Tipping in Paris Guide | When and How Much to Tip in Paris

Paris, often called the “City of Light,” is a global tourist destination renowned for its romantic ambience, rich history, and exquisite cuisine. Whether strolling down the Champs-Élysées, sipping espresso at a cosy café, or gazing in awe at the Eiffel Tower, Paris offers an unparalleled blend of culture and elegance. 

Amid the enchantment of this magical city, navigating Paris can be overwhelming for some tourists, more so with its topping culture. Should you leave a tip in Paris? Yes, only if you had good service. 

In general, France tipping culture is not aggressive, unlike other countries. Most of the workers in the hospitality sector earn a decent monthly wage and have other benefits. Still, Paris has its unique customs, and you must know their tipping etiquette, including when and how much to tip.

Eiffel Tower or Tour Eiffel aerial view, is a wrought iron lattice tower on the Champ de Mars in Paris, France

Courtesy and respect are highly regarded, and your understanding of tipping etiquette can significantly enhance your overall experience in Paris, France. That way, you’ll avoid inadvertently offending the locals and build positive connections with those you encounter during your stay.

In this article, I will share valuable insights and practical advice to help you confidently know how to tip in Paris.  We will cover everything from dining in charming bistros to looking for help from courteous taxi drivers and tour guides, as well as tipping concierges and housekeeping in your hotel. Keep reading! 

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Are you expected to tip in Paris?

The tipping customs in Paris differ from those in other countries, especially in the United States. So, do you tip in Paris? You are not expected to tip; it would also be not considered rude if you don’t leave one for your service providers. 

However, leaving a couple of Euros is a kind gesture, especially if you had a great experience. Typically, restaurants, cafes and bars already have their service charge on the bill. It’s up to you if you’d want to add more for the server’s tip as a gesture of appreciation. 

Tipping in Paris is not a big deal, and there are no strict rules to follow. Instead, practising being courteous and considerate of the service you receive during your visit is advisable. 

PARIS, FRANCE - People in square in front of Louvre. Paris. France

What’s the easiest way to give a tip in Paris?

Although tipping isn’t required or expected in Paris, you may often feel like leaving a tip for the service providers is still necessary, especially if the service is good. There is no actual rule on giving a tip in Paris, but the easiest and best bet is to provide small bills or coins in Euro.

You can tip workers in Paris in several easy ways depending on where and what kind of service you receive. 

  • Leave Cash: In most cases, you can leave your tip at restaurants, cafes, bars and even hotel rooms when you want to tip a staff server. Most establishments accept credit cards for bill payment but do not accept them for tips.
  • Round-up the Bill: Whether or not a service charge is included, if you show appreciation for their excellent service and want to leave a tip, you can always round up the bill and let them keep the change. For example, if your total account is at €22, you can round it up to €25 and leave the difference.
  • Inform the Server: If you want to ensure that your table’s server receives the tip you will be leaving behind, I suggest you inform them that the tip is already included in the payment or you’re going it at the table. That is why you should always have some small bills or coins to give them as tips whenever.
  • Say it with Appreciation: If you’re uncomfortable leaving a tip on the table or a bill envelope, you can hand it over to the person you want to thank. Be discreet, but at the same time, show your appreciation by saying thank you or Merci.
Paris, France, Tipping in euros at a cafe. Close-up.

When and How Much to Tip in Paris?

Tipping customs in Paris can vary depending on the type of service and level of your satisfaction. Another factor to consider is the place where you are receiving the service. Since there are no strict rules regarding how much you should tip, you can decide on the amount using the mentioned factors. 

However, for a quick overview, below is a breakdown of when and how much to tip if you travel to Paris. 

  • Paris is well known to have lots of street performers. When you come across one, you can always leave them a small tip as a sign of appreciation.
  • When you visit theatres in Paris, most of the time, there will be ushers that will guide you inside the hall and show you your seat. Giving them at least €1 is already enough to show your appreciation. 
  • In hotels, you might ask yourself, “How much do I tip for room service?”. The amount can vary depending on what you’ve asked them to do, but at least €3 to €5 is already enough. Depending on the hotel you’re staying at, the more luxurious it is, the higher tip you should give.
  • Tipping is generally not expected when using public services like buses or trains. But when you’re riding a taxi, you can give them a small tip by rounding off your meter fare and letting them keep the change.
  • Avoid double tipping. As mentioned, some restaurants and establishments in France already include service charges (around 18% to 20%) on the total bill. This already covers the service tip to all staff in the restaurant, so make sure to check before leaving a tip. 
PARIS, FRANCE - Wine Bars Restaurants Colorful Rainy Streets Tourists Lovers Walking Latin Quarter West Bank Seine Latin Quarter Rue De La Harpe Paris France

Can I tip in USD in Paris?

