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14 Countries Where You Do (and Don’t) Need to Tip

Tipping is confusing in general, but all bets are off when visiting a foreign country where customs and expectations may be completely different than they are back at home.

The Eiffel Tower is a wrought iron lattice tower on the Champ de Mars in Paris, France. It is named after the engineer Gustave Eiffel, whose company designed and built the tower.igli llubani/Shutterstock

France

The home of croissants and bouillabaisse and, not to mention, the 2019 Women’s World Cup, is high on every traveler’s bucket list. Here’s how to handle tipping while visiting the charming towns of France, per the folks at Babbel, a language learning app.

In a restaurant: the tip for your server(s) is included in your bill as a service fee, but it is customary to leave some additional euro coins on the table if the service was memorable. Note that if you’re paying with a credit card, there’s typically not even an option to add a tip during that process, so be sure to bring some cash with you.

At the bar: leave some spare change or round up to the nearest euro.

In a taxi: drivers aren’t expecting a tip, but again, round up if you were pleased with the ride.

Aerial view of Rio de Janeiro with Christ Redeemer and Corcovado Mountain. Brazil. Latin America, horizontalIrenaV/Shutterstock

Brazil

Samba the night away in Brazil and always know how and when to tip:

In a restaurant: a 10 percent tip is usually included on your restaurant bill. If it is not, feel free to add this nominal percentage as a tip for your server(s).

At the bar: no tip is necessary.

In a taxi: just round up the fare to the nearest real (Brazilian currency) if service was good. There is not an expectation of an additional tip above and beyond the round-up.

VENICE, ITALY - JUNE 27, 2018: Grand Canal with boats and gondolas on sunset, Venice, ItalyDmitry Rukhlenko/Shutterstock

Italy

Order your pizza, pasta, and Prosecco and then use these simple gratuity guidelines while traveling and tipping in Italy. Learn a bit of the language too with these useful Italian phrases.

In a restaurant: the tip is usually included in the bill, but many locals and tourists alike will leave an extra €1 to €2 on the table for good service. If you do not see a tip included on the bill, tip your server around 10 percent.

At the bar: round up to the nearest euro per drink. It is okay to give a good tip, although this is never expected.

In a taxi: tips aren’t expected but round up if the ride was pleasant.

Nice beach and turquoise water with the limestone island and a small boat besides at Krabi Thailand6natures/Shutterstock

Thailand

Thailand is known as one of the most exotic and affordable travel destinations in the world—even if rampant tourism is ruining places like Maya Beach—but do you tip your server or not?

In a restaurant: at casual restaurants, leave spare change on the table. After a nice dinner, hand a 10 percent tip in cash directly to your server.

At the bar: tipping the bartender for your drinks is not expected.

In a taxi: tipping isn’t expected, but most drivers will round up the fare.

Park Guell in Barcelona, Spain on a sunny dayMapics/Shutterstock

Spain

You want to know if you’re supposed to tip after tapas as well as after enjoying one of the longest lunches in the world. Thankfully, Babbel has you covered before you travel to Spain.

In a restaurant: tip €1 to €2 for casual meals and 5 to 10 percent for fine dining. Tip in cash by handing directly to your server, especially at an outdoor café, to prevent anyone from swiping the bills and coins from the table.

At the bar: tipping for drinks is not expected.

In a taxi: round up the fare if you were happy with the ride and the driver. If you do tip, sometimes the driver will wait to make sure you get inside your hotel or rental apartment safely.

Beautiful Oia town on Santorini island, GreecePatryk Kosmider/Shutterstock

Greece

There are endless amounts of ancient history to learn about while visiting Greece but before you order your first plate of grilled halloumi, learn the basics of tipping while visiting the mainland and these 18 remarkable Greek islands.

In a restaurant: some restaurants will round up your bill automatically — if they do, don’t tip on top of that. If there is no round-up on your bill, tip 5 to 10 percent in cash.

At the bar: round up to the nearest euro when drinking at a bar.

In a taxi: tipping isn’t expected, but you can round up if you enjoyed the ride and/or the conversation with the driver.

Berlin Cityscape, GermanyGeorgios Antonatos/Shutterstock

Germany

Everyone dreams of attending an Oktoberfest or touring Germany’s winter markets at Christmastime, so brush up on the country’s tipping protocol now.

In a restaurant: most locals tip up to 10 percent for good service, depending on the meal. For lunch, round up to the nearest euro or €5. After dinner, tip your server 5 to 10 percent of the total meal cost.

At the bar: it’s customary to leave an extra euro after each round of drinks.

In a taxi: if the ride was pleasant, round up to the nearest euro.

