A Guide To Tipping Around The World

Posted on Nov 2 2013 - 7:19pm by Ronnie

A tip or gratuity is a small cash ‘reward’ given as a token of your appreciation for good customer service. Not all countries will expect a tip but for the most part, it is appreciated and accepted with good grace. You’ll almost certainly be remembered if you leave a generous tip.

Tipping is customary in many countries around the world, but it’s not always clear if and when it’s appropriate to leave a tip, and if so, how much you should be tipping.

To avoid embarrassment and making a social faux pas, here is a simple guide to tipping around the world.

Spain

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In Spain, gratuities are usually added to the bill but a tip of 5-10% on top of the bill is considered the norm. Bartenders will usually expect €0.20 a drink though this varies from bar to bar.

Taxi drivers don’t normally expect a tip though many people will leave a 5% tip which is always appreciated.

Hotels in Spain usually will expect anything from €1-5 for their services. Maids should be given €1 a day for their services and hotel porters generally expect €1 per bag.

France

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Restaurants in France add a 15% service charge to your bill as standard. But actual tipping itself is not customary, though many people choose to give a few coins to their waiter or waitress if they are happy with the service they received.  Tipping in bars is not usual.

In hotels, tipping is optional but greatly received.

USA

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In America, if you don’t leave a tip you should expect a backlash! In the service industry, staff are dependent on their tips as they can help to make up a substantial amount of their overall wage. A tip of 15-20% is typical. Although for exceptional service some people tip as much as 25%.

Even if the service was below your expectations, tipping is still general expected, at least 10%.

In restaurants, a tip of 15% to 20% is expected.

In a bar $1 for each drink.

Taxi rides depending on how long the journey is can be anything from $1 to 25%

Italy

italy
Service charges are normally included, if not, leaving 10% will suffice. In bars, locals usually just leave a modest amount, a euro or two is acceptable.

Taxi drivers in Italy do appreciate a tip, it’s usually expected that the fare and the tip is agreed before the journey starts.

In hotels, a few euros to the hotel porter and concierge is good practise.

Japan

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Conversely, in Japan it is actually considered rude for tourists to leave a tip. The Japanese are generally known for very high quality service and would actually find it an insult to receive a tip. It is possible that tour guides may accept a tip graciously but it is not expected and it is probably wise to avoid tipping altogether to avoid offence.

 

Australia

australia

Tips are not expected or welcomed with open arms in Australia because the workers usually earn a decent wage to begin with, so it is not customary to leave a tip here. Within the more touristy areas of Australia it may be acceptable to leave 10% for very good service in a restaurant but otherwise, it is best not to tip. 

About the author:
The Gourmet Society team loves to travel. It’s difficult to know every country’s customs so they put together this guide to ensure you can avoid awkward situations when it comes to tipping! 

 

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  • Ave T

    These are really great tips! I have worked as a waitress and tips were a great adittion to my salary! So now I always try to leave a tip when we eat out.

  • http://veggiesandglitter.com/ Casey

    I was aware of all of the United States’ customs, but I have never traveled abroad, so this is a super helpful post for when I do someday (hopefully sooner rather than later!). I probably would have been the dope to go to Australia and tip 20% everywhere had I not read this. ;)

  • Cynthia Cover

    Wow, I just figured tips were universal…..my knowledge was very limited….good to know.

  • Momma’s Moolah

    Very interesting. I’ve never traveled outside of the USA but I would have just assumed that tipping was customary every where. If I ever do travel abroad, I’ll be sure to check on that country’s general tipping guidelines!

  • slehan

    That’s a good brief overview of tipping in different countries. Didn’t know it was rude to tip in Japan.

  • veronicalee

    Very helpful post! As people don’t normally practise tipping in my country, I wasn’t prepared for the backlash when I didn’t tip on my first visit to America! Now wiser, I always check out a country’s tipping guidelines before I visit!

  • Jane Ritz

    This is most interesting. My son may need this but I doubt that I will ever travel abroad. These guidelines are awesome.

  • Elisebet F

    Good to know. I generally try to look this up ahead of time before I visit a country, just to make sure I don’t commit a faux pas!

  • sparsameLady

    In Germany, we only round up to the nearest Euro in restaurants, unless we pay for a large party or the service was exceptionally good. Similar to the habits in France.

  • Krista Bainbridge

    This is a great list! We have started traveling some, and were always wondering what was “right” and hoping not to offend anyone!

  • http://www.capturingmagicalmemories.com Capturing Magical Memories

    I travel quite a bit and always have to check local customs for tipping. It definitely varies quite a bit per country. Thank you for putting this list together.

