Latest updates

21 February | Venice – group restrictions. From 1 August 2024, group size to be limited to 25 people plus guide. Further information in Venice section below.

9 February | Barcelona section added below for guided tour restrictions in Ciutat Vella district.

ETOA’s current focus on city access includes:

  • Access for coaches, especially those carrying passengers long-distance with luggage
  • Advocacy for value, impact, and environmental performance of private coaching
  • Restrictions imposed on group walking tours, especially in historic centres

Most of ETOA’s 370+ buyer members produce cultural group tourism. The conference and events industry depends on group operations. Much of this occurs in Europe’s historic centres whose environmental targets as well as fabric and street plan affect options for access.

Group tourism is an easy target for policy makers who want to be seen to ‘do something’ about ‘over tourism’ and congested streets, but coaches make efficient use of limited road space, organised groups are easy to manage, and are less likely to cause anti-social nuisance.

Intelligent compromise is necessary but often elusive under the pressure of local political priorities and cycles. This page is intended to provide current information on locations where access can be especially problematic. For comment and correction, please contact us.

While best efforts have been made to verify the information below and identify official websites we cannot take responsibility for its accuracy, nor that of third party websites.

France

Last reviewed November 2023

  • ASFA – live road traffic information for motorway network
  • Tolls.EU – third party website on road tolls
  • Black Saturday – annual coach ban transporting children on the metropolitan road network
  • Low Emission Zones (‘ZFE’)
    • Crit-Air sticker – mandatory to purchase and display in a ‘ZFE’ and in an area during high periods of pollution to show the vehicle’s emission standard
  • Urban Access Regulations – third party website on low emission and other access restriction zones

Paris

Paris Olympics 2024

 

Road closures and access restrictions:

  • Latest press release (28th Nov.23) from Préfecture detailing road closures and access restrictions related to Olympics and Paralympics.

General Information – official site:


Paris je t’aime – Tourist office: coach webpage
French | English

  • PASS Autocar – mandatory to purchase for coach parking and includes news on parking disruption
  • Paris City Hall planned traffic disruption/diversions
    • Sytadin – live traffic information
    • Paris Respire – road closures on weekends and public holidays
  • Low Emission Zone (ZFE)
    • Within A86 ring road plus small area beyond
    • Time of Operation – 8am-8pm every day
    • Minimum standard – Crit-Air sticker 3 | Euro V (5) for Diesel engine
      • From 1 January 2025 – Crit-Air sticker 2 | Euro VI (6) for Diesel engine
      • Objective from 2030 – Diesel vehicles no longer permitted
    • Crit-Air sticker – mandatory to purchase and display in vehicle to show the vehicle’s emission standard


New access restriction zone (ZTL) expected late 2024

 

Coaches as well as other private vehicles are planned to be prohibited from transiting the ZTL in Central Paris. Further information can be found on the Paris City Hall ZTL webpage. See also Paris 2024 above.

The proposed start date is currently after the Summer Olympics in late 2024. The perimeter of the ZTL has not been finalised but is expected to include at least the 1-4 arrondissements.

Destination (in addition to transit) coach traffic regardless of engine type may also be prohibited in the ZTL (except for school transport and to access the Louvre coach park via the West Quays). Consultation continues: we do not yet know whether any access for coaches with luggage will be permitted, or what evidence may be required to qualify for exemptions or access. We will update members once more information is known.

Slide 12 of presentation from Paris tourist board (OTCP) at ETOA webinar on 10 October 2023 provides relevant context.

Italy

Last reviewed July 2023

Naples

Last reviewed July 2023

Comune Di Napoli (City Council) coach webpage

Managed by multiple companies. Further information can be found on Comune Di Naoli (City Council) public transport webpage.

