Written by Krysta.

Leaving a tip after eating a meal in a restaurant seems like an easy task. By default, you will tip in the same way that you always have, without even giving it a second thought. This works when you’re at home, as that’s where you’ll have learned this custom, but what about if you’re away travelling? Then what?

Every country has it’s own tipping customs, and when you travel to a new place it’s ideal to follow what the locals in that country do. It can sometimes be seen as showing-off, or as looking down on a person or a culture, if you leave a tip that’s too generous. Or, on the other hand, you can seem like you’re being cheap if you leave too little.

Generally, most people will appreciate having a tip left for them. In the grand scheme of things, who doesn’t enjoy having a little bit of extra money handed to them for providing great service? The important thing to remember, though, is the word “generally”. This doesn’t refer to everyone. And it’s the amount of money that’s left as a tip, and the way that it’s done, that can differ between countries, and even cities.

It’s important to think about why some cultures do and don’t tip. Think of the locals from the country/city that you’re in. How much do they make an hour? In a day? In a month? What’s the cost of living like for them? Can they afford to leave a tip when they eat out? If tourists visit a destination and leave large, over-the-top tips, the restaurant owners and staff might come to expect this on a regular basis. The more that it occurs, the more likely it’ll become a norm. Now think back to the locals, who may not be able to afford the extra tip. How does that make them feel? Will they still be welcomed? Will they still receive good service?

Continuing on from that, the restaurant owner may realize that more and more tips are being left for his/her staff. This could make the owner reconsider how much the staff are actually being paid on a hourly/monthly basis. If the tourists are paying the staff to have a decent wage through their tips, why continue to pay them a high wage? Why not keep more for him/herself, pay the staff less, but still have them take home the same amount due to the tips that they receive? Even though leaving a tip may seem like a small decision, the snowball effect that could occur could drastically change a place over the long-run.

Think of your home country, and what the tipping norms are there. I’m from Canada, so I’m going to use that as an example. On average, we leave a 20% tip. Now imagine that my city became a popular tourist destination for wealthy people, and this group of people all decided that the service was fantastic and they all started to tip 30%. Now on the outside, this looks quite generous. But if this situation continued over a period of time, the staff and the owners would begin to expect receiving a 30% tip from all their diners, whether they’re a wealthy visitor or a local. Overall, this will put pressure on everybody else to follow suit, even they can’t afford it.

Of course there will always be one-off situations where the odd person will leave an extremely generous tip and the servers will appreciate it and will be grateful for it, but that’s not what we’re referring to here. We’re talking about a situation where the norm changes, and where the norm becomes infeasible for the locals.

So, because of this, it’s always best to do a bit of research beforehand to help make sure that you follow the local customs correctly.

Generally, there are five different things that can happen when you’re deciding how to tip:
1.) Leave a tip of 15-20%
2.) Leave a tip of 10-15%
3.) Leave a tip of 5-10%
4.) Round the bill up
5.) Don’t leave any tip

Some countries don’t expect a tip because it’s already added onto the bill through a service charge. In other countries, it’s considered almost as an insult to leave a tip because the waiting staff are proud of what they do, and they want to do it well because it’s their job and it’s expected, and not because of the possibility of receiving a tip.

It can also be seen as a bribe or as charity, with the serving staff feeling inferior to tourists or disrespected because they don’t think that they make enough or that the staff need their small change to survive. It could also make a tourist look like they’re showing off or bragging because they have extra money that they “don’t need”.

Sometimes it’s required for the staff to give all tips to the owner anyway, so you may feel as if you’re helping out the serving staff but, really, those few extra coins that you left for them very well might just be handed over to someone who doesn’t need a few extra dollars.

Some of the countries that don’t typically expect a tip to be left are slowly becoming more Westernised with their customs, especially in areas that have a high number of tourists. So in a few years, some of these rules may change quite a bit.

On the other hand, some countries do require a tip because, believe it or not, the serving staff don’t even make the national minimum wage. Leaving them with little or no tip might mean that they don’t get paid enough to survive, especially after taxes are deducted from their small pay cheques. These countries usually have an average tip percentage of 15-20% of the total bill, which help to make up for such a low wage. Whether you agree with the system or not (I don’t, and it’s how it’s done at home in Canada), this is the way that things are, and not tipping your server will only hurt them, and not help to change how the system works.

Travelling is all about immersing yourself into a new culture. We want to see the local buildings, meet the local people, eat the local food, and do everything else as the locals do. This also means that we should follow their local tipping customs, which, as we saw above, vary greatly for a number of reasons. We would never impose our own culture and traditions on a new country in a general basis, for example, it’s a well-known custom that a person should dress conservatively when visiting many religious buildings. Whether you do that at home or not is a moot point, but you definitely do it abroad if it’s expected. The exact same mindset should be used with tipping.