  • Marika Charalambous

    When I was living in Germany I noticed that they were definitely not big tippers. I wouldn’t have liked to be there a waitress :) If you come to Cyprus, many people tip here well above the customary 10% that is popular in most Western countries.

  • Mama to 5 Blessings

    wow, I never thought about this before. I should ask my husband how they did it when he went to China and Hong Kong. Thanks for sharing!

  • Virginia @thatbaldchick

    I had no idea that tipping standards varied so greatly!

  • Christine Luken

    Very interesting! I had no idea that the Japanese would view a tip as an insult.

  • brett

    very helpful. i wish more people paid attention to thing like this- ive’ seen friends leave such LOW tips for great servers and it makes me so sad

  • Mommy2Jam

    this is so very helpful! I don”t like shortchanging people and this really gives me a good idea especially if I travel.

  • Shauna Torres

    Wow, what great information. This is something I never thought of, so thank you

  • Danielle Leigh

    Working in this industry, I can vouch for this! Tips in Canada are on par with the U.S., approximately with the “suggestion” (even printed on the bills we give to our customers) being 18%. Servers here make minimum wage, so tips are very much relied upon. We are in a very touristy area, and most, if not all restaurants have also included a policy where for parties of six or more, or for those requesting split bills, we “auto-grat” them. This means 18% gratuity is automatically added to the bill. This saves our butts in some cases with tourists who do not generally tip in their home countries.

  • Francine Morrell

    The differences are so interesting! Thanks for sharing!

  • Simply At Home Mom

    This is very interesting info on tipping around the world! If I ever get to travel, this will be great info to know!

  • Amy Desrosiers

    We usually leave a 15-20% percent tip depending on service!

  • http://www.giveaways4mom.com/ Victoria H

    This is a great post. Very interesting.

  • Elizabeth @ Food Ramblings

    Awesome post– super helpful!

  • Debbie Lamb

    Thanks for the info….tipping is such a difficult thing to get right!

  • Pam W

    I didn’t realize that about some of the other countries. Thanks so much for sharing!

  • http://www.kathysclutteredmind.com Kathy Balman

    Great tips on tipping. I know when I was in high school and went to England and Australia they made sure we understood what was customary in advance.

  • Shannah at Just Us Four

    This is so interesting but really important information to know when traveling.

  • Wendy Kaufman

    It’s so interesting to me how things like this differ around the world. I can definitely understand the way Japan and Australia look at tipping. Makes sense to me!

  • dreammua

    I never know the appropriate tip to give at restaurants. Thank you for the post.

    • dreammua

      Meant to leave my name, Emerald

  • Cynthia L

    What a great post. We recently travelled to Germany and were unsure of what the tipping pracitc eas there. We had to ask a waiter and he was embarrassed to tell us, but we wanted to do the right thing.

  • Danielle @ We Have It All

    Wow, great information. I had no idea that in some places you should not tip! I always tip 20% no matter what.

  • Liz @ A Nut in a Nutshell

    That’s interesting that it varies so much around the world. I’m a 20% tipper so I’m sure I’d do that worldwide.

  • Janeane Davis

    This was really good information. Often when people travel they offend those i the place they are visiting due to improper tipping. Often this tipping is due to lack of knowledge, not something else.

  • TheNewClassy

    As a person who waitressed for 10 years, I appreciate you sharing this. :)

    • http://www.internationalgiveaways.com/ Ronnie

      As a former waitress myself, I’m happy to post it! :)Too many times have I gone tip-less!

  • Katherine Bartlett

    Great information. I didn’t know half of it!

  • http://thedivinemissmommy.com/ Stacie Haight Connerty

    This is interesting. I could have used this before we went to Italy this summer. I am bookmarking this page.

  • Debi@The Spring Mount 6 Pack

    I would have just assumed tipping the same as I tip here. It never would have occurred to me anything different.

  • Ashley Hanna

    This is very interesting. I have waited tables in my past and all we got was tips. So it was very important to get tips to pay my bills and at times it is hard living off tips. Thanks for getting this out!!

    • http://www.internationalgiveaways.com/ Ronnie

      Me too! I used to get so upset from tourists who wouldn’t leave tips.. it never crossed their mind that I depended on them instead of a salary!

  • Jody Doncaster

    Great information! Thanks!

  • Gabriel Rossi

    It’s unsual tipping in Brazil, if you do so instead, people become more and more welcoming, taxi drivers will be ever grateful if you tip them ;)

  • peachkins

    Here in the Philippines, It is not really a must to leave a tip but is greatly appreciated. Nice tips!

  • JoanneGreco

    How interesting! I enjoyed reading how other countries handle tipping.

  • http://socialhospitality.com Debbie Miller

    This is such a great resource, thank you!