Tipping in Spain and Portugal

The questions about tipping guides and restaurant staff in Spain and Portugal far surpass any other questions travelers have. With reason. In the US tipping is both obligatory and viewed as a reflection on the service. In Spain and Portugal the matter is viewed differently. In many restaurants a service charge is included in the bill, and tips, while appreciated, are not expected.  And tips, when given, tend to be 5 to 10%, and 10% only in restaurants where the service has involved a great deal of plate and glass changing. In a café or tapas bar normally only a few coins (under 1€) are left. Tipping private guides is optional and based on your satisfaction with the guiding service. Hotel staff can be tipped a Euro or two for porterage and concierge services.

Here's a brief guide to tipping in Spain and Portugal.

Restaurants

Tipping 5% - 10% maximum in restaurants is standard, although tipping is only done if you are happy with the service.  No tip is expected for a cup of coffee or a drink, although some people will leave the change rounding up from the nearest Euro. For tapas or a sandwich in a bar, the change from the nearest Euro is sufficient. For high level or Michelin star restaurants, a 5 to 10% tip is standard. If you pay by credit card it is preferable to leave a cash tip because the wait staff often does not receive the tips left on credit cards.

Private Guides

For a half or full day, anywhere between 10 and 40€ is normal. For multi-day guiding services, 20 to 100€ or more is common when you feel very satisfied with the service provided.  Tipping guides is optional and at your discretion.

Drivers

As with the guides, it depends on how many days the driver has been with the group.  2 to 5€ per person per day is appropriate.

Hotel Staff

For help with luggage: €1 per suitcase is standard. Concierge services or room service: 1 - 2€. Maid service: 1€ per day.

Taxis

Tips to taxi drivers are not expected or required.