We have hired private tour guides in both Paris and Barcelona. Wondering what the correct protical is for tipping?
You are under no obligation to tip. BUT, in France (never used a private guide in Paris) and Barcelona, we have tipped up to 20 Euros if the guide provided us with a truly outstanding experience. We have never had a bad experience with a guide, but for a good, but not exceptional, guide - 5 or 10 Euros.
We've taken many private tours and all were exceptional. I recently reported in a similar thread that I prefer giving a rave review on a social media site like Tripadvisor, RS Forum, etc. that reaches thousands of patrons. The guides we have used have appreciated honest reviews to enhance there business. We have also taken "free group tours." We will tip €20 or more as well as writing a review.
I have hired private guides around the world. I always tip. As others have mentioned, I also leave good reviews for those guides whose tours I have enjoyed.
The tip depends a little on how long you're with the guide, what they do, and how much they cost, but I generally tip around 15-20 Euros depending on the tour. Hand over the cash at the end of the tour when you're thanking them for their expertise. Try not to flash the money around. I had a guide in Italy who was terrified that she or I would be robbed if that happened, so do be discreet.
And have a wonderful time!!!
In France tipping is problematic - we accept tips if they are offered, but because they are not expected or customary, for years we found them socially difficult.
Many french guides will feel very awkward when accepting tips, so the thanks may not be quite as proffuse as you expect.