How much tip should I give in Budapest Hungary?
The average official payment of waiters and waitresses is quite low, so they mainly live from tips. In 2011, the average Hungarian net wage was HUF 141,000 per month, which means approx. HUF 900 per hour (roughly 3 euros, GBP 2.3 and USD 3.7).
Nevertheless, the average tipping is only 10%. If you go over that, it means true appreciation for the service provided by the hotel personnel, restaurant staff, taxi drivers.
Our Budapest tipping guide is descriptive only (not prescriptive), so if your tipping philosophy is different from the one which is customary in Hungary, nobody will force you to tip (unless a 10% service charge is automatically included in your restaurant bill – please check the menus for that). We are aware that in some countries tipping is non-existent. Hungarian tipping is in line with the European trends with its 10%.
Tipping situations in Budapest
Tipping in Budapest is customary in the following situations:
- waiters and waitresses in Budapest restaurants (on average 10%)
- bar attendants (approx. 5-10%)
- hotel staff (from cleaners to bellboys – approx. HUF 200-1000) at hotels in Budapest: many hotel guests leave a small daily tip for the cleaner every day (HUF 100-200) rather than a bigger sum at the end of their hotel stay in order to make sure that it is really the cleaner that gets the tip
- Budapest taxi drivers (tips are about 10% of the taxi fare, or rounding up the sum),
- Gypsy musicians ‘playing in your ear’ in restaurants (tips range from HUF 200-1000)
- petrol station attendants (HUF 100 – 200 normally, but if the windscreen has also been cleaned, the tips might be more)
- public toilet attendants (WC – about HUF 100-200)
Now, you may be very surprised, but due to old communist non-competition, it is still customary to tip doctors, dentists, hospital staff. There are initiatives to tackle this deep-rooted tradition, but tipping health care people in Hungary is still prevalent. As a tourist you may not experience this old fashioned tipping tradition, but don’t be surprised if you hear such stories. They are not legends.