How to tip around the world: France
France is the most visited country in the world – and with good reason. There’s something for everyone: from the fashion houses of the City of Light to the Mediterranean beaches of the glittering Côte d’Azur, the vineyards of Bordeaux in the West to the stunning alpine villages in the East.
Throw in some world-class grub, more than a few amazing medieval castles and some of the most famous art galleries in the world, and it’s no surprise France is a hit with millions of tourists each year.
While tipping in France may not be obligatory, there’s still a tipping etiquette that should be followed. Before you leave for your French adventure, it’s best to understand exactly how to tip in France.
Note: Due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, remember to check current travel restrictions before booking travel.
In France, service staff are paid a living wage which means that they don’t depend on tips to supplement their salary, so tipping is not necessarily expected. That said, it’s customary to leave a little gratuity in certain situations which we highlight below.
Currency: Euro (EUR)
Wait staff in restaurants don’t depend on their tips. What’s more, restaurants in France are required by law to include a service charge on the bill (known as service compris). This is usually 15%.
However, it’s customary to leave a tip for your waiter, especially if the service was above average. Rounding the bill up to the nearest euro is fine in small restaurants. In larger restaurants in France, a 5% tip is more common. Anything above 5% is considered very generous.
It’s best to tip in cash, as credit card terminals don’t generally have a tipping option.
When tipping in French hotels, the going rate is around one euro per large bag for the bellhop and one euro for the cleaning staff.
Bars and pubs
As in restaurants, service is included in the price in bars and pubs. If you’re sitting at a table inside or on a terrace, the prices will be slightly higher than at the bar.
Bartenders will not expect, but will hope for, a small tip – usually a few coins – when they bring your change.
There’s no obligation to tip your taxi driver in France, but they do expect you to at least round up the fare to the nearest euro. If they’ve gone out of their way to get you to the airport on time, add a euro or two.
In some cinemas and theatres n France, there will be a sign indicating that the usher is paid by tip. In these cases, a tip of one euro per person is the norm.
Wondering how much to tip a tour guide in France? About 25 euro per person per day for a private tour, plus 12 euro for the driver is the going rate. For group tours, around five to 10 euro is enough.
Should you pay by cash or card?
Credit cards are widely accepted in France but make sure you keep some cash on you, as some places have a minimum spend of 20 euro to pay by card.