Venice Hotel Tax: What it Costs & How to Avoid It


2011 is, as far as I’m concerned, going to be known henceforth as the year of the hotel taxes in Italy.

In January 2011, Rome added a new per-night tax on hotels in the city. In July 2011, Florence followed suit. As of August 24, 2011, Venice will also have a per-night hotel tax on its books. Since these are the main cities most visitors to Italy want to see, it’s unlikely that vast numbers of tourists will all of a sudden say, “Right, we’ll just skip those cities, then.” For most people, it’s going to be a case of budgeting an extra few euro each night to make their Italy trip a reality.

There are differences in how much is charged per night according to the kind of accommodation you choose, however, as is the case in Rome and Florence. Here, then, is what you need to know about the Venice hotel tax, including how much it will cost for the various accommodation categories in the city as well as some ideas to help you avoid paying more tax than you need to during your trip.

Venice Hotel Tax Breakdown: What You’ll Pay

Like the taxes in Rome and Florence, the hotel tax in Venice is also partly based on how many stars a hotel has – more stars means a higher per-night tax. In Venice, however, there are added complexities to how much you’ll pay per night. The factors that go into how much the per-night tax in Venice will be are:

  • Location of hotel – The highest tax rate is reserved for the historic center of Venice (including the Giudecca). A slightly lower rate is applied to the Lido and the lagoon islands (such as Murano, Burano, and Torcello), and a lower rate still is applied to the mainland.
  • “Rating” of hotel – This refers to how many stars the accommodation has. There are star-ratings for hotels and campsites, and vacation rentals are broken into 3 levels they simply call “categories.”
  • Dates of your stay – The “high season” tax costs more per-night than the “low season” tax. The dates of the high season are listed below.

It’s kind of confusing, so hopefully this chart will help you figure out what you’ll pay per person/per night for the various accommodation options in Venice. Be sure to read the additional information below the chart, too.

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Accommodation Type & Season Venice Historic Center Lido & Islands Mainland
Hotels (high season) €5 (5 stars)
€4 (4 stars)
€3 (3 stars)
€2 (2 stars)
€1 (1 star)
€4.50 (5 stars)
€2.80 (4 stars)
€2.10 (3 stars)
€1.40 (2 stars)
€0.70 (1 star)
€3 (5 stars)
€2.40 (4 stars)
€1.80 (3 stars)
€1.20 (2 stars)
€0.60 (1 star)
B&Bs (high season) €3 €2.10 €1.80
Camping (high season) €0.40 (4 stars)
€0.30 (3 stars)
€0.20 (2 stars)
€0.28 (4 stars)
€0.21 (3 stars)
€0.14 (2 stars)
€0.24 (4 stars)
€0.18 (3 stars)
€0.12 (2 stars)
Rentals (high season) €2.50 Room rentals (1st category)
€2.00 Room rentals (2nd category
€1.50 Room rentals (3rd category)
€2.00 Apartment/villa rentals
€2.25 Room rentals (1st category)
€1.40 Room rentals (2nd category
€1.05 Room rentals (3rd category)
€1.40 Apartment/villa rentals
€1.50 Room rentals (1st category)
€1.20 Room rentals (2nd category
€0.90 Room rentals (3rd category)
€1.20 Apartment/villa rentals
Monastery/Convent Stays (high season) €2.00 €1.40 €1.20
Residence (high season) €2.50 (1st category)
€2.00 (2nd category)
€1.50 (3rd category)
€2.25 (1st category)
€1.40 (2nd category)
€1.05 (3rd category)
€1.50 (1st category)
€1.20 (2nd category)
€0.90 (3rd category)
Hotels (low season) €2.50 (5 stars)
€2.00 (4 stars)
€1.50 (3 stars)
€1.00 (2 stars)
€0.50 (1 star)
€2.25 (5 stars)
€1.40 (4 stars)
€1.05 (3 stars)
€0.70 (2 stars)
€0.35 (1 star)
€1.50 (5 stars)
€1.20 (4 stars)
€0.90 (3 stars)
€0.60 (2 stars)
€0.30 (1 star)
B&Bs (low season) €1.50 €1.05 €0.90
Camping (low season) €0.20 (4 stars)
€0.15 (3 stars)
€0.10 (2 stars)
€0.14 (4 stars)
€0.10 (3 stars)
€0.07 (2 stars)
€0.12 (4 stars)
€0.09 (3 stars)
€0.06 (2 stars)
Rentals (low season) €1.25 Room rentals (1st category)
€1.00 Room rentals (2nd category
€0.75 Room rentals (3rd category)
€1.00 Apartment/villa rentals
€1.12 Room rentals (1st category)
€0.70 Room rentals (2nd category
€0.52 Room rentals (3rd category)
€0.70 Apartment/villa rentals
€0.75 Room rentals (1st category)
€0.60 Room rentals (2nd category
€0.45 Room rentals (3rd category)
€0.60 Apartment/villa rentals
Monastery/Convent Stays (low season) €1.00 €0.70 €0.60
Residence (low season) €1.25 (1st category)
€1.00 (2nd category)
€0.75 (3rd category)
€1.13 (1st category)
€0.70 (2nd category)
€0.53 (3rd category)
€0.75 (1st category)
€0.60 (2nd category)
€0.45 (3rd category)
Hostels N/A N/A N/A

Important notes regarding the table above:

