CUSTOMARY TIPPING IN SPAIN & BARCELONA
TIPPING ETIQUETTE IN SPAIN
It can be embarrassing when you are not familiar with the tipping guidelines in a country. “Is tipping customary in Spain?” is a question I get asked a lot by my clients, and it can be also embarrassing for me to answer them when asked in front of the person to be tipped.
Is tipping expected in Spain the same way it is in your country? Often, yes. However, proper tipping amounts are not as big in Spain as they are in other countries.
And specially after the economical crisis, I see people tipping less and less. But if not tipping at all takes you out of your comfort zone (and giving too much doesn’t feel good for your wallet either), today’s post will be definitely of help:
FANCY A PRIVATE TOUR OF SAGRADA FAMILIA?
These are the best tipping practices in Spain for the most common travel situations:
Tipping cab drivers in Spain is usually cheaper than in other countries. For a ride within the city, most locals consider that a proper tipping is to leave 10 to 20 cents (I personally tend to round up to the next 50 cents or euro, for instance).
And for a ride from the airport, one or two extra euros will make the deal. Needless to say, if you feel cheated by the taxi driver, he deserves nothing at all.
In Spain waiters get a relatively decent salary, the tipping etiquette says that a tip is considered always a reward for good service, what means that if the food is bad or the waiter is mean – no tip!
But if you are happy with the service, the usual tips range between 7 and 10% (more if it’s a fine restaurant). For coffee or a drink, or a quick bite (sandwich, croissant…), a few cents are enough. We usually don’t leave anything for self-service food.
For airport transfers, €10 are acceptable. If you had a chauffeured tour, I see people usually giving them at least €20 for a 4-hour service. The longer the tour, and the happier you were with the driver, the more you should give.
That’s the most embarrassing part for me, as it concerns me personally, but since you asked… here is the answer: while in a group-tour one euro per person is the tipping etiquette, private tourguides are usually tipped per tour, not per person. In general, most people tip between €20 and €50 for a basic 4 hour service, but when the day has been longer, or we have been together for several days, we are often given larger tips. In our Terms & Conditions you can learn more about proper tipping for tourguides.
AND BONUS! Our Tipping Golden Rule:
For anything else: the Golden rule
Wondering what’s the tipping etiquette for hotel concierges, spa staff, hairdressers…? For any other situation when you wonder what’s the tipping etiquette in Spain, remember that the tipping guidelines in Spain can be summarized as follows: reward good service but not bad one, the amounts tend to be smaller than in the US, but the more you give them, the happier you’ll make them!
And since tips are not expected but they are appreciated, any tipping should be considered proper tipping (if someone is not happy with it, it’s their problem, not yours!), but it is also okay not to tip.
TAKE A PRIVATE WALKING TOUR IN BARCELONA
How do people tip in your country? And what do you do when you are traveling?
Marta is the founder of ForeverBarcelona. She is a passionate tour guide that loves Barcelona and loves writing too. She is the main author of our Blog, and is committed to sharing her knowledge about Barcelona and her best tips with our readers.
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All You Need to Know
Are you planning a trip to Spain? Are you unsure of the local tipping etiquette? Fret not! For the sake of both of us, I’ve done this roundabout to understand the local Spanish tipping culture.
Barcelona’s tipping systems are similar to Lisbon, Rome, and Paris.
Tipping is a way for locals and internationals to show their gratitude towards hardworking service providers. While it’s unnecessary, tips are becoming more and more common in Barcelona, especially for tourists.
Like those in the rest of Europe, service employees in Barcelona are given a monthly wage and do not rely on tips to make ends meet. According to 2019 statistics, the average restaurant worker in Barcelona earns at least €900 per month.
This is much more than what employees in nearby Portugal earn each month, but it is also crucial to realize that the cost of living in Spain is significantly greater than elsewhere in Iberia.
For this reason, restaurant workers in Barcelona are always willing to have their hard work and service recognized and appreciated. Due to the present economic circumstances, tourists are typically the only ones who tip in Barcelona. A local will practically never tip at a place where they eat regularly.
Bars in Barcelona
Tipping at bars is a long-standing concept both in Barcelona and in Spanish tipping etiquette. When a waiter attends to your every need, tip him. Anything between 5 and 10 euros is appreciated.
5 euros is a good tip for the bartenders. Additionally, you can tip the guards outside the pub. They are unflinching in handling the queue and are prepared to resolve unfavorable situations. Tipping them between two and three euros is an excellent idea.
Restaurants in Barcelona
Tipping at restaurants is a widely accepted practice in Spanish tipping etiquette. The bill will include a service charge representing the tip in most cases. The most common tip amount to leave is 10% of the total amount on your bill. If you wish to tip more, that’s great! You can give up to 15% extra.
