The last word information to tipping in Europe

Tipping in Europe isn’t what it was. Although rounding up a restaurant invoice by just a few kilos or euros may need been the accepted apply up to now, in lots of locations, it’s now rather more necessary to know the odds of your tip.

Do you have to be tipping housekeepers day by day? And what about taxi drivers? You will have heard that French waiters are paid a strong skilled wage and don’t work for ideas. However how true is that in 2022? Are you undertipping or overtipping throughout ski season within the Alps?

It’s a veritable gratuity minefield on the market. Merely realizing how a lot to tip can usually be as awkward as realizing precisely methods to tip (extra on that later).

So include us as we information you thru the uneven waters of tipping in Europe. And as we go, needless to say for the time being, euros and U.S. {dollars} are nearly equal in worth, so the quantity of every tip listed in euros is about the identical in U.S. forex.

How a lot ought to I tip in European eating places?

An excellent rule of thumb when eating out in Europe — relying, after all, on the standard of the setting or the extent of service supplied — is to tip between 10% and 15% of the invoice earlier than tax.

Nevertheless, in international locations the place hospitality staff sometimes take pleasure in increased wages than the norm, it’s possible you’ll moderately think about dialing your generosity down. Jannie Jørgensen, knowledgeable secretary at The United Federation of Staff in Denmark (3F), the nation’s largest commerce union with roughly 272,000 members, instructed TPG, “In Scandinavia, workers don’t anticipate ideas in the best way they do in different international locations. Due to the Danish [labor market] mannequin, workers right here get a wage they will reside off and aren’t depending on ideas.”

There may be “no tradition of tipping” among the many Danish, she provides. As a substitute, it’s largely as much as the person. A former waitress herself, Jørgensen says {that a} common diner in Copenhagen would typically tip 10% of the invoice in the event that they obtain good service.


After all, if the service is exemplary or someone went out of their approach to help you — maybe the chatty sommelier discovered the best bottle of purple in your completely cooked steak — then be at liberty to drop a 15% and even 20% tip in Nordic areas.

In mainland Europe, you possibly can’t actually go fallacious with anyplace between 10% and 15% as a regular tip, with something extra thought-about a bonus.

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Ought to I nonetheless tip if a service cost has been added to the invoice?

Relying in your viewpoint, including a service cost to your invoice is both a blight on the continent’s finest eating places or a helpful means of eliminating awkwardness round tipping.

The excellent news is, for those who’ve scanned the invoice and noticed a service cost — sometimes between 12.5% and 15% — then there’s normally no want for a further tip, although leaving some change remains to be appreciated.

In France, a 15% service cost (“service compris”) is routinely added to payments in eating places by legislation, but it surely’s additionally nonetheless widespread for patrons to go away a small token of a few euros for strong service. Being a waiter in France is broadly seen as a extra skilled occupation than it’s in lots of different international locations, and, as such, workers are paid the next base wage. In consequence, you’ll not often discover servers hovering over your desk refilling drinks with the identical frenzied verve as within the U.S., however ideas can nonetheless make an actual distinction.

In 2017, France’s Union des Métiers et des Industries de l’Hôtellerie (UMIH) even known as for obligatory money ideas after the variety of clients paying in chilly onerous forex dropped off. When contemplating your tip it’s value taking into account the present value of dwelling disaster and skyrocketing inflation biting into staff’ paychecks throughout Europe — significantly in eye-wateringly costly cities reminiscent of Paris.

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Whereas tipping might not be an expectation when service prices are included in your invoice it’s value noting that not all eating places are up entrance about the place their “service cost” goes. In Denmark for instance, Jørgensen says the service prices on payments “normally goes to the restaurant and never the workers.” Moreover, for those who select so as to add a gratuity by credit score or debit card, ask your server in the event that they obtain all the guidelines instantly; they might nicely favor being tipped in money as a substitute.

In August, Unite The Union took intention on the plush Cameron Home Lodge in Loch Lomond, Scotland, after it was revealed 60 staff had been blindsided by a blanket 10% service cost that didn’t go to the workers and left them between £200 and £300 kilos ($225 and $340) a month worse off. Which raises the query…

Is it higher to tip in money slightly than by card?

