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Barcelona Tipping

Barcelona Tipping Etiquette: Everything You Need to Know

by Christian Petzold - updated January 5, 2022

Are you planning a trip to Spain? Are you unsure of the local tipping etiquette? Fret not! For the sake of both of us, I’ve done this roundabout to understand the local Spanish tipping culture.

Barcelona’s tipping systems are similar to Lisbon, Rome, and Paris.

Tipping is a way for locals and internationals to show their gratitude towards hardworking service providers. While it’s unnecessary, tips are becoming more and more common in Barcelona, especially for tourists.

Barcelona Tipping

Like those in the rest of Europe, service employees in Barcelona are given a monthly wage and do not rely on tips to make ends meet. According to 2019 statistics, the average restaurant worker in Barcelona earns at least €900 per month.

This is much more than what employees in nearby Portugal earn each month, but it is also crucial to realize that the cost of living in Spain is significantly greater than elsewhere in Iberia.

For this reason, restaurant workers in Barcelona are always willing to have their hard work and service recognized and appreciated. Due to the present economic circumstances, tourists are typically the only ones who tip in Barcelona. A local will practically never tip at a place where they eat regularly.

Bars in Barcelona

Tipping At Bars

Tipping at bars is a long-standing concept both in Barcelona and in Spanish tipping etiquette. When a waiter attends to your every need, tip him. Anything between 5 and 10 euros is appreciated. 

5 euros is a good tip for the bartenders. Additionally, you can tip the guards outside the pub. They are unflinching in handling the queue and are prepared to resolve unfavorable situations. Tipping them between two and three euros is an excellent idea. 

Restaurants in Barcelona

Tipping At Restaurant

Tipping at restaurants is a widely accepted practice in Spanish tipping etiquette. The bill will include a service charge representing the tip in most cases. The most common tip amount to leave is 10% of the total amount on your bill. If you wish to tip more, that’s great! You can give up to 15% extra.

Tourists can leave between 5-10% extra as a way of saying “Thank You” for an enjoyable experience. However, this is not necessary and is advised against unless you have had a genuinely outstanding experience with exceptional service. A tip of 5-10% extra is a sufficient amount for those who have had a satisfactory experience. If you have had a genuinely bad experience, do not tip at all.

Tipping the Delivery Boys 

Delivery Tipping

Delivery boys always have our backs on busy days. Whether pizza, groceries, medications, or internet orders, they’re just a phone call or click away. And they are always on time with their deliveries. A good tip is around 2 to 5 euros. 

If they make a mistake, they are usually willing to fix it at the earliest possible moment. The amount of money that you offer is not material to your decision. You can always give them only as much as you feel like paying for it as it is perfectly acceptable in the Spanish tipping etiquette. 

Tipping at Hotels in Barcelona

Tipping At Hotels

In hotels, tipping is considered proper etiquette as a gesture of appreciation. It’s an excellent technique to receive more attention or services from hotels or restaurants.

Luxury Hotels

In luxury hotels, it’s not uncommon to find a service charge on your bill. Like regular restaurants, where 10% is the typical tip, luxury hotels also have a 10% service fee. While this service fee already includes the gratuity, it is considerate of you to tip an additional 15% on top of it. With that said, if you are dissatisfied with the performance of the food or hospitality services at your hotel, do not tip. 

Low-budget Hotels

If the baggage boy, bellman, or room maid performs satisfactorily, tipping them 1-2 euros is acceptable in a low-cost hotel. Giving them a tip brightens up their day. A survey finds that tipping employees boost their productivity and happiness.

Types of Services and Personnel

Several employees have full dedication to making your stay as comfortable as possible. The next section highlighted hotel services to leave tips for various services.

Here’s a good look at how much to tip someone:

Tipping Bellboys

Hotel employees like bellboys can significantly appreciate your generosity as they receive very little compensation for their services. A generous tip of between 2 and 5 euros is excellent, but you can give more if you wish. 

Tipping the Concierge

Although concierges are not hotel employees, they provide invaluable services to guests. A generous tip of between 2 and 5 euros is excellent, but you can give more if you wish.