It can be confusing to keep track of what you’re supposed to do and where, so keep reading below to see our pointers for what’s normal in different countries around the world. We’ve tried to include all countries on our list, including ones that are smaller and off-the-beaten-track, because we know that people travel everywhere, and not just to the main touristy places.

Note: If you’re looking for a particular country, please use the Ctrl+F function to search the article.

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North America

Bahamas
Tip 15%.

Barbados
Sometimes a service charge/tip of 10-15% is already added onto the bill automatically. No other tip is needed if this is the case, but if it’s not included, tip 10%.

Belize
Tip 15%.

Canada
Tip 15-20%. If paying by card, a tipping option will usually come up where you can view and select different percentages for leaving a tip, and what the total dollar amount will be at that given percentage so you’re not constantly having to do the math! It’s also worth noting that a server is often expected to “pay out” their tips, meaning that they share them out evenly with other staff in the restaurant who don’t get tips (i.e. the chef, the hostess, etc.).

Costa Rica
A 10% service charge is usually added onto the bill automatically, and nothing extra is expected.

Cuba
Tip 10-15%.

Dominican Republic
Sometimes a service charge/tip is already added onto the bill automatically, but if not, tip 10%.

El Salvador
Sometimes a service charge/tip is already added onto the bill automatically, but if not, tip 10%.

Greenland
Tipping isn’t expected.

Guatemala
Tip 10% if you receive good service.

Haiti
Tip 10% in touristy areas, but it’s not expected in less touristy areas.

Honduras
Tip 10-15%, but sometimes it’s automatically added on the bill and called “servicio”.

Jamaica
A service charge of 10-15% is sometimes added onto the bill automatically, but this goes towards the restaurant and not the servers. Tip 10-15% extra to your server.

Mexico
Tip 10-15%.

Nicaragua
Tip 10-15%.

Panama
Tip 10% if you receive good service.

Puerto Rico
A service charge/tip is sometimes automatically included into the bill, but if not, tip 15-20%.

USA
Tip 15-20%. If paying by card, a tipping option will usually come up where you can view and select different percentages for leaving a tip, and what the total dollar amount will be at that given percentage so you’re not constantly having to do the math! It’s also worth noting that a server is often expected to “pay out” their tips, meaning that they share them out evenly with other staff in the restaurant who don’t get tips (i.e. the chef, the hostess, etc.).

South America

Argentina
Tip 10-15%.

Aruba
A 15% service charge is sometimes automatically added onto the bill. If it is, you don’t need to tip extra. If it’s not included, tip 15-20%.

Bolivia
Sometimes a service charge is automatically added to the bill, but you should still tip 5-10% on top of that.

Brazil
If you’re visiting a more touristy area, a 10% service charge will likely be added to the final bill. You can opt out of paying for this, though, and a tip isn’t expected here.

Chile
A 10% service fee is often added onto the final bill while eating out in Chile, so an extra tip isn’t necessary in this situation. Always double check, though, and make sure to leave a 10% tip if it isn’t automatically included.

Colombia
Tip 10-15%, although a small portion of this might already be added onto the bill automatically as a service charge.

Curacao
A 10-15% service charge is often added onto the bill already. If not, tip this amount.

Ecuador
Nicer restaurants tend to automatically add a 10% service charge onto the bill, so make sure you check for this and if it is included, there’s no need to add anything extra. If there is no charge added on, you should leave 5%.

French Guiana
If your bill includes a tip, then add an extra 10% on top of that. If it doesn’t include a tip, then a tip isn’t expected.

Guyana
If your bill includes a tip, then add an extra 10% on top of that. If it doesn’t include a tip, then a tip isn’t expected.

Paraguay
A 10% service charge may be automatically added onto the bill, but if not, leave a 10% tip.

Peru
When you’re visiting a more touristy destination in Peru, it’s common to leave 10-15%. If you’re visiting a less touristy area, however, it’s common to just leave a few coins instead.

Suriname
No tip expected, but a 10% service charge is sometimes automatically added onto the bill. If there’s no service charge, feel free to leave a 10% tip if you want.

Trinidad and Tobago
A 10% service charge is sometimes automatically added onto the bill. If it is, you don’t need to tip any more. If it’s not, tip 10-15% if you wish, but it’s not a big part of their culture.

Uruguay
No tip expected, but a service charge is sometimes automatically added onto the bill. If there’s no service charge, feel free to leave a 10% tip if you want.

