Are you going on a trip to Spain? You’re in great company! Spain is the 2nd most visited country in the world with 126.17 million tourists visiting in 2019.
Spain has it all: beaches, mountains, history, Flamenco shows, the bull ring, magnificent buildings, modern and historic cities, delicious food, award-winning wine, music festivals, plenty of options for hikers and walks for pilgrims, art, local markets, and dunes to explore. There’s something for every traveler on a Spain vacation.
Before you go to Spain, you’ll want to know the answer to “Do you tip in Spain?”. Why? Tipping culture varies around the world. If you aren’t familiar with Spanish tipping etiquette, you might make a tipping mistake. Avoid tipping embarrassment and read our Tipping in Spain guide. Tip confidently, worldwide.
Do You Tip In Spain?
Tipping in Spain is optional in most, but not all, situations. When you do leave a tip, it’s not your typical American-style tip.
The Spanish tipping culture and expectations differ from other countries, so read on to avoid overtipping and other tipping mistakes. It’s not your typical American-style tip when you do leave a tip, or ‘propina’ in Spanish.
Tipping at Restaurants in Spain
Sampling the local cuisine at a restaurant in Spain is a great way to indulge in the country’s culinary creations. When it’s time to pay the bill, though, you’ll want to know about tipping at restaurants in Spain.
Do you tip waiters in Spain?
If you’re eating at a restaurant, you’ll want to know if you should leave your waiter or waitress a tip.
There are two types of restaurants in Spain with two different tipping rules: service is included (servicio incluido), and service is not included (servicio no incluido). If you’re eating at a restaurant where the service is not included, you will be expected to tip the servers.
If you’re eating at a restaurant where service is included, you don’t have to tip your waiter. Although you don’t have to tip, it’s pretty common to leave a few extra coins from your pockets if you received good service; more on that later.
If you’re eating at a restaurant where service is not included, you need to tip your waiter.
How much should you tip your waiter in Spain?
You don’t have to tip your waiter at a restaurant where service is included (servicio incluido) but can round up the bill if you received good service. For example, on a 19 euro bill, you could leave the waiter 20 euros which is a 1 euro tip. Don’t confuse a small ‘pan’ (bread) charge, often labeled ‘cubierto’, as a service charge. That’s a small charge that’s added to ensure a minimum order amount at places where sharing dishes is prevalent.
At a restaurant where service is not included (servicio no incluido), you should tip 10% of the total bill. For example, if the bill was 19 euros, you should tip 1.90 euros for a total of 20.90 euros.
Don’t confuse the IVA with a service charge. It’s not, as we mentioned earlier in the article.
How should I leave a tip to my waiter?
It would help if you tipped your waiter in cash to ensure that he receives your tip.
If you tip through your credit card, you can’t be guaranteed that your waiter will receive it in full in his wages. As a result, you should tip in cash.
When should I tip my waiter?
Tip your waiter after enjoying your meal.
What is the IVA? Is it a service charge?
Don’t confuse a charge on your restaurant bill for “IVA” with being a tip or a service charge. The IVA is not a tip! The IVA is a value-added tax (similar to a sales tax in an American context) that goes to the government and has nothing to do with paying the waiters’ salaries.
What does IVA stand for in Spanish?
IVA stands for “Impuestos sobre el Valor Añadido”, which means Value Added Tax (VAT) when translated to English. It’s similar to a sales tax, although it’s often charged at a higher rate than you might be used to in your own country.
What is the IVA rate in Spain?
IVA is charged differently depending on what you’re buying. The rate varies from 0% – 21%, with restaurants falling in the 10% IVA tax rate bracket. If you’re eating out at a restaurant, you’ll be paying 10% IVA.
Why should I care about IVA when eating at a restaurant?
Tourists and some uninformed online tipping guides believe the IVA is a service charge, and therefore you don’t have to tip. That’s completely wrong and can leave you making a tipping faux pas.
Although most restaurants already have the IVA built into the menu price, some touristic restaurants don’t include it so they can lower their advertised prices. These restaurants then charge the IVA to your restaurant bill at the end, which is deceptive but precisely the same as what happens with sales tax in the United States.
Just like you wouldn’t consider a sales tax to be a tip, neither is the IVA. The IVA goes to the government, while the tip you should leave in this situation goes to the servers.
Tipping in Spain: Bars and Cafes
Are you headed out for a coffee or an evening drink? Before heading out, you’ll want to know whether you should leave a tip or not.
Do you tip at bars and cafes in Spain?
No, you don’t have to tip at bars or cafes in Spain. Tipping is uncommon, and since workers earn a living wage you don’t need to leave a tip.
How much should you tip at bars and cafes in Spain?
Although tipping isn’t required, feel free to leave a tip if you want to. A general rule of thumb is to round up the bill to the next euro and let the bartender keep the change.
Tipping Taxis in Spain
Taxis can be a convenient way to get around cities in Spain. It’s also a great way to go to and from the airport in an airport taxi. If you’re taking a taxi, you’ll want to know whether you should tip taxis in Spain or not.
Do you need to tip taxis in Spain?
No, you don’t need to tip taxis in Spain, and tips won’t be expected by taxi drivers, either.
Of course, taxi drivers always appreciate your tips and won’t refuse them.
How much should you tip a taxi driver in Spain?
Although you don’t have to tip your taxi driver, you can leave a tip if you are feeling generous, if you’re part of a larger group, he helped you move your suitcases to the doorman, or if the taxi driver went above and beyond for you. It’s always a nice gesture to tip cab drivers. Keep in mind that most drivers charge a bag fee, so don’t double tip if that’s the case.
