When arriving in any new country, tipping is one of the first culture considerations. How much? What’s the etiquette? How can I avoid an awkward faux pas on my first night here?
Tipping often seems like a minefield of unwritten rules which you don’t want to get wrong for fear of offending the locals. Tipping in Germany is no exception. It’s different to the UK and VERY different to the norms in the US and Canada.
How does tipping in Germany work?
While this article focuses on Germany, the same advice will also apply in most situations in Austria and in the German-speaking part of Switzerland.
So let’s take a look at common situations you might find yourself in, and discuss how to tip without being over-generous or seeming tight-fisted.
It’s normal to round up your fare to the nearest euro if it’s a fairly short trip.
More than that is unnecessary unless you see fit and the service was particularly considerate or friendly.
As a rule of thumb, I will normally round up anything below €10 to the nearest Euro and anything below €20 to the nearest Euro +1.
For longer trips such as an airport pick-up, especially if I am thankful for the driver turning up on time for early morning flights, I would maybe tip a bit more.
If the driver uses his mobile phone whilst driving or drives dangerously, it’s perfectly OK to not leave anything in the hope that the driver gets the message.