Venezuela
A 10% service charge is often automatically added onto the bill. Even if this is the case, it’s common to add another 5-10% tip for good service.

Europe

Albania
Tip not expected, but it’s appreciated.

Andorra
Tip not expected, but it’s appreciated.

Austria
Tipping isn’t expected there, but it’s good practice to round the bill up.

Belarus
Tip 5%.

Belgium
Tipping isn’t usually required here, as the servers get paid a good wage. It’s common to also have a service charge already added onto your bill.

Bosnia and Herzegovina
Tip 10%, although sometimes the bill will be rounded up to include a tip already.

Bulgaria
Tip 10%.

Croatia
Tip 10-15%, depending on your service, even if a service charge is automatically added onto the bill.

Cyprus
A 10% service charge is often automatically added onto the bill, however this sometimes goes straight to the restaurant owner and not the server. You can always ask and clarify with the server to see who receives it and, if it’s not the server, feel free to round up the bill or leave a few coins.

Czech Republic
Tip 10-15%, but double check that it’s not already added on as a service charge.

Denmark
Tipping isn’t expected here, since the staff get paid a good wage for their work.

Estonia
Tipping isn’t expected here, but an optional 10% can be left for great service.

Finland
Tipping isn’t expected here, since the staff get paid a good wage for their work.

France
Tipping isn’t expected here, but if you receive extremely good service then it’s good practice to leave a little bit. “Service compris” will often be added onto the bill, which is a service charge and means that nothing extra needs to be given.

Germany
Tip 5-10%, unless it’s already added onto the bill as a service charge.

Gibraltar
Not expected, but it’s appreciated to leave a few coins on the table.

Greece
Sometimes the bill will be automatically rounded up, meaning that you don’t need to tip anymore. If this hasn’t been done, tip 5-10%.

Hungary
Tip 10-15%, unless it’s already added onto the bill as a service charge.

Iceland
Tipping is not expected.

Ireland
Tipping isn’t expected here, but you can leave 5-10% if the service was great. Sometimes a service charge is added onto the bill already.

Italy
Tipping isn’t expected here, however “pane e coperto” is a service charge and “servizio” is a tip, both of which are sometimes added onto the bill.

Latvia
Not expected, but feel free to round the bill up if you received good service.

Liechtenstein
Not expected, but 5-10% is appreciated.

Lithuania
Not expected, but 10% is appreciated.

Luxembourg
A service charge is sometimes automatically included in the bill. If it’s not, leave 5-10%.

Macedonia
Leave a small tip by rounding up the bill, unless it’s a nicer restaurant then you should leave 10-15%.

Malta
Tip 5-10%, unless it’s been automatically added on as a service charge.

Moldova
Not expected, but 5-10% is appreciated for good service.

Monaco
Usually automatically includes a 15% service charge and, if it does, no extra tip is needed. If there’s no service charge included, tip 15%.

Montenegro
Sometimes includes a service charge that’s automatically added onto the bill. If not, 10% is appreciated for good service in nicer restaurants, otherwise just round the bill up.

Netherlands
Tipping isn’t necessary, because a service charge is usually already added onto the bill. If you receive great service and want to leave extra, add an extra 5-10% on.

Norway
Tipping isn’t expected here, since the staff get paid a good wage for their work.

Poland
It’s good practice to round up the bill, but a tip isn’t expected.

Portugal
Tipping isn’t expected here, but you can leave a few euros on the table to round up the bill if you receive great service.

Romania
Tip 10%.

Russia
Tipping isn’t expected here, but you can leave 10% is you received great service.

Serbia
Not expected, but 10-15% is appreciated for good service.

Slovakia
Tip 10%.

Slovenia
Not expected, but 10% is appreciated for good service.

Spain
Tipping isn’t expected here, but you can leave a few euros on the table to round up the bill if you receive great service.

Sweden
Tipping isn’t required, because a service charge is usually added onto the bill.

Switzerland
Tipping isn’t required, because a service charge is usually added onto the bill.

Turkey
Tip 5-10%.

Ukraine
Not expected, but 10% is appreciated for good service.

United Kingdom
Tip 5-10%.

Asia

Afghanistan
Tipping not expected.

Armenia
Tip 10% if you’re eating in the capital city. If an automatic service charge is added onto the bill, it doesn’t go to the server. Outside of the capital city, a tip isn’t expected.

Bahrain
A 10-15% service charge is often automatically added onto the bill, but this doesn’t go to the servers. It’s customary to leave another 10-15% tip for your server.

Bangladesh
Tipping isn’t expected, but it’s appreciated if 5-10% is given.

