Are you headed to Türkiye? Then, you’ll need to know how to tip in Turkey. This tipping in Turkey guide covers hotels, restaurants, tour guides, taxi drivers, and more.
I’ll show you how to tip for good service and the correct technique to do so and give you the low down on the tipping etiquette that Turkish people apply.
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Is Tipping In Turkey Really Necessary
You don’t have to leave a gratuity, as it is not common practice in Türkiye. Let’s get that out there now.
But a good tip will be greatly appreciated if you feel the quality of service was good or just enjoyed the experience. It’s not expected, but there is almost an unwritten rule about the tipping culture that it would be rude not to tip to show that you enjoyed the quality of the service.
Of course, if you receive bad service, the food is awful, or the waiter is rude, don’t tip. Just walk out and don’t go back again.
You must remember that Turkish wages aren’t the highest, and many staff in different industries rely on tips to make up their wages.
So, if you enjoy something, adding a little extra to say ‘thank you’ doesn’t hurt.
The word for tip is ‘bahşiş,’ and you pronounce it as bar sheesh. It’s totally up to you what you tip; there are no hard and fast rules like in some other countries, and staff aren’t going to turn their noses up at you if you don’t tip a specific amount.
So, Then, How To Tip In Turkey – General Tipping Advice In Turkey
The topic of gratuities often makes people feel awkward, as with anything to do with money. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Most people in Turkey are pretty laid-back about tipping and will throw a little extra in the bill wallet or the tip box before getting up and walking away. So my best advice is not to stress it – do what feels right to you and reward the person serving you or the experience you had according to your own ideas.
However, there are a few things to bear in mind when it comes to gratuities in Turkey:
- It’s best to tip in Lira if possible. If you’re in a tourist resort, you might want to leave your gratuity in foreign currency. Please only do so if you have euros, US Dollars, or British Pounds, or else it would be too hard for the server to exchange. Also, please do leave them foreign coins; please only leave paper money. However, in smaller towns or cities, and even in Istanbul, it’s best to stick with the local currency
- Leave your gratuity in the tip box or payment wallet that the bill comes in. You don’t need to make a big show out of giving it to the person
- Before you tip, check the receipt to see if a service charge is included. This is often the case in big cities. However, if you want to add an additional tip on top, that’s up to you
- Do tell someone to keep the change. You can wave your hand and say ‘Tamam,’ which means okay, or you can be a bit more formal and say ‘Üstü kalsın,’ which literally means ‘keep the change.’ This is useful if you’re in a taxi or somewhere other than a restaurant, and you can’t just leave the tip in a wallet or box
- Tipping in Türkiye is commonplace. However, if you don’t receive the best service, as I already mentioned, do feel bad if you don’t leave a gratuity
- Turkey’s wages are relatively low, and many servers and staff rely on tips to lift their take-home amount. Gratuities are, therefore, always greatly received
- If a service charge/fee hasn’t been applied, it is customary to tip between 5-10% of the bill, depending upon how much you enjoyed the service you received. If you’re dining somewhere extremely high-end, a tip of between 10-15% is more likely. You should always leave your gratuity in cash and leave the cash amount in the bill sleeve you will receive or give directly to the waiter
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Tipping Turkish Taxi Drivers
In Türkiye, keeping some small bills on hand for tipping cab drivers is always a good idea. You know, for the ones not ripping you off!
While it’s not required, it’s an excellent way to show appreciation for their service. If you’re unsure how much to tip, a good rule of thumb is to round up the amount to the nearest whole Lira or 10 lira and tell them to keep the change. If your taxi ride was outstanding, use the standard rule of thumb for a gratuity of 10% of cab fares.
Tipping Hotel Staff In Turkey
While it’s not required, it’s a nice gesture and will go a long way in making your stay more enjoyable. A little extra money will be greatly appreciated from the bellhop who brings up your luggage to the maid who cleans your room. Don’t go overboard – a few dollars here and there will suffice.
- Porters, we suggest you tip 1 euro per suitcase for porters
- Housekeepers, for housekeeping staff, if the room is cleaned well, 5 euros would suit if the room was cleaned very well and you used room service; if you feel the service wasn’t quality, you’re not obliged to do so
Tipping Tour Guides In Türkiye
Regarding gratuities in Turkey, you should keep a few things in mind. First of all, tipping is not required, as we have already said – but if you had a great time on your organized tour and your tour guide was particularly helpful, a tip is an excellent token of your appreciation.
Secondly, there is no set amount for how much to tip. It all depends on your budget and how much you thought the tour was worth. A good rule of thumb is to list 10-15% of the cost of the tour. Plus a little extra for the driver, if private transfer services were included.
Gratuities At The Turkish Bath
At a Turkish Hamam, the very attentive hamam attendant will come to wish you well and to say goodbye before you leave – that will be your cue to pay around 10 to 15% in tips.
Gratuities At Restaurants In Turkey
In Türkiye, it is customary to leave a tip at restaurants. The amount you leave is up to you, but as a general rule, it would be around 10% of the bill. You can leave the tip in cash or on your credit card.
If you are paying with cash, the easiest way to leave the tip is to tell the waiter/waitress how much you would like to leave, and they will take care of it for you. If you pay with a credit card, you can add the tip to your bill when you sign it.
At restaurants, there are often musicians who play for tips. You’ll be expected to pay if they stand by you and play. If you do not wish to, tell them no thanks and wave your hand to signal no; they will not be offended and move on to the following table.
Tipping In Bars And Cafes In Turkey
In Türkiye, leaving a small tip in bars and cafes is customary. This is usually done by leaving some change on the table after paying the bill. The amount you leave is up to you, but a good rule of thumb is to leave around 5% of the total bill. If you received excellent service, you can leave more.
Currency: Turkish Lira (TRY/TL)
Note: for this Turkish tipping guide, we’ll list the prices in euros given the Lira’s drop in value, so you do not undertip and reward your Turkish hosts and help boost the local economy.
Denominations: Notes – 5 – 200, Coins – 1 – 50 kurus
Other currencies accepted: In tourist areas, you can use your UK sterling, euros, and Dollars quite widely; however, you will receive a lower rate as a result.
It’s better to change to the local currency if at all possible. There are countless ATMs in major towns, cities, and tourist resorts; however, you will struggle to pay with anything other than Lira if you leave the main cities and resorts. Many vendors will also turn away a 200 Lira note if the amount you’re paying is below 150 lira, so try to have small change if possible.
The good news is you now know the common practice of how to tip in Turkey and all the useful tips we know. The downside is you may now need to add 10% extra to your budget.
Remember to use the Turkish Lira to give cash tips whenever possible and enjoy the magical place that is Türkiye.