By: John Tunningley
In the second half of our tipping around the world series, we will cover some of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe and the Middle East. All currencies are provided in U.S. dollars unless otherwise noted. Keep in mind, Euros are primarily used throughout much of Europe.
Make sure you check out Part 1 to learn about tipping culture in The Americas, Asia and Africa.
Much like Asia, the tipping customs in Europe vary widely from Iceland—all gratuities are included—to many countries in which 10-15% is expected at restaurants. Though Eastern European countries didn’t have the same tipping culture, historically, the American tipping culture has started to spread through these countries as global tourism has increased. Throughout Europe, it’s best to tip in the local currency and, when dining, it’s best to leave tips in cash otherwise the waiter may not get the tip.
While dining out in Croatia, the tip you leave depends on where you’re eating. You can round up the bill when having a coffee or a drink but you’ll want to leave leave a 3-5% tip at a tavern. If you dine at a nicer restaurant, you’ll want to leave a 10-15% tip.
At hotels, feel free to tip around $10 to the concierge. Tip a little more if it’s a nicer hotel and you are making multiple requests of the concierge team. Cleaning staff should be left $1-2 per day in an envelope at the end of your stay while porters should get the typical $1 per bag.
Guides and drivers should be tipped 10-20% per day, while you can let taxi drivers keep the change. Also, if you happen to be taking a chartered sailing excursion, leave $50-60 per person at the end of the trip. If it’s a larger boat/yacht, leave 10-20% of the overall cost.
When dining in the Czech Republic, a service charge is typically included, but for great service feel free to tip an additional amount to make the total tip, including the service charge, up to 15% of the bill.
For hotels, tip the concierge about $20 if you will be using them, tip bellhops $1-2 per bag, and cleaning staff about $4 a day. You can round up the the fare on taxis rides but for guides and drivers tip $5-10 and $10-15, respectively.
At restaurants, rounding up the bill at most places is acceptable, while at a nice restaurant tipping 5-8% in cash is appreciated. At hotels, give porters one Euro per bag and the concierge five Euros if you will be utilizing them.
When getting around, give guides 30-35 Euros per day while drivers should get about 20 Euros per day.
Don’t expect to tip at a bar, but you can leave up to 10% on a dinner bill. At hotels, two Euros should be given to the porter per bag and the housekeeper per day. Tipping 10-15 Euros to the concierge for making reservations is also acceptable.
Certified guides should be given up to 50 Euros per day, while drivers should get about 10-15 Euros per day. 10-20 Euros for airport transfers and 10-15% tip should be added to taxi rides.
At restaurants, 5-10% should be added to bills. While staying at a hotel, about 2 Euros per bag for the porter is acceptable. Housekeeper should be left about 5 Euros per night. Also, feel free to tip the concierge about 20 Euros if you are using them.
While staying in Greece, porters should be given roughly 1 Euro per bag and housekeepers should receive the same. While dining, many people leave 5-10% with the higher percentages for more inexpensive bills.
For local transportation, plan to tip about 20 Euros per day or a little more for private drivers and 4-6 Euros per person for guides on group tours. 40-60 Euros is normal for a full-day private tour. For boat charters, tip the captain 5-15% to be distributed among the crew.
For great service at restaurants leave about 10% of the total bill in cash. You can simply round up the bill for standard service. At hotels, tip the concierge about $20 if you utilize them while porters should be given around $2 and housekeepers around $3.
Tip guides $10-20 per person per day. You should tip drivers $5-10 but simply round up the fare for taxi rides. If you take the train, expect to run into porters who should also be tipped about $1-2 per bag.
At spas, you can tip up to 10% extra on top of the included service charge
Throughout Iceland tips are either included or not necessary. That said, for exceptional service, you can tip up to an additional 10% at restaurants. Tipping fantastic guides or drivers $10 and $20 a day is acceptable.
Dining in Italy is truly an experience. When dining out, a 10% tip is appreciated.. At hotels, porters are tipped up to 5 Euros, while housekeepers should be left about 2 Euros per night.