Amazing view on Dubai downtown skyscrapers, Dubai, United Arab EmiratesRastoS/Shutterstock

Dubai

Not just a foreign city and emirate, Dubai is a wild card unknown for most travelers when it comes to the expectations for tipping. Here’s how to handle tips after meals and in taxis in Dubai.

In a restaurant: on top of service charges, locals generally tip an extra 10 to 15 percent depending on the quality of the service received.

At the bar: tipping bartenders isn’t expected.

In a taxi: tipping isn’t expected, but you can round up the fare if the ride was smooth.

Old town Edinburgh and Edinburgh castle in Scotland UKf11photo/Shutterstock

United Kingdom

From lunch after visiting the Loch Ness monster in Scotland to drinks on Brighton Beach along the south coast of England, here’s how and when to tip during your next trip to the United Kingdom.

In a restaurant: some restaurants add a service charge to the bill. If they don’t, tipping 10% is fine. Note: The U.K. has a relatively high minimum wage so unlike in the U.S. the servers aren’t dependent on your tips to make a living.

At the bar: tipping bartenders isn’t expected, but you should know how to say, “Cheers!” in Britan-speak.

In a taxi: you can round up the fare or hand the driver a couple of extra pounds if the ride was a good one.

Saint Basil's cathedral in Moscow in winter timeArtemiy Belyaev/Shutterstock

Russia

Have a trip to Russia planned but don’t know whether or not tips are an expected part of the local culture? Fear not, Babbel knows all about tipping in Russia.

In a restaurant: there is no expectation of tipping in Russian restaurants, but feel free to leave a 10% tip if the service was good.

At the bar: tipping bartenders isn’t expected.

In a taxi: it is not expected that you tip your taxi drivers, but you can round up the fare to the nearest whole hundred Russian rubles.

This is a picture of Fanad light house on the north coast of Donegal Ireland. This was taken just before sunsetshawnwil23/Shutterstock

Ireland

Whether you’re headed to Dublin or visiting one of these 14 undiscovered gems of Ireland, you’ll want to know how to tip.

In a restaurant: Some restaurants add a service charge so double check the bill before plunking down an extra 10 to 12.5 percent for exceptional service.

At the bar: No tip is expected but if you are with a large group at the bar, consider leaving behind a euro or two as a pleasant ‘thank you’ to your friendly Irish bartender.

In a taxi: Unless the driver went above and beyond (helping with luggage, provided some insider’s information on the area, etc) you shouldn’t feel obliged to tip. Of course, rounding up to the nearest euro is always a welcome touch.

Stockholm city, The Gamla Stan (old town) at night in Stockholm, Sweden.Nattee Chalermtiragool/Shutterstock

Sweden

Famous for ice hockey and Ikea minimalism, you probably don’t know as much about tipping culture in Sweden.

In a restaurant: tipping 10 percent is customary for good table service at a restaurant for all meals.

At the bar: tipping your bartender, no matter how charming, is not expected in Sweden.

In a taxi: just as after a delicious meal, locals generally tip approximately 10 percent for good service in a taxi cab.

View of the bay in Port Maria, St Mary, JamaicaKavon McKenzie/Shutterstock

The Caribbean

While tipping expectations may vary by island, Caribya.com offers up some standard guidelines to follow regardless of whether yours traveling to Jamaica, St. Maarten, or one of these 11 least crowded Caribbean islands.

In a restaurant: An automatic gratuity charge of 10 percent is usually factored into the final bill. Additional tipping for outstanding service is at your discretion but is not expected.

At the bar: A tip of $1 to $2 per round of drinks for bartenders is customary.

In a taxi: It is customary to tip taxi drivers a dollar or two for short, in-town rides but do plan on tipping more on holidays, after midnight, and on Sundays.

Tokyo city view with Tokyo Tower at nightSakarin Sawasdinaka/Shutterstock

Japan

Whether you are preparing for a trip to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics or going to check out the cherry blossoms, these helpful Japan tipping rules of thumb will help you travel confidently to the “Land of the Rising Sun.”

In a restaurant: tipping is not expected, and if you try to leave a tip it may be refused.

At the bar: not expected.

In a taxi: a tip is not expected and may be turned down. This is one of the many cultural difference between east and west visitors experience when traveling in Japan. It keeps costs down but it does take some getting used to when arriving from a tip-happy country like the United States. You’ll also want to be sure to avoid these 11 behaviors that are considered rude abroad.

Jeff Bogle
Jeff Bogle is an Iris Award-winning photographer, avid traveler, and English football fanatic who regularly covers travel, culture, cars, health, business, the environment, and more for Reader's Digest. Jeff has also written for Parents Magazine, Esquire, PBS, and Good Housekeeping, among other publications. He is the proud dad of teen daughters. You can follow his adventures on Instagram and Twitter @OWTK.