Liz Wyse — etiquette advisor at Debrett’s, a British firm that has been teaching personal shoppers and luxurious manufacturers as on authority on habits since 1769 — says on the subject of tipping, money remains to be king.

“It’s at all times preferable to tip in money. It ensures that the recipient is definitely in receipt of the gratuity, and avoids making the entire tipping course of cumbersome.


“If you’re paying for a service by card and there’s a facility so as to add a tip, then it is best to actually achieve this instead of leaving no tip in any respect. Higher nonetheless, guarantee that you’ve loads of money accessible for tipping functions on the finish of your keep.”

Ought to I tip taxi drivers in Europe?

Whereas tipping a cabbie isn’t at all times executed up in Denmark, it’s nonetheless “good karma to tip drivers,” based on Jørgensen. In reality, that is true in most European nations, the place a gratuity isn’t a necessity when catching a taxi however is usually gratefully appreciated.

When you encounter distinctive service (off-the-beaten-path ideas for sightseeing, assist hoisting massive baggage or suitcases into the trunk) then by all means go the additional mile in return. Simply do not forget that taxi companies in significantly touristic areas will usually have regular work and barely increased fares than elsewhere, so an enormous tip received’t be anticipated.

Tipping in money? One of the best ways is to spherical as much as the closest euro or equal, which additionally removes the necessity for psychological arithmetic when attempting to transform forex and percentages. Once more, it is best to think about the native value of dwelling requirements as it’s possible you’ll discover a huge disparity in common ideas between wealthier nations and poorer ones.


Ought to I tip housekeepers in European lodges?

In response to Debrett’s Wyse: it is best to at all times tip housekeepers.

These unsung heroes are additionally among the most underpaid resort workers round, says the etiquette professional. They’re additionally usually on the backside of the tipping pyramid, so they have an inclination to not get the identical money rewards from visitors which can be loved by their front-of-house colleagues.

“In most international locations €10 per week is completely acceptable — or €15 to €20 for those who assume the service was distinctive,” says Wyse. “Typically, in good lodges, you’ll obtain glorious service whether or not you permit a gratuity day by day or not. It’s subsequently simpler to go away a lump sum on the finish of your keep. It’s a good gesture so as to add a be aware saying thanks for the service — and it will remove any uncertainty in regards to the tip. Some lodges present envelopes for gratuities; if not, simply depart it on the nightstand.”

When you’re not sure on the day you check-out that the housekeeper taking care of you is working, you can too hand an envelope with cash and a thanks be aware at reception while you try.

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How a lot ought to I tip European resort porters?

Hear, we’ve all seen Dwelling Alone 2: Misplaced in New York. No person desires to tip resort porters (or bellmen) with chewing gum if they will keep away from it.

Ought to you end up standing subsequent to a resort worker who’s simply hauled your baggage and suitcases up two flights of stairs, a tip of €1 to €2 per bag will suffice. Nevertheless, for those who’ve acquired extra baggage than Jay Gatsby then possibly spherical it as much as a crisp €5 be aware.

How a lot ought to I tip door workers and resort concierge?

The fixers. The taxi flaggers. The behatted wonders who hold these revolving doorways revolving. If there was a beating coronary heart of a resort, the door workers and concierge could be it.

With no payments in sight and far of the tipping with these heavyweights “off the books,” so to talk, we requested Wyse to interrupt down how a lot you have to be trying to slide them:

  • In the event that they flag or ebook you a taxi: “Not important to tip — however at most €1 to €2.”
  • In the event that they allow you to plan a shock for a cherished one: “Tip is critical — relying on the complexity of the shock and quantity of effort expended, €5-10.”
  • In the event that they kind out tickets for the most popular present on the town: “Tip is critical — in all probability round €10, although tip ought to be commensurate with problem of getting tickets. In the event that they’ve helped you safe not often accessible seats, which value €100 to €150 or extra every, then it is best to improve your tip accordingly — to at the least €20.”

Ought to I tip European bar workers?

In contrast to within the U.S., the place it’s widespread to tip a bartender a greenback or the equal of a drink, it’s virtually extraordinary in Europe. By all means, tip just a few additional euros to a bartender who’s gone the additional mile, or drop just a few euros within the tip jar earlier than you stagger out into the evening, however tipping is at all times the exception while you order a drink on the bar, not the rule.


