The ancient Italian city of Venice with its magnificent harbour-side St Mark’s Square, its quaint bridges, the broodingly romantic canals, and tall, colourful waterside buildings is gorgeous. So it’s not surprising the city attracts tourists. However, at peak tourism times the sheer numbers of people can be oppressive.
Last November Venice authorities unveiled a pilot program for their long-mooted plan to charge day-trippers to visit the city to discourage visitors at peak times.
This fee system has now been launched the Access Fee must now be paid by anyone wishing to visit for the day. This fee applies to certain peak days in the hope of discouraging tourists at those times. Officials hope to promote a more sustainable tourism industry and strike a balance between growing the economy and preserving its authenticity.
The Venice Access Fee, becomes payable on 29 peak dates of the year from 25 April to 5 May and on weekends in May, June and July, from 8:30am to 4pm, excluding access to the islands. Once paid the system issues a QR code.
Those staying overnight won’t have to pay the fee.
Why has Venice introduced a tourist tax?
In 2023 the city of Venice narrowly escaped being placed on UNESCO’s danger list because of the damage from overtourism on its delicate ecosystem. The mayor of Venice Luigi Brugnaro insist that this is not a money-making scheme, but a serious attempt to tackle overtourism and regulate the flow of tourism.
At a news conference, the mayor said : “Our attempt is to make a more livable city”.
For more information about applicable dates and to pay the €5 fee, visit their reservation platform.
Are there any exemptions?
You won’t have to pay if you are a resident, Venetian-born, a student or you work there, or if you are staying the night, since the hotel bill will already include a Venice lodging fee.