Tipping in Spain: a guide to gratuity customs

Tipping is a cultural practice that varies from country to country, and Spain is no exception. While tipping is not as common in Spain as it is in (for example) the United States, it is still a common practice in some situations. In this article, we will explore tipping customs in Spain and provide guidance on when and how much to tip.

Is tipping expected in Spain?

Tipping in Spain is not mandatory or expected in most situations. However, leaving a small tip in appreciation for good service is always appreciated, especially in the hospitality and service industries. Keep in mind that workers do not rely on tips to make ends meet. In many cases, service charges may already be included in the bill.

Tipping in restaurants

In restaurants, the general rule is to leave a small tip if you are pleased with the service. In some cases, a service charge may already be included in the bill. If this is the case, you do not need to leave an additional tip unless you feel that the service was exceptional. If there is no service charge included, a tip of 5-10% of the total bill is appropriate.

It is also worth noting that in some higher-end restaurants, especially those in touristy areas, a service charge may be included in the bill regardless of the level of service. In these cases, tipping is not necessary unless the service was truly outstanding.

Tipping in bars and cafés

Tipping in bars and cafés is not common, but leaving some small change is appreciated. If you are sitting at a table and have received table service, you may want to leave a small tip. However, if you are standing at the bar and order a drink, tipping is not expected.

Tipping in hotels

Tipping in hotels is also not expected, but it is appreciated. You may want to leave a small tip for the housekeeping staff, especially if they have gone above and beyond in cleaning your room. In addition, leaving a small tip for the porter who helps you with your luggage is also customary.

Tipping in taxis

Tipping in taxis is not common, but rounding up the fare to the nearest euro is appreciated. For example, if your fare is €9.50, you can round up to €10. However, if you receive exceptional service, you may want to leave a larger tip.


In conclusion, tipping in Spain is not as common or expected as it is in some other countries. While leaving a small tip to show appreciation for good service is always appreciated, it is not mandatory. If you are unsure about whether or not to tip, look for clues such as a service charge included in the bill or ask a local for advice. By following these tips, you can enjoy your time in Spain without worrying about tipping etiquette.

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