Tips on Tipping: Europe

The topic of tipping is enough to stir up minor anxiety when traveling to a new place.  While it’s commonplace for those of us from the States, the rules change by country, situation and region – confused yet? Don’t be. To avoid an awkward faux pas abroad, give these tips on tipping a look.

EURO-GRAPHIC

Basic moolah tips for your trip abroad:

  • When not in the US, use the local currency. We don’t want a pocket full of Yen, so it’s understandable if other countries don’t want a pocket full of quarters.
  • Cash is king. While paying with cash today in the US is almost seen as a hindrance to our high-speed, grab-and-go lifestyles, most other countries avoid using plastic to pay. Bring a debit card to withdraw cash from ATMs as you need it, but watch out for high ATM fees.
  • Make mental note of conversion rates. No, you don’t need to fully memorize the value of the local currency to the 100th decimal, but have a general idea of how much the local currency is worth to the dollar to avoid buying a magnet of the Spanish flag for $35.

Tipping practices vary from Western, Central and Eastern European countries, but have no fear! We’ve outlined the tipping customs of each College Break destination for your here. Note that across the board, you should tip in local currency and not on your card, as it isn’t guaranteed your server will receive it otherwise. Let’s get started, shall we?

?? Austria

Currency: Euro

Restaurants: In general, tipping is more of a suggestion in Europe vs. the US. If you receive excellent service, tipping around 10% is considered sufficient. 

Taxis: Round up your fare.

?? Czech Republic

Currency: Krona

Restaurants: Generally, a service fee will be added to your bill, but it’s customary to tip up to 15% total.

Taxis: Round up your fare, but no additional tip is needed.

?? France

Currency: Euro

Restaurants: Typically, locals will leave up to 10% on top of their bill at restaurants and cafes, but tipping is not expected at bars.

Taxis: 10-15% of fare.

?? Germany

Currency: Euro

Restaurants: The standard in bars and restaurants is about 10%. Note, that once the server or bartender tells you your total, you let them know how much you would like to pay on top of your bill – rarely is a check brought to your table.

Taxis: For short rides, round up to the nearest euro for a tip. If you’ve received exceptional service or have taken a longer ride, tip between 7-10% on the fare.

?? Greece

Currency: Euro

Restaurants: Tip between 5-10% based on the amount of the bill. Leave more for a less expensive meal and less for a most expensive meal.

Taxis: No tip is expected, but round up if you’re feeling generous. Your cabbie will be delighted.

?? Hungary

Currency: Forint

Restaurants: Based on service, it is customary to leave up to 10%. For small items like a pastry or coffee, leave the change. Locals tip while out to eat, so if you don’t leave a tip it is considered rude.

Taxis: Up to 10% of the fare is the norm.

Spas: Generally, spas or Hungarian baths will include a 10% service fee, but it is customary to tip an additional 10% to your service provider.

Anything else?: Tips must be left in cash only.

??Italy

Currency: Euro

Restaurants: Leave up to 10%, but no more than that unless you want to look like a tourist. If ordering a drink at a bar, tipping is not necessary.

Taxis/Other: Round up to the next whole euro for taxi drivers, but no need to tip gondoliers when cruising the Venetian canals.

?? The Netherlands

Currency: Euro

Restaurants: A service charge is included in the price of the meal, but if you’re pleased with the service received, add another 10% on top. At bars and cafes, round up to the nearest euro or leave your change.

Taxis: Tip about 10% of the fare.

?? Poland

Currency: Zloty

Restaurants: If you’re happy with the service you’ve received, leave between 10-15%, however it isn’t the least bit mandatory.

Taxis: Locals typically don’t tip taxi drivers, but if you’d like to, round up the fare to the nearest zloty.

?? Portugal

Currency: Euro

Restaurants: Tipping is more closely related to US customs in Portugal than other parts of Europe. An included service fee is not generally included, so tip about 10% on top of your bill. Servers rely on tips as part of their income, so reward them for great service!

Taxis: Tipping in taxis is less common than tipping in restaurants, however it’s courteous to round up to the nearest 10 euro for exceptional service (ie: If your fare is 7 euros, leave 10).

?? Spain

Currency: Euro

Restaurants: Tipping guidelines are pretty chill in Spain. For good service, leave around 10%, but if you receive poor service, tipping is not required.

Taxis: Round up the fare.

?? Switzerland

Currency: Franc

Restaurants: Typically, leaving up to 10% is nice, but not expected.

Taxis: Round up to the next fare or for a longer ride give between 5-10%.

?? United Kingdom

Currency: Pound

Restaurants: More often than not the service charge is included, but if not, tip between 10-15%. On occasion, the tip will be included, but labeled “optional” on your bill. Feel free to adjust up or down based on the service provided.

Taxis: Not much is expected, so round up or give whatever pocket change you’re carrying.