or before the end of the stay.In any case, the accommodation transfers the payment to the Generalitat de Catalunya.
For example, if you book with AB Apartment Barcelona, you should pay the amount of the fee before your arrival in Barcelona, at the time of online check-in. We would transfer the payment to the Generalitat de Catalunya.
How much is the tourist tax in Barcelona?
Since April 1, 2022, the Barcelona tourist tax has increased, due to the fact that the municipal surcharge has gone from €0.75 to €1.75. Here are the current costs:
|Type of accommodation||General Rate||Barcelona City Council surcharge||Total Tax (without 10% VAT)|
|5-star hotel, grand luxe hotel, luxury campsite and establishment of similar category||3,50 €||1,75 €||5,25 €|
|4-star hotel, 4-star hotel superior and establishment of similar category||1,70 €||1,75 €||3,45 €|
|Dwelling for tourist use||2,25 €||1,75 €||4,00 €|
|Other establishments||1,00 €||1,75 €||2,75 €|
Important: 10% VAT is applied to the total rate.
*Please note: As of April 1, 2023, the surcharge by Barcelona City Council will be €2.75; and from April 1, 2024 it will be €3.25. For up-to-date information on rates, consult the website of the Tax Agency of Catalonia.
For example, if you rent with us, imagine that you are 2 people staying in a tourist apartment for 3 nights. In this case, the tourist tax would be €26.40 [2 x 3 x €4.40 (VAT included) = €26.40].
How much is the tourist tax in the rest of Catalonia?
As we have mentioned, if you travel to other regions of Catalonia, such as the Costa Brava or you stay on the outskirts of Barcelona, such as Badalona or Santa Coloma de Gramenet, you will be interested to know that the tourist tax is different, since it does not include Barcelona City Council supplement. In the table you can see the current prices depending on the types of accommodation:
|Type of accommodation||Total Tax (without 10% VAT)|
|5-star hotel, grand luxe hotel, luxury campsite and establishment of similar category||3€|
|4-star hotel, 4-star hotel superior and establishment of similar category||1,20€|
|Dwelling for tourist use||1€|
In this case, if for example 3 people stay for 5 days in an apartment in Badalona, the amount of the fee would be €16.50 [3 x 5 x €1.10 (VAT included) = €16.50] .
Why does this tourist tax exist?
Catalonia, and especially the city of Barcelona, receive millions of tourists annually. This fee is mandatory and is used for measures of preservation, development and promotion of infrastructure and tourist activities in the city. There are many cities in Europe that already apply the tourist tax and this varies according to city and country.
Initially, this measure caused several controversies in the tourism sector, however, many are confident that this measure will help promote Barcelona as a long-term holiday destination and maintain its leadership as the main tourist destination in Spain.
If you have any questions about how the rate may affect your trip to Barcelona, do not hesitate to contact us, we will be happy to help you resolve your concerns or queries!