Tipping in Greece – the Complete Guide [2024]

Tipping in Greece – the Complete Guide [2024]

Tipping culture is different in each country and it can be stressful not knowing what is expected, so here’s a complete Greek tipping guide for all everyday situations. This includes tipping in cafés, restaurants, tavernas, hotels, on tours, sailing excursions, and with taxi drivers, home delivery drivers, and more. 

Tipping customs and being polite in Greece

Tipping is a universal gesture of showing appreciation and gratitude or adhering to a social norm. As such, it is welcomed and practiced all around the world.

1 Euro coin left as a tip with a Receipt for 3 euros and a cup of coffee in a Greek cafe
1 Euro coin left as a tip with a Receipt for 3 euros and a cup of coffee in a Greek cafe

However, local customs of how to tip, whom, and what for differ from culture, country, and continent.

In the US or Canada, tipping is not only typically expected, it is codified too. In European countries, including Greece, tipping is not expected and you are certainly not obliged to tip.

In fact, tipping in Greece isn’t even required when there’s no service fee included in the bill, as Greeks know that service workers are paid and insured, regardless of any tip.

Nevertheless, tipping in Greece is quite customary in certain situations, and rounding the bill up or leaving 10-15% as a token of appreciation is customary.

Photo of a waiter carrying drinks on his shoulder in a busy cafe in Corfu, Greece
Waiter carrying drinks on his shoulder in a busy cafe in Corfu, Greece

Tipping in Greece involves leaving a small and appropriate amount of cash directly with the person providing a great service. It’s not expected by that person, and no one will feel underappreciated if a tip isn’t provided.

Tipping in Greece is most often seen as a matter of good taste and manners (especially if you got something for free, like a jug of wine or sweets at the end of the meal).

It’s wise, then, to always have some coins on you when you’re out and about in Greece.  

Tipping in Greek restaurants

As in many other countries, restaurants in Greece that offer a high level of service and creativity in food production and presentation may include a service charge on the bill.

Bread on arrival is sometimes accounted for in a cover charge in Greek restaurants

Kouver (κουβερ) is the Greek word for ‘cover charge’.

Usually, you are given a selection of pieces of bread accompanied by an olive paste or olive oil upon arrival, and the service charge covers this free course.

In case you don’t want this course, simply inform the wait staff and the cover charge won’t be included in your final bill.

Having a service charge or cover in the bill doesn’t imply or substitute for a tip. So, leaving 10% on top is good.

In the case of Michelin-starred or other high-end restaurants, a tip of 20% is customary, and it is better to leave banknote(s) for the restaurant staff, not coins.

Even if on an EFTPOS machine, you are asked to leave a tip, skip it and leave cash on the table instead. That way you know that the right person is getting your tip.  

Tipping at Greek tavernas and restaurants

Tavernas have traditionally been the mainstay of Greek cuisine.

There is, however, a new trend sweeping Greece, of reviving the taverna as a culinary concept with the inclusion of some fantastic ‘modern-yet-traditional’ dishes.

This means that there’s every chance you might not even eat in any restaurants when younext visit Greece, especially if you’re only in the country for a few weeks.

There’s no rule on how much to tip in a taverna, but a good rule is simply to do what the Greeks do – leave some coins on the table. A few euros (1-2) is usually enough.

Five euros is a good guideline if there are six or more in your party.  

Related: Is Santorini Water safe to drink? 2023 Santorini drinking water guide

Tipping at cafes and bars in Greece

Leaving tips in bars, cafés, beach bars, ferry bars on the Greek islands, bakeries, kiosks and other places selling drinks and coffee in Greece is not customary or expected.

Euro coins wedged into glass draining mat as tips left on/in a bar in Greece
Tips left on/in a bar in Greece

This is regardless of whether you are enjoying a drink with table service or having it to go.

However, rounding the bill up is something many Greeks would do – both as a way of tipping and as a convenience for themselves (by getting rid of their coins).

So, if a cup of coffee is €1.65, leaving €2 is what most Greeks would do.

Tip Jar on the front counter of a Greek cafe with euro coins and notes in it
Tip Jar in a Greek cafe

Sometimes, in place of tipping in Greece, you’ll find a tip jar in a prominent place in a bar or café. Dropping a few coins in like saying ‘thank you’ in Greek, and this is of course, appreciated.

Tipping your taxi driver or private driver in Greece

I’m sure it’s no surprise to you by now that in Greece, tipping depends on the type and cost of the service you are getting.

Two people getting in a yellow taxi on one of the city streets, Athens, Greece
Two people getting in a yellow taxi on one of the city streets, Athens, Greece

If you’re within a city, tipping your taxi driver is not expected. You might just round the final fare amount to the nearest euro for convenience and politeness.

There’s no reason at all to feel bad if you have the exact amount and want to pay like that. Most taxi drivers take cards too.

If you’ve booked a private transfer (from the airport to the hotel for example) and the driver helps you with your luggage, including several euros in tips is customary.

If you booked a private tour by taxi, or an intercity ride with multiple stops and had a stellar service, you might tip a bit more, such as €10.

For whole-day private tours, €20 per person is a very satisfactory tip in Greece.

