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.
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.
The proper tip amounts at luxury hotels are probably quite universal, and they work for Spain too: one euro/dollar per piece of luggage will make them happy.
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.
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.
How do people tip in your country? And what do you do when you are traveling?
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