Tipping in Europe • Tips on Restaurant Etiquette Around Europe

It is becoming commonly well known what to tip and where to tip when traveling through the typical tourist enclaves of Western Europe. For those traveling to Italy, a tip comes in the form of a service charge and tipping in Norway may leave locals flabbergasted.

However, tipping in Europe is not the same everywhere. Traveling extensively through Europe, has left us always questioning tips come bill time. Tipping in Europe is still not what it is in North America, no one will chase you down the street should you chose not to tip. For your ease here is the lowdown on tipping in Europe.

Tipping in European Restaurants

Tipping in Eastern Europe is similar to the West as in the expected amount is typically a few euros for good service in a nice restaurant. This comes to around 5-10% of the bill, and can be simply a little extra given to the server. Tipping in cash is always the best way. There is no tip line when paying with a credit card, although you can ask for a little to be added onto the bill when paying. But there is no guarantee it will make it into the hands of your server.

Rounding up when paying is the usual way for tipping, for example, a bill of €27 could be rounded up to €30. And it’s pretty much universal to simply say “thank you” if no change is needed. When ordering food from a counter for takeaway no tip is expected.

Tip in Europe, Tip in Italy, Tip in Croatia, Tip in France

Tipping in Europe by Country

  • Austria: Small amounts are the norm. It is very common to tip a little extra euro on the table, but does not need to be the extent of 10%. It is also becoming increasingly common to see a credit card line, so no need for cash.
  • Belgium: You do not need to tip in Belgium seeing as there is a service charge, and when done a simple rounding up of the bill, paid in cash.
  • Croatia: Tipping is generally not common in Croatia. Servers are typically fairly paid, and tipping is really only at most a few extra Kuna for great service.
  • Cyprus: Tipping along the beaches of Cyprus isn’t expected, but for good service one can leave a few Euro change on the table.
  • Czech Republic: Service charges in nice restaurants are becoming increasingly common. Although it is not customary it is becoming increasingly common in touristy areas, and it typically a few Crowns.
  • Denmark: Tipping is not common in Denmark unless you feel you’ve had exceptional service or the atmosphere requires it, there is no need to tip.
  • England: Some sort of a service charge is expected. Look at the bill, if no service charge is included a tip of around 10% is considered common courtesy.
  • Estonia:  It is not customary, nor is it always expected. It can sometimes have the opposite effect and come across as an insult. For a simple meal in a small eatery the answer would generally be no, but in a large restaurant with a group, it would be considered very rude to not tip.
  • France: With fine dining comes fine-dining prices. A service charge is almost always included in the bill, and around 15% at that. However, this does not mean that it always making its way into the pocket of the server, don’t worry they’ll kindly remind you of that. France can be difficult, and it’s almost always best to go with your gut. If it seems high for a reasonable meal it probably is; however, if your meal is hundreds of euros don’t think you’ll be getting off when it comes time to pay.
  • Germany: 10-15% and it’s safe to add it to the bill here.
  • Greece: Tipping in Greece varies on when and where you’re eating. Some places a tip might even be turned down think local family taverna. Other places a simple tip of €1-2 on the table for the server should be adequate while eating at nice restaurants one should tip the standard 10%. It should be noted, the Greeks are still facing serious economic woes as salaries continue to drop, so any extra tip will certainly be appreciated.
  • Hungary: Tips are pretty much standard in Hungary, 5-10% in cash should be good.
  • Italy: You don’t tip here. There is a service charge as indicated on the menu, and you may even get an added nudge to tip from your server, but it is not expected and Italians themselves do not tip. Tipping at cafes is also not expected. 
  • Norway: Tipping in Norway is pretty much unheard of.
  • Poland: Tipping in Poland is pretty customary. A Tip of 10-15% is common and the tip should be given directly to the server.
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  • Romania: Tips in Romania are not mandatory, but not leaving a tip means you were dissatisfied with the service. 5-10% should be good here
  • Russia: 10% cash and given directly to the waiter.
  • Scotland:  While dining out in Scotland expect to tip around 10%.
  • Serbia: Tipping is generally not expected as a service charge is already built into the prices on the menu, but it is generally in good manners to tip 5-10% of the bill for good service.
  • Slovakia: Tipping in Slovakia is not standard, but rounding up as usual in sit-down restaurants is pretty standard.
  • Spain: Adding on a euro or two for each person in your party should be good here.
  • Sweden: Just like in Norway there will either be a service charge, or you’re not expected to tip.
  • Switzerland: Tip around 5-10%, but this is not expected.
  • Turkey: Cash at around 10%, it’s pretty unlikely any server will see the tip if it’s on the credit card.

