Tipping in Spain
Tipping is not an expectation in Spain, but it is always a good idea, as a tourist, to leave a good impression. On the whole when leaving a tip at a bar, some small change will always be appreciated.
In most countries waiters rely on tips as part of their income, but in Spain waiters are considered to be full time employees and as such receive a living-wage, so tipping after a meal is at the discretion of the customer.
If you are eating out and would like to leave a tip then it is usual to calculate a 10% tip if you have just enjoyed an excellent meal at an up-market restaurant where the service has been excellent and about 5% if at a more relaxed informal eatery, but again, only if you have been satisfied with the service.
It you enjoy a meal, but everything is self-service, there is no need to leave a tip, but you can leave some small change if you are really impressed with the venue, friendliness or helpfulness.
You need to consider tipping at hotels and particularly if you are staying for a while as this will ensure a cooperative and helpful attitude.
Arriving at the Hotel:
If a one of the staff whether it is the doorman or a porter has assisted you with your luggage you can consider tipping €1 per each individual item or a little more if for assisting with all your luggage either up to your room, or on leaving.
It is always a good idea to tip the housekeeper/chamber maid at the very beginning of your stay. Most tourists calculate this tip at around €2 for each day of your stay at budget hotels and around €5 per day if you enjoy the good fortune of staying at a high-end hotel.
Additional tips: Of course if you have received exceptional service during your stay and would like to show your appreciation, you can add to what you have already tipped, or tip someone who you did not tip at the start or during your stay. If your hotel’s doorman has been particularly helpful you could consider a tip in the region of €5 or at a top-end hotel, in the region of €10.
Taxi drivers, on the whole are very appreciative of a tip, but only if they have been friendly and you don’t think that they have, in any way, made you feel awkward or unwelcome.
From the airport:
This can be a long ride to your accommodation and of course there is luggage to be taken into account. So calculate a tip of between €1 of even €2 if your ride was really long and the taxi driver excellent.
Within the city/town:
Your taxi driver will be quite happy with some small change but don’t go overboard. More than €1 would be unwarranted, particularly as there is no luggage to worry about.
If you booked a transfer from the airport with a private shuttle service you can consider a tip in the region of €10. But once again it will depend on how satisfied you are with the service and the driver. If they are not welcoming or make you feel dissatisfied in anyway, then you can reconsider your tip either by reducing it or not tipping at all.
Chauffeur driven services:
If you have taken a private chauffeur-driven tour then you clearly are in the up-market category and will have to consider your tip accordingly. But remember that if you are only one of a group then a group tip will be the order of the day. You need to get together and combine tips to accumulate a reasonable tip. If your tour/excursion was 4 hours or more it is usual to tip in the region of €20.
All the suggested tips in this section take into account that you will be touring in a group and your group can combine individual tips to reach the overall group tip, so that one tip is given as a group gesture.
Short guided tours:
It is as well to note that in Spain the Spanish people do not consider it necessary to tip the guide, so for short tours of no more than 1 or 2 hours a tip of €5 will be appreciated, but only if your group has enjoyed the tour and you have found the guide to be well versed, informative and even entertaining. Don’t tip as a matter of course, if you are not impressed.
Half & Full-day Tours:
You can use the amount of €5 multiplied by the number of hours of the tour as a rough guide. For example a four hour enjoyable guided tour, around €20 and so on. However this would reach an exorbitant amount if calculating for a full day tour. So for a full day, enjoyable and excellent tour, you can consider €50 for the whole tour.
There is no suggested amount for tours that span a few days as this will be up to you and your group. A get-together to arrive at a group, agreed amount is a good idea.