How to tip like a local in Paris
Figuring out how to tip in a foreign country can easily be the most stressful part of your vacation.
Of course everyone wants to tip fairly or even generously, but over-tipping looks flashy and
sometimes culturally insensitive. Luckily, in Paris the tipping etiquette is pretty straightforward.
Unlike in other countries, e.g. U.S., service workers in France are paid a living wage, complete with benefits and
vacation time. In addition, there is a 15% service charge attached to all food and drinks, although
this does not go straight to the worker, it generally helps fund the benefits. All of this means that
in Paris a tip is used purely as a thanks for good service.
How to Tip in a Restaurant
Tipping is not required by etiquette in restaurants, but if you enjoyed your meal, it’s a nice to
leave 5-10%. If you really enjoyed the meal, or plan on returning to the restaurant and want the
wait staff to like you, 15% is a generous tip. Also keep in mind that if you put the tip on your card,
the server will probably never see it. It’s always best to tip in cash.
How to Tip in a Café/Bar
For coffee or drinks, it’s usual to just round up the price, somewhere between 20 centimes and
€1 per drink. If the place is particularly busy, or you want the bartender to remember you, bump it
up to a few euros. And bartenders really do remember good tippers!
How to Tip in a Taxi
For normal rides in Paris, a €1-2 tip is appropriate. If it was a long ride (like from the airport), or
you had heavy bags. If you weren’t satisfied with the trip, or had your suspicions that you were
taken the long way round, feel free not to tip at all.
How to Tip in a Hotel
For a bellhop who brought up luggage, €1 per bag is the right amount to tip. It’s also polite to
leave €1-2 per person, per day for the housekeeping at the end of your stay.
How to Tip a Tour Guide
All of the Paris by Foot tours are pay-what-you-want tours, but most other tour guides earn a fee
for their tour. If you enjoyed the tour, it’s appropriate to leave about €5 per person.