Tipping in Spain – The ultimate Guide on where and how much to tip in Spain

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Many of us would certainly not leave a restaurant or café without leaving an appreciable tip. But what is it actually like in Spain? Is tipping in Spain also common? And if so, how much gratuity should you leave?

After living in the country for almost six years, I have adapted well to the Spanish tipping culture. Therefore, in this guide, you will find everything you need to know about leaving tips in Spain, standard tipping rates, and an overview of where and how much you should tip.

Do you tip in Spain?

Tipping in Spain is common but not required. Tipping is, therefore, only necessary or advisable for outstanding service. However, for tourist activities such as room service or city tours, you should definitely leave a little gratuity.

How much tipping is customary in Spain?

Sangria, jar of Sangria in Spain
One of the most popular drinks in the country: Sangria

In restaurants, bars, and cafes, around 5-10% of the bill is common. Generally, however, there is no set standard rate, so you can decide how much you think is appropriate. Despite everything, tipping is not required.

Accordingly, you only need to tip if the service is excellent.

Later in this article, however, we will discuss various situations and places where tipping might be appropriate.

A step-by-step guide to tipping in a Spanish restaurant

Paella Valenciana
When visiting Spain, you shouldn’t miss a delicious paella

While in the US, you can directly add the amount you would like to leave, tips in Spain work a little differently.

In the following paragraph, you will find a small step-by-step guide to tipping in Spain.

  1. When you are done with your food or drink, you can let the staff know that you want to pay by saying, “Me cobras?” (“Will you charge me?)” or “La cuenta, por favor” (“The bill, please“).
  2. Pay the requested amount in cash or by card and get your change (“cambio“) if necessary.
  3. Afterward, you can leave some coins (about 5-10%). This can be done either on a small tip plate (if available), leaving the money at the bar or table, or giving it directly to the waiter/barman.

Tipping in cash or with Credit Card in Spain?

Pay with card in Spain, card reader

The service in the restaurant while trying out various delicious Spanish dishes was excellent, and you would like to leave a tip. But if you pay for your meal with a card, should you pay the tip in cash or directly with a card?

Both are common in Spain. It is probably easier to tip in cash since no knowledge of Spanish is required. However, you also have the option of tipping directly when you pay by card.

Before paying, indicate that you would like to leave a tip. In this way, the waiter can easily adjust the amount to be paid.

Note: Of course, keep in mind when paying by card, the money may go directly to the owner of the establishment and not to the wait staff, which is especially the case in larger establishments or chains.

Card payment fees

If your account is located within the European Monetary Union (Euro), you usually don’t have to worry about bank fees when paying by card. Most banks and credit card providers do not charge any fees for card payments within the European Monetary Union.

However, if your account is located outside of this zone or you regularly use a different currency, you should definitely check the costs before traveling. If you are charged for paying abroad or in another currency, it is worth paying in cash instead.

Especially in big tourist cities like Barcelona or Madrid, it can be worthwhile to carry as little cash as possible with you. This is because Barcelona is considered the capital of pickpockets.

Tipping in Spain: Where and how much?

WhereHow much?
Restaurant0-10 %
Bar & Café0-10 %
Hotelca. 1 € per day per person
Travel GuideAccording to satisfaction, ca. 1-5 € per day
City Guidesome coins/10-15 € for Free Walking Tour
Taxi Driver0 €-rounding up
other Services0-10 % (depending on service)
Clubs & Discos/
Other means of transportrounding up (for tours)

Tipping in Restaurants in Spain

Tapas in Spanien, typical spanish snacks
Tapas are just one of many excellent things to try in Spain

In a restaurant in Spain, tipping is not usually expected. However, if the service was very good and you would like to leave a tip, it will, of course, be appreciated. You can simply round up your bill.

The usual amount is about 5-10 % of your bill.

The tip is usually given after the actual payment. Only when paying by card, should you let them know at the time of payment that you would like to pay a tip.

Otherwise, when you leave the restaurant, you can simply leave a few coins on your seat, in the leather wallet or the pay tray (if available), or to the waiter himself.

Tipping in Bars & Cafés in Spain

Bar in Spain with wooden barrels

Tipping is also not a must in bars and cafes in Spain. You could leave around 5-10% of the bill or round up your bill if the service was great.

Like restaurants, you usually pay the tip after the actual payment. Only if you pay by card should you already indicate when paying that you want to leave a tip.

Otherwise, when you leave the bar or café, you can simply leave a few coins at the table or the counter or hand them directly to the waiter. Some bars also have a kind of tip box (“bote“) at the bar, into which you can throw a few coins when leaving or paying.

