The answer is, no. Not really.
At restaurants, the government already includes a 15% service charge on your check (listed as seriv compris). So it is unnecessary to add additional money. If you are paying in cash, and receive change back you can leave a few coins can be left as a sign of appreciation to your server.
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For instance, at a cafe, two expressos could be something like 3.60 Euros. If you pay 4 Euros to the server, he will give you back 40 cents and you could leave that.
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For lunch or dinner, you could leave a couple of Euros extra. If you pay by credit card, you can either leave nothing or if you have a few coins, feel free to add them to the tray.
But seriously, do not feel like you are going to piss off the server if you leave nothing. Unlike in the United States, the waitstaff is professionals with salaries, they are decently paid and make a good (and sometimes excellent) living.
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A few other tipping situations:
- If you ever go to the theater, you will be escorted to your seat (usually by women). She will expect a pourboire (tip) which is usually 1-2 Euros per person.
- In hotels, you do not have to tip the valet
- You should tip your taxi driver 1-2 Euros
There you have it!
I am married to a French man, lived in France for 3 years, and have been to Paris more than 50 times. I am always a tourist so the information, tip, and tricks I share are created to help you!
- Look for fares using sites like Skyscanner or Expedia.com.
- For France (Paris) coming from the West Coast, I typically fly Air France or United. From the East Coast, I typically fly Air France or Delta.
- If you travel frequently, consider investing in a Priority Pass for airport lounge access. Not only will you have a spot to relax before your flight and charge your devices, but you can eat and drink for free (without paying crazy airport prices!)
- I use Expedia.com, Booking.com, and Hotels.com to find lodging. Always check the reviews on TripAdvisor before booking!
- For rental car agencies, try Rentalcars.com. When traveling in Europe, I use AutoEurope to make reservations. They find the best rates and allow you to compare different car rental agencies. I typically book with Sixt.
- For transportation from the CDG airport to anywhere within Paris, consider pre-booking with Get Transfer. It is one way to be stress-free and you can request an English-speaking driver.
- Tours + Atractions
- I book tours with companies like Viator and GetYourGuide. Both have a wide variety of activities for every travel style. Other companies to look at include Tours by Locals and Withlocals.
- If you’re visiting a city with multiple attractions, be sure to check out a discount pass, such as CityPASS or Go City.
- Context Travel is another option and they offer more educational-based activities.
- If you are looking to buy tickets to attractions, check out Tiquet.
- Don't Forget Travel Photos
- One of my favorite things to do is to get photos taken of me while on vacation. Flytographer is a great option with photographers all over the world.
- Peace of Mind
- It’s important to have some type of travel insurance to cover any unforeseen accidents, illnesses, threats, or cancellations. I always travel with insurance and would recommend SafetyWing, SquareMouth or Travelex Insurance are good options.
- Should you have any trouble with flight delays to the extent you feel you deserve compensation, I encourage you to check out and use AirHelp. I used them and for 1 claim I got compensated (transparency: a 2nd claim did not, but I was still glad I tried!).