Bhutan
Tipping isn’t expected, but there might be a service charge automatically included on the bill. If there’s not, a 5-10% tip is appreciated.

Brunei
Tipping not expected. A 10% service charge may automatically be included onto the bill, but nothing extra needs to be left.

Cambodia
Tipping isn’t expected, but you can leave a few coins on the table.

China
Don’t leave a tip.

Hong Kong
Don’t leave a tip.

India
If you’re in a more touristy area, a service charge may be automatically included on the bill. If it’s not, tip 10%. If you’re in a less touristy area, a tip isn’t expected.

Indonesia
Tipping isn’t expected, but sometimes 10% is already added onto the bill automatically.

Iran
Tipping not expected.

Iraq
A 10% service charge may be automatically added onto the bill. If you received good service, a 10% tip is appreciated.

Israel
A tip is often automatically included in the bill, but if it’s not, leave 10-15%.

Japan
Don’t leave a tip.

Jordan
Tip 10-15%.

Kyrgyzstan
A 10-15% service charge may be automatically added onto the bill. If there’s no service charge, a tip isn’t expected but is appreciated.

Kuwait
A 15% service charge is usually automatically added onto the bill. If it’s not included, tip 10%.

Laos
Tipping not expected, but a 5-10% tip is appreciated.

Lebanon
A service charge is usually automatically added onto the bill, but you should tip 5-10% on top of that charge.

Malaysia
Tipping not expected, but appreciated.

Maldives
A 10% service charge is usually automatically added onto the bill, but rounding up the bill or leaving a few extra coins for the server is appreciated.

Mongolia
Tip 5-10%.

Myanmar
Don’t leave a tip.

Nepal
Tip 5-10% if it’s not automatically included in the bill.

Oman
In bigger cities, tip 10%. In smaller, less touristy areas, a tip isn’t expected.

North Korea
Don’t leave a tip.

Pakistan
A 10% service charge is automatically added onto the bill in nicer restaurants, but other tipping isn’t expected.

Philippines
Tipping not expected, but appreciated.

Qatar
Tip 15-20%.

Saudi Arabia
Tip 15-20%.

Singapore
Don’t leave a tip.

South Korea
Don’t leave a tip.

Sri Lanka
A 10% service charge is sometimes automatically added onto the bill. If not, a tip isn’t expected but it is appreciated.

Syria
A 10% service charge is sometimes automatically added onto the bill. If not, leave a 10% tip.

Taiwan
Don’t leave a tip. It will often get refused anyway.

Thailand
A tip isn’t expected, but you can leave a few baht if you wish.

Turkmenistan
Tipping not expected, but appreciated.

Uzbekistan
A 10% service charge is sometimes automatically added onto the bill. No extra tip is expected.

Yemen
Tip 10% in nicer restaurants. Otherwise, just round the bill up.

UAE
A service charge is sometimes already included on the bill, but a 10% tip should still be left. If there’s no service charge included, leave a 15-20% tip.

Vietnam
Tipping isn’t expected, but you can leave 5-10% for great service.

Australia/Oceania

Australia
Tipping isn’t expected here, since the staff get paid a good wage for their work.

Fiji
Don’t leave a tip.

French Polynesia
Tipping not expected.

Guam
Sometimes a 10-15% service charge will automatically be added to the bill. If it’s not, tip 10-15%.

New Zealand
Tipping isn’t expected here, since the staff get paid a good wage for their work.

Palau
A 10% service charge will usually automatically be added onto the bill. If this is the case, no extra tip is required.

Papua New Guinea
Don’t leave a tip.

Samoa
Tipping not expected, but rounding up the bill is appreciated.

Tonga
Tipping not expected, but rounding up the bill is appreciated.

Tuvalu
Tipping isn’t expected here, but it is appreciated.

Vanuatu
Don’t leave a tip.

Africa

Algeria
Tip 10%.

Angola
Tipping isn’t expected, but a 10% tip is appreciated for good service.

Benin
Tipping not expected, but appreciated for good service.

Botswana
Tipping not expected, but appreciated for good service.

Burkina Faso
A 10-15% service charge is often automatically added onto the bill, so no extra tip is needed.

Burundi
Tip 10% for good service. This is expected at nice restaurants, but not as much in more basic restaurants.

Cameroon
Tip 10%.

Cape Verde
Tipping not expected, but a 5-10% tip is appreciated for good service.

Central African Republic
A 10% service charge may be automatically included on your bill. If so, don’t tip any more. If not, tip 10%.

Chad
Tip 10%.

Cote d’Ivoire
A service charge is sometimes automatically added onto the bill. If not, tip 10-15%.

