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Tipping etc

Brenda54

New Member
Past OR future Camino
May 2017
My daughter and I are walking the Camino Frances starting April 28. We are planning a 6 week journey ending in Santiago, and then 2 weeks to explore Portugal! We are still in the planning stages of the Portugal trip so any suggestions are appreciated.
A couple of questions- should we rent a car or use public transport?
And - is it common to tip at restaurants, taxis in Europe? I read somewhere that it was not but I want to know for sure! Thank you so much!!!!
 
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D

Deleted member 3000

Guest
And - is it common to tip at restaurants, taxis in Europe?
Not in France or Spain. Big city restaurants may have come to expect a tip. Don't wait around to pick up thirty cents in change, though! You generally pay at the bar, so do not expect a check from the waiter most places. If you cannot control your urge to tip, anything over 10% would be out of the ordinary; round the bill up by 5-10%.
 

Henriettagal

Henriettagal
Past OR future Camino
April 18, 2017
I was in Portugal in 2014 for 3 weeks. We rented a car. As you head south from Spain..... Porto is a beautiful coastal city. Great food and fresh seafood. Esp. down by the river. I recommend the all day boat ride up the Douro river into port wine country. They served us 3 meals w wine we went through 3 very large locks. It was fantastic. We bought our tickets when we arrived in Porto at the i (information center in the city). Look for the i in every city you enter. Great food. Take in a Fado performance. We went to one at a small guitar shop and the guitarists and singer were fantastic. They served port at intermission. Further south there is another coastal town Aveiro. It is beautiful w canals and the canal boat ride is lovely and informative. Again great seafood. South again along the coast is Nazara a great little city w a history of the largest waves for surfing. It is situated on 2 levels w a funicular that you can ride from one level to the other. Up on top there is an old time bullfighting ring. Traveling further south Obidos is a little city within the walls of a castle. You can walk the walls and just appreciate the history and little shops and cafes for a day. Lots of things around Lisbon. We found Lisbon hard to get around in by car so if you can ditch the car and use public transit.... do it! They have a trolley system. Quite hilly. Drive out to Cabo da Roca the farthest point west in Europe for the sunset. Evora is also a very cool city within a castle wall that has rich history and great food as well as a university feel. Good luck. Hope this helps. You won't be disappointed by any of this but FYI Trip advisor helped us plan a great deal.
 

Brenda54

New Member
Past OR future Camino
May 2017
Thank you so much Henriettagal! There is so much information out there on the web it gets a bit confusing how to pick and choose. It is very much appreciated coming from someone who has been there and done that!!!!!
 
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jefferyonthecamino

http://www.barrerabooks.com/ - Guidebooks
Past OR future Camino
2021
My daughter and I are walking the Camino Frances starting April 28. We are planning a 6 week journey ending in Santiago, and then 2 weeks to explore Portugal! We are still in the planning stages of the Portugal trip so any suggestions are appreciated.
A couple of questions- should we rent a car or use public transport?
And - is it common to tip at restaurants, taxis in Europe? I read somewhere that it was not but I want to know for sure! Thank you so much!!!!

rent a car if you plan on exploring the countryside - great roads, easy driving. if it's city/town hopping, then public transport gets you everywhere

yes we tip, but not like in the states (not sure if you are an American)

Buen Camino
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Hi, Brenda, welcome to the forum.

Traveling around Portugal for two weeks will be great. Portugal is not exactly bursting with tourists, except for Lisbon and the south along the coast. What kind of things do you enjoy -- old churches, mountains, old stone towns (the aldeias de xisto are absolutely beautiful, places like Monsanto, Sabugal and the other "aldeias historicas" are very nice too). Then there are castle towns like Marvao, whose castle is one of my favorites anywhere. The national park Peneda Geres has some great walking. The Douro River Valley has a lot to see, I would definitely take the little chug chug train from Pinhao to Pocinho, the end of the line. Monasteries like Batalha and Alcobaca are beautiful. The western coast south of Lisbon has some great scenery and there is good walking. Sintra is a very nice if extremely touristy town but has some little gems out of town a bit like the cork monastery.... I'm just rambling and rattling things off the top of my head, but I'd be happy to help with specific recommendations if you can describe the kind of touring you like to do.

And as far as a car, I would definitely get one. If you are flying out of Lisbon, I'd leave Lisbon for the end and then drop off the car before you go into Lisbon. The metro in Lisbon is excellent and taxis are inexpensive.
 
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
I like you typically think Camino first, visit after, before flight back home.

And then there was the time I spent a few days in Madrid after a Camino. What a mistake that was: I will never forget the pain in my feet and legs while trying to visit the Prado. All I wanted to do was sit on the hard granit floors and drag myself from exhibit to exhibit. In the end I spent a quick two hours and wobbled back to my pension to put my feet up.

So now it will be tourism first, walking after and wobbling home immediately after.

This being said, a few days in the islands of Cee might be a lovely way to rest your feet and legs before making your way down Portugal.

