One of the most common questions one faces when in Germany is: how much am I supposed to tip?
From tipping at German restaurants to tipping German taxis, we’ve assembled this handy guide on how to tip in Germany* in various situations.
So, are you excited to learn once and for all how and how much you’re supposed to tip in Germany? Here’s our easy guide to German tipping etiquette!
*Note these unwritten rules also tend to apply in German-speaking parts of Switzerland and Austria
How to Tip in Germany: A Brief Overview
Right off the bat, you should know that tipping culture in Germany is very different than North America, where minimum 15-20% tips are commonly expected.
Instead, a common rule of thumb is rounding up to the next euro, or leaving about 10%, depending on the circumstances (more on this below).
Besides the quantity of tips however, the German tipping system also differs from its North American counterparts in how you actually give tips.
While in North America, you’ll usually leave your tips on the table when paying by cash, or you’ll write a tip down on the receipt when paying by card (or even automatically leave a tip within payment machines), tipping in Germany works very differently.
When tipping in Germany, you simply let them know the total amount they should charge you (including your tip), whether you’re paying by card (Karte) or cash (Bar).
EXAMPLE: If your total bill comes to 17.90, and you want to tip them 2.10, you tell them “20” (or zwanzig, if you want to bust out your German skills), which is the total amount that they should be charging you. This lets them know that you will not need change.
Alternatively, you can give them the exact amount in cash, and say “Stimmt so” – this essentially means “it’s okay” or “keep the change”.
Helpful vocab: bar (cash) | zehn (ten)| Geldbeutal (wallet)
Tipping German Wait Staff
Now that we have the basics covered, let’s discuss tipping norms in Germany for specific situations.
Firstly, when it comes to tipping at a restaurant in Germany, it is not uncommon to simply round the bill up to the nearest euro.
However, for a nicer sit-down restaurant, the average is about 10%.
Although in groups, this average changes to a table amount (said to be around 15 euros total sum), often you will notice that even as tedious as it is, wait staff are happy to split bills in between running around. They will most likely get a higher tip in total from all the split bills, so it’s a win win.
Helpful vocab: Zusammen (together) / Getrennt (seperate)
Tipping in German Bars
When going to a bar in Germany, the same tipping rules apply basically everywhere.
If you are going up to the bar to grab some drinks and go, then you usually simply round the bill to the nearest euro.
However, if you are sitting down and being served by the bar staff, then the same rules apply to giving trinkgeld as if you were in a restaurant.
Tipping German Taxis
For taxi drivers in Germany, a smaller tip is normal. So typically between .50 to 2 euros would be acceptable.
Similar to the bar rule, you generally just round up the fare.
However, if we need to get a car, our personal preference tends to be Uber or a taxi from the Free Now app, as it’s much easier to pay ahead of time and not worry about how much to pay or having cash to pay, as often this is required.
Additionally in the apps, they offer you average tip pricing options to include if you like, so no need to try and calculate on your own (woohoo!)
Tipping German Hairdressers
This is one topic we were very interested in right away, as one tends to have a good relationship with their hairdresser (and if you find a good one, you want to make sure to keep it that way!)
One of our hairdressers told us a couple of euros is typically a fair tip, since hairdressers are paid more in Germany than in other countries and Germans are not big tippers.
Helpful vocab: schneiden (cut)|waschen (wash)|föhnen (blow-dry)|Strähnchen (highlights)
A Final Note on German Customer Service
Lastly, when receiving services in Germany you may notice the culture is a lot less customer service-oriented than other countries.
This is due to the fact that they are not living off of tips and have a legal and very well-regulated wage.
So, do not expect much over-enthusiastic customer service during your visit. It is not them being rude but simply just culturally different. This is one of the main reasons you never are expected to tip over 10%.
Do You Have Any More German Tipping Tips to Add?
Let us know in the comments! We hope you found this guide helpful.