Democratic Republic of Congo
A service charge is sometimes automatically added onto the bill. If not, tip 10%.

Djibouti
Tip 5-10%.

Egypt
A service charge is often added onto the bill already, but this goes directly to the restaurant and not to the server. It’s common practice to leave an extra 5-10% to the server.

Equatorial Guinea
Tip not expected, but in touristy areas a 10% tip is appreciated.

Eritrea
Tip not expected, but a 5-10% tip is appreciated.

Eswatini (formerly Swaziland)
Tip 10-15%.

Ethiopia
Tip not expected, but a 10% tip is appreciated.

Gabon
Tip not expected, but a 10% tip for good service is appreciated.

Gambia (The)
A service charge may be automatically added onto the bill. If so, you don’t need to tip more. If not, tip 10%.

Ghana
Tip 10-15% in nice restaurants. In more basic places, it’s not expected but leaving a coins is appreciated.

Guinea
Tip not expected, but a 10% tip is appreciated if no service charge is automatically added on.

Kenya
Tip 10%.

Lesotho
Tip 10-15%.

Liberia
Tipping not expected, but a 10% tip is appreciated if a service charge isn’t automatically added onto the bill.

Libya
Tip not expected.

Madagascar
Tip 10%. Foreigners are expected to tip here, but locals aren’t.

Malawi
A 10% service charge may automatically be added onto the bill. If not, tip 10% in bigger cities. Otherwise, it’s not expected.

Mali
Tip 10% in a nice restaurant. In a more basic place, leave a few coins.

Mauritania
A service charge may be automatically added onto the bill. If not, tip 10-15%.

Mauritius
A service charge may sometimes be automatically added onto the bill. If not, tip 5-10%. If it has, it’s not expected to leave more.

Morocco
Tip 10-15%, unless a service charge has been automatically added onto the bill.

Mozambique
Tip 10%.

Namibia
Tip 10%, but don’t tip more than 100-150 Namibian dollars.

Niger
Tip 10%. A service charge may be automatically added onto your bill. If it is, still tip an extra 10%.

Nigeria
A service charge may be automatically added onto your bill. If it’s not, tip 10%.

Republic of Congo
Tip 10%.

Reunion
A service charge is often automatically included on the bill. If it’s not, tip 10%.

Rwanda
Tip not expected in most places, but a 10% tip is customary in higher-end restaurants.

Senegal
In more touristy areas, a service charge of 10-15% is often automatically added onto the bill. If not, a tip isn’t expected.

Seychelles
A service charge of 5-10% may be automatically added onto the bill. If not, a tip is not expected, but an extra 5-10% tip is appreciated for good service.

Sierra Leone
Tip not expected, but it is appreciated for good service.

Somalia
Tip 10-15%.

South Africa
Tip 10-15% if it’s not already automatically added onto the bill.

South Sudan
Tip 10-15%.

Sudan
A service charge will usually be automatically added onto the bill. Tipping is not expected otherwise.

Tanzania
Tip not expected, but it is appreciated for good service. In more touristy areas, a service charge may automatically be added onto your bill. If it’s not, tip 10% in these areas.

Togo
Tipping not expected, unless it’s an upmarket restaurant. Here, tip 10%.

Tunisia
Tip not expected, but it is appreciated for good service.

Uganda
Tip 5-10% for good service. Sometimes a service charge may be automatically added onto the bill.

Zambia
Tip not expected, but it is appreciated for good service. Tip 10% at nice restaurants. Sometimes a service charge may be automatically added onto the bill.

Zimbabwe
Tip 10%.

Patterns and similarities can be seen within a continent, but at the same time some countries vary greatly from others around it. Never make assumptions on the situation, and make sure you always do your research beforehand so you know how much to tip to follow the norm in whatever country you’re visiting. Abide by the local rules and customs and, as the saying goes, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do”.

Some extra tips to keep in mind (pun most definitely intended) are to always try to leave your tip in cash, make sure you give it directly to your server, and try to always tip in the local currency. There will always be exceptions to these rules, but they are good general guidelines to go by.

We hope you enjoyed this guide, it certainly took a lot of research! If you did, please consider sharing it on social media and signing up to our email newsletter.

Disclaimer: a lot of research has gone into writing this article, but please be aware that it is just research. I’ve travelled to and lived in some of these countries, and I was able to include personal experiences into these sections, but unfortunately I haven’t travelled throughout the entire world yet. I found some conflicting numbers and customs from different websites, but I did my best to average them out or go with the majority. If you think that something is drastically incorrect, then please get in touch so I can edit the article and not misinform any readers!

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