Tipping in Europe
In most of Europe, tipping is very common. In many cases, it’s just built into part of the bill – very similar to the UK. Tip sizes vary from country to country, but if you get stuck or you’re strapped for cash – just add on 10%, or round the bill up to the nearest €5 or €10.
As in all countries, it’s polite to tip porters, taxi drivers and the people cleaning your hotel room – the expected tip is much smaller than the standard in bars and restaurants.
If the service has been poor, don’t hesitate to hold back on the tip. As in the UK, it’s meant to be a reward for good service.
1. Tipping in Spain
Tipping is common in Spain. It can be added to your bill and is normally between 5 and 10%. It is polite to add a small tip on top of this in change if you have it. If service charge isn’t included, it’s normal to tip 15%.
2. Tipping in Germany
Tipping is the done thing in Germany. At beer festivals, you will usually buy tokens which you exchange for beer and food. In these situations a cash tip is expected too. Similarly, in markets and festivals, you will normally have to put a deposit on the glass you take around with you, which you can either keep or return for your money back. For these reasons, it’s a good idea to have small change with you.
Tipping in restaurants and bars is a standard 10%. Germany is one of the countries where, in the language, a tip is “drink money” (Trinkgeld), so leaving change is always appreciated.
3. Tipping in France
A pourboire (“for drink”) of around 10-12.5% is usually added at the end of a meal and an evening at a bar. It’s uncommon to pay for your drinks as you go (instead you pay at the end), but if you are in this situation then you don’t need to tip with every drink.
It is French law to include a service charge in the overall fee. This means tipping in Paris or any other part of France above and beyond the service charge isn’t necessary or an obligation, but appreciated. How much is up to you.
4. Tipping in Portugal
Tipping isn’t a big part of everyday life in Portugal, and most Portuguese people don’t usually give or receive tips themselves at all. But it’s still welcomed when it happens.
Your tips can help to supplement the income of waiting staff, clerks and attendants, whose wages for such roles are among the lowest in any EU country.
If you do choose to tip, there are two main approaches: adding 5-10%of the bill or rounding it up to the nearest ten euros.
5. Tipping in Austria
Tipping in Austria isn’t as common as it is in the rest of continental Europe, but service is still normally added to your bill (Rechnung). If you feel that your service has been excellent then leaving some extra euros will be welcome.
6. Tipping in Poland
Tipping is expected for good service in restaurants in Poland, particularly in touristy areas like the capital, Warsaw and other cities such as Krakow. While it’s customary to tip 10% of the bill you can increase this to 15% if you found the service exceptional. If you’re dissatisfied, you don’t have to leave anything extra.
Tipping’s also common in hotels but again you’re under no obligation. You won’t see many bellhops or porters, so needn’t worry about tipping someone to take your luggage to your room. For taxi drivers, around 10 per cent of the bill is about right if you’re happy with the service.
7. Tipping in Italy
Service charge (servicio) is often included in the bill, and occasionally you may also see pane e coperto, which is an extra charge for bread. You are expected to pay both (if you’ve eaten the bread) so you may want to ask up-front whether the bread is free or not.
If you have paid both of these then leaving an extra tip is unnecessary. But again, for exemplary service, a little extra cash will not offend or be turned down.
8. Tipping in Greece
Tipping in hotels, restaurants and for taxis or tours is common but not obligatory in Greece. It’s up to you if you leave a tip, but it helps to have a rough idea of what to leave for good service should you choose to.
A few coins should suffice in cafes, or 5-10 per cent of the bill in restaurants if they haven’t already rounded it up to include a gratuity. If you want the tip to reach the waiting staff, leave it as cash rather than adding it as part of your card payment.
Round up short taxi rides to the nearest euro or add 5-10% of the bill for longer journeys. And, for guided tours, allow 2-5 euros per person per day if it’s a group tour, or 20 euros each if it’s private.
9. Tipping in Turkey
Tip 5-10% depending on quality of service. Check whether it has been included in the bill; it may not be as a matter of course.