In a few weeks we'll be at Budapest for our holidays.

We'll try to avoid tourist traps and we will pay in cash. In order to avoid more friction than that generated by the obvious language barrier, one thing I'd like to know before arriving is how tipping is done (if at all) by locals, specially in bars/restaurants.

In Spain, after I pay, I normally leave some coins from the change in the small plate where the waiter handed it to me, then I leave the bar without waiting for them again. So...

  • Do local people in Budapest tip?
  • What is the standard tip amount/percentage? Rounding to the next 100 forints maybe?
  • Should I say something like "make it xx00 HUF" when paying, or should I act like in Spain?
  • Any other places where tipping is common?
  • Hi @pnuts, thanks for the information. Maybe you should post an excerpt as an answer :)
    – orique
    Aug 5, 2016 at 7:06
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    @pnuts sure! But I hope someone answers first-hand before I go there :)
    – orique
    Aug 5, 2016 at 11:05
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    I've been to Budapest from 2014, and this guide is spot-on. Every single restaurant seem to have service charge, so I didn't tip at all. Taxi drivers and bartenders were ok with just rounding it up. So you can post yours as an answer.
    – George Y.
    Aug 13, 2016 at 6:28
  • @GeorgeY.: It is certainly not the case that every restaurant has a service charge. What is true is that a lot of restaurants in Budapest will add a service charge to a foreigner's bill. This is a minor scam, I suppose; you could probably contest it if you were so inclined, unless the service charge is mentioned on the menu. Usually I qualify as an honorary Hungarian, so my bill has no service charge; I tip about 10% as a rule.
    – TonyK
    Aug 20, 2016 at 13:03
  • Funny that this way they're doing disservice to themselves as Americans typically tip at 15%.
    – George Y.
    Aug 21, 2016 at 1:53

2 Answers 2


As pnuts posted this guide is pretty accurate. I'd like to add to the taxi section that taxify is now available in Budapest which is like Uber except for the all around evilness of Uber. Summarized:

  1. Sit-down eateries: 10-15% (as befitting service) but be mindful of "szervízdíj" (service charge) which is often already added to the bill. No need to add a second tip in the latter case.

  2. Give 500 Ft to a bellhop carrying luggage from the lobby to the room or back.

  3. Taxis: ~5-10% of the total fare, or round up by about 100-200 forints for a typical ride of ten minutes or less.

My experience: if you do not want to be generous you can stop here, the rest of the list is ... more optional. I was Hungarian too, now Canadian, visiting often so I have some ideas.

  1. Leave 2-300 Ft per day for the housekeepers at the end of your stay.

  2. If you use the hotel concierge, at the end of your stay tip 500-1000 Ft.

  3. Airport shuttle driver: tip of 200-500 forints, especially if they assist with loading and unloading your luggage.

  4. 5-10% of the total charge for a limousine or other specialty vehicle.

  5. Bartenders: round up to the next 100-forint denomination above the total charge.

  6. Fancy club or cocktail lounge: 200-forint-per-drink bonus will suffice at almost any upscale bar nationwide

  7. Cloakroom attendants: 50-forint coin is enough if a tip jar or tray is provided at the counter.

  8. I am skipping restroom attendant, this reads crazy.

  9. Delivery services: A 200-forint gratuity is enough unless you deliver to BFE. In the latter case, I add 10% and round up the nearest 100Ft.

  10. Most everything else: as you can it works to the same beat, if you got very good service, a few hundreds or just rounding up is fine.


I made an article about how to behave (and tip) in Hungarian bars and restaurants. You can check it out here, facebook link.

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    If you edit this answer soon, including several points of what you put on that internet site, you may save it from deletion. As it stands now it is very close to a link only answer and looks like spam.
    – Willeke
    Jan 24, 2019 at 17:02
  • Welcome to the site, Dori. I like your article; could you copy it and paste into your answer (by using the edit button)? The only bit you would want to leave linked is the vocabulary list, again very useful as it has an audio pronunciation feature.
    – Giorgio
    Jan 24, 2019 at 17:19

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