Tipping in Ireland: Where, When and How Much

Are you planning a trip to the Emerald Isle and are wondering what the culture is when it comes to tipping in Ireland?

Then you are in the right place.

There’s nothing worse that finishing a meal in a new country and then having a silent battle as to whether you need to leave a tip or not.

When it comes to answering do you tip in Ireland, there are a few things to remember. Firstly, customary tipping in Ireland is discretionary, it is not mandatory.

The tipping culture in Ireland is not the same as in the US and I’ll explain why further down.

There are instances where you can tip and other instances where you do not.

In this guide to tipping in Ireland, you’re going to learn:

  • Is tipping expected in Ireland?
  • If so, in what situations would you leave a tip?
  • How to tip in Ireland and amounts to leave.

The most important thing to remember is it is your discretion whether you leave a tip or not and how much, but with these tips, you will be well versed on the tipping culture and expectations in Ireland.

Introduction to Tipping in Ireland

When I was growing up in Dublin, tipping was not a common occurrence. The first time I came across the concept of tipping was on my first holiday abroad when paying for a meal.

That said, tipping in Ireland has become more common since then, and there are certain circumstances where I always tip in Ireland and some situations where I never tip.

But, for those visiting Ireland for the first time, especially those from the US, knowing whether you tip in Ireland or not can be a concern.

A picture of a restaurant bill plate, with a receipt tagged under the holder and some euro coins sitting on top of the receipt, perhaps being left as a tip.

Overview on Tipping Etiquette in Ireland

There are no hard and fast rules but generally speaking:

  • Tipping is discretionary in Ireland, never mandatory.
  • Tipping is customary in Ireland mainly for sit-down meals, but you can tip for other services.
  • The general expectation is that you leave 10% of your bill (more on this later).
  • For larger groups, be careful of service charges (I’ll explain this further down in the section about tipping at restaurants in Ireland).
  • Never tip for poor service or rude staff.

Let’s first address the differences between tipping in Ireland compared to the US and other countries.

Tipping in Ireland vs Tipping in the US

The main difference in tipping cultures between Ireland and the US, for example, is that people in Ireland earn a higher minimum hourly wage than their US counterparts.

The minimum hourly wage in Ireland is €12.70 per hour (roughly $13.67 per hour), whereas the minimum federal hourly wage in the US is $7.25 per hour (roughly equivalent to €6.73 per hour).

Waiters and servers in the US rely on tips to supplement their wages to make their living wage, while those in Ireland do not, earning almost double the US minimum wage.

This is part of the reason why tipping is neither mandatory nor expected in Ireland.

Tipping in Ireland vs Tipping in Other Countries

Compared to other countries in Europe, Ireland works similarly. In other continental European countries, tipping is not expected nor mandatory, but appreciated all the same.

For example, in France, tipping is not expected. The amount on your bill is all you are expected to pay. Like employees in Ireland, French workers are paid a living wage with holidays and benefits. It is also common for people to leave a smaller amount for a tip than you might be used to, €2-3 is the norm for meals. Anything more can be seen as being rude.

Tipping in Spain is also not expected, and in fact, not many Spanish leave substantial tips, if at all. It is mainly tourists who tip in Spain. The same goes for Portugal.

Understanding Tipping Culture in Ireland

As already mentioned, tips and gratuities in Ireland are not mandatory and are always at the discretion of the customer.

There are some situations where tipping is more common, which include:

  • Restaurants.
  • Cafes.
  • Taxis.
  • Private Transport.
  • Tour Guides.
  • Hotel Staff.
  • Food Delivery.
  • Hairdresser and Spa Centres.

In most cases, up to 10% is common or rounding up your bill. The exact amount is up to you and below you’ll find more guidelines for each of the situations listed above.

I’ve also created this helpful infographic as a guide. You can pin this to Pinterest for future reference.

An infographic which details the etiquette on tipping in Ireland. It includes a section on overview, where to tip, how much to tip and how to tip in Ireland. The infographic is on a beige background with alternating green and orange boxes with either black or white text. The infographic was created by Travel Around Ireland as a guide to tipping in Ireland for travelers.

Guidelines for Leaving Tips in Ireland

In this section, you will find tips and tricks for what to do and what not to do when it comes to leaving tips in Ireland in various settings.

For each instance, I share with you what I do while in Ireland and have done for the last 10 years or more. You don’t have to follow them to the letter, but they will give you a guide to work with.

For those settings where you can tip, I’ll also give a guideline as to how much to tip in Ireland in these circumstances.

