The Tipping Agenda: 13 Countries You Should Never Leave a Tip

Tipping can be tricky, especially when you’re traveling. What’s normal in one country might be rude in another. It’s important to know the local customs so you don’t accidentally offend anyone or waste money.

In some places, leaving a tip is actually considered insulting. This article will tell you about 13 countries where you should keep your extra cash in your pocket. I’ll explain why tipping isn’t expected in these places and what you should do instead.


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In Japan, tipping is seen as rude. The Japanese take pride in their work and believe good service is part of the job. If you try to tip, you might confuse or even offend someone. Instead of tipping, show your appreciation with a sincere “Arigato” (thank you).

South Korea

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Tipping isn’t common in South Korea and can make people uncomfortable. Koreans believe in paying fair prices for goods and services. In some places, leaving money behind might be seen as charity, which can be insulting. It’s best to just pay the bill and say “Kamsahamnida” (thank you).


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Tipping isn’t expected in China and can sometimes cause confusion. In many places, workers aren’t allowed to accept tips. Some might even chase you down to return the money, thinking you forgot it. High-end hotels and restaurants catering to tourists might be exceptions, but it’s generally best to skip tipping.

New Zealand

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Kiwis don’t expect tips and might feel awkward if you offer one. They believe in fair wages for all workers. If you had great service, a simple “Thank you” or telling the manager about your good experience is appreciated. Tipping is only common in very fancy restaurants or for tour guides.


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Like their Kiwi neighbors, Australians don’t have a tipping culture. Workers get good wages, so tips aren’t needed to make up their pay. If you have exceptional service, you can round up the bill or leave a small amount. But it’s never required or expected.


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Denmark has high wages and strong worker protections, so tipping isn’t part of the culture. Prices in restaurants include service. Danes might even refuse a tip if offered. If you want to show extra appreciation, you can round up the bill, but it’s not necessary.


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Swiss service workers are well-paid and don’t rely on tips. Restaurants include a service charge in the bill. If you try to tip, the server might think you made a mistake with the money. It’s okay to round up a little for exceptional service, but it’s not expected.


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Icelanders don’t tip and might be confused if you try. Like other Nordic countries, they have good wages and don’t need tips to survive. Bills already include service charges. If you want to show appreciation, a sincere “takk” (thank you) is enough.


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Tipping isn’t usual in Belgium and isn’t expected. Service charges are usually included in your bill. Belgians might round up the total or leave some small change, but big tips are rare. In taxis, it’s common to round up to the nearest euro, but that’s about it.


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Singapore has a no-tipping policy in many places. Some high-end hotels and restaurants might add a service charge, but additional tipping isn’t expected. In fact, it’s against the law to tip at the airport. A simple “thank you” is the best way to show appreciation.


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While Thailand is changing due to tourism, tipping hasn’t traditionally been part of the culture. Many restaurants add a service charge to the bill. In local places, leaving coins from your change is okay but not expected. For exceptional service, a small tip is appreciated but not required.


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Tipping isn’t a common practice in Vietnam, especially in smaller towns. However, due to foreign influence, it’s becoming more common in big cities and tourist areas. Tipping is never required. If you want to tip for great service, a small amount is fine, but don’t feel pressured to do so.


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Tipping isn’t a big part of Argentine culture. Some places might add a service charge to the bill. If not, it’s common to leave about 10% for good service in restaurants. But it’s not required, and workers don’t depend on tips. In taxis, it’s common to round up the fare.

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Victoria Omololu

Victoria Omololu is a fashionista exploring the world on a budget. She co-founded Only Earthlings in 2023 to show her travels in North America, Europe, Africa, and everywhere else. Victoria loves writing about travel tips, itineraries, packing guides, and taking photography from all over the world.

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