Tipping in Turkey: How much and When

Have you ever wondered how much you should tip when you visit Turkey? Well, you’re not alone! Tipping customs can vary from country to country, and it can be confusing to know the right amount to give. Don’t worry though, because in this article, we’ll dive into the ins and outs of tipping in Turkey and help you navigate this aspect of Turkish culture.

In Turkey, tipping is a common practice and is generally expected for good service. However, the amount you should tip can vary depending on the situation. For example, in restaurants and cafes, it’s customary to leave a tip of around 10% of the total bill. But if you receive exceptional service, you might want to consider leaving a bit more.

The word for tip in Turkish is ‘Bahsis‘ prenanounced ‘Bah’ ‘Sish’

tipping in turkey
Photo by Kate Townsend on Unsplash

When it comes to other service providers, such as taxi drivers or hotel staff, tipping is also appreciated. For taxi drivers, rounding up the fare is usually sufficient. As for hotel staff, it’s customary to give a small tip to the porter who helps you with your luggage, and a few extra coins for the cleaning staff is also appreciated.

In this article, we’ll explore the different scenarios where tipping is expected and recommended in Turkey. Whether you’re dining at a restaurant, taking a taxi, or staying at a hotel, we’ll provide you with useful tips to ensure you’re tipping appropriately. So, if you’re planning a trip to Turkey, stay tuned to learn more about the ins and outs of tipping in this lovely country!

The Ins and Outs of Tipping in Turkey

Social Etiquette and Tipping Customs in Turkey

When visiting a foreign country, it is essential to familiarize yourself with the local customs and etiquette, and tipping is no exception. In Turkey, tipping, known as “bahşiş,” is an important aspect of the culture and plays a significant role in the service industry’s economy. It is customary to tip in various situations, such as restaurants, taxis, and hotels.

Importance of Tipping in Turkey

Tipping is considered a token of appreciation and gratitude for services rendered in Turkish culture. It goes beyond mere compensation and serves as a way to acknowledge and reinforce the relationship between service providers and customers. Tipping is also seen as a way to show respect for the hard work and dedication of individuals in the service industry.

Tipping Expectations in Different Service Industries

Understanding the tipping norms in different service industries in Turkey is crucial to ensure you tip appropriately. Here are some guidelines to keep in mind:

Understanding the Tipping in Turkey Norms

Average Tipping Rates in Restaurants

In restaurants in Turkey, the customary tipping rate is around 10% of the total bill. However, some establishments may include a service charge on the bill, in which case an additional tip is not obligatory, but still appreciated. It is common to hand the tip directly to the waiter or leave it on the table after paying the bill.

Tipping Taxi Drivers and Fare Expectations

When taking a taxi in Turkey, it is customary to round up the fare or leave a small tip, typically around 5-10% of the total amount. If the driver provides exceptional service or helps with luggage, offering a slightly larger tip is considered a gesture of appreciation.

Tipping in Turkey - Yellow Taxi in Front of Dolmabahce Palace
Tipping in Turkey – Yellow Taxi in Front of Dolmabahce Palace – Photo by iam hogir on Pexels

Etiquette for Tipping Hotel Staff

Hotel staff in Turkey often rely on tips as part of their income. It is customary to tip the hotel staff who provide excellent service, such as bellboys, housekeeping, and concierge, at the end of your stay. The amount can vary based on the level of service, but a gratuity of 20-40 TL per day is typically considered appropriate.

Debunking Common Tipping in Turkey Myths

The No-Tipping Policy in Certain Establishments

Contrary to popular belief, there are no strict “no-tipping” policies in most establishments in Turkey. While some upscale restaurants may include a service charge, tips are still appreciated. It is always advisable to inquire about the tipping policy beforehand or discreetly ask the staff if you are uncertain.

Decoding Service Charges and Whether to Tip on Top

In some cases, your bill may already include a service charge, especially in tourist areas. It is important to double-check if the service charge is shared among the staff or if it goes directly to the servers. If it does not go to the servers, it is customary to leave an additional tip for the waitstaff.

Dispelling the Myth of Mandatory Tipping

Although tipping is deeply ingrained in the Turkish culture, it is not mandatory. Tipping is primarily based on the level of service you receive and your personal discretion. However, keep in mind that service industry workers in Turkey often rely on tips as part of their income, so it is always appreciated to show your gratitude through tipping.

Alternatives to Cash Tips

Gifting Small Presents as a Sign of Appreciation

Travelling to Turkey from the UK: Turkish Lira

In addition to cash tips, it is also common to express appreciation by giving small presents to service providers in Turkey. For example, if you had a memorable dining experience, offering a box of high-quality Turkish delight or a small souvenir from your homeland can leave a lasting impression.

Offering Positive Online Reviews and Feedback

In today’s digital age, leaving positive online reviews and feedback can significantly impact businesses. If you are pleased with the service you received, taking a few minutes to leave a positive review on platforms such as TripAdvisor or Google Reviews can be a valuable way to show your appreciation.

