Depending on who you ask, tipping in Europe seems to spark a lot of controversies because each country has its own tipping culture. In fact, Americans are known for over-tipping in Europe, and some waiters will take advantage of this fact. This guide will help give you a better grasp on how much, if any, you should be tipping when you travel.
General Advice For Tipping In Europe
Tipping Isn’t Always Necessary: In many countries, the tip is already included in the bill. The receipt will usually indicate this, so be sure to pay attention. If you’re paying in cash, you can always round the amount up to the next euro (for example, give the waiter 25€ on a 24.30€ bill). You can always add a little extra if you want, but it isn’t expected.
Tip in Cash: Most waiters prefer to be tipped in cash. If you had good service, even when you pay with a credit card, your waiter will appreciate it if you tip with cash. Sometimes if you tell the waiter “thank you” as you hand them the cash, they’ll assume the “thank you” means to keep all the change… so be careful.
Tip Before You Get The Change: For example, if the bill is 23€ and you have 30€ in cash, tell the waiter “25€” and they’ll bring you back 5€.
A 10% Tip is Generous: Waiters don’t rely on tips to make their living in Europe, but a 10% tip is usually considered nice.
Tipping At The Bar: If you order drinks at the bar/club, it isn’t usually necessary to tip.
Country Specific Information
Austria: There is usually a 10% service charge already added to the bill. It is customary to add a little extra tip to the bill (around 5%). On a cheaper meal, you should just round up to the next euro amount (or just add an extra euro).
Belgium: The service charge is usually included. Round up to the next euro if you want.
Czech Republic: Restaurants in the tourist areas usually add a service charge — if they don’t, a 10% tip is customary.
England: The service charge is usually included, so you don’t need to tip anything. You don’t need to tip anything at bars.
France: Virtually every restaurant will include a 15% service fee. If you had good service, you can round up to the next full euro amount.
Germany: The service charge is included, but a 10% tip is customary.
Greece: A service charge of 13% is always included, but it is customary to tip an extra 5%-10%.
Hungary: Tips are not usually included in the bill — 10%-15% is customary.
Ireland: Many restaurants add 10%-15% to the bill. There is no need to add anything extra. If there is no gratuity added, it is customary to tip about 10%.
Italy: Expect a service charge of 10%-15% and you don’t need to add anything extra. Add 10% if nothing is included on the bill.
The Netherlands: Restaurants usually add 5% to the bill. If you liked the service, you can add an extra 10%.
Portugal: The tip is included, but an extra 5%-10% is nice for good service (round up the bill on cheaper items). Don’t tip anything if you thought the service was poor.
Scandinavian Countries: You’ll probably be charged a small service charge and extra tipping isn’t expected.
Scotland: If the restaurant adds a service charge (usually 10%-15%), an extra tip isn’t expected. If there isn’t a service charge, add 10%-15%.
Spain: The service charge will be added to the bill (even if it doesn’t state it). You don’t need to tip anything extra. You can add something extra if you wish, but keep it under 10%.
Switzerland: The service charge is included in your meal. A 5% tip is customary.
No Funny Business
The Savvy Backpacker is reader-supported. That means when you buy product/services through links on the site, I may earn an affiliate commission — it doesn’t cost you anything extra and it helps support the site.
Thanks For Reading! — James