A brief guide to tipping in Spain.

Spain is one of top three visited countries in the world. With cities such as Barcelona, Madrid and Seville in addition to the golden beaches which surround the majority of the country it’s easy to see why.

Whilst tipping isn’t that common or a must do in Spain there are instances when you should tip. This varies depending on where you are in the country (for example, Madrid, Barcelona and the Basque region will all have different tipping criteria. However, we’ll take a look at an average that you should tip should you be travelling to different areas in Spain.

As mentioned, tipping is not a legal requirement in Spain and nor would you be berated if you were not tip. However, more recently there has been an increase in tipping culture which, should you wish to follow, has some basic guidelines.

It’s important to remember that tips that are left by card in Spain (and the service charge, servicio incluido, you have paid) do not go to the staff member. So, if you want to tip based on good service then only tip by cash so they get it directly.

How much to tip when in a restaurant in Spain?

In general, tipping in restaurants has never been a big thing in Spain. This is normally because a servicio incluido (service charge) has already been added. As mentioned though, this does not go to the staff member, but to the establishment. If the servicio incluido has not been added to the bill, then it is considered acceptable to tip 10% of the total bill. If it has been, which is quite likely, and the service was good, then leaving a cash tip for the staff is appreciated.

Good to know: due to the long, hot summers in Spain (and the desire to soak up sun rather than sit inside) there is often a charge to sit outside on the terrace (terraza fee).

Tipping when in a café or bar in Spain.

It is not common practise to leave a tip for a coffee or beer had (with tapas) in cafés or bars. If you liked the service then it can be a nice gesture to round up you bill to the nearest Euro.

Should you leave a gratuity in a taxi in Spain?

Again, leaving a tip for a taxi driver in Spain is not common practice and you will not be considered rude if you choose not to do so. A suggestion would be to tip the driver (round up the bill) if they help you with luggage or was helpful in another way.

Tipping in hotels in Spain.

Whilst leaving a tip for hotel staff is not expected, it is becoming more common due to tourists, from countries which do have a tipping culture, visiting Spain. You can tip the porter or bellhop €1 per bag if they help you with yours. Housekeeping can be tipped between €5-10 per week and a concierge can be tipped €2-5 depending on how helpful and out of their way they went for you. These are all optional though!

Should you tip a city tour guide in Spain?

In general, the consensus is that if you take a city tour in Spain you should tip at the end depending on how enthusiastic and informative the tour guide was. Tip €10 per hour for a really good guide and €5 per hour If they were good, but not exceptional!

Julius Goldthorpe