I’ve also put together a handy graphic that you can either download or pin to Pinterest for future reference.

This one page guide on a green background contains a table which has one column indicating when you DO tip in Ireland and one column indicating when you DO NOT tip in Ireland. This guide was created by Travel Around Ireland as a guide to tipping in Ireland, when to tip and when not to tip.

Tipping in Ireland: Restaurants

One of the places where tipping is most common is in restaurants across Ireland. This includes sit-down meals in pubs and bars in Ireland.

If you have enjoyed your meal, and had good service and a friendly waiter, then leaving a tip in a restaurant in Ireland is common practice and will be appreciated.

But how much do you tip a waiter in Ireland?

Tips in Irish restaurants are usually around 10% of the bill amount.

What I do: If our bill in a restaurant is €50, I will leave between 5 and 10 euro. If our bill is closer to €100, I will leave between 10 and 15 euro.

I have two warnings for you regarding tips in restaurants.

Firstly, if you are in a large group of 6-8 or more people, be aware that some restaurants will add a service charge to the bill which acts as a tip. This is not to be confused with VAT (Value Added Tax).

If you see a service charge, normally 15-20% of the bill, you do not need to leave a tip. However, if a service charge has not been added to the bill, up to 20% for large groups is common practice.

Secondly, you are under no obligation to leave any tip if:

  • The service has been poor.
  • Your food was not good.
  • Staff have been rude to you.

Understanding Restaurant Bills in Ireland

Unlike the US, the bill you receive at your table for a meal in Ireland is the final price which incorporates tax (and service charge if it applies).

This is different from the US where your bill may or may not include the tax in the bill.

Your bill for a meal will always show the base total and the VAT (tax) which together make up the total amount of the bill. You don’t get a bill for your meals and then have to add tax on top.

A meal bill in Ireland showing the final amount and detailing how much is VAT (tax).

However, as mentioned, for larger groups, there may be a third amount on the bill that contributes to the total, which is a service charge, typically added for groups of 6-8 or more.

If a service charge has been added, you are under no obligation to leave an additional tip on top of what you are paying. If you wish to, you can, but it is discretionary.

Top tip: always check your bill to see if a service charge has been added. It should be clear on menus if a service charge is added to bills and under what circumstances.

Tipping in Ireland: Cafés

When it comes to tipping in cafés in Ireland, whether you tip or not depends.

Firstly, whether there is a tips jar at the checkout or whether there is table service. Many cafés in Ireland do not offer table service, so if there is no tips jar or table service, leaving one is not expected.

If there is a tips jar at the checkout, then leaving a couple of euros is appreciated but not common practice. Similarly, with table service, a couple of euros will be appreciated.

What I do: If there is a tips jar or table service, I will leave between 1 and 2 euro, typically the coin change I receive, unless our bill is over 20, in which case I leave between 2 and 4 euros.

A white plate on a wicker table with a bill and some loose change on the plate, which may be left as a tip.

Tipping in Ireland: Pubs and Bars

Have you asked yourself, do you tip in Ireland pubs? Well, typically the answer is no believe it or not, unless there is table service, or you are having a sit-down meal.

Pubs and bars are more casual scenarios when it comes to tipping in Ireland.

There are generally three rules to remember when it comes to tipping in pubs in Ireland.

  1. You do not tip for every drink you order.
  2. If you are receiving table service, or are ordering a large round of drinks, leaving a couple of euros is nice but not expected.
  3. If you are having a meal, the 10-20% rule for tipping for meals in Ireland applies.

Now, if you are ordering at the bar, or paying a tab (which may be more common down the country), you can leave a tip for the barman. There are two ways to do this.

What I do:

  • Tell him to keep the change, depending on how much it is.
  • Or say to the barman “And one for yourself” when ordering your drinks. This implies you will buy him a pint or give him the price of one. This is generally how I tip barmen when paying for a round of drinks or my tab but only in local pubs, never in the likes of Temple Bar where a pint can cost upwards of €9!
A picture of the bar inside The Brazen Head with the beer taps visible over the bar.

Tipping in Ireland: Hotels

When to tip at hotels can be a tricky one to figure out. Not many Irish people tip in hotels unless it is for a meal.

You also don’t generally tip the front-of-house staff at reception.

Things you may tip for in hotels in Ireland are room service, porters who help with bags, or housekeeping staff (either daily or at the end of your stay).

How much do I tip for room service? €2 is the norm for room service.

Porters bringing your bags to your room could expect €2 and housekeeping could be €1-2 per night.

