What are the tipping customs in the European Union?
Understanding Tipping in the European Union
Tipping customs in the European Union (EU) often seems complicated and confusing to foreigners, especially those from regions where tipping habits are drastically different. The truth is, each country in the EU has its own unique customs, some of which may very well surprise you. Overall, there's no one-size-fits-all rule when it comes to tipping in the EU.
When is it Appropriate to Tip?
In general, tipping is not obligatory in the EU, but it is much appreciated especially in service industries like restaurants or hotels. In eating establishments, servers often receive a salary and tipping isn't typically considered a necessary part of their wage, as in the United States. However, it is good etiquette to leave a small tip if the service was satisfactory.
Tipping in Restaurants and Cafes
Across most of the EU, it's common to round up the bill to the nearest whole number as a tip in a cafe or bar. For example, if your bill is €18.30, you could give €20 and tell the server to keep the change. In restaurants, a tip of 5% to 10% is generally considered appropriate.
Tipping Hotel Staff
Tipping hotel staff is less common in the EU than in other parts of the world. For most hotel services, a tip of 1 or 2 euros is sufficient. For porters who take your luggage to your room, a tip of 1 euro per bag is considered generous.
Tipping Transportation Services
In the case of taxis, most people tend to round up the fare or tip about 10%. In contrast, tipping Uber drivers isn't customary in most EU countries. If using other transportation services, such as tour guides or shuttle services, you can consider tipping if the service was exceptional.
In Conclusion: When in Doubt, Ask
Remember, when unsure, simply asking the locals is the best policy. They can guide you on what the local customs are regarding tipping. It's also a good idea to carry some change with you for tips, as credit cards aren't generally used for this purpose in the EU.