As for tipping, round the amount up, that will be appreciated though not mandatory.
 

zzotte

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2012 Camino Frances, 2014 Lourdes to SDC, 2016 Camino del Norte
I tip, I use my standard method for a restaurant with a seat down dinner I go from zero to 20% sometimes it's included on the bill if so I will use my system of course if service is really bad and is included oh well, for bars like an espresso or a beer it's usually about .50 cents if I'm just standing, for taxis I only use for to and from airports so if the service is good a minimum of 3 euros per bag

Zzotte
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
I have definitely noticed a change in tipping practices in Spain, as the gap between the top and the bottom widens, perhaps. People who can afford it generally leave a bigger tip than they would have in years past. Even as recently as ten years ago, people going out to dinner would only leave a tip that rounded up (if the bill is 57, leave 60, etc). That's just not as common now. I think the bottom line is that if you are a generous person, and if you have the money, no one waiting on tables in Spain will be anything less than delighted with a generous tip. Sometimes it's not easy to do that, though, because the system used with your credit card runs the bill through and does not come back for your signature at a point that you can add the tip. So you will have to leave cash as the tip.

Though it is true that the safety net for restaurant workers is much greater than what those of us from the US are used to, wages are low.
 
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Past OR future Camino
Too many and too often!
@peregrina2000 It may be because I am a tightfisted type whose wallet has to be prised open with a crowbar but I've rarely eaten in restaurants along the caminos where paying by card is the norm. I've eaten in many low budget cash-only places though. @Brenda54 unless you are planning to stay upmarket in your eating it's a good idea to keep a reasonable amount of cash at hand.
 

jsalt

Jill
Past OR future Camino
Portugués, Francés, LePuy, Rota Vicentina, Norte, Madrid, C2C, Salvador, Primitivo, Aragonés, Inglés
is it common to tip at restaurants,

A very good question. I had lunch in San Sebastian, the bill came to something like E98.90 between the 4 of us. The other 3 happily took out E25 each. I was absolutely horrified. “But what about a tip?” They equally looked at me absolutely horrified. Different customs.
 

marbuck

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Condom to Pamplona April 2016.
Le Puy to Condom France - April-May 2015.
Roncesvalles to Santiago April - May 2014
Finisterre to Muxia May 2014
Being from Australia where restaurant staff are paid a proper wage and do not have to rely on tips for a living, we find it difficult to tip in Europe. So we do what we do in Australia, tip if the service is exceptional but the staff do not expect it. Enjoy Portugal, it's wonderful.
 

wayfarer

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
2012
And - is it common to tip at restaurants, taxis in Europe? I read somewhere that it was not but I want to know for sure! Thank you so much!!!!


IMO there is a very easy answer to the OP's question, tip if you want to, the norm would be up to 10%, don't tip if you so wish, I will tip generously if the service is good and I won't tip if the service is bad. Don't let anyone tell you that tipping is not acceptable in France, Spain, Portugal or indeed most places in Europe, because this is not the case, tipping is acceptable and very much appreciated.
Ultimately the decision is yours.
 
D

Deleted member 3000

Guest
Don't let anyone tell you that tipping is not acceptable in France
While I am not sure that anyone on the Forum is saying that it is not acceptable, I once asked a waitress in a small village in France (with the help of both a French and French-Canadian interpreter) about leaving a tip. Her response was in paraphrase, "I am a professional. I do not accept charity." I think she was telling me that tipping was not acceptable. :)

From everything I have discerned in Spain, tipping is not the norm. The price of a pilgrim menu is the price, and usually a round Euro. The price of a taxi ride is what the driver asks, sometimes with the use of a meter. There normally is an additional charge for suitcases and airport fees. A tip jar is a rarity; the only one I recall is at Casa Manolo in Santiago. I usually leave a Euro in the jar when I pay the 9 Euro meal price.

Service persons who get a tip are grateful because it recognizes outstanding service, but I don't think many of them expect it, particularly from pilgrims. When I eat a wallet-emptying meal in Barcelona or Santiago, I do tip because it almost always is served with enthusiasm and grace! I watch Spanish customers, though, and rarely see them tip. For the occasional solo coffee that is not 1 Euro, I leave the 10 cents behind to keep my pants from sagging from the weight of accumulating coins.
 
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wayfarer

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
2012
Leaving the change nearly always covers the 10% tip, ie a €9.00 meal leave €10, a €0.90 coffee, leave €1.00. As to the waitress who said that, I would definitely not be tipping her, its never charity, its for good service.
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Past OR future Camino
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
The Spaniards tip less than the French - and that's not very much, and mostly either because particular customers can afford to be generous, or when the service clearly deserves it.

Both tipping and not tipping are acceptable in most places -- and only rarely will not tipping be perceived as a punishment for bad service, unless you're ostentatious about not doing so (most would likely not want to provide that sort of hassle).

One personal thing -- if the change is some round figure but they give it to me in small change, I virtually never leave any of it as a tip.