Rome

Last reviewed July 2023

Roma Mobilita (City Council Transport Department) coach webpage – Italian | English

  • Roma Mobilita map (Italian | English) – drop-off points and parking
  • Luceverde – live traffic information
  • Low emission zone
    • Within A90 and E80 ring road
    • Time in Operation – permanently
    • Minimum standard – Euro V (5) for Diesel engine
  • Access restriction zone (ZTL BUS turistici) – Italian | English
    • Within A90 and E80 ring road and divided into 3 smaller zones (A,B,C)
    • Time in operation:
      • ZTL BUS A – permanently
      • ZTL BUS B – 5am to midnight every day
      • ZTL BUS C – permanently
    • A permit is required to enter/park in a zone. Type of permit required varies depending on journey and if stopping/parking in the areas surrounding the Colosseum and Vatican.
    •  Frequently Asked Questions – Roma Mobilita webpage

Venice

Last reviewed February 2024

Starting on 25 April 2024, all visitors including those staying overnight are required to book when entering the centre ‘old city’ on 29 days in 2024. In addition €5 fee per person per day applies on these days unless exempt.

Further information and updates on the access fee (contributo di accesso) are published on our Italy tourist tax page.

Restrictions to take effect from 1 August 2024 (previously proposed 1 June)

Group size will be limited to 25 people (plus tour guide) in the centre (‘old city’) plus the islands of Murano, Burano and Torcello. Children under 2 are excluded from the count.

Tour groups will also be prohibited from stopping in narrow streets and on bridges which obstruct pedestrian flow.

The limitation will not apply to student groups and when embarking/disembarking vehicles.

Announcement from City Council and regulation expected to be published here.

Netherlands

Last reviewed November 2023

Amsterdam

Gemeente (City Council) coach webpage – Dutch | English

  • Tour Buzz – Drop-off points, parking and live/planned traffic disruption/diversions
  • Low Emission Zone
    • Within A10 ring road
    • Time of Operation – permanent
    • Minimum standard – Euro VI (6) for Diesel engine


New access restriction within the S100 from 1 January 2024

Following announcement in February 2023 by the Gemeente and Municipal Executive adoption in June 2023, coach access within the S100 will be further restricted from 1 January 2024. Coaches weighing more than 7.5 tonnes will only be permitted to access the Weesperstraat-Valkenburgerstraat-Kattenburgerstraat corridor, except when issued with an exemption permit.

Infographic

Information on drop-off and pick up points on the S100 and corridor can be found on the Gemeente coach webpage – Dutch | English.

Exemptions

The application form to apply for an exemption permit is expected to be published mid-December on the Gemeente coach webpage above.

Operators transporting the following passengers to or from educational, cultural or arts institutions e.g. museums, theatres and zoos can apply for an exemption permit:

  • Children up to 12 years of age
  • Elderly people from state pension age (67 years of age from 2024)
  • Disabled people

An exemption permit will either be valid for one day or one year and depending on the route and time of day, permits may be limited. Further information on the exemption policy can be found here.

Notably, a tour, such as by canal boat, does not appear to count as a cultural visit, despite it showcasing a World Heritage Site. Likewise, transporting passengers with luggage to or from accommodation providers does not qualify for an exemption (except in limited special circumstances). Thus, in effect, the plan bans large group bookings within the S100 not staying on/near the Weesperstraat-Valkenburgerstraat-Kattenburgerstraat corridor, unless other options such as minibuses, other private hire vehicles or public transport are used.

ETOA comment and lobbying on the general 2020-2025 plan and coaching:

Rules are in effect for guiding tours in the Centrum District (within the S100)

  • Gemeente (City Council) guided tours webpage on the rules – Dutch | English

Summary

Managed by GVB

Spain

Last reviewed February 2024

Barcelona

Rules are in effect for guiding tours in Ciutat Vella district until at least September 2024.

Summary

  • Tours are limited to maximum 20 people (plus tour guide).
  • In these squares and streets, the number of tour groups permitted at a time is limited.
  • Loudspeakers are prohibited.

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