Should Tourists Tip at European Hotels? Insights from Rick Steves

By Ivan PetrenkoMay 27, 2024 20:00 PMNews
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Glass jar for tips in the bar
Glass jar for tips in the bar. Source: Photo by Sam Dan Truong on Unsplash

When traveling to Europe, understanding tipping customs can be confusing. Unlike the U.S., where tipping 15-20% is standard, practices in Europe vary significantly. In some countries, like Japan and China, tipping is even considered rude.

In Europe, tipping customs differ by country and situation, especially in hotels. From room service to housekeeping, the rules aren't as clear-cut as in the U.S. Travel expert Rick Steves offers some guidance on this topic, suggesting that tipping in Europe is more about personal preference.

Steves notes that tipping practices vary widely across Europe. For instance, tipping customs in Spain may differ significantly from those in the UK. Generally, while tips are appreciated, they are not always expected.

At hotels, Steves recommends tipping one euro per bag to bellhops or porters and leaving a small tip for housekeeping. However, showing appreciation by tidying up before checkout can be just as meaningful. For vacation rentals like Airbnb, tipping is unnecessary since hosts set their own rates.

In restaurants, Steves adviсes leaving a 5-10% tip, which is usually sufficient. Leaving spare change or rounding up the bill is also common and acceptable. Over-tipping is rarely expected and can be seen as excessive.

When taking taxis, tipping customs also vary. In countries like Ireland and Switzerland, rounding up the fare is appreciated, while in Italy and Greece, tips are not usually expected. However, tipping a driver who assists with luggage is a nice gesture.

For other services, such as hair salons, massages, or guided tours, tipping depends on the service provided. High-end salons might include a service charge, and for tour guides, a small tip of one or two euros is appropriate if you feel inclined. For private tours, tipping $10-20 on top of the fee is suitable.

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