Tipping in Romania – WHEN and HOW much?

In this post, we’re going to talk about the tipping etiquette in Romania. If you’re visiting Romania for the first time, it’s normal to be a little confused. Should you tip or not?

Well, the answer is not that simple. It really depends from case to case but I am here to help. As a Romanian, I know everything about tipping in the country of Dracula and I am here to share with you the “unwritten rules”.

-> Find out 20 surprising facts about Romania.

Tipping Etiquette in Romania

Is tipping mandatory in Romania?

This simple answer is “no”. You don’t have to tip in Romania but you’re expected to, especially as a foreigner. If you don’t want to tip, nobody will say anything to you.

-> Is Romania safe to visit? Find out the answer here.

Salaries in Romania are quite low, compared to other countries from Europe. There is an unwritten law among the locals which encourages tipping. It’s our way of saying thank you for somebody’s services.

So when should you tip in Romania? I’ll make a list of situations when tipping is expected:

  • When going to a restaurant 
  • When taking the taxi 
  • When taking a guided tour 

Let’s talk about tipping taxi drivers in Romania. Taxi drivers are notorious for scamming both locals and tourists. If the driver senses that you don’t know your way around the city, he will choose the longest route. After all this, they still expect you to tip at least 0.5 RON.

My advice would be to use Uber. With Uber you’ll know the price from the beginning and the driver doesn’t have any reason to take you on the longest route.

Let’s get back to tipping. You must remember that there are situations when tipping is not expected. Here are some of them:

  • When shopping at a supermarket or mall
  • When doing your groceries
  • When paying for tickets (bus, theatre, movies)
  • When paying for accommodation

How much should you tip in Romania?

While 10% is a good rule of thumb, the real answer is – it depends.

When going to a restaurant or bar, the higher the bill is the smaller the tip is expected to be. For example, if your bill is 100 RON, 10 RON is ok for tipping. However, if your bill is 500 RON, no one will expect you to tip 50 RON. 15 or 20 RON will do the trick.

When traveling by taxi, tipping is quite standard and is not calculated as a percentage from the total. You can tip anywhere between 0.5 and 2 RON, no matter the bill value.

The thing is, tipping in Romania is far from standard. The best thing to do is to use your intuition or choose to tip 10% of the total price. Remember, nobody will blame you if you don’t tip but you’ll probably get a few “looks”.

Good to know: In Bucharest, you’re expected to tip a bit more since the city itself is a bit more expensive than other cities around the country.

As a Romanian myself, I don’t always tip. It really depends on the service’s quality and my mood. You shouldn’t worry too much about this. Nobody will be upset if you don’t tip. However, a small tip will definitely be appreciated.

Final thoughts

In some countries tipping is expected, in other countries this is not the case. Romania is somewhere in the middle. If you are a tourist from a foreign country, people will expect you to tip but they won’t get angry if you don’t.

10% of the total is a good rule of thumb. Whether you decide to tip or not, it’s strictly your decision. Romanians will still be happy that you visit their country and explore their culture. Have I told you that Romanians are some of the friendliest people in Europe? Read more about it here.

May the travel bug bite you!

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Tipping Etiquette in Romania

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