Earlier this year both Florence and Rome implemented a new hotel tax and now Venice is jumping on the bandwagon. Or should I say, jumping on the gondola?! Venice’s hotel tax which started on August 24th, may dissuade would-be visitors from setting foot in this already expensive Italian city. Many repeat visitors who’ve already visited Venice once may decide to steer clear, but for first-time visitors, I would still highly recommend you visit.
Since the specifics are lengthy, complicated, and require an accounting degree to decipher, I’ll give you a general overview of the tax, give you a few tips on how to avoid paying top dollar for your overnight accommodation in Venice and provide you with links to the detailed info.
Quick Overview of Venice’s Hotel Tax
- The hotel tax is similar to those in Rome and Florence in that the tax is based on a sliding scale of the hotel’s rating. So, generally speaking, a 1-star hotel in high-season in the historic center carries a 1€ fee, a 2-star carries a 2€ fee, and so on, all the way up to five stars.
- B&B’s, apartment rentals, room rentals, guest houses, campgrounds (yes, there are a few in Venice) and monasteries each have their own tax rate, which are a different rate than hotels.
- All tax rates, no matter what type of accommodation, vary by location. There are three separate location categories. Staying in Venice’s historical center garners the highest taxes, followed by the Islands (Lido, Murano, Burano). Staying on the mainland offers the lowest tax rate.
- Taxes are calculated per person, per night.
- Taxes will be collected on stays of up to five consecutive nights. So nights six and beyond are free – bonus!
- A visit in high-season will be taxed more than in low-season. High-season is generally considered the periods surrounding major holidays, ie – the new year, Carnivale, Easter, Christmas – and the busy months from April through the end of October.
- Children under 10 are exempt. Children up to the age of 16 will pay half.
- Hostels are exempt.
Tips for Avoiding or Paying Less of a Hotel Tax in Venice
- To avoid paying the hotel tax in Venice, consider staying in a hostel, since these are totally exempt from the tax.
- If hotels are more your bag, opt for a nice 2-star hotel instead of a five-star. The additional tax on a five night stay in a 2-star for 2 people would be 20€. The same scenario in a 5-star hotel will levy an additional 50€, so you can see how the cost can add up quickly.
- Travel in low season. This will not only offer you the best rates, better availability and less tourists, but it will also garner you a lower tax rate. The months of March and November seem to qualify.
Two Tempting (but not recommended) Options
- Though staying on the mainland or the other islands will offer the cheapest tax rate, I caution you against this, especially with limited time or on a first-time visit. You need to weigh the time and cost associated with traveling back and forth to Venice. Personally, I would always pay a bit extra to stay right in Venice proper. For me, an extra euro or so per day, is totally worth the convenience of strolling right outside my door and being able to get around, any time of day or night.
- You could take a day trip to Venice and avoid paying the overnight tax (rumor has it that Venice is also considering taxing day-trippers), but being that Venice is such a special place, meant to be savored at a slow pace, I don’t recommend it. I’d much rather see you pony up a few extra pennies to spend at least one night.
I suggest you check directly with your accommodations when booking to get the skinny on exactly how much you should expect to pay.
Ready to plan that dream trip to Venice? You might be interested in one of these Venice tours.