While it’s generally more convenient and expected to tip in the local currency (Euros) in Paris, some establishments may accept USD or other major foreign currencies, particularly in tourist-heavy areas. So, it’s up to you whether to tip in USD or Euros.

However, it’s also important to note that the exchange rate offered when paying in foreign currency may not be as favourable as the official exchange rate. That being said, the one receiving the tip may receive a different amount than you intend to give them. 

Additionally, not all businesses will accept USD. Small shops and local vendors may prefer or only accept euros, so carrying euros or using local currency when tipping in Paris is more advisable, especially when giving tips. 

Hands of man in blue t-shirt counting US Dollar bills or paying in cash on money background. Concept of investment, success, financial prospects or career advancement

What Is A Reasonable Tip In Paris? 

In Paris, there is no specific percentage and amount of appropriate tips to give. Instead, a reasonable tip should be based on the service you received and your satisfaction. 

For example, tipping at Michelin star restaurant France is almost a must, mainly if they serve you with excellent and exceptional service. While most of these restaurants already have a service charge on top of the final bill, it’s a kind gesture to tip their staff with €5 to €10. 

But to help you with the overwhelming tipping custom in France, here are some general guidelines to help you determine how much tip is enough.

Taxi & Uber Drivers

Tipping in Paris taxi drivers is not necessary; however, if you feel like giving a little extra, incredibly if they were accommodating and helpful during your ride, you can do it by rounding up the fare to the nearest euro or adding a small amount as a gesture of appreciation for the service. 

Other instances where you can give a reasonable amount of tips to taxi and Uber drivers are: 

  • If you are coming from an airport and hailed a taxi to your hotel, the taxi driver will most likely help you with your luggage. To show appreciation, you can tip them at least 5% of your meter fare.
  • Uber is one of the most popular and affordable ways to get around Paris, especially if you are a tourist. Do note that there is no option to pay for cash in Uber Paris or through the app, so you cannot let them keep the change for your ride. Instead, you can give them small amounts of at least €3 to €5.
  • Avoid giving tips to taxi drivers who insist on taking you on tour around Paris (going on longer routes) when it’s unnecessary. 
Parisian taxi illuminated sign on the car roof and Les Invalides on the background in Paris, France.

Tour Guides & Operators

While I’ve mentioned throughout the article that tipping in Paris is not mandatory, this is one of the exceptions – tipping tour guides and operators. You are expected to tip them in Paris, but there are no set rules regarding the amount.

  • If you book a private tour or excursion in Paris, you will automatically have an exclusive guide or instructor to accompany you for the duration of the tour. You will be charged a flat fee, meaning a percentage already goes to the guide and operator. However, if the tour guide did an excellent job, you can always leave them a 10% to 20% gratuity.
  • There are tour companies around Paris where you can book over the counter. If so, you can check with them if you can give tips to their guides or not at the end of the tour. Usually, there is also information about tipping in the booking confirmation.
  • When joining group tours, you can suggest to pitch in with the other joiners for your tour guide. At least €2 per person is enough.
Paris, France - Tourists of different nationalities explore the sights of Paris on Segways

Spa & Wellness Places

Like tour guides and operators, you are also expected to tip your staff at Spa and Wellness Places. Whether you’re getting a foot spa, a massage or a simple haircut, it’s courteous to tip them at least 5% of your final bill. 

  • Spa & Wellness places often have a receptionist who handles the admin. This is also where you usually pay your bill. While you can leave the tip with them, I suggest you hand it over to the person you want to give it to.
  • Your tip should also increase accordingly depending on how many services you avail. For example, you get a manicure, pedicure, foot spa and massage all at once, giving €10 is a reasonable amount to offer.
  • A tip of €5 is enough if you only get a massage or a foot spa. Still, although it’s not mandatory, gratuities are expected in these places. 
Portrait of a beautiful woman getting facial care at spa salon.

Hotel Staff

Tipping hotel staff in Paris can vary depending on the specific services you receive and your satisfaction. Another factor to consider is the kind of hotel you are staying in.

Usually, hospitality staff in Paris hotels are already paid enough, unlike in other countries, so they don’t expect tips from guests most of the time. Still, here are a few guidelines you can use when tipping hotel staff in France: 

  • Porters are assigned to assist you with your luggage. Depending on the number of bags you have and how heavy they are, the most reasonable amount to give is €2 per bag. 
  • Make sure to give the bellboy a good tip whenever they assist you with some of your needs for the duration of your stay. They are the ones who will take over your luggage after the hotel porter drops them off at the lobby. At least €3 is enough to show your appreciation.
  • When staying at a five-star or a luxurious hotel, you should consider tipping slightly higher compared to when you are at an ordinary hotel. The reasonable amount would be €5 or more, depending on the person you are giving the tip to.
  • Do you tip housekeeping in France? Indeed. Housekeeping staff are the ones who usually expect tips from guests. Since they clean when guests are outside, you can leave their information on your bedside table and put a note that it’s for them. An amount of €1 to €3 per day is enough.
  • If the hotel’s concierge assists you with restaurant recommendations, reservations or other service, tipping them with €5 to €10 is a reasonable gesture of appreciation.
Summer Travel Vacation and Holiday concept - Beautiful Eiffel tower view at window in resort near Seine river Paris France

