If you are planning to visit Spain, it’s important to understand our tipping culture. As a local, I’m here to share my expertise and help you with the ins and outs of tipping in Spain.
Deciding how much to tip in Spain can be tricky. In this guide to tipping in Spain, you will learn how to avoid uncomfortable situations if you tip less than expected.
Table of contents
What is the rule for tipping in Spain?
As a rule of thumb, do you tip in Spain? It depends on the situation.
It is true that tipping in Spain is not as common as it is in some other countries like the US. However, if you feel that you have received good service, it’s perfectly acceptable and much appreciated to leave a small tip.
It’s worth noting that tipping in Madrid, Barcelona, and other tourist hotspots is much more common than in other smaller towns and cities.
In conclusion, tipping in Spain is not as widespread as in other countries, but it is still a nice gesture to show your appreciation for an outstanding service.
How to tip in Spain: 3 basic principles
When it comes to tipping in Spain, it is important to understand the cultural norms and expectations. Follow these guidelines to navigate the tipping culture in Spain like a local:
- Service charges are often included in the bill, especially in restaurants and cafes. However, if you have received good service, tips are always appreciated. For ordering a coffee and other small amounts, rounding up to the nearest euro or leaving a few coins is sufficient.
- Try to leave a tip in cash, even when paying by card, to ensure that the tip goes to the waiter. If you add the tip to the final check, the money could finally go to the owner instead of to the person who provided the service.
- Unless it refers to a service for a reduced amount like a coffee, try to avoid small coins. It is acceptable to tip with € 1 and € 2 coins and try to stay away from tipping with coins of lesser value.
Besides, take into account that it is not necessary to put the tip in an envelope.
It can also be helpful to know some tipping vocabulary in Spanish. For example, tip is translated as “propina” and “keep the change” is “quédate con el cambio”.
Do you tip in Spain? Where, when, how much, and how to do it
Considering that tipping in Spain is not compulsory, the following table should help you to easily understand if a tip could be expected when offering an exceptional service:
|Where?||How much?||How to tip?|
|Restaurants||For standard restaurants a few euros depending on the total check. In luxury restaurants with outstanding service around 5-10% of the check.||It is preferable to tip in cash, leave it on the table when leaving, or tell your waiter to keep the change|
|Coffee on site (not takeaway)||You can round up to the nearest euro.||Leave it on the table next to the check when leaving or tell your waiter to keep the change|
|Tapas and/or drinks on a terrace||Unless the total check is very high, a couple of euros should be sufficient.||Leave it on the table next to the check when leaving or tell your waiter to keep the change|
|Tour guides||Free tours: Around € 10 per adult for a 2-hour tour. Paid tours: Around € 5 per adult for a 2-hour tour.||Cash at the end of the tour|
|Hotel porters||Porters: € 1 per bag, usually up to € 5. Housekeeping: € 1 per day for long stays. Concierge: unusual, for frequent interactions a € 5 note.||Cash. For housekeeping leave it in the room at the end of the stay. Cash in hand to the concierge.|
|Home delivery||1 – 2 € should be enough||Cash when receiving the order at home|
Infographic on tipping in Spain
Are you wondering how much to tip in Spain? The following infographic provides a quick and easy guide to tipping in various situations.
My tipping in Spain infographic is not only informative but also quite handy. You can print it and take it with you on your trip to Spain, so you always have a quick reference on how much to tip in different situations. Whether you are dining out, taking a taxi, or staying in a hotel, this infographic will help you navigate the confusing world of tipping in Spain.
When NOT to tip in Spain
When talking about tipping in Spain, it is important to know in which situations tips are not expected.
Obviously, you should never leave a tip if you are unhappy with the service received. Besides, there are some services where tipping is extremely uncommon such as taxi drivers, public transport, beauty salons, takeaway orders, and for small purchases.
Tipping in Madrid
Many people usually ask me “do you tip in Madrid?” and I refer them to this post. Tipping in Madrid is similar to tipping in the rest of Spain. It is not as common or expected as it is in other countries but it is more frequent than in other smaller towns and cities in Spain.
Consequently, in Madrid it is usual to leave a small tip at restaurants and hotels if the service is good. Tipping in bars is less common, but rounding up to the nearest euro or leaving a small amount of change is appreciated.
Free tours are a popular activity for visitors to discover the most popular tourist attractions in Madrid. Although tour guides are passionate about their job, it is logical to think that their effort deserves some reward too. Although the amount to tip depends on your budget, the final satisfaction, and the duration of the tour, you could consider a tip of around € 10 per adult for a 2-hour tour.
Ultimately, tipping in Madrid and the rest of Spain is not obligatory, but leaving a small tip is a nice way to show your appreciation for exceptional service. Just remember to base your tip on the quality of the service you receive, and do not feel pressured to leave a tip if you are not satisfied with the service.
I hope you have found this article on tipping in Spain helpful. Leave your comments!