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Tipping in France

Do you tip in France? How much is a good amount? If you’re dining in a restaurant and are from a “tipping culture,” seeing people around you just walk away without leaving a tip behind can be confusing.

As a tourist, figuring out the cultural norms can be pretty overwhelming – trying to understand and speak the language, navigating the metro system, figuring out which level of politeness to use…the list is endless. How much to tip in France is just one more question to add to the list.

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Don't worry, I've got you covered! Here is everything you need to know about tipping in France and how much you’re expected to tip, if at all. 

Are you expected to tip in France?

Tipping in France is not the same as tipping in the United States. While it is polite to leave a tip when you’ve experienced great or even good service, you’re not expected to tip in France – no one will be furious if you leave without tipping. 

In France, all workers in the service industry must be paid at least the minimum wage (which are living wages, not like minimum wage in the US) and are required to take time off, which means the tip that you’re leaving is more of a ‘thank you for a great service’ rather than an income that they need to depend on.

Furthermore, the charge for the service that you receive is already included in the total cost of your bill. This is where it can get confusing for tourists as they often ask if the tip is included and when the waiter says no, they believe they have to pay extra.

The tip that you leave for table service is called a service charge in France and you will find French menus stating service compris, which means the service charge is included in the meal. The tip for good service is called un pourboire which is not included in your bill and is not compulsory.

Tip and thank you note

Who do you tip in France and how much?

Although according to the French Ministry of Economy website, no profession can demand a tip, it is acceptable to leave one if you wish. It is left to the discretion of the customer and not by any means a necessity or a compulsion.

If you do wish, you can tip anywhere between 5% to 20% of your total bill. It is totally acceptable to leave a few coins, usually one or two euros. In some professions, it is customary to tip, to leave a few Euros – cinema ushers, valet, tour guides, beauticians – but remember, it is neither required nor expected. 

Tipping in cafes and restaurants

Tipping in French cafes and restaurants is not compulsory as the service charge is included in the total bill but if you want, you can round up the bill, usually to the nearest euro if it’s a small amount or about two or three euros.

For example, if the total is €7.35, you can round up to €8. In cases where your amount is higher, for example, €57, you can leave behind 60 if you had good service. (For a Michelin-star restaurant, it will be a little more.) It’s always good to appreciate the waiting staff if they went out of the way to accommodate you or if you were a particularly fussy guest.

Waitress Charging Customers Bill

Tipping at a terrace or a cafe is not the norm in France. These are very casual eating or drinking places, and no one expects a tip here. If you’re feeling generous, you can leave 10 or even 20 centimes but anything more than this is usually not needed.

Then again, you don’t have to feel like a scrooge if you pay only the amount of your bill. Very rarely would you see French people tipping in casual restaurants. Credit card machines in France do not come with an in-built tip function and people are often strapped for cash which makes tipping even less frequent.

The rule in France is that you don’t need to tip if you receive bad service, not even one centime.

Tipping for take-out or fast-food

Fast food restaurants are the most casual eating places and happen to be self-service, so the service charge is not included in the bill as you’re not receiving any table service. Most restaurants will have a tipping jar at the cash counter where you can drop some coins if you want but it’s not necessary to do it every time you visit one.

Tipping in bars

Tipping in bars is more common than in cafes or restaurants. If you’re sitting at a table, the service charge should already be included in your bill but not if you’re standing. In this case, leaving one or two euros is acceptable.

Cropped image of woman waitress in apron hold out bill folder to cafe visitor of cafe or restaurant

Most bars have a tipping jar near the cash counter where you can leave cash or coins. If you have a larger group and the barman was quite accommodating, you can also leave behind a larger amount, one euro per person or 5-10% of your bill. 

Tipping at a hotel in France

While staying at a hotel, whether luxury or not, it is optional to leave behind a tip for every service person you encounter. For example, if the hotel concierge was particularly helpful in finding places with your interests in mind or were able to book you a reservation at a fully-booked restaurant, €5-10 euros is a good way to appreciate their gesture.  