Tipping the Receptionist

Receptionists are responsible for your entire stay at the hotel. A generous tip of between 2 and 5 euros is excellent, but you can also give more if you wish.

Tipping the Housekeeping Staff

If you have a room with a view or view from your window, it might have its staff who cleans during your stay. If not, the housekeeping staff will clean your room every day and remove any waste products like towels or sheets before the next guest checks in.

Tipping the Hotel Maid

A hotel housekeeper’s work demands commitment and patience. Tipping them around 2 to 3 euros is greatly appreciated but not required in Spanish tipping etiquette.

Tipping in Cafes

Bars and Cafes are a daily routine for most people, especially students. The cafe, for many locals, is the most convenient place for a quick coffee. If you find yourself in this crowd, you’ll probably have to deal with Barcelona’s 1€ tip tradition.

In Barcelona cafes, it is customary to leave 1 or 2 euros as a tip after your coffee has been served. Many establishments give this service to their patrons as well. You may view tipping as unnecessary, but it’s nice to show your appreciation towards your server and the establishment itself. 

Tipping in Transport

Tipping on public transportation is not the same as tipping in restaurants or hotels. A minimal amount is sufficient to make the drivers happy. As said earlier, tipping is unusual among Barcelona residents. Usually, tourists are the ones leaving a tip. So if you are treated nicely on your trip, you may include a tip.

Taxi

It’s unusual for locals to tip Taxi drivers in Barcelona. They often rush to catch your flight or make it to the company meeting on time. So, what is the finest tip you can give a taxi driver? You may, of course, round up the fare as a tip. Alternatively, they’d be grateful for a 50 cents to 2 euros tip.

Taxi Tipping

Private Cab Drivers

Most visitors to Barcelona hire a private taxi for sightseeing. Tipping them at the end of your trip is courteous. You can give the cab drivers 5 to 10 euros for their all-day service.

Tipping Private Tour Guides

Tour guides well-versed in history and culture beautifully described all the locations. Because their income is primarily seasonal, essential tipping etiquette is appreciated. A gratuity of 5 to 10 euros is appropriate for a group of four. If there are more than four persons, a 10 to 15 euros bonus is sufficient.

Bus Drivers

Bus drivers are often asked to take tourists from one place to another. They are also the ones who constantly remind you about the time remaining until your departure or if you need to purchase a ticket for your next destination. A few euros apiece will suffice if they have done an excellent job.

Tipping at Airport

Are you traveling into or out of Barcelona-El Prat Airport Josep Tarradellas? You might want assistance with your bags or instructions to the airports. For the help with your luggage, they will appreciate a tip of 1 to 2 euros. However, five dollars is generous for an unexpectedly hearty service for your troubles. 

What Are Tips Called in Spain? 

The word is “propina” (pronounced: pro-pee-nah), which is the common term used in Spain. Propinas are considered part of what you pay at the end of your meal. Unlike some countries, they are usually not automatically added to your bill unless there is a service charge.

If the service was exceptional, it might be called “una propina gruesa” (“a big tip”), which you would then want to say something like “le voy a dar una buena propina” (I will give you a good tip).

Author’s Note

Whenever you may be wondering about Spanish tipping etiquette, keep this standard in mind: Reward excellent service but not poor service. The amounts are often lower than in the United States, but the more you give them, the happier they will be.

Gratuities are not expected but are welcomed. Any gratuity should be regarded as sufficient (if someone is unhappy with it, it is their issue, not yours!) Still, it is also acceptable not to tip. If you do not tip and one feels that they deserve a tip, there is no need to feel offended. It is their choice, not yours.

Now that you’ve read about tipping etiquette, it’s time for travel guides! We have listed some of our guides that will excite you and make you eager to visit this beautiful city.

  • Glories Market (A Guide to the Spectacular Building of Encants Vells in Barcelona)
  • La Rambla (The Best Things to Do in Barcelona’s Most Famous Street)
  • Montjuic Mountain (Best Side Trip For Spectacular Views in Barcelona)

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