Tipping in Spain

When and where should you tip in Spain?

The question of how much to tip in Spain is one that all first-time travellers to the sun-soaked country ask – as well as a few experienced ones. Do you tip your taxi driver? Leave a little something for your waiter? Give a gratuity to the tour guide? Follow our guide to tipping in Spain and it will take all the confusion out of enjoying the famous Spanish hospitality.

While tipping in Spain isn’t a core part of Spanish culture, the tradition is becoming more and more common in restaurants, hotels and cafés. As with a lot of Europe, hospitality workers in Spain are usually full-time workers and get a living wage, so don’t expect a tip for doing a job they are already paid for. That said, a small gratuity to show your appreciation for their service is always appreciated.

Restaurants

The question of ‘Do you tip in Spain?’ will most likely come up when you’re about to pay your restaurant bill. If you’re having a simple meal in the daytime then you should consider leaving a tip of around one euro per person. For evening meals, restaurants won’t generally expect you to tip, but if you have received particularly good service and you’ve had a good time, then a gratuity of 5-10% is reasonable.

Before you tip, check the receipt as there may already be a cover charge added to your bill, which may be labelled ‘Pan’ (bread). However, this isn’t a service charge and won’t be distributed to the staff. Also, be aware that while restaurants in other countries may invite you to add the tip to your credit card payment, tipping in Spain on a card is likely to cause confusion. So if you’re going to tip, then give it in cash.

Hotels

Porters aren’t as commonplace in Spain as they are in other European countries, but if a member of staff does help you with your bags, then it’s polite to offer them a euro for every one they carry. For room service, a tip of one or two euros is fine, while your appreciation for the maid can be shown by leaving 2-3 euros at the end of your stay.

Taxis

In general, taxi drivers in Spain don’t expect a tip, but if you offer one it will be appreciated. If your journey was good and your driver helpful, you could round the fare up by a couple of euros, but otherwise simply take the change and no-one will be offended.

Cafes

There’s no need to tip in cafés, whether you order your coffee from the counter or receive table service. If you’re in a tapas bar and have a few dishes to go with your drink, you could leave some small change, especially if you’re given free olives or bread.

Bars

It’s rare for a drinker to tip in a Spanish bar. However, you could leave one or two euros if you have received particularly good table service or there’s a large group of you. If you’re in a friendly neighbourhood wine bar and have got on well with the staff then a small gratuity will be gratefully received but not expected.

Airport shuttle

As with taxi drivers, someone driving you from the hotel to the airport, or vice versa, won’t expect a tip. If they have been especially friendly and helpful, perhaps carrying your bags or offering advice on the local area, then one or two euros would be considered a polite way to show your gratitude.

Tour guides

Many tour guides in Spain work for themselves so will appreciate a tip after a day showing you around and sharing their knowledge. So a gesture of 5-10 euros per person for a full day of sightseeing will be greatly appreciated, especially if they have gone out of their way to show you the hidden parts of the city. Tour guides in museums or galleries are generally paid by the government so don’t require a tip, although a ‘Gracias’ and a smile will brighten up their day.

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