The Ultimate Guide To Drinking And Tipping In 46 Major Countries

mythos beer greece beach sand

Photo: Flickr/GlobalJet

We’re firm believers that one of the best places to start your immersion into a new culture is down at the neighbourhood bar.There you’ll meet some new friends, get a feel for whether it’s cricket season or soccer season or rugby season, test out your phrasebook pickup skills, and let your guard down for the first time.

The fact is, North America is a tipping-intensive place. We’re used to shelling out, again and again, in order to shore up the paltry hourly wages earned by our service industry. This isn’t the SOP in most other parts of the world.

Here’s a handy guide for both the armchair traveller and the guy who is literally reading this on his phone at a bar in Montenegro right now. This by no means is an exhaustive list—these are just the places we’ve been. Please add the information pertinent to your favourite nation in the comments, and we’ll update the gallery accordingly. Cheers!

Lebanon

Who do you tip? Servers, barmen, porters, bellhops

How much? 10%; $1-2 per bag

What the locals are drinking: Almaza

Jordan

Who do you tip? Servers, cabbies, porters, bellhops

How much? 5-10%; $1-2 per bag

What are the locals drinking? Amstel

Cambodia

Who do you tip? Porters, bellhops

How much? $1 per bag

What are the locals drinking? Angkor

Japan

Who do you tip? No one

How much? N/A

What are the locals drinking? Asahi Super Dry

Laos

Who do you tip? Porters, bellhops

How much? $1 per bag

What are the locals drinking? Beerlao

South Africa

Who do you tip? Servers, bartenders, guides, cabbies, porters

How much? 10-15%; $5 per person per day; 10%; $1 per bag

What are the locals drinking? Castle Lager

Malawi

Who do you tip? Servers for good service, guides

How much? 5-10%; $2-5 per person per day; no cabbie tipping

What are the locals drinking? Carlsberg

South Korea

Who do you tip? No

How much? N/A

What are the locals drinking? Hite

Austria

Who do you tip? Servers, cabbies, porters, bellhops

How much? 5-10%; $1-2 per bag

What are the locals drinking? Gösser

Turkey

Who do you tip? Servers, porters, bellhops

How much? 10-20%; $1 per bag

What are the locals drinking? Efes

Costa Rica

Who do you tip? Porters, bellhops

How much? $0.50-$1 per bag

What are the locals drinking? Imperial

Bulgaria

Who do you tip? Servers, porters, bellhops

How much? 10%; $1 per bag

What are the locals drinking? Kamenitza

Belgium

Who do you tip? Porters, bellhops

How much? $1 per bag

What are the locals drinking? Jupiler

Armenia

Who do you tip? Servers, porters, bellhops

How much? 10%; $1 (in the capital only); no cabbie tip

What are the locals drinking? Kilikia

Slovenia

Who do you tip? Servers

How much? 10-15%, only if the service is very good

What are the locals drinking? Lašk

Nepal

Who do you tip? Guides, porters, bellhops

How much? $2-5 per day; $1 per bag

What are the locals drinking? San Miguel

Tanzania

Who do you tip? Servers, guides, porters

How much? 10-15%; $5-10 per person per day; no cabbie tipping

What are the locals drinking? Kilimanjaro

Bosnia

Who do you tip? Servers

How much? 10-15%, only if the service is very good.

What are the locals drinking? Sarajevsko Pivo

Taiwan

Who do you tip? Porters, bellhops

How much? $1 per bag

What are the locals drinking? Taiwan

Malaysia

Who do you tip? Porters, bellhops

How much? $1 per bag

What are the locals drinking? Tiger

Kenya

Who do you tip? Servers, guides
How much? 10%; $5-10 per person per day; no cabbie tipping
What are the locals drinking? Tusker

Azerbaijan

Who do you tip? Servers, porters, bellhops

How much? 10%; $1 per bag (in the capital only); no cabbie tipping

What are the locals drinking? Xirdalan

Montenegro

Who do you tip? Servers

How much? 10-15%, only if service is very good.

What are the locals drinking? Nikšićko

Mongolia

Who do you tip? No one

How much? N/A

What are the locals drinking? Chinggis

Serbia

Who do you tip? 10-15%, only if the service is very good

How much? Servers

What are the locals drinking? Jelen

Greece

Who do you tip? Servers, bartenders

How much? 10-15%

What are the locals drinking? Mythos

Thailand

Who do you tip? No.

How much? A gratuity of 10% is usually included in bars and restaurants

What are the locals drinking? Singha

Israel

Who do you tip? Servers, bartenders

How much? 10%

What are the locals drinking? Goldstar

Germany

Who do you tip? Servers

How much? 5-10%

What are the locals drinking? Oettinger

Argentina

Who do you tip? Servers

How much? 10%

What are the locals drinking? Quilmes

New Zealand

Who do you tip? No one, unless service is exceptional; round up for cabbies

How much? 10-15% under exceptional circumstances; cabbies would rather you round up so they don't have to make small change

What are the locals drinking? Speight's

Ireland

Who do you tip? Servers, cabbies, barbers, bellhops

How much? Around 10%

What are the locals drinking? Guinness (or Kilkenny)

Venezuela

Who do you tip? Porters, hotel staff, tour guides, cabbies (not servers, though)

How much? 10%

What are the locals drinking? Polar

Wales

Who do you tip? Servers, cabbies, barbers

How much? 10-12%

What are the locals drinking? Brains

Australia

Who do you tip? No one, unless service is exceptional; cabbies

How much? 10% under exceptional circumstances, and round up for cabbies

What are the locals drinking? Victoria Bitter

Brazil

Who do you tip? Servers, bartenders, but only when service is very good

How much? 10% gratuity is almost always included, further tipping is only necessary when the service is very good.

What are the locals drinking? Skol

Colombia

Who do you tip? Servers, porters, bellhops

How much? 10% is almost always included on restaurant bills, and hotel employees expect around $1 per bag.

What are the locals drinking? Club Colombia

Mexico

Who do you tip? Servers, bartenders, porters, bellhops, cabbies

How much? Basically the same rules apply in Mexico as in the United States and Canada -- 15-20% for good to very good service.

What are the locals drinking? Bohemia

India

Who do you tip? Waiters, valets, maids (not bartenders)

How much? A 'service charge' is often included in the bill, but even so, upscale diners often include a 10% or more tip on a meal. Overall, if you're planning to tip, aim for 5-10%.

What are the locals drinking? Kingfisher

Denmark

Who do you tip? No one

How much? If you receive exceptional service and want to leave something, there's no need to leave more than 10 kroner

What are the locals drinking? Tuborg or Carlsberg

Philippines

Who do you tip? Waiters, bellhops

How much? In Manila, a 10% service charge is often added to the bill. Outside Manila, 5-10% is appreciated. Also, the 'service charge' may not go directly to the server, so if you receive excellent service, 5% directly to the server is a good practice.

What are the locals drinking? San Miguel

Sweden

Who do you tip? No one. Service is included.

How much? N/A, unless the service is way above par, in which case add 10%

What are the locals drinking? Spendrups

Italy

Who do you tip? No one, unless the service is exceptional

How much? N/A, but 10% if you are absolutely blown away by the service

What are the locals drinking? Birra Moretti

Vietnam

Who do you tip? No

How much? N/A

What are the locals drinking? Tiger

Burma

Who do you tip? Servers, bellhops, guides

How much? Western visitors are expected to tip up to 20%

What are the locals drinking? Myanmar

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