Tourists can leave between 5-10% extra as a way of saying “Thank You” for an enjoyable experience. However, this is not necessary and is advised against unless you have had a genuinely outstanding experience with exceptional service. A tip of 5-10% extra is a sufficient amount for those who have had a satisfactory experience. If you have had a genuinely bad experience, do not tip at all.
Tipping the Delivery Boys
Delivery boys always have our backs on busy days. Whether pizza, groceries, medications, or internet orders, they’re just a phone call or click away. And they are always on time with their deliveries. A good tip is around 2 to 5 euros.
If they make a mistake, they are usually willing to fix it at the earliest possible moment. The amount of money that you offer is not material to your decision. You can always give them only as much as you feel like paying for it as it is perfectly acceptable in the Spanish tipping etiquette.
Tipping at Hotels in Barcelona
In hotels, tipping is considered proper etiquette as a gesture of appreciation. It’s an excellent technique to receive more attention or services from hotels or restaurants.
In luxury hotels, it’s not uncommon to find a service charge on your bill. Like regular restaurants, where 10% is the typical tip, luxury hotels also have a 10% service fee. While this service fee already includes the gratuity, it is considerate of you to tip an additional 15% on top of it. With that said, if you are dissatisfied with the performance of the food or hospitality services at your hotel, do not tip.
If the baggage boy, bellman, or room maid performs satisfactorily, tipping them 1-2 euros is acceptable in a low-cost hotel. Giving them a tip brightens up their day. A survey finds that tipping employees boost their productivity and happiness.
Types of Services and Personnel
Several employees have full dedication to making your stay as comfortable as possible. The next section highlighted hotel services to leave tips for various services.
Here’s a good look at how much to tip someone:
Hotel employees like bellboys can significantly appreciate your generosity as they receive very little compensation for their services. A generous tip of between 2 and 5 euros is excellent, but you can give more if you wish.
Tipping the Concierge
Although concierges are not hotel employees, they provide invaluable services to guests. A generous tip of between 2 and 5 euros is excellent, but you can give more if you wish.
Tipping the Receptionist
Receptionists are responsible for your entire stay at the hotel. A generous tip of between 2 and 5 euros is excellent, but you can also give more if you wish.
Tipping the Housekeeping Staff
If you have a room with a view or view from your window, it might have its staff who cleans during your stay. If not, the housekeeping staff will clean your room every day and remove any waste products like towels or sheets before the next guest checks in.
Tipping the Hotel Maid
A hotel housekeeper’s work demands commitment and patience. Tipping them around 2 to 3 euros is greatly appreciated but not required in Spanish tipping etiquette.
Tipping in Cafes
Bars and Cafes are a daily routine for most people, especially students. The cafe, for many locals, is the most convenient place for a quick coffee. If you find yourself in this crowd, you’ll probably have to deal with Barcelona’s 1€ tip tradition.
In Barcelona cafes, it is customary to leave 1 or 2 euros as a tip after your coffee has been served. Many establishments give this service to their patrons as well. You may view tipping as unnecessary, but it’s nice to show your appreciation towards your server and the establishment itself.
Tipping in Transport
Tipping on public transportation is not the same as tipping in restaurants or hotels. A minimal amount is sufficient to make the drivers happy. As said earlier, tipping is unusual among Barcelona residents. Usually, tourists are the ones leaving a tip. So if you are treated nicely on your trip, you may include a tip.
It’s unusual for locals to tip Taxi drivers in Barcelona. They often rush to catch your flight or make it to the company meeting on time. So, what is the finest tip you can give a taxi driver? You may, of course, round up the fare as a tip. Alternatively, they’d be grateful for a 50 cents to 2 euros tip.
Private Cab Drivers
Most visitors to Barcelona hire a private taxi for sightseeing. Tipping them at the end of your trip is courteous. You can give the cab drivers 5 to 10 euros for their all-day service.
Tipping Private Tour Guides
Tour guides well-versed in history and culture beautifully described all the locations. Because their income is primarily seasonal, essential tipping etiquette is appreciated. A gratuity of 5 to 10 euros is appropriate for a group of four. If there are more than four persons, a 10 to 15 euros bonus is sufficient.
Bus drivers are often asked to take tourists from one place to another. They are also the ones who constantly remind you about the time remaining until your departure or if you need to purchase a ticket for your next destination. A few euros apiece will suffice if they have done an excellent job.
