Tipping in Amsterdam

Last Updated: May 2, 2024

Gerrit Vandenberg

Gerrit shares his love for the Netherlands from his home near Amsterdam, helping thousands plan unforgettable trips to the lowlands. Discover his inspiring journey "From a critical health scare to celebrating Holland's charms". If you want to send Gerrit a quick message, you can contact him here.

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Hi, I'm Gerrit

I enjoy sharing useful tips about the beauty of this county.

Are you wondering: do you tip in Amsterdam? And if so, how much? 

The short answer is yes, tipping in Amsterdam is a thing, but the approach by Dutch people is a little different from other places, like the USA.

Are you in a hurry? I created this handy Amsterdam tip calculator for you, where you can calculate the correct tip amount for the most crucial tipping situations.

But if you have a few extra minutes, read this guide for a better explanation and context.

As a local Dutchman, born and raised in the Netherlands, I know the correct etiquette in this country. 

My childhood made me even more familiar with Dutch tipping customs. My father was a low-paid taxi driver. The tips he received decided whether we could do fun things.

So, let’s dive in and explore Dutch tipping culture together!

Tipping in Amsterdam often means leaving a small tip.
It’s customary to leave a tip in Amsterdam – © Hidden Holland

Tipping in Restaurants

Tipping in Amsterdam by card for a coffee.
Tipping in Amsterdam by card for a coffee – © Hidden Holland

Tipping in Amsterdam restaurants is not required due to higher wages for hospitality workers in the Netherlands. It’s quite a bit above minimum wage. And minimum wage is already higher than in most other countries.

Leaving a few euros is still customary.

A tip of 5-10% of the bill is standard. I round my bill with a tip of around €2-3 for bills up to €50, aound €5 for bills up to €100, and around €10 for bills over €100.

I usually round up my bill with these tips in mind. For instance, a bill of €88.80 could be rounded up to €95.

This applies to Amsterdam restaurants and elsewhere in The Netherlands.

Make sure to let the server know the total amount you’d like to pay including the tip. Back to the bil of €88.80 example from above: say €95 please, and hand them your card.

PS: service expectations are different in The Netherlands than in the USA for example please consider that before you decide whether you received good service or not. Here are the largest differences:

  • Service is slower here: it’s meant to be like that. Going out for dinner is a night out, not a quick meal. If have limited time, make sure to tell your waiter kindly.
  • Your bill is not brought to your table automatically. You’ll have to ask for it. Or walk up to the till and ask to pay. Even if your bill is brought to your table you might still be asked to come with them to the till for payment. This is normal.
  • Water is usually not free. Even tapwater. Starting a discussion will make your evening ackward. Adept to local customs. Drink sizes are small and expensive. You’ll quickly learn to savor a soda the same way as a glass of wine!

Make it easy for yourself, and use my convenient tipping calculator.

How Much to Tip at Bars in Amsterdam

Unlike in the US, you don’t tip for every drink. If you receive table service, tip at the end of the evening (similar to restaurant tipping).

If you order at the bar, look for a tip jar and add a few euros per person for the evening.

Tipping in Cafes in Amsterdam

Leaving a tip after you received the bill.
Leaving a tip after you receive the bill – © Hidden Holland

A common practice is to leave a small tip when you have a coffee at a café. It’s customary to round up the bill to the nearest euro or half euro, but more than €1.

For instance, if two coffees cost €5.50, I would pay €6.50. If the total is €5.80, I would pay €7.

Quickly calculate your tip.

How Much To Tip Taxi Drivers in Amsterdam

My father was a taxi driver, and I can tell you they are among the lowest-paid workers in the Netherlands.

Even though your taxi bill might seem high, the driver doesn’t see much of that.

Costs are high here in this country. There is 21% sales tax, gas runs around $10 a gallon, and buying a car is heavily taxed.

I urge you not to skimp on tipping taxi drivers in Amsterdam, even when you pay by card.

Tip your driver a standard tip of 10% of the final price, and 15-20% if the driver was extra helpful and friendly.

One exception to the rule: If the driver takes a longer route without a good reason, you don’t tip him or her, and you should call them out or report them (track, for example, with Google Maps).

But know that in Amsterdam, cars have limited access meaning a detour is often the only way! So use Google Maps before you accuse someone.

Use my tipping tool to find out the amount to tip your taxi driver.

Tipping in Amsterdam Hotels

This is one area where the Netherlands differs from the US. In the Netherlands, it’s not expected to tip hotel staff.

But a few euros is a nice gesture if you receive exceptional service. Leave a note with your tip if it’s meant for housekeeping staff to clarify it’s a tip otherwise they might feel you tried to trick them into stealing money you left behind in your room.

Hotel porters are not found at many hotels in Amsterdam and elsewhere in the country, but if you’re assisted by one in a more upscale hotel, leave about one euro per bag. If they’re heavy, leave a bit more.

Tipping the hotel concierge is discretionary. You don’t have to, but consider leaving something if their service was exceptional (when they secured some hard-to-find tickets, for example).

It’s hard to put a number on this one because it depends on how exceptional the service was and how much that was worth to you.

Front desk staff, you don’t tip as a general rule, but again, if you received great service or they gave you an amazing upgrade, you may want to tip. Ask first if it’s ok. It isn’t always.

How Much to Tip A Tour Guide in Amsterdam

A guided tour by the Van The Gogh Museum during the Auvers His Final Months Exhibition.
Leaving a tip when you’re on a guided tour – © Hidden Holland

Tipping tour guides can be tricky. While not obligatory, it is still nice to do.

