Tipping can be a difficult topic for most people as it varies so much across the world.
Tipping culture in London is a balance of both America and Europe.
To save you the embarrassment of tipping the incorrect amounts, I have made this London tipping guide.
Do you tip in London?
Tipping is always appreciated but not necessary.
In some places such as London restaurants and high-end hotels, tipping is expected, if there is no service charge which has been included on your bill.
For places such as London bars, pubs and also taxi drivers, you can simply round up to the nearest pound, or opt to let them “keep the change”.
Unlike the USA, London does have a fair minimum wage for service staff, but a small tip is always appreciated.
How Much Should I Tip in London?
The amount you tip varies on the place you’re at and if you received good service, bad service or if there is an optional service charge included already.
I’ll break down how much you should generally tip in each location below.
Tipping in London Restaurants
London restaurants usually have a service charge included on the bill. So make sure you check this first.
Most restaurants will still have a tip option on the credit card machine even after adding a service charge, do not get fooled into tipping twice here.
It’s usually easiest to carry some extra notes with you and tip with cash, as the card machines can get confusing and stressful.
If there is no service charge and you are happy with the service provided, then you can leave a tip of 10-15% of the total bill.
As always people tip with their own discretion, if you received exceptionally bad service or staff members have been rude to you, then it’s perfectly fine to provide no tip at all.
If the service was truly shocking, you could even ask to remove the service charge from the bill.
Tipping in London Pubs
Tipping is not expected in London pubs.
You can tip if you get table service and order some food, in this case you can tip the same amount you would in restaurants.
You can also leave a few pounds when you order your beer or wine to the bar staff, this is not necessary but can get you quicker and priority service on future orders.
Some pubs may use a tip jar, if this is the case it’s always nice to drop the change in.
Tipping in London Bars
Tipping in a London Bar varies between the bars you go to.
Higher end places will expect tips to bar staff, especially if you’re ordering fancy cocktails.
In general you should tip £1-2 per drink or about 10%.
This is also true if you get table service.
For casual bars that are closer to pubs, you do not need to leave a tip.
Tipping Taxi Drivers in London
Getting a taxi around London can be very expensive, but how much should you tip?
Most London taxi drivers are trained and very knowledgeable about the area, they can usually get you from A to B in a shorter period of time, through short cuts and knowledge of which areas are busy and are best to avoid.
For short journeys in London, I’d recommend tipping the taxi driver £1-2.
For longer journeys you can leave the cab driver up to £5, especially if they were entertaining or gave some information about London.
Tipping in London Hotels
There are lots of hotel staff that all come together to make your stay in London enjoyable.
Several of them are paid minimum wage, or close to it.
Cleaning staff, bellhops and Hotel restaurant staff usually appreciate a small tip.
For bellhops, I recommend you tip them £1 per luggage bag that they carry to your room.
For housekeeping staff, you can either tip them £1-2 per night or choose top tip them £5-10 at the end of your stay.
Hotel resturant staff are not different to normal wait staff. You should tip 10-15% of the bill, if they don’t automatically add gratuity or a service charge.
If you choose to get room service, you should expect gratuity to be automatically included on the bill. It’s usually around 10-15%, but if it’s not included then you should tip the staff delivering your food.
Tipping London Tour Guides
A tour guide in London is usually well paid.
Therefore you can choose to not tip them.
If they provide an exceptional tour and you really enjoyed it, then leaving a tip at the end of the tour, is sure to make your tour guide very happy.
Most guides are a great resource for travel tips and knowledge of London, so if they helped you then it’s always nice to show appreciation.
Where Else Do I Tip In London
We covered all of the common places that you should tip, being restaurants, hotels and transportation.
If you happened to visit any hair salons or get a hair cut, then a 10% tip is my go to.
If you have a private coach driver, then leaving them a few pounds per day is customary.