Amsterdam has a plan to curb the tourist crowd – it just means a visit there will cost you more than before
The reality of trying to see a sight like the Mona Lisa or the Eiffel Tower is not what you see on an influencer’s Instagram. It’s overcrowded, loud, and you’ll be stuck in line forever. From Barcelona to Venice, places are struggling with overtourism, but there is one particular city having a hard time reigning in the visitors, and it’s going to make you pay big time if you want to go there. Amsterdam is trying to control its visiting population with a hike in its tourism tax in hopes of evening out the numbers for the locals.
The tax it takes to travel
A little travel tip — the tourism tax is already a part of travel no matter where you go, from hotel fares to airline fees. The tourism tax helps the place you visit in several ways, from keeping the buildings and other structures in good condition to protecting the gorgeous environment you want to see.
A few ways the tourism tax is collected
- Departure tax is a thing.
Japan has an actual sayonara tax for everyone that leaves the country.
- Arrival taxes make a little more sense.
Going to New Zealand will cost you around $37 to be allowed to enter.
- Hotel taxes are the most common.
Most places around the world, including the United States, have an additional fee for hotel rooms and other accommodations for tourists.
The city taxing its way to the top
Famous artists (hello, Van Gogh), stunning tulip fields, unique canals, and those gorgeous clogs are all things we love about the Netherlands. The capital of Amsterdam knows it is one of the top cities to visit in the European Union — and wants visitors to pay the price for it.
- Amsterdam’s tourist tax was already the highest, sitting at 7% of the cost of the visitor’s hotel total.
- In 2024, that will jump to an eye-popping 12.5%.
- Day visitors coming off a cruise ship will see their tax increased from $8.50 to $11.60.
Whether you stay in Amsterdam on an incredible cruise ship or in a fabulous hotel, you’re paying the toll. This increase will continue to make it the highest tax in Europe for tourists.
Why Amsterdam is targeting tourists
The tax will do two things, both benefiting Amsterdam.
- The higher fee will deter those who only want to check out the city for partying. Those who want to visit for the culture, food, and history won’t mind the increase. (At least, that’s the theory.)
- The money goes to maintaining and keeping the stunning city, well, stunning, so when the tourists leave, it’s still a beautiful place for the locals to live.
Amsterdam is small, land-wise, and when you add in the over 150 canals and more than 900,000 people living there, it feels cramped. So, when you dump the more than five million people who checked into a hotel in 2022, things are not going to get better.
You know when one of your favorite spots gets blown up on social media, and now everyone visits it, making it overcrowded and taking all the fun away? How awful is that?
Overtourism is killing these cities where people live all of the time, not just during a specific holiday, and they want the burden of being overcrowded eased. Amsterdam is saying pay up or stay out, and we’ll have to see if it helps curb the crowds.