Is it Rude to Tip In Spain?

Little things like whether you should tip the waiter or waitress or not while traveling abroad from country to country and region to region may differ with each border crossing. 

Read on below and learn exactly why it is or isn’t considered rude to tip in Spain!

Is it Rude to Tip in Spain?

Typically speaking, tipping is rarely ever seen as rude (unless it is done so in a condescending manner). That includes countries like Spain, where tipping rarely occurs (and when it does, it is mainly done by foreigners who are unaware of the non-tipping customs of the nation.

How Rude Is it?


Tipping in Spain rates 2 out of 10 on the rude meter. That’s because it isn’t necessary to tip in Spain (as most recipes include a “Servicio Incluido” section, which includes a tip/service fee in the bill).

If you do decide to leave a tip, and it is extremely small, regardless that the staff won’t likely accept it anyway, it may be seen as rude to consider leaving such a meager tip, to begin with.

Why is it Not Rude?

Tipping in Spain isn’t considered rude, but it also isn’t expected (and in many cases isn’t accepted either). The primary reason tipping isn’t seen as rude is that when someone leaves a tip it is usually coming from a place of gratitude and the wait staff knows that (even if they can’t or won’t take the tip). 

Other Options to Do Instead

While dining in Spain, treating your waiters and waitresses with the utmost respect and dignity is much more appreciated than a tip in most cases.

Another option to do instead of tipping in Spain is simply to thank the staff for the great service as well as ask for your regards to be extended to the kitchen staff as well.

Common Questions

Where is tipping considered rude?

Japan, South Korea, and China are the top countries in the world that consider tipping as an act of rudeness (regardless of your intentions). It is best to avoid tipping in these nations, even if you think the staff deserves it. Rather, give them your best compliments and a shining review.

Where do people expect tips?

The USA is the main region of the world where tips are almost always expected (even if the signs clearly state that tips aren’t excepted. This is mainly due to the extremely low hourly wage that food and service workers receive (as little as a third or fourth of minimum wage). In other countries, the food and service industry works on a system that does not require or expect tips.

How much should you tip?

Depending on how satisfied you were with the service received from the staff a tip equal to 10 percent to 25 percent of the overall bill is considered fair. That said, in the USA, even though food industry workers like waiters, waitresses, hosts, hostesses, and even busboys (the ones that clean the tables in between customers and wash the dishes in the back of the house), rely on tips to make up the majority of the monthly payment, they know that not everyone will tip (or tip fairly if they do tip at all).