In Italy, sometimes it’s necessary to insist they accept the tip if they refuse at first. Contrary to what some may believe, tipping gondoliers in Venice isn’t necessary.
Restaurants typically include a service charge in the price of the meal and it’s actually required by law in the city of Amsterdam. You can leave an additional 5-10% at a restaurant but, if just getting a drink or two, leaving the change is acceptable.
At hotels, 1-2 Euros should be given to the porters and housekeepers should be given about 2 Euros per night. For taxis, simply rounding up the fare is acceptable, as a tip is typically included in the rate.
About 5% should be left if you’re getting a drink or coffee, while 10% should be left at restaurants. Hotel cleaning staff should be left about 3-4 Euros a day and porters about 1 Euro per bag.
For drivers, tip about 15 Euros per day and double that for guides. For taxi drivers, no tip is needed but you can always round up the fare.
In Russia, tips should always be given directly to the individual who helps you. At restaurants, plan on tipping the waiter 10% in rubles.
At hotels, porters should be left $3-5 per trip, while housekeepers should be left $2-3 per night, and the concierge can be given $10-20 if they go out of their way for you.
For taxis, negotiate the fare before getting in the car and plan on tipping about 10% while giving drivers about $30 per day and private guides about $50 per day.
Also, in Russia, feel free to accompany any tips with a thank you note.
Scandinavia (Denmark, Norway and Sweden)
Tipping in Denmark, Norway, and Sweden is usually included in the bill or isn’t expected, however, bills can be a little higher in Scandinavia. As in many countries where the service charge is included, bills can be rounded up and for excellent service a small 5-10% tip can be left. The smaller 5-10% tip is appreciated at restaurants and for taxi drivers, especially in the more touristy areas like Copenhagen or Stockholm.
In Slovakia, travelers should expect to tip about 10% at restaurants. For hotels, tip the concierge around $15-20 if you will be using them, tip bellhops $1-2 per bag, and cleaning staff about $4 a day.
For taxis, you can round up the fare while guides and drivers should receive $5-10 and $10-15, respectively.
While dining in Spain, you can tip up to 13% in cash but it isn’t necessary especially if the service isn’t great. At hotels, the concierge can be tipped 5-10 Euros if you’re using them, while cleaning staff should be left about 5 Euros per day, and porters about 1 Euro per bag.
For drivers, tip about 15 Euros per day and guides roughly double that. For taxi drivers, round up the fare.
In Switzerland, it’s important to only tip in Swiss francs but most tips are included. At restaurants you can tip between 5-10% although it’s not expected, and while at hotels tips are only necessary if someone goes out of their way for you.
Great guides should be left about $40 per person, while drivers should get about half that. For taxis, simply round up the fare.
In Turkey, leave a 10% tip at restaurants but have cash ready as tips typically can’t be put on your credit card. There’s typically a service charge included in hotel bills which will cover almost everything except the concierge who should be tipped $15-25.
When getting around, taxi fares can be rounded up, while private drivers should be given about $35-50 per day. Private tour guides should be given about $75 and other tour guides should be given about $10-$15 per day.
Also, masseuses should get $20-25 and boat charters should be tipped about 5% of the price. If you rent a boat cabin, $15 per person per day is acceptable, but all tips in Turkey are discretionary and should only be given for good service.
When dining in the U.K., a service charge is often included but, if not, tip 10-15%. However, if just going out for drinks, tipping isn’t necessary. Porters should be given 1-2 pounds per bag and housekeepers should be given the same per night.
Simply round up the fare for a taxi driver. Guides and drivers should be tipped about 20 pounds or 10 pounds, respectively. It’s important to always check bills because many tips are included in the bills throughout the U.K..
THE MIDDLE EAST
The Middle East is often a very hospitable region with many people in the service industry going above and beyond to make sure you have the best service possible. With this level of service, you will find that tipping is expected. With the additional service touches, it is perfectly fine to tip more often but in smaller amounts.