By not tipping, it can be awkward. Not all tours are equal and there are different tipping expectations. Here is my rundown:

  • Short Group Tours (like a canal cruise or hop-on hop-off bus tour in Amsterdam): If the commentary is automated, I don’t tip even though they might ask for a tip. If it was live commentary and good, I leave a small tip, usually €2-5 per person.
  • Walking tours:
    • Free Walking Tours: guides rely on tips for free walking tours, so I’m generous if the tour is free and enjoyable; typically, €10-€15 per person is a good amount.
    • Paid group walking tour: If I had a good time, I would give €5 per person.
    • Private walking tour: 10% of the tour price is a good tip when the guide is friendly and entertaining. If they went out of their way, for example giving you more tips for the rest of your stay give 15-20%.
  • Day trips:
    • Group Tours: I’d leave €5 per person for group tours, for example, if you’re on a tour bus to the Windmills. (PS: only if the guide gave you a wonderful experience.)
    • Private Day Tour: I’d tip €50 for half day tours (up to 5 hours) and €100 per day for full-day tours, this is per party. If the guide provided great service. If you feel your guide went above expectations give more. It’s also ok to give less, if service was not as expected.

Tips for private tours might feel like a lot. But it is important to consider that your guide is with you for many hours. Handle any unexpected problems with your itinerary, and see to every aspect of your tour, making sure you have an exceptional, worry-free time.

My calculator can give you the correct amount based on the number of people in your party and the type of tour you take. Please do try it out.

Hairdresser or SPA

In the Netherlands, tipping at a hairdresser or at the spa is not customary. Prices include all service charges, and workers are well-paid. If you received exceptional service, you can offer a tip but don’t be surprised if it’s declined.

Self-service restaurants

Here’s a trend from the USA that’s made its way to Amsterdam: tip jars at self-service restaurant cash registers. As a Dutchman, I find this odd as there’s no service to reward. My advice? Ignore the jar.

Tipping Calculator

All the information above is a lot to take in. In case you’re still wondering how much to tip in Amsterdam, I’ve created an Amsterdam tipping calculator for you. It includes:

  1. Calculators for restaurants, cafes, bars, and taxis. Just input your bill amount to get the recommended tip.
  2. A section for tours. Select your tour type, input your details, and it will suggest the tip amount.

Click here to go to the Netherlands Tipping Calculator that I’ve built >>

Handy Dutch Phrases for Tipping in the Netherlands

Learning a few local phrases can significantly improve your travel experience and will be appreciated by the locals. Here are some Dutch phrases that might come in handy:

EnglishDutch
Can I have the bill?Mag ik de rekening?
Keep the change.Laat het wisselgeld maar zitten.
Can I tip with a card?Kan ik ook een fooi geven met mijn bankpas?
This tip is for you.Deze fooi is voor jou.
Do you accept tips?Accepteer je fooi?
Thank you for the excellent service.Dank je voor de goede service.

Don’t worry about perfect pronunciation; just trying will be appreciated. Remember, the Dutch are quite proficient in English, so returning to English is easy and perfectly acceptable.

Are you curious about more Dutch phrases, you most likely will enjoy my post: “Hello in Dutch and 51 other Dutch phrases.”

Frequently Asked Questions about Tipping Etiquette

Here I tipped by card, instead of with coins.
Here I tipped by card instead of coins – © Hidden Holland

Below are some of the most common questions I’ve received from visitors:

Can I tip with my bank card/credit card?

Yes, you typically can. Just let the server know how much you’d like to pay including your tip before they enter the amount in the machine. For example if the bill is €88.20, you can say €95 please. It’s not possible to write the tip amount down on the receipt which is common in the USA. And just in case, be prepared with some coins, or small bills to give a tip in cash separate from your card payment if you can’t add a tip that way.

Can restaurants add a service charge to the bill?

No, they can not. In the Netherlands, service charges have been included in the bill since the 1970s. If you see a service charge added to your bill, consider it a red flag—a tourist trap. Don’t hesitate to call them out and ask for the charge removed. Don’t pay it, and certainly don’t tip in such situations. Pay only the amount listed on the menu without extras. Taxes are also always included in the price.

Should I tip when I receive bad service?

You should not tip when you receive bad service in the Netherlands. Tips are genuinely optional, and a token of gratitude, not a necessity. You should not feel bad about the waiter not making any money. Waiters get paid well in the Netherlands without tips. Tips should only be given for good service. If that wasn’t the case, then don’t tip. Locals do the same.

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Conclusion

It’s important to remember that tipping here is not the same as in the USA. Tips should only be given for good service.

However, while tips are not mandatory, they are still customary to show appreciation for good service.

Everybody appreciates recognition for their efforts, just like anywhere. And it will improve service. Don’t take today’s advice as a free pass not to give anything.

At the end of the day, these are just guidelines and averages. Do what feels right for you. Every situation is unique. If you had a fantastic experience and want to give more, do! That’s the idea of rewarding good service. It should be a free choice and not a calculation.

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In Doubt About Tipping in Amsterdam?

I’d love your thoughts: If you are in doubt or have questions, please ask in the comments below. As a local Dutchman, I'll happily provide an answer in the correct context.

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Gerrit shares his love for the Netherlands from his home near Amsterdam, helping thousands plan unforgettable trips to the lowlands. Discover his inspiring journey "From a critical health scare to celebrating Holland's charms". If you want to send Gerrit a quick message, you can contact him here.

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