A taxi driver’s standard Spanish tip would be to round up to the nearest euro and leave that. So if the fare is 34.20 euros, leave 35 euros. For extra services, such as helping with many hefty bags, you could leave a 1- 2 euro tip.
Don’t follow those online tipping guides that suggest tipping 10% of the taxi fare in Spain. It’s clear they’ve never taken a taxi in Spain, or if they did, they’ve overtipped.
Tipping Uber in Spain
Uber is a great way to get around in cities where it’s available. But is there Uber in Spain, and do you need to leave your Uber driver a tip?
Is there Uber in Spain?
Yes, there Uber is available in most cities in Spain, but not all. For example, you can catch an Uber in Madrid but not in Barcelona. To check if Uber is available in your area, they have a helpful list.
Do you need to tip Uber in Spain?
No, you don’t need to tip Uber in Spain. Tipping taxis in Spain is not standard, and neither is tipping Uber drivers.
How much should you tip an Uber driver in Spain?
Although tipping your Uber driver is not required, if you want to leave a tip, you can round up the bill and give the Uber driver the difference in small change from your pockets. Your driver will appreciate it.
Tip a little more if you had cumbersome baggage or received other extra services. If nothing else, it’ll help with your Uber rider rating.
If you’re interested in using an Uber tip calculator, try ours out.
Why isn’t Uber available in Barcelona?
Most notably, Uber drivers are unavailable in Barcelona due to local governmental restrictions, although you can now book a short-term car rental through the Uber app! If you want to use a traditional Uber driver service in Barcelona, you’ll have to take a taxi or use the Cabify App instead.
Is there an alternative to Uber in Barcelona?
If you are in Barcelona, the Cabify app works in Barcelona as an Uber alternative. Cabify will have you sign up for a free contract (part of the workaround) that has no obligations to you on your first booking. As a result of local governmental regulations, you’ll have to wait 15 minutes for your first ride, but after that first trip, you won’t have to wait again.
Tipping Tour Guides in Spain
Are you taking a guided tour in Spain? Tours by locals can be a great way to see the sights and better understand history. If you’re taking a guided tour, you’ll want to know if you should tip your tour guide in Spain.
Do you need to tip your tour guide in Spain?
No, you don’t need to tip your tour guide in Spain. A tourist guide will, of course, appreciate any gratuity that you do give them.
How much should you tip your tour guide in Spain?
Although tipping a tour guide in Spain is not required, you can leave a 5 euro tip per person, per day if you want to.
Tipping at Hotels in Spain
If you’re visiting Spain, you might be staying in a hotel. Do you need to tip the staff at hotels in Spain?
Do you tip at hotels in Spain?
Tips are expected by a hotel’s luggage porters, called bellhops, who often double as the hotel’s doorman.
Other hotel staff doesn’t expect tips, but the hotel concierge and housekeeping staff always appreciate them.
How much should I tip at hotels in Spain?
You should tip your luggage porter/bellhop 1 euro per bag.
If you’d like to tip your hotel maid, 2 euros per day left in the room will be appreciated.
If you used the hotel concierge to make a booking and the service was exceptional, you can tip 5 euros. Exceptional service would be getting a reservation at a booked-out restaurant or event and last-minute reservations.
When ordering room service, you can leave a tip of 1 euro in change to the room service staff.
Tipping at Spas in Spain
Are you headed to a spa in Spain for some well-deserved relaxation, a massage, or beauty treatments? Before arriving for your appointment, you’ll want to know if the tipping culture at spas in Spain is the same as in your country or if it is different.
Do you tip at spas in Spain?
You don’t have to tip at spas in Spain, but tips are appreciated. If your spa therapist did a great job, feel free to leave a tip.
How much should you tip at spas in Spain?
If you want to leave your spa therapist a tip, you can tip up to 10% of the total cost of the spa treatments.
Tipping at Hair Salons in Spain
Will you be getting a haircut or having your hair styled in Spain? Before heading to the hairdresser, you’ll want to know whether or not you’re supposed to leave a tip.
Do you tip at hair salons in Spain?
No, you don’t have to tip your hairdresser in Spain, but tips are appreciated.
How much should you tip your hairstylist in Spain?
Although tips are not required, you can tip your hairdresser up to 10% of the total cost of your haircut if you want to. They’re sure to appreciate it!
Frequently Asked Tipping in Spain Questions
People often have specific questions about tipping in Spain. Here are some of the most common questions people ask.
How much do you tip in Spain for dinner?
You should tip 10% for dinner at restaurants that do not include a service charge. At restaurants that have a service charge in the bill, round up the restaurant bill to the nearest euro.
Is it normal to tip in Spain?
Yes, it’s normal to tip in Spain. When there is no service charge included on your bill, it’s common to tip 10%. If a service charge is included, round up the bill to the next euro for a small tip.
Is it rude to tip in Spain?
No, it’s not rude to tip in Spain. Tipping is common and appreciated. If a service charge is already included, the general rule of thumb is to round up to the next euro. If a service charge isn’t included, tip 10% of the bill amount.
Do you tip at nail salons in Spain?
You don’t need to tip at nail salons in Spain as it’s not expected. If you feel like leaving a tip, round up the bill to the nearest euro.
Are tips taxable in Spain?
Yes, tips are considered taxable income and are subject to employer withholding. In the past tips, or ‘propinas’, were treated differently in Spain but that is no longer the case.
Theoretically, this means that if you leave a worker a tip, they’re supposed to report it as personal income, and the employer is supposed to withhold a portion for taxes.
In practice, tips that are given to a worker in cash are difficult to track. Tips made using a credit card will be subject to withholding, though.