Tipping in other countries where it’s considered rude or not expected

Tipping in other countries isn’t always straightforward. If you hate to tip you’ll love these countries where tipping is not expected or sometimes rude.

By Annie André ⦿ updated January 10, 2024  
10 countries where you're not expected to tip
10 countries where you're not expected to tip

One of the many joys of travelling is eating out at a restaurant.

However, when the bill arrives and you realize you have no idea about tipping in other countries, it can be unsettling, even stressful.

It’s perfectly normal to feel unsure about tipping etiquette in different countries. 

The good news is that there are some countries where tipping is not expected, in in some rare instances, tipping is rude.

Tipping Guide: Countries Where You Don’t Need To Tip A Percentage

It’s a common dilemma, even for experienced travellers. How much do you tip?

Unfortunately, the answer isn’t a simple percentage or number because tipping customs, attitudes, and expectations vary widely depending on the country and can change in different regions within the same country. 

In some countries in Asia, it’s even considered rude to tip. Tipping in other countries is not expected, but a small, modest tip — some change or rounding up is a much-appreciated way to show appreciation for good service. 

I’ve put together a list of countries where no one will be insulted if you don’t leave a tip because tipping is generally not expected, customary, or considered rude.

Countries where it’s rude to tip or frowned upon

tipping in other countries in Asia where it's rude

In some countries, it’s considered rude to tip because doing a good job is just part of the job while tipping in other countries may not be considered rude but is frowned upon. 

The list of countries where it’s rude to tip is short. But in general, these countries are in Asia, where the service industry operates on the principle that customers should receive excellent service as a standard expectation, without monetary incentives.

Servers and service providers often earn fair, liveable wages, and tipping may be considered unnecessary or offensive. It’s important to respect these cultural norms and understand that leaving a tip can sometimes be perceived as a lack of confidence in the quality of service provided.


Tipping in Japan is not a common practice and can even be perceived as rude, impolite, and may even be confusing. 

The reason why it’s rude to tip in Japan has to do with the fact that Japanese culture places a strong emphasis on quality service and hospitality. The general ideology is that the wait staff works for the restaurant as a team. If a customer enjoys their visit, they will return to the restaurant again, refer others, and bring more business without the need for additional monetary incentives.

Exception: I have been to some restaurants in Tokyo that received a lot of tourists and understood that some foreigners tip. In these rare cases, tipping is accepted but not expected.

South Korea

Like Japan, tipping in South Korea can be perceived as rude or impolite in most situations and can be seen as an attempt to create a hierarchy among people, which goes against the country’s cultural values.

The belief is rooted in the principle of equality, where everyone is expected to be treated fairly and receive the same level of service without any financial incentives. 

Exception: However, it’s worth noting that some upscale establishments catering to international visitors may accept tips, but even then, it is not a common practice.

China (Mainland)

Like In Japan and South Korea, China does not have a tipping culture

Tipping can actually cause someone to “lose face.”

The concept of “saving face” is deeply ingrained in Chinese society and refers to the feeling of embarrassment or loss of social status due to a perceived failure or mistake. Tipping can be seen as implying that the server needs a handout because they are not earning a sufficient wage or that the employer is not paying them enough. 

Exception: thanks to international trade and tourism, Macao and Hong Kong have been influenced by Western customs and practices, including tipping, which is generally accepted and considered common practice.


Singapore is another country that does not have a tipping culture. Although it’s not rude to tip and is often appreciated, here are some things to consider:

  • Some business owners sometimes have a no-tip policy to discourage the mindset of giving better service in exchange for a tip.
  • Some service workers are wary and may refuse tips if their managers have implemented a policy of not accepting tips and may refuse the tip. 

If you want to leave a tip, it’s best to ask first. 

Hong Kong

Before china 

In Hong Kong, a 10% tip was once the norm in a restaurant. Ever since the Communist Party took control, there have been cultural and political shifts and tipping is officially discouraged as capitalist bribery.

However, very few restaurant servers in Hong Kong will refuse a tip, especially in areas with many foreign tourists.

Tipping in Europe: Where tips are not expected (but leaving some change is appreciated)

tipping in other countries where it's not necessary, expected and sometimes rude

If you’re planning to travel to Europe, you may be surprised to learn that while tipping may not be expected or obligatory in many European countries, it is appreciated — especially in tourist-focused areas. 

And if you do choose to leave a tip, it’s crucial to understand that in European countries, tipping 15% to 20% of the total bill is often seen as excessive. Servers may even refuse a large tip or give you embarrassed looks or confusion about why you tipped so much. They might even try to refuse the tip if you’ve left a 20 euro tip on a 150 euro meal. 

The customary practice for tipping in many European countries is to keep the tip modest and proportional to the quality of service provided by rounding up the bill or leaving some change.

Why is tipping not expected in some European countries?

You don’t have to tip in some European countries because the wait staff is generally paid a liveable wage thanks to service charges that are automatically added to the bill or built into the prices. These service charges go directly to the business owner, who uses that to pay their staff a liveable wage. Wait staff also receive benefits, including maternity and paternity leave, childcare, disability, and paid vacation from their employer or the government. This means that servers aren’t dependent on tips to make a living.

Tipping with cash is best.

Because tipping is not the norm in these cultures, many credit card machines don’t have a place to add a tip. You have to ask the server to add it to the bill before they swipe your credit card. There’s also no guarantee that the staff will receive the tip, and if they do, it may take several weeks, and credit card fees may have been deducted.

