“What about tipping in Spain?” customers have asked me since I began to live in and
build our tour business organizing Spain private tours & luxury travel many years ago.
So my team asked me to write something on the topic of Spain tipping before we all head out to a tapas & wine tasting dinner in Madrid. Yes amigos, R & D and quality control is important 🙂
First the Spanish waiters by law get a real wage and the Spanish public are not traditionally big tippers nor is most of Europe. Because of these wages many bars and cafes have less serving staff working than you might see in America. So expect slower service and note that nobody is “turning tables” as meals are a time to relax not eat and run. So gratuities in Spain are not expected and it is certainly not a legal requirement to tip.
BUT if you are like me from the USA where tipping is customary and want to reward good service by all means do so. Read on for examples for different service providers. Also if you certainly won’t be insulting anybody by leaving a tip in Spain.
The norm here (if you want to follow local tipping etiquette), is small change for bars, single euros for other transactions including taxis and everyday restaurants.
For hotel porters you might leave around a euro per large bag.
For more upscale dining anywhere between 5 and 10 percent again IF you are happy. Again folks working in the Spanish hospitaity sector are by law protected employees and are so unlike those in the USA are paid a real salary for the work they do.
For private guided tours IF you are happy perhaps leave the guide 20 to 30€ for her or his efforts for a half day of touring. Maybe add 10 to 15€ for a full day.
For drivers maybe 5 – 10€ for a short airport or train transfer and 15 – 25€ for longer transfers based on your experience.
See more here including my take on Spanish cultural norms => https://docs.google.com/