A 2024 Guide on Tipping Etiquette in Turkey

Explore the 2024 guide to tipping etiquette in Turkey, contemplating whether tipping is customary or not in various situations. Gain insights into cultural practices and make informed decisions on gratuities during your travels.

Is Tipping Essential in Turkey?

When it comes to leaving a gratuity in Turkey, it's not obligatory. Let's clarify this upfront. However, offering a good tip can be genuinely appreciated if you found the service to be of high quality or simply enjoyed the overall experience. While not a cultural norm, there seems to be an unspoken understanding that tipping is a polite way of expressing satisfaction with the service.

It's crucial to note that if you encounter subpar service, unappetizing food, or rudeness from the staff, there's no expectation to leave a tip. In such cases, it's perfectly acceptable to leave without tipping and not revisit the establishment.

Considering that wages in Turkey may not be particularly high, many individuals in various industries rely on tips to supplement their incomes. Therefore, if you've had a positive experience, adding a little extra as a token of appreciation can go a long way.

In Turkish, the term for tip is 'bahşiş,' pronounced as bar sheesh. The amount you choose to tip is entirely at your discretion; there are no strict rules comparable to some other countries. Rest assured that staff won't frown upon you if you don't adhere to a specific tipping amount.

A 2024 Guide on Tipping Etiquette in Turkey

Guidelines for Tipping in Turkey 

Navigating the topic of tipping can sometimes be uncomfortable, but it doesn't have to be. In Turkey, people generally have a relaxed attitude towards gratuities, often leaving a little extra in the bill wallet or tip box without much fuss. The key is not to stress about it; tip according to your own judgement and how you feel about the service or experience.

While there's flexibility in tipping practices, there are some considerations to keep in mind:

  • Currency Choice: It's advisable to tip in Turkish Lira whenever possible. In tourist areas, foreign currency like euros, US dollars, or British pounds may be accepted. Avoid leaving foreign coins, and opt for paper money.
  • Placement of Tip: Leave your tip discreetly in the provided tip box or payment wallet; there's no need to make a grand gesture.
  • Check for Service Charge: Before tipping, check the receipt for a service charge, especially in larger cities. If a service charge is included, you can decide whether to add an extra tip.
  • Keep the Change Gesture: In situations where you can't leave a tip in a wallet or box, such as in a taxi, you can simply tell someone to keep the change. A casual 'Tamam' or a more formal 'Üstü kalsın' (keep the change) can be used.
  • Common Tipping Practices: Tipping is customary in Turkey, given the relatively low wages. Even if it's not mandatory, leaving a gratuity is often appreciated.
  • Percentage Guidelines: If no service charge is included, it's customary to tip between 5-10% of the bill, depending on your satisfaction. For high-end dining experiences, a tip of 10-15% may be more appropriate. Always leave your tip in cash, either in the bill sleeve or directly to the waiter.

Advice for Tipping Taxi Drivers in Turkey

In Turkey, offering tips to taxi drivers is a customary practice that reflects appreciation for good service. Keeping small bills on hand is recommended, and while tipping isn't obligatory, it serves as a commendable way to express gratitude. Rounding up the fare or providing a 10% gratuity for exceptional rides aligns with standard tipping practices.

Advice for Tipping Taxi Drivers in Turkey

  • Keep Small Bills Handy

It's advisable to have small bills on hand for tipping taxi drivers, particularly those who provide good service and avoid overcharging.

  • Expressing Gratitude

While tipping is not mandatory, it is a commendable way to express gratitude for the service provided by taxi drivers in Turkey.

  • Determining the Amount

If you're unsure about the appropriate amount, a practical approach is to round up the fare to the nearest whole Lira or in increments of 10 Lira. Instructing the driver to keep the change is a simple and appreciated way to tip.

  • Standard Guideline

For exceptionally satisfactory taxi rides, adhering to the standard guideline of offering a 10% gratuity on the fare is considered a reasonable practice.

  • Appreciating Good Service

Tipping becomes a meaningful gesture to acknowledge and appreciate taxi drivers who provide a positive and honest service experience.

  • Not Obligatory

It's important to note that while tipping is encouraged, it is not obligatory. However, it is a common practice to recognize and reward good service.

  • Round Up to Nearest Lira

Rounding up the fare to the nearest whole Lira simplifies the tipping process and is a convenient way to show appreciation for a taxi ride.

  • Encouraging Fair Practices

Tipping encourages fair and honest practices among taxi drivers, fostering a positive and respectful relationship between passengers and service providers.

  • Considerate Approach

Being considerate of the service received and acknowledging it with a tip contributes to a culture of mutual respect and appreciation in the transportation industry.

  • Reflecting on Service Quality

The amount tipped can also be reflective of the overall service quality, allowing passengers to reward exceptional service accordingly.

