Picture it, you're enjoying your meal en terrasse at that charming Parisian café you've been hoping to visit. Suddenly, the bill appears and, uh oh, now what?! To tip or not to tip - that is the question... P'Niche is here with answers for not just meals, but other areas as well.
As a general rule, France is not a tip forward country. There is never an obligation to tip. That said, it is becoming more and more a common practice, and certainly appreciated when offered. Let's get into it!
Let's work our way through a hypothetical (and chronological) trip to Paris.
Ok, you've landed at the airport and are in a taxi getting ushered to Paris proper.
While a tip-is not required, rounding up the fare is a lovely gesture, as are a few extra euros if the driver has gone above and beyond and helped you with your luggage, etc.
At the hotel, if the porter helps you with your bags, a 1 – 2€ tip is very appreciated. A few extra euros would be especially kind if you have traveled with several pieces or heavier pieces of luggage.
It a doorman helps you with a service (for example, getting a taxi, etc.), again, a 1 – 2€ tip would be quite welcomed by them.
Room Service should be tipped 15% of the total bill (but do ensure to was not included in the receipt before offering).
If a concierge has assisted you with something, up to 5€ would be appropriate, with a larger tip left at the end of your stay, if they have gone above and beyond in service.
When ordering in a café, the custom is to round up to the next nearest euro. Some choose to leave an extra euro as well, with no obligation to do so.
At bars, one would likely round up the cost of a drink as an offering. That said, if you find yourself at a higher echelon establishment, 5% of your total bill would be an appropriate gesture.
At restaurants, tips are typically included in your total, and indicated as "service compris" on the bill.
If the meal and service were exceptional, you could also add as much as 5 - 15% if desired (not obligatory).
A P'Niche note, tips must be in cash form, or else your server is not likely to see or receive your generous offer.
Finding toilettes in Paris is sometimes (not always) a bit of a challenge. There is a fantastic app (available for $1) which helps you locate facilities all over Paris.
That said, in Paris, it is (typically) not free free to pee pee.
You should plan to have several euro coins with you at all times, should you need to find and use some restroom facilities.
You might wish to account for these extra coins in your budgeting and planning.
If you are using a rest room that has an attendant working, it would be a common courtesy to also leave 1 – 2€.
The amount of foot traffic in facilities is heavy. The attendant works diligently to ensure that the restroom is cleaned, available, and stocked for your use.
In Paris, you will consider tipping your hairdressers, aestheticians, manicurists, massage therapists, etc.
You'll likely tip between 5 and 10% of the total bill of the services you received, individually, to each person who assisted you. Tips should be cash, so you will wish to ensure you have this set aside before your appointments.
Now that you are dressed and ready to hit the town, if you are attending a show where an usher is working, it is customary to offer a 1€ or 2€ coin.
If you have left items at the coat check, it is appreciated that you would leave 1€ or 2€ per coat and/or additional item (for instance, an umbrella, briefcase, etc.) that you had checked during the performance.
Now that you are getting out and about exploring Paris, if you take a tour with a guide or class with an instructor or tutor, it would be customary and appreciated to tip around 10% of the total bill.
Again, this tip would be offered in cash to ensure that it goes to the appropriate party.
Sadly, it looks like your fun trip to Paris is coming to an end (well, until your next trip that is!)
If you were fortunate enough to stay at a hotel, or even an apartment rental, that offered daily housekeeping services, it would be appropriate to leave €2 to €4 per night for each person staying in the room.
For example, if you and a partner stayed for 5 nights, that would be (higher side) €4 times 2 people (€8) times 5 nights... €40.
Again, tips to your housekeeping service will be marked clearly and offered in cash. Your generosity will be appreciated!
Again, you should feel no need to tip, as under normal circumstances, it is not obligatory. These are merely suggestions or guidelines for the traveler who does wish to tip. What do you think, P'Nichers, are you ready to take on Paris tip-wise? Let us know in the comments à bientôt!