The extreme of actual punishment for bad service, which is to stand up, loudly denounce it, and leave without paying (with one's meal or whatever unfinished) should only ever be attempted by those with enough of the local lingo ...
 

wayfarer

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
2012
Generous!
That's €1.00 (one Euro) not one hundred. :):)
Edit: I took your post as misreading the currency, I now realise you were being tongue in cheek or, perish the thought, sarcastic. The numbers I quoted are for stopping for coffee during the day, which would be several times, and rounding up for the pilgrim meal. If going out for an evening meal, the tip would be minimum 10% and in many instances even more. More than that is just showboating IMO.
 
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trecile

Camino Addict
Past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
Post Camino I spent some time with some Spanish friends in Madrid. We all went to Segovia one day, and I bought everyone lunch while we were there. It turned out that our meals really weren't that good, and the service was average. The bill came, and I left the money on the table, including a small tip, about 10% or so. I went to the restroom while my friends stayed at the table. When I returned, they told me that the tip was far too much considering the service and food provided, and suggested that I just round up to the nearest Euro.
 
Past OR future Camino
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
I only know what I've been told by waiters in Spain and France and that is that they make a working wage and unless you are with a large party of people and they are running their legs off, no tip is needed. If it makes you feel better, round up to the next Euro and leave your change.

If I am with my group, however, we will pool resources and leave a nice tip.

By the way, in Portugal especially, remember you cannot assume extras like bread and butter come with the meal. They are separate charges, in general. When they ask if you want bread/butter, or even if they just bring it to the table, always ask if it is included or you may get a surprise on your check.
 

KariC

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2016
My daughter and I are walking the Camino Frances starting April 28. We are planning a 6 week journey ending in Santiago, and then 2 weeks to explore Portugal! We are still in the planning stages of the Portugal trip so any suggestions are appreciated.
A couple of questions- should we rent a car or use public transport?
And - is it common to tip at restaurants, taxis in Europe? I read somewhere that it was not but I want to know for sure! Thank you so much!!!!
Tipping: when in doubt, err on the side of generosity.
Car rental: I know others feel differently, but it's stressful to drive in another country - my choice would be public transport or hiring a driver.
 

ChloeRose

Member
Past OR future Camino
Le Puy route and Camino Frances 2015/16
If you don't tip, they won't call you on it like they do in the US or in Canada. But! Avoiding embarrassment shouldn't be anyone's reason for tipping. A little extra change goes a long way, whether or not it's normal :)

Buen Camino!
 
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Linda Hart

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances with my daughter - Walking all The Way starting on 2 May '2017' - my 60th birthday!
Hi Brenda - how wonderful! My daughter and I are walking the Camino Frances on 2 May - may see you on the trail .... although probably no chance of us catching you up! Linda
 

Brenda54

New Member
Past OR future Camino
May 2017
We are going to stay in France a few days before we start so we most likely WILL see you. You can identify us by our hair maybe- she has long brown hair and I have long blond/reddish hair. Hope to meet you on the way!!!
 

Robert Long

Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances Sept 2016
Camino Portuguse Oct 2018
A couple of questions- should we rent a car or use public transport?
And - is it common to tip at restaurants, taxis in Europe? I read somewhere that it was not but I want to know for sure! Thank you so much!!!![/QUOTE]

We tipped in restaurants is the server was friendly and the service was good. But as others have said not to the extend we tip in the US. Even one Euro is appreciated. From the expression we often saw, it is accepted as a gift.

We did tip taxi drivers, especially if they were handling our bags.

As to driving -- be careful. The autostrada/freeways have speed cameras. My son says they are announced and posted, but I did not see it and it cost me 100 Euros. I much prefer trains. We drove to Avila. We loved the town, but what a pain to find a parking place.

Buen Camino
 

Reidun Fyno

I'm a beliver :-)
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2014)
Camino de Assisi (2015)
Camino Frances from Villafranca del Bierzo (2017)
My daughter and I are walking the Camino Frances starting April 28. We are planning a 6 week journey ending in Santiago, and then 2 weeks to explore Portugal! We are still in the planning stages of the Portugal trip so any suggestions are appreciated.
A couple of questions- should we rent a car or use public transport?
And - is it common to tip at restaurants, taxis in Europe? I read somewhere that it was not but I want to know for sure! Thank you so much!!!!
I don't think pilgrims are suposed to tip - I didn't and I never saw anyone who did pay tips!
 

Isa R

New Member
Past OR future Camino
April 2016
My daughter and I are walking the Camino Frances starting April 28. We are planning a 6 week journey ending in Santiago, and then 2 weeks to explore Portugal! We are still in the planning stages of the Portugal trip so any suggestions are appreciated.
A couple of questions- should we rent a car or use public transport?
And - is it common to tip at restaurants, taxis in Europe? I read somewhere that it was not but I want to know for sure! Thank you so much!!!!
No tipping required. No info on Portugal because I have not been there. Buen Camino
 
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