Hotel Staff Tipping in Turkey

Hotel Staff Tipping in Turkey

Tipping hotel staff in Turkey is not mandatory but is a considerate gesture that can significantly enhance your overall stay experience.

  • Thoughtful Gesture: Offering a little extra money to hotel staff, including bellhops and maids, is highly appreciated and reflects thoughtfulness towards their service.
  • Enhancing Quality of Stay: Tipping is seen as a way to enhance the quality of your stay, creating a positive atmosphere and fostering a more enjoyable experience during your accommodation.
  • Modest Tips Are Sufficient: There's no need to go overboard with tipping; a modest tip of a few dollars here and there is sufficient to express appreciation for the services provided.
  • Porters' Tip Recommendation: For porters assisting with luggage, a suggested tip of 1 euro per suitcase is a thoughtful way to acknowledge their assistance.
  • Housekeeping Staff Tips: When it comes to housekeeping staff, a tip of 5 euros is considered appropriate if the room is well-cleaned, providing a tangible acknowledgment of their efforts.
  • Room Service Considerations: If you've utilised room service and received exceptional service, a tip of 5 euros is fitting, aligning with the general appreciation for quality service.
  • No Obligation for Subpar Service: If, however, you feel that the service did not meet expectations, there is no obligation to tip, ensuring that gratuities are tied to the quality of service received.
  • Flexible Tipping Culture: Tipping in hotels is part of a flexible culture, allowing guests to tailor their gratuities based on their satisfaction levels and the quality of services rendered.

Tour Guides Tipping in Türkiye

When considering gratuities for tour guides in Turkey, it's important to note that tipping is not obligatory but can be a meaningful way to express gratitude for an exceptional tour experience.

  • Non-Obligatory Tipping: Tipping is not mandatory, allowing visitors flexibility in expressing appreciation based on their satisfaction with the tour.
  • Expressing Gratitude: If the organised tour was enjoyable and the tour guide was exceptionally helpful, offering a tip becomes a genuine way to express gratitude for their services.
  • No Fixed Amount: There is no predetermined or fixed amount for tipping, providing visitors the freedom to determine the tip based on their budget and perceived value of the tour.
  • Budget Considerations: Tipping amounts are subjective and depend on individual budgets, allowing visitors to contribute an amount that aligns with their financial comfort.
  • Guideline: 10-15% of Total Cost: A practical guideline for tipping is to consider between 10-15% of the total cost of the tour. This provides a benchmark for expressing gratitude without stringent rules.
  • Additional Consideration for Drivers: If private transfer services were included in the tour, it's thoughtful to add a little extra to the tip for the driver, acknowledging their role in enhancing the overall tour experience.
  • Flexible Tipping Culture: Tipping for tour guides in Turkey is part of a flexible cultural norm, allowing visitors to tailor their gratuities based on their perception of the service quality and overall tour experience.
  • Meaningful Gesture: Tipping, in this context, is not just a financial transaction but a meaningful gesture that acknowledges and appreciates the efforts of tour guides in providing an enriching and enjoyable experience.

Tipping at the Turkish Bath

Experiencing a Turkish Hamam involves not only relaxation but also an opportunity to express appreciation through gratuities. The etiquette involves tipping the attentive hamam attendant as you conclude your visit.

  • Attentive Hamam Attendant: The hamam attendant plays a crucial role in ensuring a pleasant experience. Their attentiveness, especially during the farewell, serves as a polite cue for patrons to consider leaving a gratuity.
  • Bid Farewell Tradition: As visitors prepare to leave the Turkish Hamam, the bid farewell tradition becomes a symbolic signal for acknowledging the services received and expressing gratitude through tipping.
  • Gratuity Percentage:10-15%: The customary range for gratuities at a Turkish Bath typically falls between 10 to 15%. This percentage reflects a token of appreciation for the attentive service provided throughout the hamam experience.
  • Expression of Appreciation: Tipping in this context goes beyond a monetary transaction; it becomes a tangible expression of appreciation for the care and service provided by the hamam attendant.
  • Flexible Tipping Culture: The tipping culture in Turkish baths is flexible, allowing visitors to adjust the gratuity based on their satisfaction levels and the quality of service received during their time at the hamam.
  • Enhancing the Experience: Offering a gratuity contributes to the overall positive experience, creating a reciprocal exchange that acknowledges the efforts of the hamam attendant in ensuring a memorable and relaxing visit.
  • Acknowledging Personalized Service: Tipping serves as a recognition of the personalised service provided, highlighting the importance of the hamam attendant's role in making the Turkish Bath experience enjoyable.
  • Cultural Courtesy: Tipping at the Turkish Bath is not only a gesture of appreciation but also aligns with cultural courtesy, reflecting a mutual respect between patrons and the staff responsible for facilitating a rejuvenating and culturally rich experience.