Tipping at Airport
Are you traveling into or out of Barcelona-El Prat Airport Josep Tarradellas? You might want assistance with your bags or instructions to the airports. For the help with your luggage, they will appreciate a tip of 1 to 2 euros. However, five dollars is generous for an unexpectedly hearty service for your troubles.
What Are Tips Called in Spain?
The word is “propina” (pronounced: pro-pee-nah), which is the common term used in Spain. Propinas are considered part of what you pay at the end of your meal. Unlike some countries, they are usually not automatically added to your bill unless there is a service charge.
If the service was exceptional, it might be called “una propina gruesa” (“a big tip”), which you would then want to say something like “le voy a dar una buena propina” (I will give you a good tip).
Whenever you may be wondering about Spanish tipping etiquette, keep this standard in mind: Reward excellent service but not poor service. The amounts are often lower than in the United States, but the more you give them, the happier they will be.
Gratuities are not expected but are welcomed. Any gratuity should be regarded as sufficient (if someone is unhappy with it, it is their issue, not yours!) Still, it is also acceptable not to tip. If you do not tip and one feels that they deserve a tip, there is no need to feel offended. It is their choice, not yours.
Now that you’ve read about tipping etiquette, it’s time for travel guides! We have listed some of our guides that will excite you and make you eager to visit this beautiful city.
- Glories Market (A Guide to the Spectacular Building of Encants Vells in Barcelona)
- La Rambla (The Best Things to Do in Barcelona’s Most Famous Street)
- Montjuic Mountain (Best Side Trip For Spectacular Views in Barcelona)
Tipping in Spain (easy to remember) (Guide)
Are you going on a trip to Spain? You are in great company! Spain is the second most visited country in the world with 126. 17 million tourists visited in 2019.
Spain has it all: beaches, mountains, history, flamenco shows, bullring, magnificent buildings, modern and historic cities, delicious food, award-winning wine, music festivals, many hiking and pilgrimage options, art , local markets and dunes to explore. Every traveler on holiday in Spain will find something for themselves.
Before you travel to Spain, you’ll want to know the answer to the question “Do you tip in Spain?”. Why? Tipping culture varies around the world. If you are not familiar with Spanish tipping etiquette, you can make mistakes when tipping. Avoid the hassle of tipping and read our guide to tipping in Spain. Tip confidently, worldwide.
Do you tip in Spain?
Tipping in Spain is optional in most but not all situations. When you do leave a tip, it’s not the typical American-style tip.
Spanish tipping culture and expectations are different from other countries, so read on to avoid overdoing it and making other mistakes. It’s not typical American style tipping when you do leave a tip, or “propina” in Spanish.
Tipping in Spanish restaurants
Eating local cuisine in a restaurant in Spain is a great way to enjoy the country’s culinary creations. However, when it comes time to pay the bill, you will want to know about tipping in restaurants in Spain.
Do you tip waiters in Spain?
If you are eating in a restaurant, you need to know whether to tip the waiter or waitress.
There are two types of restaurants in Spain with two different tipping rules: service included (servicio incluido) and service not included. ( service no Incluido ). If you eat at a restaurant where this service is not included, you will be required to tip the waiters.
If you eat at a restaurant where service is included, you do not need to tip the waiter. While you don’t have to tip, it’s quite common to leave a few extra coins out of your pocket if you’ve received good service; more on that later.
If you are eating at a restaurant where service is not included, you need to tip the waiter.
How much should you tip a waiter in Spain?
You don’t have to tip the waiter at a restaurant with service included (servicio incluido), but you can round up the bill if you get good service. For example, on a €19 banknote, you can leave €20 for the waiter, which is a €1 tip. Don’t confuse the small fee for a frying pan (bread), often referred to as cubierto, as a service charge. This is a small fee that is added to enforce the minimum order amount in places where food sharing is common.
In a restaurant where service is not included (servicio no excluido), you must tip 10% of the total bill. For example, if the bill was 19 euros, you should tip 1.90 euros, for a total of 20.90 euros.
Do not confuse an IVA with a service charge. It’s not like we mentioned earlier in the article.
How do I tip the waiter?
It helps if you tip your waiter in cash to ensure he gets your tip.
If you tip your credit card, you cannot guarantee that your waiter will receive it in full on their wages. As a result, you must tip in cash.
When should I tip the waiter?
Tip the waiter after dinner.
What is IVA? Is this a service charge?
Don’t confuse the “IVA” charge on your restaurant bill with a tip or service charge. IVA is not a tip! An IVA is a value-added tax (similar to a sales tax in the American context) that benefits the government and has nothing to do with paying waiters a salary.
What does IVA mean in Spanish?