Tipping in the Hotel in Spain

tipping in a spanish hotel

Especially in the tourist sector, tipping is also becoming more and more common in Spain. The rule of thumb here is the more touristy/expensive, the more typical it is to tip. Therefore, this is especially true in tourist resorts, all-inclusive hotels, or luxury hotels. In hostels and backpacker accommodations, on the other hand, tipping is anything but obligatory.

In an averagely expensive middle-class-upscale hotel, you can, therefore, gladly leave a tip for room service or fulfilled extra requests. Here you can orientate yourself to about 1 € per night stay. If the service was particularly good, this can of course also be increased.

If the hotel staff brings the luggage to the room, you can tip about 1 € per suitcase.

If breakfast or other meals are included in the hotel, the waiters and staff in the catering area are also happy to receive a small tip, which can be divided between the employees. Depending on the service and length of stay, tipping around €5 at the end of the stay is reasonable.

Another option is to simply round up the amount to be paid for the hotel staff’s tip box when paying at check-out.

Tipping Travel Guides in Spain

If you are visiting Spain on a package tour or group tour, you may have a travel guide on-site. Although the guide is, of course, compensated, it is still customary to leave a small tip.

On group tours, the tip is often handed over by the group. Either each group member gives a prearranged amount, or everyone contributes what they think is appropriate.

Of course, it depends on how often the guide accompanies you and how good the service is. As a rule of thumb, however, you can orientate yourself to 1-5 € per day per person.

Tipping City Guides in Spain

Are you planning a city tour at your destination in Spain? Then you will surely be interested in the tipping habits regarding city guides.

It is quite common to give your guide a small tip after the tour. The amount depends mainly on the length and type of the tour and the size of the group (e.g., whether it is a group or private tour).

Especially with so-called “Free Walking Tours” (free city tours), you should leave an appropriate tip. Because these city guides live off the visitors’ tips, they show the city to. (And let’s face it, if you get a free city tour, there are definitely a few euros in it, right). Here, depending on the length of the tour, you can gladly give € 5-15 per person.

With paid city tours, on the other hand, if you pay cash, you can simply round up the amount or hand the city guide a few coins at the end.

Tipping Taxi Drivers in Spain

Car picks up travelers at Barcelona airport, taxi
A typical Spanish Taxi at Barcelona Airport (El Prat)

When taking a taxi in Spain, it is not customary to give a tip. However, if you have a lot of luggage that the cab driver has stowed well in the car, you can very well tip a small amount at the end.

If your cab driver gives you great tips for your trip or has been helpful in any other way, you can feel free to leave a small token of gratitude.
Otherwise, though, you don’t need to feel compelled to leave a tip.

If you use taxi apps or other online services to order your cab, you often have the option to add a small tip to your payment afterward. In any case, your driver will be happy to receive a good review.

Tipping for other services in Spain

Whether it’s a hairdresser, a massage, or another type of service, should a tip be left in this case? In general, we can summarize again that the tip depends on the type of service and especially the cost class.

In general, however, it is also true for general services that the tip is purely optional and is, therefore, usually not required. The more touristy the service, the more common the tip.

For luxurious and expensive treatments, such as expensive hairdressers, massages, or beauty treatments, you can round up the amount when paying or leave a few euros tip when leaving.

Tipping when Going Out (Clubs, Discos, & Night bars) in Spain

Similar to most European countries, it is also unusual in Spain to leave a tip in night bars, clubs, and discos. If your drink was particularly good or the service surprisingly pleasant, you can leave a coin or two.

In general, there is no standard percentage, as it is not customary to leave a tip.

Tipping for other means of transport (Boats etc.) in Spain

For tourist transportation, such as a boat tour or a rickshaw, you can certainly leave a few euros at the end of your tour.

For public transport such as the metro, buses, or the airport bus, however, it is very uncommon to give a tip.

Tipping in different Regions of Spain

tipping in a spanish restaurant

Now that we’ve already looked at where tipping is appropriate let’s take a look at a few of the different regions of Spain and compare tipping habits.

Tipping on the Balearic Islands

Mallorca and Ibiza are two of the most touristy regions in Spain. In the very tourist areas, you might want to leave a little bigger tip if the service is good.

Outside the tourist strongholds, however, you can orient yourself well and gladly to the previous guide for tipping.

Tipping in Canary Island

The Canary Islands are also a popular destination for travelers. In general, similar tipping habits apply here as on the Spanish mainland. In general, you can also follow the rule of thumb: the more touristy or expensive a place is, the more likely it is that you are expected to tip.

Generally, however, tipping is also optional in the Canary Islands, and you can always choose not to tip at all.

