Barcelona shop introduces €5 charge for tourists who take selfies instead of buying things

‘Visit just looking (inside) €5 x person, thank you,’ reads new sign

Helen Coffey
Wednesday 12 July 2023 09:47 BST
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<p>Queviures Múrria’s Modernista exterior </p>

Queviures Múrria’s Modernista exterior

A historic deli in Barcelona has hit back at tourists who clog up the shop without buying anything by introducing a €5 charge.

Queviures Múrria in the Eixample district, which first opened in 1898, is one of the Spanish city’s most renowned Modernista-style shops, selling high-end food products such as fine wine and artisanal meats and cheeses.

Its striking facade, original counter, mahogany furniture and 1920s glazed signs and adverts make it a draw for visitors keen to take pictures and selfies, but not necessarily make a purchase.

Deli staff joked that they should start charging people who came into the shop just to ogle its traditional interiors without any intention of spending money. Now, that joke has become a reality, after management hung up a sign to dissuade tourists who want to look but not buy.

“Visit just looking (inside) €5 x person, thank you,” reads the new sign, reports the i.

Although no one has been charged as of yet, the number of tourists coming in just to snap a selfie has plummeted, according to shop manager Toni Merino.

“We have not charged any money from people who just want to come in and have a look, but that is not the point,” he told the i.

Barcelona has intoduced numerous policies to combat overtourism in recent years.

At the beginning of this year, the Catalan capital announced it would be increasing its municipal tourist tax, with the amount five-star hotel guests pay set to rise from €5.25 to €6.75 per night by 2024.

The city adds its own surcharge on top of a general tourist tax charged per night imposed in the region, a move which was approved by Spanish government in summer 2020.

The tourist tax varies depending on which type of accommodation a visitor is staying in, and is only applied to regulated, official tourist accommodation.

Barcelona City Council announced a “scaled increase” to its municipal surcharge, meaning the previously €1.75 fee rose to €2.75 on 1 April 2023, and will jump to €3.25 from 1 April 2024.

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