IVA stands for “Impuestos sobre el Valor Añadido” which means Value Added Tax (VAT) in English. It is similar to a sales tax, although it is often charged at a higher rate than you are used to in your country.
What is the VAT rate in Spain?
IVA charges vary depending on what you buy. The rate varies from 0% to 21%, with restaurants subject to a 10% IVA tax rate. If you eat in a restaurant, you will pay 10% VAT.
Why should I take care of an IVA when I eat at a restaurant?
Tourists and some uninformed online guides think that IVA is a service charge and therefore you don’t need to tip. This is completely wrong and can lead you to make a reckless oversight.
While most restaurants already have IVA built into the price of the menu, some tourist restaurants do not include it, so they may lower their advertised prices. These restaurants then charge IVA to your restaurant bill at the end, which is deceptive, but just like what happens with sales tax in the United States.
Just like you don’t count sales tax as a tip, neither does an IVA. The IVA is sent to the government and the tip you have to leave in this situation is sent to the servers.
Tipping in Spain: bars and cafes
Are you going for a coffee or a drink in the evening? Before you hit the road, you’ll want to know if you should leave a tip.
Do you tip in bars and cafes in Spain?
No, you don’t have to tip bars or cafes in Spain. Tipping is rare, and since the workers earn a living wage, you don’t have to leave a tip.
How much should you tip in bars and cafes in Spain?
Although tipping is not required, you can leave a tip if you wish. A general rule of thumb is to round up the bill to the next euro and keep the change with the bartender.
Tipping taxis in Spain
Taxi can be a convenient way to get around the cities of Spain. It is also a great way to get to and from the airport by airport taxi. If you are taking a taxi, you will want to know if you should tip taxis in Spain or not.
Do you need to tip taxis in Spain?
No, you don’t need tipping taxis in Spain, and taxi drivers don’t expect tips either.
Of course, taxi drivers always appreciate your tips and will not refuse them.
How much should you tip a taxi driver in Spain?
Although you are not required to tip the taxi driver, you can leave a tip if you feel generous, if you are part of a large group, if he helped you carry your suitcases to the porter, or if the taxi driver went higher and higher for you. It’s always nice to tip taxi drivers. Keep in mind that most drivers charge for luggage, so don’t double-tip in this case.
Standard Spanish taxi driver tip – round to the nearest euro and leave that. So if the fare is 34.20 euros, leave 35 euros. For additional services, such as helping with a lot of hefty bags, you can leave a tip of 1-2 euros.
Don’t follow these online tipping guides that offer a tip of 10% of the taxi fare in Spain. It is clear that they never took a taxi in Spain, and if they did, they overdid it.
Uber tips in Spain
Uber is a great way to get around cities where it is available. But is there an Uber in Spain and should you tip your Uber driver?
Is there Uber in Spain?
Yes, Uber is available in most cities in Spain, but not in all. For example, you can catch an Uber in Madrid, but not in Barcelona. To check if Uber is available in your area, they have a helpful list.
Need to tip Uber in Spain?
No, you don’t need to tip Uber in Spain. Tipping taxis in Spain is not standard, and neither is tipping Uber drivers.
How much should you tip an Uber driver in Spain?
Although tipping the Uber driver is not required, if you wish to tip, you can round up the bill and give the Uber driver the difference in cash from your pocket. Your driver will appreciate it.
A little extra tip if you had bulky luggage or other extras. At the very least it will help with your Uber rider rating.
If you’re interested in using the Uber Tip Calculator, try ours.
Why is Uber not available in Barcelona?
In particular, Uber drivers are not available in Barcelona due to local government restrictions, although you can now book short-term car rentals through the Uber app! If you want to use the traditional Uber chauffeur service in Barcelona, you will have to take a taxi or use the Cabify app.
Is there an alternative to Uber in Barcelona?
If you are in Barcelona, the Cabify app works in Barcelona as an alternative to Uber. Cabify will offer you to sign up for a free contract (part of the workaround) that has no obligation to you on your first booking. Due to local government regulations, you will have to wait 15 minutes for your first ride, but after that first ride, you will not have to wait again.
Tipping guides in Spain
Are you a guided tour in Spain? Guided tours by locals can be a great way to see the sights and understand the history better. If you are going on a tour, you need to know if you should tip your guide in Spain.
Need to tip your guide in Spain?
No, you don’t need to tip your guide in Spain. The tourist guide will certainly appreciate any reward you give him.
How much should you tip your guide in Spain?
Although tipping a guide in Spain is not required, you can tip €5 per person per day if you wish.
Tipping in hotels in Spain
If you are visiting Spain, you can stay at a hotel. Do you need tips for hotel staff in Spain?
