If you are wondering how to tip in Croatia – especially who should you tip and who shouldn’t be tipped, as well as how much to actually tip, you’re at the right place! This is what we’re going to talk about in today’s article.
Croatia is a country where tourism pays an important role in the overall economy.
As a result, tipping is important, especially for those working in tourism and the service industry, as their average salary is usually low (mainly by being paid minimum wage and having to rely on tips to survive.)
However, if you’re coming from the US or other countries where you’re expected to tip A LOT, you’ll be surprised to find out that the tipping etiquette in Croatia is a lot more lenient.
While you are generally expected to tip in most places, “enough” is usually less than you might expect.
But this article will help shed light on the entire process, so read on to make sure that you’re not tipping less than you’re expected to, but at the same time not throwing money out the window either.
So let’s start answering the important question first:
Who should you tip in Croatia?
Normally, you can tip almost any type of worker in the country and they will probably not feel offended.
The regular jobs where it’s considered proper etiquette to leave a tip are those where you are expected to tip anywhere else in the world: bartenders and waiters, general service workers, hotel staff (including cleaners in apartments, for example), taxi drivers, parking attendants, tour guides and cruise ship personnel.
This is a very broad list and it basically shows that whenever you are interacting with somebody, you are expected to tip if you are happy with the service.
I strongly recommend NOT to tip if you are not happy with the service, however, as this encourages customer service quality to get lower and lower.
And we all probably experienced uninterested workers here and there and didn’t like it. Tips are, in the end, our way of saying “thank you” and they should be deserved.
I have noticed in the past few years a certain decline in the quality of service – in bars and restaurants especially – because the people who work there know that tourists will usually tip no matter how poor the service is.
And this should not happen. Remember! It’s not your duty to tip in Croatia or anywhere else in the world – it’s a way to say thank you for a job well done.
If you’re tipping when the job is not actually well done – or if you tip too much for the quality offered, then you’re simply ensuring that next time you visit, the quality of service will be the same or lower.
So please, don’t tip unless you really think the person you are tipping deserves it.
And this brings us to what is probably the most important question to be asked and the main reason why you are here:
How much to tip when visiting Croatia?
The general rule of thumb when it comes to tipping in Croatia is similar to what you’re expected to tip everywhere else in the world: 10% – 15% of the total cost.
Despite recent growth, Croatia is still a relatively poor (and cheap) country when comparing it to other Western European countries or other important attractions in the world. You can read more about the cost of living in Croatia here, if curious.
Therefore, people will still be very happy if you tip 10% of the bill most of the time and they might not expect more.
But usually, there’s also a top limit when it comes to tipping. Especially since Croatia has just recently switched to using Euros from their traditional currency, the Kuna.
So, as I was saying, there’s usually a top limit that you’re not really expected to go over when tipping:
If you go to a restaurant, for example, and your total bill is for 30 Euros, it’s totally fine to leave a tip of 3-5 Euros.
For 50 Euros, the waiters will be very happy with 5 euros, but if you get to 100 or 150 Euros, for example, you can still have a happy waiter if you leave a tip of 5 Euros.
In other words, the higher the bill, the lower the percentage you can pay and still have a happy waiter. So the best way to put it, would be that although the tipping etiquette in Croatia is to leave 10%, it’s probably best taken as “10% or a maximum of 10 Euros”.
An important thing to note here is that you should always try to tip in cash. Even if you have the option to pay by card and you also have the option to leave a tip this way (which is rare in Croatia), if you choose this method, it’s most likely that the worker will not actually receive your tip.
So if you really want to reward a person for a service well done, try to have some cash with you, even if you intend to pay by card.
What about tipping other people?
Here is what I recommend when it comes to tipping people who are not working in cafes, bars or restaurants:
Taxi drivers: unlike in other countries, taxi drivers don’t really expect a tip and locals usually round up the amount, for example from 3.50 Euros to 4 Euros, but also from 8 to 10.
So doing the same or going the extra mile to add a bit more will keep them happy. But try not to go over 10% – there’s really no need for that and not expected.
Hotel staff: you’re not expected to tip anything at the reception, but if there’s good service, 5 euros (or even 10 if you’re generous) will be well received and appreciated.
Also plan to give around 1.5 Euros to the porter and a similar amount for the cleaning lady (each day or every other day).
Tour Guides: this is where you’re usually expected to tip at the end. It’s usually 10% of the value of the tour, but if it was already an expensive one, you can offer a bit less.
Consider ~6 Euros as the general amount to tip for a regular tour that lasts between a few hours to half a day, but definitely offer less if the overall value of the tour was lower.
You can also go up to 10 Euros or even more for free tours or those that last longer.
Ship personnel: Since you are in Croatia and you’ll probably end up taking a catamaran or any type of boat to get to your destination, you will also have to tip the crew.
Tips here are usually larger than in other places – in terms of total value – even though you are expected to tip 5% to 10%.
But here, the maximum amount rule in restaurants doesn’t apply (or goes a lot higher). For example, if the price of your cruise is 1,350 Euros, you are expected to tip anything between 50 – 100 Euros.
The good (and the bad, at the same time) news is that things are not set in stone when it comes to tipping in Croatia.
This gives you a bit of room to play and actually decide how to tip based on the service and not some rules that are set in stone. But if you still don’t know what to do, go with the 10% rule.
And if you have thoughts to share on this matter, don’t hesitate to do so by commenting below.