Midsection view of man giving tip in hotel

For porters, it is common to give €1 per luggage item. Depending on the duration of your stay, you can leave between €5-20 in an envelope in the room. Room service is similar to take-outs, you can tip one or two euros (or 5-10%) or not give anything at all. When it comes to valets, it is a good idea to tip them €10, €5 for when they take your car in the beginning, and €5 for later when they bring it back. 

Tipping delivery workers

Tipping for food or grocery delivery has become quite common as most apps allow you to leave a pre-defined amount or a custom amount while placing the order, and sometimes even after delivery. If paying by cash, you can round up to the next euro or give a little extra something if you’re place was harder to locate.

Tipping for taxi drivers

Tipping taxi drivers is not mandatory, but it is common practice for locals to round up to the nearest euro or give a tip of up to 5 percent. If the driver assists with your luggage, especially if it is bulky, it is customary to tip one or two euros per bag.


Tipping for beauty services

When you go to a beauty salon or a masseuse, it is normal to pay for your haircut or your massage without adding any extra tips. If you were particularly happy with the service, the same rule of one or two euros as a tip applies here.

Keep in mind that if you do end up tipping for the first time and intend to go back to the same place, the worker might expect a tip every time you come back. 

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General Tipping in France

Remember, France is not big on tipping, and people in the service industry don’t have to rely on tips to make a good living but you can of course leave a small tip for almost any service profession.

If someone is going out of their way to accommodate your needs, it is good to appreciate their effort with a tip, usually one or two euros but can be higher depending on the effort and difficulty level. 

Advice on tipping in France

  • Make sure you have spare change. Tipping is easier if you have one or two euro coins and a couple of centimes with you. French card machines in restaurants and cafes don’t have an in-built system where you can add tips and it can get quite awkward if you have a large bill that needs to be broken down if you want to tip.
  • If you’re in a large group, it is a good idea to leave behind a tip. Everyone can either chip in one euro or go by percentages (anywhere between 5-10% is appreciated).
  • There’s absolutely no need to tip if you receive bad service. If you tip in spite of poor service, you’re only enabling that behavior.
  • If you see a sign stating “pourboire interdit” it means tipping is not allowed. Best to not tip in such cases.
  • Tipping is at your discretion. No one will call you a penny pincher if you leave only 5%.

How about you? Do you have additional situations you've encountered when you wondered whether you should tip? What has your experience been? Do share!


Andi Fisher

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!

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Waitress Charging Customers Bill
  • Flights
    • 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!)
  • Accommodation
  • Transportation
    • 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 SafetyWingSquareMouth 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!).
  • Planning

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  1. I’ve heard that tipping isn’t a thing in Europe because their hourly wage is higher than in the US.

  2. Tara Pittman says:

    This was an eye-opener for me. This is good info for my next trip.

    1. Richelle Milar says:

      This is a really great and very informative post! Such an eye opener for me thanks for sharing this with us

  3. Great info, thanks for informing us! I had the same in the UK, tipping wasnt a thing!

  4. I much prefer the more relaxed approach to tipping that you’ve described. I like the idea of not be afraid that people will bash you on social media if you don’t tip the exact amount that they want you to!

  5. This is good advice. It’s smart to brush up on the culture in the area where you will be visiting.

  6. Thank you for sharing these info. These will definitely come in handy for those traveling to France or in Europe. 🙂

  7. Thank you for providing such comprehensive information about tipping in France! It can be confusing for tourists to navigate cultural norms, but your detailed explanations on who to tip and how much are extremely helpful. I now feel more confident about understanding tipping etiquette during my visit.

  8. Susan JoyAmongChaos says:

    This is good to know for my future plans to visit France. I wish we used this system in the USA.

  9. That is so interesting! Loving the info. Hope to visit France one day!

  10. always good to know the etiquette and rules like this when we travel so thank you for these tips..

  11. That is good to know. That is how tipping should be.

  12. I will keep this in mind if I plan to go to Paris in the furture. Thanks for sharing this with us.

  13. Melissa Cushing says:

    Loving these tipping suggestion for when in France! You never know and want to ensure you are doing it right and these tips will be handy for when I get over there for a visit!