Tipping in Portugal: An easy guide to etiquette

Portugal has so much to experience.

From idyllic sandy beaches and cobblestone villages to vibrant, buzzing city life, there’s so much to get your eyes, ears and teeth into in this amazing country.

Amongst the many questions you might have before booking a trip to Portugal, you’re probably wondering what you should do about tipping various different service providers whilst you’re there. 

Globally, leaving a tip is viewed in countless different ways.

This guide aims to answer any questions you have tipping in Portugal.

Covering:

Who you should tip, when you should tip and how much if you’re preparing to go on a trip to Portugal.

Do you tip in Portugal?

Tipping isn’t really commonplace in Portugal, except in tourist areas, such as Lisbon and the Algarve.

In less tourist-driven areas, most locals will only offer a tip for exceptional service. 

It’s very unlikely that a tip will be refused, and some people in the service industry may actually expect a tip if they realise you are a tourist.

Tipping customs to keep in mind

Look out for service charges that are included in your bill.

Whilst tipping isn’t hugely common in Portugal, in tourist-driven areas, many restaurants will add a service charge on to your bill. In this instance there’s no need to leave a tip.

Tips are not usually expected when eating at a cheaper restaurant, and instead should be given when visiting more upscale places. 

Where you can, try to give any tip directly to the staff in cash. This will ensure that they receive it and it doesn’t go to the business instead.

Some establishments will have a tip jar somewhere visible to put this into.

Useful phrases to know

  • The bill, please – A conta, por favor (a kon-tah por fa-vor)
  • How much is it? – Quanto custa? (kwan-toh kos-tah)
  • Thank you – If you’re male, say obrigado & if you’re female, say obrigada (ob-ree-gah-doh/dah)
  • Bye – Adeus/Tchau (a-de-us / chow)

Tipping restaurants in Portugal

Tips are only really expected in more expensive restaurants, around 5-10% of the final bill.

Traditionally, Portugese people only tip for exceptional service, however the tourism industry has affected that over the years.

As a general rule:

You’re not obligated to leave a tip when eating out at a restaurant in Portugal.

It’s important to note that expectations do differ depending on what kind of restaurant you’re in.

Cheaper restaurants with a set menu (“menu do dia”) don’t expect a tip, whereas mid-price and more expensive restaurants do.

5-10% is normally left for good service.

Fado Restaurants (places where you can sample traditional Portuguese cuisine with authentic musical interludes) don’t expect to receive tips.

There is usually a minimum spend or an expensive menu in places like this that include the fado show too.

Other things to keep in mind:

  • Some places may have a tip jar, and it’s not uncommon for customers to leave any change they receive in these as a form of tipping. 
  • If you’re staying in a tourist-heavy area like Lisbon or the Algarve, then tipping is more commonly expected. Less touristy parts of the country have less expectation.
  • Double check to make sure that a service charge hasn’t already been added to your bill!

Tipping tour guides in Portugal

Tipping in Portugal: Aerial view

You don’t have to tip your tour guide, however many tourists do – between €5-€15 depending on the length of the trip.

As tipping isn’t the norm in Portugal, it’s not obligatory for you to tip your tour guide.

However, most tour guides will expect to receive something at the end of a trip or excursion because of the number of tourists who tend to do this.

Guided tours can take place in various forms, be that on foot or by bus/coach. 

  • For a half-day tour between €5-€10 is a reasonable amount to tip, and for a full day tour around €10-€15 is considered good. If you’re taking a free tour, try to tip at least €10 as tips will be the only way that guides will make money.
  • If you’re taking a tour by coach, it’s often polite to tip the driver. About €1 or €2 at the end of the trip is acceptable.

Tipping in hotels or guest houses in Portugal

Hotel staff in Portugal don’t expect tips.

Guests are not expected to tip hotel staff, however it’s a nice gesture if a member of staff has helped you out with something, i.e. booking a taxi or carrying luggage.

As with most of the other services in Portugal, it’s not traditional for hotel staff to anticipate a tip, however most tourists will give one anyway.  

A rough guide of how much to tip each member of staff (if you want to) is as follows:

  • Porters who carry your bags up to your room – €1 or €2 per bag, depending on size, but no more than €5
  • Maid – €1 or €2 per day, left on the bedside table or bed
  • Concierge/Receptionist – don’t usually expect a tip, however, if they’ve gone above and beyond to give you directions or provide good recommendations for your trip, then a tip of €5 or €10 is considerate

Tipping taxis, coaches & cabs in Portugal

Taxi, coach and cab drivers are not usually tipped, however if they know that you’re a tourist then they might expect to receive one. 

Tourists will usually pay taxi drivers a 10% tip, but it’s perfectly acceptable to round up the price of your fare to the nearest €5 or €10 if that suits you better. 

Don’t feel obligated to leave a tip either. If your taxi is on time, takes a good route and drives well, then a tip will be appreciated but it’s certainly not necessary.

Tipping in bars and pubs in Portugal

It’s not necessary to tip a bartender in Portugal.

Simply paying the price of your drink(s) is more than acceptable, and it’s uncommon to leave a large tip after a round of drinks have been purchased.

Rounding up to the nearest euro is perfectly suitable if you’re exceptionally happy with the service you’ve received.

  • Table service is regarded as different to bar service, and it’s considerate to leave a small tip here too. Again, rounding to the nearest euro is fine.
  • Leave cash tips where you can if you want to ensure that the correct member of staff receives the tip you’ve left.

Tipping barbers and in hair salons in Portugal

Barbers and hair salons in Portugal don’t expect to receive a tip.

Tipping is not commonplace in Portugal, and it’s more something that people have grown used to because of tourists. If you do get your hair cut whilst away on your trip, don’t be worried about not tipping your hairdresser or barber. 

If you’re blown away by the end result then, by all means, give a tip. 10% would be viewed as very generous, but any amount at all would be appreciated.