Lost about tipping in Amsterdam? Received the bill and no idea what to pay? It’s not abnormal to tip in the Netherlands, but only in certain situations.
We’ve got the tips on all you need to know about tipping all over the Netherlands: who you tip, when you should do it, where it is customary, and how much to give.
If you’re sitting in a Dutch restaurant and are handed the bill, should you tip? How nice of you to ask! No matter whether you’re at a hot restaurant in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Eindhoven, or elsewhere, research shows that even the Dutch are unsure how much to tip. That’s because in the Netherlands, there is no social or written requirement to tip a restaurant worker.
However, if you received good service or thoroughly enjoyed the food, it’s customary to give a small tip — around 5-10% of the bill. If your service was just average, round up the bill or leave some change.
It’s very rare for restaurants to include a specific service charge on the bill. If this is included, there’s no expectation to leave an additional tip (although you’re always welcome to). See the next section for more details.
How much should I tip at a restaurant in Holland?
Can a restaurant in the Netherlands include a service charge on the bill?
Getting a service charge on a bill can be a nasty surprise — particularly when you feel obligated to pay it. For students or tourists on budgets it can take an affordable dinner to a blowout extravaganza fast.
Luckily, this rarely happens in the Netherlands because servicekosten (service costs) have been included in bills since the 1970s and are reflected in menu prices. If you are unlucky enough to see an unfair additional charge on your bill, discuss it with the manager. Unless they’ve mentioned it beforehand, it’s purely voluntary, so you can ask to have it removed.
READ MORE: 30 Things to do in Amsterdam in 2020
If you’re drinking in a bar, you may already be feeling a little generous. Thankfully, it’s not expected to tip per drink in the Netherlands (we’re looking at you, Americans). Instead, if you’re running a tab throughout the evening you may like to round up the bill at the end of the night. Alternatively, throw a few coins in a tip jar — your bartenders will appreciate it!
How much should I tip in a bar in the Netherlands?
It’s not necessary to tip your taxi drivers in the Netherlands, but you can round up the bill or tip one or two euros if you like. Dutch taxis are already expensive thanks to high gas prices and taxes, so drivers don’t expect tips. Of course, if you received great service it may be worth letting them know.
How much should I tip a taxi driver in the Netherlands?
If you’re sitting in a cute Dutch cafe, enjoying some koffie and apelflap (try it, you can thank us later) and you’re handed the bill, there’s no requirement to tip. Of course, if your bill was €8.50 and your appelflap was truly lekker (delicious) you may like to give your server €10 and call it a day. Of course, if you do decide to wait for your change they won’t blink an eye. Same goes for takeaway coffees — there’s no requirement to tip, but you’re welcome to if you want.
How much should I tip a cafe in the Netherlands?
At those prices? Just kidding. It’s never expected to tip at a hotel in the Netherlands. Of course, if you have a great receptionist or porter you may like to give them a few euros as a thankyou.
How much should I tip my hotel in Holland?
If you’ve had a fantastic tour led by a truly excellent guide, you may like to tip them a few euros. It won’t be expected, although some tour guides may encourage it — but it is always a choice.
There is one exception: if you’re taking a free walking tour, these guides earn their whole salary from tips. Plan on tipping around €10 per person, or extra if it was a truly fantastic tour.
How much should I tip my tour guide in Holland?
You may be seeing a trend here — tipping in Amsterdam and the rest of the Netherlands is very rarely compulsory. But, if you receive great service from a hairdresser, manicurist, spa worker, or anything in between you can leave a few euros to show your gratitude.
How much should I tip a hairdresser or spa worker in the Netherlands?
Until the 1970s, it was common to see a mandatory servicekosten on a bill. This was a fixed 15% charge that was originally implemented after the 1950s. By the 1970s, people had gotten used to the fixed charge and it began to be integrated directly into the cost of food instead. While all prices rose 15% at the time, the service cost no longer appeared separately on the receipt.
Today, this service cost is still built into the bill — and it’s this service cost that allows hospitality workers to earn minimum wage. Of course, it can be expensive to live in the Netherlands, so if you do get exceptional service you may like to give a small tip to your hospitality worker to make their day.
Are tip jars common?
You’ll quite often see tip jars in cafes and bars in the Netherlands, and at some restaurants as well. Feel free to throw some spare change in there if you liked the service (or just hate carrying change).
Should tipping be secretive in Amsterdam?
We’ve all seen the sly ‘drug deal’ type of tipping — a mystery note covered by someone’s hand, slipped secretively into someone else’s. If you’re the kind to do this, go ahead — but it’s absolutely not necessary. Just hand them the tip, they’ll be happy enough to accept it.
Can I tip with a bank card in Holland?
If you’re not the kind of person to carry cash, most places that have a card machine are able to process the tip alongside the rest of the bill. Remember, many places will only accept Maestro, not Visa or MasterCard. Just let them know that you want to tip before you pay — check out some handy language tips below!
We all know the Dutch have some amazing English skills, but if you want to immerse yourself into Dutch language give these quick phrases a go:
|Can I have the bill, please?||Mag ik de rekening alsjeblieft?|
|Keep the change.||Laat het wisselgeld maar zitten.|
|Can I tip with a card?||Kan ik met kaart tippen?|
|Make the bill  euro||Maak er maar  euro van.|
|Can I have  euro back?||Mag ik  euro terug?|
|This tip is for you||Deze fooi is voor jou.|
|Do you accept tips?||Accepteren jullie fooi?|
The Dutch approach to tipping is very sensible: tip where you get good service. You don’t need to tip a lot, but any tip received is greatly welcomed by your hardworking servers, bartenders, drivers, or other staff who sometimes don’t earn a lot of money in a very expensive country. Rounding up the bill, leaving a few euros, or tipping 10% will really go a long way to making their day better!
Got a question about tipping in the Netherlands? Ask it in the comments below!
Feature Image: Sam Dan Truong/Unsplash