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How to Tip in Spain
Before heading off to Spain, or any foreign country in general, it is important to have a basic understanding of the culture and what etiquette is appropriate. One aspect that must be taken into consideration is the tipping culture in Spain. Here are some general rules that can help prepare you and give you a better understanding of what is acceptable.
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Full time waiters and waitresses in Spain often receive a salary unlike many other countries where the pay is hourly and tips make up a significant part of staff's take-home pay. Because of this, in Spain the locals usually do not tip. On some occasions they may round up to the nearest Euro if they liked the service, but generally do not leave any gratuity.
For basic sit down meals at lunch or any time where you may receive table service, rounding up the bill is acceptable but not the requirement. For dinner, some may leave a one euro tip per person in a middle class restaurant but when you are ordering wine or beer at the bar there is no need to tip.
If you are eating in an upscale restaurant and are assisted in choosing a wine or had a special meal prepared, then it is polite to leave a 5-10% tip in this situation. Rarely is there any service charge added to your bill, but always be sure to check before paying just in case.
In regards to hairdressers, coffee bars, taxis and other situations where you feel you may need to tip, it is not expected unless a person went out of their way to help you in some way. In cases where you hire private drivers, it is expected that you leave them something extra or they might get offended.