How to tip around the world: Germany
From beer halls and tasty ‘wurst’ to cultural hubs and picture-perfect Christmas markets, there are loads of reasons to love Germany.
Throw in jaw-dropping scenery, beautiful fairy tale castles, and some of the most vibrant cities in Europe, and you have a dream destination.
Whether you’re city-hopping between Munich, Hamburg and Berlin or exploring nature in the gorgeous Black Forest, there’ll come a time when you’ll need to know about the etiquette around tipping in this awesome country.
To help you figure it out, we’ve created a series of guides for tipping in different places. Read on to find out where, when, and how to tip in Germany.
Note: Due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, remember to check current travel restrictions before booking travel.
Tipping in Germany is not mandatory, but, as with anywhere, an extra euro or two will be appreciated for exceptional service.
Currency: Euro (EUR)
Feeling peckish and wondering how much tip you should leave in a restaurant? Service is usually included in the bill, but if you want your wait staff to get a little extra (rather than the restaurant owner), put a tip in their hand. Around 5-10% of the bill is the going average at restaurants, and 15% is generous.
Having a light meal at a café? Round up to the nearest euro.
Be sure to tip in cash rather than by credit card, and be sure to hand it over rather than leaving it on the table.
Bars and pubs
Tipping in German bars is not necessary, but it’s polite to round up the total to the nearest euro. This is known as ‘Trinkgeld’ or ‘drinking money’ for the bartender.
For private or multi-day tours, guides in Germany generally receive around 10% in gratuity. For free tours, you should still tip at least 5 euro as the guides generally pay the company for every person that shows up, regardless whether they tip or not.
Tip: If you’re visiting the German capital, make sure you check these 10 top things to do in Berlin off your activities list.
Hotel staff don’t expect tips, but you can offer one if you receive exceptional service. As a rule:
- If the porter carries your bags, tip around 1 euro per bag
- For a totally spotless stay, leave 2-3 euro per night for housekeeping
- If the hotel concierge secures a reservation to a fine dining restaurant (or something equally impressive and thoughtful), tip up to 20 euro
It’s common to tip your taxi driver in Germany, but just by rounding up to the nearest euro. For good service (if they speak English, have a child seat, or help you load your luggage), leave a gratuity up to 10% of the fare.
Should you pay by cash or card?
Cash is known to be king in Germany, but over recent years (and especially during the 2020 pandemic) cards have become increasingly popular and are now widely accepted. That said, you may still find some small retailers who only accept cash, so be sure to still take some with you.