Tipping in France

Tipping in France is not mandatory but always appreciated. Travelling with some cash is handy, as you can easily give your waiter, tour guide or taxi driver a tip.

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Tipping in France is not mandatory but always appreciated. Travelling with some cash is handy, as you can easily give your waiter, tour guide or taxi driver a tip.

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There is a time and place for tipping in France but like most countries in Europe it is not expected. But it’s important to get the tipping etiquette just right, to avoid causing offence. This guide will hopefully steer you in the right direction for tipping in Paris and the rest of France.

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 Tips on tipping in France

  1. In restaurants a 15% “service compris” is included in the bill, you can tip extra to say thanks.
  2. In other scenarios, it’s polite to round up the bill rather then waiting for your exact change.
  3. Just arrived in the country – try to break larger denomination notes for tipping or alternatively ask your travel money provider for a mix of denominations.
Tipping in France

Tipping in France Guide:

Our guide will answer your questions like When and How much to tip?

  • Tipping in restaurants
  • Tipping in bars
  • Tipping in cafes
  • Tipping in hotels
  • Tipping taxi drivers
  • Tipping tour guides
  • Tipping in spas
  • How to calculate the tip easily


Dining out in France, it’s likely the question do you tip in France? will come up. Although tipping is not expected it is nice way to show your appreciation. When you’ve asked for the bill (or L’addition in French) it is important you understand the charges on your bill to avoid under or over paying.

How to ask for the bill in French? L’addition, s’il vous plait

s’il vous plait” is the French for please and “L’addition” is the French word for the bill.

Understanding your bill:

On your bill you’ll firstly see the TVA which stands for “Taxe sur la Valeur Ajoutée” or Value Added Tax. Then you’ll notice the “Service Compris” which is the “service included” which is usually 10- 15% of bill. It is a legal requirement that all restaurants charge this whether they state it or not. If you’ve had exceptional service you might want to tip your waiter a couple of extra euros to say thanks or “merci” in French.

Tipping in Paris restaurants guideline:
On average a three course meal for two people in mid-range restaurant costs about 50 euros(*) so with a 10% tip of 5 euros, the total cost would be 55 euros.
Total Bill10% Tip


You don’t need to tip in a bar but say thanks (or “merci” in french) by leaving some spare change or just round up the bill.

On average a pint of domestic beer is about 6.50 euros(*), if you are rounding up the bill the total cost would be 7 euros.


In a café or bistro tipping is not expected. People tend to leave a few coins or if the bill is small round it up. If the bill is €3.70 you may leave €4 to €5 euros to cover the bill and a bit extra as a small tip.


Wondering, how much to tip hotel staff? Tipping in hotels is not mandatory.

Although, you may want to tip in the following scenarios:

  • Porter: a couple of euros per bag
  • Housekeeping: a couple of euros per night
  • Hotel concierge: If they’ve provided useful or helpful information consider a tip a few euros. If they’ve gone above and beyond by securing you theatre tickets or a table at a fancy restaurant you may want to consider a large tip of €10 plus.

Taxi Drivers

How much to tip a taxi driver?

If your driver goes above and beyond to get you to your destination, it’s always appreciated to round up the fare. As taxi drivers don’t make a huge amount.

If you are using a taxi apps such as Taxi G7 or FreeNow, you can usually pay for the tip using the app.

Tour guides

Wondering, how much to tip a tour guide?
Usually tour guides are tipped between €2 to €5 euros for a tour.


For a pampering, luxury service like this consider leaving a larger tip of 15 to 20%

When not to tip?

One thing to keep in mind is that tipping in France is always discretionary. If you’re not happy with the service you received, you’re not obligated to leave a tip. However, it’s always a good idea to communicate any issues with the staff before deciding not to leave a tip. This gives them a chance to address the problem and make things right.

Useful French Vocabulary

French phraseEnglish translation
Un pourboirea tip (pronounced: poor-bwar)
Donner un pourboire/Laisser un pourboireto leave a tip
Service ComprisService charge
(i.e it’s a fee charged to diners to cover the tip)
Vous pouvez garder la monnaieYou can keep the change
L’addition, s’il vous plaitThe bill, please
La carte, s’il vous plaitThe menu, please
MerciThank you

How to calculate the tip easily?

Once you’ve checked your bill for service charges, calculating a 10% tip is easy. Simple move the decimal point to the left.

For these scenarios when you want to tip, it’s useful to carry euros in cash.

If you’re visiting France soon, you can buy euros online for our best exchange rate.
Buy Euros

* Data source: average cost of living survey Numbeo.com, October 2019.

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