Blanca Valbuena

Tipping in Portugal

Tipping in Portugal is quite different than in the United States where 15% is standard for average service and 20% is standard for good service (and where servers will give you lip if you don't tip because their service was crap). Em Lisboa, tipping is not mandatory and it is not seen as rude not to tip.  That being said, the average salary in Lisbon (one of Portugal's most well off cities) is around €900 per month. So, although it is not mandatory, as a traveler make sure to leave a little tip. It will make the lives of those who are taking care of you much better. 

Tipping in Portugal

Restaurant Tipping: Most people will tell you to put down somewhere between 0.5 or 1€. This is pretty acceptable in local places, although in more touristy neighborhoods like Principe Real and Bairro Alto servers are getting used to larger tips from tourists. To be on the safe side, have a spare Euro and leave that.

Nota: In restaurants when you sit, your server will bring you what is known as a couvert. This is usually a basket with bread, butter, cheese or fish spreads.  Sometimes it is olives. 
 These are NOT free. If you eat them, they will be added to your bill at around 1€ to 5€. If you don't want them, simply don't eat them or just say to your server 'Nao, obrigado'

Tipping in Bars: Tipping in bars is not at all expected. An Imperial (a beer) usually costs under 1€, so whatever change is given back to you can be left as a tip.  If you go to nicer places in touristy areas, you will be expected to leave 0.5 or 1€.

Hair Salon Tipping: This completely shocked me, but the rule is pretty much the same as restaurants. All my local friends said to leave 0.5 or 1€. I usually leave 10% because habits die hard and whoever touches my hair has a direct effect on my appearance. 

Food Delivery Tipping: If you order food to be delivered to your hotel or home, it is standard to give 1€. 

Tipping at the Spa: I am told you don't have to tip. However, I have a feeling I will since the pleasure I derive from a massage or pedicure is priceless. 

Tipping taxi drivers:  No tip expected. 

Tipping Hotel Staff: If you're staying in a hotel, you're breaking all my travel rules. I am a huge fan of Airbnb, so next time you come to Lisbon, I expect you to do that after you read my guide on how to pick an Airbnb rental and after you've jotted down my discount code. Leave a 1-2€ tip for the maid per cleaning (I've been told they get paid pretty badly), 1€ for each bag your porter carries and 1€ to the person who brings up your room service. 

Now you know everything you need to know about Tipping in Portugal. Got questions about Portugal or Lisbon in particular? Leave a comment below. 


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Blanca Valbuena

Eu sou o co-fundador da FriendsEat e Socialdraft. Eu tenho uma obsessão doentia com Chardonnay da Borgonha, ASOIAF, e viagens.

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8 Comentários sobre este post Para “Tipping in Portugal”

  • Heather Johnson

    August 13, 2017 at 11:08 pm

    I love that tipping is not mandatory and not tipping is not seen as rude. A tip should be for exception service, not something that is expected.

    • Blanca Valbuena

      August 14, 2017 at 5:53 am

      Same here. In many parts in Europe they pay servers a living wage, not like in the US where you are paid $3 per hour and need to make tips to live. I wish that things in the US would change a little. Servers there will work when they are sick because they need those tips. It’s a broken system. That being said, things are not perfect here. The average salary in Portugal is under 900 euros and in Lisbon to rent a nice 2 bedroom apartment you need over 1200 por mês, so because of the rise in tourism, many locals can’t afford to live in the capital. That being said, things are getting better daily here and this city is so easy to fall in love with.

  • Kim

    August 15, 2017 at 11:08 am

    Very interesting and something definitely important to know for anyone visiting that area.

    • Blanca Valbuena

      August 15, 2017 at 2:29 pm

      I’m always confused by tipping cultures in other countries and the last thing I want is to be seen as a cheapskate. I think I’m going to put together a tipping guide like this for all the countries I’ve visited so far 🙂

  • Becca Talbot

    August 15, 2017 at 12:07 pm

    Interesting to read about the couvert in restaurants – in France this is usually free, and in Spain too. So Portugal is more like the UK in this sense, as a few restauarnts I’ve been in will charge you for the bread and snacks x

    • Blanca Valbuena

      August 15, 2017 at 2:28 pm

      Yup. It has a cost in Portugal (which is actually great for me, because it pushes me to skip the bread and its associated carbs), but in all seriousness, the cost is minimal, so if you love bread cheese and olives – it is so worth it 😉

  • easyblogthemes

    August 16, 2017 at 10:03 am

    Tipping in exchange of physical hardwork is a must at least that’s what I see. And these are the times tipping is a good thing. Especially on a spa, where it requires the worker a physical strength to put your in body at ease physically,and other aspects that it affects, They are the ones who deserve it most. It is a tiring work. So, I think it’s better giving them extra for the hard work they do.And also waiters and waitresses who stand and walk for ours to get orders to and from table by table. And people like them no matter when you’re in Portugal or where you are in the world.

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