What I do: I leave 10% of my food bill for any meal I have in hotels, and generally pay €2 to porters or for room service. I don’t generally leave tips for housekeeping in hotels in Ireland.

A picture of a hotel room with a housekeeper in the background smoothing out pillows and in the foreground are two folded white towels with a pink flower on top. One towel has yellow stripes and the other has orange stripes.

Tipping in Ireland: Taxis

Tipping taxi drivers in Ireland is very much up to the occupants of the taxi.

Personally, even though taxis are incredibly expensive in Ireland, I always tip taxi drivers, unless they have been rude or tried to take the long route to where I am going (they don’t always know I know Dublin like the back of my hand).

Generally, rounding up your fare is a nice gesture.

What I do: I will round up my fare to the nearest €5 or €10. For example, if my fare is €12, I will give the driver €15 and tell him to keep the change, or give him €20 and tell him to just give me €5 in change. Similarly, if my fare is €17, I will give him €20 and tell him to keep the change. You catch my drift.

A picture of two Dublin taxis stopped on St Stephen's Green on a wet day in the city.
Dublin taxis.

Tipping in Ireland: Private Transport

Tipping for private transport drivers can include private car drivers, limousine drivers, or private tour bus drivers.

The amount you may want to tip is dependent on how long your trip is, how many people are in your group or tour, and whether they have been a good driver.

Now, I have not had to tip a private transport driver, but this is what I would do:

  • For a day trip tour driver on a bus with 20 or more passengers, I would personally tip them between €10 and €20 for my family of three. This would depend on the length of the tour and other factors.
  • For a private car driver, I would tip 10-15% of the total tour cost. So, if our private driver cost us €250 for a private tour trip, I would tip between €25 and €37.50.

Whether this is right or not, I do not know but this is what I could do.

I would not tip per day and certainly not at a rate of €10 per person per day as I have seen some other articles suggest. This just adds a ridiculous amount to an already expensive travel cost.

A picture of a white gloved hand opening a car door. The car is black and the person with the gloved hand is wearing a black suit jacket.

Tipping in Ireland: Tour Guides

I have had questions regarding tipping tour guides in Ireland.

I tip what I feel is the right amount for the tour, based on how good it was, how long it lasted, and whether it was enjoyable.

There are some in the industry that say 10% is a minimum guideline but for multi-day tours, again, this adds extra cost to the tour which I feel is unnecessary.

For multi-day tours, a few euros at the end of each day should be enough. Or you could choose to wait until the final day.

For tours lasting a few hours, tip what you feel is right and only if you have enjoyed the tour.

What I do: for a tour lasting a few hours in Dublin, such as a Dublin food tour, if we have enjoyed it and the tour was good, I will tip between €5 and €10 depending on our group’s size.

Tour guide tipping in Dublin is never mandatory, much like the rest of tipping etiquette in Ireland, and you should only tip and leave what you feel is right.

Cath Jordan, author of Travel Around Ireland, at the Guinness Storehouse at the gateway made from barrels with words such as heat, roar and smells on them.
Me at the Guinness Storehouse during a private walking tour of Dublin.

Tipping in Ireland: Hairdressers and Spa Staff

Tipping hairdressers is more common nowadays than when I was growing up and how much you tip is up to you.

A few euros for a wash, cut and blow dry are sufficient, and perhaps a bit more for a colour and style. It depends on how long the hairdresser is working on your hair and whether you like the outcome. Never tip if you do not get the style or colour you asked for.

As for spas, whether you tip is at your discretion as is the amount.

What I do: in a spa centre, I will tip up to €10 depending on the treatments and length of time I’ve been there.

A picture of a spa treatment table with hot stones along one side, and rolled up towels at the head of the table. In the background are lit candles on a chest of drawers.

Tipping in Ireland: Food Delivery

Tipping food delivery drivers is becoming more common but still not done as often as tipping in restaurants.

What I do: Whenever my sisters and I order our takeaway on my first night back in Ireland, we typically give the driver between €2 and €4 depending on the size and cost of our order.

It is not expected but always appreciated.

Tipping in Ireland: Public Transport

Public transport is one situation in Ireland where you never tip.

Normally, public transport drivers in Ireland do not handle money on buses, trams, or trains, and hence, leaving a tip is not practiced.

A picture of a row of Dublin buses stopped at traffic lights on College Green with an Luas track beside them.
Public transport buses in Dublin.

The How-To of Tipping in Ireland and How Much to Tip

In this section, you will find some guidelines on how to tip in Ireland and a reminder of how much to leave.

