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Tipping in Poland: How much should you pay?

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I’m in Poland, do I need to tip? What is the approximate amount?”

In most cases, a tip of about 10% of the price is required in Poland. However, it is not obligatory and depends only on your feelings.

In this issue, I will introduce the tipping rules that I have arrived at after living in Warsaw for one year. You’ll learn what to tip and what to do if you don’t have any change!

Tipping is not obligatory in Poland.

But there is much to pass on.

Poland has a tipping culture.But it is not mandatory like in the United States.

Basically, the Polish stance is that tipping is “just a feeling, not an obligation. Am I the only one who thinks such a stance is the most difficult? ^^;

Although guidebooks sometimes state that tipping is not required except in upscale restaurants, the reality is different.
Polish and Japanese residents often tip their customers, even if they are not in high-end restaurants.

After a year of struggling with the Polish tipping culture, I have come up with my own tipping rules after talking to Polish friends and Japanese residents during this time.

There is no right answer to the tip, so I hope you can refer to it as an example only ^^.

Criteria for tipping in Poland

Harrii’s Tip Rule

After living in Poland for a year, I have come to two rules for tipping.

  1. When you have a specific staff member in charge
  2. When you are happy to receive service that exceeds your expectations

We try to hand out chips when these two conditions are met. I’ll explain each one in detail!

(1) When there is a specific staff member in charge

The first of my tipping rules is that there is a specific staff member or clerk in charge.

Since tips are given to waitstaff as a sign of appreciation for their service, they are not given when the staff member in charge is not assigned to a specific task.

For example, if you are in a restaurant and the person who took your order, the person who delivered the food, and the person who paid the bill are all different people.
Even if you give a tip, you don’t know to whom the money will go.

Of course, you can give it to them if the overall service at the restaurant was very good.

(2) When you are happy to receive service that exceeds your expectations

My second tipping rule is when the service exceeds expectations.

This is based on the tipping rule of my Polish friend.
When I asked him when he would give a tip, he replied, “When I don’t tip, I don’t tip at all.

That’s when you get a surprise service!

By “surprise service” I mean service that goes above and beyond expectations, not surprise gifts or surprise performances ^^;

Service that exceeds expectations may be abstract and difficult to define, but I interpret it as when I think, ‘This waiter seems nice.

For example, in the case of a restaurant, I would be inclined to tip such a person.

  • They care about “Everything is OK?”
  • They explain the food in detail and help you with your order.
  • No stress because you notice when you need to call the clerk right away.
  • affable
  • Good looking guy.

By the way, I try to think in terms of Polish standards, not Japanese standards. The quality of service in Japan is too high.

Therefore, I often tip for an average level of service rather than for service that exceeds expectations.

When I temporarily returned to Japan the other day, I felt like tipping the waiters at restaurants because they all worked so hard and were so friendly (lol).

Poland also has a higher level of customer service than other European countries. Many people are affable.

Explanation of whether tipping is necessary in each situation.

Give? Do you want to give it to him?

I have introduced the Polish tipping culture and my tipping rules so far.

Here is a case-by-case explanation.
This is also Harrii’s own rule, so please refer to it as an example only.

restaurant (esp. Western-style)

I tip when(1) I have a specific staff member in charge and (2) the service I receive exceeds my expectations.


If you order and pay at the cash register (most chain restaurants), there is no basic tip.

If they let me taste the food, or if they are kind enough to help me with my order, I may put one or two zlotys in the tip box next to the cash register.

For table accounting, we use the same criteria as in a restaurant to decide whether to pay.


We try to tip cab drivers who drive safely.

Many Polish drivers are scary and drive too fast, so I hope that by giving tips only to those who drive safely, the number of such drivers will increase;

I often order a cab through the app, so I tip 10-15% on the app.


I have never placed pillow money.

I once left pillow money in another European country (Belgium, I think?). I left a pillow money in a hotel in another European country (Belgium, I think?) and it was left as it was. (I don’t know if this is true or not…)

As for tipping porters, I have never met a porter in a Polish hotel in the first place, lol.
Maybe they are there if it’s a 5-star ultra-luxury hotel.

Suggested tip amount

Top row: Zloty, bottom row: Grosz.

The general rule of thumb for tipping in Poland is 10% of the total amount.

This is also just a guideline, so you can pay more or less depending on how you feel.

When I tip, it is usually 10%.

Are coins rude?

I was curious as to whether it was rude to tip in coins, so I asked my Polish friend.
My friend says that coins are perfectly acceptable.

However, it may be best to avoid grolsch.
A grosz is a coin that costs less than one zloty (about $30) and is like a cent compared to a dollar.

How to tip. What if you don’t have fine money?

Better not to use Grosz.

Here is how to give a tip. I’ll also show you how to deal with the situation when you don’t have any change! I’ll also show you what to do when you don’t have any coins!

When paying in cash

When paying tips in cash, it is common practice to round up fractions.

For example, if the total amount is 89 zloty, you would put 100 zloty on the slip and leave the table.

You do not have to hand the money to the waiter at this time, just leave it on the table. I always wonder if they don’t eat away… ^^^;

On the other hand, if you want change, hand the slip and cash to the clerk. If you say “Thank you” at this time, it may be mistaken for a tip and you may not receive change. Be careful!

Of course you can get change and leave a portion of it on the table as a tip!

When paying by credit card

When paying by credit card, the price is paid by card and the tip is paid separately in cash.

You can also include the tip amount when paying with a credit card, but this is not very common in Poland. I have not seen many people around me doing this.

I have also heard rumors that if you pay tips by card, they are not given to the staff in charge and the store may make a profit. I do not know the truth.

What to do when you don’t have change

One thing I often face when paying by card is the problem of not having enough change!
In such cases, ask the clerk to exchange money.

For example, if you want to tip 10 zloty and you only have 50 zloty, you can exchange 50 zloty for 5 10 zloty or 2 20 zloty + 1 10 zloty.

I often ask for change at the checkout when I don’t have change. I have never been refused.
They are rather happy to do it because they know it will be their tip.

However, I have never tried to exchange paper money to coins, so I don’t know if it works… When I need coins, I tend to pay cash and get change.

My attitude toward tipping changed when I lived in Poland

when in Rome, do as the Romans do

My attitude toward tipping has changed dramatically since I came to Poland.

I was resistant to tipping until I lived in Poland. I couldn’t get used to the feeling that I was somehow moving people around with money, and I thought it was rude.

But Polish people don’t care about that kind of thinking. Rather than saying “thank you” with a big smile on your face, you can often express your gratitude by giving a tip.

If you receive good service, you should give the amount of money that you deserve. This is Polish culture and etiquette.

Since I began to think in this way, I no longer feel resistance or aversion to tipping.

I used to wonder if I should hand over the tip, and then I would say, “Ah! I knew I should have given it! I often regretted it later.
Recently, I have been trying to make sure that I give it away when I am worried, so I have much less regrets in my life lol.

Tip smartly when you travel to Poland!

Did you get the idea of Polish tipping culture?

Thank you! If I feel “Thank you!”, I give a tip, and if I feel “It was too subtle…”, I don’t give a tip.
I have explained this at length, but that may be all there is to it.

What I have introduced here is just my way of doing things and thinking, so this is neither the right answer nor a rule.

Whether or not you tip and how much you tip is up to you.
That’s the hardest thing for Japanese who don’t have a tipping culture ^^;

We hope this article will be helpful for your trip to Poland.

\”I want to read it in addition to the above.