LivingTravelHow much to tip in Germany

How much to tip in Germany

After living in Germany for years, I finally feel quite comfortable with the rollover structure. But it took trial and error. Tipping is just one of those things that it’s hard to tell if you’re doing it wrong. Too? Too little? And Germany’s often lackluster service industry can leave you uninspired to tip.

This guide will help you understand how much to tip in Germany for restaurants, hotels, taxis, and for various services.

Tips in German restaurants

Initially speaking with friends here in Germany did little to ease my concerns. People I consider to be very generous had no problem leaving tips if they didn’t have a lot of money. I heard the poor excuse of “being a student” more than once. From my American perspective, how did you think this was acceptable?

The truth is that tips are expected in Germany (like much of Europe) but at a much lower rate than in North America. This may be why the service is so lackluster compared to American standards. Forgotten orders, sarcastic service, and eye-catching are not uncommon to accompany your order. You may not get tipped, especially in Berlin, the disparaging capital of service.

Also consider that the service may be included in your bill (marked as bedienung ). Even the word for tip, Trinkgeld or “drink money,” indicates that it should be no more than a small change. Here are some more essential dinner vocabulary terms to help you enjoy a German restaurant.

So what is the short answer? It is common practice to leave between 5 and 10 percent in a sitting restaurant and round to the nearest euro or two in a cafe . Fifteen percent is downright luxurious and more than that is just for tourists.

How to tip in a German restaurant

The amount of tip is not the only thing unusual for some visitors. The payment and tipping process is also quite different than in North America.

If you expect to receive the invoice automatically, you will be waiting forever. Germans enjoy a leisurely dining experience and can continue to order espresso after their meal, maybe another dessert, etc.

Instead, when you are ready to pay, point to the waiter and ask for the invoice (» Die Rechnung bitte «). The server will bring up the invoice and will usually wait for the payment as it is there. This requires you to decide on the tip quickly and can be disconcerting to foreigners at first. Calculate what you expect to pay and what you want to tip before you signal them, and this should be a stress-free transaction.

For example, if the invoice reaches 14.50 euros, you can simply say “16 euros” and the server will immediately deliver your change. If you want them to keep the change, as if you were paying 20 euros, you can say » Stimmt so «. Viola! Trinkgeld .

Also try to tip in cash, even if you are paying by card. This is the best way to get the information to the server.

Tips in German hotels

Tipping in hotels is not as common as in the United States. For good service in a star hotel, you can give the porter one euro per suitcase and leave cleaning at 3-5 euros per night. If the concierge offers a service, such as calling a reservation at a fine dining restaurant, you can tip up to € 20.

If you are staying in a homestay pension , similar to a B&B, no tips are expected.

Tipping taxis in Germany

Tipping is not required in German taxis, but it is common to round to the nearest euro. For good service (speak English, child seat, carry luggage) you can leave a tip of up to 10%.

Tips to tour guides in Germany

For a good tour guide in Germany, you can tip up to 10%. This is especially true for private tours or multi-day tours. For a free tour, you still need to tip at least 5 euros, as guides generally have to pay the company for each person who shows up, regardless of whether or not they tip.

In general, the best advice is to tip what feels comfortable to you.

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