Tipping in Portugal (Read this First!)

Nadia Nadia

Written by Nadia

Portugal
Tipping in Portugal (Read this First!)

There are no strict rules on who, how much, and when to tip in Portugal. Still, you have to keep in mind some local customs to avoid unnecessary complications. Follow this guide, and you’ll get complete knowledge of the tipping culture in Portugal.

So, do you tip in Portugal? The short answer is no, not really; you don’t have to tip in Portugal. But at the same time, tips are much appreciated, and it’s up to you whether you’re reasonable, polite, and thankful to people who make your vacation pleasant and comfortable.

Porto, Portugal

How much and where to tip in Portugal

What about locals?

The Portuguese traditionally do not tip a certain percentage or anything, but what they may do is leave some coins behind on top of the bill.

What about us travelers?

I prefer to think about it in that way—Portugal is a fantastic place, with great food, service, people, sights, and beaches. It’s still relatively cheap here for you if you’re coming from the US, Germany, France, etc. But it’s a bit pricey for the locals. So it is always appreciated if you do tip because the wait staff is usually at the bottom of the food chain.

Here is the short summary:

WhenHow much
Bar, Coffee shop€0-2
Lunch€0-2
Dining0-10% or round up the bill
Dining at a Michelin star restaurant5-10%
Taxi€0-2
Housekeeper / Room service€1 per day
Hotel porter€1-3
Tour guide€10-15
Spa / Massage service / Barber shop0-5%
Delivery service€0-2
Car rentals€0
Night clubs€0

Tipping in restaurants in Portugal

The first important thing is that tipping is not expected at restaurants in Portugal. Some of them add a 10% service charge to the bill, and you can leave an additional small tip if the service was good.

If you want to leave a tip for wait staff, I would not recommend putting the tip directly on a table and leaving the restaurant. You should pay the wait staff directly or go up to the cash register in the restaurant and pay there. If there is a tip jar, you can put it there. Otherwise, I would go right up to the wait staff and just give it to them at that moment. They’ll appreciate it.

Portuguese word for the "tip" is Gorjeta [ɡorˈʒeta].

To leave a tip with the card, ask the wait-staff about it before they bring the bill. It’s not always possible to tip with a card in Portugal but it’s more common than with tipping in Spain. If the restaurant doesn’t accept tipping by card and you don’t have some extra cash, just let it go. Nobody will be offended.

Useful vocabulary:

  • Tip — Gorjeta
    [ɡorˈʒeta]
  • Can I have the bill, please? — A conta, por favor
    [a 'konta, poɾ fa'voɾ]
  • A coffee please — Um café, por favor
    [um ka'fɛ, poɾ fa'voɾ]

Tipping at bars and coffee shops in Portugal

Tipping at bars and coffee shops in Portugal

If you drink a coffee (it is called bica), wine or beer, order some snacks, have breakfast or lunch – you are not expected to tip at all.

But if you still want to leave a tip, 1-2 euros or rounding up would be appropriate. Unlike giving tips in Italy, you should not leave small coins of 10-20 cents as a tip here, it would be insulting to some of the staff.

Tipping taxi drivers in Portugal

Tipping in taxi in Portugal

The concept is the same as with the restaurants. Leaving a tip is not expected in a Portuguese taxi. But you can give a taxi driver €1-2 (or whatever you want to give), and only if you’re satisfied with the service.

Being satisfied with the taxi service to me means a couple of different things:

  • if I have luggage, do they help me (although most of them usually do)
  • are they nice
  • do they choose a convenient route

Want to pay less for a taxi in Portugal? Try these mobile apps:

Tipping in hotels in Portugal

Tipping in hotels in Portugal

In a hotel, you are usually taken care of 24/7, with various services to make your stay comfortable and pleasant. Probably, it is the only place where commonly accepted rules of tipping apply. Therefore, leaving a tip in the hotel is welcome. 

How much to leave? It depends on the star rating of the hotel as well as the service. For a 3-4 star hotel you can follow these best practices: 

  • Porters ~€1 per bag
  • Room service / Housekeeper €1-2 per day (leave in the room)
  • Concierge, €5-10 (only for exceptional service)
  • Doorman €1-2 (if they help you with luggage)

Tipping at Spa centers in Portugal

Spa-center is the place where you are expected to get a relaxed and pleasant stay, surrounded with care and attention. Therefore, you may leave some extra 5-10%, but again, it’s only up to you.

Tipping tour guides in Portugal

Tour guides provide an important service, giving travelers a glimpse into the history and culture of a new place. In Lisbon, Porto and other places, tour guides are generally not tipped, as their pay is included in the tour price. However, if you feel that your tour guide went above and beyond or provided an extra value, it is considered to leave a tip of €10-15. For example, if your tour guide took you to an insider’s spot that was not on the original excursion itinerary, leaving a tip is fair enough.

If you go with the group, consider talking to group members before expressing your gratitude—there might be other people to join you, so you can tip as a group.

Tipping at nightclubs in Portugal

First, it is not customary to tip the staff members who work at the club, such as the bartenders or door staff. Second, if you plan to spend time in a VIP area, it is common to tip the host or hostess to take care of you. Finally, it is always appreciated if you leave a small tip for the DJ at the night’s end.

Tipping at other places in Portugal

You’re probably asking yourself if there are any other places where you can give tips. You’re probably thinking, “What about the bartender? What about the the airport staff?” etc.

The answer is no. The places mentioned in this article are where tips are more commonly given, and these are also places where I would give tips.

Frequent questions about tipping rules in Portugal

Can I tip in US dollars in Portugal?

No, tipping with the US dollar is very annoying. Don’t do that, please. This rule also applies to all European countries.

Tipping in Lisbon, Porto, Azores and Madeira. Is there any difference?

No, absolutely not. The tipping culture is the same across Portugal state, even in the most remote places.

Tipping for other services in Portugal, what are the rules?

Tipping etiquette in Portugal is very simple — extra gratuity is never required, so don’t feel pressured by any means.

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