Tipping at Restaurants in Turkey

In Turkey, it's customary to leave a tip when dining at restaurants. The amount is at your discretion, but as a general guideline, around 10% of the total bill is considered typical. You have the option to leave the tip either in cash or add it to your credit card payment.

When paying with cash, a convenient approach is to inform the waiter or waitress about the tip amount you'd like to leave, and they will handle it for you. If using a credit card, you can include the tip when signing the bill.

Additionally, it's common to encounter musicians at restaurants playing for tips. If they approach you while playing, it's customary to compensate them. However, if you prefer not to, a simple gesture of waving your hand and politely declining will be understood, and they will move on to the next table without offence.

Bars and Cafes Tipping in Turkey

Tipping in bars and cafes in Turkey is a customary practice, enhancing the overall experience. The etiquette involves leaving a modest tip, often in the form of change, as a token of appreciation for the service received.

  • Common Practice: Tipping in bars and cafes is a common practice in Turkey, woven into the culture of hospitality and acknowledging the service provided by the staff.
  • Modest Tip Tradition: Leaving a modest tip is the tradition in bars and cafes, symbolising gratitude without the need for extravagant gestures.
  • Post-Bill Gratuity: The typical approach is to leave the tip on the table after settling the bill, allowing patrons to express appreciation directly.
  • Discretionary Amount: The specific amount for tipping is at the discretion of the patron, providing flexibility based on individual satisfaction and financial comfort.
  • General Guideline: 5%: While there's no strict rule, a general guideline is to leave around 5% of the total bill as a customary tip in bars and cafes.
  • Higher Tip: If the service stands out as exceptional, patrons may choose to leave a higher tip, reflecting the quality of service and expressing a more substantial token of appreciation.
  • Expressing Gratitude: Tipping becomes a tangible way of expressing gratitude for the attentive service, creating a positive interaction between patrons and the staff.
  • Cultural Hospitality: Tipping in bars and cafes aligns with the cultural hospitality of Turkey, fostering a sense of mutual respect between those enjoying the experience and those providing the service.

Currency Information for Tipping in Turkey

Currency Information for Tipping in Turkey

Understanding the currency dynamics in Turkey is essential for accurate tipping, supporting the local economy and ensuring smooth transactions.

  • Official Currency: Turkish Lira (TRY/TL): The official currency for transactions in Turkey is the Turkish Lira, denoted by the symbols TRY or TL.
  • Reference in Euros for Clarity: To provide clarity in this Turkish tipping guide, prices will be referenced in euros, considering the depreciation of the Lira. This ensures accurate tipping and supports the local economy.
  • Denominations: Notes and Coin: Turkish Lira is available in various denominations. Notes range from 5 to 200 Lira,while coins are issued in denominations of 1 to 50 kurus.
  • Widespread Acceptance of Foreign Currencies: In tourist areas, currencies such as UK sterling, euros, and US Dollars are widely accepted. However, it's crucial to be aware that the exchange rate may be less favourable in these cases.
  • Recommendation: Change to Local Currency: To maximise value and avoid unfavourable exchange rates, it is advisable to change to the local currency whenever possible. This ensures that tips contribute directly to the local economy.
  • ATMs in Major Towns, Cities, and Tourist Resorts: Major towns, cities, and tourist resorts in Turkey have numerous ATMs, facilitating convenient access to the local currency. However, in smaller locations, transactions may be limited to Turkish Lira.
  • Caution with Larger Denominations: Vendors might decline a 200 Lira note for amounts below 150 lira. Having smaller change on hand is recommended to accommodate transactions seamlessly, especially in smaller establishments.
  • Supporting Local Economy through Tips: Tipping in the local currency supports the Turkish economy directly. Patrons are encouraged to be mindful of the currency nuances to ensure a positive impact through their gratuities.


Should I tip in restaurants in Turkey?

Yes, you should tip 10-15% of the bill at sit-down restaurants. However, if a service charge is already included, no additional tip is necessary. Take away food does not require a tip.

What about taxis and ride shares?

You should tip your taxi or rideshare driver 10-15% of the fare. Simply round up the fare or tip your driver in cash. 

When should I tip hotel staff?

If you stay at higher-end hotels in Turkey you can tip the concierge, porters, housekeeping staff, etc around 20-50 TL per service. At simpler hotels, tipping is not expected but appreciated.

Are tipping tour guides and drivers expected?

Yes, it's customary to tip 10-15% of their service fee. Guides that provide excellent service can be tipped up to 20%. You don't need to tip bus or coach drivers.

Should I tip at hair/beauty salons?

You should tip salon workers 10-20% of the service price if you were satisfied. For simple services tipping 10% is fine but 20% is customary for more complex services like colouring or perms.


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