The Basic Gist of Tipping in Europe

Tipping in Europe is generally a pretty easy affair. Trust your gut. It’s always best to tip cash and hand the money to the server. Read the menu and bill to see if a service charge has been included, and when it warrants it, a safe bet is 10% of the bill.

With fine-dining in Europe, not tipping your server can be seen as an insult to the level of service, but it is also very common to see a gratuity charge added on to the bill (for exceptional service do not hesitate to tip a little more on to the service charge).

Additionally, when it comes to currencies local currency first, followed by Euros (which are pretty much always good). Not rocket science, but can make for an awkward encounter. Try to be as effortless as a local.

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What to Pack For Your Trip to Europe

Travel Insurance

We don’t travel without travel insurance and neither should you. You never know what can happen in a foreign country and it’s best to be prepared. World Nomads provides good short term coverage

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Accommodation Around the World

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Hiking/Daypack Backpack

You’re going to need something to carry your belongings in while you’re traveling around the world. Even if you’re not doing extensive hikes you need at least something small for day trips. My favorite daypacks are from Camelbak. You can see all our other backpack recommendations below:

Best Down Jackets
Down Jacket

I ALWAYS have a down jacket with me when I’m traveling in the winter, fall, or even spring. They aren’t just good for hikes, but doing anything outside.

Down jackets pack up light and small so there is no reason NOT to have one in your bag. Seriously it could save your life in a bad situation. We wrote a whole post on our favorites (hint –Feathered Friends, Arc’Teryx Cerium LT Hooded JacketPatagonia Down SweaterREI Coop Down Jacket)

Packable Rain Jacket - Arcteryx Women’s Beta SL Gore-Tex Jacket
Goretex Rain Jacket

We’re building up a collection of shell jackets. We always carry one in our pack and they’ve come in handy many times. Weather around the world can be iffy in October, so it’s best to be prepared. They are lightweight, durable, packable, waterproof, and windproof and really a great travel rain jacket. We have a bunch of different shell jackets after several years, but my favorite right now is from Arc’teryx.

Any jacket can do the job, but the top dollar ones will hold up and really help in inclement weather.

Kindle Paperwhite

I love real books, but for traveling it can be easier to carry a lighter and more compact item like a Kindle. Plus, then you can download new books on the go!

Best Travel Water Bottles

Please consider purchasing a travel water bottle before your trip! We hate to see one time use plastic bottles ending up in the ocean. The tap water is so good here – seriously please don’t be one of those tourists that buys plastic water bottles. It’s a waste of money and plastic!


Many adapters around Europe are interchangeable, so make sure you find a good one like the one I have to keep you charged.

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2 thoughts on “Tipping in Europe • Tips on Restaurant Etiquette Around Europe”

  1. Hello! I find very interesting your post about tipping. You are absolutely right about different ways throughout Europe. I live in Italy and spent many years in England and both countries even if they have the service charge doesn’t mean it goes to the food servers. Actually most of the times doesn’t, which is very unfortunate. Both myself with my husband have made our careers in Food and Beverage and Travel and Tourism. You can actually refused to pay the service charge and ask to leave a tip in cash ideally because most of the places with the service charge will not be given, specially here in Italy. I hope with this comment you will be able to change your post and help travellers even more.

  2. Also forgot to mentioned us Italians do tip and yes it is expected to do so.
    If you have seen any of us not tipping it is simple rude and considered very cheap.
    Thank you and you have a great blog!
    Cheers from Italy!

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