I often get asked by tourists and expats whether tipping in Portugal is normal or even necessary. Many Brits and Americans are used to a tipping culture. Although tipping in Portugal is not as highly ingrained in Portuguese culture as it is in the USA, there are some situations such as outstanding restaurant service where a good tip wouldn’t go amiss.
The Challenges of the Covid-19 Pandemic
Tipping in Portugal is particularly appreciated following the financial challenges of coronavirus which have particularly impacted on those working in the tourism industry. There are a lot of tour guides, waiters and bar staff who have been either out of work or on a reduced income for a substantial number of months – if not years due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Tipping in Restaurants in Portugal
Many Portuguese do not tip in restaurants, but although it’s not as ingrained in their culture as it is in the USA the waiters do appreciate it. Go for around 10% if you feel you experienced particularly good service. In some places you can put a tip on your card by asking the waiter to ’round it up’. So if your bill is say €18 you can round up to €20.
Cafes and Bars
Cafes and bars usually have a pot near the till that you can use for tips and small change. Generally, avoid putting coppers in there (1c and 2c) as this is just like getting rid of small change and may be interpreted by some as a bit offensive because it’s almost not worth it! 10c, 20c and 50c are perfect for bar and cafe tips.
Tipping Taxi Drivers in portugal
Taxi Drivers don’t usually expect a tip but it is often appreciated, especially if you have had particularly good service (like help with heavy bags) or a long journey. Usually one or two extra Euros is fine, or maybe €5 if it’s been a long trip or tour or someone getting you to the Airport on time.
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