Around the World Tipping Guide: When It’s Polite and When It’s Expected

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With almost 200 countries covering this planet — each with its own unique set of traditions, climate, food and language — it probably doesn’t come as a shock that tipping practices vary as well. Tipping (or lack thereof) is so engrained in our everyday lifestyle that it may not even occur to a traveler to check the local custom until the check hits the table.

 

Whether you’re hailing a taxi on the chaotic streets of Dubai or sipping on a flat white down in Melbourne, here is an easy-to-follow guide to tipping etiquette in 25 popular tourist destinations around the world.

The Americas

  • New York, United States: Much like the rest of the U.S., the waitstaff expects 15 – 20% tip on a restaurant tab. Taxis are in the 10 – 20% range.
  • Cancun, Mexico: Restaurant staff expect tips in the 10 – 20% range. Taxi drivers won’t expect a tip unless they help you with your luggage.
  • Quebec, Canada: Similarly to the U.S., 15 – 20% of the total bill is expected at restaurants and taxis in the 10 – 20% range.
  • Buenos Aires, Argentina: Gratuities are preferred in cash. If you’re at a restaurant, 10 – 15% will cover your gratuity.
  • Cuzco, Peru: In major tourist cities like Cuzco, tipping 10 – 15% is becoming more customary. If you escape to the outskirts, a few extra soles will do.
  • Cartagena, Colombia: Many restaurants will include a tip, so check your bill. If it’s not, 15 – 20% is appreciated. Taxi drivers don’t expect tips, but rounding up is courtesy for a great driver.

Europe

  • Barcelona, Spain: If you receive above average service at a restaurant, 7 – 13% (in cash) is appropriate. If it’s standard, none is expected. Round up your taxi fare.
  • Prague, Czech Republic: Expect a service charge to be included, only tipping on top of it for great service (up to 15% total). Round up taxi fare and tip cleaning staff a few euros a day.
  • Paris, France: Look out for “service compris” on your tab, which means service is included in your total. The phrase should appear on most bills, which means you don’t need to tip. However, it is courteous to leave the change or round up.
  • Munich, Germany: Despite their reputation for meticulousness, Germans do not find tipping distasteful. 10 – 15% (or more for great service) is appropriate at restaurants.
  • Santorini, Greece: Don’t worry about a big tip at an upscale restaurant. Here, you’re expected to tip more (10%) on smaller bills and less (5%) on more expensive meals.
  • Venice, Italy: Leave up to 10% at restaurants in cash. Some restaurants will add “coperto” (cover charge) to your bill, but sometimes this isn’t shared with the staff. Leaving cash ensures your server gets it. You don’t need to tip your gondoliers or vaporettos.
  • Amsterdam, The Netherlands: It’s required to include tips with the published menu prices. However, it’s common for people to leave “fooi,” or a small tip of 5 – 10%.

Asia

  • Tokyo, Japan: The Japanese believe good service is a way of life, so there is no tipping culture and gratuity may even be turned down.
  • Dubai, UAE: Check for a service charge on your bill. 10% is typical at hotels, restaurants and bars.
  • Siem Reap, Cambodia: Minimal tipping (£1 – 2) is the norm in most major tourist spots.
  • Ubud, Indonesia: As Bali grows to be a tourist hot-spot, tipping is becoming more common but not expected. Look out for a service charge on the bill — if it’s absent, add on 10%. Round up taxi fares.
  • Hanoi, Vietnam: Tipping is expected — from a cup of coffee to a multi-course meal. Be prepared to leave 5 – 10% on your bill. However, taxi drivers and hotel bellhops don’t expect a tip (though it’s nice to round up).
  • Hong Kong, China: Aside from a few trendy spots, gratuity is not expected. Similarly to Japan, the Chinese expect great service as part of the experience.

Oceania

  • Sydney, Australia: Tipping at restaurants isn’t expected as wait staffs are paid a livable wage. However, if you receive impeccable service, go ahead and round up on the tab. The same custom applies to taxis.
  • Queenstown, New Zealand: Kiwis follow a similar wage system to Australia, so skip the tip (unless service is splendid).
  • Fiji: The people of Fiji live in a communal society. This sharing mentality does not encourage tips, but if you are inclined, many resorts give you the opportunity to leave a tip to split amongst the staff as a whole.

Africa

  • Cape Town, South Africa: Diners typically add 10 – 15% to cover gratuity at restaurants.
  • Marrakech, Morocco: Restaurants prefer you tack on 5 – 10% to your bill to cover service. Round up with taxis. Hotel bellhops should get £1 per bag carried.
  • Cairo, Egypt: The tip is usually included in the bill at restaurants, but it’s normal to tip 5 – 10% above that. Leave £1 – 2 in the hotel room for the house keeper. Taxis expect a tip in the 10% – 15 % range.

References

Murphy, T., (06 October 2016). Etiquette 101: Your guide to tipping in 50 countries. Retrieved 7 January 2019, from https://www.cntraveler.com/stories/2008-11-11/etiquette-101-tipping-guide

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Babs is a content writer at Enova International, Inc. with a Bachelors in Cinema Studies and English from the University of Illinois (ILL-INI!). She loves binge watching musicals, reading in the (sporadic) Chicago sunshine and discovering great new places to eat. Accio, tacos! Find about more about her on Google+.

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