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Tipping in Barcelona: The Ultimate Guide (+ How Much)

coffee with an example of what's expected when tipping in Barcelona, Spain
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You’ve just landed in Spain and you head to a tapas bar around the corner from your hotel. Just as you’re finishing up some amazing food, it hits you: is tipping expected in Barcelona? 

The answer isn’t actually as straightforward as you might think. While the vast majority of locals will almost never tip, there are a few situations where leaving some appreciation for the service is seen as more normal.

However, a super important travel tip for Barcelona is to also make sure you’re not over-tipping! That’s why, in this article, I’ll take you through everything there is to know about tipping in Barcelona, as well as how much you should leave to strike that balance between acknowledging great service…and, well, not being a typical tourist.

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  2. Park Güell – grab your skip-the-line entry
  3. Casa Batlló – click here for tickets and audio guide

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  1. Montserrat Tour, Monastery and Winery (great day trip!)
  2. Flamenco Show at Tablao Flamenco Cordobes (incredible night out)
  3. Tapas Walking Tour with Food, Wine, and History (all the highlights at once)

🛏️ Top hotels in Barcelona

  1. Ohla Barcelona (5-star luxury with an amazing rooftop pool)
  2. Seventy Barcelona (boutique hotel with beautiful décor)
  3. Àmfores Boutique Guest House (great budget option with superb location)

🚌 Want free public transport while you’re in Barcelona? Check out the Hola Barcelona travel card!

Is tipping expected in Barcelona?

Tipping really isn’t expected in Spain and Barcelona is no different. In fact, tourists are typically the only ones who tip in Barcelona, with the exception that in certain restaurants, locals may round up the bill to the nearest multiple of €5 or €10 or simply leave a few coins behind on the table.

Of course, for those tourists who choose to do this, tipping is always appreciated, but it’s certainly not quite as expected as it might be in other parts of the world.

That is, a modest tip of around 5-10% is more than enough if you feel like showing your gratitude for exceptional service – but, again, it’s definitely not expected. And this also means that one big thing to avoid in Barcelona is giving the 15-20% (or more!) tips you may be used to at home, especially for those tourists who come from North America.

coffee with an example of what's expected when tipping in Barcelona, Spain

Is it rude to not tip in Spain?

In Spain, including in Barcelona, it’s not rude to not tip as tipping simply isn’t part of the local culture. While you’re free to show your appreciation for service by leaving a small amount, know that, in most cases, locals won’t tip and thus the service provider won’t expect it.

Even in places like high end restaurants, no waiter will consider you rude for not tipping. They’ll certainly appreciate it if you choose to do so, but there definitely won’t be any scenes of them chasing you down the street for seeming cheap if you “only” pay the amount on the bill.

Tipping in Restaurants, Cafes and Bars

When dining out at a restaurant in Barcelona, it’s important to understand the tipping etiquette. While tipping isn’t mandatory in Spain, it’s still appreciated if you wish to do so and if you receive good service.

How much do I tip in Spanish restaurants?

You don’t need to tip in Spanish restaurants, as most locals won’t do so. That said, you may wish to round up the bill to the nearest multiple of €5 or €10 or leave several coins totalling a few euros in the middle of the table when you leave.

As mentioned before, tipping in Barcelona (or Spain more generally) isn’t really a thing. For those locals who do – and they still wouldn’t tip everywhere – they generally follow the approach just outlined.

receipt and Euros for tipping in Barcelona

In rare cases, certain restaurants already include a service charge in your bill. If this happens to you, you definitely don’t need to tip.

Basically, if you’re unsure about how much to tip and wish to do so, you can simply round up your bill. Just keep in mind when you do this that tipping in Spain isn’t as common as it is in other countries, so don’t feel obligated to leave a large tip.

Do you tip at tapas bars in Barcelona?

When it comes to tapas bars in Barcelona, tipping is not mandatory. However, if you receive excellent service, you can leave a small tip to show your appreciation. A tip of 1-2 euros per person is a good amount to leave as coins on the table.

If you’re ordering at the bar, it’s not necessary to tip. However, if you’re sitting at a table and a waiter is attending to your needs, then it’s more common to leave a small tip like the one just outlined.

Do you tip at cafes in Barcelona?

In general, tipping at cafes in Barcelona is not expected. However, if you receive exceptional service, you can leave a small tip to show your appreciation. You can leave a few coins or round up your bill to the nearest euro.

It’s important to note that tipping is not as common in cafes as it is in restaurants. If you’re not sure whether to tip or not, it’s always best to follow the lead of the locals.

Overall, tipping in Barcelona truly isn’t mandatory, with people often joking that it’s only the tourists fueling this practice. At the same time, it’s always appreciated if you receive good service. Just don’t feel obligated to leave a large tip, as a small amount can go a long way in showing your appreciation.

Tipping in Hotels

When you’re staying at a hotel in Barcelona, it’s important to know the tipping etiquette. Here are some things to consider when it comes to tipping hotel staff:

Do you tip hotel staff in Barcelona?

