How to Tip Around the World
Tipping can be a controversial topic, since whether or not you should tip, and how much, depends on who you ask. Therefore, consider this a general guideline, keeping in mind that there are no hard and fast rules in many countries.
United StatesIt should be noted that even in countries without a tipping history, an increasing number of people in the service industry, especially in touristy areas, have come to expect tips from Americans, even if they don’t expect tips from the locals. In those cases, tipping is discretionary.
Prices throughout are in dollars, so remember to convert to local currency. It’s also best to tip cash in the local currency whenever possible. Finally, more upscale establishments and services will command larger tips, which are reflected in the price ranges.
Starting with the U.S., unless a service charge has been added, tip 15 to 20 percent of the total bill, before tax, at restaurants. Bear in mind that waiters earn as little as $2.13 an hour before tips in many states. If there’s a coat check, leave $1 to $2 unless there’s a fixed price. Leave $1 to $2 a drink at bars, unless you also ordered food. In that case, tip 15 to 20 percent. There’s no obligation to leave anything in the tip jars that are commonly found at coffee shops and take-out spots, but $1 will suffice for good service. 960 1280
ItalySome restaurants include a cover charge, known as pane e coperto, and/or a service charge, or servizio. However, the Lazio region (which includes Rome) has banned the pane e coperto charge. It’s worth noting that additional tipping isn’t expected, whether or not those charges appear on a bill, aside from rounding up the bill. It’s also not expected at bars unless you ordered table service. In those instances, round up the bill as well. 960 1280
ScandinaviaIn Scandinavia, which includes Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Iceland, a service charge is typically added at restaurants and bars, so there’s no need to tip more. However, it’s common practice to round up the bill. It’s also customary to tip 10 percent at upscale restaurants. 960 1280
TurkeyTipping, or baksheesh, is expected in major cities and touristy areas. It’s customary to tip 10 percent unless a service charge (servis dahil) is already included. Have Turkish lira on hand, since unlike other countries, you can’t add the tip on a credit card. Round up the bill at bars. 960 1280
Middle EastCulturally, tipping is expected throughout the region. Tip amounts vary from country to country, and should be given discreetly.
Israel: If a service charge is added, simply round up the bill. If it’s not, tip 10 to 15 percent.
United Arab Emirates (UAE): This includes Dubai and Abu Dhabi. A 10 percent service charge is often added, along with a six percent tourism tax. It’s not uncommon to tip 10 to 15 percent on top of this for good service. If these charges aren’t added, tip 10 to 15 percent.
Egypt: A 10 percent service charge is often included in the bill, but it’s common to add an additional 10 percent since the service charge goes only to the restaurant, not the waitstaff. 960 1280
IndiaTipping culture in India is complicated, with as many exceptions as rules. While tipping isn’t required, some service providers in large cities and touristy areas may expect them. Keep in mind that amounts are discretionary. Tip 10 percent at restaurants and bars unless a service charge is added. 960 1280
China and Hong KongTipping has long been considered a rude practice in China, although that mindset is slowly changing. Generally tips aren’t expected at local spots, but service charges have become more common in tourist areas. Hong Kong is the exception, where tipping is a more common practice.
Some upscale businesses may include a 10 to 15 percent service charge; otherwise don’t tip in China. Many Hong Kong restaurants add a 10 to 15 percent service charge, in which case you only need to round up the bill. Bartenders don’t expect tips. 960 1280
SingaporeGenerally there is no tipping throughout Southeast Asia, but it’s not an uncommon practice at upscale or Western hotels and restaurants. However, there are some exceptions in the region.
Tipping in Singapore isn’t necessarily expected, but it’s become more common as a result of a sizable expat community and international visitors. Restaurants often add a 10 percent service charge, and additional tipping is optional. 960 1280
JapanSimilar to China, Japan maintains a no-tipping culture, to the extent where giving a tip can be considered rude. At restaurants, it's not unheard of for waiters to run after customers in order to return the tip.
In the rare cases when you feel you must tip, leave the money in an envelope. 960 1280
CaribbeanIt’s customary to tip 10 to 15 percent at restaurants and bars.
In conclusion, an overall rule of thumb for tipping around the world is that when in doubt, tip 10 percent in countries that have tipping practices. In countries that don’t, such as Japan, consider giving a small, thoughtful gift for service that went above and beyond. 960 1280