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Tipping Culture in France
When you travel, it can be hard to know the etiquette for certain things. Behaviors that are normal or expected in your home country might not be normal in others. This applies to tipping as well. In countries like the US, tipping at hotels, restaurants, and other places is expected and even essential. However, it’s a different story when it comes to tipping in France.
Do you tip in France? Who and how much should you tip in France? If you’re about to take the trip of a lifetime to Paris or France, then here’s what you need to know about tipping culture in France.
Tipping in France is not mandatory so there are no written rules about it to share. This post is based on our experience as locals in Paris, our trips around France, and the invaluable feedback from the users of our France Travel Facebook Group.
READ MORE – How Much Does a Trip to Paris Cost?
Tipping in France – Restaurants
Generally speaking, tipping in France’s restaurants isn’t expected or essential. Waiters and other staff in restaurants are paid a decent salary for their work and don’t rely on tips to get by.
However, if you enjoy particularly good service or are feeling generous, then tipping waiters in France is allowed. A normal tip would be between 5-10% of your bill, while 15% is a very generous tip and saved for truly exemplary service.
If you prefer to pay by card, you can ask the waiter to round up the bill in the payment terminal or to add the gratuity you wish to your bill.
Just in case you’re wondering, you don’t have to tip in France in restaurants if your service is rude, slow, or bad in any other way.
Tipping in France – Hotels
Tipping in France’s hotels isn’t mandatory or necessary, but it can be a good way to reward someone who gives you extra good service or goes out of their way to be helpful.
This doesn’t have to be extravagant. Tipping etiquette in France allows you to tip a bellhop around 2-3 euros per bag for taking your bags to your room, or around the same for a housekeeper who keeps your room spotless.
In luxury hotels, tipping is expected. If you stay at a luxury hotel, a valet or bellman may help transport your bags for you, or a concierge may book a restaurant or snag you hard-to-get tickets for you in which case you’ll want to tip them. Consider a minimum of 5 o 10 euros – more if you are feeling generous –, in luxury hotels, depending on what service they provide. The consistent rule across luxury hotels: Bring cash.
Tipping in France – Taxis, Private Transportation
Cab drivers don’t make a lot of money, so tipping in France’s taxis is a good thing to do. Often all you have to do for this is round up your fare or add 5-10 percent onto the total.
The etiquette for tipping drivers in France also applies if you have a personal driver while you’re visiting. This is especially important if your driver has gone the extra mile for you during your stay. Again, you should tip around 5-10 percent for this, but you can add more if you’re feeling generous.
Tipping in France – Tour Guides
Tipping tour guides in France is another issue you need to think about when considering tipping in France. Tour guides will usually expect a tip at the end of your time together. This is especially important if you’re taking a free tour of the city, where there isn’t an official fee, but the idea is that you tip your guide at the end of the tour if you’re satisfied.
In France, tipping guides in galleries and museums is recommended if you enjoy your time with them.
Tipping tour guides in France doesn’t have to be expensive. You can tip between 2 and 5 euros a day for a day tour guide and 1 to 2 euros for a museum or gallery guide. Don’t forget to tip the driver if you have one in addition to the tour guide on your trip.
For free city tours, it depends on the length of the tour, how other people are on the tour and how satisfied you are after the tour, but it’s common to tip anywhere from 5-20 euros per person.