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 and especially the well being of especially the service workers whose average salary is usually low.
But you’re probably not in the country to throw money out the window either, so knowing how much to tip, as well as who and how is extremely important so that you don’t waste money, but also keep the people that you interact with happy.
So let’s start answering the more generic question first:
Who to 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.
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. Therefore, people will still be very happy if you tip 10% of the bill most of the time.
But usually, there’s also a top limit when it comes to tipping. I will use Euros in my example to make everything easier to follow, but remember that the currency in Croatia is 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. And under no circumstances I would recommend actually getting over 10 Euros.
So what I mean is that even though the tipping etiquette 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 (so 22 Kuna to 25, which is less than 50 Eurocents). So doing the same or going the extra mile to add a bit more will keep them happy. But don’t go over 10%.
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. 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 (50 Kuna) as the general amount to tip, but definitely offer less if the overall value of the tour was lower.
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 10,000 kuna (1350 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.