Tipping in Ireland Always learn the local tipping customs prior to traveling abroad
During our first trip to Enchanting Ireland in 1994, we ordered a round of drinks at the bar, leaving a rather nice tip on the counter as we shuffled back to our tables with our pints. The bartender called out, “Ye left yer money!” and proceeded to hand the tip back to us. We thought we offended him somehow and didn’t want us in the pub so we moved on, only to have the same occur elsewhere. When we asked, we found out that tipping the bartender at the bar is not customary as bartending is considered more of a career in Ireland and pays accordingly.
Tipping in Ireland is a bit different than it is here in the United States and those who are traveling Ireland for the first time should learn the local customs prior to traveling abroad so you don’t make the same mistakes we have in the past.
Restaurant Tipping in Ireland
When we talk about restaurants, including pubs, we’re talking about ordering food off a menu where someone brings it out to you. Generally you would tip 10% of the bill, based on the quality of service. If you receive exceptional service you can tip higher, typically 15%. Before tipping, make sure you take a look at the bill as some restaurants, typically hotel restaurants, add a service charge/gratuity automatically.
When in doubt, simply ask.
Ireland Counter Service / Take-Away / Fast Food Tipping
Not tipping is expected when you eat at the counter, order food to “take away” or eat fast food in Ireland.
Tipping Bartenders in Ireland
This is the most important part of the tipping conversation since we spend so much time socializing in the pubs in Ireland. The general rule is that you don’t tip a bartender and the reason why? Bartending is a career in Ireland where they are paid a healthy wage and with the cost of pints, you can understand why. Go up to the bar, order your pints – take your change!
The exception to this is when you order a round for a large group where the lounge staff is bringing you pints from the bar - €1 or €2 per round is acceptable.
Ireland Hotel Tipping
This has changed over the years with Irish hotels as well as those here in the US. Tipping is at your discretion- €1 - €2 per night left at check-out for the housekeeper.
Tipping the Concierge is not expected unless they provide exceptional service and you feel they deserve one.
If you order room service, tipping the waiter is at your discretion, 10% Breakfast in your room €2 euro per person (but check what the Hotel charges for this service)
Hotel porter: €1 - €2 per bag if it is brought to your room in a friendly and courteous manner, generally not over €5. This service is rare.
Irish Bed &Breakfast Tipping
The majority of bed and breakfasts in Ireland are small family undertakings and it is not expected that guests tip for either food service or housekeeping – your B&B rate is all-inclusive!
Irish Taxi Tipping
Simply round up to the nearest Euro is customary and easier than expecting the driver to dig through and give you coins for change. If the driver has been extremely helpful, answering questions or going above driving you from one place to another, tip 5% to10% of the fare. Taxis are heavily regulated and must charge the same fares and provide a receipt detailing mileage, time, cost etc.
Ireland Spa Treatment Tipping
Surprisingly, there is no tip expected for spa treatments in Ireland.
Irish Hairdresser / Barber / Manicurist Tipping
10% of the bill is customary when getting your hair done in Ireland.
Ireland Tour Guide Tipping
This is harder to estimate because it varies by the size of the group as well as the length. For large tour buses, the tour company will give an estimated amount per day, per passenger which is given to the driver/guide at the end of the tour. Of course it is based on their service but any tour we’ve been on has warranted a larger tip! Private chauffeurs typically get 10% as a base tip and then it goes up from there based on the service. We include an estimated tip which is paid directly to the driver at the end of the trip.