Tipping in Germany

Unlike their quite notorious reputation, Germans do tip. They just don't go the extra mile in doing so and usually give between 5% and 10%. They tip in restaurants, bars, cabs etc.

Since they almost always pay in cash, tipping in Germany is done while paying the bill and not separately (don't leave money on the table and walk away). The idea is to round it up: If your bill is 28 Euro and you have two 20-Euro notes, you say to the waiter(ess) “Let's make it 30” or “Please give me back 10”. That's indeed less than 10%, but it is round.

If you don't say anything, it might be understood as “you don't deserve to be tipped”. Most waiters will give you the change, but if it's only coins, sometimes they just keep it.



Now let's suppose the bill is 26 and you have a 50-Euro note. This is where it gets tricky: Adding 10% would make it 28.6 but that's not round. Paying 30 would make it round but would also be a bit too much. In this case it's okay to ask for one Euro back. As a customer it feels awkward, but it makes the waiter(ess) happier than giving you back 2 Euro. If you want to be generous, you can of course leave it at 30. The same applies to 

Tipping in cents is okay in small amounts, i.e. when paying with coins. If you had an espresso for 2.90, 10 cents would be somewhat insulting, but paying 4 Euro would be exaggerated. In this case it's totally okay to round it up to 3.50.
and will give you the change, but other will just keep the change