How to tip around the world: Spain
Spain has it all: Fine sandy beaches on the Costa del Sol, snow-capped peaks in the Pyrenees, a buzzing nightlife in Barcelona. It’s also home to some fabulous festivals and truly amazing cuisine.
Wherever your destination in Spain, you’re sure to have an amazing time. And as a visitor, you’ll find yourself in plenty of situations where your natural instinct would be to tip. But should you? And if so, how much?
Tipping can be a cultural minefield for travellers. Not only does the etiquette vary from country to country, but the rules are different whether you’re paying for a meal, taxi, room service or a drink at the bar.
To help you figure it out, we’ve created a series of guides for tipping in different countries.
Read on to find out where, when, and how to tip in Spain.
Note: Due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, remember to check current travel restrictions before booking travel.
The Spanish aren’t big tippers, but if you feel the situation deserves it, you’re not going to get any complaints for leaving a little something!
Currency: Euro (EUR)
Bars and Restaurants
It’s not common to tip at restaurants in Spain, especially if you’re Spanish. Sometimes at more high-end restaurants a service charge is included in the bill (servicio incluido), and if it’s not, leaving 5% is fine.
If you’re eating at a tapas bar or more informal restaurant then rounding up to the nearest euro (and sometimes adding another euro on top) is the usual way to go.
Similarly, if you’re just out for a few drinks, tipping the bartender is not necessary, but if you insist, round up the bill to the nearest euro.
It’s best to tip in cash rather than by card, as often the wait staff does not receive the tips left on credit cards.
Bear in mind, at some bars and eateries you may be charged a fee for sitting outside on a terrace. This is usually around 10% on top of the bill and is to cover a government-imposed tax on establishments which use seating outside in certain places.
It’s good manners to tip hotel workers in Spain. In terms of how much tip to leave, if a member of staff helps you with your bags, give them about one euro per piece of luggage.
For room service, one or two euro is fine, and you can show your appreciation to the cleaning staff by leaving 2-3 euro in the room when you check out.
Unless your driver carries your suitcase into the hotel or airport terminal, just round up the fare to the nearest euro.
Many tour guides in Spain work for themselves, so will appreciate a tip after a day of showing you the sights. Around 5-10 euro per person for a full day of sightseeing is about average.
There’s no need to tip tour guides in museums and galleries as they’re paid by the government. But a ‘gracias’ and a smile will brighten up their day.
Should you pay by cash or card?
Many restaurants, shops and bars accept credit cards, but some places don’t accept card payments under 10 euro. We recommend you keep some cash on you, just in case.