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Tipping in Spain

This will be our first trip to Spain. What is the tipping policy there? Is it the same in all regions? Thanks!

Posted by
6824 posts

Here’s what I came across a year or so ago. Remember, it’s just a guide.

Cafe Server: If there is a tip jar by the cash register, it’s a nice gesture to leave a couple of coins. For exceptional table service, round up to the nearest €1. 

Restaurant Server: It is not customary to tip at a cheaper restaurant, ‘menu del dia,’ but a tip of up to 10 percent is acceptable at more upscale establishments. The tip is sometimes included in the final bill (IVA or Impuestos sobre el Valor Añadido), but not always. Check the bill first for these inclusions before deciding what to tip. Servers sometimes don’t receive tips included on a credit card, so always try to tip in cash whenever possible. 

Bartender: It’s not necessary to tip a bartender, as most do not expect it and some may even refuse it. Table service, however, is considered to be separate, and it is considerate to round to the nearest €1 for great service.

Taxis: A tip isn’t expected, but is appreciated. A good rule of thumb is to round up to the nearest euro or up to 10 percent of the final fare for exceptional service. Drivers typically charge a bag fee, so there is no need to tip for help with luggage. 

Airport Shuttle: It is not necessary to tip your driver, but feel free to give €1 per bag if they help with your luggage.

Doorman: Gratitude is always welcome when a doorman assists with luggage or hailing transportation. A simple thank you is appreciated, but feel free to offer €1 for exceptional service.

Posted by
690 posts

As a side comment, you will see in most hotel and restaurant checks that a 10% IVA is included. That is not the tipping (we do not include any tipping in checks) but the taxes that have been already applied to final price (in Spain, all prices are final, no hidden taxes when paying the bills). Agree with JaimeElSabio, rounding up when small quantities is fine, and around 10% when a good service has been given is also a good policy (but you do not have to tip just because...you only tip if you´re really satisfied with the service/meal/drinks/trip...)

Posted by
9046 posts

I also leave a small tip for the housekeeper in the hotel.

Posted by
5428 posts

I pretty much pay by contactless in Spain, bars, restaurants, taxis and even some market stalls. As such I don't leave a tip and there's usually no tip option on the card machine to input one. On the very, very rare occasions I've paid cash for a meal I'll leave the small .change which is pretty much customary in Spain.

No-one bats an eyelid if you don't leave a tip, no-one is going to confront you aggressively and there is no expectation. In touristy areas you may find the words, in English, "tip not included" at the bottom of the bill. This is just a cynical attempt to procure a tip from tourists who are not sure about the protocol, pay it no heed.

Of course, if you want to tip for some exceptional service then do so but I wouldn't base it on a percentage however don't feel obliged to tip left, right and centre to anyone and everyone who serves/assists/transports you.

Posted by
58 posts

sorry about that.... do you tip a tour guide a percentage according to the cost of the tour or a certain fixed amount?