How Much You Should Tip in Bars Across the World
When you’re drinking in a foreign country, it’s your patriotic duty to know how to tip (or not tip). Even if you’ve mastered bar talk in a foreign language and performed the local drinking customs to a T, you could undo all that international good will by giving too little, or too much, or anything at all, or at the wrong time. Here is how to tip respectfully in 33 nations around the world, so that said nations will allow you to come back.
France: Although French waiters are the ultimate stereotype of snooty servers, tipping in France is actually pretty congenial. Usually servers don’t expect but do hope for a few euros. The word for tip, pourboire, literally translates to “have a drink,” so that extra change will likely help your server buy a post-shift drink.
Italy: Sitting out with an Aperol Spritz at a touristy bar will cost you a few euros in tips for waiter service in the form of servizio (service charge) or coperto (cover charge)―sometimes even both. To avoid over-tipping, check your bill to make sure nothing has been included. If your bill shows no signs of included tips, any gratuity will be seen as a magnanimous gesture.
Spain: No need to tip on that sherry tab, but table service warrants rounding the bill up to the nearest euro. Most Spanish workers in hospitality are paid full-time.
Greece: Ouzo is gratuity free. Celebrate your unexpected savings with another round.
Germany: It’s a good thing Germans prefer you pay your full tab at the end of the night because juggling a stein and loose euros would lead to a lot of spilled beer. For small bills, round up to the nearest euro or add one, and go a bit further with larger tabs. Tips, or trinkgeld, are welcome but not expected.
UK: It’s standard to tip 10 percent across the pond. Easier than 18, both on your wallet and your math skills. As is good practice in most European countries, be sure to check your bill for a service charge before you tip.
Ireland: Taxing as it might be on your bartender to pour you a perfect pint of Guinness every time, there’s no need to tip at an Irish pub.
Portugal: Show your appreciation for stellar service with an extra euro or two. Otherwise, just pay your tab straight.
Netherlands: Don’t wander off from an Amsterdam bar without tipping, lest you trip into the nearest canal. Add some small change, and the barman will be kind enough to fish you out.
Russia: Settle in at a table with waiter service, and you’ll be expected to tip 10 to 15 percent. But set yourself up with some infused vodka and small plates at the bar, and no tip is required.
Hungary: It doesn’t put a huge dent in your wallet to tip a Hungarian server—50 forint (20 cents) for each drink at the bar and 5 to 10 percent for waiter service—but failing to do so is a big no-no, suggesting you seriously hated the service.
Austria: The local custom is to round up your bill to the nearest euro (or tens of euros for larger tabs). It makes the change situation a lot easier anyway.
Czech Republic: In the Czech Republic, it is common to tip somewhere between 5 and 10 percent of your bill. But be wary in tourist cities like Prague, where service charges are often added to bills prior to paying.
Japan: Some of the nicer establishments, especially in ritzy areas like the Ginza shopping district in Tokyo, may charge you a cover charge as you enter, usually about 1,500 yen (about $14). Some may add on a charge for otoshi, your bar snack, of about 800 yen ($7). If you aren’t charged upfront, though, don’t insult the service by offering additional cash at the end.
China: Not only is tipping untraditional in China, but it was once illegal (thanks, Communism), so offering cash could not only offend your host, it could send them into a straight up panic attack.
South Korea: Beer drinkers might flock to Berlin and London, but the true beer drinker’s paradise is Seoul. You won’t be expected to tip at most establishments, and they might even offer you free refills on beer. That’s a boozy double whammy.
India: If you partake of India’s growing single malt and rum scene, you should know there’s no need to tip on that dram.
Vietnam: Do yourself a favor and try out the local spirit rượu. Then, do your bartender a favor and add a tip. While tipping isn’t expected, gratuity culture is creeping into major cities like Hanoi. Adding 50,000 dong (about $2) to your check will go a long way for your server.
Singapore: You’ll usually find a 15 percent service charge added to your bill. Expect to cough up 15 to 20 percent extra otherwise.
Jamaica: The Caribbean nation leans closer to American practices than British when it comes to tipping, so play it safe by adding between 12 and 20 percent, depending on how nice the bar is.
Puerto Rico: It may not be a state, but you’re still in the U.S. Tip at least a dollar on every drink.
Cuba: Stock up on CUCs because tipping is expected at most Cuban establishments. Round up the bill or leave an extra buck (the exchange rate is about 1 to 1).
Australian bartenders take it as a point of pride that they don’t accept tips, even arguing that it improves bartending service in the country. We’re not sure we buy that, but we’ll raise a glass in respect to their tradition all the same.
Brazil: Most bars in Brazil will serve food as well, so restaurant rules apply. Usually a 10 percent gratuity is added onto the bill, and there’s no need to go above and beyond that.
Argentina: As in Brazil, 10 percent is standard. Don’t just leave your tip lying on the bar, though. There might be a tip jar, but if not, give your tip directly to the bartender.
Peru: At higher-end bars in Lima, 10 percent is customary as a tip. That shouldn’t be a stretch on any drinker’s wallet since the exchange rate is pretty favorable (about 30 cents to every Peruvian sole).
Colombia: While tips are standard at restaurants and hotels in Bogota, you shouldn’t feel pressured to add gratuity at the bar. If you feel compelled, though, a dollar or two would be much appreciated.
Chile: Expect to see a 10 percent service charge at the bar. Some patrons add additional money on top of the standard gratuity at restaurants, but this habit (thankfully) doesn’t carry over into the bar.
Ecuador: You might run up against an entrance fee at the door to an Ecuadorian watering hole, but once you’re inside, the drinks are relatively cheap. So cheap, in fact, you can spare a couple bucks at the end of your stay.
Mexico: Our southern neighbors take after U.S. tipping habits, so bartenders will expect 10 to 15 percent. Be a good neighbor, and leave a good tip for that excellent, dirt cheap mezcal you were sloshing back.
Canada: It’s the same up north as well. Add 15 to 20 percent on that Bloody Caesar.
South Africa: Bartenders in South Africa depend on tips just like servers here at home, so add anywhere from 10 to 20 percent of your bill, depending on how generous you’re feeling.
Israel: Except for tourist traps where gratuity may be added automatically to your bill, most Israeli bartenders survive on the courtesy of patrons. Add 10 to 15 percent, or just throw a few shekels (worth about 25 cents each) on top of your tab.