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Here’s a handy guide to tipping etiquette by country in 19 places around the world.

Melissa Locker
December 28, 2016

There are 196 countries in the world and they all have different tipping practices. Should you leave your spare change? Tack on 20 percent? Leave a few Euros on the table? Gratuities around the globe can be a real head-scratcher. Don’t wait until you’ve already ordered and plowed through your tapas in Madrid or devoured your flat white and lamington in Sydney to figure out whether or not you should leave a tip. Instead, do a little pre-mealtime research—this guide can help.

A good rule of thumb no matter where you are is to try and pay your tip in cash. When you tip on your credit card, that kindly server who didn’t charge you the split plate fee, may not see all of your generous tip. Plus, some restaurants may not be equipped to accept gratuities via credit cards. Instead, hand a cash tip directly to the server. Also, be sure to tip in the currency of the country you are visiting. Dollars may be worth more, but they are not necessarily a server’s currency of choice.

Here’s a handy guide to tipping etiquette by country in 19 places around the world:


After you’ve cleaned the last dot of chimichurri off of your plate, ordered the dulce de leche, and asked for the check, remember that it is customary to either round-up the bill or add a 10 percent tip. Gratuities should be made in cash whenever possible.


Wait staff in Australia are paid a livable wage, so they don’t need customers to prop up their paychecks. In short, they don’t expect tips. Still, if you receive excellent service, there’s no harm in rounding up the bill or leaving a few extra dollars.


Restaurants in touristy areas of Austria tend to include service on their bills, according to The Guardian, however it’s always worth checking. If you don’t see a service charge, either round up or add about 10 percent extra to the bill for good service.


Whether you’re eating feijoada in Minas or moqueca in Rio, most restaurants in Brazil tack on a 10% service charge to the bill. If the services was excellent or you’re feeling generous (or had a glass of cachaça or two) feel free to give the waiter a few extra Real. Don’t leave the gratuity on the table, though—hand it directly to the waiter.


Whether you’re eating bagels in Montreal or après-skiing in Banff, keep in mind that like in the United States, gratuity isn’t included on the bill. Tack on the traditional 15 to 20 percent—whatever you would leave a waiter at the airport Applebee’s in the States.


Tipping has never been part of life in China. Whether you’re eating fried buns from a street vendor in Shanghai or dining in style at Heritage in Beijing’s Wanda Plaza, tipping is simply not done. However, as NPR notes, there is a quirky new tipping trend taking hold at hip restaurants that could mean gratuities are in China’s future.


Before you pay the bill in Dubai, check to see if service charge has been added. According to Business Insider, a 10-percent service charge is typical at hotels, restaurants, and bars.


Most Egyptian restaurants add a 5- to 10-percent service charge to bills. Traditionally guests add an additional 5- to 10-percent tip on top, according to Mint.com.


As anyone who studied high school French knows, the words “service compris” mean that service is included. That phrase appears on most restaurant bills in France, meaning you don’t need to tip. However, most people leave change or round up a little on the bill. As any French 101 students can also tell you, the French word for “tip” is “pourboire,” which literally translates to “to have a drink.” As The Guardian points out, French waiters are paid a minimal wage and your tips give them a little extra money for a few glasses of Pernod or vin blanc.


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Generally, service (or “bedienung” in German) is included in your bill in Germany. However, like much of Europe, most people round up the total to an even number, or leave whatever coins they receive as change (typically adding 5-10 percent to the bill).


Tipping in India is not mandatory, but it is customary. While it’s not expected, it’s very much appreciated. Before you dole out the cash, though, make sure service hasn’t been included on the bill. If not, typically add about 10 percent of the bill at restaurants. If you’re at a bar or a more casual eating venue, a few rupees will do the trick.


Tips are not expected in Italy, but are seen as magna and who doesn’t want to seem generous? To play it safe (and courteous), leave a few euros on the table, but not more than 10 percent of the total. Before you tip, though, scan the bill to see if the restaurant has already charged you for service typically listed as “coperto,” or a cover charge, which is common in restaurants in tourist areas.


The Japanese keep it simple—don’t tip whether you’re at a restaurant, bar, or ramen shop. Good service is simply part of Japanese life.


Whether you want to blame NAFTA or tourists, when it comes to tipping, Mexico has fallen under the sway of the U.S. It’s now customary to leave about 10-15 percent of the bill at restaurants. At bars and casual road side taco stands, you can get away with less, but as Thrillist notes, it’s worth keeping in mind that the minimum wage is under $5/ day, so it can’t hurt to be generous.


Gratuity is typically included in the bill in Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and even Finland (which isn’t technically part of Scandinavia). If service is particularly good, though, round up the bill or leave 10 percent.


Service is typically included in restaurant bills in Spain, and there’s no need to leave an additional tip. However, if the service is particularly good or you’re feeling generous, add 10 percent to the bill in a high-end establishment, or simply leave your change or round up to the nearest Euro in more casual spots. In bars, no need to tip at all.

South Africa

Like in much of the world, diners aren’t expected to tip, per se, but most South Africans add 10 percent to their restaurant bills for good service.


It’s not necessary to tip in restaurants Thailand, however like in much of the world, it’s customary to leave a few baht on the table. Tips are always appreciated and happily accepted.

United Kingdom

After a meal in England, Scotland, Wales, or Ireland, the first order of business is to inspect the bill to see if service has already been included. If not, add between 10 and 15 percent to the bill (or more if the service is particularly good) according to The Guardian. There’s no need to tip in pubs, though, so if you are feeling skint, as the Brits say, stick to picking up lunch in a bar.

This post originally appeared on Travel and Leisure.

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