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.

Need to tip fast with no time to scroll? Jump to these sections:

Tipping in restaurants in the Netherlands
Tipping in bars in Holland
Is it customary to tip taxi drivers in Holland?
Do I need to tip at a cafe in Amsterdam?
Do I tip at a hotel in the Netherlands?
Should I tip my tour guide in the Netherlands?
Do I tip at a hairdresser or spa in Holland?
A short history of tipping in the Netherlands
How to tip in the Netherlands
Quick guide to Dutch tipping language
The bottom line on tipping in Amsterdam


Tipping in restaurants in the Netherlands

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? 

  • For above-average service tip 5-10% direct to your server. 
  • For average service, round up the bill or leave change. 

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. 

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READ MORE: 30 Things to do in Amsterdam in 2020


Tipping in bars in Holland

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? 

  • If you’re running a tab, you may like to round up the bill when you leave. 
  • Otherwise, a few coins in a tip jar goes a long way. 

Is it customary to tip taxi drivers in Holland?

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. 

READ MORE: 11 things to know before taking a taxi in Amsterdam

How much should I tip a taxi driver in the Netherlands? 

  • Tipping is not necessary, but you can round the bill up or tip one to two euros. 

Do I need to tip at a cafe in Amsterdam?

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? 

  • You don’t need to tip at a cafe, but you’re welcome to round up the bill or leave a few euros if you wish. 

Do I tip at a hotel 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?

  • There’s no requirement to tip any hotel staff, although you can give a few euros if you receive good service. 

Should I tip my tour guide in the Netherlands?

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. 

READ MORE: 64 things to do in the Netherlands: the ultimate Dutch bucket list

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?

  • Paid tours don’t require a tip, although you may like to tip a few euros for exceptional service. 
  • Tip around €10 per person for a free walking tour. 

Do I tip at a hairdresser or spa 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?

  • No tip is necessary, but you can choose to leave a few euros for great service. 

A short history of tipping 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. 


How to tip in the Netherlands

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!

READ MORE: All you need to know about banking in the Netherlands: debit cards, credit cards and online banks


Quick guide to Dutch tipping language

photo of wallet with euros between knife and fork as a tip in the netherlands
Ready to tip in the Netherlands? Here’s how to talk the talk. Image Peter Stanic/Pixabay

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 [35] euro Maak er maar [35] euro van.
Can I have [5] euro back? Mag ik [5] euro terug?
This tip is for you Deze fooi is voor jou.
Do you accept tips? Accepteren jullie fooi?

The bottom line on tipping in Amsterdam

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

12 COMMENTS

  1. My girlfriend works in restaurants in Amsterdam , every one touch a tips , even the waiter and same for the other restaurant !! There are all a team and not just a single personne, all workers split tips between each other. Sorry for my English

  2. I am Dutch myself living and working already over 16 years in Spain, i am a tourist guide and work with all kind of people. And indeed Dutch are in general one of the worst for giving tips, although i receive sometimes also from Dutch people tips. We are stingy people in general, and not alone when it comes to tips! Dutch people love saving money. Germans are way more generous when it comes to tips and it will put the Dutch into the shade. but North Americans including Mexico and South Americans are ruling in giving tips. one couple from the US can tip the same amount of money like 30 to 40 Dutch People, this is not a joke, it’s a fact!

    here is my list of the top 5 most stingy nations when it comes to tips:

    1. Israel
    2. Holland
    3. France
    4. Sweden
    5. Italy

    top 5 most generous nations for tips:

    1. Canada
    2. US
    3. Germany
    4. England
    5. Austria

  3. a tip is a sign of appreciation. the customer is simply not responsible for, nor should he need to think about- the staffs wages. thats what unions are for.

  4. As a tour guide in indonesia.. the dutch is the worst in giving tips. With a very low salary standard in indonesia handling dutch is a waste of time while we have to work and spending days with minimum wages. Tips is not compulsary but its really apreciated. Tips boost smiles unless you dont like to see one. It make me think like we dont need dutch tourist… Handling them is like you work in a mine but you already know you wont find the gold. Felt really less apreciated no matter how good you worked

    • The problem isn’t the tourists. The primary problem is your employer not paying proper wages. The solution is not telling Dutch tourists to stay at home!

  5. I think I agree with Ronald. People should stop visitors not to tip especially not the service is good. In the US, usually tip 15-20 percent depending on the service. We know that the wait staff depends on that as they don’t get paid much. Last night, I went with two people I work with to a restaurant near the beach here in the Hague. My bill was 26 euros, I was gonna leave at least 4 euros for the great service. My coworker argued that I should just leave 1 euro. I felt pressured because he was adamant that service charge was already included but it wasn’t. I felt bad for not.standing up for what I believe was right.

  6. I’m Dutch and usually just round up the bill. €27 will be €30. €75 will be €80. And €190 can be €200 if the service was normal. Only when they are shit I give nothing.

  7. I don’t know if service charge is always calculated or not, I didn’t even know about it… nor I have something against tips… but I can’t stop wondering… why do we tip only in cafes/bars/restaurants/etc? Why only a specific part of the people in the servicing industry? What about salespeople in clothing stores for example? In this case, someone might try a bunch of clothes without actually buying anything in the end, thus wasting the employee’s time for nothing. On the other hand, if you go to a cafe, etc. you are definitely going to spend something, otherwise you wouldn’t be there. I come from a country where we tip well, but it always made me wonder why we tip only a selected number of people. The only answer I can think off is that it started in the US, where tips are part of the employees’ salary and then it spread as a token of appreciation, and even becoming de facto that you will tip big in some countries/occasions. What do you think?

  8. in a market based economy (as in a non-social welfare economy,partial or complete social welfare) wages/salary/compensation is commensurate to your education, skills, experience and your ability to generate revenue/profitability. Now, waiting tables is a low skill, low educational requirement job. Its not always a first choice job for anybody, if they have better paying skills. Students opt for table waiting jobs since the skill requirements, as well as career commitment or loyalty to employment, working hours requirement is minimum. Very rarely waiting tables is a career!! Reading many comments here about need to pay bills/rent, need to lead a normal life, and such expectations is absurd, coz if you are only skilled enough to get a low paying job, you lead a low quality life. If you want a high quality life, you need to be better skilled/educated. simple….

  9. TIPS are pathetic. If the workers’ conditions are so bad that they need tips to survive, then the EMPLOYERS need to be taken to court for not passing on the SERVICE CHARGE. Workers need to join a UNION and fight for a decent wage. Tipping for good service is a nonsense. Employers are charging high prices and taking advantage of people. THE USA is the worst offender. Workers in the Netherlands unite and fight for your service charge and a decent wage

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