tipping in europe


Tipping in Europe: The Smart Traveller Guide to Tipping Culture in Europe

TThe first thing to know about tipping in Europe is that although it is greatly appreciated, it isn’t a rule and isn’t enforced in any bar or restaurant. For most countries. it isn’t a part of the wages. The majority of people working in hotels, restaurants or any service industry in Europe have weekly or monthly salaries.

You don’t have to tip if the service is bad. When you pay for a meal you should get a positive standard of service. If the service is bad and the food isn’t cooked properly than you don’t have to tip as the staff are already being paid a minimum wage. Tips are considered a bonus in Europe.

10% is the average amount to tip if you are happy with a meal. If you are delighted with the quality you may like to give 15% but 10% is more than enough.

If you are in a bar and just buying drinks you don’t have to tip at all, unless you really like the bar man. Then feel free to leave them a few euro when you are leaving. For the most part, the drinks in European cities can be quite pricey so you are paying enough.

For taxi/cab drivers they won’t expect a tip but it is also sometimes considered rude to wait for small change. For example if you take a cab and it costs €14.20 we would recommend giving the driver €15.00. Again, if your driver is extra nice you may want to leave him/her a few extra euro.


Read the bill carefully. In some resorts and towns the tips are added on as a service charge. If it is included in the bill then you will not need to give 10 – 15% extra on top of this.

If you try to tip in cash, this will usually ensure that the tip goes to the employee.

In restaurants and bars always try to tip your own server and don’t leave it on the table for others to collect.

Tipping etiquette across Europe is different per country so let’s take a closer look at some tipping points per region:


10 to 12% in a restaurant is normal for good quality service. If a restaurant has already added on a 12.5% service charge then no tip is expected on top of this. No tip is expected in taxis or bars.


It isn’t necessary or part of the culture to tip in Scandinavian countries. In Iceland, Norway, Sweden and Finland.


Servizio incluso means your service charge is included, usually around 15% of the total.


If there is a tip jar than it nice to leave some small change. It is not customary for locals to tip at a restaurant but a tip of 10% for up market places is acceptable.


5 to 10% for elaborate meals and small change for bars and taxis is accepted but not expected.


Tip €1 to €2 to anyone who helps you: luggage carriers at the airport and hotels. Tip taxi drivers 10%. There is always a service added to the bill in France but it is customary to leave €1 for every €20 meal.


In many restaurants the tip is included in the price of the food. If you want to tip, a common way to do it is to pay the bill but ask for less change back.


If you are buying an expensive meal you won’t be expected to leave a large tip but if the charge is small you should leave some change.


5% in restaurants for good service. Tipping is expected for taxi drivers and usually it amounts to 10% of the total.


20 Czech Crown (CZK) is 1 US dollar or .80 Euro. Tipping 10 to 15% is average. Don’t leave money on the table, hand it to the waitor instead.

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