Tipping in Tenerife: When and How Much to Tip?
This is a popular question from people who come on holiday to Tenerife for the first time and don't know what to expect. Tipping can be a confusing topic depending on where you're coming from since there are big differences across different cultures.
Do you need to tip in Tenerife?
The short answer is: it is not mandatory, but it is greatly appreciated.
Unlike other countries where tipping is expected and it's the general rule in all types of services, in the Canary Islands tipping is not always expected and it's usually given only when you are satisfied with the quality of the service provided. In general, anything between 5% - 10% is more than enough for eating out and moving around in taxis.
Tipping in restaurants in Tenerife
A 10% tip is more than enough for a meal in a restaurant, but if you don't have change on you, you can also round up to the next round number to make it easier. For example, if you get a 46,5 Euros bill in a restaurant, a 3,5 Euros tip will do (no need to be super precise).
When going out to bars people tend to tip less, maybe 0,5 cents or 1 Euro when just grabbing a couple of beers during the day.
Taxi tipping in Tenerife
With taxis, the situation is a bit more complicated, as some of them won't return you any change unless you state to them how much you want back.
For example, if paying for a 6 Euros taxi ride with a 10 Euro bill, state to the driver that you need 3 Euros back (if you want to leave him a 1 Euro tip). Or you could try and keep some change on you for taxi rides and then pay the driver with the exact amount you want to leave him, including tip.
The 7% IGIC tax is not a tip
When you see on your bill the 7% IGIC tax, this doesn't mean that it's a tip for the service you got.
IGIC stands for Canary Island General Indirect Tax and it's a specific tax applied instead of VAT (it's not a tip that the staff has already included in the bill for you).
Hotel staff tipping in Tenerife
Again, this is not required, but much appreciated, especially by maids, who work for very low wages.
Most people will leave the equivalent of a couple of euros per day or 10 euros for the week, at the end of their stay, in an envelope marked clearly, so that there's no misunderstanding (if not stated clearly that the amount of money is a tip, the maids might thing you have forgotten the money in your room and will turn it in at reception, to avoid being accused of stealing it).
There's no need to worry too much about tipping etiquette in Tenerife or the rest of the Canary Islands. In most cases, it's enough to just round up the sum to an even amount (depending on the initial sum of course).
See our suggestions of places to visit in Tenerife