Tour guide tipping – How to tip tour guides in Greece

Tour guides can make or break private tours – many put enormous work into entertaining you and teaching you and Greek history and customs and with an obvious passion for Greece.

Tour guide pointing to ancient greek remains of a Temple and talking to a group of visitors on the Greek island of Delos, an archaeological site near Mykonos in Greece.
Tour guide talking to a group of visitors on the Greek island of Delos, an archaeological site near Mykonos in Greece.

They strive to ensure you’re not overwhelmed with information. They deserve a tip, although there is no customary amount for it. It all depends on the type of tour you are having.

For free tours, – if you’re satisfied that the tour was worthwhile, a tip of €10 per person might be a good amount. More if the tour is taking a whole day.

Group tour / Guided or private tour – Tipping with pre-booked tours is not obligatory, but it is expected.

Consider an amount of 10-15% of the cost of the tour per person as a good rule. So if the tour price is €50, leaving €5 is good.

How to tip in a Hotel

Greece is full of family-run hotels where family members are the ones taking care of you – from reception and restaurant wait staff to daily housekeeping and other services you might request.

Typical white and blue two-storey family-run hotel in Naxos, Greece
Typical family-run hotel in Naxos, Greece

If you’re in a family hotel where the owners are the hotel staff, tipping is neither expected nor observed.

If you are in a large hotel, tipping might be expected by porters after bringing the luggage to your room.

€5-10 is the usual amount, depending on the number of pieces of luggage and the “trouble” it takes to get your luggage to your room. If you’re going to Santorini and other hilly Greek islands, it may well be €10!

hotel porter in Oia Santorini carrying two suitcases up many stairs
A guy who deserves a tip: hotel porter in Oia Santorini carrying two suitcases up many stairs

The same goes for the room service staff.

Tipping housekeeping staff is not expected but highly appreciated. People doing housekeeping are essential to your great hotel experience and leaving them a tip ensures they supplement their incomes during the busy season.

Note: Tipping is done at the end of the stay in a hotel room (bedside table) and a lump sum of €20 is the usual amount for a stay of up to 7 days.

Tipping in all-inclusive hotels follows the same pattern. Not obligatory, but highly appreciated, especially if you had a designated person from the wait staff or housekeeping staff.

Generally speaking, luxury and 5-star hotels follow the same rule, but the amounts are double.   

Sailing trips

Sailing in Greece is considered to be a luxurious adventure and people who sail for pleasure are seen as well-off.

catamaran sailing tour at the red beach, santorini, Greece
Red beach in Santorini view of the sea with catamaran sailing cruise

Tipping your skipper is customary at the end of the voyage – €120-150 for a skippered vessel, €200-300 per skipper per passenger.

Tipping at green markets

Tipping for purchased goods isn’t customary unless a good service of an extra type is experienced (such as food being cleaned or prepared, etc.) or otherwise requires extra money.

Fruit stalls covered by bright orange awnings at the Athens Green Market, Athens, Greece
Fruit stalls at the Athens Green Market, Athens, Greece

In that case, simply round the amount to the nearest euro, or add one or two euros to the total.

Home delivery drivers

Greece is one of the world’s leaders in home delivery platforms (Wolt, e-food, etc.) that deliver food, drinks, snacks, and other things from almost any restaurant in town.

Wolt motorbike delivery driver in Athens with a Wolt food storage bag strapped to the bike
Wolt motorbike delivery driver in Athens

In my experience, it is for granted that delivery people should be tipped.

My Greek friends generally recommend that in case of a small delivery (orders up to €20), a modest tip of €1 is considered appropriate and polite. For large orders, make it €3-5.

Frequently Asked Questions about tips in Greece

How impolite it is to tip in Greece?

Not at all! Tipping is welcomed everywhere in the world, including in Greece. Excessive tipping though is not (such as flashing hundreds of euros) – this is considered rude and impolite.

Must I tip in Greece?

No, do not feel obligated as Greece is a country where the service economy is not tip-based. Customary rounding-up of totals is however a practice common throughout the country.

Do you tip hairdressers, beauticians, nail salon workers, etc. in Greece?

Not necessarily, but in the case of exceptional service, you might leave a couple of euros.

Rounding up is practiced here too – in case of a €42 haircut for example, leaving €45 is ok. In the case of an €8 nail job, €10 is ok.

Will my credit card work in Greece?

Greece is a country where cards are accepted everywhere and ATMs are all around. Nevertheless, having a bit of cash on you is good, especially €1 and €2 coins.

What is Greek money?

Greece is an EU country using Euro coins and banknotes.

Although you will generally not have problems paying cash anywhere, some places are not keen on the top banknote of €500.

Make sure to carry coins and €5 and €10 banknotes for small everyday charges and tips.  

Tipping culture: Final thoughts on tipping in Greece

Greece is a country that runs on non-codified but well-embedded and mutually understood social practices.

Image of a tip in Euros left on receipt near coffee cup in Greece cafe
Tip in Euros left on receipt near coffee cup in Greece

Tipping is one of them and is seen as a nice gesture, almost as a small act of kindness or politeness.

To sum it up then: tipping in Greece is either nothing or rounding it up to the nearest Euro (a small tip), except in hotels and restaurants where you tip according to your satisfaction with the service.