Ah, tipping in Ireland. A topic that causes a lot of confusion for those planning a trip to Ireland.
Why the confusion? Personally, I blame it on travel blogs that claim that you HAVE to tip for everything from a pint in a pub to an organised tour. This is nonsense.
Tipping in Ireland, for the most part (there are exceptions – see below!) is completely optional and entirely at your discretion – don’t be fooled into believing that you need to tip for everything and anything.
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Tipping in Ireland
Many travel blogs spread misinformation about tipping in Ireland, stating that you absolutely have to tip everyone from the bartender to the person that cleans your hotel room.
This isn’t true. In Ireland, tipping isn’t custom. Is it appreciated? Absolutely! And it definitely isn’t considered rude not to tip. However, there isn’t a tipping culture in Ireland like there is in the USA and Canada.
When you should leave a tip in Ireland
So, it’s pretty standard to leave between a 10 and 15% tip in places where you’ve had a meal (e.g. restaurants, pubs and cafes). Now, there are a few situations where leaving a tip in Ireland isn’t necessary.
The first situation is if the service was sh*te. For the most part, I find the service in Ireland, especially in places that are used to tourists and know that they’re guaranteed a tip if they’re friendly and efficient, pretty good.
However, I regularly eat in places where the service is shocking. In this situation, I won’t leave any form of a tip. Will the person serving being annoyed? Probably! But you’re adding a tip for the service. If it’s crap, don’t pay!
The second situation where you don’t need to tip is if it’s already included in the bill in the form of a service charge. When the bill arrives, scan it for an added service charge. If there’s one there, there’s no need to add an additional tip.
How much to tip
Personally, I tip 10 % if the service is acceptable. If it’s really good, I’ll leave 15%. Now, let’s say you’re visiting a restaurant with a large group of people (say 10+).
It’s generally the norm that a service charge (usually around 20%) is automatically popped onto your bill as standard. If it hasn’t been added, add 20% (or more, if the service was excellent).
Do you need to tip in pubs?
On my first trip to New York many moons ago, I was surprised to find that it was the norm to tip a barman in the pub that we drank in every time he opened a bottle of beer and passed it to me. Mad stuff altogether!
In Ireland, it absolutely isn’t the norm to tip the person that’s serving you a drink. They won’t expect it so don’t stress about it. Now,
There are exceptions
There are a couple of exceptions for tipping in pubs in Ireland. The first, is if you’ve had a meal and you received exceptional service. Should you tip? Absolutely! 10% is the norm but anything up to 20% if it was VERY good will be more than appreciated.
Another exception is if you’re receiving table service. For example, if there’s a group of you sitting around a table having a chat and a someone working in the bar asks if you’d like some drinks brought over, it’s the norm to tip. How much you give is entirely up to you, but €2 is more than enough each time.
Should I tip taxi drivers?
Personally, I never tip taxi drivers. Taxis in Ireland (especially in Dublin!) are already insanely expensive. There’s absolutely no need to add a tip to the final cost of the journey.
Now, if you had a positive experience with the driver and you want to tip, you absolutely can. They’ll be more than happy to accept it. Many people, when paying in cash, will leave it to the nearest Euro.
Do you tip hotel staff in Ireland?
Again, this is another area that causes confusion. It absolutely isn’t expected that you tip hotel staff in Ireland. It isn’t the norm and you’re not required to do so.
The only time when I’d tip hotel staff is if I’ve had my bags carried up to my room for me. In that instance, I’d give the person who brought the bags €2 if I had it.
Is tipping in Dublin different to tipping in Northern Ireland?
This is a slightly bizarre question that tends to get asked a lot for some reason. ‘Dublin tipping’ isn’t a thing – the culture around tipping in Ireland is the same in Dublin City as it is on the Antrim coast.
Can I use a credit card to tip?
Yes, in most places, anyway! Just keep in mind that if you step off the beaten track, you may end up in a pub or restaurant that doesn’t take card.
This definitely isn’t the norm – most places accept card payments, but some still don’t. It’s always best to check in advance if you’re unsure.
Have another Ireland tipping question?
If you’re still confused, feel free to pop a question into the comments section below and we’ll try to help.