Tipping in Spain: Foolproof Guide on Tipping Etiquette

Spain is one of the most popular holiday destinations in the world.

With almost 90 million foreign visitors each year, the country has a major tourist industry and caters well for vacationers.

If you’re traveling to the region, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with local customs and conventions when it comes to tipping in Spain.

Do you tip in Spain?

Surprising tipping in Spain isn’t as common as you might expect.

Hospitality workers and service staff earn a comparatively high wage in the country, which means tipping isn’t required to inflate salaries.

Amongst tourists, however, leaving is a tip is an accepted way of showing your appreciation for good service. Although you won’t be expected to tip as frequently as you might in other countries, there are situations in which tipping is customary in the tourist industry.

Tipping customs to keep in mind

  • Tipping is typically based on service and not expected
  • Don’t leave a tip in low denomination coins as it could be seen as offensive
  • Tip in Euros when you’re using cash

Useful phrases to know

  • Please may I have the bill? – ¿Puedes traer la cuenta?
  • How much? –  ¿Cuánto cuesta?
  • Thank you – Gracias
  • Bye – adios
Tipping in Spain
Photo by Aleksandar Pasaric from Pexels

Tipping Restaurants in Spain

Expect to tip €1-2 for a lunch, €5 for a more expensive meal. Aim for 5% of the bill.

Spanish cuisine is amongst the best in the world, so you’re likely to eat in a variety of restaurants when you’re in the country. Tipping is discretionary but it is customary, particularly if you’ve received good service.

In Spain, tipping in restaurants is based on service. Waiting staff are paid a decent wage, regardless of tips, so it isn’t necessary to make up their salary based on gratuities. If you choose to leave a tip, the amount should depend on the cost of your bill.

A lunch bill for less than 30 euros in a casual café may only require a tip of 1 or 2 euros, for example, while a 70 euro bill at a fancy restaurant may mean a tip of 4 – 5 euros is more appropriate. As a general rule of thumb, the average tip amount in an upscale restaurant in Spain is 5% of your bill.

A service charge is more likely to be added to your bill if you’re in a large party or if you’re eating in an upmarket restaurant. Often, this will be stated on the menu but, if not, ask your waiter if a service charge is included.

Tipping tour guides in Spain

Tipping tour guides is commonplace. €5 for free tours and €10-20 for a longer private tour is generally expected.

In Spain, tour guides often work on a self-employed basis.

As freelancers, they have no wage to fall back on if tour places aren’t booked and paid for.

Due to this, tipping tour guides in Spain is becoming more commonplace. In most instances, tipping tour guides is expected, unless you receive very poor service.

Image by marucha from Pixabay

For free tours around the city, a tip of around 5 euros is appropriate. If you book a place on a private tour or a small excursion, however, a tip of 10 or 20 euros will be appreciated. Tip in Euros, if you can, and hand your tip to the guide at the end of the excursion.

Tipping in hotels or guest houses in Spain

Tip porters €1 per bag, concierge staff €5-10 for outstanding service, €2-5 for housekeeping staff and €1-2 for room service.

If you’re going to leave a tip anywhere in Spain, do it in a hotel.

This is the most common place for people to offer a tip to staff and it is expected. When it comes to tipping housekeeping staff, it’s customary to pay the tip upfront or to add it on to the bill at the end of your stay. Tipping in Spain for housekeepers is usually around 2 – 5 euros per day.

It’s also usual to tip porters around 1 euro for each bag they transport for you and concierge staff may be given 5 – 10 euros for very exceptional service.

Many people tip the doorman 1 or 2 euros for hailing them a cab or helping with luggage, while 1 or 2 euro tips for the member of staff who brings you room service is appropriate.

When tipping hotel staff, it’s customary to offer a tip in cash immediately after they have assisted you.

Tipping taxis, coaches & cabs in Spain

Tips aren’t expected but it’s a nice gesture to round the fare up to the nearest €1 or €5.

When you use taxis in Spain, you won’t be expected to leave a tip. However, most drivers are grateful if you choose to do so.

Spaniards often ‘round-up’ their bill and leave the extra as a tip. If your fare comes to 9 euros, for example, you may want to pay with a €10 bill and simply not collect the change.

If your driver provides you with additional services, such as carrying your luggage, it is more usual to offer a tip but a euro or two is usually sufficient.

Coach drivers in Spain don’t expect to receive a tip but, if they assist you with your bags, it’s customary to do so.

Tipping in bars and pubs in Spain

Tips aren’t expected for small orders or groups. If you’re in a large group and have a large bill it’s best to tip €2-5 in cash to the waiting or bar staff.

Many of the tourist destinations in Spain are known for their nightlife.

Ibiza and Barcelona both have great bars and clubs, for example. If you’re popping in for an informal drink, it’s not customary to leave a tip.

When you’re only ordering a coffee or a beer, for example, it would be unusual to tip your bartender.

However, if you are part of a large group or have spent the evening in one venue, you may choose to add a couple of euros to the final bill. If so, tip in cash and hand it to the bartender or waiter.

Tipping barbers and in hair salons in Spain

Tips aren’t expected, however if you received great service a 10% tip will be appreciated.

Stylists and professionals in hair salons and spas in Spain are typically highly trained and receive a relatively good salary.

As a result, tips are not expected. However, many people do choose to offer a tip after receiving a hair cut or spa treatment.

If so, leaving around 10% of the cost of your total bill is an appropriate amount when tipping in Spain.

If you choose to leave a tip, you can hand it to your barber or hairdresser in cash.

Alternatively, hand it to the receptionist at the front desk when you pay your bill. Tipping in cash is easiest but, if you’re paying by card, tell the receptionist you’d like to add a tip before they process the transaction and they will be happy to assist you.