Tipping on the Spanish mainland (Barcelona, Madrid, and more)

Generally, tipping is not required on the Spanish mainland and can be done by feel. If you experience great service, you can round up the bill or leave 5-10% of the bill amount.

However, if the service was only average or did not convince you at all, you can leave without tipping without a guilty conscience.

Summary of Spanish Propina

Tipping in Spain, plate with euro coins

In general, it can be said that tipping is not obligatory in Spain. In fact, tipping is generally less frequent and less frequent than in the US, Uk, or Germany.

Despite this, tipping is gladly accepted and can therefore be given if the service is very excellent. You can accordingly calculate the tip according to your feelings. It is enough to round up or give a few coins.

The more touristy and expensive a place is, the more common the tip is.

FAQ about Tipping culture in Spain

Is the tip included in the bill in Spain?

Tipping is not usually included in the bill in Spain. However, since waiters are entitled to the minimum wage, tipping is not obligatory.

How much tip is customary in Spain?

In Spain, tipping is not obligatory and is therefore reserved for exceptional service. If you wish to leave a tip, around 5-10% of the bill is appropriate.

Is it rude not to tip in Spain?

In Spain, it is not impolite to leave a restaurant without tipping. As a rule, tips are only given for very, very high-quality service.

Can I pay the tip by credit card in Spain?

In Spain, it is normal to pay by credit card. If you wish to tip, you can do so by credit card in many establishments. However, keep in mind that tipping is not obligatory in Spain.

Do I tip per group or per person in Spain?

In Spain, people usually pay as a group and therefore tip as a group. If you are invited by another person, you can also offer to take over the tip.

How do you say “tip” in Spanish?

The word “tip” translates to “propina” in Spanish.

Can I tip in US-Dollar in Spain?

The whole of Spain uses Euros as its currency. Accordingly, if you want to leave a tip, it makes more sense to tip using Euros.

Do people tip in Spain?

in general, leaving a tip in Spain is optional. Therefore, you can choose whether you think the service deserves a tip or not and tip accordingly.


About the AuthorVicki

Hi, we are Vicki & Eduardo, an international travel couple on a mission to help you save money for priceless travel experience. Follow us through the miracles of this world and you will be rewarded with a bunch of practical travel tips.

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7 thoughts on Tipping in Spain – The ultimate Guide on where and how much to tip in Spain

  1. Hi there,

    I live in Andalucia, southern region in Spain for more than 8 years now. I read your post and I am totally disagree with your post about tipping here in Spain.
    In Andalucia, most natives won’t leave tip like in the US which is required around 15 – 18% and sometimes the tip is immediately add for party more than 4 people, unless some changes less than 1 euro.
    It is not a common thing to leave tips; however, yes to some extent foreigners from UK, US, and other primer countries normally they leave tips because the price is considered cheap compare to their country origin. Sometimes WOW exclamation heard because yes, it is cheap!
    In the bar, the servers or camarer@s don’t expect tips or propinas from clients because they already receive monthly salary whether there are clients or no clients. It is different in the US where all server don’t even get close to minimum wage and they normally depend on tips.

      • Not correct (from a permanent resident of 20 years). What the article says is firstly that “Tipping in Spain is common, but not required. Tipping is therefore only necessary or advisable for outstanding service.” It then says that “tipping in restaurants is 5 – 10%”. The two statements are therefore contradictory. Carong is therefore correct. In the British/USA/Canadian sense and level, tipping is indeed not common. Unless a restaurant meal is outstanding in terms of EXCEEDING expected quality/service/value, there will be no drama if you don’t tip anything. Locals do no appreciate foreigners importing their standards into Spain, where a minimum wage at any popular tourist establishment is almost guaranteed, unlike in, say, the restaurant business in the U.S.A. in decades perhaps now past. The question should be if tipping in THOSE countries is still justified.

        • Hi Peter,

          Thanks a lot for your comment and your side of things. That’s basically what the article says, isn’t it? 🙂 I absolutely agree with you that in local places, a tip is not required. But many touristy places appreciate (and even expect) the tip anyway, and if you are a tourist visiting looking for the right amount to give when you have been treated wonderfully, 5-10% is a reasonable amount. Hope that clears things up

        • You’re absolutely right. I live in Madrid. The only people who would even think about tipping here are idiots from the United States, which can’t pay its restaurant workers a living wage.

    • Hi Bo Hahn,

      It depends on how much you enjoyed the trip and how expensive it was. I’d probably say about 10 € per person (guide + driver each) is totally fine if you are a small group. If you are a bigger group, 5 € per pax is great.


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