In Egypt, tipping is encouraged but you can tip in your native currency as well as the local currency. At restaurants, a 5-10% additional tip should be added to the bill even if it says the tip is already included (it often is).
Similar to many locations around the world, a good tip to the hotel concierge—$10-20—will go a long way. In addition, the porter should be tipped about $1 per bag and the housekeeper will definitely appreciate $1-2 per day which will also help keep your room in tip top shape especially for an extended stay.
Taxi drivers should be tipped 10-15%, while guides can be tipped around $20 per person per day. While this may seem like a lot, guides will also help to you avoid some of the tourist trap schemes and ultimately save you money.
While Europeans can travel independently in Iran, Americans must be with a government approved tour where tipping is encouraged. Unlike the United States, sometimes a small gift from the United States is appreciated at hotels.
When tipping guides, leave a tip for each person in a separate envelope with a short note of appreciation. U.S. dollars are accepted for tips.
As in Europe, the tip is included in restaurant bills but adding a shekel per customer will be appreciated. At hotels, 2-3 shekels for the concierge will be sufficient while six shekels per bag for porters and six shekels per day for housekeepers is sufficient.
Like many other places, taxi drivers should be tipped 10-15% and tour guides should be tipped 90-120 shekels (walking) and 120-150 shekels (driver). While this may seem like a lot, it’s important to remember each shekel is only worth about a quarter. Tips should be given in the local shekels.
Similar to Egypt, there will often be a tip included in restaurant bills, but adding an additional 5-10% for the waiter is a wise decision. At hotels, one dinar per bag for the porter is acceptable as is 1-2 dinar per night for the housekeeper. If you plan on utilizing the concierge to get tickets to an exclusive event, tipping in advance is a good idea.
For cabs, a 10-15% tip is sufficient like in many other countries, while tour guides should be tipped $30 per person per day and private drivers should be tipped about $30 per day.
Dollars and Euros are acceptable for tips. If you are visiting the ancient city of Petra, it is okay to decline tipping the native Nabateans especially after you’ve already paid even if they are asking for additional tips. Also, if on a guided tour double check to see if the tip has been prepaid. If so, it’s perfectly fine to refuse to tip any additional amount.
No tipping is necessary in Oman as it is considered culturally offensive.
Qatar and U.A.E.
Most tipping in Qatar and the United Arab Emirates mirrors tipping in the US. At restaurants, a 15-20% tip is standard and $2-5 for hotel a doorman (when calling a taxi for you), porters and housekeepers.
Where these countries differ is for guides and drivers. In Qatar, guides and drivers should be tipped $10 per person per day and $5 per person per day is sufficient for guides. In U.A.E., guides should be tipped $10-20 per person per day and drivers should be tipped $5 per person per day. US dollars are accepted for tipping.
Dubai is a little different than the rest of the U.A.E. In Dubai, a 10% service charge is added to all bills at any bar, restaurant or hotel. While this covers the traditional tip, you can always round up most tips to the next 5 Dirham note and at restaurants add a small tip to bring the total tip to 15%.
While taxi drivers fall into the same “round up to the nearest 5 Dirham note” rule, valets and porters do not receive the 10% service charge so tipping around 10 dirhams is customary.
At restaurants, tip 10-15% of the bill and don’t expect to take home leftovers as anything left by customers is given to the homeless or taken home by staff. At hotels, $20-25 can go a long way with the concierge while porters should be given $1-2 per bag and housekeepers should be given $2 per day.
Give guides $7-10 per person per day and drivers about $5 per person per day. If a driver has an assistant keeping the car clean and providing water, it is acceptable to give them $2 per person per day.
Tipping here should be done discreetly, putting tips in envelopes or palming them off in a handshake are perfectly acceptable ways to tip and U.S. dollars can be used. If visiting a mosque, leaving $1 for the person providing robes for women and the person minding your shoes is customary.
No tipping is necessary in Yemen as it is considered culturally offensive.
With that, we have come to end of our guide to tipping around the world. This (almost) comprehensive list of countries and regions should make your next adventure just a bit easier and less stressful.