How to indicate you are leaving a tip

Aside from leaving change in a tips jar in a café, you can use one of the following methods to indicate your intention to leave a tip:

  1. Tell the waiter/server/driver to keep the change as you pay them.
  2. Ask them if you can add a tip when paying by card.
  3. As a waiter or server comes to bring you your change, you can tell them to keep the change or tell them “That’s ok, thanks”.
  4. As a taxi man is giving you your change, you can either tell him to keep the change or to just give you €5 back if you intend to leave him the difference. For example, your fare is €12 but you give him a €20 note and want to round up your fare.
A picture of a small silver plate on a table that has a white table cloth. The silver plate has a food bill and on top of the bill is a fifty euro note and a fifty cent coin.

Cash vs Credit Card

So, how do you tip in Dublin or Ireland as a whole?

You can tip using cash, or in some instances, a credit card if that is your preferred method of payment.

In some cases, you may have the option to add a tip to your bill when the credit card machine comes. If it is not apparent, you can ask your waiter or server if you can add a tip using this method.

However, in a lot of cases, especially outside of Dublin, this option may not be available.

Cash is always my preferred method for leaving a tip in Ireland, even if I am paying my bill by card.

Why? Because there is a better chance that my waiter or server will receive it at the end of the night rather than waiting for it to be given out later.

Top Tip: Try and use cash for tips in Ireland.

General tipping rates

Although they have been laid out already, here is a reminder of the general tipping rates for Ireland for various services and situations. You can pin this to Pinterest for future reference.

A table on a page with a beige background which has one column indicating the activity where you would tip in Ireland, and the other column indicates the amount to tip. This guide was created by Travel Around Ireland as a guide to how much to tip in Ireland.

Tipping etiquette for large groups

Remember, that for large groups, the tip percentage is generally expected to increase, as much as double, to account for the extra work a single or set of servers or waiters have.

In restaurants, watch out for added service charges on your bill as this is already a tip and you do not need to leave an additional tip if a service charge has already been added to your bill.

Can you tip in dollars in Ireland?

I have seen this being asked several times, can you tip with dollars in Ireland? The answer is no.

Whether you are in the Republic of Ireland or Northern Ireland, you must ensure that you leave tips in the local currency, which are:

  • Euros in the Republic of Ireland, and
  • British Pounds in Northern Ireland.

Tipping in dollars will come across as rude and potentially insulting and leaves the waiter/server/driver with a currency that is more hassle to change into local currency than it is worth.

Ensure you carry some local currency to leave as a tip and never tip in dollars in Ireland.

Never tip in dollars in Ireland.

Tipping in Northern Ireland vs Dublin and Other Regional Variations

Some visitors to Ireland wonder whether tipping in Northern Ireland is the same as in the Republic (read here about the differences between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland in case you are confused).

I can tell you that there is no difference in the tipping culture between Belfast, Dublin, Kilkenny, Cork, or anywhere else in the Emerald Isle for that matter. Tipping is the same across the entire island.

Frequently Asked Questions About Tipping in Ireland

In this section, I am addressing common questions and misconceptions about tipping etiquette in Ireland with short answers.

If you have a burning question that hasn’t been included, feel free to reach out to me and I’ll answer your question and add it to this list.

Wrapping Up – Tipping in Ireland

Tipping in Ireland is becoming more common than during my youth, and although it is not mandatory or expected, for good food and/or service, it is customary to leave a tip.

Restaurants and sit-down pub meals are the most common situations where tipping occurs in Ireland.

Tipping taxi drivers is good manners, as is tipping tour guides who have done a stellar job.

Tipping private drivers or tour bus drivers is discretionary and you should never feel pressured to leave a substantial tip in this instance, particularly if the initial cost is high.

Overall, tipping is not expected like it is in the US and follows a similar path as tipping in Europe.

It is up to you, but I usually tip for good food, great service, and a lovely chat with taxi drivers around Dublin.

Other articles with travel tips for visiting Ireland

A picture of a food bill and money on a silver plate on a table with a white table cloth and text overlay in a box saying all you need to know about tipping in Ireland.
A picture of some money sitting on top of a paper receipt and text overlay across the middle saying your guide to tipping in Ireland,.
A close-up picture of a two euro coin sitting on another euro coin and text overlay saying do you tip in Ireland?.
by Cath Jordan
Cath is an Irish expat and the founder of Travel Around Ireland. She and her husband both come from Dublin, where the rest of their family remains. They regularly return to the Emerald Isle to explore the country with their son as well as to visit family. Through Travel Around Ireland, Cath shares her local expertise and knowledge with travellers and visitors to Ireland. Find out more about Cath here.

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