Greek customs

May I ask.. is it customary to tip in Greece or Croatia? I was told not to in Italy.. Michelle Valrico FL

Posted by Ken
Vernon, Canada
24141 posts

Michelle, In most places in Europe, I tend to "round up" the bill if the service was good. Most servers in Europe are paid a reasonable wage (unlike servers here). If you're visiting Greece, be sure to also research the "bathroom etiquette", as that may help you avoid a confrontation with an angry hotel owner. Cheers!

Posted by Agnes
Alexandria, VA, USA
1483 posts

Rounding up the bill sounds right. Ken is talking about old plumbing in toilets, so be gentle.

Posted by Bruce
Whitefish, Montana
1114 posts

So be gentle as to the use of toilets or Ken?

Posted by Tom
2876 posts

We've stayed in hotels in Greece where you don't flush used toilet paper. You throw it in the wastebasket. I am not making this up. Ken will clarify, but I suspect this is what he was referring to. On tipping: at one point in the past a service charge was automatically added to restaurant bills in Greece, but this is no longer the case. And in contrast to most other European countries, servers' wages in Greece are quite low, especially since their economy tanked. Just some things to perhaps take into consideration.

Posted by Agnes
Alexandria, VA, USA
1483 posts

Tom's right. That's why you'll always see filled wastebaskets in public toilet areas, along with signs not to dispose anything in the bowls (although I think the microthin tp is OK). This isn't only in Greece btw.

Posted by Rosalyn
1776 posts

I'll vouch for Tom not making up what he posted about tp. The same is true in Turkey and Mexico, for that matter. I think it has to do with antiquated or inefficient sewage treatment facilities. As for tipping, bad news folks. American practices are beginning to penetrate Europe. We are currently in Berlin. Twice, so far, we have eaten in places where there was a prod towards an American style tip. The first was at a cafe on the Spree, across from Museum Island, where the cc slip had a space for a tip. The second was the cafe on the grounds of the Charlottenberg Castle, where the bill said in large print that it did not include a tip. Granted, both are tourist venues; but it does indicate a new trend to me. Also, in Sorrento, in 2012, we saw spaces for tips on cc slips, which we had never seen before.
BTW, just as at home, I feel no compunction about omitting a tip when the service is bad.

Posted by Douglas
Oak Park, Illinois
3581 posts

^^^ Just because there is a spot on the receipt for a tip doesn't mean a tip is expected or customary. I've gotten the same thing in the US for purchased goods where a tip would never be expected. It's just a default thing. The "tip not included" notice is strange, no tip is ever included in Europe, they don't base restaurant service on tips. So I'm not sure what message they are trying to send... Actually, the reverse trend seems to be true. Several high profile American restaurants have been experimenting with eliminating tips and paying their staff more (and charging higher prices). I think the NYT had a recent article about it. I doubt it will catch on, both for legal reasons and because Americans like to see cheaper costs on the menu.

Posted by janet
Philadelphia, PA, USA
859 posts

TIPPING in GREECE -- in most tavernas, rounding up is accepted, not by pennies of course. Example, if a modest dinner for 2 with a half-carafe of wine comes to €25.50, I personally would put down 27. After all, they ALSO usually bring round a tiny free dessert (sliced apple?) and/or a wee glass of complimentary raki. The BATHROOM issue -- People talk talk talk about this, but folks it's really no big deal. Lidded pedal-bin is right beside commode, in hotel rooms its emptied daily, no muss no fuss, you don't even think about it after 1st day. If u want to point fingers at why, it's because greek plumbing systems mainly installed between WW I - II were incorrectly designed by BRITISH engineers, pipes slightly narrower than today's standards. BTW, if all our plumbing networks did not have to cope with endless paper, sanitation systems wd ALL run more smoothly.

Posted by Frank
Tresana, Highlands Ranch, CO, USA
14083 posts

I do think you were ever told not to tip in Italy. Small tips are expected in most of Europe. The 15 to 20% US standard is not expected but a couple of Euro is always accepted and probably expected. I thought you were interested in helping the poor people of Europe.

Posted by Michelle
Valrico, FL, USA
124 posts

i am just asking what is expected.. I do not want to insult people either