Cafes, Restaurants & Bars

You are not expected to tip when dining in Paris, whether in a cafe or a restaurant. Additionally, tipping large amounts of money in Paris can be considered rude and flashy, so if you decide to tip in these establishments, be discreet. 

  • French restaurants and cafes automatically include a service charge on your final bill since it is a law mandate. It will be indicated on the bill with the phrase “service compris”. Nevertheless, if you still want to tip a friendly server, you can leave a small gratuity on the table or the bill envelope of at least €2 or €5.
  • If you visit small local cafes, you may come across a few with small tip jars on their cashier. You can leave some Euro bills or coins here to thank their staff.
  • In touristy restaurants, you might come across waitpersons and servers who will mention that although service charge is included, gratuity is still not. Regardless, you are only obliged to tip them if satisfied with their service.
  • When visiting Michelin-starred restaurants, you are mostly expected to tip your servers and waitpersons at least 5% of the total bill. For example, you are paying €300 for a 6-course meal; if you want to show gratitude to the servers, you can leave them at least €15.
  • You can always leave your tip on the table before leaving. You can also inform the server waiting for you that you’re going it for them. 
Two empty wine glasses and tip in an outdoor Parisian restaurant focus on money

Food Delivery

Getting food delivered to your hotel or accommodation in Paris is easy. They have local food delivery apps but also have Ubereats available. While you are not expected to tip the delivery riders, there are certain instances where you can give them a reasonable amount of gratuity. 

  • If you ordered food delivery during bad weather (heavy rain, winter), it would be a kind gesture if you give them a small tip. At least €3 is enough for your appreciation. 
  • Although there will be options on some food delivery apps where you can tip ahead, always give the tip after you have already received your tip. 
Detail of Deliveroo bike and cargo box parked in city. Deliveroo is a British online food delivery company

Street Vendors & Markets 

Like any other country, you don’t need to tip street and market vendors. It is not a common practice, and there are only a few instances when you might want to do so. Instead, you can ask for discounts respectfully, especially when buying in bulk. 

  • Going around local markets in Paris, you might also encounter street performers. Instead of tipping the vendors, you can give the artists a few Euro coins or small bills to show appreciation. Usually, they have small bags or boxes in front of them.
  • Street markets in Paris have a lot of artists who can create portraits or caricatures of you in a short amount of time. While you would have to pay for these, you can also give them a small tip. You can either round off the amount you must pay or give them €2 as a tip. 
PARIS FRANCE - people buy at street market in Chaillot Paris France. At that farmers market people sell their fresh own high quality products.

Airport Porters

If you need help with your luggage and bags at the airport, it would be easy to find help from Airport Porters. 

They are usually waiting at the entrance and exit of the airport and will assist you in loading your bags into your transportation. It’s a kind gesture to tip them with a few Euros, especially if you have heavy luggage. 

Depending on the number of bags you have, it’s enough to give €2 per bag to the porter in Paris. You can consider giving more if these bags are heavy. 

Woman traveller with travel bag or luggage walking in airport terminal walkway for travel abroad.

Final Thoughts: paris tipping culture

The tipping culture in Paris can be complicated significantly since it differs quite a lot from other countries.

They follow a set of customs and practices, as the city’s tipping etiquette is rooted in appreciating good service rather than being a mandatory obligation. Tipping is not a customary culture in France as a whole.

Nevertheless, while there are general guidelines for what is considered a good tip and when you should be giving it, the final amount should ultimately be determined based on the level of satisfaction and the quality of the service received. 

Additionally, it’s always a kind gesture if you give your tip with a few words to show appreciation, such as Merci (Thank You),  Vous pouvez garder la monnaie (You can keep the change) and C’est pour vous (This is for you). This way, they know that you appreciate their service. 

Author

  • Genevieve Horchler

    Genevieve is a dynamic traveler with a passion for adventure, blending travel marketing acumen with hands-on exploration. From the US to Italy and London, she seeks bold experiences like road trips with friends and romantic getaways in Europe. Notable adventures include a solo 5-month journey across South America, trekking to Machu Picchu, and sailing from Cartagena to Panama City. Specializing in Couples Travel, Europe, The Americas, Hiking, and Experiential Travel, she offers valuable insights for immersive journeys.

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