Our Guide to Tipping in Europe

Traveling to Europe should be an adventure, but trying to figure out the tipping rules for each country can be a headache.  Here is our quick guide to the ins and outs of tipping in Europe.

Austria

salzburg tippingAt Restaurants you should round up the bill, or tip 5-10%. Tip in cash, handing the tip directly to the server, or tell the server how much the bill should be (including tip) before he or she makes change. For instance if the bill is 52 Euros and you give the server 60 euros, tell the server “58 euros”

Hotels: Tip porters € 1 per bag and leave a similar amount for the chambermaid each day.
Taxis: Tip 10%, or round up to a higher amount on short trips.
Lavatory attendants: € .50.
Gas-station attendants: € 1 if the attendant fills your tank, washes the windshield, etc.
Railroad and airport porters: Tip € .50 per bag in addition to the official fee.
Sightseeing-tour guides: €1 at the end of the tour, or more for a longer tour or if you were especially pleased with the guide’s services.

France

lunch-in-mougins.jpgTipping in France is not compulsory but is recommended. The bill in restaurants and cafés usually includes a 15 percent tip. It is referred to “service compris.” However, it is customary to leave some small change unless you are dissatisfied. If the service is not included in the price, “service non compris,” a 15 percent tip is customary. However, in chic restaurants, leave a generous tip.

Hotels: €1.50 for room service and €1-€1.50 per bag to porters.
Taxi drivers: About 10 percent of the metered charge.

Germany

In Germany, a service charge of 15% is included in the menu price in restaurants, cafés and bars. But it is typical to “round up” the amount to an even figure. A rule of thumb is to add 3-5%, generally ending with a full Euro amount. German waiters and waitresses are paid a salary and do not live off of tips as do their American counterparts but it never hurts to be generous.
Be sure to ask for your check; they will not present a bill until asked. And, do not leave the tip on the table; give it to your waiter when you pay.

Italy

Italy Wine breakIn most restaurants, you may find both “il coperto” and “servizio incluso” written on the menu. “Il coperto” is the cover charge, which is generally one or two Euro, and which takes care of things like bread before the meal and a glass of tap water. “Servizio incluso” means that service is included, meaning they’ve already figured in a tip for you – it’s usually around 15% – so the total due on your final bill is all you’ll owe. If the service has been particularly outstanding or you’ve had a great experience, you can compliment the waiter by leaving a couple Euro on the table.

Tipping after a meal is only done if you don’t see “servizio incluso” on the menu, or you specifically see “servizio non incluso” (service not included). In those situations, a 10% tip is fine, left in cash on the table or handed right to your waiter.

Netherlands

In The Netherlands, Value Added Tax and service charges are included in your check in hotels, shops and taxis. Unlike in the US, this is even the case for your restaurant check. Tips for extra service are always appreciated but not necessary.

It is customary to give taxi drivers and waiters a tip of about 10 percent.
Many public restrooms have an attendant who is usually tipped EUR 0.50.

Spain

In every single establishment in Spain, service is included with the price of the meal or drink. However, tipping is a common practice at bars and restaurants, hotels, and taxis, depending on the total price for the service, and on the generosity of the client. It is usually around five to ten percent of the total price.

Switzerland

At Restaurants, a service charge is built into menu prices. However, it is customary to round up amounts when paying the waiter or waitress if you’re happy with the service. This means that you might hand the server CHF 50 for a CHF 47 meal. If you’re paying by credit card, hand the server a cash tip of up to 5%.

Hotels: Tip CHF 1-2 for each bag carried or service rendered, depending on the class of your hotel. Consider leaving CHF 1 per day for the hotel maid. In a resort hotel, you might want to leave a tip with the manager for dividing among the staff. (The amount will vary according to the length of your stay, the price of the accommodations, and your own generosity.)

Taxis: A service charge is included in Zürich cab fares; it may not be in other parts of the country. And as in restaurants, round up or add 5% when you’re happy with the service.

United Kingdom

Tipping is not always necessary in the UK but if you feel the service was good and you want to show your appreciation, you certainly may.

Hotels: Most hotel bills include a service charge, usually 10-12%. For rooms, you can leave an optional amount to room staff.
Restaurants
: Many restaurant bills include a service charge; make sure you check the bill to avoid tipping twice. Where a service charge is not included, it is customary to leave a tip of 10-15% of the bill. Some restaurants now include a suggested tip in the bill total.
Taxis: 10-15% of the fare
Porterage: discretionary

Bottom Line

In Europe, the rule of thumb is to simply round up. If you are happy with the service, a tip of 5% is good and a tip of 10% is generous.

Comments

  1. guest says

    “service non compris” 

    If you see that on French restaurant bill, call the police. It’s illegal. Tip 1euro if you wish, but service is ALWAYS included in a French restaurant bill.

  2. Navros says

    This article contains a lot mistakes. In all of the EU there is almost certainly no extra charge for tipping. It is almost always included in the total bill. Europe is not America. No waiter or waitress lives on tips. So don’t give them any. Only of you really want to but there is no obligation whenever it comes to tipping.

  3. says

    Hi Navros,
    I think you will see that I said that in most cases the tip is included in the payment. But, most people round off the bill to include a small extra tip. There is never an obligation to tip, it is just a way to reward good service. 

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