How to Tip in Europe

Tipping in the U.S. is a huge deal—you are considered a pompous jerk if you tip too little, and look rather silly if you tip someone who doesn’t work for tips, like say your cardiologist. When traveling, the concept of tipping is a difficult one to grasp, especially in Europe, where each country has different gratuity protocol; and if you tip too much, you will look like a foolish American; too little in some cases however, and your service provider may feel slighted. The L.A. Times recently reported that Mark Zuckerberg's Italian servers were surprised that the young millionaire didn't tip during his Italian honeymoon. Should he have? Would you have? Read on to find out just what is expected in a few of the most traveled countries in Europe.

Contiki Vacations, a worldwide leader in tours for 18-35 year olds, informs that Hungary and Egypt are places where it’s appropriate to tip everyone, including the family doctor; whereas in Switzerland, tipping is not common practice at all. At many European restaurants, Italy and Finland in particular, the service charge is included in the price of the meal, and nothing extra is expected, however in France and Germany a small tip is considered polite in addition to the already tacked on service charge.

According to Forbes, 5-10% is a substantial tip, and CN Traveller states that 10% is considered an above and beyond tip in most European restaurants. Rounding up to the nearest Euro is considered adequate for a taxi driver is most countries. Gratuities, however difficult it may be to grasp, are considerably less compulsory in Europe than they are in the U.S., and the tip is often included in the bill.

Sally Farris

A recent English graduate from Liberty University, Sally Farris has a passion for all things beautiful. Her upbringing in a Coast Guard family has allowed her to live in some of the most popular vacation destinations in the U.S. Currently based in San Diego, she writes for, and recently began working as Assistant Travel Editor at JustLuxe. ...(Read More)

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