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Venice Access Fee: What to Know Before Your Day Trip

Venice Access Fee: What to Know Before Your Day Trip

After years of debate, Venice on Thursday will begin charging day visitors five euros to visit its fragile historic center on peak days, making it the first city in the world to adopt such a measure to counter overtourism.

Critics question whether a nominal fee will put people off from visiting one of the world’s most desired destinations. But officials hope that it might encourage some to rethink their plans and decide to come on weekdays or in the off-season. That might help mitigate the impact of the estimated 20 million visitors who descended last year on the city’s beleaguered residents, which number fewer than 50,000, according to municipal statistics. About half of those visitors came only for the day, city officials said. Overnight guests are exempt from the fee.

The spirit of the initiative, city officials have said, is to make people aware of the uniqueness — and fragility — of Venice. Overtourism is creating an economy solely based on tourism that risks killing the city by pushing its dwindling residents out, said Nicola Camatti, an economics professor and expert in tourism at Ca’ Foscari University of Venice.

The fee goes into effect on Thursday, a holiday in Italy. For 2024, city officials have singled out 29 peak days when single-day travelers in Venice between 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. have to pay. The days run until mid-July and are mostly on national holidays and weekends. The access-fee website provides a list of the dates.

While just about everyone visiting the city has to register to obtain a QR code, not all visitors have to pay the fee. Overnight guests at registered accommodations like hotels or Airbnbs are exempt, because they already pay a daily tourist tax, as are people who study or work in Venice and those visiting relatives. There are other exemptions as well.

Residents of Venice, those born there and minors under 14 are among those who do not have to register. But they must have documents that prove their status.

It is possible that different fees will apply next year on a sliding scale that will depend on how many people city officials expect on any one day. City officials said the fees could be as high as 10 euros per day.

Before coming to Venice on peak days, visitors should use the website to register and get a QR code.

The code will be scanned at points where visitors enter, like the train station, the city parking lot, the airport and the sprawling…

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