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Although these two countries are divided “only” by the Atlantic Ocean, principles of tipping in Spain look substantially different than in the USA. In Spain tipping is accepted, often appreciated but not expected. The reason is that Spanish waiters and waitresses earn comparatively more than their American counterparts and do not have to rely on extra money received from customers. In the Spanish restaurants during the daytime, it is perfectly fine to tip 1 euro per person. At nighttime, when Spanish streets are thronging with life, people go out to feast, and a tip of 5% – 10% for an excellent service, especially in a fancy restaurant, is highly appreciated.
When it comes to paying for beer in a pub or coffee
in a café, there is entirely no need to tip. In fact, it would not even come to the minds of locals to tip for such a thing. The only thing that you can do is to leave the change. For example, if the bill is 4,90 euro and you pay with 5 euro coin, you may leave the 10 euro cents on the table. When you go “de Tapas”, visiting many places in one night, it would be crazy to leave a significant tip everywhere.
Taxi and bus drivers don’t expect a tip but will be happy to receive one (e.g., after helping you with carrying your bags).
Probably the most common places to tip in Spain are hotels. The American culture of tipping has come to this sector of Spanish industry already. In Spanish hotel you should tip: porter for carrying your luggage (1 euro per bag), room service personnel for meal delivery (1 – 2 euros), maids for tidying up the room (2 – 4 euros per day) and doorman for halting a cab and helping you with loading the bags (1 – 2 euros).
Don’t forget about the tour guides! An exciting trip around the town should be gratified with a bigger tip (5 euros if you are a part of a larger group, 10 – 15 euros if the trip was more private). Now you know everything about tipping in Spain!