Why is It Rude To Tip in Europe?

Tipping in Europe is not the same as tipping in America. Rather than being welcomed, in many European countries tipping is rude and offensive. 

But, why is it rude, exactly? Read on below and find out!

Is it Rude to Tip in Europe?

In many European countries, service workers are well-paid (unlike many of their American counterparts), hence tipping isn’t expected or required as it is on the other side of the pond (back in the states). Tipping in certain European countries is actually offensive and seen as rude.

How Rude Is it?


Tipping in Europe rates 5 out of 10 on the rude meter. When you tip someone that is well-paid, working in a service position, you risk putting that person in an awkward state of mind (making them wonder if you think you are better than them, or that they “need” your money).

Many European workers simply look at tips as bonuses, for which they are either thankful or offended.

However, in other European countries where the wait staff isn’t as well-paid, tips are much more appreciated (if not expected, or included in the bill as a gratuity). 

Why is it Rude?

Tipping is rude in a place where the staff is paid well, and there is no space on the bill for gratuities, or otherwise any mention of tips being expected by the staff. To tip, someone that is paid more than fair is to many, very offensive indeed.

Why is it Not Rude?

Tippin in Europe is not always seen as rude at all. In fact, there are many European nations where the workers are underpaid by Western standards. In these countries, tips are most often more than welcomed and appreciated by the workers.

Other Options to Do Instead

If you aren’t sure whether you should tip or not, or you know that tipping is rude, a few other options do to instead include:

  • Ask whether you can tip or not
  • Leave a tip for the entire crew
  • Thank the workers for the excellent service
  • Leave a 5-star review online

Common Questions

What countries is it super rude to tip?

Japan, China, Vietnam, South Korea, and other Asian nations find it extremely rude to tip. The price of a service is the price of a service, and that is the end of the discussion. Tipping is looked at an as rude and unwanted charity. 

Is it rude to tip in France?

Tipping in France is not something that is required or even expected by the service staff. However, if you do tip it isn’t normally looked at as being rude. Rather, tipping in France is generally appreciated by the workers because it isn’t expected.

Is it rude to tip in Germany?

Tipping in Germany is somewhat similar to tipping in France, in the sense that it is not generally seen as rude by the staff. However, the main difference is that more Germans tend to tip than French people. That’s because it is customary to tip in Germany, even though, as in France, it is not mandatory like in the United States.