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World’s countries where you don’t need to leave a tip – and where it’s an insult | Travel News | Travel

3 min read
World’s countries where you don’t need to leave a tip – and where it’s an insult | Travel News | Travel

For many Brits, a tip is given in a restaurant when the meal has been a positive experience, likewise the service. But when it comes to knowing what the etiquette is abroad, the whole situation can become a bit confusing.

Many will go to pay at a foreign eatery and leave a tip out of decency – but the rules are not always clear as to how much should be left, and whether or not it’s an option. That’s unless, of course, a service charge has already been added.

In America, a gratuity is widely expected – with New York being a perfect example, as waiting staff are said to rely on their tips to boost their wages.

In the UK, it is largely the choice of the diner – and no one will sneer if a party decides to pay the bill on the nose, and not a penny more.

Travellers or those looking to book their holidays will be pleased to know that this awkward situation isn’t always the case across the globe. There are some countries that dislike the idea of a tip, and find it insulting if anyone decides to leave extra cash on the table as they leave.

The nine countries below have a ‘no tipping rule’ – and three others who don’t like the idea at all…

This country operates on a no obligation understanding, where like in the UK, service charges are often included in bars, restaurants and cafes. The choice remains with the consumer, who can leave a 10 percent tip if they want to, which will be gratefully received.

According to Tripmasters, waiting staff in Switzerland are paid a “decent salary” and don’t need tips to add to their wage packets.

The line remains blurred in Argentina all thanks to a 2004 law which was introduced to stop people working in hotels and restaurants getting tipped.

But this hasn’t stamped out the issue, as reportedly, people are still accepting cash tips – and are grateful for the gesture. According to the Daily Mail, the law isn’t regularly enforced.

Therefore, tips actually account for around 40 percent of an Argentine waiter’s income.

Tipping is not standard practice in Belgium, and it’s certainly not expected. This is because staff are paid a fair wage – and because an automatic 10 to 15 percent service charge is added to the bill.

But there is nothing stopping a bit of gratitude if the meal and the service were exemplary.

This is the one country where tourists may find a note kindly explaining whether or not a tip is welcome. But on the whole, tipping is not expected.

Those who feel the need to offer some extra cash on the table should expect it to be refused in some instances, the Mail added.

The offer of a tip is actively discouraged by the government in Singapore. But handing over a small gratuity when in a restaurant or jumping out of a taxi will likely go down well.


The Japanese do not expect any form of tip, and offering one may cause offence. People who do try their luck may find themselves being quietly rejected.

A bike tour company operating in the country said if people feel really inclined to show their gratitude, they should offer a small gift instead of money, which will most likely never be accepted.


Diners would be making a huge mistake by offering a tip in China. It is here where it really is considered rude and even embarrassing. In some places it’s illegal. The only exception is for tour guides and bus drivers.

South Korea

The same rules apply in South Korea. The recipient may feel offended or embarrassed if a tip is offered and often decline it.