Do you tip in Germany? It’s a question most travellers ask themselves when visiting this fascinating country. But with our quick and simple guide to gratuity etiquette in Germany, you can ensure that you’re leaving the right amount for the right service, without overspending or risking offence.
German Tipping Etiquette
Tipping in Germany is more unusual than in countries such as the US or UK. Known as ‘trinkgeld’ or ‘drinking money’, tips are usually given as part of a bill that’s been rounded up rather than given as a separate gratuity. That said, there are a few occasions when you may want to give someone more than a couple of euros when they have been particularly helpful or kind, and such appreciation is always welcomed.
Tipping in German hotels isn’t as common as in the US, or other parts of Europe. If you’re in a good quality four or five-star hotel, consider giving the porter one euro per bag that they carry to your room, and leave housekeeping €2-3 euros per night at the end of your stay. If the concierge is particularly helpful, they will appreciate €5-10 euros, while €2-3 euros for room service is a reasonable amount to tip.
In Germany, it’s usual for the service charge to be added to the bill. This will be marked as ‘Bedienung’ but it’s customary to leave a little extra unless the service was particularly poor. Look towards paying around 5-10%, rounding up to the nearest €5
If you’re giving the correct amount and don’t require change, tell the waiter ‘Simmt so’, which means ‘We are even’.
It’s more common in Germany for diners to pay individually rather than splitting the bill, so people will add tips to their own individual bill. And remember, tipping in Germany is better in cash – hand it directly to your waiter rather than leaving it on the table.
Do you tip taxi drivers?
You’re not expected to tip taxi drivers in Germany but it’s usual to round up the fare to the nearest euro. If your driver has been helpful in loading your luggage, chatting in English or giving you some local knowledge, then a 10% gratuity is a polite way of saying thank you.
It’s not necessary to tip in cafés when ordering a coffee or other drinks. If you end up having a meal then you should round up the total to the nearest euro or add another one, but there’s no obligation.
As with cafés, you could round up your bill to the nearest euro if you have received particularly good service, but there’s no expectation. It’s more common for people to leave a gratuity when running up a tab at a bar, where they may leave a few euros extra when settling up at the end of the night.
There’s no need to tip drivers who take you to and from the airport. But if they have carried your bags or gone out of their way to make your journey comfortable then there’s no reason why you shouldn’t give them a few euros to show your gratitude.
Great tour guides can really make a holiday in Germany, so tipping 10% of the cost is a good way to show your appreciation, especially if the tour goes over a number of days or it’s a private tour guide. You should tip, even if it’s a free tour, if the guide has been really helpful and informative.
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