How to tip around the world: Norway
With its dramatic landscapes, rich history, and awe-inspiring natural wonders, Norway has become one of Europe’s most popular destinations for travellers. People flock here to see the stunning Lofoten Islands, the fairy tale city of Bergen, and the elusive Northern Lights.
If you’re planning a trip to the Land of the Midnight Sun, you’re in for a treat. Just bear in mind, it’s one of the more expensive countries in Europe, so you’ll need to take plenty of spending money.
What’s more, as a visitor, your natural instinct might be to tip. But should you tip in Norway? And if so, how much?
Tipping can be a cultural minefield for travellers. Not only does the etiquette vary from country to country, but the rules are different whether you’re paying for a meal, taxi, room service or a drink at the bar.
To help you figure it out, we’ve created a series of guides for tipping in different countries.
Read on to find out where, when, and how to tip in Norway.
Note: Due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, remember to check current travel restrictions before booking travel.
Tipping in Norway is optional, as gratuity is usually worked into the final price of things.
Currency: Norwegian Krone (NOK)
Norwegian restaurant staff generally earn a good monthly wage so they’re not dependent on tips. However, a service charge is not always added to bills, so if the food and service are great and you want to show your appreciation, a tip of between 10-15% won’t go amiss.
Most restaurant and bar workers in Norway pool their tips, so both floor and kitchen staff each get a percentage at the end of the night.
Since it is most common to pay by credit or debit card in Norway (and in some places it’s obligatory), there is usually the opportunity to add the tip of your choice to the bill when the waiter hands you the card machine.
Bars and pubs
There’s no need to tip in bars and pubs in Norway unless you’ve run the bar staff ragged serving you aquavit. In that case, it’s common to round the amount up to the nearest 10 NOK.
Tipping in Norwegian hotels is not required or expected, even the high-end ones. However, hotel workers tend to be poorly paid in comparison to those in other industries, so if you’re happy with the service, a tip will be welcome.
It’s expensive to travel by taxi in Norway, so use public transport wherever possible. If you have to use a taxi, a tip is not required, but many people choose to leave 10-15%, especially if the service is good.
Tour guides are more than happy to show off their beautiful country. Tips for tour guides in Norway are not expected or necessary.
Should you pay by cash or card?
As we mentioned earlier, cash is no longer king in Norway. You can use it in some places, but most establishments prefer debit or credit cards, and you’ll find some only accept payment by card.
One place you might get caught short is on the bus. If you haven’t bought a ticket in advance, you’ll need to pay for it on board by card.