What to Know About Venice’s Fees for Day Trips

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.

When will Venice start charging?

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.

Tourists at the Rialto Bridge in Venice in 2022.Credit…Laetitia Vancon for The New York Times

Who must pay?

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.

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