There are some exceptions, nonetheless. Germans, for instance, will usually spherical a invoice as much as the closest euro if expectations had been met, and it’s a great rule to comply with for those who’ve simply loved just a few frosty steins. Likewise, there could also be extra of an expectancy for ideas amongst bar workers working in buzzier nightlife locations, reminiscent of Ibiza or Amsterdam, however they received’t begrudge you for not leaving any change.

Desk service, however, is a unique story. On this occasion, it is best to tip as you’d in a restaurant, between 10% and 15%.

At all times guarantee you know the way the “native” value of a pint converts to your personal forex. In spite of everything, for those who do need to tip on a spherical, there’s no level gifting the equal of a greenback per drink in a metropolis like Budapest, the place the typical pint of native beer works out to $1.65.

“Whereas it could appear penny-pinching to issue within the common value of dwelling when calculating a gratuity, it’s smart to take action, in any other case you would possibly discover that your ideas are absurdly extravagant,” says Wyse. “It’s not an actual science, and it is best to actually err on the aspect of generosity in international locations the place the wages are decrease.”

If unsure, tip like an area

When sizing up different tables in your travels, it’s possible you’ll discover that the natives aren’t all that huge into tipping. So, when in Rome, do you have to do because the locals do?

Emanuele Barrasso, ambassador for Italian wine model Antinori with a protracted background in hospitality, believes so. “There’s not likely a strict rule on tipping in Italy; it’s extra of a courtesy gesture,” he says. “Leaving a tip is completely as much as the visitor; it’s not a given, though will probably be appreciated.”

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Very like in France, one of many causes that tipping tradition isn’t all that prevalent in Italy is that eating places and cafes are prone to embrace a service cost (“servizie”) and even cowl cost (“coperto”) from the beginning. Usually, Barrasso provides, it relies on the kind of institution you frequent.

“If it’s a high-end restaurant, ideas are quite common, though, once more, they don’t seem to be anticipated,” he explains. “When you don’t tip in locations like this — as much as 10% of the invoice — it may be perceived as impolite. Once more, all of it boils all the way down to courtesy. I used to be within the hospitality service for a few years; subsequently, I’m the primary to acknowledge all the trouble and size servers go to supply visitors with an gratifying expertise.”

In brief, simply since you would possibly look and sound like a foreigner doesn’t imply hospitality workers will likely be anticipating you to line their palm with silver. Take it on a case-by-case foundation, relying on the extent of service and the place you end up.

How can I hand somebody a tip with out trying awkward?

Need to keep away from any clunky moments when handing a money tip to a member of workers? Bear in mind these 4 pointers, says Wyse, and you’ll’t go fallacious:

  • “Have the cash prepared, no fiddling in pockets, baggage or wallets.”
  • “There is no such thing as a want to hide the cash and press it into the recipient’s palm.”
  • “Merely maintain out the folded be aware or cash along with your proper hand and accompany the gesture with a smile and a thanks.”
  • “When you intend to shake fingers with the individual you might be tipping, achieve this after you may have handed over the cash as a valedictory gesture.”

And no matter you do, don’t pile a bunch of random cash into somebody’s grasp, or make a present of not having any change. It’s a straight-up no-no:

“At all times be sure you have small-denomination notes, or large-denomination cash, prepared when you will tip,” Wyse says. “Emptying out your pockets and filling somebody’s fingers with a random assortment of free change is impolite. It’s additionally impolite to look in your pockets, fish out a 50-euro be aware, after which say ‘I’m so sorry, I don’t appear to have any small change.’ This may come throughout as patronizing.”

Backside line

Tip nicely for glorious service. Tip pretty for good-to-average service. Don’t tip in any respect for awful service.

Look to see if a service cost has already been added to a invoice, and if not, base your tip on the quantity earlier than tax is added. When you’re trying to tip on a bank card, then you’ll want to ask if the workers will truly obtain it. Attempt to depart money at any time when potential.

Above all, be courteous and affected person. It is a two-way road; it’s possible you’ll discover being a pleasant human being scores you higher service than any wad of money would possibly do.

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