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Travel Essentials

Travel Essentials: Tipping


Tipping is not a customary practice in Spain; however, you will find that many restaurants and cafés do have tip jars on their counters. While locals do not usually tip, some service workers have come to expect tips from foreigners, especially those who come from countries where tipping is common. This does not mean that you have to tip service staff' tip when and if you feel that you have received excellent service. In upscale restaurants, leaving a small tip or rounding up the bill is appreciated, but still not required. On the other hand, one common tourist misconception is that the street performers on Las Ramblas in Barcelona are paid by a business or the government; because these performers are not paid a living wage, leaving a small tip is greatly appreciated. 

The local currency in Spain is the euro (€). If you do choose to tip, use the local currency.

Tipping Guide

Setting Gratuities
Transportation Tipping a taxi driver by rounding up the bill is appreciated.

Tipping porters €1 or €2 is appreciated, but not obligatory.

Leaving a 5–10 percent tip for housekeeping staff is appreciated, but not obligatory.

Restaurants, Bars, Cafés

In upscale restaurants, leave waiters a 5–10 percent tip based on your level of satisfaction with the service. 

Bartenders are not generally tipped, but if you do leave a tip, make sure it is given directly to your server, as managers tend to keep tips.

Cafés will often have tip jars on their counters; do not feel obligated to leave a tip unless you feel that you have received excellent service.

Personal Services Tip hairdressers 5–10 percent of the total bill if you are satisfied with their service.


Terms for Payment and Tipping

The official language of Spain is Spanish, also known as Castilian (Castellano). Additionally, several co-official languages are recognized in specific autonomous communities, including Catalan, Basque, Galician, and Occitan/Aranese. Terms in Spanish that you might encounter and find useful for point-of-payment situations are below. 

English Spanish Phonetic Pronunciation
The bill, please. La cuenta, por favor. lah kwen-tah, por fah-vor.
How much is this? ¿Cuánto cuesta esto? KWAHN-toh KWEHS-tah EHS-toh?
Is service included? ¿Está incluido el servicio? ehs-tah een-kloo-ee-doh el sehr-vee-syo?
Money Dinero dee-neh-roh
Please Por favor Por fah-vor
Thank you Gracias GRAH-see-ahss
Yes See
No No No


Sources: Spain Tourism Board, Barcelona Tourism Board