Do you leave tips in hotels in Spain?
Tips are expected by hotel porters, called bellboys, who often act as hotel porters.
Other hotel staff don’t expect tips, but the concierge and housekeeping staff always appreciate them.
How much should I tip in hotels in Spain?
You must tip the porter / bellboy in the amount of EUR 1 per bag.
If you wish to tip the hotel maid, 2 euros per day left in the room will be appreciated.
If you used the hotel’s concierge service for your booking and the service was exceptional, you can leave a tip of 5 euros. Exceptional service is booking at a booked restaurant or event and booking at the last minute.
When ordering room service, you can leave a tip of EUR 1 in exchange for room service.
Spain Spa Tipping
Are you going to a spa in Spain to earn some relaxation, a massage or a beauty treatment? Before you arrive for your appointment, you’ll want to know if the tipping culture in resorts in Spain is the same as in your country, or if it’s different.
Do you tip spas in Spain?
Tipping is not required in spas in Spain, but tips are welcome. If your spa therapist has done a great job, feel free to leave a tip.
How much to tip at spas in Spain?
If you would like to tip your spa therapist, you can tip up to 10% of the total cost of your spa treatments.
Will you have your haircut or hair done in Spain? Before heading to the hairdresser, you’ll want to know if you should leave a tip.
Do you tip hairdressers in Spain?
No, you don’t have to tip your hairdresser in Spain, but tips are welcome.
How much tip should I tip a hairdresser in Spain?
Although no tip is required, you can tip your barber up to 10% of the total cost of the haircut if you wish. They will definitely appreciate it!
Frequently asked questions about tips in Spain
People often have specific questions about tips in Spain. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions.
How much do you tip in Spain at dinner?
You must tip 10% for dinner at restaurants that do not include service charges. For restaurants with service charges on their bills, round the bill to the nearest euro.
Is it ok to tip in Spain?
Yes, tipping is normal in Spain. If your bill does not include a service charge, a 10% tip is usually given. If a service charge is included, round up the bill to the next euro to get a small tip.
Is it rude to tip in Spain?
No, tipping is not rude in Spain. Tipping is common and welcome. If the service charge is already included, the general rule is to round up to the next euro. If a service charge is not included, tip 10% of the bill.
Do you tip at nail salons in Spain?
Tips are not required in Spanish nail salons – this is not expected. If you would like to leave a tip, round the bill to the nearest euro.
Are tips taxed in Spain?
Yes, tips are considered taxable income and are subject to withholding by the employer. Tips or props used to be treated differently in Spain, but this is no longer the case.
In theory, this means that if you leave a tip for an employee, he must report it as personal income, and the employer must withhold some of the taxes.
In practice, tips given to employees in cash are difficult to trace. Tips made using a credit card will however be withheld.
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April 4, 2018
Do people leave tea in Spain? And if so, what is the “norm”
Dejar propina in Spanish – leave for tea.
A question that friends often ask me when they come to Spain.⠀
There are no clear rules like in America or, say, in London.
But from my own experience, the Spaniards themselves do not leave much, and even less during the lunch break.
There is no clear 10% in Spain, everything is up to you.
Let’s assume that you drank coffee in a bar, in this case, leave 0.20 €⠀
For the menu of the day (menú del día) it is rarely left for tea, maximum 0.50-1 €. At lunchtime, every euro counts.
If the bill is 70€, you should leave 7€, but it will be 3-5€ (from the personal experience of the owner of the restaurant I declare.
Although it happens that they leave a lot, even from a small bill, but this is rather an exception to the rule).
Spaniards are “stingy” with tea, even when dining at a restaurant with Michelin stars.
On the other hand, all foreigners, primarily Americans and British, leave the “classic” 10%, which makes the hall staff incredibly happy.
At the same time, the waiters, of course, pay attention to “tea”, and on your next visit there will be a table for you, and will advise you on the choice of dishes better.
This does not mean that if you do not leave a tip, then you will be treated badly, but just in case, I will say that the restaurant workers have a good memory. Very!
Second question: Where is it appropriate to give tea?
In a beauty salon, yes. 2-5€⠀
Taxi driver or bellboy in a hotel, taxi driver 1-2€; bellboy depending on the star rating of the hotel and the amount of luggage you have.⠀
Guest relations manager (relaciones públicas) at the disco, and then if you go there all the time and want some special table⠀
Fitness trainer, no. It will look strange⠀
There is no doctor either (remember our chocolates for a doctor? So in Spain it’s better not to)
Yes, and by the way, on a check in Spain, you will see IVA 10% or IVA 18%, this is VAT, not a service.