That’s why it’s best to carry change with you if you plan on giving tips. 

By adhering to this guideline, you can ensure that your gesture of appreciation remains appropriate and respectful.


Tipping in France is simple. Round up or leave some change behind. 

RelatedA guide to tipping in France: It’s not as much as you think!


Tipping in Belgium isn’t expected. People often round up the bill or leave some coins on the table, similar to the tipping practices in France.

Czech Republic

Tipping in the Czech Republic, like in France and Germany, is optional and appreciated,  especially in restaurants. The custom is to round up. 


Tipping is not expected in Denmark since the bill usually includes service charges. However, rounding up the bill or leaving a small amount as a gesture of appreciation for exceptional service is common. 


Tipping is not rude in Finland, but it’s also not common practice. Like many tipping in other European countries, you can round up or leave some change for excellent service. 


Italy’s tipping culture is similar to France’s, where leaving a modest tip is customary.

Exception: The waitpersons and restaurants in touristy areas of Venice, Florence and Rome have grown accustomed to foreigners leaving tips, and some expect it now.  


Rounding up or leaving a small tip is much appreciated but not expected. 


Tipping is considered a nice gesture in Spain, but again, it’s not obligatory. Like in France, the service charges are often included in the bill. If you receive excellent service in a restaurant, you can round up the bill or leave a small tip. 


Sweden has a strong welfare system; service industry workers typically receive fair wages. As a result, leaving a tip is not necessary to supplement their income unless you want to show your appreciation by rounding up the bill or leaving a small amount.

Tipping in Asian countries where it’s not expected

Tipping in other countries in Asia where it's not expected


Most restaurants have a service charge built into the bill, which helps business owners pay at least a minimum wage so that the working staff don’t rely on tips to survive. As a result, tips are not expected. That said, if you’re feeling generous and received great service, a small tip will be a nice gesture to show appreciation. 


Most locals do not tip in restaurants; if they do, it’s some loose change. Some establishments have a strict “No tipping policy.”


Taiwan is another Asian country where tipping is not expected in restaurants, and if you do leave a small tip, you will be thanked profusely. 


Tipping in Thailand is not customary, especially in small and local establishments. In Thai culture, service is provided with a smile, and people don’t expect extra monetary incentives for their work. However, in tourist-heavy areas, such as Bangkok, Phuket, or Chiang Mai, where there’s more Western influence, leaving a small tip is becoming more common, but it’s still not expected.


In Vietnam, tipping is not common practice and may even be seen as unusual in many situations. Like some other countries in the region, Vietnamese culture strongly emphasizes hospitality and providing good service as part of the job.

While you’re not expected to tip in France, it isn’t considered rude either. If you want to show appreciation for exceptional service, rounding up the bill or leaving some small change is a gesture of appreciation.

Tipping in other countries

Tipping in these other countries is also not expected or required, but small tips are appreciated. Similar to Europe, the tip should be modest and proportional to the service you received— a 20% tip would be considered excessive. 


Tipping customs in Australia can vary by region but are generally not expected. It’s not uncommon to round up to the nearest 5 or 10 Australian dollars if you want to show your gratitude for exceptional service.


Tipping in Iceland is not a common practice. Icelanders receive fair wages, and service charges are often included in bills. While tipping is not expected, it’s still appreciated. If you want to show your appreciation for good service, you can round up the bill or leave some change, but it’s not a significant part of the culture.


 In Brazil, tipping is not mandatory, but it’s still appreciated. Service charges are sometimes included in bills, especially in tourist areas. In restaurants, leaving a 10% tip is considered generous if service is not included. However, it’s not customary to leave large tips, and it’s not seen as rude if you choose not to tip.

New Zealand

In New Zealand, tipping is not a standard practice. Like many other countries on this list, the service industry workers in New Zealand receive fair wages. While you can choose to tip if you receive exceptional service, locals typically don’t tip large percentages of their bills. Rounding up the bill or leaving some small change is a kind way to show your gratitude if you wish to do so.

Do your research about tipping in other countries.

Not knowing the appropriate tipping etiquette, whether it’s too much or too little, or even if tipping is expected at all, can be embarrassing and stressful.

To navigate these situations, it’s important to do some country-specific research on tipping customs. Remember, just because you may not tip in restaurants in certain countries doesn’t mean the same applies to other service providers like taxi drivers or barbers in those very same places.

Each type of service may have its own set of expectations when it comes to tipping, so it’s always wise to stay informed before your travels. This way, you can avoid any awkward or uncertain moments when the bill arrives and confidently navigate the tipping customs of the specific country you’re visiting.

When tipping in other countries, there are a few service-related things to research 

  • restaurants
  • hotel staff
  • taxi’s
  • tour guides
  • Spa and resort staff
  • Hotel cleaning crew
  • Bellhops
  • hairdressers and barbers

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Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning I get a 'petite commission' at no extra cost to you if you make a purchase through my links. It helps me buy more wine and cheese. Please read my disclosure for more info.

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Annie André

Annie André

About the author

I'm Annie André, a bilingual North American with Thai and French Canadian roots. I've lived in France since 2011. When I'm not eating cheese, drinking wine or hanging out with my husband and children, I write articles on my personal blog annieandre.com for intellectually curious people interested in all things France: Life in France, travel to France, French culture, French language, travel and more.


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