HOW TO TIP IN SLOVAKIA
In the U.S. tipping is customary and expected for everything from lackluster to outstanding service. It is an etiquette that is ingrained in all trades, from wait staff at restaurants to our baristas, valets, cab drivers, porters, and many more trades. The question `when?` or `how much?` can leave some travelers confused, as the practice varies.
This guide attempts to cover most situations that you, as a tourist, will encounter. Hopefully using these `tips` will provide a smooth experience when interacting with locals in restaurants, bars, hotels, tour operators, and taxis.
It is not mandatory to tip in Slovakia, it is even normal not to tip, but tipping a worker in the service industry is always a nice gesture. The pre-euro tradition in Slovakia was to simply round up, but as the tipping culture in Europe makes its way west it is becoming more and more popular to tip at least 10% when you received great service. You can leave whatever you want there are no clear standards here for tipping in Slovakia.
The currency of Slovakia is the Euro (EUR, €). You will need to exchange your currency for the Euro, which can be done upon arrival at the airport currency exchange desks of banks and specialized stores called Foreign Exchange Bureaus. ATMs can be easily found in big cities and larger towns.
A VAT percentage is a service fee for the state used in Western Europe and American countries, you are obliged to pay the service fee. The fee will be automatically included in your bill and can range from 12-15%.
The restaurant tipping etiquette in Slovakia can be a little confusing, first of all, you are not required to leave a tip, there will be no type of service charge found on your bill, rounding up the bill to leave a few euros for the waitstaff is a common practice. Tipping is at your discretion, locals commonly round up the bill to the nearest euro, to leave a tip. However, in the bigger cities such as Bratislava leaving a tip of 5-10% for good service is becoming more common.
A rule of thumb in Slovakia’s restaurant industry is to not say “Thank You” (Dakujem) when you hand the waitstaff your money for the bill. This indicates for them to keep the change as a tip.
Hotel Staff: Who should I tip?
In Slovakia’s hotels, it is a nice gesture to tip the hotel staff, 1-2 euros per bag for the porter/bellhop if they help you with your bags. It is not necessary to leave the housekeeper or concierge a tip, but if you wish to a few euros per day for housekeeping is sufficient, and if the concierge helped you book an event or arrange a tour a few euros will also be sufficient.Taxi Drivers: Should I tip?
Tipping taxi drivers in Slovakia isn’t a common practice, you don’t need to tip, but leaving a few euros or rounding up your fare is a nice gesture. Always remember when travelling abroad that it is good practice to agree on a final fare before the cab driver begins driving.Tour Guides: Is a tip required?
Tipping your tour guide is not a requirement but tips are always appreciated in this industry. If you decide to leave your tour guide a tip then 3-5 euros per person per day should be sufficient. Miscellaneous: other services
If you plan on visiting a salon, or spa in Slovakia you don’t have to tip the staff but it is always appreciated if you enjoyed the service. Leaving a tip of 5-10% would be considered a good tip. .Final Thoughts:
Remember that it is perfectly okay to abstain, especially if you are not happy with the service provided. Unlike in the U.S., waiters are paid a living wage, and the expectations for tipping are lower in Slovakia than in America. This is also true for hotel staff, though if you encounter a problem with the service within the hotel, we highly recommend speaking with the manager.
When paying for services in cash (which we generally recommend for services other than your hotel) remember to take your receipt. This is important for two reasons; If you leave a tip on a credit card, the person providing the service may not always get it, and if there is a discrepancy it is important to have your receipt to settle it with the manager of the establishment and to prove that you paid for the service.