How Does Portugal’s Tourist Tax Work?

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Last updated on May 8, 2024 | Est. Reading Time: 3 minutes

A number of cities around the world have introduced a tourist tax. This is a nightly fee that you pay in addition to the cost of your hotel room or Airbnb. In Portugal, you’ll notice this fee when you book accommodation in cities like Lisbon, Porto, and certain municipalities in the Algarve.

In Lisbon and Porto, the fee is €2 per person per night up to a maximum of €14 (or 7 nights). It only applies to persons 13 years or older. 

This means that if a couple stays for a week in Lisbon or Porto, they can expect to pay €28 in tourist tax. A single person staying a week would pay €14. A couple staying 2 nights would pay €8.

In the Algarve, Portimão, Vila Real de Santo António, Faro, and Olhão all charge a tourist tax.

In Portimão, visitors are subject to a tourist tax that varies based on the season. During the high season, which spans from April 1st to October 31st, the tax is set at €2 per night. However, during the low season, which runs from November 1st to March 31st, the tax is reduced to €1 per night.

Albufeira is introducing a new regulation in May 2024. From April to October, considered the busiest time of the year, tourists will be charged €2 per night. In contrast, Faro has a fixed tourist tax of €1.5 for stays between the months of March and October.

Earlier this year, AMAL, the Intermunicipal Community of the Algarve, proposed implementing a uniform rate of €2 per night for tourists across the entire Algarve region. This standardised approach would aim to simplify the taxation system and make it easier for visitors to understand and plan their budgets, regardless of their destination within the region.

Thankfully, it’s not something you need to worry about as a tourist. If you book an Airbnb, this money is collected automatically and you’ll see it on your bill breakdown. It’s also automatically included when you book accommodation on Booking.com

What happens if you book an apartment on a long-term basis, say for a month? If you book accommodation for more than seven days, the most you’ll be charged is €2 per person per night, so a single person visiting Lisbon for a month would only pay €14. A couple would be charged €28. The Algarve has similar caps.

Can you get around it by just booking for one person? Possibly, but this is going to upset your Airbnb host and could cause problems since accommodation providers have to register all of their guests (you’ll notice many hosts in Portugal ask for a copy of your passport). 

Portugal’s tourist tax is actually quite small when compared to other cities. In places like Ibiza and Majorca it can be as much as €4 per night – double that of Lisbon and Porto. In Amsterdam, the fee is 7% of the hotel room cost. However, although Amsterdam’s percentage system would work out more expensive when booking a hotel room, it would probably be fairer on those booking a bed in a hostel dorm. 

Of course, whether you’re booking a bed in a hostel dorm or an entire apartment, this fee goes back to the city to cover costs from tourism and to make the city better for future tourists. You might not see the benefit unless you come back, but you’re already benefiting thanks to the people who came and paid before you.  

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James Cave is the founder of Portugalist and the author of the bestselling book, Moving to Portugal Made Simple. He has visited just about every part of Portugal, including Madeira and all nine islands of the Azores, and lived in several parts of Portugal including Lisbon, the Algarve, and Northern Portugal.