Venice's 'access fee' for day tourists
The city of Venice has a new congestion-pricing admission scheme, with a €5
entry tax for daytrippers on peak days. Even if you're staying in Venice
overnight, you'll need to obtain a free QR code
to show city inspectors.
ABOVE: Disguising yourself as a gondolier won't
help you escape Venice's tourist taxes.
Last updated: January 18, 2024
In 2024, Venice has introduced an "access
fee" or admission tax for daytrippers. (The city already has a tourist tax on occupants of hotels,
B&Bs, vacation apartments, and other overnight accommodation.)
The plan's rules are complicated, but here's a summary:
If you're over the age of 14 and you visit Venice's
historic center on designated days between now and late July of 2024, you'll pay an "access fee" of five euros unless
you're staying within the municipality or qualify for an
exemption (e.g., because you're a hotel or apartment guest).
What will happen after July is anybody's guess.
The access fee is applicable only on the busiest days
of the year, as predicted by the local authorities. A
calendar on the
Venice Access Fee Web site shows which days are subject to the €5,-- tax in
the current year.
Even if you're exempt from the fee, you'll need to register
in advance and obtain a QR code to show tax inspectors. (See "Practical
Why the access fee? According to Venice's municipal
powers-that-be, the tax is intended to reduce crowding during peak periods
(e.g., during holiday weeks and on summer weekends).
We're skeptical about the plan, because we don't think many
foreign tourists (or even visitors from elsewhere in Italy) will schedule their
vacations around a €5,-- day tax.
We'd argue that the daytripper-tax scheme is merely a boondoggle to create a few jobs and
create the false impression that the city is trying to solve the problem of overtourism.
What Venice really needs is more trash bins, toilets, benches, and other public
amenities that benefit both tourists and residents.
Our guess: This Byzantine
scheme will be a failure (just like its predecessors) and will quietly disappear
after a chaotic six-month experimental period.
ABOVE: If you're staying in central Venice (or in
the Munipality of Venice's mainland districts), you won't need to pay the
daytripper access fee. However, you will need to apply for an exemption on days
when the fee applies.
The "access fee" or daytripper tax applies only to visits between 8:30 and 4:00 p.m. on
the designated days, so you'll be exempt if you're just coming into the city
center for dinner or evening entertainment.
Even if you're staying at a hotel or private accommodation within the municipality of Venice, you'll need to request an
from the access fee on designated peak days. The good news is that the municipality includes
Mestre and Marghera on the Italian mainland, so you'll be tax-exempt if
(like many budget-minded visitors) you stay at a
Mestre or Marghera hotel.
If your request for an exemption is approved, you'll receive
a QR code that must be shown during spot checks by inspectors. Fines for
non-compliance are steep.
Should you neglect to book your visit (and, if necessary,
pay the fee) before arriving in Venice, you can register and pay at the
Venezia Santa Lucia railroad station
or the Piazzale Roma bus and taxi gateway.
For more details (including frequently asked questions), or to register and pay the tax, see the
official Venice Access Fee Web site.
If you aren't in a hurry, take a few minutes to read CNN's
step-by-step article about obtaining the QR code online.
About the author:
Durant Imboden has
written about Venice, Italy since 1996.
He covered Venice and European travel at About.com for 4-1/2 years before launching
Europe for Visitors (including
Venice for Visitors) with Cheryl
Imboden in 2001.
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