Supporting Local Businesses Instead of Monetary Tips

Another way to support service providers is to patronize local businesses and promote sustainable tourism practices. By consciously choosing to dine at local restaurants, visit local markets, and book local tours, you contribute directly to the local economy and help service providers thrive.

Navigating Tipping During Special Occasions

Tipping at Weddings and Other Celebrations

Major life events such as weddings, engagements, or other celebrations often involve various types of service providers. It is customary to tip individuals such as wedding planners, photographers, hairstylists, and waitstaff who provide exceptional service. The amount can vary, but it is typically around 10-15% of their service fee.

Birthday Parties and Tipping Etiquette

If you decide to celebrate your birthday or special occasion at a restaurant or venue in Turkey, it is customary to leave a small tip for the staff who cater to your needs. The amount can be based on the quality of service and your overall satisfaction.

Tipping During Religious Festivals and Holidays

During religious festivals and holidays, such as Ramadan or Eid al-Fitr, it is common to give small gifts or food to service providers as a gesture of goodwill. For example, you can give a box of sweets or traditional Turkish treats to your hotel staff or taxi driver during these occasions.

Tipping for Tourist Experiences

Guidelines for Tipping Tour Guides

Tour guides play a significant role in providing valuable insights and enhancing your travel experience. It is customary to tip tour guides in Turkey, especially if you are satisfied with their services. The suggested tip amount is around 10-20% of the total tour cost.

Tipping Cruise Ship Staff and Shore Excursions

Bodrum Port
Bodrum Port, Bodrum

If you are on a cruise in Turkey and participate in shore excursions, it is customary to tip tour guides and drivers in addition to the overall service charge included in your cruise package. For exceptional service, a gratuity of around 5-10% of the excursion cost is common.

Tipping in Tourist-Frequented Areas and Attractions

Many tourist-frequented areas in Turkey have a significant reliance on tips. From historical sites to traditional markets, it is customary to tip individuals who provide services such as guiding, bag carrying, or providing information. The suggested amount varies based on the level of service, but 5-10 TL is generally considered appropriate.

Tipping Experiences to Avoid

Beware of Tipping Scams and Insincere Requests

While tipping is an integral part of Turkish culture, it is important to be cautious of potential tipping scams. Some individuals may make insincere requests for tips, especially in tourist areas. Exercise your judgment and only tip those who genuinely deserve it.

Understanding Local Tipping Customs to Avoid Offense

Each culture has its unique customs when it comes to tipping. In Turkey, it is appreciated to tip using cash rather than credit cards. Additionally, be mindful of local customs and religious practices. For example, during Ramadan, it is better to offer gifts or tips after sunset.

Recognizing When Not to Tip

Although tipping is customary in most situations, there may be instances where tipping is not expected. For example, tipping in fast-food establishments or self-service cafes is not common practice. Additionally, if you receive poor service or encounter rude behavior, you are not obligated to leave a tip.

Legal and Ethical Aspects of Tipping

Labor Laws and Worker Protection Regarding Tips

Turkey has labor laws in place to protect workers’ rights, including regulations on tip distributions. Employers are required to ensure that tips are fairly distributed among the staff, allowing for a more equitable distribution of income.

Ethics of Tipping: Fair Treatment and Income Disparities

Tipping can sometimes highlight income disparities within the service industry. It is crucial to be aware of this and tip accordingly, ensuring fair treatment of all service providers. Consider tipping based on the level of service you receive rather than the social status or appearance of the individual.

Regulations and Taxation on Tip Reporting

In Turkey, service providers are required to report their tips as part of their income when filing taxes. This helps ensure transparency and accountability in the service industry. By tipping responsibly, you contribute to the fair treatment of service providers and the legitimate taxation system.

Cultural Sensitivity and Tipping

Respecting Local Customs and Traditions

As a visitor in Turkey, it is essential to respect and honor local customs and traditions. Tipping is one aspect of Turkish culture that should be approached with sensitivity and understanding. By adapting to the local customs, you demonstrate respect for the local way of life.

Avoiding Cultural Appropriation When Tipping in Turkey

While showing appreciation through tipping is encouraged, it is important to avoid cultural appropriation. Steer clear of personalizing your tips based on stereotypical assumptions. Treat every individual with respect and tip based on their service, not on assumptions about their cultural background.

Appreciation for Turkish Hospitality Without Overcompensating

Turkish people are known for their warm hospitality, and it is natural to feel compelled to reciprocate the kindness through generous tipping. While it is important to show gratitude, it is equally important not to overcompensate. Tip according to the service provided, keeping in mind the local customs and expectations.


Tipping in Turkey is an essential aspect of the culture and plays a significant role in the service industry. By familiarizing yourself with the tipping norms and understanding the customs and expectations, you can navigate the tipping practice in Turkey with ease. Remember, tipping is a way to express gratitude and support the local economy, so always tip responsibly based on the level of service you receive. Respect local customs, express gratitude, and enjoy your experience in the remarkable country of Turkey.

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