  • High season dates – The “high season,” as defined by Venice’s city council in relation to this tax, is as follows: January 1 through the first Sunday of the year that follows January 6; the duration of Carnevale; the period between the Wednesday before Easter through the Tuesday after Easter; April 1 through October 31; the week that includes December 8; December 23-31. Anything outside these dates is classified as “low season.” If you aren’t sure, ask the hotel you’re considering.
  • Per person and per night – The rates listed above are on a per person/per night basis. Children under the age of 10 are exempt from the per night tax, and children aged 11-16 are charged half of the rates listed above.
  • 5 days maximum – If your visit to Venice is longer than 5 consecutive days, you will only be charged this per person/per night tax through 5 nights.
  • Hostels – Hostels are exempt from this tax. ‡
  • Venice residents – Venice residents are exempt from this tax.
  • “Residences” – Properties that are essentially residential hotels are called “residence” in Italian; they have many of the services of hotels, but people tend to stay in them for much longer periods – like you might in an apartment rental (but they’re often much cheaper than apartment rentals).

‡ Note that while hostels are legally listed as “exempt” from this tax, many places that call themselves hostels in Italy aren’t legally registered as such. It’s complicated to get officially licensed as a hostel, so many choose instead to register as a B&B or a room rental – which means they’re subject to the taxes that a B&B or room rental would be, rather than to the exemption that hostels are offered. Find out whether the “hostel” you’re looking at is officially registered as a hostel before you book so you’ll know what the tax rate will be.

>> Official declaration about the Venice hotel tax (in Italian), and a breakdown of all the tax rates (PDF, in Italian)

How to Avoid the Venice Hotel Tax (or At Least How to Pay Less)

What’s that? You don’t have long-lost cousins with a palazzo overlooking the Grand Canal, with whom you can stay during your Venice visit? Okay, so I’m being sarcastic, but you get the idea – the bottom line is that if you’ll be visiting Venice for anything more than a day trip (which I still highly recommend) you’re going to need to book a place to stay. And as of August 24, 2011, that place to stay is going to cost a bit more.

Since the amount of the tax varies quite a bit, however, there are ways to avoid paying the highest tax rates. Here are things you can do to make your stay in Venice cheaper.

  • Skip Venice – Venice may be on your must-see list, and if that’s the case then this suggestion isn’t going to work. If you’re on the fence about Venice, however, or you’ve been to the city before, this new tax may be just enough of a push to look into a different destination instead.
  • Stay on the Other Lagoon Islands or the Mainland – As you’ll note from the chart above, the highest tax rates are on accommodation in Venice’s historic center. Places on the other lagoon islands are cheaper, and places on the mainland are cheaper still. If you can afford to stay in the historic center, I still think it’s worth the splurge even if it’s just one night. If you’re on a really tight budget, however, choosing a hotel on the mainland or one of the other lagoon islands could save you a bit of money.
  • Stick with Fewer Stars – Accommodation with a higher rating (whether it’s stars or some other category) will cost more in taxes, so booking a budget hotel that’s only got 1 or 2 stars will cost far less than a luxury hotel in the 4- or 5-star range.
  • Stay in B&Bs, Campgrounds, or Apartment Rentals – Both B&Bs and apartment rentals are likely to offer more for your money than a traditional hotel room (especially in the case of apartment rentals, which offer so much more space), and the tax rate is less. There are also a few campgrounds near Venice, and the nightly tax rate for those is minimal. These aren’t all of the tent-and-sleeping-bag variety, either – they’re sometimes called “tourist villages,” and have rustic lodging as well as tourist facilities on-site.
  • Stay in Registered Hostels – Venice doesn’t have as many hostels as other popular Italian cities to begin with, and then not all the places that call themselves “hostels” are officially registered as hostels (see the note above), so if you want to be sure you’re staying in a registered hostel you’ll need to ask whether they’re charging anything for this tax. If they’re not adding this tax to the nightly rate, then it’s a great bargain accommodation option in a city with not many of those.
  • Visit in the Low Season – The low season rates are about half what they are in the high season, so booking your trip outside the high season dates listed above will save you quite a bit. More than two-thirds of the calendar is taken up by the high season, but there’s still some time in between the holidays and summer months to get a trip to Venice in during the low season.

Further reading about accommodation in Venice

photos, top to bottom, by: @rgs, cavorite


4 thoughts on “Venice Hotel Tax: What it Costs & How to Avoid It

  • Georgia

    Hi Jessica,
    We stayed at a hostel in Venice (and a fairly ordinary one at that, but that’s another story) last week and were charged this tax… When we questioned it we were shown an official looking piece of paper with the governments explanation if the tax.

    Do you have a link to the legislation so I can try and follow this up?
    Thanks 🙂

    • Jessica Post author

      My understanding of the situation in Rome is that while hostels are legally exempt, there are very few places that are officially licensed as “hostels” in the city – because registering as such is so complicated, they often register as a B&B or room rental instead. I’m guessing it’s the same in Venice, but let me see what I can find out.

    • Jessica Post author

      Okay, Georgia, I’ve updated the article above to reflect what I thought might be the case – that it’s complicated enough to get officially registered as a hostel in Italy that many hostels are legally registered as B&Bs or room rentals or something else. They’re a hostel in everything but legal designation only, but that also means they’re subject to whatever the tax rate of their legal designation happens to be. Perhaps this will spur more hostels to go through the process to get legally registered as hostels, but that’s probably further down the line.

  • Andrew Rockarts

    Hello
    I am looking at hotels and B&B in Venice for two nights Sept 13-15. I compare the same hotels for 2 nights next week june 14-16. The cost is sometimes 4 times as expensive in September !! $500 vs $2000!! Why is that?

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