Tipping hotel staff in Barcelona isn’t necessary, with most locals not doing it. This includes that there’s no need to tip bellboys in Spain, even if they carry your luggage up to your room. Of course, feel free to give them a euro in appreciation, but it’s not mandatory.

a man giving money to the hotel staff for tipping in Barcelona

How much do you tip room service in Barcelona?

There’s no obligation to tip room service in Barcelona, although it’s widely recognised that many tourists in particular like to do this. If you would like to tip them, a one or two euro coin is more than enough and certainly not expected. 

It’s important to note that some higher end hotels may already include a service charge in the bill, so it’s always a good idea to check before tipping.

Do you tip housekeeping at Spanish hotels?

Tipping housekeeping at Spanish hotels is not mandatory or expected, but it’s a nice gesture to show your appreciation for their hard work. You can leave a few euros per day for the cleaning staff, or you can leave a larger tip at the end of your stay. 

Like room service, some hotels may already include a service charge for housekeeping in the bill, so perhaps double check this point before leaving a tip.

In brief, tipping at hotels in Barcelona is a personal choice. If you feel like tipping, because you feel that you have been very well looked after, then by all means tip, but generally tipping is not expected, and locals do not tip.

Tipping in Transportation

When traveling to Barcelona, you may wonder if it’s customary to tip transportation services. Here’s what you need to know about tipping in taxis, hotel shuttles, and private cab drivers.

Do you tip taxi drivers in Barcelona?

Tipping taxi drivers in Barcelona is not expected, but you may wish to round up the fare to the nearest euro or leave a small amount as a courtesy. Just note that most locals won’t tip taxi drivers in Barcelona so you don’t have to either. 

tipping a taxi driver in Barcelona

Do I tip a free airport shuttle in Spain?

If you’re taking a free airport shuttle in Spain, you don’t need to tip the driver. These shuttles are usually provided as a courtesy by hotels or other establishments, and the drivers are already compensated for their services.

Happy woman walking down street in Spain

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Do you tip hotel shuttle drivers in Spain?

If you’re using a hotel shuttle service in Spain, it’s not necessary to tip the driver. These services are usually included in your hotel rate, and the drivers are already paid for their services. Of course, you’re free to offer a small tip as a token of appreciation but the vast majority of locals won’t do so.

Tipping in Barcelona Tourist Attractions

When visiting tourist attractions in Barcelona, it is important to know when and how much to tip. Here’s what you need to know about tipping in tourist attractions in Barcelona.

Do you tip tour guides in Barcelona?

Most Spaniards would only tip a few euros to a tour guide in Spain and so there’s no reason for you, as a tourist, to tip more than that to tour guides in Barcelona. A €5 tip per person is more than enough and only if you’ve found the guide helpful, as it’s not required.

You do hear of tour guides who, dare I say it, take advantage of the fact that they know that certain other cultures are more generous tippers as they’ll try to “subtly” encourage more tipping. Feel free to do so, but just know that when a friend of mine from the US told a Spanish friend that she’d tipped a tour guide €15, he almost choked on this beer.

someone giving tip in Barcelona

One big exception to this, of course, is if you do one of the best free things to do in Barcelona: a free walking tour. There are some really good ones in Barcelona, with the expectation being that you’ll tip at the end if you like the tour. Noting that many of these go for two hours or more, I’d give €10 per person at the most.

Finally, it’s also important to note that, if you’re part of a large group, the tip may already be included in the tour price so there’s no need to double up.

Other Service Providers

When it comes to tipping in Barcelona, there are some specific cases that you might encounter during your visit. Here are some tips on how to handle them:

Do I tip delivery people in Spain?

If you order food or other items for delivery in Barcelona, it’s not necessary to tip the delivery person. However, if you receive exceptional service or the delivery person goes out of their way to accommodate you, you can give a small tip of 1-2 euros.

Tipping hairdressers, masseurs, barbers and other services in Spain

Tipping in hair salons, spas, and other service providers is not common in Spain. However, if you’re satisfied with the service provided, you may wish to round up the bill to the nearest euro. Locals generally won’t do this though, so don’t feel obliged to do so.

For example, if your haircut costs 27 euros, you can round up to 30 euros. That said, if you are getting a service like this done in a hotel, there may be a service charge included in the bill. In this case, tipping is not necessary.

In brief, while tipping isn’t mandatory in Barcelona, it’s always appreciated for exceptional service. Use your judgment, don’t feel under any obligation to do so and if you would still like to tip, give an amount that’s very likely to be less than you’re used to paying at home (depending on where you come from). In general, rounding up the bill slightly is usually your best approach.

2 Comments

  1. Great advice. The best article I’ve read on tipping in Barcelona. I read one where the author said you should leave a 5euro tip for the bartender, I almost choked over that – even for overly generous and sadly ignorant Americans that is a lot for “a” drink. What a pleasure it was to find your article, I have recommended it to several people.

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