A certain gallantry keeps Spanish service workers from seeming to care about your small change, but waiters and other service people expect to be tipped, and you can be sure that your contribution will be appreciated. On the other hand, if you experience bad or surly service, don’t feel obligated to leave a tip.

Restaurant checks always include service. The bill may not tell you that the service is included, but it is. An extra tip of 5% to 10% of the bill is icing on the cake. Leave tips in cash, even if paying by credit card. If you eat tapas or sandwiches at a bar, just round up the bill to the nearest euro. Tip cocktail servers €0.50 a drink, depending on the bar. In a fancy establishment, leave no more than a 10% tip even though service is included—likewise if you had a great time.

Taxi drivers expect no tip and are happy if you round up in their favor. A tip of 5% of the total fare is considered generous. Long rides or extra help with luggage may merit a tip, but if you’re short of change, you’ll never hear a complaint. On the contrary, your driver may sometimes round down in your favor instead of ransacking his pockets for exact change.

Tip hotel porters €1 a bag, and the bearer of room service €1. A doorman who calls a taxi for you gets €1. If you stay in a hotel for more than two nights, tip the maid about €1 per night. A concierge should receive a tip for service, from €1 for basic help to €5 or more for special assistance such as getting reservations at a popular restaurant.

Tour guides should be tipped about €2, barbers €1, and women’s hairdressers at least €2 for a wash and style. Restroom attendants–-a virtually extinct breed–-are tipped €1 or whatever loose change is at hand.


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